Content marketing, which was a mere buzzword several years ago, is now one of the most popular and effective online marketing strategies today, and rightfully so, as these stats are hard to ignore:
Content marketing is especially attractive to companies with limited budgets, as it allows you to experience results with limited financial resources. If your business is not using content marketing as part of your strategy, you are missing a huge opportunity to grow your business. Here is a simple 4-step process to help you get started with content marketing.
1. Identify a content strategy that works for your business
In order to be successful when it comes to content marketing you need to have a well-defined strategy. To start, you need to identify goals. Are you wanting to drive brand awareness and push consumers to visit a physical location? Do you want to collect email addresses and place them into a funnel and email responder to drip-market?
Once your goals are established, you need to determine what type of content will best help you reach those goals. Blog posts, video content, podcasts, etc. -- there are multiple content formats that can be used. You need to create your strategy based on what will help you reach your goals.
The temptation will always be to first question whether you have anything interesting to say. And that others have probably already said it anyway. One of my favorite tactics to overcome these 2 mental roadblocks is to first, go to Google News and type in a phrase that describes your industry. See what articles are coming up, and if any seem remotely similar to your company’s business practice, then you’ve got your inspiration right there. One of my favorite examples to share about the use of unique, newsworthy posts about a seemingly boring topic (legal) comes from this blog. If they can do it, so you can you.
2. Create an efficient publishing process
The majority of businesses fail at content marketing because they are not consistent. You can’t randomly publish content and expect miracles to happen. You have to first create content that your audience enjoys engaging with, and second, you need to put it out there on a consistent basis.
“Whether you are publishing content weekly or daily, you need to remain consistent. Your audience becomes accustomed to your publishing frequency and if your publishing becomes inconsistent they will disconnect from your brand and get their content fix elsewhere,” explains Adam Boalt, CEO and founder of Travel Visa.
The easiest way to ensure you remain consistent is to use an editorial calendar to schedule content far in advance. This allows you to make sure your audience will always have something to engage with, according to the publishing frequency you decide is best for your brand.
You can also reuse, or repurpose, older content across other channels. For example, sharing older blog posts on social media allows you to use a new platform while not having to spend additional money on the content creation.
3. Focus on building your brand’s authority.
When you build your brand’s authority, you are able to leverage your position within the marketplace to influence the purchase decisions of consumers.
When you publish quality content that helps your target customers solve problems or answer questions they may have, they see you as an authority within your industry. Then, when they have questions in the future, they turn to you for the answer. As this snowballs, you see more traffic coming back to your website, which then converts into sales.
One of the easiest ways to make sure your content is attracting the right type of traffic is by targeting keywords and search terms that have buyer-intent. Think about what your target customer would be typing into Google when they have a question about the products or service you sell prior to making a purchase, and then create in-depth content that answers those questions.
4. Constantly review and adjust
Content marketing is not a ‘set it and forget it’ form of marketing. It requires constant analyzing and adjusting in order to be successful. It’s important to fully understand Google Analytics and have conversion goals established.
Data such as where your visitors came from, what they did while on your website, how long they stayed and how they exited are all key to identifying well-performing content to further optimize, as well as poorly performing content to abandon.
Numbers don’t lie, so it’s important to test multiple content formats, because what you think might perform the best with your audience might in fact not be best format in terms of conversions. Test as much as possible and adjust accordingly.
Content marketing is something that businesses of all sizes can participate in, and by following the 4-step process outlined above, you can experience business growth, regardless of your marketing budget.
Register for Modern Customer Experience 2018 here.
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