Whether you are an independent blogger or a startup copywriter, content marketing is an important part of your digital presence. However, choosing the right way to present your brand and ideas online can often be difficult.
According to studies, 84% of consumers wholeheartedly expect brands to create content for their benefit. This poses an interesting concern for content creators, meaning that content is more than a necessity. With that in mind, let’s take a look at several guidelines and tips which can help steer your content marketing strategy in the right direction.
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Benefits of Content Marketing
There is no other way for people to find out about your brand online other than through content. Choosing the right strategy for your marketing content can effectively build awareness of your business, products, and services. That way, both potential customers and other businesses will know that you are a respectable, professional contender on the market.
It’s one thing to attract a reader to your site and another to sell a product to them. Studies show that only 22% of brands are satisfied with their conversion rates and there is a good reason behind that. The right content strategy can help you increase your conversion rates significantly, sell more products, and engage more people.
Once you build up a following online, you will have plenty of opportunities to experiment with your content. You can mix and match content types, test new platforms and websites, as well as try out new and unorthodox methods of selling existing and original products. This level of freedom can only be achieved through the careful buildup of your online reputation through the right content strategy beforehand.
1. Answer the Hard Question
Before you approach content creation, marketing, and online strategizing, you should answer one simple question among your board and colleagues:
“Why do you need content marketing in the first place?”
Businesses often approach content marketing “because it’s what others do it too”. This is the wrong approach to online marketing and it will cost you time, resources, and energy. Research has shown that 87% of content creators struggle to produce meaningful content for their target audience. Without it, sales and revenue won’t happen no matter how hard you try.
Instead, try to figure out what it is that you want to accomplish with your content marketing and who you are making it for. This will help you out tremendously when it comes to brainstorming new ideas for your approaching campaign. Make sure that you understand why online content is important and how your business can benefit from it before you spend any money or precious manpower on an unclear cause.
2. Narrow Your Audience
Unfortunately, it’s difficult to appeal to every customer profile no matter their gender, age, or lifestyle. To that end, you will have to narrow your audience down to the lowest common denominator and start building your content strategy from there.
Make sure to do an internal analysis of your website, social media pages (if there are any), and blog to see what type of people visit your outlets. According to your products and services as of right now, create an ideal profile of potential customers who might find your content appealing.
While this seems like a tall order, it’s quite easy to do through popular CRM tools. Once you pinpoint who your audience is, you can also implement a platform such as TrustMyPaper to develop prototype content for your future content strategy. Outsourcing your content creation is sometimes a good idea, especially if you don’t have in-house writers or designers to lean on.
3. Choose Your Platforms
Choosing the right content types for your brand can be a stressful process. You can’t post long-form blog posts on social media and expect good feedback. Alternatively, short-form content will likely be too shallow for articles, discussions, and on-site content.
Make sure that you narrow down the content types that you want to focus on during your upcoming content marketing strategy in order to develop a clear long-term goal. This is important because content marketing costs 62% less than paid advertisement and outbound marketing – there is no reason to waste precious resources on ill-set-up campaign goals.
Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are great for approaching young readers and millennials. Blog posts, articles, and forum discussions are a great way to attract established industry professionals for further networking. Develop very clear goals about your content types before delving further into content creation.
4. Develop a Content Calendar
The secret ingredient to a successful content marketing strategy lies in its consistency. You need to commit to a content calendar that will see you post different, original pieces of content on a set basis. For example, each other day, your blog should be updated with a new post in regards to current industry trends.
Each day, your social media pages should share an interesting article in regards to one of your products and why it’s great. According to research, 63% of businesses don’t have documented, scheduled content strategies to speak of – and that is an issue that works in your favor.
This should be done on a regular basis, without pause, so that your followers grow accustomed to seeing something new and exciting coming from your marketing department. A content calendar is hard to maintain however and does require some forward-thinking and careful planning. Once it is in place, you will grow your influence and traffic exponentially from where you were before your marketing campaign started.
5. Implement Feedback and Iterate
Content marketing is a two-way street between you and your audience. After all, if your audience doesn’t like the content you put out, they don’t have a reason to buy your products and add to your growth. This means that you should always be open to suggestions, feedback, and criticism in regard to your content.
The latest studies show that 91% of B2B and 86% of B2C businesses plan on expanding their content marketing strategies in 2018. In order to remain relevant on the market, you should do your best to talk to your audiences and customer base about how to better your practice for mutual benefit.
Give your readers a voice by stating your wishes to hear from them and their experiences with your content. Even a small nudge in the right direction can effectively transform the way you create content going forward. Alternatively, you risk alienating your followers due to a lack of communication – which is a serious digital marketing misstep in 2018.
The right content marketing strategy depends solely on your brand and how people perceive you. Make sure to explore all options, content types, and platforms before settling for an opportune choice. While it is easy to jump back and forth between content strategies, it’s also a good idea to settle into a routine.
That way, you will build a distinct reputation on the market and people will learn to associate certain content types and topics with your business. Becoming unmistakable and unique on the market is one of the main hallmarks of implementing a content marketing strategy instead of improvising with content creation on the fly.