The entire marketing landscape is nothing but content and strategies. After all, content is information that is shaped in various forms (text, video, audio, graphics, etc.)
Every business creates and promotes content in one way or another. From product descriptions to paid advertising copy, everything is considered content.
Why do certain brands perform better than others? There’s a simple answer for that: brands differentiate themselves by improving their content quality and by diversifying their content marketing strategies.
Now that we’ve got that covered, let’s take a look at several useful ways to increase your brand’s awareness and reputation by improving your content’s marketing game.
1. Identify, Understand, and Adapt to Your Customer’s Needs
A transaction of resources between two peers is called business. When you write a piece of content, you’re delivering information that can be a great asset and solution for many people. The individuals who consume your content are paying with their time, attention, and energy. If you demand it, they’ll also pay with their hard-earned money.
Therefore, to attract people who are willing to spend all their resources on your content, your information must be truly relevant and helpful. Otherwise, there’s no business!
How can you deliver true value?
It’s simple. You must consistently improve your understanding of your target audience, so you’ll know exactly how to capture their attention and interest in your content and business offers.
Here are a few tips on how to do that:
- Brainstorm and identify the needs, problems, desires, mindset, behavior, interests, and habits of your “ideal customer”
- Use analytics tools to track and monitor your audience’s behavior on your website
- Engage directly with your prospects through blog comments, social media posts, and industry forums
- Create and push surveys that’ll deliver concrete and “proven” intelligence and data
- Track your biggest competitors and identify their customers’ concerns and problems
Once you gain a very good understanding of your specific audience, you’ll be able to effectively develop quality content and profitable content marketing strategies. Otherwise, you’ll be wasting a significant amount of resources on people who are not even interested to hear your value propositions.
2. Create a Content Marketing Strategy
Every content marketing strategy is unique because factors like business size, budget, objectives, and target audience are always different from one business to another.
Nevertheless, you shouldn’t try to reinvent the wheel by trying to craft an original content marketing strategy that the world has never seen before. What you can do, though, is get the necessary inspiration that’ll allow you to craft your content strategy alone.
Here’s what you should cover first:
The Media Type
What type of content are you going to craft? Is it text? Video? Audio? Graphics?
Dig deeper. If you choose videos, what type of videos? Explainers? Product reviews? Educational videos?
You don’t have to stick to one media type. In fact, it’s recommended to diversify your content and experiment with more media types up until you’re sure what works best.
The Channels of Distribution
After you’ve decided what type of content you’ll be developing, you’ll need to identify the proper channels of distribution that’ll help you push your content in front of your target audience’s eyes. Here are the most effective contemporary marketing channels:
- Social media networks (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.)
- Video distribution channels (YouTube, Vimeo, etc.)
- Search engines (Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc.)
- Niche forums and Q&A platforms
- Paid advertising networks (Google Adwords, Bing ads, and other advertising networks)
The Publishing Frequency
You will also need to decide how frequently you’re going to share and promote content. Some brands publish new articles every day, while others distribute one long video per month. Depending on your target audience’s needs and expectations, decide your publishing frequency.
3. Experiment with Influencer Marketing
Improving your brand’s presence online is not hard. You need to learn how to invest your resources properly in order to reap the most benefits.
Influencer marketing is one of today’s most underrated and underpriced content marketing strategies that you can take advantage of right now.
Basically, you identify people who have large social media followings, people that are well known amongst specific niche communities, and people whose word is respected.
You reach out to them, present your content, and ask them to share your material with their followers and customers. Of course, you’ll have to establish a price and often negotiate. The benefits are significant: visibility, awareness, reputation, and trust.
4. Tap into the Power of Social Media
Businesses that fail to leverage social networks will hardly be able to compete with their competition. After all, we’re experiencing the social media era, times in which most online customers are already using one or more social channels.
Your target audience is surely present on various social networks, and your job is to identify which channels they use the most.
Young people stay away from LinkedIn and prefer Instagram, Snapchat, or Pinterest. Professionals, on the other hand, prefer spending time on LinkedIn and Twitter. Let’s not forget about Facebook, which is a universal channel that attracts many types of people.
Figure out where your target audience spends time and start crafting a social media strategy that’ll draw attention and interest.
5. Build an E-mail List and Grow Your Customer’s Loyalty
Instead of investing your resources in acquiring unique traffic and leads all the time, you’d better create an email list and an email marketing strategy.
Capturing your website visitors’ information is much simpler if you offer something for free. For example, a relevant 20-page eBook that solves a small problem, an exclusive video, free shipping, or perhaps a free trial.
The communication between you and your email subscribers should be meaningful, helpful, and relevant. By offering free exclusive information, you’re gaining your subscribers’ trust and loyalty.
When that happens, your followers will be eager to share your content, products, and services with their own social media followers, friends, and known ones. That leads to increased brand visibility and reputation.
6. Share Valuable Information on Industry Forums and Q&A Networks
Another underrated yet truly effective content marketing strategy is forum marketing. Every industry has various forums that people constantly use whenever they seek solutions to problems and needs.
What you’ll need to do is choose the most forums within your industry and develop a presence on each. Create a profile, choose your brand’s name as a profile name, insert your logo as the avatar, and start analyzing the open threads.
As you start to answer people’s questions, your valuable responses will be definitely noticed by many prospective customers. The great thing is that the moment you post a valuable reply on a popular thread, your brand’s name is introduced to a lot of people who might correspond with your “ideal customer” persona.
The more you contribute the more “seeds” you’ll plant. Your comments will remain active forever as long as the thread isn’t deleted, and as long as the forum remains active.
Of course, this is a strategy that requires a lot of time and great writing skills. You can simplify this process by outsourcing expert writers that’ll take care of the job.
7. Analyze, Measure, Optimize, Scale, and Repeat
Content marketing is a journey that requires consistency, resilience, and smart solutions. To keep track of your progress, you’ll need to analyze, measure, optimize, scale, and then repeat your content marketing approaches.
You can analyze your progress by monitoring your website’s performance. Google Analytics and other web analytics tools will give you all the insights you need to measure this performance and identify what content, pages, or buttons are performing best.
Secondly, you can analyze and measure your social media performance by using social media tools. These tools shall show you how well your content is performing on social channels.
The next step is to identify solutions that’ll optimize your content strategy’s results. A/B testing is one of the best ways to find optimization solutions.
If your optimization strategy has worked, it’s time to scale your campaign and create more content and invest more resources because your campaign is already showing consistent positive effects.
Lastly, once you’re satisfied with your campaign, you should repeat the process with the next strategy or campaign you’re going to employ.
Content marketing is a complex “game” that every business is playing. Today’s most successful brands are constantly improving their content marketing standards, delivering more and more quality and relevance to their target customers.
Keep in mind that content marketing is a journey, not a result. It is a marathon, not a race. It is a war, not a battle. So, treat it likewise and never cease to optimize both your content’s value and your content marketing strategies.
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