Content marketing- two words that are constantly used in the marketing and advertising world. These two words have become somewhat of a challenge for certain companies. Many think content marketing is something they have to engage in, but have no clear idea as to why or how. As a result, content marketing has become less effective because people don’t know what content is valuable to their audience or in which specific form they should be targeting them.
But what is content marketing? According to the Content Marketing Institute: “Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”
The shortened version? It is relevant information delivered in a certain way on a certain platform in order to gain and maintain an audience.
We’ve gathered some of the best content marketing advice in cyberspace such as from Convince and Convert’s “Talk Digital to Me” podcast on “How to Create Maximum Content with Minimal Hassles”, Forbes, and the Content Marketing Institute. Below is a compiled list of tips and facts to maximize your content marketing effectiveness:
RELEVANCE: Create content in a way that doesn’t drive your audience insane. This means don’t bombard them with stuff they don’t care about. Narrow down your topics to be relevant.
VIDEO: According to Adobe Systems, “51.9% of marketing professionals worldwide name video as the type of content with the best ROI.” Embed company videos or relatable clips from the past into blog posts. This will help video viewership and serve as a visual aid.
MANAGING IMAGE CONTENT: 50% to 90% of decision making is done before a customer engages with your company! Audiences are scrolling through your content way before they engage with it first-hand. In turn, its important to manage your image content, etc., so you can drive the relationship between your company and audience.
SEO: Maximize your SEO to create a strong online presence for your content by using keywords, hashtags, or including a link to your company website and social media pages.
KNOWING YOUR AUDIENCE: Research your target audience based on demographics, psychographics, etc. If you know what they’re about, and where they are in the virtual landscape, you’ll know how to best get their attention.
FAQ’s—> BLOGS: Skim your email inbox for FAQ’s and create blog posts about them. If more than one person has asked the same question, chances are others are interested too!
PLATFORM: Consider where the audience could potentially be, along with where they currently are. Try delivering content on different platforms and see how it benefits your company. Perhaps a certain platform will align more appropriately with your audience.
TIMING & BEHAVIOR: Think about content timing and pay attention to evolving audience behaviors/interests. Posting about relevant news and the way it relates to your company could boost awareness about your content. If it is relatable and relevant, it is important.
INFLUENCER MARKETING: If you have certain followers/influencers that consistently engage with your content, give them a shout-out, provide a link to their business pages, or reference them within your content. As long as their content is relevant to your business, influencer marketing allows you to benefit from another audience if there is synergy between your content and the influencer’s.
DELIVERY: Find new and engaging ways to deliver your content. For example, a Snapchat video may resonate better with you, but that same content in the form of an e-book may stick better with someone else. Think about the channel in which your content is being delivered. Perhaps a weekly blog post is better suited as a one minute video. Maybe your audience will react better to a “live” stream. Although the content is the same, the channel in which it is delivered could be your key to engagement. Sometimes its not your content, its the delivery.
PLAN: A plan for content marketing needs to be ever-evolving. Don’t get stuck. Audiences change, so does the virtual atmosphere, and opportunities for new content arise regularly.
STATS & FIGURES: Include relevant statistics, facts, and figures within your content. It makes content relatable and portrays you as an authority on the subject.
STRATEGY: Think strategically. Perhaps the goal is to create one significant piece of content per quarter and then periodically expand on it by dividing it into five parts. A series of related content will keep followers of the original content returning, especially if the content mentions that there are more parts to the series coming soon. This keeps your audience engaged and ensures their eyes are pealed for more related topics they’ve already shown an interest in!
TONE: Be conversational and make sure content doesn’t sound like a formal essay or report.
FEEDBACK: Observe audience feedback to see who is engaged and cater to that platform. Test out different times of day for posting content and take note of which times spark more engagement with your specific audience.
BE FLEXIBLE: There are different ways of processing content. Experiment with them.
KEEP A CONTENT CALENDAR: Reminding yourself to “put something up every Monday at 1pm” for instance, promotes consistency and forces you to think of content, constantly evaluating and adjusting based on your audience’s interests.
ENGAGE: Remember, the more content you post, the more traffic and engagement you gain!
So how do you know your current and potential audiences are going to engage on your social media platforms? When do you stop trying? You don’t! If you have things to say, keep saying them because your content means more than the platform its delivered on. If your posts highlight a relevant topic, then people will seek out your content, so don’t stop after a certain number of posts. Think about other ways to let people know you exist on certain platforms. If your content is good, the format won’t matter because different forms cater to different tastes. Now get out there and start creating!