The digital marketing space is constantly evolving with new and improved tools to help entrepreneurs and marketing specialists alike participate in content marketing. Simply put, content marketing is the process of creating, publishing, and distributing content for a targeted online audience.
In the era of instant data consumption, leveraging content marketing can be quite powerful. Though content marketing was initially used to improve your SEO efforts, properly developing your content marketing strategy will drive more than just favourable search query results.
Producing quality content can be tough. You must be creative, but not over complicate, be direct, but not too “sales-y” and be informative, but not boring. Make sure you narrow down who your intended audience is as much as you can. This way, your message is as focused as possible, and you can go on to grab their attention, and ideal convert them into prospects.
For instance, say you run your own e-commerce business. You need good content to even attempt vital marketing efforts like retargeting, automated email marketing, reminding your visitors about abandoned carts, leveraging lead gathering forms, A/B testing, using landing pages, or even curating an enticing social media feed. You could throw discounts and sales incentives around like confetti, but there’s no use shouting when no one is listening.
The content marketing formula is simple: No Content = No Audience, No Audience = No Leads or Sales
Here are 10 useful practices to get you well on your way to using content marketing to help, not hurt, your business:
Your viewers have increasingly limited attention spans and want answers to their questions fast. Your content should be direct. It is better to be clear than try too hard to be clever. Tell the reader what they want to know.
This does not refer to the consistency on how frequently you post but rather how consistent your brand or voice is throughout your content. Elements like subject matter, tone, context, visuals and social media channels should all be cohesive with your business/brand.
3. Your Customers
As mentioned above, who are you speaking to? Who is the content for? Who would want to read, watch or listen to your message? Read your reviews and see what your audience/followers are saying. Monitoring client feedback is crucial to understanding what they will respond to in the future.
4. Your Competition
Study your industry. Looking to competitors will help you compare and contrast what others are doing effectively or not so effectively. Your competition will help you stay on trend and inspire ways you can stand out from the crowd.
5. Search Engine Optimization
This just means making sure your content is in front of the right people. There are many ways you can ensure your content is SEO friendly.
- Relevant keyword research
- Alt-Text: Providing Alt-Text for your images helps search engines match your content to your visual assets
- Outbound Links to credible sources
- Internal linking to other locations on your site/other content
6. Tell A Story
People are emotional beings. Whether you are posting content on your site or writing an email, telling a compelling story will always help someone relate, understand your message and hold their attention.
7. Get Social
If you don’t have a social media presence, get one. Oftentimes, social media can be the vessel in which you spread your content, blogs, announcements, and express your unique point of view. Furthermore, it also builds trust with your audience. Who doesn’t have Facebook or Twitter?
8. Visual Assets
Make what you are saying that much more interesting with supportive images. This can exponentially improve the look and feel of your content, elevate your brand and assist with consistency.
9. Recycle Old Content
Why not? Re-post and recycle. Certainly helps on the days you might be stumped on new ideas.
10. Document Your Strategy
The CMI’s research for trends in 2018 shows that 75% B2B organizations have a content marketing strategy (only 37% is documented). Respondents who have a documented content marketing strategy report higher levels of overall content marketing success compared to those who have a verbal strategy only, or even no strategy at all.
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