Every business big or small embarking on content creation should have a content marketing strategy. If you want to reach your goals and increase success, then creating high quality, consistent content is an excellent place to start.
But firstly, what is content marketing? This is a strategy involving the development and distribution of valuable online material with the intentions of encouraging targeted audience interest and generating leads. With so many platforms available to communicate with your audience, from email campaigns to social media, it is very important to master the power of content marketing.
As easy as it sounds, this doesn’t involve simply plucking content out of the air. Emphasis is placed on content being relevant to your brand, linking greatly to your marketing strategy whilst maintaining authenticity. Your content must have a purpose.
Here are some top tips to ensure your content marketing is a success:
A good starting point would be to do your research. It will be helpful for you to gain an understanding of what’s trending, what’s working well or content your competitors are producing. This allows you to see where your business fits into the mix and start creating content that you know will give you the right exposure or fill the gaps where important content is missing. There are some fantastic free systems you can use to do this type of research, such as Google Trends or Answer The Public.
But, before anything, you should clearly understand the goal for each piece of content, remember to link this to your strategy. What you base your content on must also harmonise with the brand. Maintaining relevance throughout content will enhance professionalism and develop trust with your brand.
If, for example, you are hosting an event providing expertise on leadership, you may want to share posts on social media in line with this area on the days leading up to the event to ensure consistency. Avoid reposting articles that aren’t relevant to you or in keeping with your brand. For instance, an ICT company based in Birmingham, posting about the best beaches to visit in the UK…this has no relevance to their brand or offering!
Or, when creating a blog make it applicable to your business and write about something that will amplify your knowledge, again demonstrating professionalism. Remember you are great at what you do, why not tell the world?
Don’t forget to mix it up, consider sharing content other influencers have produced. Very importantly, integrate client successes into your content marketing – remember their success is reflected in your success. Client testimonials and reviews are another powerful piece of content that you have worked so hard to receive. You deserve to shout it from the rooftop, so go ahead and do that online!
After choosing your topics, whatever materials you decide to distribute whether your own or somebody else’s, it is vital to make sure they are of a high quality. You will not regret reading them over and over. Then ask someone with excellent grammar and fresh eyes to complete a final review before publishing, a vital stage of proofreading.
Visiting and updating past content is a great way to gain additional value from your current content. This methods saves time versus starting afresh, keeps your content relevant and provides search engine optimisation benefits, boosting a previously optimised URL link.
How often and when content is shared can have a huge impact on audience engagement. Think about this, if you distribute your weekly newsletter at 5pm on a sunny Friday afternoon, hardly anyone will read it, will they? Similarly, if you post the same tweet four times in a day people will get extremely bored and are likely to unfollow. We suggest it is a good idea to repeat content, such as reminding customers of any upcoming events or previous successes, but ensure these are spaced out appropriately. A good test is to take a step back and honestly ask yourself ‘how often you would like to receive your own content?’
The bottom line is, the more content you begin producing, the more likely you will receive attention from your targeted audiences, assuming it is distributed at considered times.
Using the most favourable platforms to engage with your target audience is an important tool for businesses when managing content marketing.
Social media – with around 83% of the population using social media (source), this often leads to engagement with brands therefore increasing brand awareness. Social media allows for a more personal approach making it easier to build relationships with customers by having instant interactions. Not only this, social media provides you with the ability to share content from your website or blogs to drive even more traffic. So, when deciding where to share your content to, social media should be considered as a primary source.
Email marketing campaigns – another effective platform for reaching out to customers and keeping them updated about your brand. By creating engaging subject lines, with short and sweet tasters and strong images within, your audience will be more than likely to interact with your email campaigns and explore your website for further valuable content which may be useful to them. Email marketing is an excellent way of linking your target audience to your website and blog articles, demonstrating your expertise.
Guest posts and guest blogging on other websites should be part of your content marketing strategy. This is an excellent way to promote your brand and demonstrate your expertise. Target websites and opportunities of high value within your industry. As an exchange, many websites will allow a ‘DoFollow’ link back to your website, which is beneficial for your websites search engine optimisation.
Finally, analysing the success of your content can be highly beneficial. This way you can begin to understand what works well and what doesn’t, what attracts most people and which achieves the most engagement. Not everything will work but with all marketing be sure to record and analyse, then you can continue creating content proven to be successful and drive more traffic and engagement as a result.
So, why not follow these basic guidelines, create your content strategy and watch your content marketing vastly improve. Executed correctly this will not only increase interest/engagement but customer leads, resulting in sales. How you produce content will certainly influence the perception of your brand, so why not make it as powerful as you can through quality and consistency.