You’ve probably heard it a thousand times before that content is king. In fact, it even got given its very own spot in our buzzword bin at Prolific North Live. Whilst the phrase may cause a cringe-inducing response every time it’s uttered, it’s still a pretty honest statement to make.
Content marketing is everywhere right now. According to the Content Marketing Institute, 88% of B2B marketers are currently using content marketing as part of their strategy, yet 55% stated that it was unclear what a successful content strategy actually looks like.
Knowing how to properly market your content in a digital world that’s stacked full of other content isn’t something that comes easy to everyone. In fact, only 32% of B2B marketers said they were effective at content marketing. Clearly, there are some lessons to be learnt.
If you’re looking for a push in the right direction when it comes to understanding just what content marketing is and how to create an effective campaign, allow us to present the ultimate content marketing cheat sheet.
What exactly is content marketing?
Before you get started on your content marketing strategy, you need to understand what it all means.
Content marketing involves creating and distributing useful and relevant content, all in a bid to attract an interested audience. The content created needs to serve a purpose and be informative to the customer.
By delivering great content, you will be able to form long-lasting relationships with your customers. After reading a piece on your site, they’ll want to return for more great ideas and insights, or even recommend you to other people.
Why do you need content?
Creating content will help to drive audiences to your site who will ultimately become customers. This can all be made possible by creating content that your intended audience actually cares about.
Content marketing is meaningful and useful to businesses as it helps to increase brand awareness, raise audience engagement and generate leads.
What are your competitors doing?
Whilst you should never try to copy or plagiarise your rivals, it’s always useful to get a good idea of what they’re up to. Competitor Analyses are great for this, as they help to assess the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors and will let you clearly see what kind of content they’re producing, what their social presence is like and what their tone of voice is.
Chances are if it’s working for them, it may just work for you too. You can use all this information to inspire your next content decisions.
What type of content should you create?
The type of content you create all comes down to who your audience are and how you think they’d consume your content best.
Think about the part of the customer journey you want to play a role in and what you want out of your content. In order to achieve conversions (ie. paying customers), you need to be able to let your customers discover, deliberate and decide. This can all be done via a variety of content, as detailed below.
Another way to look at it is to make sure you have all three of the following ‘buzzword’-worthy strategies covered to make sure your content is reaching out beyond just your site.
Content comes in a variety of different shapes and sizes and finding the right one for you can be tricky. You need to think about what you want out of your content.
How do you grab people’s attention?
The one thing that many people worry about when creating content is how to grab people’s attention. How do you forge that interest?
Our top 5 suggestions for grabbing people’s attention are:
- Do your research
Make sure you can pinpoint what your audience are interested in and what they’re keen to learn about. If it’s been covered multiple times before, then you need to work out why people are going to choose your content over the rest. Bring something new to the table.
- Have an eye-catching title
Many people will choose to read something purely based on whether the title forges their interest or not. Find a catchy way of summing up your blog post or infographic, and the interest will follow.
- Tell a story
Everyone loves a good story and this can be a great way of putting personality behind your content. Connect the topic with your own personal experiences and people will be more inclined to trust and believe you.
- Ignite a response
Encourage your readers to add their own suggestions or opinions. You’ll find your content is more likely to be shared when it’s based on something your audience are passionate about and can widely talk about.
- Use social media to your advantage
You should be proud of the content you’re producing so make sure you’re sharing it. This is where the majority of new audiences will find your content, so make sure you share and share again.
Ultimately, try to humanise your content and show your passion for the subject. If you write solely for SEO purposes, it’s going to be pretty evident to readers. Share your own experiences and be relevant to your audience. When you personalise and care, you’ll find that more people will love your content.
How do you know your content is successful?
Whilst it’s all very well putting good content out into the world, how do you know if it’s actually successful? Be sure to use social analytics and measurement tools, such as Google Analytics, to help measure how much traffic your content is driving.
Our key metrics include:
- Number of visits
- Average time spent on page
- Social shares
- Conversions (How many visitors turn into paying customers)
It takes time to gain traction, so don’t expect results to happen overnight. If you keep delivering valuable content you will, over time, see the effect that good content has on your site.
What is ideal content marketing strategy for you?
We want to hear about any tips or suggestions you have about what makes an ideal content marketing strategy to you and your business. Let us know on Twitter or Facebook, or come and tell us in person at our next free training session.
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