Is your company on board with content marketing in theory but not in practice? Is your company using content marketing but still not seeing the results you hoped for? Content marketing is no longer a secret weapon. More and more companies are realizing its weight as part of a comprehensive marketing strategy and are investing time and money in quality content to boost their online presence. It can be an incredibly powerful tool and has been proven to reduce cost per lead by up to 80% in the first five months.
Top-of-mind awareness can be expensive and difficult, but content marketing works best if it is inspirational, motivational, and executed well. Ninety-two percent of American businesses confirmed that they are engaging in some form of content marketing, according to the Content Marketing Institute. And, it does not have to take a lot of time to implement. With pre-planning, consideration and pooled resources, it’s possible to establish an effective content strategy.
Tips For Successful Content Marketing
Here are 6 key takeaways to consider when thinking about your content marketing efforts:
- Have a well-thought out, documented strategy: According to the Content Marketing Institute, 83% of B2B marketers have a content strategy, but only 35% have it documented. Have defined goals and well-thought out plans that are documented. Be clear about why you are executing content marketing and stick with the plan to help ensure you are delivering strong, diverse content frequently enough.
- Assign equal importance to content marketing as part of your strategy: Content must be treated as an asset rather than a line item on a budget. Stakeholders should meet often, ensure alignment, and always make sure their goals, or mission, are clearly stated. If there is no intention of using the content marketing to its full potential, it may not be worth using it at all. And remember: it is never too late to start!
- Think like a publisher: Content must be relevant and useful, so know your audience and tailor to them. What do they want from you? In the past, online marketers were producers, not publishers, focusing their content on increasing brand awareness and pushing long-winded sales pitches. Content must be relevant and useful to provide your audience with a better, more memorable experience. One approach is to activate your customer and turn them into evangelists as well as publishers. In this way, your existing audience can help you create trust and loyalty with prospects. David Berkowitz wrote in AdAge about “storymaking” – when a brand facilitates and taps into the stories people are creating and sharing with each other. This is the kind of content marketing that can lead to real results.
- Don’t over-saturate your content on every platform: Don’t put content on every platform just because you think you should: assess where it best belongs. Along with an increasing knowledge of your audience, content teams need to understand where that audience consumes content and which platforms are worth the marketer’s investment. A good mindset for social media is “if everything is important, nothing is.” It is very possible to overwhelm your audience with content, and waste your time, if your audience doesn’t engage with that specific social media platform.
- Find ways to personalize: Understanding and knowing your company’s target audience allows for you to tailor content to their needs and will benefit your company in the long run. However, don’t spread yourself too thin: personalize and segment because broad content is rarely shared or absorbed. Trying to be all things to all people can lead to a loss of focus. Also consider how your content meets the needs of the four different kinds of Thinkers: Conceptual (these people love the big idea), Analytical (this group looks for context), Social (they are all about the human connections) and Structural (the “doers.”) People often have mixed preferences and thinking styles, so when possible, develop content containing elements that speak to each one.
- Use converged media: Converged media – using both organic and paid strategies – can have big reach, but it is important to find a happy medium for both. Assess what is most effective to reach your audience. Simply using organic media may seem right but paid content can be a very valuable asset when growing your online portfolio. You just want your company to be there for the potential customer wherever and however they may be searching.
In a constantly changing landscape, it is clear that there is a lot of potential for content marketing. By focusing your efforts on creating a well-documented strategy that leads to a unique experience for your audience, you will become closer to being a successful content marketer.
For more content marketing strategies check out The Ultimate Guide to the New Buyer’s Journey Whitepaper!