As leading brands adopt content marketing strategies to engage better with their audience, businesses are struggling to identify the best way to use content marketing. Many businesses fail to see the benefits of content marketing and those that do often fail to put enough time and effort into making their strategy a success.
Using content marketing correctly will provide increased sales and savings on advertising and promotion. The best uses of content marketing create a customer base that returns to your brand as a trusted source of information. Customers who trust a brand become loyal customers who make further purchases.
These articles below offer essential reading for businesses, marketers and SEO teams trying to improve brand awareness and search engine results.
Throughout the decades and centuries past, advertisers and promoters have made use of content marketing in one form or another. At the heart of good content marketing are storytelling and clear communication. This helps engage with an audience to promote the benefits of your brand or product over all the others available.
As businesses realise that content marketing is the most efficient and direct way to promote their products to their target audience, the budget for content creation increases. While it has been shown that content marketing is an important part of any successful business, the success of any campaign will rely on a good strategy.
When a business decides to produce a content marketing effort, there are a number of assumptions that are usually made. A good content marketing strategy should realise that there are some hurdles that need to be overcome to get your content to work for you. Zazzlemedia has listed a number of assumptions that businesses need to avoid when producing a content marketing campaign.
The ten assumptions that businesses make about content marketing are these:
Our information is up to date and relevant.
Do you know where your target market is today or does your information need to be updated? The audience which you engaged with five years ago or last year may be looking in very different places today for content. Have you researched your target audience well? What age are they? what are their interests? how much money do they have available for your products?
Our target audience is prepared to read our content.
The people who you want to read your content are not necessarily sat waiting for your content to arrive. They are busy people with content available from many sources. Make sure your content provides a clear message that makes your target audience take notice.
This is the way that our target audience wants their content.
There are many ways for your target audience to receive content so don’t rely on a single method for all of your marketing. Try new approaches and monitor how it is responded to.
I can keep producing new ideas by myself.
As a single content creator, it can be difficult to keep your ideas fresh and engaging. All creativity requires fresh input from other people.
Make content longer to get more engagement.
Many content producers assume that the longer a piece of content is, the more appealing it is for someone reading it. Long pieces are great if all of the information is relevant. But if you can say the same thing in half the words, your audience will appreciate the time saved.
Effective content must be 100% unique and original.
Don’t be afraid to be inspired by the ideas that are already available. Always try to improve on the content available and reappropriate it in an interesting way. There are not many truly unique ideas left but there are ways to reuse great ideas in new ways.
Content marketing will drive sales.
Content marketing is successful because it offers audiences useful content which provides brand awareness and loyalty. Once a person feels as though the content is being used to sell to them, they get turned off it quickly.Your target audience will not appreciate being sold at through your content marketing. Your content marketing strategy should offer value to the target market which makes them buy into the lifestyle choice that you are offering them.
Focus on quantity and not quality.Quality always beats quantity.
It is often assumed that producing regular content will keep people engaged. But they will soon realise that the value of the content is short if your goal is to produce regularly without much thought. The emphasis of more content more often should not override the usefulness value of the content.
All our objectives will be met within a limited budget.
You may wish to become present throughout social media, the search engines and increase your PR coverage. But these all require individual focus or a large budget. Be realistic about what you can achieve within your budget.Prioritise what you want to achieve from Content Marketing. Do you want customer engagement, increased conversion rates, brand awareness or a high social presence? You may need to put your goals in order to make the most of your resources.
We can expect an overnight success from our campaign.
Content marketing is a long game. It is very rare to find a content marketing campaign to produce an overnight success. If you take the long-term approach, you can find that the effort pays off in six months or this time next year. Remember that the brands with the most loyal following took years to establish themselves.
The Importance of Content Planning
A lack of content planning is the main reason why many content marketing strategies fail. 64% of marketers admit that their major challenge was developing a content strategy while 46% found it difficult to ensure that content idea aligned with their strategy.
An article by Toprankblog lays out a range of ways that businesses can improve their content planning. The first objective is to identify answers to these three questions:
- Who is our target audience?
- What are our top marketing goals & objectives?
- What is the current top performing content?
Once these three factors have been identified. You can begin to plan your content. This means arranging regular meetings to ensure that the content aligns with the overall strategy. From these meetings, a content strategy should be developed so that content is created on a regular basis.
As a market leader, a content marketing strategy will require more than three pieces of content released each week. The consistency of producing relevant content is one of the ways in which a content marketing strategy can fail to produce results.
Finding Inspiration for Creating New Content
Creating new content which connects with your target audience can become tricky when there is a constant demand for new ideas. Even the best content creators get creative blocks when trying to produce exciting ideas for their content marketing campaign.
This article from Toprankblog offers five solutions to help break the deadlock.
- Stimulate Your Senses. Awaken your brain by changing your diet, using play doh or using essential oils
- Don’t get distracted by Social Media. Facebook and Twitter offer an endless distraction from the job in hand
- Get Moving. A little physical activity such as going for a walk outside can help refresh your brain
- Drink Cold Water. Avoid the negative symptoms of getting dehydrated by drinking water throughout the day
- Reconnect with Your Audience. Visit discussion sites, blogs and online communities in your niche. Ask the sales team or customer services about the common questions and concerns that your target audience raise
Why You Need to Create Content Which is Ten Times Better
With the popularity of content marketing comes a whole lot of content being produced by every business in every niche. The hardest task when developing a content marketing strategy for your business is to find a way to get your content noticed.
One of the methods used in the content marketing industry is to create Skyscraper Content or 10x content. This means that the content that you produce is 10 x better than the competition.
By creating a piece of content which is 10 x more informative, more entertaining or more up to date than the competition you can receive the most benefits from your efforts and money. By producing the best content in your industry niche you can expect:
- More links into your page
- Show your expertise in the subject
- Rank higher in search engine results
- Gain customer awareness of your brand
- Generate more leads
This article by Kaiser the Sage describes the process of creating Skyscraper content which is 10 x better than anything else out there.
The key attributes for 10 x content are as follows:
- A positive user experience
- High quality, trustworthy source of content
- Is different in scale and detail than anything currently available
- Is quick to load
- Produces an emotional response such as awe, surprise, admiration or joy in readers
- Gets shared through social networks and website links
- Provides a comprehensive solution to a question that readers are looking for
How Content Marketing Can Increase Ranking Without Links
When businesses and SEO consultants begin a content marketing campaign, the main objective is usually to get links. Everyone knows that link building effects page rank in the search engines and therefore links are pursued as an SEO priority.
However content marketing has been around for a long time before search engines were a factor. Content marketing has been used since around 1897 in one form or another. So what are the other advantages that content marketing can bring to your brand?
- Trust and Authority
- Link Attraction
The truth is that some content can be successful without attracting links. These are discussed in this article by Dejan SEO. Other considerations include:
Click Through Rate (CTR) has also become recognised as ranking factors by Bing and Google. Tailoring your content for specific questions will help increase your CTR for these less competitive searches. There is then a chance that your overall site performance will benefit for the more difficult keyword searches.
Personalised search results on Google offer readers content from websites they are already shown to like. Therefore answering client questions with your content will give your website a better chance of appearing in the search results when a potential customer has enough information to make a product purchase.
Content Marketing Benefits Which You May Not Have Expected
The obvious benefits of content marketing are well known to any business wishing to improve brand awareness and search engine results. The obvious benefits of content marketing are:
- Driving traffic to your website
- Becoming an authority voice for your industry
- Offering useful information to customers
This article by Wordstream suggests that there are also some hidden benefits to content marketing.
Brand affinity means that your products are not seen as consumer items but a lifestyle choice. People who love your brand discuss your products, buy your products and promote your brand. The majority of visitors to your website are returning customers. Once you have acquired a loyal following, you will see increases in click through rate and improved search engine results.
Content Remarketing is targeting consumers based on their previous behaviours. If your content has attracted traffic which acts in a particular way. You can use this information to persuade people to move towards areas relevant to their interests.
Image Search Traffic
Image search attracts a high level of traffic towards the source. Optimised images will appear higher in search rankings and can increase the number of people that discover your website.
Social media flywheel effect
The flywheel effect describes the process of a wheel which takes a long time to get moving. But once it is set in motion it will keep up momentum. By using social media to share your content marketing you will slowly accumulate followers. Once your number of followers hit a tipping point, the increase rate keeps on growing at an increased rate.
Many content marketing strategies fail by not continuing the effort with a long-term goal in mind. Once the initial time and effort have been put in, your marketing strategy will reap the rewards in increased exposure.
Improve your Content Marketing By Learning from Publishing
The digital publishing industry has developed a range of techniques to make the process of producing unique content easier, more automated and available at any time. But are there some creative lessons which we can learn from the publishing industry?
Creating engaging, killer content is the objective of any content marketing strategist. With so much content being produced it can be difficult to get your voice heard above all the noise. The publishing industry has been finding new and creative ways to engage with their audience for centuries.
There are many ideas and processes used by the traditional magazine publishing industry which can be translated into digital. Even against the odds, magazines and traditional publishing still have a loyal audience for their content. The readers who still engage in print media are after great writing, entertaining articles and researched information. These skills are still vital to any successful content marketing campaign.
This article from Zazzlemedia explores the question of what content marketing can learn from the publishing industry. The main findings are:
- Face to face meetings to communicate ideas amongst those involved
- A persistence to be innovative in content production
- Creating a variety of content types to keep audiences engaged
- Making your content so individual to your brand that nobody will be able to use it elsewhere
- Use gut instincts backed up by data collection