May 2, 2016
Every day, 2.73 million blog posts are written and published. While content marketing is still the industry’s top buzzword, getting your content discovered gets tougher and tougher every day. Writing an epic post, hitting “publish” and posting the links to your social media is no longer a viable strategy. In fact, it’s not even a strategy at all.
The true value of content marketing lies in building a community of dedicated fans and customers around your brand. How do you build one? By creating an efficient content strategy, which clearly outlines how, what and why you publish certain pieces and the impact those bring for your company.
Here’s a proven blueprint to make you strategy more intentional and effective.
There’s no need to write a lengthy whitepaper outlining each and every step you are planning to make. An editorial calendar, a list of potential topics and content formats along with an idea file should be enough.
According to a recent report from the Content Marketing Institute, 53% of the most efficient B2B marketers have a documented content strategy in place. You can check out Hubspot Content Planning Template or the one from Buffer to adapt them for your needs.
Set a Specific Goal For Each Piece Of Content
The most common question for this topic is “Why are you investing in content marketing?” The simple answer is “To increase sales”. While that’s certainly should be your ultimate goal, the actual results content marketing brings you are slightly different.
“The content put forth by your brand should engage a reader through storytelling for multi-channel engagement,” says Chris Delany from SEMGeeks. “Well-crafted content provides your brand with diverse attribution value, giving you the ability to assist relationship building with sentiment. Sure, you should include CTAs to your product pages when applicable, but aggressively promoting your services without humanizing them is likely to put away the potential buyers, rather than attract them. Instead, you should focus on goals such as: formulating the tone of your brand, growing your subscriber list with warm leads, and earning establishment as an industry leader.”
Track The Right Type of Metrics
The ROI of content marketing can be tricky to calculate, so pay attention to the metrics that truly matter. Tracking the right metrics will allow you to understand what’s actually working, and what type of content you should get rid of. Jay Baer suggests tracking and analyzing the following data to adjust your campaign:
Consumption Metrics: How many people viewed/interacted with your content? How many unique page views, downloads, visits have you accumulated?
Social Sharing Metrics: How many times has your content been shared on social media? Which networks bring you the most (targeted) traffic?
Lead Generation Metrics: How many consumers did you manager to convert into leads? How many people are visiting because of email opt-ins, quote requests and service inquiries?
Sales Metrics: How often do content browsers turn into actual consumers?
Become More Consumer-Centric
Understanding what your readers and potential buyers actually want is the key to winning more hearts and wallets with your content marketing. You should learn to understand what triggers the buying behavior among your target audience. This will help you define the types of content your audience prefers and how/where they want to receive it.
When you have a better idea of what’s going on, map out your visitor’s path to purchase and use your content to drive more leads towards this funnel. Interpreting the data from your analytics and split testing content should help you with this.
Create a Content Promotion Blueprint
Competition for users’ attention is getting fierce. You should have a clearly defined content promotion checklist to get your content discovered. The reality is only 26% of businesses invest into content promotion over content creating.
The key to getting your content noticed is promoting it on social media (for free or via advertising), providing native ads and paid content distribution networks. You can also promote your content through relevant professional communities and groups. Also, don’t underestimate the power of online influencers, bloggers and publishers. After all, the difference between success and failure could be a single click away.
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