Helping clients after clients achieve content marketing success reaffirmed an already obvious notion for me – content marketing will never be irrelevant. To this date, I have found the strategy to be the most effective in boosting a brand’s image, awareness, and visibility.
And I am surely not alone in feeling so.
According to HubSpot, 70 percent of marketers are actively investing in content marketing, with 24 percent of marketers planning to increase their budget. Additionally, eMarketer reports that a staggering 60 percent of marketers create at least one piece of content per day.
In short, even today, content marketing continues to be a significant driver of a brand’s success.
The perfect concoction for content marketing success
Let’s taste some of the savory ingredients of a successful content marketing recipe. Here are eight steps that will help elevate your content strategy process.
Target customers across their buying journey
The pivotal step to achieving content marketing success is to be there for your customers from the beginning, all the way to the end. Sketch out a content plan for this purpose.
What is a content plan, you may ask? You can see it as a flow of how you plan on targeting customers at different stages of their buying cycle. Here is a visual depiction of the modern consumer buying journey.
Note that it begins with the recognition of a need and then moves on to researching for products based on their credibility, which translates into a transaction before finally ending at advocacy. Your content marketing strategy must cater to customers across each of these stages.
For instance, during the awareness stage, video ads across social media or search engine advertising may help elicit the attention of customers. During the findability stage, digital marketing efforts like local keyword optimization, pay per click and citations will come in handy.
And to gain the trust of customers during the research phase, a blog is the safest way. This will allow your brand to appear as an industry expert that they may remember when they need to purchase a given product.
Give your URL the attention it deserves
Everyone wants to track their blogging efforts. Yet, people don’t want to check analytics at every hour to measure their progress.
By shortening the URL of your content, either by Bitly, Buffer, or any other service, you can easily monitor the sharing and clicking information. They also allow you to analyze how many people clicked your link, from which social platform it’s been shared, and also help you to see the geographical location of your reader.
You can then prioritize mediums that drive the most traffic to your brand and create a specific content writing strategy. For starters, let’s say your main driver of traffic is Instagram. This means that your audience prefers visuals over long-form posts that are more common on Facebook.
By shortening your URL and effectively monitoring your site’s performance, you can easily etch out a strategy that would yield content marketing success.
Give your customers a voice
While it may be tempting to maintain autonomy over every piece of content that mentions your company, in today’s world, you need to lose control to be impactful.
Why? Well, it turns out that the masses trust user-generated content about a brand much more than any content that the company itself produces. BigCommerce reports that 92 percent of customers peruse online reviews and testimonials before purchasing a product.
Consumers of today don’t believe in one-way communication. In fact, a report by Capgemini revealed that Gen Y customers (those forming the major chunk of the 2020 workforce) expect two-way communication and are much more cynical to branded communication than their predecessors.
It is time to include user-generated content in your campaigns to give your customers the voice they crave and your brand the credibility it needs.
There are various businesses that are already using this strategy. For example, Doritos has launched a website where its users can create branded videos and images, which the company then shares on its social media accounts.
Get active in forums and social media groups
Forums have a very prominent role in content promotional strategies. They are brilliant sources of building your community and acquiring authority.
There are many specialized forums available where you can get social and start contributing. However, one thing should be kept in mind that the real aim is to build authority, as forums have had been the top source of spam link building.
You don’t even need to insert a link in your signature there. Simply participate actively, and the results will automatically start to come. Quora is the best available platform that every kind of business may benefit from.
Similarly, within the world of social media, there are various social media groups that feature excellent reach, at times better than the reach of brands. The best and easiest way to accelerate social sharing figures is by promoting your content in the related social media groups.
By being active on forums and social media groups, you can easily boost awareness about your brand while maintaining a humanistic touch.
Start a blog: the ever-constant ingredient
I don’t think there can truly ever be a comprehensive discussion on content marketing without dedicating a section to drafting a blog content strategy. As per HubSpot, blogs continue to be among the top three types of content produced by a brand. I guess some things really are timeless, aren’t they?
What makes them so effective?
Well, firstly, they help to improve your chances of achieving a high search engine ranking. After all, how else can you contextually and cohesively add highly optimized keywords in your content? Secondly, they help in establishing a strong brand image of a company.
Look around you. The chances are that most companies in your niche have a dedicated blog.
For starters, Ikea has a blog called Ikea Ideas that focuses on solving challenges faced by its customers and subtly promoting its product while doing so. What a smart move!
Don’t shy away from outreach
Outreach can be performed in several ways. You can analyze your competitor’s blogs on similar topics; for that, you need to use any of your favorite backlink analyzing tools like Open Site Explorer, Ahrefs, or any other. Put your link in it and see the blogs that are linking to your competitor’s blog, download the whole data, and start outreaching the prospects one by one.
If none of your competitors has written anything on that topic, let Google play its part here. Search similar posts people have written and put their links in the backlink analyzing tool. Gather the data and start outreaching.
Make sure to outreach your prospects in a very polite and sophisticated manner. Avoid using the same pitch for all your prospects. Instead, research a given prospect and customize your pitch according to the website.
As a pro-tip, remember to use an interesting yet suitable subject line and send the email on weekdays to improve your response rate.
Mix it up when it comes to content types
Content might be referred to as one strategy. But, because there are various content types and mediums out there, it is actually a world of its own. And you need to tread as many boundaries of this world as possible.
Use a variety of content, including videos, blogs, infographics, case studies, website content, and user-generated material. Post it on all available mediums where you think your audience will be present, ranging from social media platforms to guest posts on different websites.
Only with an integrated approach can you unlock the true potential of content marketing. Kraft has done a particularly excellent job in creating such content. Its website includes resources like a community discussion platform, how-to videos as well as budget tips. Yet, their brand voice has remained consistent throughout it all.
Use the underdog, i.e., Slideshare
SlideShare holds promising potential in Content Marketing. According to the platform itself, it has over 80 million users and 159 million monthly page views.
All we have to do is use this platform smartly; instead of bombarding your slides with loads of content, simply highlight the main points of your blog with relevant, high-quality images. It is sensible to mention your brand’s name at the footer, and the last slide should highlight the actual URL of your blog.
After uploading the slides, you will now have the URL. Start the above-mentioned points again and provide a red carpet to your content. When sharing on social platforms, use different variations. Do not always share with the same title, but you can come up with several other taglines to create hype.
Let’s get working!
Content Marketing is surely a science. People are adopting improvised ways to market their content according to their business niche. With this easy-to-follow recipe for content marketing success, I am sure you will find it easier to jump onto the bandwagon. Good luck!