Over 70 percent of customers would rather learn about your brand through an article than an advertisement.
What’s the best way to do this? The answer is: content marketing.
Your prospective customers are already out there looking for great content!
But what if you don’t have enough resources to publish huge chunks of diverse content to drive content and increase your conversion rates?
Well, you don’t need a huge marketing budget. All you need is a good content marketing strategy to get the ball rolling.
Content marketing doesn’t have to break the bank. Any blogger, small business, or mid-level marketer can use it to grow their brand and have a positive ROI.
So, what is effective content marketing?
What Is Content Marketing?
There’s content marketing and there’s effective content marketing. It’s important to know the difference between the two before embarking on your marketing journey.
Content marketing simply means creating and sharing original, valuable free content to your audience with the aim of attracting and converting visitors into customers (and retaining these customers into repeat buyers).
It offers you the opportunity to grow through offering valuable content to your target audience. You need to have a clearly defined audience and keep up with ongoing trends in your specific niche to stay relevant.
The type of content you create and share should be closely related to the product or service you’re selling. It should educate your prospects and give them a solution to their probable problems (your product or service). It’s this genuine intent to help your audience that attracts consumers and gives you authenticity.
As a result, your brand will be more visible, you’ll see an increase in your site’s traffic, as well as get higher conversion rates.
Content Marketing Strategy
One of the most common ways in which businesses fail in content marketing is unleashing content without a clear laid-out strategy. Content marketing isn’t persistent advertising – it also isn’t push marketing where you spray out messages to groups of consumers.
Without a content marketing strategy, you may end up with a promo video, for instance, that looks more like a commercial ad for your brand rather than valuable content to your audience. As a result, your marketing campaign won’t resonate to your target audience.
Content marketing is also not a business blog – it’s far from it. Content is basically information that can be delivered through a range of channels, including emails, videos, social media posts, apps, graphics, and events. What makes this information useful is how it’s designed for a specific target audience.
Getting Started with Content Marketing
Whether you’re a small business entrepreneur, blogger, or a mid-marketing lead for a company, you must have a core focus.
What do you do that sets you far apart from the competition?
For you to create a successful content marketing strategy, find out what you know best. Then, create ways in which you can extend this knowledge to your customers.
Develop a brand voice across all channels. Create guidelines to follow in terms of tone, brand colors, fonts, and other factors that may influence the perception of your market.
This is the starting point of any content marketing strategy.
1. Define Your Target Audience
How do you determine your target audience? More importantly, how do you reach them?
To reach your customers, you first need to know who they are. Market research includes analyzing, interpreting, and gathering information about your target market and how your product or service has been consumed in the past and present.
You can identify your target market using demographics such as gender, age range, and income.
To get this audience research information, you can take advantage of social media analytics. This will help you know who’s interacting with your social media accounts and fill gaps in your customer analysis.
You can also “spy” on the competitors to help you answer some questions in your customer research. Check their websites and social media accounts. Are your competitors targeting the same market segments? Are they reaching market segments you hadn’t considered?
While you won’t get detailed information about your target audience by spying on your competition, you’ll be able to get an idea of their general approach towards online engagement. This will help you understand and define your target market more effectively.
With all this information, you can create a customer profile to help you do everything a little bit easily and quickly.
2. Research Target Keywords
Keywords are the epitome of content marketing. Almost all search strings on search engines can be considered as keywords. You have to figure out what keywords will appeal to your prospective audience in order to come up with a good content marketing strategy.
There are plenty of free keyword research tools that you can utilize for your marketing. Consider long-tailed keyword variations to get targeted traffic for your website.
For example, keywords like “sports shoes” will target a huge audience. However, a keyword like “sports shoes for basketball” will narrow down to a specific and more relevant segment. This increases your chances of converting visitors into customers.
And, you don’t have to exhaust a single keyword. To help search engines fully understand your niche, incorporate a range of related keywords in your content. Sites such as Ubersuggest can help you find relatable keywords.
3. Create Your Content
Take time to note down themes that arise out of your strengths that you know could be beneficial to your target audience. For example, you may be an artist who majorly concentrates on the intersection of art and education or an accountant who mainly focuses on tax benefits.
You can also browse through forums such as Quora and Reddit to find trendy topics that your customers are asking about and create content that will help them in this regard. With a list of favorable topics in place, think of something you can start with.
For instance, you can start by writing an e-book. And then pull some of the book’s content to create additional pieces like emails, infographics, and shorter blog posts on the topic.
How to Create Content
Consider what will appeal more to your customers – whether its in-depth articles, visual content, emails, or social media posts. You can ask your audience for this information. Ask them whether they read their emails more than their social media posts or whether they prefer video content to texts.
Here are some common types of content marketing you may want to focus on:
1. Written Content
Like it or not, content marketing will require some form of written content.
Whether you’re blogging for business or writing an e-book, your written content needs to be easy to read and digest. Regardless of the research you put into a written piece, if it’s not simple and engaging, it’ll not be read. When writing content, remember to maintain your brand voice.
2. Videos and Images
Over one-third of online activity is spent on videos. This means that online consumers are viewing more video content than ever before. This makes video content one of the best types of content marketing, regardless of your industry or niche.
If you would like to harness the power of video content marketing, then consider creating short, attention-grabbing informational videos that will engage your consumers during the awareness stage.
Additionally, online users enjoy clean and professional websites that they can immediately connect to. If you keep changing your design and style, it can be confusing and undesirable to your audience.
Don’t forget to incorporate your branding and other design elements into your content creation. Things like company colors, custom graphics, and on-brand visuals are great examples.
Infographics will help your audience visualize data such as statistics more easily. If you choose to create this type of content, consider which topics are best-suited for this format. Generally, anything that can benefit from a visual aid makes a good infographic topic.
You can also use this type of content to simplify complicated subjects or even offer a diagram of how your product/service can help your audience.
How to Promote Your Content
If you want to have an effective content marketing strategy, you need to choose the right distribution network for your brand. Here are some popular distribution channels that you can take advantage of.
Internet users spend over 135 minutes on social media per day. This makes social media platforms one of the best places to distribute your content. You can use platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to reach new customers and nurture those relationships.
While the way you use social media will solely depend on your specific goals, this type of content marketing strategy will generally help new leads discover and learn more about your products/services as well as alert your customers about promos and sales.
Email marketing isn’t obsolete. In fact, it remains as the number one communication platform for companies and organizations. It’s actually one of the best strategies for individuals with a tight budget.
With the right strategy, email marketing can help you garner leads and turn them into returning customers. Keep in mind that the audience that you reach through emails are already interested in your products or services because they’ve subscribed to receive content from you. Take advantage of this fact to create helpful and engaging content for your target audience.
To leverage your email campaign, optimize your site to capture email addresses using features like popup forms and free downloadable e-books.
Blogging and SEO
Creating a business blog and incorporating a good SEO strategy is the core of a good content marketing plan. While it’s advantageous to post your content on other sites, your own blog comes with many benefits for your brand.
But a professional-looking website with no updates isn’t visible to your target audience. Ensure you update and publish content on your blog regularly to catch the eye of your prospects. In fact, Google indexes will give you more visibility with every new content published. This translates to better conversion rates.
Guest posting (or guest blogging) is simply contributing content to another site’s blog with the main aim of building relationships, authority, and exposure.
Inbound marketing is a primary ranking factor in search engines, and guest posting gives you a good opportunity to get a backlink from an authoritative site in your niche.
With an established relationship with your host blogger, you’re in a better position to boost your brand visibility and get additional traffic to your site.
You can utilize sites like Guest Post Trackers to find credible and authoritative guest posting opportunities in your niche.
Influencers are people who have established credibility in your specific industry. They also have access to a large audience that you may consider as your target audience.
Having an influencer mention your brand on their social media platforms or websites has a high impact approach to your content distribution strategy. You can find influencers in your industry using search engines like BuzzSumo.
Content Marketing Is All About Testing, Adjusting, and Repeating
It’s important to consider your content marketing strategy as a living document. This means that it’s subject to change as your audience’s behavior and trends change.
You can stay up-to-date by constantly gathering feedback and insights from your users through comments, surveys, and polls.
The more you understand your target audience, the more effectively you can adjust and refine your content marketing strategy and stay on top of your competition.
What help do you need with your content marketing?
Share with us in the comments below.