Content Marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.
According to Zazzle Media, 60% of companies struggle to produce content consistently, and 65% find it a challenge to produce engaging content. And not engaging your visitors means you’re losing money. If you’re running content marketing campaigns, day in, day out, it can be hard to consistently come up with new ideas and keep the momentum going.
That’s why Tipslong shares this with you.
What Should You Learn?
# Know Your Audience
For brands, knowing and understanding your audience will allow you to build the foundation of your content marketing strategy. To get that knowledge, here are a few tactics to use:
Perform keyword research: Keyword research not only uncovers the search volume behind your most important keywords, but it can also offer insights into keyword opportunities and search intent.
In addition, perform your own searches for various keywords and look through the results to see who’s ranking at the top.
Conduct a competitive analysis. Research your top three to five competitors through their website, social media pages, news articles and search results. How does your brand stack up?
Dig into data and analytics: Get familiar with your website’s analytics to gain insights about the users you’ve already managed to attract to your site. Look at the most popular pages, the pages with the highest bounce rate, and the pages with the best and worst conversion rates.
# Strive to Be the Best Answer
For brands, being the best answer means providing relevant, quality content wherever and whenever their audience is searching for it. Use the research you’ve done to identify where those content opportunities lie. In addition, don’t be afraid to engage your existing audience. Use social media to pose questions or send out a current customer survey to get feedback and insight. The more you know, the better you’ll be at providing the right information.
#Write for the Reader
Content is organized to help readers easily flow through the article and photos are often used to add a visual element to the story. Long-form pieces are often broken down into sections with headers, which is more pleasing to the eye and helps with scalability. In addition, content is written in a way that tells a story—not in a way to please search engines.
For brands, the bottom line here is to create content that’s a good experience for your audience to read. SEO is important, but usability and user experience are more important.
#Mind the “5Ws and H”
Who, What, Where, When, Why and How—the 5 Ws and the H. These are the foundation of every article a journalist will ever write. And they can certainly be applied to your content marketing strategy.
As you map out your strategy, ask the following questions for each piece you plan to create:
- Who is my audience?
- What does my audience want to know?
- Where am I going to publish and disseminate?
- When am I going to publish and disseminate?
- Why am I writing this? (Drive traffic? Increase brand awareness?)
- How will I measure the results?
#Follow the Story
Brands should use their audience knowledge, keyword research, and their website data to hone in on their content strengths and opportunities. Choose a handful of topical areas to get started with—and create as much content around that topic as possible. This will allow you to begin showcasing yourself as an expert in specific areas and eventually you’ll be able to expand that to new areas.
The best news articles have a face and provide perspective. Journalists use people close to the story and expert sources to give their articles credibility and depth. Brands can do the same with their content by working with influencers. Influencers not only lend expertise and authority to content, but they can also help that content reach a larger audience.
Don’t just reach out to your influencers in times of need. Engage with them on their social platforms. Share their content. Shoot them an email to check-in. Just as a journalist works hard to build a network of credible sources, brands should remember that building a relationship with influencers is an ongoing journey and there needs to be value for everyone.
Career Benefits of Content Marketing
Most obviously, a marketer’s career in content (or a content creator’s career in marketing) can take the form of being a writer. You could establish yourself as a jack of all trades — not a bad place to begin if you’re just getting started and trying to find your superpower — but as your career progresses, you might consider specializing if you want to stay in a writing function. This specialty could take a few forms; here are some of the most popular:
- Short-Form Content: things like blog posts, tip sheets, copy for emails, newsletters
- Long-Form Content: things like whitepapers, ebooks, or even real books (the ones you can hold in your hands … or download on your tablet)
- Content for an Industry or Persons: specializing in a certain audience, like the C-Suite, or analysts, or perhaps gaining expertise around a particular industry, like manufacturing, insurance, or pharma.
- Content Format Types: Carving out a niche in specific content format types, like ebooks and whitepapers, research reports, or webinars
Whether you choose to be a generalist or a specialist, focus on creating the highest quality content. While cranking out a high volume is certainly important — dilly-dallying around doesn’t cut it when a bottom line is at stake — it doesn’t matter how much you create if the quality is poor.