Top 10 Content Marketing Tips from Experts
Marketing strategies used to be more straightforward.
Direct mail pieces, billboards, even commercials would reach a large audience, and then? That audience would come to you to do business.
Once the direct mailing went out, you captured as many eyes as you were going to with that piece, and you could simply start planning for a new one.
Once the billboard was up for a while, you’d eventually hit as many potential customers traveling on that road as you ever would. On top of that, tons of people would see your billboard every day for months. After a while, it would simply be time to invest in another location.
Once your commercial had run for a while, everyone had heard or seen it. It was no longer catching anyone’s attention. Time for a new one.
The goal was to get customers in the door. Once they were there, you could begin building a relationship.
But digital marketing is different. Your website is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. A tweet is there, and then seemingly gone in a flood of other micro-messages. And you may never actually talk to your customers.
With digital, the marketing is the relationship.
Because of this, it’s important that your digital marketing builds more than a brand. It should build a relationship. Digital marketing needs to inform, create trust, help and attract.
That’s exactly what content marketing does.
It also attracts new customers, improves your SEO, and compliments your other digital marketing strategies.
Content marketing, however, can seem overwhelming. With so much potential ground to cover, from blog posts to video, how do you know where to begin?
We’ve collected 10 content marketing tips the web’s top experts that will help make you a content marketing superstar.
Plan Your Strategy
1) Understand Your Audience: Content marketing isn’t about putting a lot of words out onto the internet. It’s about having useful information that will draw clients to you. By knowing who your audience is, you’ll know what they want and need your expertise on.
Consider building personas to help focus your content. They will give you a clearer idea of who you’re marketing to and what their needs might be.
2) Know Your Goals: What is the business outcome that you’re looking to get from your content marketing? At the end of the day, you’re not creating content just to do so. Instead, you want to raise awareness of your brand, establish yourself as a thought leader, or nurture prospects along the sales funnel.
By knowing your business reasons for creating a content strategy, you’ll be in a better position to create, and measure, content that works.
Deciding What to Create
3) Put your audience first: This may seem counterintuitive, but the content you create isn’t about you. It’s about meeting the needs of your customers (and potential customers). A script writer doesn’t decide to write a story to sell t-shirts and action figures. She does it to entertain or inform the audience, and the better she does that, the larger the audience she attracts.
Spend some time asking your current customers what questions they have, and keep the research up. Then create content that attracts your audience with relevant and unique stories that they can connect with.
4) Draw inspiration from your business: If you currently have a blog, do you point customers to an article when they have a question? If not, your content is missing the boat.
Every business has a list of questions that they regularly get, or concerns they hear in every sales meeting. Address those items head on in your content, and you’ll answer questions for potential customers before they are even asked.
5) Re-purpose existing content: Every business has content they have already created. A how-to video, a presentation, a whitepaper, a recent industry talk. Each of these can be re-purposed into a different, but still relevant, piece of content.
Turn presentations into SlideShare decks. Write a blog post about your video, and embed the video in the post. Make each piece of content work harder for your business.
Get the Word Out
6) Focus on SEO – but don’t stuff: With close to 3.5 billion searches on Google each day, it’s no wonder that SEO is a critical strategy for businesses with an online presence. And your content can help make sure you’re found.
Naturally including your keywords and creating meaningful content that people link to will help you search rankings.
7) Plan to promote: Content isn’t a baseball field in Iowa. If you create it, there is no guarantee they will come read it. Be sure to promote your content across all of your properties, and not just once.
Useful content will get shared, but your audience needs to see it.
8) Be consistent: 82% of marketers that blog daily got one new customer a month. Only 57% of those that blogged monthly saw the same results. Create a content calendar and stick with it.
Consistency in the kinds of posts you make and your delivery can help inspire loyalty in your followers, which in turn can create valuable customers.
Put it into Action
9) Measure, but not with a microscope: Back in number two, we suggested you set goals for your marketing. Measurement is where the rubber hits the road. But measurement should be a broader look at your business results, not a look at the effect of an individual post, or even the direct effect of your content marketing. If you were using a billboard, you’d look at the increase in customers during the time the billboard was up.
The same goes for your content. Look at the changes to your business since you started your content strategy.
10) Be patient: Reaching your audience with your content takes time. You won’t see a drastic change in sales overnight. Instead, remember that content marketing has a more holistic effect on your business and serves to introduce new customers to your brand and shepherd them through the sales funnel.
Instead, remember that content marketing has a more holistic effect on your business and serves to introduce new customers to your brand and shepherd them through the sales funnel.
A content marketing strategy is a long-term strategy. It’s content that answers questions and provides help builds a lasting relationship with a community of customers that you otherwise don’t get to talk to. Let us know if we can help.