Content Marketing is all about meeting your prospects where they live, which means more than just online. Content marketers produce content that speaks to people on a personal level by providing useful information, interesting thoughts, and stories or insights that resonate on a human level.
In order for content marketing to be effective, it must be distributed holistically across the digital landscape to create an impression of being authentic and helping more than just what can be seen on the surface. This means not only producing blog posts but also blogging about your business’ Facebook page or Twitter account in order to show consumers you are a real person who knows what they’re talking about.
Content marketing helps establish a closer personal relationship with customers by building trust and convincing them that you really are the authority on the topic they are seeking information about.
Content marketing can be very time consuming and high maintenance. Content marketers need to constantly keep up with trends in their industry, blog design, SEO tactics, social media sharing techniques, guest posting on other blogs, and creating valuable content that is worth reading over and over again. However, if these efforts are not put into content marketing then the site creates no value to itself or its audience which leads to a lack of traffic and leads.
Content marketers are highly skilled and must have a specific background or skill set. The content marketer must be able to speak the language of the industry being addressed and interpret marketing jargon into something that is easily understood by people. As well, the content marketer should be adept at writing, taking pictures, listening to customers, understanding analytics and metrics, and having strong communication skills.
The following is a quote regarding the content marketer:
Your job [as a content marketer] will be to find out exactly what audiences want to know, and then you must give it to them in the most compelling way possible. Your job is not only to create testable content (that tells search engine spiders that your site is worthy enough to crawl), but also to create compelling blog pieces that make people happy and come back for more.
Content marketing blog guest post
Guest blogging is another one of the responsibilities of a content marketer. When people are looking to get their name out there and build an audience for their blog or business, they will submit articles to other blogs who are eager to have good content posted on their site. The article can be about the business, what they do, or what people may find most interesting and useful.
Essentially, you are creating value for other people’s sites and their readers who are interested in the topic. If your piece is valuable to them in their blog that means that it also is valuable to other prospects because it provides some information or helps them solve a problem.
You can email the editor of a blog you want to submit your article too and ask if they would consider posting your piece on their site and then point out the benefits of doing so. For example, you could tell them that the article will be sure to bring their readers back over and over again because it is valuable information they have not been able to find anywhere else.
Paid guest blogging
Writing for other blogs is a great way to establish your name as an expert in your industry or niche, but sometimes the blog you’re interested in posting on may require that you pay to post your piece. This will most likely be the case with larger, more popular blogs that have many submissions being sent their way on a daily basis.
Setting yourself apart from the crowd can go a long way when trying to get people’s attention so take advantage of any opportunity that comes your way even if it means paying. Paying for guest blogging may be worth it because then you know that the editors of the site have accepted you and would like to have more of your material on their blog in the future.
Content marketing strategy
There is no one perfect strategy that works for every business, but there is a basic framework and an order in which tasks need to be completed in order to yield the best results. Content marketers first need to do their research by answering a series of questions that will form the basis for their content marketing strategy.
These questions are as follows:
- Who is my target customer?
- Why should they care about me or my solution/product/service? (Value Proposition)
- How can I reach these people online through content? (Paid, owned, or organic content)
- What will make me different from the rest of the crowd and why should they care? (Brand) What is the goal for each piece of content i.e., links, traffic, leads etc.?
- What kind of format should I use and where do I want to publish it i.e.
Thereafter, the content marketer has to put their plan into action by going through the following steps:
Content marketing strategy process
The content marketing strategy process is essentially a funnel for prospecting. The end result of all of this effort should be a sale. The person you’re trying to reach with your content has to trust you enough to want what you’re offering in order for them to bite on the conversion and become a customer.
Creating valuable content that can be used over and over again will help build trust and authority with your prospect so that they will continue spending time on your site and eventually purchase from you.
Creating content that is valuable for your target audience can be accomplished by using a variety of strategies, including the following:
Inbound marketing and SEO strategies
Inbound marketing strategy uses keyword research to make sure you are targeting the right keywords. The higher the volume of searches on Google, the higher chance you have of ranking highly for those terms. This means that it doesn’t matter whether you use paid advertising or not – if people aren’t searching for your product/service then it’s not going to happen and you won’t be making any sales. In other words, if there is no traffic coming in then there is no way to convert it into a sale.
For example, if I were selling sports bras (a lot of women are buying these today) then any specific keyword that I would use to target this group of customers would be something like “sports bra for running”. If this is on page 1 of Google then it is worth trying to rank for the terms above it. The higher up you are in the rankings the more clicks you will get and ultimately more sales.
Ranking on page one can take some time especially for keywords with a high search volume so there are ways to promote your content to help get your brand out there while you’re working on getting search engine rankings.
There are also a number of tools to help promote your content in ways you may not have considered before, including:
Content marketing is typically focused on 2 areas: social media and search engines. Social media has the potential to get you more eyeballs on your content and will also give you a feel for how well it’s performing if people are sharing it and talking about it. If people aren’t talking about your content, then it’s not going to get anywhere. In other words, inbound methods are really helping with this side of the marketing process.
Search engines like Google are what can really get you the sales. It’s important to be on page 1, but it’s also important that you have a good overall search engine optimization (SEO) strategy. These days SEO is typically combined with content marketing, which again makes sense if you are making your content available for free.
You’re not directly selling it to your customers, so if they find it in search engines then maybe they will be interested enough to share it and talk about it on social media or link to it for additional SEO purposes.
How do you determine what content to publish?
The first step in this process is finding out which content resonates with people. The next step is then figuring out your intended audience and the best way to reach them. Your ideal customers are not identical to your current customer base, so you need to figure out how to generate a sale with your ideal audience. In other words, all of these steps are being done with your ideal customer in mind.
So the key is to know which content resonates with your customers and prospects. You also need to know how best to present it online so that you’re giving people value and not just taking up space on their hard drives. That’s why many businesses are investing in social media marketing. Social media provides a venue for brands to share valuable content with their target audience in a way that’s relevant and compelling. In essence, brands can create a dialogue with their audience, value their feedback, compose suggestions, give advice, entertain them and then lead into sales.
How do you measure it?
The real test of content marketing is if it converts into leads and into sales. To do this, you must have clear objectives for your content and a proven strategy for reaching your goals. The problem is that many people don’t know how to define the goals of their content strategy or how to track their progress. They often just put stuff out there without having any idea what people are doing with that material. Moreover, they tend to underestimate the time it takes to generate leads because they don’t understand what kind of publishing schedule works best.
You also need to know the difference between your content marketing and your conversion funnel. Your conversion funnel starts with the traffic that comes into your site. So if 5 people come into your site then you want to make sure that they are taking a specific action. The next step is to try and get them to an opt-in page where they can leave their information so that you can follow up with them later on about a product offer or sales page. You want to track each part of this process so that you know how many people were engaged in each step, which pages they’ve visited, and what they’ve done with the material you’ve provided them.
This data is all vital to your content marketing strategy because it’s what you can use to determine if you are getting the results you want. For example, if one of your opt-in pages isn’t converting at all then there must be a problem with that page, ad campaign or link and it needs to be fixed. If you’re getting so many visitors that they’re not converting then there is a problem with your website or ad campaign and you should try something else. At the end of the day, this information is how you will know whether or not your content strategy is working.
The bottom line is that this strategy is about giving your audience what they want in the format they want it in while at the same time ensuring that you are promoting yourself and your business as effectively as possible.