Content marketing has long been an effective strategy for building leads, developing prospects, and making sales. The strategy is an established one from startups to blue chips, primarily because it has been proven to work. A successful content marketing campaign can help to establish stories, concepts, and brand values in the eyes of consumers, allowing you to cultivate your target audience. While there is no one-size-fits-all method for content creation and publication, there are certain features that can assist any business.
Understand Your Audience
Before you even reach the content creation phase, it is vital to understand whom you are targeting. A poorly designed strategy will confuse people, while anything too broad will fail to elicit any strong responses. Consider the demographics of the audience you are searching for, before creating a customer avatar you can keep in mind throughout the process. For example, are you speaking to a crowd of beginners or are they advanced? By understanding your audience, every piece of content should lead to a response.
Make Use of Various Media Platforms
Most people think of their own preferred media platform when they think about content marketing. It may be an article, video, or image, but we all enjoy or learn from different media types. Focusing only on one type of media is not an effective strategy, so broaden your strategy for the widest audience. Many pieces of content can be repurposed, such as turning an article into a video slideshow or infographic. Eventually, you should have enough data to see what your particular market tends to respond to.
Avoid Excessive Product Pitching
Your content is being produced to promote your business, but there needs to be an element of subtlety to get a good response. The aim is to attract new customers and engage existing ones, so you reduce the chances of this by going straight to a product pitch. Much of content marketing is about branding yourself, with the aim of embedding yourself in the memory. Even if you are aiming to pitch a product, you can often get better results by giving away useful and actionable information first.
Write for Readers First
Many content marketers make the mistake of focusing too much attention on search engine optimization. Traffic from the search engines might be important, but you often sacrifice the readability when you are overly concerned with keyword placement and density. There is also the possibility of over-optimizing videos and images in the title and meta tags. By creating content for real people in your niche, much of the optimization will be taken care of, particularly as people start sharing your posts online.
A content marketing campaign won’t be successful if it ends after the initial publication. To make the most of a campaign, analytics is required to effectively uncover what has worked. There will be certain content types that generate a high number of leads, while other types end up losing money. Your initial feelings can often turn out to be wrong, with some traffic sources providing the bulk of your leads, so be sure to track results for every piece of content you publish.
Include a Call to Action
While quality content can increase your overall brand reputation, you do want to bring leads into your marketing funnel. It is common to see good content without a call to action, leaving only a small chance you will be remembered. A call to action may be a link to your product, but you can often achieve better results from building an email list, and even linking to a related article, or your social media accounts will give you greater exposure.
Content marketing is one of the most focused and engaging ways to build an audience. Even with the rapid growth in online content, you can still cut through the noise by sticking to these six features. It is rare to make a breakthrough from a single piece of content, even though there are plenty of examples of videos and articles going viral. Instead, it is more likely that a consistent and focused approach will lead to an overall growth in traffic and customers. Formulate a content plan, implement the above features, and track your results until you have achieved a satisfactory return on investment.