In just a short period of time, content marketing has been able to grow from just a simple buzzword into one of the most important factors for any successful marketing campaign, no matter the business in question, no matter their size, business models or industry. Over one third of B2C (business to customer) marketers include content marketing in their marketing campaigns, and most of them have content marketing teams with whom they consult on a regular basis.
In the beginning, social media campaigns were very effective, and a simple tweet had a lot of potential. All brands had to do was show up, post some promotional material, chat, engage with a random audience, and just like that, their content would share itself. However, consumers have changed a lot since then, and they have become more intelligent and perceptive.
Not everything grabs their attention and they carefully choose what to spend their time on. Content fatigue is a real issue and it can make it really hard to attract your target audience. If you want to succeed in marketing your business effectively, you will need to have a proper content marketing strategy. This is nothing groundbreaking, but many people struggle to understand what a well-crafted content strategy looks like.
With constant technological advancements offering new ways to automate communication, track engagement, monitor conversions and quickly change marketing trends, it is harder and harder to understand content marketing basics. This is why we have decided to share a bit of knowledge on this issue.
Document your content marketing campaign
In spite of the constant trend changes and technological advancements, there is one thing that remains everlasting in content marketing: documenting your campaign. Many marketers and businesses have concluded that there are many benefits to this. They were able to track their strategies better, feel less lost when utilizing their marketing efforts, see the results more clearly, and justify all the resources spent on their campaigns.
When it comes to documentation, you have all the freedom in the world. However, it is important that you cover the essentials. The best place to start is explaining the need for your content marketing strategy and outlining the ways you will approach it, and the type of content you will produce. Then, define the goals of your campaign.
These are the three essentials you must document, but you can add anything else you think is relevant to the success of your plan. Your documented strategy is a flexible thing, and you should meet with your team and talk about current issues, so that you can find out if your strategy needs adjustments.
Understand the importance of user experience
One of the things that didn’t matter so much in the past was user experience. Like I’ve said before, customers have become much more savvy and sophisticated, and they want everything to be ideal. User experience is one of the things that can make a huge difference. If you don’t make your audience feel satisfied, the majority of your content material will be neglected and you won’t have a constant content “flow” that leads to sales.
The first step for launching an effective content marketing campaign is to create relevant and high-end content. The second step is to make sure that users will have no problems engaging with your material, regardless of whether they are using a laptop, a desktop PC or a mobile device.
The most important aspect you should focus on are mobile devices, as people who browse the web with smartphones and tablets are the ones that usually experience difficulties. Get as many different mobile devices as you can find and open your content on each of them to check how everything looks.
Is your site optimized for different resolutions and can users see everything clearly when browsing your page on mobile devices? Pay attention to the responsiveness of your pages and how quickly things happened when you click.
Create a buyer persona
You probably know the importance of your target market and understand that presenting your products can be difficult. Finding a target audience is essential, but if you want your content marketing strategy to live up to its potential, you will need to determine your audience persona as well. Many people think that “target audience” and “buyer persona” are the same thing.
Well, they are not. You must first get to understand your audience better, to be able to gear your content closer to them. By using your social media presence, your YouTube channel, blog or something else, you can identify who your audience is and plan your content accordingly.
After you’ve determined your audience, the next step is to dig deeper and create a persona that outlines what the pain points of your audience are and how people react and interact with various types of content. This is known as the buyer persona, and it can be quite detailed. The best content marketing experts understand the value of knowing your crowd and that’s why they adjust their strategies towards potential customers.
Match your content to appropriate channels
Even if you create the best content possible, it will probably go unnoticed if you don’t push it on appropriate channels. This is why you must put all of your content ideas together and narrow the material down to the most suitable one for representing your brand in the best way possible. Once you’ve done that, you can start thinking about where that content should be shared and how.
A comprehensive article on business methods that your LinkedIn followers may appreciate will go better on that platform directly, rather than posting it on your blog or some other social media channel you may have, no matter how big they might be. Still, if you want to cross-target that content, you can just pull out the information that is relevant for other social networks. For example, if you plan on promoting that same content on Twitter, you can share statistics and quotes.
Finding a formula for successful content on a particular social media platform is no easy task. Still, there is more to it than simply sharing material and figuring out what sticks and what doesn’t. Keep an eye open for what is currently trending on a certain network, and find out what buzzwords and headlines are most popular and what type of content is most engaging. Craft your content according to the most successful material in your niche and try to find influencers who can share it on those channels.
Measure your performance
Tracking returns from your content marketing campaign is not always a piece of cake. The fact that only one fifth of content marketing professionals track their ROI (return on investment) successfully only shows how difficult this really is. Every business has a different content marketing strategy, meaning that the key performance indicators will be unique as well. Before you can measure the results of your campaign, you will first have to identify what your key performance indicators are. Here are some of the most frequent KPIs:
– Number of content material downloads: In case you are trying to push for downloads, it is important to track download numbers, which come from all individual content referral sources. Those pieces that have slow performance should be pulled out. You can also gain valuable knowledge on how your audience reacts to certain types of content.
– Bounce rate: If your bounce rate is high, it means that a lot of people land on your content and go somewhere else straight away. Your content doesn’t inspire people to stick around and take certain actions like signing up or purchasing something, and in a way, it has no effect. If this is the case, it means that you have to create more compelling content in order to trigger page visits and conversions.
– Number of shares on social networks: When you establish what type of content performs best, look into how many shares those pieces have on social networks. The content that has the most shares should be used as a benchmark. These topics and styles are the ones that have the best results, and that’s why you should look to create more of it.
The last thing you should also consider is the value of offline content marketing as well. Once you get into online marketing, its easy to forget that content marketing can be almost as effective offline as it is online. Knowing what your customers are doing when they are offline is an opportunity for building further brand awareness and increasing engagement.
It is important to create a content marketing strategy that intersects well with your online content marketing campaign and create a cross-promotional web that can lead to increased revenue. Find ways to connect both aspects, and your content marketing strategy will be flawless.
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