content marketing

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7 Breakthroughs for Content Marketing in 2016

Content marketing reached the tipping point a few years ago, with more companies starting to appreciate content as a major facet of their marketing strategies and fewer companies choosing to not implement content as a core tactic. This year, content has become the most dynamic and engaging aspect of any marketing campaign.

Companies who (wisely) choose to implement content as a prominent force in driving sales to their brand will find that content is an ever-evolving entity that must be tracked, updated and nurtured for optimal effectiveness. With shifts in technology and the collective consciousness surrounding digital marketing techniques, brands will find the need more than ever to produce quality written content. Keep your audience engaged and connected with your content by being sure to hold the following breakthroughs for content at the top of mind.

1. Detailed Personalization
With the proliferation of accessible content available to viewers with a simple swipe or click of a button on their mobile devices, consumers are getting increasingly talented at weeding out information that does not apply directly to them.

Info overload is a real-life symptom of 24/7 access to digital avenues, and consequently people tend to gravitate naturally toward content that speaks directly to their individual situation, needs or interests. Success in content marketing will bank on having a deep understanding of your customer’s journey, speaking to their purchasing process at every step of the way, and nurturing these relationships in the long-term.

2. Promotion-Driven Content
As we all know, content marketing is a long-term strategy, and there is not much that is going to change that. However, there are certain tools that you can use to help promote all that quality, written content you have painstakingly created. In addition to promoting your content via social media channels such as Google+ and Facebook, social media management tools are a great way to organize your online presence.

Sprinklr, Hootsuite and Traackr are all valuable tools to help you analyze the performance of your posts, enabling you to see what content works best where. Paid promotion tools, also known as native advertising, like Taboola, Gravity and OneSpot, will ensure that your content is advertised across a wide range of websites.

To best utilize these helpful tools, B2B content and marketing teams will need to work on producing content that is 80% educational and value driven content and 20% promotional material. Additionally, quoting influencers within your niche in the body of your content will help to build an audience by funneling their respective following to your brand.

3. Educational Content
As the main purpose of content is to build brand/consumer relationships through a tight-knit web of information and trust, content that identifies a problem or concern and follows through with a solution will always be successful. If your content is top-notch and provides an optimal answer to an ever-present problem, it will be sure to gain a significant amount of organic traffic.

To produce quality content, brands must invest in hiring great writers to produce articles and blog posts. Put the old strategy of utilizing high-traffic keywords on the back burner and opt for targeting long-tail search traffic. With poor-quality content being the majority, producing quality, standout content is your brand’s best shot at rising above and shining as a source of reliable information. Furthermore, avoid dishing out regurgitated content and strive for providing your audience with new and unique information.

4. Getting Mileage Out of Repurposed Content
Reimagining and reusing content is one surefire way to stretch your content marketing budget. Extend your brand and reach the consumer without breaking the bank by reexamining successful content that your brand has already produced, revamping that content and reusing it in a new way, or finding ways to emulate it for future success.

Improve on items from your content library that you have amassed, refining articles so that they appear more readily in Google search results. Spawn ideas off of old content by identifying interesting leads and expanding on ideas to create a foundation of interrelated content.

Audio and video content can also be repurposed and reimagined into written content. Transcribe webinars and podcasts to transform them into blog posts and social media posts for Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. These tactics will not only keep your content relevant and current, but they will also inadvertently weave a thread of thematic consistency throughout your materials.

5. Maintaining an Authoritative Voice
Maintaining a thought-leader position within your niche will go a long way, as brands will need to consistently find ways to make themselves be heard above the noise of digital advertising. Anyone who is anyone is producing content nowadays, and knowing whom to trust becomes increasingly difficult with the proliferation of information.

Build a sense of personal authority and platform for trust by providing your industry with reliable, quality information on a consistent basis. Consumers no longer have faith in faceless marketing campaigns. Therefore, your content strategy should include quotes from well-respected authorities within your niche to create trust and behind-the-scenes glimpses of your team. This will give a face to your name. Last but not least, produce quality content to convert leads and bring prospective clients to your brand.

6. Specialist Content Marketing Agencies
While traditional creative or media industries are skilled at driving push-advertising results, they are not as adept at adding value to a campaign through quality storytelling.

Traditional advertising techniques aim to interrupt the flow of everyday life and persuade the consumer to convert to a specific brand, whereas content marketing is at its core about reaching a target audience through pointed and captivating storytelling. Content agencies excel at reaching the consumer on an emotional and intellectual level through targeted quality written content, allowing for an enriching brand/consumer relationship. Content is a long-term strategy for most companies, and quality content marketing agencies will ensure that it is one that provides optimal results.

7. Tailor Content to Fit Specific Platforms
As brands continue to diversify their content strategy, brand managers and COOs (Chief Content Officers) will discover the need to tailor their content to fit the spectrum of powerhouse platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Google+. Each social media channel necessitates a different style, format and tone of content, requiring companies to adapt their voice and type of information they present on each platform.

Additionally, the content produced for a blog will differ from that included in an email marketing strategy, which will be different from content featured on Snapchat or Instagram. If you refer back to point four, however, you will see that one piece of content can get a lot of mileage by being reimagined and repurposed for several channels. Each platform will garner unique support from the consumer and will be seen to exact a different effect.

As the tools used to monitor and gauge the effectiveness of content marketing continue to diversify, and as more and more companies choose to implement content strategies in their marketing campaigns, brands will find the need to keep up by continuing to produce quality, reliable content that their audience can trust. Build long-term relationships with your consumers by remaining a trustworthy thought-leader within your niche, maintaining continuity across your marketing platform and implementing promotion tools to drive business to your brand.

Why Content Marketing is the Best Long-Term Marketing Strategy

A solid content marketing campaign featuring high quality, relevant content is your best bet for solidifying long-term success. Content is something you should nurture and treat as a living, breathing thing. For your brand to thrive, you must put in continual effort to ensure that your content is current, informative and searchable.

Think of it like going to the gym. Hitting the abs machine once a month is not going to give you the washboard stomach you crave, but putting in half an hour at the gym a few times a week will give you results over time. The same goes for content. If you can show your readers that you are a credible source of information by constantly delivering quality content, they will continue to come back to you.

While the standards for quality content will continue to evolve over time, content will never go away in the world of marketing. Brands will always need to find new ways to engage their consumers and to establish themselves as reliable industry experts. Not only can a quality strategic content marketing campaign increase the value of your landing page through Google search results, but it can also be used and reused again as material for social media marketing campaigns. As a relatively inexpensive marketing strategy, content will continue to reward your brand over and over again if properly produced.

Here are just a few reasons for you to consider keeping up with your content marketing campaign for long-term success.

Increase Your Online Visibility
Content influences all other online marketing strategies and specifically improves SEO by creating more online real estate. Every piece of content that you publish carves out a permanent niche for you online, making you more visible and establishing a larger online presence for your brand. This evergreen content lasts forever.

Unless you change the URL or delete your post, every piece of content that you publish is valuable and permanent web real estate that never loses its value. Every new URL is indexed by Google and can be found in organic search results. And this permanence does not mean that you will be stuck with old blog posts haunting your marketing strategies, as you can always go in and spruce up your articles with new and relevant information.

Google needs quality content to thrive, and being on good terms with the search engine should be a priority for you when investing in quality content marketing. Google wants its search results to be as helpful as possible for site visitors, and if your content generates enough recognition and praise, over time you will become a valuable source of information.

Build Your Reputation
If done well, content created through a marketing campaign will establish you as an expert in your respective industry. Well-written, quality content creates brand exposure, converts leads and helps to widen your clientele base.

If content is informative and encourages trust, it can help to secure visitor confidence in your brand, helping you to grow relationships not just with consumers, but also with other brands and industries online. These positive relationships can also help to widen your online visibility. When other brands (not competitors) see that your content is generating attention, they will link to your site, exponentially increasing your online real estate.

Fresh content that is updated on a regular basis will keep visitors returning, especially if you continue to prove to be a reliable source. Being an industry expert is valuable not only in the eyes of your peers—it is also extremely desirable for the effectiveness of search engines. The more content you produce on a particular subject, the higher up you move in organic searches.

This online exposure is key to improving your brand’s reputation in your respective industry. Through social media, content is also readily shareable over avenues such as Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, lending exposure and diverse visibility to your campaign. Millennials in particular treat content they connect with as an extension of their personality and as a way to communicate their value to others. Gain their trust by consistently delivering quality content and you will see a rise in your reputation over time.

See An Increase In ROI
A long-term investment in content marketing will ensure continuous returns, adding value to your business. One of the key elements of content is the value in its compounding returns.

If you publish twice a week, for example, you will have 110 pieces of content under your belt in the first year. The second year, if you produce the same amount of content, you will have 220 pieces on which to garner results, and so on. The longer you have been publishing content, the more people will have seen your name, and the more people who read your content, the greater the effect you will see with every new piece published.

Content is more than a simple inbound marketing strategy, which generally focuses on establishing initial brand awareness. Content marketing also nurtures leads, which are then converted into sales. As well, it continues to nurture those customer relationships and thus secures future sales. Remember the gym metaphor suggested earlier? This sort of momentum is key when it comes to seeing an improvement in your ROI.

Become A Reliable Source Of Information
Consumers actively ignore ads, yet they continually seek content. Content helps a user increase their knowledge about a topic, measure a brand’s credentials and validate purchasing decisions.

Particularly in the B2C sphere, users crave content that helps them make informed decisions when it comes time to spend their hard-earned dollars. Quality content allows brands to engage with consumers in a way they crave to be engaged. And it shows. According to an analysis by Search Engine Watch, websites that have weak online content see a 19.5% reduction in organic traffic, while websites with strong online content see a 42.6% increase.

Content marketing allows brands to serve as their own publishers, making them responsible for all the information they produce and enabling them to personally tailor their brand message. With great power comes great responsibility, and with that responsibility comes the potential for valuable consumer relationships.

The more time your consumers spend interacting with your content, the more educated they become, and the more they see you as a credible resource. Content marketing may take longer to convert leads, but over time it significantly drives conversion costs down. Unlike traditional advertising, which typically aims to cultivate positive brand associations, content marketing also holds the power to develop brand advocates.

Make your content last longer by staggering your distribution, serializing your story, updating your content yearly and continually finding compelling ways to repurpose information you have already shared. If you continue to nurture your content and keep it fresh and relevant, the returns and benefits of your efforts can produce endless results.

Connect With Your Audience Through Recurring Content Events

Churning our copy day in and day night can not only get a bit redundant, but it can make it hard to keep up your motivation and inspire your audience. Copyblogger suggested a great way to mix things up by hosting recurring content events that readers would sign up to read. A content event has a few specific qualities, it should happen on a specific date, be sent out through an invite, require an RSVP, offer a replay, have some sort of follow up with the attendees after the event, and most importantly be a live event.

There are three different types of content events: live teleclasses, live webinars, and live presentations. To host a teleclass, first decide on a date and the technology to use. There are plenty of free options like Next create a compelling title to get people interested, and then think of what your goal for the invent is. You might be trying to add more people to your email list, build your own authority in the market, or get people interested in your product or service.

Make sure and set up a separate email list for the event so that you can stay organized, and follow up immediately after the event with the replay and any additional information you promised during the event. To maximize the amount of people that sign up for your event, try emailing, writing blog posts, and sending out social media invites. To take it a step further you might ask other people to share the info on their own social media sites, purchase some ad space, or write guest blogs and put the invite info in your bio.

The presentation itself should have an introduction, an overview of the information to expect during it, the main points, and a summary. Always put the call to action at the end if there is a follow up you are hoping the listeners will act on.

A lot of the process of creating your content event is going to be planning and the build up to the event, while the event itself is going to go by relatively quickly. When it’s done properly a content event can make a huge impact, inform more people about what it is you have to offer, and secure some more customers or readers of your blog. Webinars and the like can appeal to a slightly different person than the one reading your blog, so doing this at regular intervals is going to increase your audience greatly. Be authentic and personal yet in control of your authority for the event yourself and you’ll almost certainly boost your numbers.

Have you hosted any sort of online content event? Let us know your experiences and how it changed the way you do business, or if you’re planning on trying it in the future!