content marketing tips

 

How do you decide what material to develop and promote, or what subjects to focus on for your content marketing efforts?

 

Do you have trouble coming up with new ideas on a regular basis?

 

When you have to consistently come up with new material for your audience, it can be difficult and exhausting.

 

There is no need to be alarmed; we’ve been there, too!

 

We’ll run out of ideas at some point, but it won’t be the end of the world. Step back from your content marketing efforts for a while and take stock of what you’ve learned.

 

What Exactly Is Content Marketing?


With content marketing, you create and disseminate valuable, consistent, and relevant information in order to engage a certain audience, keep them interested, and motivate them to take action that results in revenue for your business.

 

Publishing on social media, video marketing, press releases, guest blogging, e-newsletters, and video content are all examples of content marketing strategies.

 

Some businesses choose to hire a content marketing agency when developing their strategy for content marketing.
 

Content Marketing Topics: 3 Pointers for Success


 

Keeping a Record of Your Content Plan

 

When you document your content strategy, you’re doing more than just keeping track of the information you produce. For your content marketing plan to be successful, you need to know why and who you’re developing it for, as well as what channels you’ll use to promote and support it. Only 42% of content marketers have a written strategy for their content marketing efforts.

 

What method will you use to select a topic for your paper? If you’re having trouble coming up with subjects for your content marketing strategy, consider these five suggestions:

 

Determine and articulate your company’s objectives.

 

Building a solid foundation and getting a clear picture of your organization’s goals are the first steps in deciding on the best content marketing subjects and goals for your content. To begin with, why do you need to implement a content marketing plan? Some of the most common organizational goals for B2B and B2C firms and brands can range from lead generation to improving brand recognition to driving engagement. This is a wonderful place to start, and you can choose from a variety of content marketing strategies based on your organization’s objectives and needs.

 

Analyze your data to get the most out of it.

 

After reviewing your content marketing strategy’s organizational goals, use your analytics to see what your audience enjoys. If you’re having trouble coming up with new ideas for your content, go back to some of your best-performing posts and give an old favorite a fresh look.

 

When it comes to developing a content marketing plan, using analytics can help you make better choices. Businesses are increasingly turning to a fully integrated content management system (CMS) as an effective resource (CMS). A content management system like Hubspot’s lets content marketers generate and manage their material with ease while optimizing it for results and tracking its performance.

 

When brainstorming new content ideas, you can also use your social media insights and statistics to make informed judgments. Look for a common theme among your most popular posts after you’ve determined which ones are the most popular. No matter what the content type is, does it consistently outperform the rest? You may also want to look at how many people have interacted with these postings (by way of likes and comments, for example).

 

Then, ask them.

 

Another way to find out what your target audience wants to read about is to ask them directly. It’s crucial to know what your audience craves and wants to see because they are the ones who are connecting with your material.

 

This can be done in a variety of ways. Setting up a poll or posting a question on one of your social media accounts is all it takes to get started. What type of content do you want to see from your followers? Make sure to make an opportunity for open-ended responses when you ask this question.

 

Your FAQs can also serve as inspiration for new blog posts. The most commonly asked questions by members of your target market can be a valuable resource for developing content ideas for your marketing campaign. Even if you think you’ve exhausted all of your ideas and material, FAQs tend to change with the times and trends. FAQs evolve over time, shedding light on emerging issues and subjects that you may be able to answer.

 

When it comes to content marketing, it’s time for your audience to have a say in the approach.
 

Prepare yourself for these 10 biggest content marketing challenges.


Since there is no upper limit to the amount and variety of information that can be produced, it can be difficult to keep your content marketing fresh and appealing. Look out for these ten frequent problems and take action to overcome them as you attempt to create content that stands out amid the hundreds – possibly thousands – of posts being published at any given time.
 

Reflection outside the confines of the internet

 

Using your blog as an inbound marketing platform can be both beneficial and limited at the same time. It’s possible that blog entries could be lost in the avalanche of other content. Try to think outside of the blogosphere and provide your readers with new and in-depth content on platforms other than your own. White papers, longer articles, case studies, and films are examples of different possibilities.

 

The lack of funding

 

Good content requires a lot of time, effort, and study. Although your audience’s hunger for material is unending, the ongoing necessity to produce a large quantity at a short notice can limit your creative capacity. One way or another, producing the kind of content that will set you apart will cost you – either in terms of time or money – either your own effort to produce or the expense of hiring others to do it. While it may be more expensive to do so, outstanding content will reap its own benefits.

 

Quality versus quantity in a battle

 

How can you maintain high standards of quality while also churning out enough material to satisfy the digital marketing strategy’s voracious appetite? Your quality is going to suffer, or you’ll have to slow down to produce quality content which means less frequent posts. Good content will make all the difference to both your audience and Google, so it’s important to keep that in mind as you try to strike a balance. In order to generate great work, you don’t have to post less frequently, but you can also afford to spend a bit more time honing your writing abilities and creating engaging content.

 

Competition is always on the go

 

The fact that your competitors are also attempting to provide high-quality material at a reasonable time and cost complicates your mission. At least some of the time, your biggest competitors may be able to outperform you in terms of speed and quality of the material. Make sure you don’t get distracted by their actions. Of course, you should keep tabs on what your competitors are doing, but your primary focus should be on developing a digital marketing plan and creating content to support it.

 

Effectively utilizing the power of organic content

 

Making organic content function in the age of bought content is becoming increasingly difficult. You may easily pay for an ad on Google if you want to, but it’s equally critical that you have quality content that attracts readers on its own. It’s becoming increasingly challenging to get your material in front of your customers’ eyes, especially when sponsored advertising may be pushing other content to the head of the queue. In order to maintain reaping the benefits of organic content, email marketing is a great option.

 

Expectations that are too high

 

One of the major issues with content marketing is that many people expect it to work immediately. When you inform a customer or management that a digital marketing strategy would take years to pay off, they are unlikely to be pleased – but regrettably, that is the reality. In order for content marketing to be effective, all parties involved must be aware that it may take some time to see the benefits.

 

Experiencing burnout

 

Each day, content creators churn out tens of thousands of words and dozens of ideas. They’re going to run into a wall at some point. It’s possible that inspiration may wane, deadlines will be more difficult to meet, and the quality of your work will begin to suffer. Set realistic timelines and goals, and concentrate on the quality of the content rather than the quantity as the best option.

 

Making a genuine contribution, rather than merely filler

 

It’s easy to create material just to fill the page rather than providing true value to your readers when you’re rushing to meet deadlines or only caring about the quantity of information you publish. It’s important to be aware of this trap at all times and avoid falling into it. Be sure to take a step back and reevaluate your strategy and content on a frequent basis to make sure that your information is interesting and useful to your target audience.
 

It’s a delicate balancing act between artistic expression and search engine optimization

 

When it comes to SEO, it can be tempting to solely focus on the proper keywords and put the quality of your content on the back burner. Your readers and Google will punish you if you do this, so relax. SEO-friendly material can be created that is both informative and keyword-rich at the same time. The quality of your pages is assessed by Google, thus good content means good SEO.
 

Developing a strategy and keeping track of the results

 

It takes a lot of time and effort on your part and the part of your content team to create engaging content. Are you getting more views as a result of this? Do you need to improve the quality of your leads? Answering these questions will be easier if you have something to measure the outcomes against. It’s crucial to plan ahead of time. Start a content marketing campaign, but first determine what you hope to accomplish with it. Your strategy can be tested against its goals by comparing the results of analytic data to those of the goals.

 

Content Marketing

 

The marketing world has changed immensely over the last few decades. The time of print publications being the top way that consumers reading their news is over. A majority of people do a large amount of reading online rather than opting to pick up a newspaper or magazine. Digital marketing has made it more important than ever to create top-quality content.

 

The marketplace is saturated with a variety of content and generic content simply doesn’t garner the traffic that it used to. The days of clickbait are dead and now the need for in-depth content has increased to an all-time high. The following are tips to help take your content marketing campaigns to the next level.

 

Create Content Ideas Based on Data


Technology has made it easier than ever to collect data on marketing and advertising campaigns. There are even tools that allow brands to find out which pieces of content delivered the most in terms of traffic or social interaction. Content needs to be based on data as this is a great way to help ensure results. A new spin on an old topic is quite common as there is only so much to write about in certain niches of business. Take the time to sit down as an entire team to help come up with ideas for content. You would be surprised how well the staff will be able to suggest topics even if they are outside of the marketing team. It is also a cool idea to think about different ways to monetize podcasts with sponsors from your niche, or with some specific podcast merch. 

 

Get Influencers Involved


The world of influencer marketing seems to have erupted over the last 5 or so years. There has always been influencer marketing but in recent times it has come to attention. Celebrities like the Kardashians making ridiculous amounts of money for a single sponsored post. The aspect that a company has to keep in mind is ROI as micro-influencers offer a far better return than a worldwide celebrity. These influencers have built a base of trust with their followers. This trust leads to recommendations being more influential to their community. The smaller influencers are not going to recommend a product that is subpar as it would risk the trust they have built. A moderately sized influencer is going to engage with followers at a higher level than that of a Justin Bieber.

 

Host a Weekly Podcast with Guests


Hosting a podcast has become far more prevalent than in the past. There are plenty of professionals that have made a great living hosting a podcast like Joe Rogan. Businesses can help legitimize themselves if they are new to a specific market by simply inviting the right guest to appear on the podcast. The creation of great content can easily be done through thoughtful conversation on specific topics. An agenda should be set before the podcast as simply rambling is not going to turn a new company into a thought leader on a specific subject. Transcribing these podcasts is equally important as this can help in terms of SEO and make the content searchable.

 

Social Media Promotion Cannot be Undervalued


Social media is the perfect platform to promote content whether it is written, video, or a podcast. Take the time to ask a question when referring to the content in order to engage with followers. There is an option to promote posts to increase exposure but this should be done carefully. The last thing a brand wants to do is to blast a mediocre piece of content out there for the company’s target demographic to see. The images that are included on social media posts need to be carefully selected. These images can be the attraction to a piece of content especially when posted on a platform like Twitter where captions are limited to a certain number of characters.

 

Consider Enlisting the Help of a Marketing Agency


Looking into outsourcing your content marketing to an agency can yield results. Finding an agency that specializes in various areas of digital marketing can be wise. Picking a reliable company with years of experience is going to be the best option.

 

“Agencies already have established contacts in online media. This can increase the reach of a content marketing campaign. Do not underestimate what years out media outreach can do when it comes to having content placed on some of the top publications in the world”, according to Exults Marketing.

 

Content marketing is going to be a staple of any successful business in the digital age. Take the time to create the best content calendar possible for social media accounts, the company blog, and offsite publications. The consistent generation of quality content is not going to go unnoticed by customers as well as others in the industry. Beat the competition through intelligent marketing that is based on quality rather than trying to game the system.

Content Marketing

 

According to a recent report by the Content Marketing Institute, 76% of the businesses surveyed said that content marketing formed part of their strategy. Perhaps more tellingly, only 38% professed to being effective at this form of marketing.

 

Clearly, we’re living in an age where intrusive marketing techniques such as pay-per-click advertising are starting to take a back seat as businesses invest more heavily in the creation, curation and promotion of engaging, free content.

 

Content marketing, at its heart, is a strategic approach to building a loyal following by sending valuable, relevant and consistent content their way. This builds a level of trust over time and that trust can be leveraged in order to generate leads. Put simply, you educate first and sell later.

 

But how do you create content that works? Is it just a case of publishing a blog post every other week and waiting for the masses of subscribers to sign up?

 

I’m afraid there’s a bit more to it than that. Here’s how you can create content that works.

 

Set a goal


 

Without a goal, your content marketing strategy has nothing to aim for and will, ultimately, prove fruitless. What is your end goal? What do you want to achieve from content marketing? Some example goal are as follows:

 

  • Raise brand awareness
  • Generate and nurture more leads
  • Increase subscribers
  • Increase ability to upsell
  • Improve customer service

 

You may discover that you have more than one goal. That’s absolutely fine, but make sure you define it clearly, and stick to it.

 

Develop some buyer personas


 

A buyer persona is a fictional version of a potential customer. Depending on the industry in which you operate, you may have more than one, but defining your potential customers is key to creating content that they will engage with.

 

Knowing that you target a male audience aged between 20-30 simply isn’t enough. What are their pain points? What do they do at the weekend? What kind of lifestyle do they lead? Develop buyer personas so that you can fine tune your content for its audience.

 

Brush up your writing skills


 

Don’t worry – no one expects you to become the next Shakespeare; quite the opposite, in fact. If your principal form of content creation is blogging, you’ll need to ensure you can write in an engaging, conversational manner.

 

Your potential subscribers have short attention spans and you’ll only have seconds to engage them. It is therefore advisable to spend time reviewing the basic principals of great copywriting in order to develop content that sticks.

 

Include content upgrades


 

If you’ve read any blog posts recently, you may have spotted a rising trend, which is to offer additional, free content at the end of the main piece. This may be an eBook or checklist relating to the blog post, but the principal is the same; content upgrades are designed to draw the reader in further by providing something else of value.

 

Always include a call-to-action


 

A piece of content without a call-to-action (CTA) is next to useless. Always include a CTA at the end of your blog post, podcast or video telling the subscriber explicitly what they need to do in order to get more value from you.

 

Use an editorial calendar


 

Content marketing works if you publish your content on a consistent basis. For example, you may commit to posting a new blog every Thursday morning and distributing it via email to your subscribers. That’s great, but planning ahead is key if you’re to avoid staring at a blank page come Thursday.

 

Use an editorial calendar to plan future blog posts. A spreadsheet will do – just list the dates, the post titles, main theme, CTA, author and target audience. Plan 6 weeks ahead on a rolling basis and you’ll never be out of ideas.

 

Summary

Content marketing is an incredibly exciting way to build an audience of potential leads. It simply requires creativity, time and forethought. Use the tips above to create content that will chime with your audience and turn them into advocates of your brand.

Branded Content Marketing

 

Branding and marketing gurus are constantly finding ways to lure customer segments with rising spending power – read millennials – who in turn seem unexcited and unresponsive to television and display ads. You’ve heard it a thousand times: Instead of rehashing the same old tactics, marketers need to give their audience something fresh and valuable.

 

This is where branded content comes in. Content marketing is one of the most immersive methods to exchange conversation and thoughts with your audience. It gets people to “follow” you and potentially get hooked to almost everything you say. When you combine branding and content marketing, you get tremendous results.

 

From traditional B2C companies like Red Bull to modern product-based B2B companies like Zendesk, almost every organization these days is finding ways to push content with subtle branding that is not too in-your-face and yet lingers on in the back of your mind.

 

In this article, let’s explore a few channels that help us do the same.

 

Social Media


 

When LinkedIn announced their top 10 company pages for 2014, it wasn’t just the “expected” faces (logos?) of social media masters like Hootsuite and L’Oréal that made it to the summit – they had surprise entrants like Wells Fargo! (You can read about content marketing strategies of all the 10 winners here.)

 

The reason they made it to the top 10 was their informative content they created for diverse industries. For a finance company like Wells Fargo, it might not seem worth their while to discuss anything but loans, mortgage and finance on LinkedIn. However, their page has content with actionable tips for all types of businesses. This, along with subtle branding through its humanitarian and philanthropic contests, helped Wells Fargo to endear themselves to their audience.

 

LinkedIn Content

 

While you’re on social media, the challenge is to stay relevant; if you think too broad, you end up losing your core audience – people who follow you because they’re only interested in your niche.

 

This segment can be targeted by building psychographic profiles of followers, in order to discover what makes them tick (and buy). A social media management tool such as Oktopost can help you stay on top of customer/industry conversations and gain real-time insights on what drives them. Oktopost also has a recommendation engine that can curate/suggest content to share based on the engagement and conversion ratios of your previous posts. Along the way, you can figure out how to gracefully include your branded content in the mix.

 

Blogging


 

While it may be easy to discard blogs as a platform for companies to rant and rave about their own industries and successes, they are in fact the best places to push your branded content. Readers of your blog actually expect you to talk about yourself too; so every now and then, you can throw in a post with brand messaging that talks about you, your product, your services or offers.

 

Check out this clever design trick Ikea used on their “Everyday” inspiration blog to highlight the value of a couple of their products. However, note that not all their posts mention their products and merely act as inspiration for a beautiful home. Even if you’re a B2B business, it is suicidal to have content that talks about little else than your products. Zoho understands the need to create content that resonates well with today’s audience. They manage to break through the clutter by turning the spotlight on their customers’ needs and achievements.

 

 

The same goes for the InVision app blog, where they offer inspiration, tips and tricks that can help designers become better at their work. Here are some more examples of companies that are killing it with their blogs when it comes to reinforcing their brand values.

 

Webinars and Podcasts


 

A lot of tech giants and B2B companies are increasingly relying on webinars, webcasts and even social media hangouts to present informative and branded content. Some companies are satisfied with the byline “Sponsored by XYZ” while others strike the right balance by making webinars a regular feature of their content strategy. It comes as no surprise that innovative digital marketing companies like Moz and SEMrush are taking the lead here.

 

Needless to say, a video or a podcast is a very subtle way to mention your products and their features while you’re talking about industry trends and statistics or explaining how to do something. Webinar and videoconferencing platforms like ClickMeeting also allow you to add your logo, brand colors and graphics to your online meeting rooms. This way, you’re promoting your brand without explicit plugging.

 

Contests


 

On its 140th anniversary, beer brewer Heineken launched a Your Future Bottle design contest. The campaign was a roaring success in terms of the interest it invoked in the centenarian brand as well as the engagement it received with loyalists and new audiences alike! It reinforced Heineken’s image as an innovative company that aims to create the best possible drinking experience for its customers.

 

Contests and competitions bring in word-of-mouth publicity like no other marketing tactic. From the traditional punch line competitions like “Tell us why you love us in 140 characters” to the now routine selfie contests, these attempts at audience-grabbing may at first seem like drawing attention away from your key message or product, but eventually you realize that this is just another tried and tested way of enhancing brand recall.

 

Emails


 

To make full use of every piece of content you ever created, make sure you give your email subscribers a chance to see it. Emails get more attention than any other form of marketing because they eventually become the users’ property. An inbox is a searchable, private and convenient space they can repeatedly revisit.

 

Email is that mother lode that allows you to share virtually any form of content, including blog posts, infographics, videos and ebooks, with a targeted audience that already knows you. This doesn’t mean you inundate their inbox six times a day with irrelevant links and never-loading graphics. Take a leaf out of PageModo’s book and strive for an ideal mix of top stories and updates, useful tips, and links to conversations on other web properties where you’re active.

 

Pagemodo

 

Parting Thoughts


What we discussed here are excellent methods to be there without being there too much. All successful companies are trying to master this art. It’s too hard for people remember other people’s names, let alone brands’ identities, but if you’re giving them something of genuine value, they will not only remember you but also become lifelong fans.

 

As Robert Rose put it, “Marketing is telling the world you are a rock star. Content marketing is showing the world you are one.” So rather than shouting how good your brand is from the rooftops, start creating value content that shows people how your brand is really making a difference to someone’s life, home, business or career.

 

Another wise quote: Joe Pulizzi wrote in his book Get Content Get Customers, “Before you create any more ‘great content’, figure out how you are going to market it first.” This is spot-on advice to marketers who are not effectively promoting their content. Be creative, think different and strive to be unique so you can bring value (and amusement) to your audience. From social media to emails, try to reinforce your brand message everywhere.

 

About Author:

Tracy Vides is a content strategist who likes to keep her finger on the pulse of the latest small business products, services, and apps. Tracy is also a prolific blogger in the digital marketing space. She’s always up for a chat @TracyVides on Twitter.

Content is Awesome

 

Most marketers talk about engaging media and fresh content for attracting website visitors.  After all, content marketing is a huge buzzword in the business world, because it’s so effective for retaining a website audience. Interesting content not only compels your visitors to come back, it also encourages them to share your content, making them brand evangelists for your business.

 

However, with all the ways to engage your audience, it’s easy to get confused, just tossing together an array of pictures, blog posts, tweets and videos without any rhyme or reason to the overall plan.  By now, most perceptive business people understand it takes a variety of platforms and media to generate conversions and accumulate a large customer base. What they don’t understand is how to combine all the elements into an effective marketing campaign by looking at the big picture, which is the consumer. Are you winning in the content marketing game?  If not, perhaps it’s time to consider the consumer’s needs and wants before you create and publish your marketing content.

 

Images


 

A number of studies show positive results regarding user engagement when pictures complement text.  However, web masters and publishers need to consider a number of elements regarding use.  In addition, publishers need be knowledgeable of copyright laws and infringement.  Online piracy pesters artists who hold the rights to content and associates who lose money via free use without paid and released rights.

 

Videos


 

In addition to images, publishers need be aware of copyright laws as they apply to video content.  Conversely, small businesspeople orchestrate in-house or third party produced videos to demonstrate skills (plumbers and gardeners) or feature products (jewelry and golf equipment).  A number of nuisances, impeding browser engagement, include needing to download an add-on or tool to view content or experiencing poor quality of sound and sight.

 

Paid Usage


 

A number of sites offer content to users who borrow video or pictures to use on their own sites.  While having ‘something’ to stimulate viewers and site browsers is encouraged, consider the investment in originality, seeking the help of professional writers, graphic designers, etc.

 

Multi Screens


 

Your business’ landscaping pictures look great on a laptop, but sometimes, those seeking offered services, use smart phones and mobile devices to shop for such vendors.  Unfortunately, your pictures are scrunched and cutoff; potential consumers lose interest, and your business, subsequent revenue and advocacy.

 

Testing Multimedia


 

Be aware of the potential of content.  Content designates pictures, videos, comic strips, etc.  Rather than invest in professional-grade in-house equipment or professional specialists, test your target market.  For example, sneaker consumers may enjoy other visual stimuli, including art pieces, sculptures, etc.  Those who seek garden supplies may also enjoy watching videos on house repair and maintenance.  Engineer offered content to satisfy a target market.

 

SEO Services


 

Consider seeking SEO (search engine optimization) services regarding content implementation; because, aside from marketing sentiments (how to attract consumers and get them to convert), publishers need to ensure content is indexed by popular search engines.  Technical needs are inextricable from successful online marketing.

 

Content marketing is just a buzz term unless you can utilize opportunities at hand to provide better value to consumers.  Consider what varieties of content resonate with target markets and seek the best methods of providing original and stimulating videos, pictures, blog posts, Q & A sessions, etc.

 

The competition is probably using content, but not well.  Beat them at the content marketing game, playing smarter from the beginning.

 

About Author:

Robert Smith appreciates the digital marketplace. He enjoys discovering and refining effective approaches to online marketing for today’s modern consumer. Visit the DigitalZoo.co.uk for more professional promotional ideas.

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