Consumers expect more from brands today both in terms of engagement and better content. With so many companies popping up every day, the best way to rise above the noise is to improve your content marketing strategy.
What is Content Marketing?
You might have heard the term over the past few years but many sites and marketers don't properly define it. In essence content marketing is developing unique, quality content that speaks directly to your target audience. Content can come in many forms such as:
- Blog posts
- Whitepaper and eBooks
- Infographic and images
- Charts and graphs
Even if the content you create is unique and offers value, you might still be struggling to generate enough traffic to your site or blog. The 5 tips below can help you develop a more effective content marketing strategy that will help you reach a bigger and more interested audience.
1. Define Your Audience and Purpose
Many people make the mistake of creating content first and then looking for an audience after. Unfortunately, this method will not attract the people your company wants and can lead to conflicting content that will end up confusing your visitors. To avoid this common pitfall you should first define what you want to accomplish with your content. Do you want to increase sales, build brand awareness, improve engagement or just increase traffic? Once you can pinpoint your goal, you should then create a persona of your ideal visitor and do some research. Where do they go for information? Who do they look to for advice? What kind of content do they prefer to consume? The answer to these questions will ultimately shape your content development. If done well, it will attract exactly the people you want.
2. Focus on Quality not Quantity
You don't need to produce content every day to attract and retain visitors. In fact, churning out new content daily might turn people away, especially if what you produce is of lower quality than your competitors. Instead, focus your time and energy on high quality content that will convert visitors. After all, your audience wants to derive some kind of value from the content they consume whether that's entertainment or information. The more value you provide to your visitors, the more authority your company will have. After all, interesting content is one of the top three reasons people follow brands on social media.
3. Diversify Your Content
As noted above, content isn't limited to just blog posts and articles. While they still do play a major component, especially for SEO, there are plenty of other options that might get your message across even better. Don't be afraid to mix together different types of content either. Add videos, images and charts to your articles if it will help make your point clearer. You can even repurpose older articles that have gotten a lot of traffic into a video or podcast to get more content out of it.
4. Tell a Story
It can be easy to fall into the trap of just creating content that talks about your product or service. This type of content, however, is unlikely to attract or convert prospective leads. Your content needs to engage and convince visitors to perform actions. The best way to do this is through storytelling. Show them the human side of the company by recounting your personal experiences with the business. Or, better yet, have your customers create content for you. Whether that's pictures of them using your product or simple testimonials, these elements can help humanize your brand and create real connections with your audience. Plus, user-generated content can also improve people's trust in your company as 92 percent of consumers trust peer recommendations over any other form of advertisement.
5. Use Amplification Strategies
It's not enough today to simply post your content on your site and social media profiles. If you want to get noticed by the right people but don't want to spend a lot of money, take a look into paid social ads. Not only are they affordable, but they can help widen your reach, build your community and ultimately help with brand recognition. You should also connect with influencers within your niche to promote your product. Of course, only reach out to them after you have developed some kind of relationship with them.
6. Boost Your Content Marketing Strategy
As with all marketing strategies, you won't see results over night and it will take a bit of experimentation to find the perfect formula for your audience. Still, the more you learn, the better chances you have of generating the best results.
Author: Ivan Serrano is a social media, business and finance journalist living in the Bay Area of California.