04 Jul 4 Ways to Amp Up Your Content Marketing Strategy
As Gary Vaynerchuk says, “If you’re not putting out relevant content, in relevant places… you don’t exist.”
When examining the marketing landscape in 2016, it has become increasingly obvious that content strategy simply cannot be neglected. It doesn’t matter the industry, scale of the business or the varying audience to target; effective content will play a defining role in the success any brand or business sees in regards to customer connection, lead generation and concrete sales.
You might find yourself asking, “Well, why could content be so important?”
The answer is actually pretty simple: content acts as a value proposition. While it is employed as an effective strategy to drive business growth, content is one of the only advertising strategies that pro-actively gives to customers, without asking them for anything (yet). Instead of bombarding your audience with a repeated, impersonal sales pitch they didn’t ask for, you’re giving valuable information away before asking them to buy anything.
With an effective content marketing strategy in place, you will not only make your customers feel understood and valued, but you will create a brand which is perceived as trustworthy and perceptive, which is likely to breed long-term customers.
With that said, we know the world of content marketing can be overwhelming to approach, so we’ve put together a list of 4 ways you can amp up your content marketing strategy.
1. Determine the Specific Goals of your Content Strategy
Just as it’s important to set out trackable goals and intentions for both business and personal growth, it is crucial to map out and understand the goals of your content strategy. It’s like the difference between shooting a basketball blindfolded or with no blindfold; in which scenario are you most likely to score?
As you sit down with your team to understand your content direction, ask yourself the following questions:
1. What do you know about the audience you are targeting?
2. What kind of content does your audience seem to engage with?
3. How can you create content which, while relating back to your brand in some way, provides inherent, genuine value to your audience?
4. How can you maximize all content-focused platforms effectively; Blogging, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, SnapChat, YouTube, Pinterest etc.?
5. What is the typical path to purchase for your customer?
When you determine the answer to those questions, brainstorm the ways in which you can build that information into concrete, trackable goals. Remember that if your goals are too lofty or vague, they will be too difficult to track and test; in this case, scale them back. From there, create a process, commit to that process and see it through. Goals don’t work unless you do, after all.
2. Remember our 3 C’s to Content: Creative, Custom and Compelling
The approach to content should not thrive on a basic distribution model, meaning that you shouldn’t be pumping out content simply for the sake of pumping out content. Similarly, you can’t occupy social platforms just to be there, you should be trying to effectively command (and capitalize on) that space.
With that said, the best approach to content lies in the understanding that you are telling a story. What does any effective story require? A custom voice, creative edge and compelling content at the core.
We create content to instil value, but we can’t do that without understanding how to customize the messages we send out to our audience. In other words, we can’t show them that we care without understanding what they want to see and hear from us. Content marketing is never a one-size-fits-all solution, after all.
In fact, according to Key Difference Media, 80% of consumers believe that organizations providing custom content are interested in building good relationships.
So, take a look at your existing customer base. What kind of comments have you received from them? What is your website traffic telling you? What kind of branded content can you create that will continue to cultivate their relationship with your brand?
Ultimately, you should be able to answer this: What is the story you are trying to tell and why should your audience listen?
3. Understand How you can Best Distribute your Content
While content creation is critical, so is the next step: distribution. After all, what is the sense in creating awesome content if your audience will never see it?
In order to get your content where it needs to go, you need to understand the platforms you are using to distribute that content. For example, if you are using Facebook to share a blog post, do you understand the difference between free posts and sponsored posts? Do you know how to use the analytics to better frame your posts?
Additionally, are you effectively tracking and documenting the reach of your social effort and adjusting strategy accordingly? Are your posts SEO optimized so your customers can easily find your content?
What about Instagram, do you understand the way in which the newsfeed algorithm will affect your post?
Effective content marketing requires a comprehensive understanding of the digital space; both in regards to how your customers behave and engage with digital content and the way in which your content will be seen. With that said, it is increasingly important to set aside time with your team to address these questions and build, document and track your strategy accordingly.
4. Ultimately, Volume Wins
Consistency will make or break your content strategy, which is why we stress the importance of planning out your content goals. If your audience starts to show a glimmer of interest and engagement with your content, it is up to you to jump on that momentum and keep the good stuff coming. Ensure you never fall off the map by maintaining a trustworthy, consistent content cycle.
With that said, the creation of content calendars and use of planning tools can be incredibly helpful in ensuring your team sticks to the content strategy you worked so hard to create. In fact, according to Content Marketing Institute, 53% of the most effective B2B content marketers have a documented strategy.
Meet with your team often, discuss trending topics and the content your competitors are putting out there and constantly review and reinforce the content strategy you have in place, to effectively improve upon it.
Luckily, we practice what we preach. Need help developing your content marketing strategy? We can help.