Content marketing has become a familiar term in today’s digital landscape of marketing your brand or business. Whether it’s in the form of a weekly blog post or monthly emailer, most companies are practising content marketing in one form or another. The question is, how do you keep reaching your target audience and have them convert into a customer or client? Let’s take a look at content marketing best practices; a handy guide to the dos and don’ts of content marketing.
Don’t make it all about yourself
This is an obvious, yet common mistake, where marketers talk constantly about their product, brand or services with little to no reprieve. This does not catch the attention of your audience, nor does it provide them with any value or solve for a problem. As a reader, it is tiresome having to read through a dull sales pitch. Rather provide your target audience with content that interests them, and remember the golden rule, be customer-centric about the messages you put out into the digital ether.
Call someone and ask the important questions
What content provides value to your audience? This depends on the problems your specific target audience need solving. Instead of copying your competitors or rewriting articles that you’ve found on the internet, it’s best to do your research and tap into your own resources. This can simply be through your own expertise or making a call to a subject matter expert, asking them pressing questions on a topic of interest to your target audience. Tackle this step the way a journalist would tackle a news story.
Be focused in your publishing
Don’t publish content wildly as and when inspiration hits. Rather be focused and consistent in your approach. Compile a content calendar where you map out your content themes, the times of the week that you will be posting and to which channels you will be posting to. Remember, each channel is unique, your content and formats should be aligned to the best practices of the platform you are publishing your content.
KPIs are king
As a marketer, you are doing content marketing to achieve a specific business goal. You need to set key performance indicators (KPIs) before you start so that you can measure the success of your content and adjust your strategy where the content is falling short. For example, in one year’s time, your aim is to rank higher on Google searches than your competitors. In this instance, marketers can use a content ranking index (CRI) to continuously monitor how they are performing for a specific keyword in comparison to their competitors and how much site traffic it can lead to.
Don’t expect short-term results
Content marketing is a long game. In other words, don’t expect to do it for a few months and see results or use these results as a basis of whether to continue with the efforts. That time frame is far too short to see if your efforts are paying off. Even if you increase the frequency and intensity with which you seed content to your audience, you need time to measure your success. Paid media is a way to increase the speed with which you see results, however, this means financial investment in a paid media expert and additional media budget.
Content for every step of the buyer’s journey
Ecommerce brands often push for content aimed at converting sales. There’s nothing inherently wrong with that, but it’s unlikely that every visitor will be primed to complete a purchase, especially in the case of a costly item. If what you’re selling are services as a business, this is even more true. That’s why you should aim to create content for future customers at every step of their journey through your conversion funnel.
Don’t create content for everyone
Identify who you are speaking to through conducting research around your target audience and come up with a target persona. You may be creating content for men or women, for people with higher or lower education levels – the more granular you can make your target persona, the more focused your content will be and the more value it will provide your target audience.
Stay connected to your content
Content marketing is more than just sending, sending, sending. It is best to use it as a catalyst to start a conversation with your audience as this kind of engagement will eventually lead to more customers through a positive experience with your brand. It may not even be the person that you are speaking to, but rather someone witnessing the conversation online. For this reason, it is important to engage with every reaction to your content. Research answers to follow up questions, and craft responses to criticism. You can also choose to respond concisely on the content piece but rather take the conversation off site via email to continue a more personal interaction.
Don’t forget your call to action
Every piece of content you publish to your target audience has a purpose. Decide what that is before you start crafting it.
Our primary goal for this article is to help our readers understand content marketing and how to execute it successfully by following a few basic principles, positioning Ole!Connect as leading experts in content marketing.
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