Content marketing will always remain the powerhouse of a firm’s digital strategy. That’s because it allows marketers to connect with and engage their audience and generate quality leads. In fact, content marketing offers three times the volume of leads versus traditional marketing practices and costs 62 percent less.
Right from building brand awareness to retaining loyal customers, content marketing benefits every stage of the sales funnel. However, creating and delivering awesome content and generating conversions is by no means a cakewalk. All content marketers have had their share of errors and triumphs while trying to figure out a suitable content strategy for their brand. In this post, we have a few important content lessons that will help you build a foolproof content strategy for your business.
So, let’s get started!
1. Data-Driven Content Will Never Go Out of Trend
Whether you are an expert digital marketer or a novice blogger, nothing can fuel up your online authority like data-driven content. That’s because data-driven content uses information derived from the target customer profile or buyer persona to create effective content. So, data-driven content is not only relevant to the target audience but also better tuned to the demands of the search engine algorithms.
Few brands make good use of data like Google. With the massive amount of data available at its disposal, it’s only natural for the search engine giant to come up with data-driven content to please its users. Take Google Play Music, for instance. The music and podcast-streaming service uses machine learning to serve users with personalized music recommendations based on their current activity, preferences, and even the weather.
(Image Source: Music Timeline)
So, if a user is in the gym, Google Play will automatically recommend workout music that sets the mood. But Google Play Music is not the only one using data to its advantage. Spotify, a Swedish media service provider, is another brand in this domain that uses big data and MI to offer awesome content to its audience. They have managed to achieve a major market share through their data-driven content strategy.
(Image Source: Reddit)
Another brand that aces pulling out meaningful content from charts and numbers is Kaspersky Lab, the security software firm. Its project, Cyberthreat Map, shares a 3D globe, displaying real-time statistics on cyber attacks, detected adware, and hacked websites. Users can access detailed cyberthreat data for any country in real-time.
(Image source: KasperskyLab)
2. Stick with User-Generated Content
People will always trust people more than any form of advertising. An infographic by PeopleClaim shares that user-generated reviews and content from strangers can positively influence a purchase decision. Customers find UGC extremely valuable.
(Image Source: PeopleClaim)
In light of this trend, several brands have leveraged UGC to engage customers, win their trust, improve their online ranking, and boost sales. Reviews, hashtag contests, holiday-season content, and brand videos are all effective ways to generate UGC and drive conversions.
Check out how GlassesUSA, an online eyewear retailer, encourages its customers to share their experiences. They ask customers to tag their posts with #GlassesUSA or mention the brand and later add them to their social shop as an inspiration to others.
(Image Source: Instagram of Robert Machado)
(Image Source: GlassesUSA)
UGC can significantly improve your website’s E-A-T rating as they are authentic and act as a social proof. They also show that your customers are enjoying your products and services. If you already have a UGC strategy in place in the form of comments, reviews, or social media posts, it’s best to keep at it. On the other hand, if your business hasn’t jumped on the UGC bandwagon so far, 2020 is the year to begin.
3. Multi-Purpose Content Helps Expand Brand Reach
Sticking to just one content type is the sure-shot way to bore your audience and drop the engagement rate. Readers are not only looking for awesome content but also expect it to be presented to them in innovative ways.
In order to engage your audience effectively, you should experiment with the various content types shared in this image. Repurpose your content in a variety of formats for maximum exposure across various customer segments.
(Image Source: IPullRank)
Use these questions to determine which content types can best engage your audience.
- What kind of audience are you addressing? Pay attention to their lifestyle, personal habits, and preferences. For instance, daily commuters would like to listen to a podcast while someone working from home wouldn’t mind reading an ebook or watching a video.
- What’s the most effective way to cover your topic? For instance, if your blog post is loaded with stats and figures, you could create an attractive infographic or animation, highlighting the quick-hitting information shared in the post.
- Do you need to adopt multiple other content types to boost the reading experience? Evergreen content can be repurposed and presented using various content types.
Let’s say, you are a travel blogger and want to write content that informs readers why private jets are safer than the commercial ones. You can either create a long-form post, a video, or even an infographic carrying relevant stats on the subject. You can also get creative and start a podcast series, interviewing experienced private and commercial jet pilots to share their views on the topic.
(Image Source: Moz)
Ever noticed how MozCon, one of the biggest digital marketing events in the world, repurposes its content? They share long-form content, video series (Whiteboard Friday), infographics, UGC, animations, and many other forms of content to engage and educate their audience. No wonder, they have such a huge fan following (that includes me!).
4. It’s Okay to Outsource Content Marketing
Content marketing isn’t merely about writing or promoting content. There’s a whole bunch of job titles and skills you need to deliver good content. Hence, it’s important to outsource some of it to people who have the expertise and can give you an edge over your competition.
A new CMI/MarketingProfs Content Marketing Survey reveals that more than half of the businesses outsource at least one content marketing activity. Outsourcing content marketing efforts enables firms (especially startups and small businesses) to hire the best talent in their niche without expanding their staff.
(Image Source: CustomerThink)
In fact, SMEs often aren’t able to commit enough in-house resources to uphold a full-blown content marketing program. For such businesses, outsourcing a few content marketing activities is a smart and cost-effective solution.
5. Even Quality Content Can Suffer without Promotion
Effective content promotion is a must-have for brands looking to improve their reach through content marketing. However, most businesses stop at creating awesome content and wait for their content to be discovered on its own (poof!).
(Image Source: Under Ground Creative Group)
Nigel McHugh aptly shares, ‘Content is king but distribution is queen, and she wears the trousers.’ Your content will not go viral on it’s own. It needs an aggressive content promotion and distribution strategy that can help it stand out from the online content clutter.
Further, search engines care about content that’s promoted well. They look for social signals, earned links, domain authority, and other off-site signals that are a direct result of well-promoted content. Promote your content through social channels, email newsletters, influencers, communities, and outreach or PR efforts to deliver your content to the target audience and generate conversions.
Over to You!
Businesses investing in content marketing have been highly successful in improving their reach and driving quality traffic to their website. As a result, more and more firms are trying their hands at content marketing. But very few are able to taste success in this segment.
The lessons shared in this post will help you delve deeper into the science of content marketing, allowing you to develop a winning content strategy for 2020. You can also take a look at our post on actionable content marketing strategies to improve your reach and generate leads.
Do you have any content marketing learnings to share with others? Share your experience in the comments section.
Tim Ferguson is the Director of SEO at Right Mix Marketing, an SEO-focused link building agency that helps startups, small & medium businesses and enterprise clients with custom link building services.. He takes care of all the clients from closing to delivery. If you want to inquire about link building services of Right Mix Marketing, you can get in touch with Tim on [email protected]