Content marketing isn’t just nice to have these days, it’s an essential component of successful marketing strategies.
In 2019, 84.5% of US companies with at least 100 employees will utilize digital content marketing strategies, as reported by eMarketer.
Research from the Content Marketing Institute shows that 81% of businesses who document their content marketing strategy align their teams around two things: a common mission statement and goals. An additional 81% said that recording their strategy makes it easier to develop and produce content.
Creating a strategic content marketing plan takes time, but when done well, not only will content creation be easier, you’ll achieve your goals faster!
Use these 7 tips to develop an effective content strategy:
1. Create authenticity through subject matter expertise
When it comes to content, authenticity is key. If your content does not showcase your brand personality or the value you provide to your customers, it’s time to make a change.
Companies that are not authentically themselves — in all aspects of their business — will eventually suffer. Potential clients and customers will see right through the fluff and lose trust in your brand.
While creating your content, provide value by aiming to educate or engage your prospects. In doing so, you will establish trust and credibility with potential customers.
Ways to incorporate authenticity into your brand:
- Align your content with your company’s mission
- Infuse your brand’s personality into your writing without adding industry jargon
- Engage with your audience to further build trust
- Write with people, not just search engines, in mind
- Identify subject matter experts within your organization and ask them to write on topics they know well
At Denamico, we like to have our team write content on subjects they know well. For example, our Business Development Manager, Emily Hulstein, has been working on a three-part blog series on how to measure customer loyalty and success. Emily’s knowledge of sales, marketing, and strategy makes her a subject matter expert and the perfect team member to write about customer loyalty.
2. Produce relevant content
According to the Marketing Insider Group, “Nearly half of consumers won’t spend time with branded content if it’s not relevant to their interests.”
As a marketer, it’s essential to create high-quality content that is relevant to potential customers in order to gain their attention and establish trust. If your content is not relevant to your target audience, it will be nearly impossible to convert visitors into leads.
In a world filled with content, it can be a challenge to gain and keep your audience’s attention. Creating content that is useful to visitors will vastly improve your chances of building brand awareness and moving potential customers further through the buyer’s journey.
When creating content, always keep your persona’s preferences, behaviors, and pain points in mind. Think about what questions they have and seek to answer them through your content. Doing so will help you to differentiate your brand, engage your audience, and increase prospects’ and customers’ trust in your company.
Finally, when creating content, consider the stage of the buyer’s journey your reader is in. You want to produce vastly different content for someone who was previously unfamiliar with your brand than someone who has engaged with it several times.
3. Incorporate video and other multimedia into your content
Multimedia is paving the way in content, and it isn’t going away anytime soon. For example, video consumption is up to almost 75 million viewers each day in the US alone.
To boost engagement levels, use:
- Interactive text
One of the most common ways to incorporate multimedia into your content strategy is through the use of video. However, audio content is growing in popularity as well. Take podcasts, for example. Nearly 6 million Americans listen to their favorite podcast weekly, and 40% of those 6 million listen to more than one show.
Incorporate audio and video into your content marketing by:
- Investing in video marketing and using it in blogs, on your website, and on social media. Start small with simple FAQ videos, live video, and social media stories to get branded video content out there without breaking your budget.
- Creating a podcast that educates listeners about topics within your industry or area of expertise is a great way to add multimedia into your content. For example, communication software company, Slack, offers podcasts on communication and collaboration, while marketing experts Neil Patel and Eric Siu post short podcasts for marketers in their Marketing School. Neither one tries to sell listeners on their products, but rather provide valuable information so that when listeners have a need or are ready to make a purchase, their brands are top of mind.
Here at Denamico, we use video throughout our website and in our blog posts. As video continues to grow in popularity, make sure you include videos on social media, your site, and anywhere that you distribute content.
4. Collaborate more with others
In content marketing, we’re seeing a massive rise in collaboration. More and more businesses are teaming up to utilize backlinks, feature their subject matter experts, and reach a wider audience.
Two companies who know how to capitalize on collaboration are Databox and SnapApp. They produce well-informed content with a wide variety of responses from industry experts to leverage their audiences and boost reach and engagement.
One of the best things you can do when collaborating is to ensure you’re partnering with the right company. Partner with brands that offer complementary products or services, or that target the same audience, but aren’t necessarily your competitors. You'll find that those partnerships can help grow your audience. HubSpot does a great job highlighting well-known, co-branding partnerships while showcasing how partnering with the right company can be successful for your business.
Additionally, Databox and SnapApp recently partnered with one another to create a two-part guide series about advanced B2B blogging strategies. You can read part one and part two for tips and tricks on improving your marketing strategy.
Increase collaboration through:
- Guest blogging
- Social media “takeovers”
At Denamico, we collaborate with other companies because we love to #growtogether! Check out Emily’s tips on integrating digital and traditional marketing tactics featured by Databox, or a fun SnapApp tip about how to align your sales team from our President, Kristin Dennewill.
5. Capitalize on micro-moments
Modern consumers want fast, easy-to-digest information. To accommodate this, content marketing needs to produce “micro-moments” — a term coined by Google to describe four “moments” when a person wants to know, go, do, or buy.
- Know: Someone who is researching, but not ready to purchase
- Go: Someone who is considering buying a product or service locally
- Do: Someone who may need help completing a task
- Buy: Someone who is ready to purchase
Marketers are now developing “knowledge bases” and other informational resources to help guide potential customers to the information they want to know.
Add micro-moments to your content strategy by:
- Creating FAQ pages
- Building knowledge bases
- Using Stories on Instagram or Facebook
- Producing snippet information for search engines
Make sure these pieces are short and easy to understand. Provide an answer in under 30 seconds, so that your potential customer can continue on their buying journey.
6. Content marketing is now marketing
When thinking about how much content marketing has grown in recent years, we must look at how this form of marketing has shifted to just marketing.
Marketers used to looked at content creation as a side project — something to do when they had time to kill — but now content creation is a central component of all successful marketing strategies.
Content helps companies:
- Communicate directly with their target audience
- Create brand recognition
- Generate qualified leads
- Build trust
- Increase site traffic
- Increase social media following
- Drive conversions
- Educate existing customers
- Move prospects through the buyer’s journey
- Improve search engine optimization (SEO)
- Increase revenue
Today, content marketing is marketing. Understanding that content creation is vital to effective marketing will set your business up for success.
7. Be strategic about your content
It’s essential for marketing strategies to include content creation. While there’s no one-size-fits-all strategy to ensure success, you can start with your overall business goals and work backwards to determine appropriate content creation goals to set yourself up for success.
Common goals include:
- Generating more leads
- Increasing web traffic
- Establishing thought leadership
- Growing your brand’s social media following
Determine what your company’s goals are and then use those goals to inform the content you put out.
Other things to consider when creating content:
- Web crawling algorithms for SEO
- Building long-form and short-form content
- Distribution of content via multiple channels to create an omnichannel experience
Remember, keep your content and messaging consistent across all channels. By aligning your messaging, goals, and design with your target audience’s preferences and behaviors, provide a better overall brand experience that increases the likelihood of converting leads to customers.
Add content marketing to your strategy
As content continues to evolve, brands will need to refine their strategies to keep up. Adapting to relevant industry trends like the seven tips outlined above can help businesses succeed.
Learn how easy it is to get your whole team on board with content marketing using our helpful guide: How to Pitch Content Marketing to Your Boss