The mantra “content is king” has recently become a favorite of marketers—and for good reason. In today’s rapidly changing marketing landscape, content marketing is one of the most important investments that you can make.
A strategic investment in the development of meaningful content has become a “must” rather than just a “nice to have.” Strong content develops a base of highly engaged followers who are more inclined to make repeated purchases in the long term, and in the customer decision journey, relevant content at each touch point is often the tipping point to a “yes” decision. That’s why businesses everywhere are dedicating more time, energy, and marketing spend to content marketing than they ever have before. Consider the following statistics:
- Content marketing is excellent at conversion, yet it costs 62% less than traditional marketing.
- 70% of customers prefer to get information about a company from online content rather than traditional ads.
- 78% of CMOs believe that customized content is the future of marketing.
STRENGTHENING ENGAGEMENT WITH A CONTENT STRATEGY
Now is the time to start to build a foundation of content that will separate your brand from the crowd over the long term. By providing valuable information to current and potential customers, your company will establish itself as an expert in the field and create brand awareness.
Content marketing campaigns won’t necessarily convert directly or immediately to sales. That can be a challenge. Business owners may wonder: Where is the ROI? However, the sum total of your content marketing efforts will strengthen your brand and lead to more fruitful interactions with prospects and customers in the future. Today’s landscape is all about engagement, and high-quality content equals engagement. How can a customer or prospect engage with your brand and make informed decisions without really getting to know your product or service or organization? Content is the bridge that enables him or her to do so.
QUALITY AS WELL AS QUANTITY
Content marketing goes beyond putting words on a page or posting a quick note to Facebook. In order to truly excel at content marketing, you need to focus on creating quality content.
Whether your content is in the form of a quarterly email newsletter or weekly blog post, its substance is the key to success. In order to establish your company as a reputable thought leader, your content must be both accurate and well presented. Incorporating images into your content also can be helpful. In fact, 94% of content that includes visuals gets more total views than does purely textual content.
Here at TribalVision, we often craft a content marketing strategy and content calendar to ensure that a company produces sufficient content consistently. A content calendar indicates when content should be written and when it should be published, with enough time in between for fine-tuning, and includes diverse content types, such as blog posts, SlideShare updates, Facebook posts, Tweets, white papers, case studies, videos, new website copy, and webinars.
COMMIT TO BEING A CONTENT-DRIVEN ORGANIZATION
When it comes to producing content, it is most efficient to produce content that can be re-purposed for multiple platforms. Writing a 140-character summary of a blog post and including a link to that post in a Tweet will offer additional value to your follower base—with minimal extra work on your part.
Given executives’ busy work schedules, short summaries can also be useful. Incorporating them throughout your content will enable busy readers to skim headlines and still determine the crux of your content.
The increasing popularity of on-the-go reading also makes it wise for you to provide brief, engaging content and a mobile-friendly interface. The increasing use of mobile technology also offers opportunities for location-based content marketing, such as offering flash deals based on a consumer’s current GPS coordinates.
If you embrace these strategies and recognize the overall value of content marketing, your business will take a huge step toward standing out from the competition. But to do this, you must not only start strong—you must follow through on your commitment to content.
MARKETING IN THE TRENCHES: AN EXAMPLE
TribalVision was approached by a liquid waste management company that was seeking to improve its content marketing efforts. Although it was one of the largest regional players in its industry, its website search traffic was under-performing. Producing relevant content was the best way to remedy this issue.
Good content comes as the result of good content planning, so we began working toward the objective by creating an eight-week content marketing strategy.
The first phase in the strategy was to learn everything that we needed to know in order to develop an actionable approach to content for this company, our client. Doing so involved thorough research about the target audience and their needs, as well as an in-depth audit of our client’s existing content. We analyzed the frequency of the company’s blog posts, which audiences or customer personas the posts were directed toward, and the blog’s traffic. This analysis helped us to understand how the audience engaged with the client’s existing content, which helped to shape our recommendations for new content.
We then developed nearly two dozen recommendations, including the following:
- A blog editorial calendar to ensure consistent, frequent blog posts to engage the core target audiences
- A Resources’ page on the website, for housing content in a convenient, accessible fashion
- Interactive content with which prospects can engage on an individual basis
- Case studies that tell compelling stories to prospects
- A three-minute video that explains the company’s why
- Monthly email newsletters to incubate leads and distribute content
- Video testimonials from clients
We also never forgot the original objective that we had set: increase website traffic. That was the end goal—content was just the means to achieve it. Thanks largely to the revamped content and other marketing efforts, the company’s website traffic has increased by more than 25% and the company has nearly doubled in size in the three years since they worked with TribalVision.
Begin by designating a specialized content marketer within your staff. Assigning responsibility for content marketing will ensure that your company’s content is consistent, robust, efficient, and continuous. Crowd-sourcing can also help you to create more content with less work. Here at TribalVision, for example, we rotate blog authorship on a weekly basis in order to spread the work among multiple team members. Blogging allows us to provide valuable content while demonstrating our marketing expertise. You should develop a comprehensive content calendar that details all of the content to be crafted during the upcoming year (such as blog posts), along with the strategy to communicate and push out that content via multiple avenues (company website, email newsletter, social media, video library, sales literature, webinars, etc.).