Content marketing refers to a deliberate approach to marketing that involves the creation, and distribution of content that is valuable, informative and consistently directed to a particular demographic of consumers to cause profitable customer action. Well that was a mouthful.
In lehmans terms, its creating content that your customers find valuable. However, instead of the traditional manner of pitching your goods in a traditional sales manner, you provide information that encourages prospective customers to purchase items. This is done through forms like blogging, social media posting, podcasts and the list goes on. Many leading brands e.g. Microsoft, Cisco Systems, and others utilize this form of marketing to drive their business profits. Small businesses have also begun to execute this method of marketing, since it has proven to be successful.
They key aspect that differentiates content marketing from other forms of advertising is the keyword ‘valuable’. The content has to appeal and cause people to seek it out. Keep reading below to find out how you can begin creating a content marketing strategy.
Create A Documented Strategy
As per a study by Content Marketing Institute (CMI), it was found that the lack of a documented strategy is a primary cause for the failures of content marketing. According to this study, 60% of companies with a strategy reported positive ROI margins. It was also found that only 7% of those without any form of strategy brought in profitable ROI.
Publishing for the sake of publishing is not recommended. You need to focus on create quality content and tracking to check whether it generates marketing-qualified leads. If you work in sales, get ready. You may have to work overtime for all the leads that you’re about to bring in. Hopefully you get compensated well, but that’s for another article (check back later for more!)
When creating a documented strategy, start by creating a SMART goal. SMART stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely. Creating a SMART goal will help you on your path to establishing a defined content marketing strategy.
Create Resource Articles
There are alot of articles out there (mind blowing, I know). Writing a resource article is ideal in the commencement stages of trying to launch your content marketing efforts. Your content needs to generate a consistent and increasing rate of traffic before seeing any positive ROI.
A resource article is a well-researched article, which revolves around useful information that your target audience will read and find value in. The content of resource articles should be good enough for people to spend money on. For example, when a skateboarder buys a skating magazine, he or she will tike the time to read through the main articles and look at all the pictures. Once they are done, they will proceed to go through the ads. This consumer has paid good money for a periodical full of articles that are offering him or her value. 56% of marketers believe that personalized content promotes higher engagement rates. Resource materials in content marketing have to be targeted toward your specific niche due to the face that you are trying to establish that value. Moral of the story, if you’re selling skateboard trucks, you’re not going to use a homesense magazine.
Assign Each Content A Goal
During a workshop at Content Marketing World, one of the Speakers, Ardath from Marketing Interactions, challenged each of the attendees to assign a purpose to each piece of content they churn out to the world.
Although many people post content with a simple goal of driving consumers from one piece of content to another, they disregard the fact that each individual piece of work should have a goal attached to it.
The content as a whole can be geared to achieve goals like brand awareness, drive more purchases or build up a subscriber base. Regardless of these common aims, you should operate in a manner by which you can track the performance of your content marketing tactics to particular targets.
Email Marketing As A Form Of Content Marketing
Emails, according to VentureBeat, offer the largest overall reach, compared to any other content distribution channel.
They further go to state that; for every dollar spent, email gives back a staggering $38 in ROI. This is because emails are tailored and targeted directly to the consumers’ inbox. It’s an incredibly frugal method for gaining customers.
If you are aiming to increase profits, you must absolutely give email a try. This is especially important when you consider that approximately 98% of people who visit your page will not transact with you immediately.
Unfortunately, content marketing isn’t as easy as I or other articles may make it seem. But it also, is not as difficult as some may argue. There is no set path that needs to be undertaken, rather there are key aspects that if followed, can result in success. Other than creating value, another key is being persistent. Rome wasn’t built in a day. It takes consistent time and effort to see the fruits of your labour.
If you think you may need some help in developing an adequate content strategy, give us a call. It’s kind of what we do. Quite well I might add. We can see where you’re at right now, and tell you where you can ramp up your CMS (content marketing strategy) or if you just need to be a little more persistent. Let’s grab a coffee and talk content marketing, or sports. Either or works.