Content marketing is an important piece of your business strategy, but only when it’s done correctly. Content that is of little value to your audience is, basically, useless content that’s wasting your time, money, and resources.
Content marketing, or the form of advertising that involves mostly online creation and publishing to target and grow an audience, is only as successful as you make it. The most successful content marketers are those who understand the ins and outs of the internet and the virtually endless resources it provides.
To make your content marketing strategy effective, you must make use of the valuable (and often, free!) resources available on the internet, focus on honing your content-creation skills, build a team of content superheroes, and stop focusing on traffic.
- Take Advantage of Free Marketing
Social media is one of the most powerful tools for marketing, and it is 100% free. You can choose to pay for advertising on social media, but if you use it wisely, you may never need to.
Combine your social media prowess with user-generated content for an advertising structure that costs you little to no money. If you find online content of a customer using your product or service, take advantage of it!
If a customer has an excellent experience with your product or service, he may decide to write his own product review on Facebook or create a video on YouTube to share his opinions with others. Approach the customer for a possible interview or detailed blog post with his opinions in exchange for a reward, like a free product, exclusive discount, or cash.
You can link to the original content and the interview or blog post on your social media channels to show your audience a real customer’s opinion.
But, whenever possible, focus on promoting 100% user-generated content that does not come in exchange for a reward. This is the content your audience will truly appreciate because it comes with no strings attached. It is authentic fact-driven, based on a real experience by a customer. And, it comes completely free to you.
Pay attention to what your audience says on social media, too. Your followers’ comments, questions, and ideas can provide you with valuable insight into what your customers want and need from you. Engage with your audience daily on social media for the best feedback and to create a strong relationship.
Think of social media and user-generated content as the perfect pair to create a free or low-cost advertising model.
- Create Your Own Engaging Content
To supercharge your content marketing strategy, you need to put a lot of focus on your own knowledge of what it takes to create engaging content. Do you know what type of content performs the best and how to make it successful for you?
Here are four key features of engaging content that converts:
- Written. The number one content marketing tactic is blogging. Although multimedia marketing like videos, photos, and podcasts, are gaining popularity, audiences still prefer the written word when it comes to marketing.
- Original. Your written content needs to be original. That’s not to say that you can’t use resources from around the web for ideas. In fact, you absolutely should. But spinning articles or using the same ideas from one or two sources is not going to help your audience see you as an authority figure in your niche.
If you are growing a business in a specific niche, you should know enough about the niche to create original content that’s helpful to your audience. And, since even experts should continue to learn, you might consider interviewing other influencers in your niche and provide their answers in a new, unique blog post.
- Detailed. Your audience will expect detailed content from you. Not meaningless fluff, but instead, highly informative, specific, and authoritative information. They come to you to answer their questions and provide facts.
The more research you put into your content, the better, even if it takes a lot more time to create. It’s said that long content of 2,000 words or more tends to perform significantly better than shorter pieces of content in terms of engagement and conversions.
- Consistent. 91% of the most successful bloggers publish content at least once per week. Why? Because the more content you have and the more frequent it’s published, the better your chances of reaching a larger audience. Publishing at least 16 blog posts per month can more than triple your traffic.
Aim to make each piece of content you produce include these four features and you will soon become a pro at creating engaging, authoritative content.
- Build a Team of Specialists
You shouldn’t only rely on yourself, though. Once you begin to grow your business, it is time to spend some money on building a team of content marketing specialists who can go above and beyond what you can do on your own.
Your well-rounded team of content marketing superstars should consist of, at the least, bloggers, content creators/editors, and social media experts. These people have specialized skills in different areas, all of which are extremely important to your content marketing strategy.
Consider reaching out to those on Twitter who have a large, engaged audience. Search specific hashtags for work-seekers within your niche. Check out their websites and portfolios and attempt to contact a few people they have worked with for references.
To keep your team happy and producing their best work, pay them fairly for their efforts and make it worth their while to grow with you. If they know they’re a part of something that can be great, they will want to work to help make it great, thanks to their areas of expertise.
- Focus on Bringing Conversions, Not Traffic
Too often, entrepreneurs become focused on bringing in traffic to their websites rather than focusing on improving conversions. More traffic doesn’t equate to more business, but more conversions do. Therefore, your content marketing strategy should be honed in on ways to bring more conversions, not traffic.
Your credibility is one of the most important factors that affects your conversion rate. Your content should reflect your authority and help establish and maintain credibility. Additionally, your audience wants to know that what you’re saying is true and that your product or service works. The more ways you can prove this, the better your chances of an increased conversion rate.
Take time to analyze your conversions each month rather than your traffic. You’ll see what percentage of visitors are buying from you, and that’s the important number that will help you determine whether your content marketing is driving conversions.
If you think improvements need to be made, test one piece of your content marketing strategy each month to pinpoint the effects. Improve your social media engagement one month and your blog posts the next, for example. Which improvement brought the most conversions?
A successful content marketing strategy will establish you as an authority figure in your niche, keep existing customers happy and informed, and bring in new potential customers who want to find out more about what you offer.
Take advantage of free marketing strategies, like social media campaigns and utilizing user-generated content. Then, focus on improving your own content creation with long-form, unique, and consistent blog posts. Consider outsourcing some work to your team of specialists for the best content marketing strategy. Finally, focus on your conversion rate instead of traffic to help you tweak your content.