Is content marketing just a marketing fad or something that will stand the test of time? It was said that in this current Information Age, a company is either an online company or not a company at all. This means that every company’s marketing division has to go online, but is just having an official website enough? Is that even marketing? And another question to consider is: what qualifies as good content marketing? (Image credit: Flickr)
Content marketing is simply one of the many marketing techniques, where the company creates and shares content in order to attract a larger customer base and to induce profitable customer’s responses. It allows the company to provide some content, informative or entertaining alike, without giving the repulsive impression of “ I’m trying to sell you this. Just buy it, please,” yet able to influence the potential customer in a desirable way.
There are 7 basic things a company must do to be effective in executing content marketing plans and strategies.
#1 – Post on Your Company Blog Frequently
A happening blog gives your target audience a reason to stay when they visit it again. Statistics from research conducted by Hubspot on 4,000 businesses seem to back this up. consider the following –
Businesses that blogged 16-20 times a month enjoyed twice the traffic volume than those that blogged less than 4 times a month. Businesses that blogged 20 time a month got 5 times the traffic of a business blog that blogged less than 4 times a month. So, if you want traffic, start blogging frequently.
- Blog frequently, and we mean post content on your blog frequently.
#2 – Engage Your Audience
On top of writing relevant articles to your desired customer base and using inclusive language like ‘we’ and ‘us’, keep your comment boxes open and actually look at them frequently, replying appropriately when you deem appropriate. Join the comment box conversation! This is the chance to converse with your potential customers and let them feel that you closer than just some company out there in the net.
- Create content that is relevant to your target audience.
- Use inclusive language in your content.
- Keep your comment boxes open, and check them often.
- Reply to questions promptly, and put in the effort to sound insightful and friendly.
- Prompt conversation on the comment box by including questions in your content.
#3 – Have Variety
Do not bore the visitors to your blog with similar posts over and over again! Instead, cover a variety of topics relevant to the industry, like news, commentaries, best practices and so on. Besides traditional blog posts, try experimenting with infographics, webinars, (relevant and insightful) Youtube videos, presentations and even industry jokes to give your blog a touch of profundity.
- Cover a variety of topics, but keep them relevant to the industry.
- Try non-traditional blog posts, like videos, audios or infographics, to give your company’s blog a fresh and happening feel.
#4 –Have a Good Title for every Post
A good title is one that is enticing besides being relevant to the post. Having a good title is important for two things. First, it actually tells your potential visitors that your blog has what they are looking for (relevance). Secondly, it will stand out among the other posts when the potential reader sees it on a Google search (enticement).
- Keep the title cleverly concise.
- Include some keywords that summarize the content of the blog post.
- Take a step back and reread the title before posting, or ask a friend to do that. If it is sounds boring, rewrite the title.
#5 – Align the Content to Your Entire Marketing Strategy
You’d better have one of those, a unifying marketing strategy on which every piece of content or any other marketing technique you may employ is built upon. This could be your company’s mission statement, to emphasise that your company can has a unique value to bring to the tables of those who read your company’s blog.
- If you don’t already have a mission statement that was pondered over, write one so that you can clearly communicate the value you that you intend to bring to the market.
- Align all your marketing activity, online and offline alike, to one unifying message (your mission statement is an easy option if you don’t know what message to use), and be sure that none of your marketing materials contradict each other.
#6 – Ease the Process of Sharing Your Content
We all know that birds of the same feathers flock together, so do the readers of your business’ blog. Each individual will probably have a network of friends that are in the same industry. This network of people will probably follow each other on Twitter and even be friends on facebook. So the worst crime you can commit is to not make it easy for them to share your content on impulse.
- Have buttons that allows direct sharing on facebook, twitter and any other major social network in your region.
- Have links to forward the link to your blog post via email.
#7 – Use Call to Action (CTA) in Your Content Marketing
So your audience is engaged, they accepted you as a company with a unique value to offer and are more open to your company in general. The next logical thing to do is to obviously get them to do something about it, isn’t it? At least get them to subscribe to your blog, or subscribe to your free E-Newsletters, or like your Facebook page…or better, buy something from you!
- Always have a CTA to your benefit in your content.
- Options of CTAs include subscribing to your content, sharing your content, and buying something from you.
- If the CTA is to buy something from you, give them a premium offer that sounds like a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that they do not want to miss.
So have a look at what your marketing division is doing, and re-organise if you have to. Be strategic about your content marketing, because as the Content Marketing Institute so aptly puts it:
“If You’re Not Content Marketing, You’re Not Marketing.”
Are there any other content marketing steps that you would include as a basic must do? If so please let us know in the comments below. Also let us know what your content marketing implementation challenges are.