Search engines, social media platforms, email, and mobile applications have transformed content into something consumers rely on daily. As a result, content marketing has become even more important now than ever before. Yet with the volume of content out there and the number of businesses competing for your target audience’s attention, it can be tough to know what types of content and which forms of delivery will help your business the most. This post will provide tips, pointers, and guidelines for a content marketing strategy that works for your business.
Every business is unique, and so will each’s definition of effective content. However, there are many shared aspects of a content marketing strategy that work across the board. Here are five tips to help you leverage your content for business growth.
To get the most marketing value out of your content, publish it content in multiple locations. For example, after publishing a blog post, promote it across social media and also include a link to it in an email newsletter. Publishing in multiple locations allows you to reach a broader audience as well as to strenghten your brand messaging within that audience.
Content takes time to create, so you’ll want to stretch the marketing impact of that content as much as possible. Repurpose your content to increase the quantity you’re putting in front of your target audience while also preserving its quality. There are many ways to repurpose your content, so get creative.
For the purposes of showing up in search engine results, you usually want to have your website be the anchor for your content. This is because:
• Your website represents your biggest opportunity to be found on search engines. Google treats every page on your website as a separate entity to be indexed and shown in results pages.
• Your website is the most complete representation of what your business does and your best chance to convert interested prospects into leads or customers. In rare occasions, businesses develop extensive presences on social media platforms like Facebook that outperform their websites, but they are the exception rather than the norm.
•A website-centric content strategy enables you to leverage any form of marketing and one central place to drive and analyze traffic. Whether people share your content on social media or via email, if the link points back to your website, you are strengthening your online presence and reputation.
While your website is one of your biggest opportunities for leveraging content for marketing, your social media profiles and directory listings are not to be ignored. Your profiles and listings also count as separate pages that Google indexes, so the ones you have for large third-party sites like Yelp or TripAdvisor have a high chance of showing up first in search results. Make sure you are populating these profiles with high-quality content as well as with links that point back to your website.
Most, if not all of your content should be optimized for search engines. Search engine optimization (SEO) is the key to producing content that not only does your audience favor, but also that will get easily discovered by more people who will enjoy it. SEO leverages the power of search engines to increase the visibility and credibility of your content, so make this a priority in your content marketing strategy.
Related: SEO Pocket Guide
Many business owners find it difficult to write about their business or industry. However, the difficulty lies in the perceived need for it to be perfect. As long as you have an idea of what is important and interesting to your target audience, and as long as you know what language they use to communicate, you can produce a steady stream of effective content that markets your business. Here are four types of content to include in your content marketing strategy:
One of the most common and effective marketing strategies is that of producing educational content that positions you as a thought leader in your industry. Remember, you don’t have to be the expert—you are an expert among your target audience that can be counted on and trusted. Share your knowledge in a digestible form and your content marketing strategy will start working for you and generating leads for your business.
This is very similar to the educational content, just targeted a little more towards recent events. Helping your clients or potential clients stay on top of what is happening in the industry is a great service to provide that simultaneously reinforces your expertise.
People love to hear about how the inside of a company functions. Putting a face to a name or letting the world get a behind-the-scenes glimpse can forge a deeper connection with your current and potential customers.
Humans are visually oriented. Photographs, illustrations, diagrams, infographics, cartoons, and drawings get noticed. Images shouldn’t be the only part of your content marketing strategy. Rather, they should accompany as much of your content as possible.
Unless you are a celebrity, people generally don’t care what you ate for breakfast that morning. Telling people about yourself and the others in your business can be a great way to connect, but keep things professional. Save the personal details for your personal life.
It’s great to recognize other thought leaders and connect your audience with content they care about, but too much of this can detract from your reputation as a thought leader. Also, don’t plagiarize content from other people or sites. Use links or citations to allot credit where it is due. Read up on your digital sharing rights and keep things original.
Quality first, not quantity. The web is saturated with content, and advertising and search algorithms now take engagement into account. Invest time and resources into defining and producing what quality content means to your audience. Once you can nail this down, you can focus on quantity. Then you’ll have a winning content marketing strategy on your hands.
A good business website is an invaluable marketing tool, and is a major player in your content marketing strategy. There are relatively standard types of content that visitors will expect to be able to find on your website. You will want to include this content so visitors can *quickly* find what they are looking for, and also to maximize your SEO. These include:
• Homepage that clearly introduces your business and provides immediate contact information
• Products/Services Page that describes what you offer
• About Us Page that provides your offerings, but incorporates your mission statement to add color and show what makes you unique
• Contact Us Page with an embedded map and/or contact form
• Blog/Resources Page to ensure visitors that you are an expert in your field and build trust
• Portfolio/Image Gallery to showcase your work, if applicable
When writing the content for these pages, be sure to
• Write in simple, easy-to-understand language that resonates with your target audience
• Talk in your brand voice. Add some personality so it feels more like a conversation or experience for the visitor
• Find the proper balance of features vs. benefits
• Guide the visitor to the ultimate action(s) you want them to take. There may be a few different end results, so identify those (but not too many) and create an experience that facilitates those results while benefiting the user.
Consumers have more access now than ever before to the information they need to make effective, informative, confident decisions throughout their everyday lives. Use this guide to form a content marketing strategy that works for attracting customers and growing your business.