Content marketing is the process of strategically creating and promoting content across various platforms to build a loyal audience for your brand and business.
The internet is a busy place, however. There are over 600 million blogs globally, with more than 6 million new blog posts per day (per Zippia).
To cut through the noise you’ll need to be strategic in the content you create, as well as how you market your content. Without a thoughtful approach, the hours you’ve spent developing relevant content might be wasted, which is why many businesses choose to partner with professional content marketing services.
Listed below are a curated list of vital tips to help you achieve your content marketing goals.
1. Understand Your Audience
The first step in any coherent content marketing strategy is to identify and understand what demographic, audience, or people you’ll market to.
This ideal group of people is called your target audience. To define your target audience means to “strategically select [a] group of consumers that your content and products or services are intended for.” Without a clear audience, you’re less likely to implement marketing tactics that will work.
You can identify your target audience by determining:
- Age group
- Economic and/or social class
- Educational background
- Geographic location (of your business and your target audience)
- Consumer trends and habits.
Identifying your brand’s ideal audience gives you better insight into the advertising tools and resources you’ll need to be successful.
The saying “put yourself in their shoes” is directly applicable. Ask yourself what type of content your audience is mostly likely to be interested in as a consumer in your industry. When there’s clear and definable value in your content for your audience, marketing to them will be a breeze.
2. Employ a Person-first Writing Approach
Not to be confused with first-person writing, using person-first language in your content is a writing approach that can boost your SEO. Person-first language is content that “attends first and foremost to what people care about.” Publishing content that prioritizes a person-first writing approach:
- Satisfies searcher (i.e. reader) intent
- Gives readers instant access to well-written content
- Shows empathy
- Is inclusive.
Employing a person-first writing style in your content can improve your marketing efforts by organically grasping the attention of your target audience.
3. Set Clear Goals
Clear goals will help you create the most effective content possible. A lack of structure could be damaging to your strategy, execution, and performance. Visualizing your content marketing goals before implementing new tactics allows you to determine which types of content you should create, and how you market them.
For instance, some content could benefit from link-building to maximize marketing efforts. While other pieces use relevant keywords and phrases to draw the natural attention of your target audience.
Assigning a key performance indicator (KPI) to a piece ahead of time helps the writer know what goal to focus on when crafting the piece. Implementing these goals into your content marketing strategy will help you measure the success of your content over time.
4. Measure and Track Results
Clear goals in content marketing are only helpful if you measure and track the results of your content marketing efforts. This will help you know whether or not you’re achieving your goals.
If you’re revising existing content, analyze your current article performance levels before making any changes to get a baseline of engagement. Take note of whether or not there’s an increase in key metrics such as time on page, bounce rate, traffic, and conversions.
5. Build Relationships Across Your Industry
Industry relationships are bread and butter for marketing. In content marketing, relationships will help amplify the success of your content performance.
Go outside of your workplace norm and expand your social interactions with other professionals in your industry. Networking on your company’s behalf can introduce you to like-minded individuals and spreads awareness about who you are and your business.
You’re able to meet competitors face-to-face and gain further insight into who they are and whether or not their current marketing efforts are those that you too should participate in. Following industry trends is a great way to ensure you’re playing an even field with competitors and covering the basics of everything there is to know about your niche.
6. Diversify Your Content Portfolio
To reach your audience consistently, you’ll need to reach them across the various platforms they spend time on.
Diversifying the platforms your content is published on and how viewers can interact with that content will expand your content portfolio. Listed below are examples of diverse content you too should consider curating for your digital platforms.
Blogs, and blog posts, are the primary place most content marketers publish their work. Here is where you’ll establish your company’s voice, brand, and tone. It’s also where you’ll be able to most directly measure the impact of your work, as you can monitor traffic, engagement, and conversions.
It’s worth noting that there is a difference between a good and bad blog. A good blog post is full of useful information and keeps your audience engaged. Whereas a bad blog post is irrelevant to your business and lacks on-page SEO.
An infographic is a visual depiction of data and graphs found in content like a blog or social media post. Incorporating infographics in your content helps supplement informational blocks of text by giving readers something to visualize along with the numbers, thus improving the user experience.
White papers are authoritative and educational reports on a given subject. Publishing a white paper to your blog helps to build your brand voice.
White papers are a great way to establish authority with your target audience within your industry.
An e-book is a digital book used in marketing to provide in-depth information on a single subject. Similar to the above forms of content, publishing an e-book is a great way to establish authority in your field.
Social Media Posts
Social media posts are the various forms of content, like a video, image, or status update, you post to social media platforms. Curating social media posts for your business can improve your SEO by giving you yet another avenue to promote your content. Posting engaging, yet relevant posts on social media can help build brand awareness, as well.
User-generated Content (UGC)
User-generated content is “a form of online content that is created by users or a website’s audience rather than by someone affiliated with that website or business.” Popular examples of user-generated content include online public forums and Wiki pages.
7. Create Content for Each Phase in the Buyer’s Journey
To fully engage your audience, you should create content for each phase of the marketing funnel.
The marketing funnel is “a concept that identifies stages on the road to customer conversion, including top, middle, and bottom.”
The top funnel is broader in scope and covers content relevant to the discovery stage of the consumer’s journey. Mid-funnel content satisfies the problem-solving stage of the consumer’s journey. Bottom-funnel content is intended to help convert those who are at the decision making process, ready to purchase.
Once you create content that satisfies each phase in the buyer’s journey, then you can create a marketing strategy that can help your efforts be seen during each phase. Be sure to publish a variety of top, mid, and bottom-funnel content to your company’s blog to help satisfy that stage in your SEO and marketing journey.
8. Compare Your Content With Your Competitors
While your content should always be unique and directly representative of your brand and business, knowing what content is working well for competitors can provide actionable insights into your industry and audience.
Take the time to research competitors, both locally and nationwide, to see what they’re covering on their blogs. Identify gaps in content and take notes on successful topics for your competitors, and whether or not you’ve covered something similar on your blog. If not, then it allows you to create content that’s better than your competitors and points back to your products or services, rather than theirs.
9. Maintain a Consistent Brand Voice
To build your brand voice means to set an underlying tone that represents your company’s personality.
It’s important to maintain a consistent brand voice as a business throughout all content platforms. This consistency helps your audience get acquainted with your brand and learn to identify you as an authoritative source in the industry.
10. Strive for Evergreen Content Ideas
Evergreen content refers to “any content that has a long-lasting relevance, or which retains its value and appeal over a long period of time.” Publishing timeless pieces to your blog is beneficial because it remains useful to your target audience over time.
You can create evergreen content by addressing timeless topics and revising existing articles to reflect recent statistics, when necessary. Evergreen articles are great complementary pieces to help contrast the posts on industry news and trends that may not be relevant for long.
The most important tip in content marketing is being deliberate in the content you create, for which audience, and the value that content serves. If you’re consistent in creating truly valuable content for your audience, and taking steps to market your content to your audience, you’ll succeed with time.
It can be overwhelming to stay on top of content marketing trends while running a business. Reaching out to content marketing and SEO specialists can help you create the best content development and marketing plan for your business.