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How difficult or easy content marketing is depends largely on what tools you use to streamline your process. Without a well-prepared approach, content creation will feel haphazard, vague, and unrewarding. However, the right services will automate and simplify a lot of the grunt work and make higher output possible. Let’s take a look at five critical aspects of a successful content creation chain.
Image via Flickr by Wallboat
It goes without saying that you’ll need content to run a content-based inbound marketing campaign. However, many businesses are better off hiring a service to get their content created, rather than relying on their own team. Sometimes the logistics don’t make sense for the kind of output the business would need, and other times there isn’t enough talent and familiarity with content creation in-house. A business has to have the savvy to come up with appealing, unique ideas, as well as write and edit them professionally.
For example, let’s suppose a business selling pre-owned clothes online wants to attract website visitors with articles. However, while its employees may know a lot about fashion, few of them are familiar with content creation. Even if they come up with good ideas, they can’t seem to write impactful articles consistently. After all, the business is not about content or online marketing, and they are stepping into unfamiliar territory. In such a case, brands who feel out of their comfort zone should consider outsourcing content creation to experts.
The internet is huge, and your audience is out there, even if you operate in a highly targeted niche. The question is how to reach these people. No matter your audience, reaching them requires a solid promotional effort. No one can just post things and expect them to get seen anymore. It takes a clever combination of good SEO, connections with influencers, optimized advertising, and other methods to put a spotlight on every piece you create. Promotion is especially important for pieces that aren’t evergreen, such as videos connected to the holiday season, but it’s also true for evergreen content.
Promotional services are one of the most commonly outsourced parts of content marketing. Companies exist just to study what methods would be most effective for getting your content seen. This is no surprise, considering how many possibilities are out there and how complicated they can be. Still, you don’t necessarily have to outsource promotion if you’re willing to experiment and dig your way forward in the beginning. Try different promotion strategies, such as influencer marketing, and learn the specific methods that work best for your business.
What you don’t manage, you don’t control. In order to improve your content and get the best returns, you’ll need to have a management system and strategy, and that typically breaks down into two halves: reporting and future planning. The reporting side involves services that provide data on how content is performing. Plenty of apps and software suites are available, but the key is to not get bogged down by the information provided. Focusing on one data point, such as clicks to affiliate links, will prevent you from freezing up and losing sight of how to improve.
Once you obtain insights on how exactly you want your content to perform better, you need to perform split tests and other means of judging different ideas to achieve that improved performance. If you think your content will get more affiliate links if you place the link up top and be more direct about it, as opposed to the bottom of the page, you can perform a split test to prove that idea true or false. If it’s false, try other things, giving each idea an honest comparison. Just be sure you don’t test multiple things at once, or you won’t know what worked better.
There’s no denying that stale content is a bad look, worse even than not having what a visitor wants. When you release a content piece and innovations or changes to your area of expertise leave it outdated, people can instantly disengage not only with that piece but with everything you’ve written. Keeping old content fresh by updating it is a key way of staying profitable in the long run. Businesses who don’t do this will find their old content has stopped performing and only takes up space.
All businesses benefit from updating content, as it refreshes the newness of the hosting page and gives it a nice SEO boost in Google. That said, updating content is especially valuable for businesses that operate in a turbulent industry, such as technology. Services that watch industry news and compare it to all of your current content pieces would prove valuable, in such a case. Most often, this boils down to hiring a team like CopyPress to re-write a swath of old content, while providing the new information that needs to be included for each piece.
Optimization is the big picture of a content campaign, and it’s most important for brands that have reached some success in their marketing and want to step things up. Anything that helps you reap higher benefits for less expense and effort falls under the category of optimization. There are always ways to make a campaign bigger, better, and more profitable.
To show what we mean, let’s say a business creates three high-performing articles a month that earn the business about $1,000 in sales each. Finding ways to increase margins by cutting production costs is one way to optimize, but another could be to grow the brand’s team and schedule, managing to create four articles a month instead to earn an extra $1,000 per month. Another tactic could be increasing the social shares of each piece to help them earn more than $1,000 each through expanded visibility.
Don’t be confused by the various content marketing services that businesses offer online. Everything falls somewhere within these five key concepts, and all you have to do is ensure that your team or an outsourced team that you trust is handling each of them. Continue to implement your strategy, try new things, and build upon small victories to create bigger ones. Most of all, if your strategy is missing or underperforming in one of these five areas, remedy that problem as soon as possible.