Content marketing is a valuable strategy for businesses in every industry. Modern audiences turn to the internet for everything from cost comparisons and product research to in-depth brand information and customer insights. Done right, your content marketing can establish your business as a reliable thought leader in your industry. You can become the source that shoppers turn to for news, research, tips, tricks, and other valuable insights. Use these smart strategies to kickstart your content marketing and get on the path to success.
Know What’s Performing Well
Image via Flickr by Worlds Direction
Research niche keywords in your industry and identify topics that are performing well and generating a lot of interest. Keep your finger on the pulse of your market and follow trending topics closely. If you’re in a market like fashion, you must act fast to capitalize on what’s current. The celebrity outfit everyone is mimicking today will be forgotten in a few weeks or even days, so timeliness is everything. Stay current and cater your content to the topics your target audience is looking for.
Offer a Different Approach
Once you’ve identified the topics that are trending, you can customize your content to address these key ideas using a different slant. Strive to offer a unique viewpoint or original take on areas where there’s already a lot of attention. Rather than recycling the same ideas, shake things up and examine the content in a new light to capitalize on the same popular keywords while offering audiences something new.
Identify Your Influencers
Influencers are the online personalities who command a large following in their niche. Fashion influencers are the bloggers, vloggers, and Instagrammers that fashion fiends voraciously follow for insights into the latest trends. Tech influencers are the experts that your highly engaged tech-savvy audience looks to for reliable reviews of the latest software, apps, and products.
You can gain a wealth of tips for content marketers from your industry’s influencers. They’re always capitalizing on the trending topics and engaging audiences in a measurable and meaningful way. Know who holds sway over your niche so you can build valuable connections with these individuals as you build your brand.
Craft a Promotional Plan
Creating content is only a very small part of content marketing. You must also have a clear promotional plan for your pieces. This includes maintaining an active presence on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter and scheduling your posts to hit these feeds at the optimal time to connect with your followers.
You should have a blog calendar that extends weeks, if not months, into the future, outlining one-off pieces as well as series that will build a following over the course of several progressive posts. Develop a solid strategy for cross-promoting videos, infographics, white papers, e-books, and other pieces across email, social media, and other platforms.
Survey Your Audience
Identifying your target audience is an essential part of marketing to the most important individuals in your niche. You can begin to build your audience profile from known factors such as the gender and age range that’s most appropriate for your products and services. Build on this by conducting surveys to learn more about these individuals. What shows do they watch? What are their hobbies? Understanding these aspects of their personalities can help you improve your customer profiles for more targeted content.
Know Your Value Proposition
Your content should always serve a greater purpose for your marketing campaign. Are you trying to build your email list, encourage a free consultation, or spur your reader on to make a purchase? Perhaps you’re growing your social following or looking to get more comments to spur conversation and debate about your blogs. You should have a clearly defined purpose for every piece.
Make sure you can outline your value proposition in every call to action. Don’t simply call on your reader to purchase your latest lip gloss. Explain why they should do so. What do they have to gain from purchasing your brand over the competitor? Is there a valuable reason for them to complete an action immediately? Perhaps you’re offering a limited-time promotion or supplies are running low. Make sure you can explain the value of any customer action so you can make a compelling case for your conversions.
Build Your Brand
Make sure you can identify key elements of your brand, particularly when you’re in the early stages of building your content marketing strategy. Your brand comprises several factors. A solid brand includes a logo, typography, identifiable color scheme, and voice. The aesthetic elements of your brand are important aspects of your design and graphics, but it’s the voice that’s really essential for a successful content marketing campaign.
Every brand has its own unique voice. Ideally, your content will all fit this tone and sound as though it was written by a single person, even if you have dozens of writers producing your content. Your voice might be brash and witty, playful and fun, or serious and academic. Just make sure it’s consistent across all platforms, utilizing the same key phrases and wording throughout.
Measure Your Results
Even the best content marketing strategies need regular adjustments to keep up with the changing tastes and habits of an evolving audience. Measure key metrics regularly so you’re always aware of how your content is performing. Keep in mind that you may have to take a long view for many of your pieces. Some content won’t perform well immediately, but will build steady traffic over time. Analyze your results often and adjust accordingly to best meet the needs of your target customers.
Content marketers have a tricky job keeping up with the ever-changing demands in this industry. Search engine algorithms, audience interests, and preferred platforms are constantly shifting. The best content marketers know how to shift with them to keep their pieces front and center, no matter which way their targeted shoppers are looking. Stay flexible and creative for the best chance of success in content marketing, and keep in mind that even the most successful strategies today may change in the future.