According to a recent survey, 82% of people said they developed a positive opinion of a company after reading content that was created by them. Furthermore, 70% said they prefer to learn about companies through blogs and articles as opposed to advertisements. Content marketing is less expensive (about 60% of the cost of traditional marketing) and generates three times as many leads on average. Because of these stats, content marketing has become a necessity for small businesses. But content marketing can be tricky. On the one hand, you don’t want to openly promote your brand as you would in traditional marketing–consumers will see right through it, but on the other hand, you want to produce high quality, accurate, and valuable content that will cause consumers to form a positive opinion about your brand. If your content marketing strategy is struggling, the following tips may be of help.
Create buyer personas
A buyer persona is a detailed description of your ideal customer. Depending on what it is your business does, you might create, one, five, or even ten buyer personas. The key to good buyer personas is that they describe a single person very specifically until you feel like you know them on a personal level. You don’t want to generalize and say “we’re targeting millennials” with this campaign as if all millennials are the same. With buyer personas ready, you’re ready to create content that’s tailor made for your ideal customers.
Keep an eye on your competition
There are several good arguments for watching your competition when it comes to content marketing. For one, it can give you ideas for different kinds of content you can be trying out. You can also see which keywords they’re targeting. But most importantly, you want to watch for mistakes or gaps in their content. These are areas where you can improve on their offerings and stand out from your competition.
Experiment with different kinds of content
Too many brands limit their content marketing strategy to a company blog on the company website. You can improve your content marketing strategy by using other channels such as Youtube for video content, social media for image,video, or text content, and SMS for micro content. You can also vary the types of content your write for your blog. Case studies, how-tos, listicles, buyer’s guides, product comparisons, and infographics are all great option that will diversify the content you’re creating for your audience.
Create a content calendar
Get organized and consistent by creating a content calendar where you can plan out for several weeks in advance the content pieces you want to create. On the calendar include a working title, a genre/medium, where you will publish it, who will write it, and of course, when it will be published.
Move beyond just words
Content that includes visuals whether it’s an infographic, a video, or even just some well-chosen images, are more likely to be engaged with by consumers. If you want people sharing your content on social media or on other blogs, think carefully about incorporating visuals into your content strategy.
Promote your content
The mantra: “If you build it, they will come” isn’t true for content marketing. Simply putting it out there on the world wide web doesn’t ensure anyone will seek it out and read/watch it. You can use existing marketing channels to share your content with your already established audience and you can reach out to a wider audience by paying to promote it to somebody else’s audience (affiliate or pay-per-click).
Form relationships with influencers
Influencers in your niche will often promote your content for free which can help you gain a much wider audience. While they don’t usually charge to review your products/share your content, you will have to establish a mutually beneficial relationship first. That means you have to engage with the content they’re creating and share it with your audience first. You may want to feature an important influencer in a blog post.
Write some guest blogs
In turn, you can write guest blog posts for other blogs. It’s free advertising for you since you get to tap into a new audience and it’s free content for the host blog that publishes it.
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