Content marketing has been creating a huge buzz lately in the world of online marketing. It focuses on strategically planning your content so that it’s attractive, relevant and ultimately consistent with your brand and its core values. This means creating blog posts that are relevant to your company, looking for ways to attract an audience through different social media campaigns and generally adding a human touch to your marketing so that your brand is more approachable and talked about.
If you’re a smaller business or even a solo entrepreneur then the content you create has to be relevant to your audience. Smaller companies don’t have the luxury of marketing relationships, contacts and a huge budget to spend on advertising and commercials. As a result, for smaller companies to grow it’s important to take advantage of incredible content for your brand so that you’re more likely to reach your audience and grow your audience.
But we understand that content marketing can be a difficult concept to grasp and it’s even harder to fully utilize, so in this article, we’re going to talk about 9 ways to make content marketing work best for you.
- Consider everything to be content
A lot of people misunderstand “content”. They believe that it’s only blogs, articles and detailed social media posts. However, the reality is that anything you give to your audience to consume should be considered content. This means that the emails you send, Tweets you make, images you post on Instagram and even the way you describe your products on your store have to be as high quality as possible. With this in mind, you’ll have a much easier time discerning where to invest your time and budget into creating better content to market your brand.
- Focus on establishing your online presence
Every company that wants to be successful needs to focus on creating an online presence. This is often done through smart use of SEO, establishing yourself on social media, interacting with your audience and even starting up a blog for both SEO purposes and to connect with your audience. In a nutshell, you need to be as visible as possible to your audience over the internet so that they can actually notice you. If you’re never around on the internet then how can you expect your audience to stumble on your brand?
- Don’t neglect the technical side of content marketing
Another misunderstood concept regarding content marketing is that a lot of people think too much about the creative “going viral” side of things and less on the technical side. While creating a funny Tweet or an informative blog post is great, it’s never going to be seen by people if you don’t focus on SEO and establishing an online presence. But should you hire an SEO agency? That really depends on your personal goals. A lot of people will rely on an SEO agency so that they can “solve” the technical side of their content marketing by hiring someone that already knows what they are doing, but if you’ve got more capital to work with then hiring an in-house marketing expert that understands SEO could be a much better choice.
- Create quality content, not re-hashed nonsense
A lot of internet marketers will go in the opposite direction to those described in point number 3. Instead of thinking about the quality, relevance and direction of their content, they’ll focus too much on meeting statistics like the number of keywords to use in an article, the spread of those keywords and the language of the blog post you’ve written. Some people will even go as far to just re-hash existing content which is essentially plagiarism–and that’s certainly not going to be a wise idea when the original author knocks on your door about it. Focus on creating high-quality content that is personalised and helps you create an identity.
- Establish yourself with an online identity
And speaking of identity, make sure your business has one on the internet. More people will visit your brand’s website and be interested in your social media pages if you have an identity and a personality. This can often be done by hiring a community manager to take care of your online presence, but you should also think about the platforms you use and how they relate to your products. For example, if your business is focused on healthy recipes, eating and general food topics, then Instagram is a great way to get your brand out there because it’s a very visual social media platform. On the contrary, if you’re a technology company that offers program development services, then Instagram isn’t going to be as effective as Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.
- Interact with your audience
In order to truly make your brand more approachable and visible on the internet, you have to interact with your audience. This means responding to comments on your blog, it means having a community manager to speak to followers and commenters on social media and it means getting involved with the community. For example, if you’re a software developer that has recently released a fairly popular app, then you’ll want to look for communities that discuss your product such as on Reddit, Twitter or even message boards. By looking for communities, you can directly respond and listen to feedback which makes it a great way to improve your products. This is also a great way to listen for feedback on content marketing so you can fine-tune it in the future.
- Don’t shy away from email marketing
We mentioned earlier that every type of content you put out into the public is considered content marketing and this counts for emails as well. Most people believe that emails are a spammy way of marketing but you’d be surprised at how effective they can be if you personalize them. Mention the customer by name, give them discounts during their birthday and let them know when products that they were interested in are on sale. This is a fantastic way to use email marketing and it’s far more effective than the mass-emailed and automated messages that a lot of companies use.
- Don’t be afraid to try different social media platforms
There are plenty of different social media platforms out there that you can use to help grow your brand and establish a much wider audience, but you shouldn’t be afraid to branch out as well. Many companies use Facebook, but fewer use Twitter and Instagram because they don’t feel like their products are applicable to those environments. However, utilizing all social media platforms means that you have a much wider audience to reach and it means you can include more widgets for different social media platforms on your site itself. While it might be difficult to use different types of social media platforms, don’t be afraid to experiment and consult community management experts to see how you could further expand your brand.
- Analyze how your audience reacts to your content
Don’t just respond to the way your audience reacts to your content–analyze it as well! Analyzing their responses will help you find better ways to create more effective content. Think of those responses as feedback to how your blog posts are, to how your email marketing attempts are doing and also gauge how successful your investment into those content marketing strategies are. You’d be surprised at how much you can improve your content marketing by simply looking at where you failed or improved and working from there.