Content plays a crucial role in every business and if you get it wrong, your business can fail. Content can refer to website pages, blog post, videos, press releases, guest post and any other type of strategy you use to deliver your message to your audience.

What Is Content Marketing?

The fall of traditional marketing tactics and the rise of the internet is what gave content marketing meaning and life. While print advertising and television are in decline, more and more companies are moving toward marketing strategies revolved around content.

Defined, content marketing is a marketing strategy that focuses on delivering consistent, valuable and relevant content to a specific targeted audience. The goals of content marketing should have purpose, getting a customer to buy, getting a customer to subscribe or any other type of action deemed profitable to the business.

We all create content to serve different purposes but ultimately there’s a ending goal that should be met. This is exactly why I tell business owners that every piece of content developed should have a purpose.

Blog post go up by the millions daily and the majority of them are published to get something new up. This is the wrong way to think about your content because there’s no value or benefit to that. Sure, if you have a big email list, it can bring it traffic. However, if it’s not a post that has objectives and goals, you’re under utilizing your content.

What’s The Purpose Of Content Marketing?

Content marketing is a powerful marketing strategy to focus on when done correctly. We use content marketing strategies to give our target audience and readers content that is valuable, useful and purposely placed to get an end result.

Content marketing integrates with several online marketing strategies to improve performance and growth. You’ll see content used to build list for email marketing campaigns. We see content marketing used to enhance search engine optimization. Content marketing works hand-in-hand with social media marketing.

How many of you use SEO and social media to grow your business? Nearly all of us do, so understanding how content marketing works alone and how it influences other marketing techniques is very important.

Alone, content marketing is utilized to communicate and build relationships with your customers. Content is used to engage our customers, it gives them an opportunity to engage with your company.

I want to be clear, content marketing goes beyond publishing content on a website. You need to be aware of your global content strategy, focusing on all the content you publish on blogs, social media platforms, press releases, news releases, videos and any other type of content your business uses to reach your target audience.

It’s a mistake publishing content without purposes or goals. Your business should have an unified content marketing plan for all your channels.

What Type Of Content Does Your Business Need To Publish

It’s a fair question, what type of content should you focus on? With so many means to publish content, where can a company start to plan and implement content strategies?

You can rely on just good content. There’s too much competition and content out there. You have to stick out in the crowd. Due to this, you need great content.

Before you publish another piece of content, think about the type of content your audience wants to read. For those of you that have established audiences, the solution is easier to find. Here’s a few things you can do.

  • If you’re tracking data with Google Analytic, search through your content and find which articles have been viewed the most. This is a quick easy way to see what types of content your audience likes. You can then start focusing on those topics and using them globally (on all your marketing channels).
  • Don’t be afraid to ask your audience what they want to read. You can ask them to respond with an email or you can provide a survey. If you ask the right questions, you can get the insights you need to optimize your content marketing.
  • If none of your content is getting results, it’s time to step back and evaluate what’s wrong. It’s possible that your content doesn’t interest your audience. If the quality of your content is low, that can be a problem. Does your content provide value to your readers?
  • Understanding the needs, goals and problems of your audience can help.

 

Building A Content Strategy Map

I love this idea and it’s a great way to begin tracking your content marketing strategies. It’s simple to do and you can make it as complex as you’d like.

  • Map out the content topics and titles you’re publishing on your website.
  • Map out your topics for your social media channels. You can group them all together or by social platform.
  • Map out content topics and titles you use for videos.
  • You can include keyword targets and hashtags used via social media.
  • Go ahead and map out your video titles and topics also.

 

Tracking data is vital to implementing the right strategies for marketing your business. Make sure you have Google Analytics going so you can track all of your content. As for your social media content, you’ll have to document the results unless you have social media software that tracks social post on a post-to-post basis.

Most social media platforms do have some sort of analytic data being stored, so make sure you’re keep track of important social metrics.

Lastly, don’t forget to track dates and times with your content. Certain days and times may perform better than others. You can follow the peak hour times, but every industry is different. I’d rather rely on my own data and test, do the same for your business.

What Are Your Content Goals?

Now that you’ve had a few minutes to think and read through this guide, what types of goals do you want to accomplish with your content?

Go to the whiteboard or pull out a piece of paper. I recommend doing this to learn, we’re more effective when we take notes and write our research down. Then I practice teaching it, it’s very effective for learning anything.

If you need some ideas, try thinking about these goals for your content.

  • Content for brand awareness.
  • Content for lead generation.
  • Content to build new subscribers to your website or blog.
  • Content to nurture your audience.
  • Content to increase conversions.
  • Content for upsells and downsells.
  • Content to build loyalty with your audience.
  • Content to for customer retention.
  • Content for customer service.

 

Your Content Better Be Great

Every Tom, Dick and Harry is publishing content these days and you or your business can’t afford not to create great content. I consider myself a great writer and I’ve been told that many times.

When I first started writing, I didn’t know what it took to create a great article. After more than a decade writing, I’ve learned a lot. Here’s my recommendations for creating great valuable content your audience will love.

  1. Readers love a great case study that details the process you’re writing about step-by-step.
  2. We all love a great story. More so, we all love great storytelling.
  3. Try to make your content original. It’s tough these days I know, but be as original as you can be.
  4. Make your content actionable. Give clear actionable steps your readers can put into action.
  5. Great headlines are crucial to great content. Many readers view headlines only.
  6. Be able to provide solutions and answers to problems you cover.
  7. Create content that engages your readers and provokes engagement.

 

Practice makes perfect when trying to create great content. Experiment with the 7 different tips above when writing your next article. If you can hit on every point, more power to you! Always view your article as a user would and this will allow you to see your content from a different perspective. Ask a team member or manager to read your article, sometimes a second perspective is needed to make epic content.

 

Content Will Continue To Be The Essential Ingredient For Success

As we head to 2017, content is still going to be an important piece of the marketing puzzle. It’s up to you and your business to make sure your content is sending the right message to your audience.

As more content is published online, you have to stay above the curb by being creative, engaging content for your readers. It’s never too late to reverse your current content marketing strategy. There’s a number of good tips in this guide you can put into action today.

I love hearing your feedback and thoughts, so be sure to leave me a message. Until next time, this is Richard signing off.