Let’s start first with defining what content marketing is, since it’s a term that’s often thrown around loosely. According to the Content Marketing Institute, Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action. Sounds straight forward but, it’s much harder than it sounds. What does that really mean? As it relates to content, its social posts, blogs, videos, ebooks, webinars, podcasts and more.
Content marketing is essential to a business’s digital strategy’s success. We’ve defined the “content”. In a marketing context, it’s the aspect of marketing focused on the conceptualization, publication and distribution of content for a targeted online audience.
When combined, and done well, a content marketing strategy will attract and retain customers by providing them with engaging and valuable, usually free, information to learn more about and connect with a brand. The goal of your content marketing strategy is not singular but plural. Effective content marketing strategies will deliver sustained brand loyalty, generate online sales, increase brand awareness and credibility, and build a community of engaged customers.
So, how do you do it? Let’s dive in with these 3 ways to elevate your content marketing game.
#1. Copywriting is essential.
Copy is at the center of all things content. You’ve seen well-written Facebook posts, Tweets, and LinkedIn articles. Those don’t happen by mistake, or happenstance. Copy is an artform; it’s done to increase brand awareness, convey a message and to convince readers (existing and potential customers) to take a defined action (i.e. sign up, subscribe, buy).
Copywriting is crucial to content marketing as it conveys your business’s message in an engaging and interesting way. Copywriting forms the foundation of many content types, from a podcast or Clubhouse room script, to a Tweet, Facebook post, blog, infographic or article. This is what makes it important that your copywriting grabs attention, is relevant and topical to captivate your customers and prompt them to the desired take action.
#2. Engage & Interact with your audience.
Now that you have the crucial step of copy down, it’s time to be a part of the conversation by reaching your ideal audience. If your target audience never sees your content, it doesn’t matter how great the content it, does it? The first step is identifying your target audience. For example, a tweet only lives for 18 minutes while a blog post lives on as long as your site is up, and gives you SEO rank. You might be inclined to only blog but the real question is, which is your audience more likely to engage with? The answer is, most often, both. You want to strategically place content, of interest to your audience, leading to them taking action, which will result in achieving your goals – increased site traffic, subscribers, app downloads, conversions, sales, etc.
Engagement begins before the “action” and continues well after it. It’s critical to transforming your customers into loyalists and developing long-term relationships to move potential customers to actual customers and existing customers to ambassadors and repeat customers. When customers are engaged, you garner positive customer experiences, brand loyalty and recognition, not to mention the valuable customer feedback and insight.
#3. Relevance is key.
Remember that stat about the 18 minute tweet? That’s a great place for newsworthy, calendar-relevant content. So are other social networks as their lifespans are short. The content is there and then gone. Your audience may capture it, so make sure it’s accurate, well written and beautiful, but it has to be balanced with evergreen content. Evergreen content is the type of content, like a blog or an article, that stays relevant over an extended period of time. It’s a double win as it’s great for content marketing garnering attention, capturing a consumer action (subscribe, sign up, etc) and, if done well, pays off in SEO by sustaining high SEO ranks over time. In addition, it can be shared on social media multiple times over longer periods of time.
A good example of an evergreen piece of content is a blog that’s relevant to your industry but not tied to a specific news, or calendar, event. For example, 10 Tips on Home Remodeling, 5 Ways to Stay Fit at Home, How to Manage Analytics Mismanagement, or Grow Your Audience Using Facebook Groups. These are all evergreen topics that you can create content pieces around and keep up for longer periods of time. On the other hand, if you create content titled: Why to Refinance in 2021, Best Places to Eat in South Philly, Hottest Cars of The Year, etc. you have to maintain and update this content. Evergreen content can’t include news reports, statistical trends, or seasonal topics; otherwise, it becomes identified with a particular date and loses relevance. Incorporating evergreen content is regarded as a critical success factor for a business’s marketing strategy, especially because they drive more traffic.
Closing The Loop on Content Marketing Strategy
This might seem like a lot of work but, there are wonderful tools to manage your content called Content Management Systems. The most common, and widely known, is WordPress, which we happen to use and find very useful. There are also social media management systems to organize all your marketing components in one place, including publishing. Technology makes content marketing so much easier.
The efficiency, impact and reach of your content marketing strategy depends entirely upon the content you create and select to convey your business’ branding, message, vision, and mission. By strategically publishing quality content that is unique to your business, you can not only enhance your social media marketing, but also elevate your SEO and establish long-term relationships with your target audiences.