For some time now people have increasingly turned to the internet as their primary source of information. And why not, as modern day content marketing means there is always information available in some shape or form. Whether you’re looking for company or product reviews or want to learn something new.
The way we search for information has quite literally paved the way for smart content marketing strategies. Creating the right type of content gives small businesses an ideal opportunity to become their own publishers. It also allows them to compete with much larger organisations online. The secret lies in creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content. Any good online marketing strategy should be designed to attract and retain loyal customers while educating them in the process.
Best Content Marketing Strategies
While content marketing is simple enough, you still need a clear plan on how you will meet your goals. In the same way that people set New Year resolutions to lose weight, stop smoking or exercise more, companies should set goals for their business. Creating a new content marketing strategy for the New Year can be challenging but there are a few no-brainers for 2019. We share our top 5 that should really put your business on the front foot.
Connect With Your Target Audience
No business can succeed without customers which is why connecting with your audience is incredibly important. If you don’t know who you are targeting, how can you create content that ‘speaks’ to your potential customers?
The first step is to identify your target audience through buyer personas. This will help enable you to understand their problems and challenges while providing customers with solutions. As 2019 is well underway, make sure that your business stays current with your customer’s needs. Some important questions to ask upfront include:
- What devices are they mostly using to access your products and services?
- How do they speak and search for your content?
- What time of day do they engage most with your brand?
- What problems do they face every day and how can you help them?
- Where do they consume most of their Media? (Social, Blogs, Industry Websites etc.)
- Are there any user experience issues that may impact customer retention and engagement rates on your digital platform?
The next step is the personalisation of content for each of your target audience segments. Personalising content specific to the audience you are targeting will result in more interest and conversions. In the process, you will also build a bigger customer base because more people are interacting with your content. And remember, to keep your content relatable to your customers, you must speak their language. A general rule of thumb is to avoid slang, jargon or unnecessarily complex content.
A sure way to find out more about your audience is through surveys. You can learn a lot about what they want from you and work on your content strategy from there. So much of this relies on your online reputation and the convenience factor so make sure that your website is easily accessible and simple to understand.
Balance Paid Ads, SEO and Content Marketing
While paid search ads are great for several reasons, don’t stuff your website with too much advertising. They certainly play their part but pop up ads and banners are usually very distracting and could put some visitors off. Strike a good a balance between ads and real content your audience would want to engage with. Besides, many desktop users simply install an ad blocker which counteracts all your efforts.
To reach the top of search engine results you must invest in quality content especially if you post regular updates. There’s no denying that ads do a commendable job but good SEO content will truly make a difference. At the same time, don’t publish numerous, random articles just to have an online presence. Instead, consider SEO as it is the job of content marketers to anticipate customers’ needs and what or how they will conduct online searches.
For best results, remember to arrange your articles properly within your website CMS (content management system). This will allow Google to index your content much easier, better understand what they’re about and also rank them accordingly. Here’s a great article on ‘How To Write An SEO Friendly Blog Post’.
Last, but certainly not the least, include links to other internal pages to keep visitors on your site for longer. Page visits are an essential metric but so is time spent on your site. Google favours longer session durations as they will see you as a trusted source of information. Based on these metrics, among others, search engines will view your brand worthy of a top spot in search engine results.
Use Quality Videos In Your Content Marketing Strategy
So much has been said about video marketing and that trend is not going anywhere. Videos are exceptionally powerful at attracting attention, especially when used in conjunction with social media marketing. Absorbing loads of information with videos is so much easier and faster than tirelessly scrolling through a long-winded article.
Online videos are increasing in popularity and show that many people prefer to watch a video that shows them how to do something rather than reading about it. As a result, video delivers a much higher response rate and creates better-informed customers.
When creating videos, try to use subtitles as far as possible. Many people either don’t want to or can’t turn on their sound. For that reason, many visitors will simply scroll past if they can’t understand the core message behind the video. To give an indication of just how serious this is, using captions on videos is an ADA compliance website rule. As of last year, all websites in America must use captions as it is now mandatory. Only time will tell how other countries will adapt but one or another, videos with captions are the future of content marketing.
Our final words of wisdom when creating videos is to keep it short and engaging. The best way to grab attention is to start with the most important and relevant information while keeping the video between 45 and 60 seconds. Be creative and make your content stand out using visual overlays and switch the camera angles or animations to keep your audience engaged.
Do Social Media Marketing Right
Whether we like it or not, social media is becoming more influential in modern day marketing. Fact is, social media marketing can help with several business goals such as increasing web traffic, brand awareness and conversion rates. It can also help improve communication and interactions with key audience members. A big social media audience that engages regularly will make it easier to achieve many of your marketing goals.
Brands should not ignore the glaringly important role of their company’s Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram accounts. A loyal social media following is like gold as Google will take it into account when ranking your content. It’s essential to publish a wide variety of content types across your channels as it will increase your social media presence while boosting your search engine rankings.
Consistency is key and while you should keep things simple, use videos, polls and infographics. These are much more eye-catching and easier to digest making sure that your audience doesn’t scroll past anything of value. To make things easier on your team, use a social media scheduling tool such as Sendible or HootSuite especially if you’re out of the office or stuck in meetings.
With 97% of consumers using the Internet as a resource hub for information gathering, building a solid social media presence is a critical component. Quality content, created or curated, is essential to promoting and growing your business online. Take a look at this wonderful article on ‘The Art Of Social Media: Getting Your Brand Noticed’.
Prepare For Voice Search
We’ve all seen how far technology has come just in the last five years. Can you imagine what the next decade could reveal? The popularity of Alexa, Google Assistant, Cortana and Siri is a precursor of what’s to come and if your brand is not ready for it, you could lose out. Industry leaders predict that by 2020, between 20-50% of all online searches will be through voice.
There is no time like the present to implement SEO best practices and techniques to ensure that your content is optimised accordingly. Some opportunities already exist for companies to start optimising with existing resources and approaches. This includes improving page speed, using schema markups, featured voice snippets and optimising titles, Meta tags and descriptions.
While voice search may be the easiest and most convenient way for many online users, there is one main concern that companies face. Only the top search results are given as answers so your brand needs to be among the top results. Here are a few powerful ways you can stand out:
- Optimise your digital marketing strategy locally to ensure that voice search devices identify locations
- Boost local page views by Geotagging your business on social media as well as your website
- Create location-specific content to attract customers in close proximity
- Invest in social media advertising
Implement all of this correctly and you should create an audience that will show real interest in your content. This is always a better bet that wasting marketing budget on ads aimed at people from different regions who may not be interested at all.
Data Analytics and Reporting
Proving the effectiveness of a content marketing campaign is often challenging but there are tools that can really help. The key is to set your objectives, establish your key metrics and then measure the overall engagement. Take into consideration where people are reading your content, whether they’re commenting or reading other posts. Use this data to learn what works best and how to make improvements when and if necessary.
Keep an eye out for key trends in the online behaviour of your audience and adjust accordingly. Think about the type of people you would like to target in 2019 and prepare your business for success in the New Year.
When it comes to creating content you don’t always have to follow strict guidelines. If you have a subject and a clear goal in mind, running with it in a free-form sort of way can sometimes generate a great return. Just remember to be reflective and critical while always targeting your personas. Never make content that only appeals to you or your team.
If you would like to position yourself as an expert and increase your influence by launching an effective content marketing plan for your business, get in touch. We specialise in SEO, PPC, social media management and Marketing Automation among others.