Developing an effective content marketing campaign requires a series of steps designed to build a target audience and deliver powerful content that encourages people to act. If you are new to content marketing, you may not know where to begin. By following these simple steps, you too can create a streamlined content marketing system that works to get you closer to your marketing goals and objectives. Follow these steps for effective content marketing and learn how effective content can be a make or break factor in your marketing campaign.
1. Know Your Competitors
No matter what industry you decide to work in, your business is not the first and will certainly not be the last its niche. In other words, you will always have competitors who may sometimes know how to marketing industry-related content better than you. As a precaution, take the time to research your competitors and take inventory of their content. From blog articles to articles to infographics, knowing what your competitors have to offer can help you gain an upper hand. Also take note of other content types offered by your competitors, such as podcasts, webinars, white papers, e-books, videos, and e-newsletters. Acknowledge what they do right (so you can improve on it) and reflect on what they can improve on. Doing this regularly and across a wide body of competitors can ensure that your marketing is always one step ahead.
2. Plan and Research Topics
Content marketing begins and ends with content generation, and creating great content is all about choosing the right topics. Start by targeting a specific niche based on your specific audience, then perform research to see what type of information people in your market are looking for. Try to answer common questions in your content and draw people in by including content that your audience can relate to. In addition to finding what type of content your specific audience wants, also determine which types of content will attract the most people. In addition to standard articles and blogs, consider news, images, and videos. Having a combination of these mediums can be highly effective, as different people prefer to consume content in different ways.
3. Perform Keyword Research
Once you have narrowed down your topic, perform keyword research. Targeting the right keywords, combined with SEO, is one of the greatest tools that marketers have in their arsenal as it helps attract new and existing customers while increasing brand recognition. Start by making a list of the core terms and topics in which your business focuses on, then branch out to other-related words, topics and questions. These ‘lesser searched words and phrases’ (known as long-tail keywords) are important to include as not all of your primary keywords will be as effective as they may already be oversaturated across more dominant brands. While there are plenty of tools available to help you build a list of effective keywords and key phrases, a reputable digital marketer can help you locate the most useful keywords based on your industry, niche, and target audience in a fraction of the time.
4. Develop Effective Writing Techniques
Of course, just as important as what you write about is how you write it to begin with (you can’t expect to spread the word with poorly written prose, for instance). Thus, when writing an article, you want to immediately catch your readers’ attention and tell them what information will be provided if they continue reading. Then in the body of the article, be sure to deliver on this promise. Provide supporting statements (3 or more) throughout the piece to help develop your main points, and (in closing) reflect on your main points while providing a valuable call to action.
5. Understand SEO Value/Optimization
Once you have a list of targeted keywords, the next step is to ensure that your content is optimized for search engines. This process, known as organic SEO optimization, can help your content rank higher in a search engine’s results pages (or SERPs), which can bring in considerably more traffic to your site. Through proper organic SEO tactics, search engines will begin to recognize the value of your website based on the relevancy and quality of your content and webpages overall, and, by ranking your pages higher, reward you with more qualified leads. Once those leads see the quality content on your site (thanks to steps 1-4), and recognize the value your business provides, many will readily become your clients. In this way, effective SEO combined with targeted keywords and good content can become the backbone for increasing your client base.
6. Make Content That is Searchable and Shareable
When it comes to content marketing, your content is only as effective as how far it reaches. This means that it’s important to take the proper steps to make your content highly searchable and shareable across social media and other channels. While SEO and the use of keywords can go a long way in attracting an audience, particularly for your website’s pages and blog posts, you must also create content that people will consume in a variety of contexts. Telling a story with your content, creating controversy, making videos or infographics, or appealing to your audience’s values (think: the ALS ice bucket challenge campaign) are just a few ways to disseminate your content and strike immediate interest from a variety of readers. Depending on your niche, you can try different content marketing and social media marketing strategies to see which one(s) work best for you.
7. Promote Your Content
Going along with creating content that is readily shareable, promotion is actively encouraging and bringing attention to your content. Unfortunately, this is where many businesses fall short. While you can, in fact,create amazing, shareable and searchable content, you need to promote it well to get real results. There are a number of ways to get your content out there, such as through industry influencers, comment marketing, guest posting, outreach marketing, and of course social media. A professional digital marketing agency can help ensure that you take advantage of all of these content promotion strategies.
8. Measure Your Progress
The final step in effective content marketing is analyzing your results. Whether you choose to do so weekly, monthly, or quarterly, take the time to measure your progress to determine which strategies are working and which you should abandon. There are many ways to do this, such as monitoring your views and click rates, tracking your e-commerce stats, reading your reviews and comments from customers, or using advanced visibility tracking tools like Google Search Console. If possible, sit down with your content marketing team at least once a quarter to go over your current strategies and find ways to improve.
Contact an Experienced Content Marketing Agency
Content marketing may seem simple to the untrained eye, but it is anything but. This type of marketing involves a long-term strategy that focuses on building strong relationships with your target audience by producing and delivering relevant and engaging content. While content marketing does not need to be complicated, it does need to be well-planned and executed. If you are unsure of where to start or are not getting the results you seek, consider help from an expert. Contact a professional digital marketing agency today for more information and assistance in developing an effective content marketing strategy.
UPDATED: April 22, 2019