4 Content Marketing Rules To Live By
As obvious as it may seem, as a content writer in the online advertising industry, I am more than fully aware of the importance of, you guessed it – content marketing. Content has been touted as king, queen, and every other kind royalty, and marketing departments are completely realigning their strategies to enhance the role of that it plays.
Of all the places where high-quality, engaging, and valuable content is crucial, a brand’s website tops the list. The question is how do you create an effective content marketing strategy that catches the eye of your target audience?
Follow the 4 simple content marketing strategies below, and learn how to write content that will not only attract visitors to your website, but make them want to stay on it.
Are you ready?
Get Up Close and Personal with Content Marketing
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Before you even begin to think about what type of content to create and which channels to distribute it on, you MUST know who your target audience is. Knowing who your content is aimed at, and what it’s meant to “achieve,” are the only ways to succeed.
After you’ve pinpointed your audience, you can then begin to understand their habits. For example: What online source do prospects get their information from? Do they use a desktop, tablet, or mobile phone to get the information? What does their buying process look like? Most importantly: What are their challenges and pain points?
One of the easiest ways to address the issue of challenges and pain points is to speak to a salesperson or customer retention expert at your company, and put together a list of questions and concerns based on the buying cycle and customer feedback.
Once you’ve answered all of the above questions, you can now start working on content marketing!
Start a Blog (If you don’t have one, you should!)
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If you remember one thing from this blog post, it should be this: your blog is the center of your content marketing strategy.
Why? There are countless reasons, but primarily because blogs fuel content marketing, social media, SEO, lead nurturing, and the entire sales process. This means that your blog must offer valuable, relevant, and practical insight. It’s a must to show your audience that you are an industry expert, keep up to date with the latest trends, and always, always have their best interests in mind. Basically, your blog needs to look as if you eat, breathe, and sleep your particular industry.
Having a blog isn’t just a great way to boost brand awareness and nurture your prospects; it also serves to drive sales. How exactly? Blogs are top-of-funnel content, and once your prospect realizes that you have an expert team that delivers incredible content, they’ll gradually realize that they need (and want) your product and service. At this point, you’ll need to supply your leads with most targeted content, such as case studies, testimonials, and capabilities decks.
Go Social, But Only if You Have Something Valuable to Share
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Still skeptical of the results that social media marketing can yield? Wake up and realize that there is no avoiding social. Regardless of whether you’re a small business or huge enterprise, chances are that your prospects will be examining your social presence at some point in time.
Buyers now conduct a vast majority of their research on social media, particularly when it comes to reviewing and asking for product recommendations. If your audience loves your product, this can be extremely beneficial for your business, and serve as a major boon for increasing sales.
Don’t just open up a Facebook Company Page and update it once in a while. Being on social media means making a commitment. Stay proactive by creating an editorial calendar, researching optimal posting frequencies and times, and sticking to your schedule.
Here are two key things to keep in mind when leveraging social media for your brand:
- Every opportunity you have to promote your content and increase your visibility is priceless. Social Media is a crucial marketing channel to shape your brand’s voice, connect with your audience on a 1:1 level, and of course, distribute original and curated content. Maintaining an active social presence is vital for attracting new customers, and staying connected with existing ones. Good social posts will resonate with people over time, which ensures that your brand maintains top-of-mind preference.
- Do. Not. Be. Promotional. Got it? Good! Your social content should not be screaming “me, me, me!” The whole point is to deliver your potential customers with value by providing content that’s interesting, time-sensitive, actionable, and even funny. Offer tips and tricks, give them a heads up on special promotions, and share great articles you found. Eventually, readers will begin to consider you as a thought leader in the industry, follow your social pages, and look forward to what you have to say next.
Create a Powerful and Meaningful Website
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At the end of the day, the goal of all of these content marketing guidelines is to drive visitors to your website. This is your home, and the place where you really have a chance to stand out. Here, you can provide them with all the content you have created, both promotional and informational. You can tout your products through eloquent writing, quotes, testimonials, case studies, and even tweets praising your products. Most importantly, this is the place where you sell your brand.
Make sure to dedicate a lot of time and effort to building your website. Each webpage should be titled accordingly, and your customer shouldn’t have to struggle to find the information – and most importantly – CTAs, that they’re looking for.
All of these tips can help you create a long-lasting content strategy that will promote your website to visitors and new customers. By knowing your audience and understanding their needs, you will be able to create great and relevant content. Some of these guidelines are also interconnected; for example, you can create content for your blog, and then distribute it on your social media channels.
Additionally, understanding your customers on a personal level, which you can do with a 3rd party big data service or social media, will enable you to provide them with loyalty programs that are personalized to them and will help build your brand’s reputation. Lastly, because the end goal is to bring visitors to your site, make sure you really invest the time and dedication it takes to create a website that will WOW them.
Main photo credit: fotologic