Effective Content Marketing Strategy: Top 7 Must-Dos
By Adewale Adeyemi
Anybody can do content marketing but you’ll agree with me that developing an effective content marketing strategy that works may be a daunting task. You may not know where to start from. You may also get frustrated because you aren’t seeing any positive results. Not to worry! After reading this article, you will understand how it works because, with a well planned and effective strategy, it won’t take long to get going.
First, what is Content Marketing? According to Content Marketing Institute, it 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.
The above definition is the reason why more businesses are delving into content marketing because of its overwhelming benefits. Some of which include increased organic search engine rankings, more social media traffic, increased domain authority, wider audience reach and ultimately more conversions.
A content marketing strategy becomes ineffective if it is unplanned. As the saying goes, what is worth doing at all is worth doing well which means you need to develop a really good and effective strategy to constantly create, publish and promote relevant, interesting and engaging content.
Here are the top 7 must-dos for an effective content marketing strategy:
1. DEVELOP A CONTENT MARKETING STRATEGY PLAN
53% of marketers say blog content creation is their top inbound marketing priority (HubSpot). This shows how extremely important content marketing is. A content marketing strategy has to be well planned to have a clear direction of what it aims to achieve on the long run.
Planning includes researching and identifying your target market, having clear goals, creating a content calendar, and getting your resources, tools available. For example, you run a weight loss program. Your target market will definitely be identified as people who want to lose weight.
The goal will be to provide various quality and relevant weight loss contents that can help them. Also, create a content calendar to plan and organize your marketing activities, to schedule posts and visualize how your content is going to be shared for a period of time. You will need to get other resources and tools ready to kick start the project. You see! planning makes the process easy and organized.
2. PRODUCE VALUABLE, SIGNIFICANT AND COMPELLING CONTENT
Another thing you must do is understand the nature of content your brand needs to produce. A content has to be significant, compelling and interesting. In addition, it must add value and engage the readers.
Still using the weight loss example above, the kind of content to be produced must add value to the reader such that they know they have learned something important after reading it. It should have them nodding their heads in agreement, giving you thumbs up or thanking you for sharing such article.
This way, they engage more with your content and share it with others. It must also be visually attractive enough to get more people to read it which brings us to the next point.
3. INCREASE THE USE OF VISUAL CONTENT
There has been an 800% increase in searches for infographics on Google in just the last two years (Unbounce). Readers like to interpret a difficult-to-process written content into a visual content that has the same or a greater value than a written content.
This means they are more likely to engage in your visual content than your written content. You should endeavor to increase the use of visuals in your content creation. Visuals can include images, infographics, cartoons, animations, videos etc. Remember, a picture equals 1000 words.
4.DIVERSIFY YOUR CONTENT
Producing different formats to deliver your content makes your brand more attractive to your audience. You can make use of infographics, images, videos, animations, podcast, slides, white papers etc. to produce content. Usage of only text format for your content can make it boring to audiences.
For example, you can write a blog post on how to create an effective content marketing strategy, design an infographic for it, make a video on it, create slides, podcasts etc. Creating different content formats will definitely appeal to different audiences which will definitely reach a wider audience.
5. KNOW WHO YOUR AUDIENCE IS AND SOLVE THEIR PROBLEM
Every reader has a problem or faces a challenge they want to get rid of. Therefore, instead of advertising your products, it is a good practice to create contents that engage audiences by identifying their problems. As a result, once the audience is able to relate to it, there will be a serious interest in finding out the solution. By including a call to action, there is every tendency they respond to whatever you action you have asked them to do.
Using analytics, you can know the demography (age, gender, location, interests etc.) of your audience and use it to create useful and relevant contents. This is to help them identify solve their problems.
6. DON’T WRITE FOR SEARCH ENGINES WRITE FOR AUDIENCES
To get your content ranked by higher, you don’t have to strictly abide by search engine rules like keyword density and minimum length. What’s the use of creating content if people don’t find it relevant?
Readers will definitely read, like, share, email, refer and most likely contact you (provided you are selling a product) as long as your content is interesting and engaging. Search engines will definitely promote quality contents.
7.PROMOTE YOUR CONTENT
Okay, you spent hours or even days researching, reading, writing, editing, proofreading and you have come up with a great content. Congrats! What next? You publish it, do nothing and wait for people to read it. Trust me, nobody will even notice you wrote anything. According to The Marketing Helpline, 94% of content marketing professionals share their content using social media. However, the biggest mistake some other marketers make is that they spend more time writing content but less time promoting it. The best strategy is to obey the 30-70 rule. That is 30% content creation, 70% promotion. As written earlier, you can create different formats of content so as to have different platforms to post.
There are a lot of places you can share and promote your content such as Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ etc. Write, post and promote more! You can also ask people to help you share your contents.
There you have it. Seven must-dos for effective Content Marketing Strategy. Make sure it is innovative and changing. You can only succeed in content marketing, by strategizing.