This post has been contributed by Anubhav Kulshreshtha who is a freelance writer specialized in marketing.
You might have heard the saying – “content is king”.
Times have changed; and in the current scenario, content marketing is the king.
But I recently came across staggering allegations claiming it to be overrated.
Although the widespread popularity speaks for itself, there’s more proof in case you haven’t yet realized the true potential of content marketing.
Here’s what CMI found out,
91% of B2B marketers use content marketing to reach customers.
Moreover, Of the nonusers, 54% said they plan to launch a content marketing effort within 12 months.
Overrated? Absolutely not.
Oversaturated? Well, maybe a little.
We can’t neglect the recent content curation outburst – Internet is stuffed with information about every topic. And that’s the reason you need to step up your game.
Content marketing isn’t merely about producing informative pieces anymore.
60 percent of marketers publish one piece of content per day. That’s overwhelming.
Good news is that the entire process of attracting lead with valuable content still works.
It’s rather sophisticated now. And that’s why many content marketing campaigns fail. It’s crucial for you to get familiar with the bits and pieces of the complete procedure.
After all, a lot of efforts go into these campaigns and things need to be done right from the initial stage. A failed campaign equals lots of wasted efforts and hours (and money).
Let’s explore further to ensure the best for your content marketing campaign.
Research & Strategy
I know it’s tempting to get started with the content creation process. Why waste time on anything else when you can cut to the chase, right? Wrong!
The businesses with outcomes know their competition, audience, and trends in the industry. Also, most of them have a well-documented content marketing strategy.
Feedly is a great resource for staying updated and keeping an eye on your competition.
Did you know, 91% of B2B marketers use content marketing to reach customers and 86% of B2C marketers think content marketing is a key strategy, according to CMI?
What’s a content marketing strategy anyway?
The whole process has three phases – Defining your goals, developing buyer personas, and doing the competitive analysis.
You can simply get started by writing down your expected outcomes. How can you be successful if you don’t know what success looks like – duh, right?
Next, the buyer’s persona simply refers to a generalized profile of your targeted audience. We’ll use it as a reference in the steps to come.
The last step is comprised of competitive analysis and standing out. Your prospects need a reason to choose you – after all, it’s a dense competition.
This three-phase template can further be remolded and customized based on your needs. It can incorporate elements such as Keyword research, targeted platforms, content format, etc.
Another crucial concept of content marketing that is often ignored.
You can’t just create content for one type of customer, right? Let me elaborate.
All the customers go through three stages before making a purchase. Buyer’s cycle or buyers journey or sales funnel is a model consisting of these three stages – awareness, consideration, and decision.
Amount of time spent on each stage is highly subjective. For eg, you might stay in the consideration stage for longer while buying a car than opting for some paid subscription.
According to Salesforce,
A staggering 79% of marketing leads are never converted to sales and 68% of companies have not identified or attempted to measure a sales funnel.
Nurturing leads without defining stages gets ambiguous. And a lot of businesses fall for it. They end up putting in more efforts and being inefficient.
A sales funnel reinforces strategic content creation approach. Your content creators are prone to accumulate one of the three stages of sales funnel if there’s nothing guiding them.
A whopping 95% of buyers prefer brands that provide content throughout the buying process.(Source: Marketbridge)
Smart businesses go a step further to further emphasize on their existing customers – this takes us to the next section.
Although custom content can attract new prospects, it focuses on customer retention. Content specifically tailored for people who already made a purchase from you.
Custom content is often recognized as the outdated term for content marketing. A lot of concepts in content marketing have multiple terms associated with them – for instance, the buyer’s cycle.
However custom content and content marketing have their differences. First being an inbound tactic while the other being more of an outbound tactic(relatively).
Have a look at this,
There is at least a 60 percent chance that the customer will make at least one more purchase if a customer has previously made a purchase from your company. Meanwhile, if a new visitor clicks on your site, the chances of that person becoming a paying customer are only 20 percent at the most.(Souce: Annexcloud)
Apparently, selling to an existing customer is easier. Thus a lot of business turn to reward and loyalty programmes.
If you are not interested or unable to specifically produce content there’s an alternative.
Custom content can be classified as an inbound marketing tactic – meaning you deal with leads (people who are already interested). Instead of specifically producing content for them you can find them on other platforms.
Medium, Reddit, Quora, Slideshare, etc are all great platforms to execute this tactic.
CTA or call-to-action buttons are used to induce some kind of action from your prospects – anything from signing up for your newsletter to making a purchase.
The purpose here is simple. Internet users have a short attention span and CTAs guide your prospects. Underestimating them can cost you a lot of leads.
Emails with a single call-to-action increased clicks 371% and sales 1617% (Source: Wordstream)
Well, it is crystal clear that CTAs have influence over conversion rate. Placement of CTA plays a major role – to promote their visibility without scrolling they are usually positioned ‘above the fold’.
Finally, everything seems to be working but we are still missing out on something very important…
How will you evaluate your campaign without examining the analytics – sure, traffic is one the indicators but there’s more to it than the number of people visiting your website. You may choose to examine metrics that align with your goals.
Buzzsumo is a great tool for discovering top performing content
Analytics provide much-needed insight to the marketers. Utilizing analytics efficiently can have drastic outcomes. Imagine knowing beforehand what piece of content will work.
High bounce rate? Work on increasing engagement.
Low organic traffic? Generate content based on trending keywords.
Numbers don’t lie. A data-driven approach ensures you are on the right path.
Content marketing takes time. And maybe you need work on your patience more than anything mentioned above. Unrealistic expectations swiftly fabricate a false sense of failure. It also requires consistency. It may seem like a lot of work but results are promising too. Content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing and generates about 3 times as many leads.
Sounds good, right? Before you leave… I have gathered some extended guidelines to transform your campaign into a lead magnet.
Avoid publishing pieces that are too salesy or search engine oriented. People won’t engage unless they find your content truly valuable.
Content repurposing will allow your creators to breath a little more. The idea is to publish a piece of information in multiple formats and thus attracting prospects from every corner of the internet.
SEO has been a buzzword for a few years now. It’s a practice of optimizing your website to enhance it’s ranking in the search results. Ignoring SEO will leave your content marketing campaign crippled.
Lastly, I would like to emphasize the importance of the headlines. They reflect and give your audience a peek inside. Checkout Coschedule headline analyzer to induce more clicks on your blog posts.
You don’t want to mislead people with clickbait headlines as they’ll end up leaving – go with genuine headlines that resonate with your content.
What’s your secret sauce for successful campaigns? Share your thoughts in the comments.
Anubhav Kulshreshtha is a freelance writer specialized in marketing. He found his way into marketing by accidentally stumbling upon the boron letters. Content marketing, SEO, CRO, Email Marketing, etc are some of his primary niches. Reach him out at email@example.com.”