Content Marketing is an increasingly popular strategy for online user engagement and a successful brand identity. The budget for a quality content keeps growing and the momentum does not seem to lose. The reason is quite simple. Content marketing provides various benefits to a brand and its marketing strategies:
- Improves brand awareness.
- Helps to increase site traffic.
- Boosts Social media effectiveness.
- Helps to increase indirect conversions.
- Directly influences customers interest and engagement.
- Quality content is a gold mine for SEO.
Where Do Most Marketing Strategies Fail?
10 of the most common reasons for a failed content marketing strategy are:
1. Lack of a clear and composed plan.
2. Incorporation of old and irrelevant data for building strategies.
3. Inconsistent, useless and low quality content.
4. An approach to preach rather than teach.
5. Showing yourself as an amateur.
6. Lack of a clearly defined goal and a Call to Action.
7. Evanescent content.
8. Poor targeting.
9. Absence of SEO to reach target audience.
10. No review of performance.
Make An Effective Content Marketing Campaign
Let me give you a step by step approach to build an effective content marketing campaign:
Step 1: Plan
Careful planning is a key to success in any kind of domain, especially in the digital sphere where trends emerge and fade on a daily basis.
There are many factors which go into making a successful and productive content marketing plan:
1. Set Goal- Ask yourself, what do you want out of this?
Don't just answer more business. Be specific and more comprehensible like the below chart.
2. Set a budget- Set a budget and more importantly stick to it. With time the budget for marketing the content is increasing. Short sightedness in this step can make your finances go haywire.
After the overall budget, you need to allocate it for different tasks. Arrange the operations in order of importance and fix funds for each item.
3. Assess the trend- Decide the type of content based on the market trend. For instance this post came up with an interesting concept by fusing two very hot topics like branding and Game of Thrones. Be creative and come up with similar topics. It is no use to invest your time on a stale and dead trend. Use the below tools to find the in thing.
a.Google Trends- It is one of the most widely used free tools which shows exhaustive data about the latest trends according to interests and also for a particular keyword.
Check real time data: change the timeline to past day or past hour and gauge at real time data about a specific keyword like in the image below.
Compare the performance of keywords.
Check data for smaller demographics and more specific data.
b.Buzzsumo- It is an amazing tool which tells you about the performance of a content and breaks it down by multiple metrics across domains, keywords or topics.
Exhaustive filters enables you to see more specific results.
Get alerts for specific keywords and links.
c.EpicBeat Epictions- One of the best platform to find latest trends contents and influencers in your niche. Just search for the keyword and check the extremely detailed analysis by content. The representation of data is pretty smooth.
Find popular days to publish the content.
Extremely detailed analysis of user behavior according to the choice of platform. Here it shows data for twitter.
4. Use additional sources to gauge market trends. Each platform has its unique way to filter rising topics.
- Twitter uses hashtag to direct the number of tweets related to a particular trend, you can also tailor the trend according to demographic, time, interest etc.
- Reddit posts are sorted by the popularity of the content. Additionally it has a separate tab for rising content. Check the various tabs below.
- Pinterest is a novel concept which asks you to select topics you are interested in and shows popular content accordingly.
Find custom topics in the search bar. Results can be sorted according to the type of content.
Research your market by medium of surveys and questionnaires to gather more specific information about a brand and consumer needs. The popular beer brand Heineken conducted a researchat their annual conference and collected more than 5800 responses to get valuable insights into their customers satisfaction levels.
Use tools to conduct similar surveys and research:
- Toluna- With a very huge community this online survey conducting platform is straightforward and very user-friendly to conduct a consumer response campaign.
- Cloudvote- In addition to providing a platform to ask questions and collect feedback, it also converts them in an easy to use powerpoint format.
5. Direct your campaign- After checking the latest trends and gathering data, analyze the pro-cons of different topics. Decide a target audience and start to think about the direction in which you want to drive your campaign.
Step 2: Decide
After gauging data of several ideas choose the one which shows the potential of maximum ROI. Easy isn't it?
But it is not, you need to pay attention to various aspects before coming to a decision.
- Understand the audience and the intent of their search. For instance if the user searches for ways to increase Conversions write content that helps them with actual tips instead of the definitions and details of Conversions.
- Focus on the format- Plan beforehand what kind of medium you will be employing in your content. There are several options like Text, Video, Sound, Graphics, Cartoons etc. Use the format which suits your target audience.
- Pick a unique topic. Search for the topic in search engines and check content already available online. Review what works for them and what not. Analyze the quality of their content and make it better in your own way. Your content must be at least 3 times better than your leading competitor
There are several tools which generate interesting titles and headings upon entering keywords:
- Hemingway Sharethrough- It analyses the title and headings of your content, and generates results and suggestions.
- SEO presser- Just enter the keyword and it will generate topics to write about.
- Serve a UNIQUE purpose. Do not try to solve multitudes of objectives by a single piece, you can however do a follow up piece on some related topics in subsequent posts. A single content is like a step which adds up to achieve the overall AIM of your content marketing strategy.
Step 3: Create
Now you have an exhaustive plan at your disposal and should start creating content. Pay attention to the following methodology to make your content more interesting and relevant for your users:
1. Have ample resources. It includes having capable writers, an article bank, an SEO strategy, good quality images, infographics and videos.
2. Keep the text interesting- Text tends to go boring and redundant after a while. Keep it short and to the point without straying away from that UNIQUE PURPOSE.
Write in form of points instead of long paragraphs.
DO NOT indulge in singing praises and legacy of your brand. Just get to the point quickly.
Catchy subheadings- They complement your content and make it more readable. Keep your subheadings and title attractive by:
- Asking direct questions
- Adding an element of surprise
- Referring to the audience by you
Be creative and come up with innovative ideas like this old spice commercial that was able to drive engagement due to it's unique approach to branding.
3. Use proper typeface and colors- The color and font of your website must go along with your brand Identity. Along with the relevancy it must be pleasant and soothing. Use webfonts to come up with interesting fonts like below.
4. Add graphics- One of the most engageable form of displaying content is the use of visual imagery. A visually pleasing web page can enhance the user experience (UX) exceptionally:
- Use predesigned templates
- Make use of infographics to explain a concept
- If your budget allows use product description video for client education and brand promotion.
5. Give a simple and straightforward Call to Action (CTA). ALWAYS tell your audience what to do next after reading your content. Some tips to create an attractive call to action:
Give your audience only the CTA to look at and nothing else. Make it stand out from the rest of the content.
Tell your readers why they should undertake an action. Tell them why its good.
Munchery makes effective usage of Facebook for marketing their content, they often start off with a question and give a CTA at the end to answer that question.
6. Optimize your web page- Your platform needs to be optimized for best UX:
- Host from a good server for faster loading speeds
- Do not stuff your page with unnecessary and irrelevant images.
- Compress and optimize your high quality images.
Use images in the proper format (vector or raster) for smoother loading.
Reducing size of your image can significantly boost your loading time. Amazon found out that a mere 1 second delay costs them $1.6 billion a year. Check out the page abandonment rate with respect to the page load time below
Step 5: Marketing
After you have successfully created content, the next and a major step is to make it more discoverable for your audience:
1. Create a sitemap and submit it to Google search console (previously webmasters tool). A sitemap helps the search engine to read your content and display in the search results. Without using it, your website will not even appear in the organic results!
2. After submitting the site map, SEO your page to rank higher in the natural search results. Use these tips:
Use tools to find influencer and business leads to automate your outreach. Influencers are the contributors in a specific field who already have a strong following:
Ninja outreach- It is a highly recommended tool to find influencers related to a specific keyword. You can even find social media influencer in specific niche.
Klout- One of the most well known influencer discovery and engagement platforms. It is a paid service that analyzes individual social network content to curate a klout score.
Post content regularly. A blog or a website which does not post weekly falls down disastrously in the Google ranks.
Link your content to and from various relevant pages over the internet. Check in the graph below how important links are. Top two Google ranking factors are links!
Create videos for boosting your marketing strategy. It works wonders for SEO.
79% of content by 2018 will be video.
Videos garner 4 time more CTR.
Video shows 65% more retention rate.
Having a video in your content increases your chances to be in the first page of Google ranks by 53 times!
3. Use PPC if your budget allows. Undertake PPC on different search engine platforms like Bing, AOL etc.
4. Use Social Media extensively. It is cost effective and caters to a VERY large organic audience.
- Make a social media page of your brand.
- Engage with communities related to your niche.
- Post regular updates.
- Build a huge follower list.
Step 6: Evaluate
You have successfully created and implemented a marketing strategy. But no, its not time to rejoice, not just yet.
You need to evaluate and measure the success of your content. What you measure is more important than how you measure it:
1. Use dedicated behavior analytics software. Google Analytics serves the purpose well.
Review your user base. Their age, demographics, gender etc.
Analyze the basic user behavior like which page they stay on, how long they stay, which page makes them disengage.
Gauge the performance of your keywords and evaluate which keywords are performing well and which are not generating any tangible audience.
Check if the users are actually finding your content to be useful.
Do a cohort analysis to review users re-engagement.
Sign in to google analytics-> navigate to your view-> select reporting tab-> audience-> cohort analysis
Other tools for analysis of the user behavior on your website:
SPSS Modeler- predictive intelligence to decisions made by individuals, groups, system and enterprises.
SPSS statistics- Ranges from planning to data collection to analysis, reporting and deployment.
Easy and intuitive to use- Includes process zoom, simple connection deletions and progress display.
Data visualization- support for OData web services, flexible analysis through visual tools
Data transformation, model analysis, data sampling, binning, discretization etc.
Regression, clustering (O-cluster), support vector machine.
The key signs of success of content is realized when we examine the change in user behavior as a result of the content.
After evaluating the audiences response on your content make use of the gathered data to drive your next marketing campaign.
Start over with the above procedure to go about for the next cycle.
Hand-Picked Related Articles:
- Famous Content Marketers Tell How They Generate Ideas
- What Is Visual Content Marketing
- Content Marketing Best Practices
* Adapted lead image: Public Domain, pixabay.com via getstencil.com