Content Marketing And Why You Need To Start This Program Now!
If you’re not using content marketing as a fundamental pillar of your marketing and brand awareness strategy, then you are missing a valuable tool to grow your company. Content marketing is proven to be effective in lead generation, shortening the sale cycle and even closing the deal, which is why more than half of all marketers plan to increase their spending on content marketing within the next year.
How Content Marketing Helps Your Brand
The stats show that content marketing is an excellent way to reach your audience and engage with potential customers. Research from the Content Marketing Institute shows that 70% of consumers connect with companies around the content that they create.
Content marketing has SEO benefits too. Google recently confirmed that content and inbound links are the two most important SEO ranking signals. That’s reason enough to create content though you have to make sure it works not just for search engines, but for your audience too. Get it right, and people will share your content, giving you more value, more SEO ranking signals and more chances to interact with the people you most want to reach.
With all these benefits, it’s no wonder that creating engaging content has remained a top concern for marketers. No company should miss the opportunity to enhance the brand’s reputation, build authority and create a relationship of trust with your customers that encourages them to think of you when they are ready to buy.
7 Ways to Gain Content Marketing Benefits
So how can you achieve these benefits? Here are some quick tips on getting more from content marketing.
- Get to know your audience by creating customer personas and using your web analytics, social media analytics and customer data drawn from interactions and surveys to figure out who you are talking to so that you can target content appropriately.
- Research trending and shareable topics on sites like Google Trends and Buzzsumo. Use this information to create valuable, shareable related content that speaks specifically to your audience.
- Write great headlines. Since around 80% of your audience will never read past the headline, one of the most important things you can do for any piece of content is to get the headline right. There are dozens of headline templates and formulas online. You can use Buzzsumo, a search tool that tracks content on all social media outlets and ranks them based on most shares or Coschedule’s Headline Analyzer (one of my favourite tools) to tweak your headline till it’s the best it can be. Don’t be afraid to write multiple headlines until you find the best one.
- Create quality content at the right length. Recent studies by major content publishers reveal that long-form content (between 1800 and 3000 words or even longer) tends to engage audiences more. Keep this in mind when creating your content marketing strategy. However, remember that there’s no cookie-cutter approach; you need to work out what’s right for your audience. For example, a shorter copy made of the high-quality content can be just as powerful as a longer text.
- Repurpose content effectively. If content engages your audience in one format, it can do the same in another. So if you have content that has attracted comments, shares, and links, consider making it available in a different format. A successful Slideshare presentation can make a good video, and vice versa; and a great blog post can quickly become a podcast or video. Convince and Convert highlights that you can get eight pieces of content from each idea; are you up to the challenge?
- Use images. Photos get the most engagement so integrate images into your brand strategy. Canva is an excellent free tool for creating shareable images quickly. If you use Canva for Work, the premium version, you can create a brand palate, making it easy to create branded social images in a few minutes.
- Curate for authority. Another way to wow your audience is by being a hub for news and updates related to your industry. Think about it: if you want to see the latest in tech, there are a couple of sites you always check first. Curating useful information could help turn your website and social media outposts into a must-see destination for potential customers. If they can find everything they need on your site, they won’t need to look elsewhere. Curation tools to consider include Scooit, Paper.li and RebelMouse.
The seven tips above will lay the groundwork for an excellent content marketing strategy that turns prospects into leads and occasional visitors into fans who actively endorse your brand values and promote your brand online.
And there’s one final benefit. Content marketing continues to work for you way beyond the original publication date of your content. Valuable and evergreen content keeps attracting new audiences year in and year out offering compounding returns on your initial content investment.
- 2016 B2B Report: Benchmarks and Buying Report, Content Marketing Institute
- How to Win Your The Battle For Content Marketing Buy-In, Content Marketing Institute
- Google’s top 3 search ranking factors, Search Engine Land
- Google Trends, Google
- How to write content that Google and your audience loves, Lilach Bullock
- Marketers Still Struggle with Content Creation, Content Marketing
- Social Photos Generate More Engagement, Social Media Examiner
- How to make 8 pieces of content from 1 piece of content, Convince and Convert
- The Compounding Returns of Content Marketing, Tom Tunguz
Sharon Hurley Hall is a professional freelance writer and blogger. Her career has spanned more than 25 years, including stints as a journalist, university lecturer and ghostwriter. Hire Sharon to write articles on content marketing, social media, analytics and more via her website.
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