3 Vital Elements of a Successful Content Marketing Strategy
Many organisations struggle with digital marketing because of a misguided impulse to work on various strategies independently of one another instead of seeing it as one big strategic process.
This often leads to a disjointed, ineffective effort that’s simply all over the place. Companies then begin to question if the return on investment on online marketing is worth it.
Up until now, people still refer to content marketing, social media marketing, and search engine optimisation as three different disciplines, as if each can work efficiently on its own. The most effective strategy would be to make all three a part of a holistic content marketing strategy focused on creating compelling, shareable content that resonates with your target audience.
Let’s discuss how each part works with one another.
Content marketing is the foundation of your digital marketing strategy. And it’s not just any kind of content; it should be useful information crafted specifically in the language of your target audience while addressing their needs and desires.
The content you create must answer their questions, must be reassuring and must encourage them to pursue what they want. But more importantly, it must inspire and challenge them to make that first step to discover new experiences with the products and services that you offer.
Your main goal is to not write for social media or search engines, instead create highly engaging, audience-focused content. Persuade people that they want what you have – marketers have been doing this from as far back as 1895. Content that’s persuasive enough will be shared both online and offline.
Social media marketing
People want and consume content as soon as it’s published. Sharing content has become a powerful aspect of social media, and content curation has transformed editorial voices to entities of authority.
Effective social media marketing, therefore, means that content is distributed to the right channels at the right time.
Social sharing sends out signals to Google as to which content is high quality and thus should have a high ranking in search results. In the context of traditional marketing, social media provides networked, word-of-mouth publicity. Content curators, and those looking for sources to cite, use these as basis for what to link to.
Search engine optimisation
So you’ve created content that your target audience likes and they’ve shared it on their social media networks and linked to it from their blogs and websites, what happens next? Google picks up these signals and is under the impression that you have content users would want to search for.
From driving traffic to websites that were keyword rich but did not actually have relevant content, Google has evolved and has gotten smarter at weeding out content that do not offer any value. But still, Google won’t be able to successfully determine content relevance for ranking purposes without your help.
No matter how much people like and share your content, it’s ultimately up to you to tweak your content so Google can correctly identify which users might want it. This is where search engine optimisation plays an important role, wherein you strategically integrate keywords into your content for higher search rankings.
But how do you make an integrated campaign a success?
We’ve discovered over the years that certain types of content produce better results than others. Here are some tips to remember:
- Content must be in-depth and detailed. Short blog posts tend get fewer backlinks than detailed, thorough content. Content must be at least a thousand words in length or more. Don’t do what Huffington Post and other content aggregators do, which is to produce hundreds of new pieces of content daily. Prioritise quality over quantity.
- Infographics should be easy to understand. Effective infographics turn complex data into a visual piece that your visitors can easily appreciate and share. Otherwise, your infographics will just be a waste of time and effort.
- Have a powerful social media profile. This is a prerequisite to having a successful content marketing strategy. Build up your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Google+ profiles, and make sure you spread the word.
- Entice your audience to sign up on your email list. Have email opt-in forms in your sidebar and experiment with pop-ups to gather even more emails. Once you’ve built a substantial base, you can keep in touch with your subscribers each time you have a new blog post, offer, or content. This kick starts the social sharing process and who knows, your content might go viral.
- Have consistency. Publish content on a regular basis. It will be a challenge to get a good ROI on your content marketing efforts if you fail to do so.
- Create attention-grabbing headlines. Content is only as good as its headline. If you can’t write attractive headlines, you won’t be able to reel them in and read the rest of what you have to say.
Commit time and effort to and you will soon start seeing the benefits of having an integrated content marketing strategy. The best part is, you are now the owner of a valuable media asset, your content-rich website. And the good news is, your asset will become even more powerful for as long as you continue creating valuable content.
Is your business ready to adapt an integrated content marketing strategy?