10 Tips for Effective Content Marketing

Content marketing is the new online marketing buzzword, but what exactly does it mean? Content marketing involves providing valuable information to your customers, who in turn learn to trust and like you more over time. Here are 10 tips to help you take your content marketing strategy from good to great.

1) Understand why you are doing it:

Let’s get real: You are in business to make money. You might want to change lives, or you might want to revolutionize your industry; but if you aren’t making money, then all of that change is just words. The one way to make sure that happens is by doing content marketing properly. There are many different strategies and tactics you can use—but they will all come down to a few simple rules: Make it easy, relevant, and personalized. If you follow these rules, success will be inevitable because content marketing works! It’s not magic—it’s understanding human nature and how people choose which products or services they purchase. You can’t beat a good strategy and some hard work when it comes down to making money!

2) Ask your audience what they want:

When it comes to effective content marketing, you should always be asking yourself and your audience what’s in it for me?. If your audience isn’t interested or can’t relate to what you are offering, they will not respond. So when planning out your content marketing strategy, make sure that you start with Why?. What value is there in what I am doing? You have to be able to answer that question as effectively as possible before moving on. Next, create a list of questions or topics your customers might ask and what their motivation would be in asking those questions or problems they might have. For example: Have a contest where people get answers to these questions via social media rewards.

3) Focus On Quality Over Quantity:

There’s a lot of noise out there. Don’t try to compete with it. Instead, be selective and create content that is valuable to your customers or readers. Quality over quantity will distinguish you from everyone else who is trying to make a name for themselves in your industry.

4) Know Your Brand Message:

When you’re trying to write content that is focused and well-targeted, it helps to start with a brand message. The brand message is essentially your company’s brand promise or mission statement explained simply. If you already have a brand message set, then congratulations! You can skip over some of these first steps in your content marketing planning. But if you don’t have a defined brand message yet, be sure to come up with one before getting started on writing your content.

5) Use a Variety of Content Formats:

Don’t just think blogs and videos. Think infographics, photos, interviews—content in any format can help you build your brand. And although each piece might not be individually life-changing, together they can drive a ton of traffic to your site and bring you, new customers. Keep an eye on what types of content are performing best with your audience and use that information to determine how to continue creating content. For example, if people love photos on Facebook but aren’t as interested in YouTube videos, maybe it makes sense to focus on photo-based content like tutorials or DIY guides moving forward.

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6) Stay Consistent On Social Media Channels:

Social media is an incredible way to get your name and brand out there, but it’s also a lot of work. Social media activity can be sporadic, especially if you aren’t posting regularly. If you want to stay ahead of your competition on social media, you need to develop a plan to be consistently present on each platform. Make sure that every piece of content you post on social is useful and appealing to potential customers; if not, don’t bother posting it in the first place.

7) Develop Strategies to Expand Reach:

As a business owner, you may already have some ideas about how to go about content marketing. Maybe you’re passionate about writing and want to incorporate that into your strategy. Or maybe you’ve heard that content is king and want to create as much as possible. It’s important to remember that not all content is equal, however. While every new piece of content that you publish won’t necessarily reach more people, content created with certain strategies in mind will get more eyeballs on it and increase your potential audience. Look for ways to do what other successful businesses are doing with their content and learn from them

8) Consider Your Budget!

As you kick off your content marketing strategy, it’s important to keep a few things in mind. The type of content you create should depend on your target audience and on how much budget you have available. If your company can afford to spend more money on advertising, video production is probably better than written content. If you want to create useful information for prospects and customers, thought leadership pieces are more effective than articles with a direct call-to-action (CTA). It’s also vital that you don’t try to be everything to everyone.

9) Measure results. Set Goals. Improve.

When you are developing a content marketing strategy, it’s tempting to try and become an overnight social media sensation. We’ve all been there—you wake up one morning and see that someone has tweeted about your new video. You excitedly run to check how many views it has gotten so far…and there aren’t any. In fact, your entire Twitter account has two followers: a friend and someone who appears to have just subscribed because they’re trying to grow their own following. Don’t be disheartened by these types of naysayers; keep moving forward with your plan!

10) Ignore The Naysayers (the Nano influencers!):

It’s true that everyone wants to be a rock star. But, it’s important to remember that you don’t have to follow trends. Some marketing experts will tell you (and most of us already know) that content marketing has been around since day one of…well, content marketing. Don’t be swayed by every fad and new trend in social media and content marketing because you need an effective strategy that works for your business objectives and can be built on over time—not one-hit wonders that burn out in six months or a year (at best).

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