Are you using content marketing? If you are not, we can guarantee that you are already missing out on potential customers. Every brand should be thinking about content marketing. That’s a tricky sentence to say because it means that you need to create, publish and promote content. However, content marketing is a cost-effective way to get your message out, and it’s important for any type of business. But it’s not just about making a pretty blog post and sitting back to watch the traffic roll in.
Content marketing is more intentional than that. You need a plan for what you want to say, how you’re going to say it, and where you’re going to say it. You need to evolve your strategy as circumstances change and competitors rise or fall. And most importantly, you have to keep producing new content so that you can shake up that content-saturated culture and reach people with something valuable. With a strategic approach to blogging, you can help guide your potential clients toward conversion at each stage of the buyer’s journey.
To get you started on the right foot, here are a few content marketing pointers that can help you.
Avoid creating mediocre content.
There’s a lot of boring, mediocre content out there. Content that doesn’t challenge us or teach us anything new. Content that says little or nothing at all. In a study conducted by Outbrain, a web advertising platform that displays boxes of links to pages within websites, the company found that one in three readers abandon online content because it is not relevant. Even worse, 25 percent of readers will click away from a website after just three pages, and 12 percent will leave after only six seconds if they deem your content unworthy of their time.
But the sad truth is, most of us content marketers are guilty of creating this type of content. We’re so focused on meeting deadlines, hitting goals, and producing enough content to meet a demand that we forget about the role of quality. We don’t want to be boring or create generic how-to articles, but sometimes we do. It is crucial to come up with ways to engage your audience and tell them about new content and products because they might not know where to find you later.
Outsource your content for additional help.
Most brands are so busy with actually selling the product that the last thing on their mind is to write more content. Writing content can be tedious, especially for creative writers who want to focus on the art of content creation. However, if your business relies on content creation to acquire customers, then your focus should be building an audience rather than focusing on creating high-quality content—and with that in mind, outsourcing becomes a viable option.
When most businesses (especially startups) start out, it’s tough to get them to focus on content creation. After all, you have a company to run. The product needs to sell. New features and marketing strategies need to be created. Outsource the writing and creation of your content (or at least a portion of it) to a service provider who can gather the information you would like to share with your audience. This is an excellent technique that will help you create and produce content in a much more efficient way.
Maintain an active blog.
Have you ever let your blog sit idle? It happens to many bloggers; sometimes it’s hard thinking of content ideas to post, other times you have everything ready to go but there is just not enough time in the day to write and complete all the tasks on your to-do list. When stuff like this happens, that is when we let our blogs sit idle. Even more, it is hard to believe that 71 percent of small business owners don’t actively blog. They see blogging as an extra thing they need to do.
Blogging is now more than just a typical activity for your website. It has become a necessity for any business that wants any chance at success, especially if you offer products or services online. If you’re just starting out, or thinking of starting a blog yourself, don’t worry! There are tons of great resources available like HubSpot to help you get started. You can start with the basics and then work your way into learning the most advanced strategies that can help you drive insane amounts of traffic and increase sales.
Do not play it safe.
There is a lot to cover when getting started with content marketing. It is tempting to try to play it safe and stick to the basics: blogs, infographics, and videos. Content marketing has grown exponentially in the last few years, which means the competition for making your content stand out among all the other noise out there is tougher than ever. Playing it safe is one of the biggest mistakes you can make as a content marketer. If you play it safe, then you’ll be averaging out your growth, rather than dominating in a specific area.
If you are not going to play it safe with your content, then you need some advanced strategies to ensure your copy stands out from the crowd. Many brands and businesses are not getting the return on investment they expected because they treat content marketing as simply blogging. And while content marketing should be considered a voice of your brand, content creation must be supplemented to deliver an immersive experience for your audience. Creating great content depends on how deep you choose to go with it.
With our four pointers in mind, pause for a moment and judge your marketing strategy. Are you finding it challenging to get blog posts shared, commented on, and linked to? If so, these helpful tips can lead in you in the right direction. Just remember: the power of content marketing has a major impact on the way consumers interact with brands. When you consider the fact that a majority of people are engaging with brands online (and not in person) it makes even more sense to understand the role content marketing can play in building your brand’s influence.