Content marketing is a marketing strategy focused on the consistent creation, and sharing of original and interesting content as a means to building a community of loyal fans who regularly interact with a brand. Interaction generates more leads, which is the ultimate goal of all content marketing campaigns. According to The Content Council, companies with an active blog generate 67 percent more leads per month. Also, 7 in 10 consumers say they prefer to learn about a company through a collection of articles rather than in an ad.
Content, for content marketing, should never be a sales pitch. Create educational, inspirational or entertaining content pieces that relate to your products, services, industry, or brand personality. Format options include blog posts, e-books, white papers, videos, podcasts, presentations, infographics, guides, photos, and more.
Launch a content marketing campaign with these 10 steps.
1. Know your target audience. Before you can create content that will resonate with your clients or prospects, you must first understand them. Contemplate and research the needs, interests and personality types of your target audience. Understand how their needs and interests relate to what your business offers.
2. Create a list of content topics. Next, write a list of at least 50 content topics that will resonate with your clients and prospects. You can reference client questions, industry trends, competitors’ articles, case studies, and personal experiences as inspiration for topic ideas.
3. Create an editorial calendar. Using the list of content topics, schedule days to create, and eventually share each piece of content. With each topic, note the content format: video, blog post, podcast, e-book, or other. There are many editorial calendar options available; select one that works for you to get started.
4. Create skimmable content. The average Internet user spends less than one minute on any given webpage. Make an impact in that short amount of time by creating written content that is skimmable. Lists, Q&A’s, and how-to articles are all writing formats that are easy for readers to skim quickly.
5. Also, create long form content. Long form content will establish you as a serious expert in your field. According to Medium, the ideal blog post takes approximately 7-minutes to read, or contains approximately 1,600 words.
6. Repurpose content. Don’t recycle content word-for-word (duplicate content is a SEO no-no), however you can use the core ideas of one content piece to fuel another piece of content. For example, summarize a long post in a list format for a shorter blog post. Or, transform a data-heavy blog post into an infographic. The possibilities are endless.
7. Use keywords, but don’t overdo it. In order for people to find your content, and ultimately your website via search engines, the strategic use of keywords is required. While keywords are not as important as they used to be for search engine rankings, they are still extremely valuable. However, avoid using keywords repetitively. When possible, use synonyms or alternate phrases to limit the number of times certain keywords are used. Use your most important keywords in headlines, and within the first few sentences of posts to get the biggest SEO boost.
8. Add visuals. There is no doubt that people prefer content with visuals. 94% more total views on average are attracted by content containing compelling images than content without images. Add images, infographics, and graphs to your written content to attract and retain visitors.
9. Create Rich-Media Content. Rich-media content includes videos, presentations, and other non-text formats. Rich-media content is the perfect addition to traditional blog posts because search engines give bonus SEO points to articles with rich-media embeds. In addition, websites designed specifically to host rich-media content, such as YouTube and SlideShare, are great avenues for gaining new fans and generating additional traffic for your website.
10. Share! The final step to a successful content marketing campaign is sharing. Post your content on social media sites that your audience frequents, such as Pinterest, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook. Also, remember to share your content with your email-marketing list.
Don’t wait to get started with your content marketing campaign. Get started today with these ten steps. Or, contact Astute Communications to discuss our content marketing services.