“Content is king”, “Content is at the heart of your marketing strategy”, “Content is good for SEO” — you’ve likely heard these statements before. So you do your research, decide to make a blog, and publish it.
And then you learn that 183,000 new blog posts go online every hour. When that sinks in, you wonder, is content marketing worth the investment?
Here a simple answer: It still is.
Content marketing is more than writing a blog and hitting that publish button.
Content marketing is the creation, publication, and distribution of materials across online channels. Your content can be anything from infographics and blogs to videos and social media posts. Think emails, tweets, landing pages — anything to promote brand awareness.
It doesn’t stop there. You can use content to engage customers in every stage of their buyer’s journey.
Remember, it all comes down to providing content that’s relevant, valuable and reliable to your readers.
Does my small business really need content marketing?
Yes, yes, and yes.
Content marketing is a long-term strategy that benefits businesses of all sizes.
Smaller, growing brands can leverage content marketing to establish a strong brand identity. It gives you an edge over competitors and shows your expertise on a chosen topic. Content also helps in generating new leads — increasing sales and conversions in the process.
The best part? Content marketing doesn’t need a huge budget.
Keep reading to learn helpful tips for a winning content marketing strategy.
A well-defined target audience is crucial if you want your content marketing plan to succeed.
Even the biggest businesses can't afford to target everyone. Decide on a specific group to create highly-targeted content.
To identify your target audience, consider who your customers are and why they want to buy from you.
For example, you're a business selling skincare products.
Your target audience could be women aged between 18 and 65. If you find that your anti-aging products are bestsellers, narrow down your audience further to women aged between 35 and 65.
Take things to the next level by creating a persona out of each type of customer.
List their demographics — age, gender, profession, behaviour, pain points, aspirations, and the like. This will help you come up with content that resonates with them.
Here’s a sample persona for your skincare business. Add as many details as you want, as long as you paint a clear picture of what your customer is like.
Age: 21 years old
Profession: College student
Location: Perth, Australia
A mind map helps you layout an extensive content plan. It’s especially useful when you run out of ideas.
Come up with umbrella topics you want to tackle, particularly ones related to your business or brand.
For your skincare business, discuss all things under this umbrella. Next, break the umbrella topic down into topic clusters.
Topic clusters are then broken down into:
Map your ideas with appropriate content formats by considering your marketing goals and the buyer’s journey.
social media posts
content (video tutorials, tip-sheets, infographics)
Evergreen content stays relevant to audiences all year round.
It’s good to write about trending topics once in a while. From the name itself, it drives a lot of traffic — but only temporarily.
In contrast, evergreen posts continue to accumulate traffic. Think of it as being the same as generating passive income — its always working for you in the background.
To find evergreen topics, think about what your customers always want to know more about.
Let’s go back to your skincare business.
Your customers, for instance, may be wondering how to form a skincare routine that works for them. Or they could be figuring out what ingredients to look out for when buying skincare products.
Here are some evergreen content ideas:
Finding content ideas, creating and then publishing them on a regular basis is a challenge.
To make things easier, create a content calendar. Marketers use calendars to get a birds-eye view of their overall content plan. It also helps you maintain a consistent flow of content throughout your website.
Set aside a part of your week for producing content. Then, schedule the day and time for each of them to be published. Make sure to have a regular schedule and follow it as faithfully as you can.
In choosing your posting schedule, consider the times when you can earn the greatest amount of audience. A Kissmetrics study reveals that the average blog post receives the most traffic on a Monday and at around 11 am.
But, don’t hesitate to adjust your posting schedule when you need to. Conduct A/B testing to determine when your posts get a lot of traffic.
You can also use online tools that help you maintain a content calendar. For blog posts, avail of content management systems like Wordpress. For social media posts, use apps like Hootsuite and Buffer.
If you’re new to keyword research, you may be surprised to learn that the most common, generic keywords don’t always generate the best results.
Unless you’re a major brand, aiming for killer keywords doesn’t pay dividends. Instead, focus on long-tail and localised keywords. Both types have less competition, which means you’ll have an easier time ranking for them.
For example, for your skincare business, using the word "skincare" is far more challenging than phrases such as "skincare products in Canberra."
At the same time, don’t aim for long-tail keywords that are downright ridiculous. If the keywords you’re focusing on are not even what users type in search engines, they’re not worth your efforts.
Social media is where most people are at. It’s one of the best avenues for your content to reach your desired audience.
Follow these tips in using social media for content marketing:
Choose the right social media channels
Managing content for several channels can take a lot of time and effort. Use only the channels that fit your content marketing strategy.
Determine your content formats
Social media platforms house different content formats. Go over the content you’ve created, then match them to the right social media channel.
Here are some platforms with the content formats that suit them best:
Create a posting schedule
Schedules are important when posting content on social media. Like in your content calendar, determine the most favourable time for your content to get as much reach as possible.
Sprout Social reveals that it's best to post on Wednesdays at 11 am and 1 pm on Facebook. Meanwhile, the best posting time on Instagram is on Wednesdays at 11 am and Fridays from 10 to 11 am. On Twitter, it’s best to post on Wednesdays and Fridays at 9 am.
The volume of content distributed online means that the same messages are often parroted. As such, it’s worth trying to stand out from the crowd.
Don’t be afraid to do something different or edgy. This increases your chances of people sharing your content, resulting in more traffic.
Behind-the-scenes videos are a good example. It generates palpable excitement for a new product or service and shows a human side to your brand.
For your skincare business, give your readers a sneak peek into the creation of your newest product. Allow them to get a feel of what inspired you, the ingredients you used, and the benefits of trying it.
While focusing your content on behind-the-scenes, remember that your potential customers may have questions. Get ready to reply to comments on your site or social media channels. Customers love quick responses.
Think of an issue that’s important to you. Then, focus on the website or personality you’d turn to for guidance on that issue.
Chances are, you’re thinking of industry experts.
People are more likely to buy your products and services when you’re an established expert. Of course, becoming an expert isn’t a process that’ll happen overnight. But consistently producing content that’s fact-filled, useful, and informative will get you there.
Aside from producing content that’s useful, invite your audience to engage with you. Encourage them to ask questions on social media, answer questions on Quora, and hold live Q and A sessions using social media platforms.
When you constantly show that you know what you’re talking about, you generate a sense of trust your competitors won’t be able to rival. As a result, you’ll attract more customers and clients.
Whether you’re an established expert or not, getting a hand from an influencer makes your sales rocket. In the last year, 86% of marketers have turned to influencers to boost their marketing efforts.
Why should you tap into an influencer’s audience?
Influencers promote an aspirational lifestyle their fans crave. When those fans see your product or services on their feed, they’ll want to try them too.
The type of influencer you work with will be dictated by your budget. As a cost-friendly starting point, collaborate with micro-influencers.
Micro-influencers may have a smaller following compared to the big influencers of today. But, this turns out to be their strength, as it's easier for them to engage with their fanbase, making their fans more dedicated.
That, and they don't cost a lot.
Finally, don’t forget to analyse the performance of your content. Measure the results of each of your published content so you’ll know what strengths to leverage and what improvements to apply.
Most social media platforms — like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter — have integrated analytics tools. Use these to track how your posts in each platform are performing.
For your website, consider using Google Analytics to know how much traffic you’re earning and where they’re coming from.
Loads of content may be added to the internet every single day. But, with a good content marketing strategy, your content may just be the one to rule them all. Content is king, but let your content be the king.
Find out more ways to bring traffic to your website now through our Online Marketing packages.
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