Content marketing remains all the buzz in digital industries, and for a good reason; it costs up to 62% less than traditional marketing and generates nearly 3x as many leads, according to a recent Buzzsumo study. Content marketing can refer to a number of internet content focusing on increasing a reputation and visibility. This can include:
● Blog posts
● Short video clips
An effective content marketing campaign increases rankings and organic search traffic, but it does not come without time, effort, and planning. A lot goes into creating an effective content marketing campaign, and while it may seem overwhelming at first, following a few basic steps for planning a strategy will make things more simple:
1. Take the time to decide on your audience.
Spending time to understand your audience isn’t a nice to-do; it’s a necessity. It’s core to everything. We suggest starting with your email subscribers--people you already know are interested in your brand. These people are a small percentage of the larger audience you want to attract organically. Then profile them to learn more about who they are specifically--what kind of topics they want to hear. If you are looking to refocus your target audience, consider the following:
● Job title
● What they like to read, where they interact with their friends, what are their fears and their dreams? What really makes them tick (or click, in this case)?
2. Understand what your audience really needs.
Now that you know who your target audience is, you want to decide how to create content that will interest them and hook their engagement. You’ll need to develop a way to study:
What they need – Content that they’d enjoy reading and, preferably, where it isn’t available at the moment. You can do this in a number of ways. You can create a case study to analyze the social media of your profile audience. What hashtags are they using?
What they like – Content that they’ve engaged with in the past. What content are they sharing? You can also look at popular online magazines and blogs in their industries and examine share numbers.
3. Create content that fits their likes and needs.
Once you have determined the needs and likes of your audience, study the content on the internet that is ALREADY viral. This is helpful for the purpose of creating something better.
The best way to do this is by using tools like Buzzsumo. Buzzsumo allows you to use key search terms to find the most relevant and popular content. Then, creating something better generally involves one or more of the following –
● Obtaining statistics that are more current
● Having a better title
● Making the content more ‘fun’ to read
● Adding more images
● Adding a video
● Making the content more detailed
Remember, content marketing targeted at building your reputation and visibility is NOT about promoting your products or services. It’s about adding value to the people who consume your content. With this in mind, it is easy to create content that will circulate organically.
4. Create a plan to promote your content.
Now that the hard part is over, you’ll want to develop a plan for publishing the content on platforms where your audience already shares. For designers and artisan industries, Pinterest might be a good fit. If you are trying to target corporate professionals, LinkedIn would be better. The key is to put your content where it will be in the eyes of your audience, and that it remains share-able. You can also try promoting your content with GoogleAds, Facebook and Instagram Advertising Campaigns, doing SEO work, or other PPC advertising. Test different styles of sharing your content and growing your audience, and you'll be on the fast track to content marketing success.