In 2019, content is king. Content drives traffic, it’s that simple. Content marketing is attracting and retaining customers by consistently creating and curating relevant and valuable content. Content marketing can be broken down into 4 steps
While all 4 steps are important, step 4 is essential. Happy customers will not only buy more but become promoters of your business. Word of mouth marketing is the most powerful marketing there is. More than 84% of millennials don’t trust ads, and word of mouth marketing is a way to engender trust between you and potential customers. This cycle of satisfied customers leads to more and more organic leads and conversions.
One of the most important questions you have to ask yourself is what are your marketing goals? Is it increased site traffic, decreased shopping cart abandonment, higher conversion rates, or heightened brand awareness?
After deciding which areas, you want your marketing campaign to focus on, there must be metrics from which you can determine success. Number of clicks, sessions, and visits determine site traffic improvement. Session duration, bounce rate, and conversion determine conversion improvement. Number of social media followers, brand mentions, increase in search volume, and increase in google trends determines brand awareness improvement. Decisions without data are uninformed and unlikely to succeed. Most importantly, they are not replicable.
All content marketing should be laser focused on your target customer. How do you know who your target customer is? Buyer personas, fictional generalized representations of your ideal customers, make it easier for you to tailor content to the specific needs, behaviors, and concerns of different types of buyers. These are based on market research as well as insights you gather from your actual customer base in the form of surveys, interviews, and customer information that can be extracted from Google Analytics.
Elements of a buyer persona analysis include 6 main areas.
1) Demographics, Psychographics, Firmographics
2) Buying Characteristics
3) Unmet Needs
4) Job Responsibilities
5) Thinking, Feeling, Doing
6) Content & Channels
After you’ve developed 1-5 buyer personas, you are now able to tailor your content, such as blog posts, towards your target customer.
The first thing that pops into people's minds when they think of content? Blogging. Low barriers to entry combined with the ease of new platforms in setting up a blog make this a no-brainer first step in your content marketing plan. All you need is a computer and an opinion.
Step 1: Write a blog post
Step 2: Pay for syndication using Outbrain, Taboola, or Content.ad (Syndication is a term for re-posting your content on websites that accept guest contributions)
Step 3: Determine which article has the greatest viral potential and keep paying for syndication on this article
Step 4: Once you’ve found the best article, reach out to though leaders or influencers to share it as well.
Step 5: REFINE AND REPEAT: After determining which type’s of articles work the best, write more of them!
Be sure to write attention grabbing headlines for your content. After you’ve earned a few visitors, you have to keep them coming back. Retarget your existing traffic through sites like AdRoll, which allow you to pay-per-click to display your banner to existing visitors on sites.
Content Syndication is effective because you're able to get your content seen by new people while getting more traffic to your blog/website. Aside from paying for syndication, as mentioned above, there are 4 main platforms to get even more exposure for your blog post.
1) Reddit: 330 million users, an extremely active user-base, and over 1 million subreddits makes Reddit the king of getting information on basically any interest or topic. Share your opinion on Reddit but without mooching, if all you do is advertise your blog posts and don't provide value to the community Reddit users are very aggressive in their online verbal justice. Don't tarnish your brand!
2) StumbleUpon: A site for content discovery, StumbleUpon serves content that is connected to your areas of interest. Submit your own links to the site for other users to "stumble upon". Receive thumbs up from other users and your content will get shared more and more on the platform.
3) Social Media Groups: Facebook & LinkedIn primarily, publish your content on each of these platforms in order to reach your immediate professional network. For startups, you want to post both on your personal page and on your company page to start attracting some of your relationships to follow your new company.
4) Quora: The most popular Q&A site, create an account and answer questions in your area of speciality. Link your answer to a blog post you've written that can further help.
2 main questions should drive your inbound marketing:
1) What channels should I pursue?
2) What tactics will move the needle?
We touched on blogging last week, but what are some other examples of content? Infographics, viral memes, slide-shares, whitepapers, how to guides, viral videos, giveaways, webinars, free tools, industry reports, news/press releases, etc. When pursuing any of these, remember that you are an expert your business field. Don’t be timid or afraid in putting this knowledge to good use and asserting your opinion. And be sure of your content, a common misconception is the lifespan of your content ends when you hit the publish button. In reality, the lifespan of content BEGINS when you hit PUBLISH.
In all of these channels, the Golden Rule of Content Marketing applies: In order to get value you must give value! You can't expect your infographic to generate your company 100 leads if it's not well-designed or educational.
Lasting relationships with relevant bloggers & journalists mean you may never have to spend a dime on marketing. If you have more time than money, you can do everything a PR company will do for you. Here are the 6 main tactics to greatly enhance your PR for free!
In addition to traditional outreach asking publishers to be featured, a great way to increase PR is to land a guest post or guest blog through sites that are looking for guest authorship. Search for these opportunities through the following search tactics...
Most businesses don't have documented social media strategies, but of the 60% that do most are unsure about their effectiveness. Today's social landscape is a pay-to-play world dominated by the world's largest businesses. Luckily, you're covered.
You can't compete with these multi-million dollar budgets, so what do you do? Organic content, such as a blog, and free distribution channels are your friend.
If your website resonates well with users, it’s very easy to leverage submission sites for traffic. Below are our 5 favorite tactics
A well thought out competitive analysis plan can put you ahead of your competitor and setup your business for future growth.
First, identify your competitors. You should already have a good idea of who these are, but do a little research to flesh out a complete list preferably in a spreadsheet. Once you've got your list, here are some basic questions you want to get answered
These next 5 tools can help you identify the answers to these questions in addition to analyzing your competitor's current website and marketing materials.
Now that you have all this great information, here are a few things you can do to beat your competitors' marketing strategies
Why reinvent the wheel if there's already a path of proven success?
Does your company look at content through customers’ eyes? Here’s one way to tell: Look at your marketing content. For starters, riffle through some titles. Do the words typically convey customers’ concerns? Or do they mostly call attention to the things you sell?
Product should not and can not hog your company's content, as you're missing a huge opportunity to educate your customer and to build a lasting relationship of trust. Don't make it about what you sell. Identify the information that your customer is seeking, and provide that to them, with not hidden or ulterior motives.
In 2019, content is king. Content drives traffic, it’s that simple. Use some or all of the above to begin to build out your content marketing plan and drive organic traffic to you and your site.
As always, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out!