Content marketing is a crucial activity that drives business growth by spreading brand awareness, facilitating brand engagement and building brand authority. But, what if it doesn’t work for you? What if it becomes an activity that exists but doesn’t deliver? What if you think, it’s dead for all purposes? The question is – do you bury it; or you put in place an action plan that breathes life into it and re-energizes so that it can start delivering expected results in the form of traffic, conversions, leads and revenue.
I believe content marketing is too important for you to give up without a fight. Let’s go through a list of five tips that are just what the doctor ordered for a content marketing campaign that is on its last legs.
1. Reworking your content marketing strategy
I see many people not strategizing their campaign enough. They begin pushing content across distribution channels without answering a few fundamental questions.
Let’s take an example of the ‘internet marketing’ niche to find out what these questions are and why their answers will help you formulate a comprehensive content marketing plan.
- What do I want to be known for? Answer: SEO
- Who is my target audience: Webmasters, SEOs, industry experts
- What kinds of specific solutions are my customers looking for? Answer: Link building post Penguin
- Which is their preferred format for content consumption? Answer: Guest Blogs, Videos, White Papers
- How do they access content? Authority Sites, Discussion Forums, YouTube
- What are the results that I want to achieve? Attract clients, improve brand authority
- How do I monitor my results? Monthly revenue generated, client conversion ratio
The answer to each one of these questions will help you fine tune your marketing campaign and make it purposeful and results driven. Ask yourself as many questions as you’d like. Don’t restrict yourself to the ones given here; the idea is to build and implement a fail-safe content marketing campaign.
2. Create Engaging Content
There is no beating engaging content to make a website a highly regarded name in its niche. Engaging content is well-written, a problem solver, actionable, real-time, interesting and perfectly fits the purpose of your content marketing strategy. Simply put, it is something that your target readers are looking for and which they will like to read.
There are four pillars of engaging content that will see you developing content that is worthy of your web presence – Expert authors, Following the latest happenings in your niche, Content that can be scanned easily and the Ability to use facts, figures and screenshots to substantiate your points.
3. Content Diversity
Interests and preferences will differ across a target audience even if it’s been grouped using the same set of demographic parameters. Your content must meet the requirements of this audience with varied interests. There must be something for everybody, so diversify your content and use different formats to reach out to people. Don’t restrict yourself to blogs; create infographics and videos as well. For the really serious readers, white papers and case studies will also be a good idea.
Remember, you aren’t just doing this to diversify your content; every format has its own potential to showcase your niche expertise. You must tap into this potential to keep building brand authority. For example, a case study is a great platform if you want to talk about your expertise in specific services, by giving a real world example of how you handled a client project. On the other hand, a guest blog will help you talk about a new development in your niche and give your suggestions on how to optimize its use.
4. Pick the Right Distribution Channels
Identify the favorite watering hole of your target content consumers and make sure your content is available there.
Once you get your content format right, choosing the right distribution channel becomes a relatively simple exercise. If you have written an article, putting it up on your website blog or approaching authority sites to publish it will be a good idea. For videos, there is no better distribution channel than YouTube. If an infographic is your format, there are plenty of sites out there that accept infographic submissions.
Whichever distribution channel you choose, there is one that comes up on top and should never be ignored. That’s social media. That’s where all the action is. More and more, people are looking for information through social media and you must make sure your content is on it. Your content marketing strategy must coexist with a social media strategy for best results.
5. Constant Monitoring
Is your campaign working for you? The answer to this question makes sure you are able to save your content marketing campaign from sinking and keep it afloat by tweaking it and making the necessary improvements. To do this, you must identify actionable metrics to continuously evaluate success and failure.
I mentioned this point right at the beginning while discussing the strategizing pointer. It’s actionable metrics that help you judge whether your campaign’s failed or not. The key is to focus on the right metrics. If you are selling a product on your site, the number of sales in a month might be the right metric; on the other hand if you are promoting your services, the number of people filling out the ‘inquiry’ form might be a good metric.
It’s your business goals that will determine the actionable metric, which will then determine the nuts and bolts of your content marketing campaign. Understand that your campaign is cyclical in nature so if you find your campaign’s not coming good on your metrics, you go back to the drawing board to rework your strategy.
Wrapping it up
A content marketing campaign needs work and a lot of it. It also needs passion, discipline and out of the box thinking. Such campaigns are never easy and will only deliver value if you keep at them. Keep working on them all the time to make sure they don’t stagnate so much so that you need to breathe life into them.
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