Much like the chocolate chips in your cookie or the dressing on your salad, content is the stuff. Good content helps consumers to distinguish your brand from your competitors. Content marketing is one of the most prominent digital strategies that businesses can employ to generate leads and build brand awareness. Social media, blogs, videos and visuals are the elements that help a business to stand out.
Content marketing is also one of the most cost effective ways to generate leads without breaking the budget, which is why Content Marketing Institute reported 88% of B2B and 76% of B2C marketers integrate content marketing into their business strategy. According to the same report, one of the main challenges that companies admitted to in 2016 was producing more engaging content. To keep your consumers coming back for more, this guide will help your business to outline a content marketing plan that will result in more engagement.
Always, always, always, strategize
What is a content marketing strategy with no strategy? Last year, again reported by the Content Marketing Institute, only 36% of B2B marketers discussed their content marketing plan on a weekly basis and a mere 32% of organizations documented it. In order to leverage all the benefits of a content strategy, your team needs to dedicate time and effort to its success.
Sit down and plan your course of action and keep the conversation going. Do you want to develop a website content strategy that includes blogging and social media? According to Social Media Examiner, marketers who prioritize blogging are 13x more likely to achieve a positive ROI. Blogging helps the SEO of your page because sites with a blog tend to have 434% more indexed pages.
Determine how you want your blog impact your business. Maybe your brand would benefit more from focusing on videos and visual content? According to the same report, cited above, Content Marketing Institute reported 71% of marketers use visual assets in their content strategy because it attracts consumers and actually increases their willingness to read a piece of text by 80%. Videos are also trending across all channels. Syndacast even predicts that 74% of all internet traffic will come from videos by 2017.
Decide where you want to focus your efforts and then write it down. Make a content marketing template to use for future use as well.
Do your research
Conduct extensive research on what’s trending in your industry. Uncover what your target audience gets excited about and what they respond to. Find out what colors, layouts, and mediums encourage your consumers to engage. How do they interact during different times of the day? What platforms are they using the most? Why do they favor some posts over others? Spend some time researching and learning more about your audience
Set timeline for your goals. Where do you want to be in 6 months time or in a year? Be realistic and determine how you’ll measure your success. More followers? More likes? More shares? More comments? Or more leads? Create realistic objectives, so your business can reach within the given timeframe and stick to it!
You need to have your niche market defined, your research in order, your metrics aligned, and a timeline. The next step is to brainstorm.
Think about how each piece of the puzzle you assembled so far is going to sit together to create the big picture. Does your strategy affect other areas of your business like your copywriting services? Do you need to change your tone of voice? Keep your brand objectives in mind and think how you may need to improve the impact of your content.
What does your research show you about how to put together a video or an article for you audience? What are they attracted to? Find ways to integrate what you’ve learned into your overall content marketing plan. Include a color scheme with vibrant colors or stick a minimalistic style to appeal to specific audience. Include exciting titles that will draw in your target audience. When you’re brainstorming remember to reinforce your content with statistics.
Neil Patel, who is a Twitter influencer and a columnist for Forbes, Inc., Entrepreneur and the Huffington Post notes“Your posts and content marketing must be data backed.” Make it relevant to current industry news and include timely information about your market. Most importantly, keep your ideas flowing because brainstorming is a continuous and integral part of producing strong content.
Content is creative
Developing a content strategy requires as much creativity as it does logic. Think about different ways to present your content to consumers. For B2B, one of the most effective content marketing tactics is events. How can your business utilize that practice and put a creative spin on it? Will you have gift bags with candy in your company colors? Will you host your event at an unexpected venue? Maybe a surprise guest speaker revered in your industry? Go to different events and generate new ideas about how these occasions should be held. Draw inspiration from everywhere to keep your brand fresh and interesting.
But most importantly, be original!
The best way to draw in an audience and keep them is to develop content that no one else can. If you’re continuously taking images, slogans, or ideas from other places without producing any of your own, people will notice. Your content marketing plan is unique to your business so what you produce must be unique as well. Take your own images, build your own community and conduct your own research. Why be a second rate version of someone else when you can be a first rate version of yourself? The same applies to your content!
- Have a strategy
- Research about different aspects of your industry
- Set a timeline for your objectives and stick to it
- Brainstorm and think of new ideas that your business can leverage
- Be creative and draw inspiration from everywhere
- Be original
Back to you
What do you think? I’d love to know your thoughts. Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.