Content marketing is a strategic approach used by businesses to gain customers and sell products through digital channels. These channels include social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter, search engine optimization via a company’s website, and email marketing. Content can be anything from white papers and articles to blog posts and tweets. Content marketing is a necessary component of any overall promotional strategy designed to drive business. However, successful content marketing doesn’t happen in a vacuum. You need a plan to make the most of this powerful tool.
The first question you should answer for any content marketing initiative is simple. What business goals do you want to accomplish? Are you hoping to earn more followers on Twitter? Sell more widgets? Position yourself as an expert in your field? Or do you simply want to strengthen your brand? Your answer will determine the type of content you create and how you distribute it. For the best results, be specific and choose goals that are clear and measurable.
For example, if you want to sell a thousand units of your product through a content marketing campaign, be precise about that goal in your planning. If you want to strengthen your brand, determine the metrics that would provide evidence such as website user sessions, number of followers on social media, number of re-tweets and shares, anecdotal inquiries from third parties, etc.
With any marketing campaign, defining your target audience is as important as defining your goals. Knowing your audience, along with identifying your goals and objectives, will drive the type of content you create and the channels you choose for distribution.
Create Your Content
The days of stuffing web pages with keywords and hoping to draw traffic to your company’s website through search engines are over. With increasingly complex algorithms, Google and other search engines have essentially nullified the effect of meaningless content when it comes to search results. Quality content that engages and educates your audience is far more likely to have real results than throwing something online as an afterthought.
So what kind of content should you create? It all depends on your business, your audience, and your overall strategy.
Some firms want to establish themselves as experts in a given field. For example, an accountant may want to be seen as trustworthy, knowledgeable and reliable. What better way to promote that accounting business than by writing and promoting a useful blog post on changing tax laws? In addition to sharing knowledge, this type of effort positions the business or its owner as an expert in the field. No one wants to hire an accountant who isn’t up to speed on current tax law!
If your company sells products, you’ll likely have a different strategy. For a niche product, a video posted to YouTube on various uses for it could help encourage and increase sales. A style blog might be a great choice for a clothing company or a designer. You could get creative and do a piece on ‘life hacks’ highlighting the usefulness of your product or develop a cross-linking strategy with a company whose products are complementary to yours. The content creation strategy will be different for every business, but knowing best Phoenix SEO company intended result before you begin will go a long way in helping ensure the success of your campaign.
Distribute Your Content
A big part of successful content marketing is in its distribution. There is so much content available online that it can be hard to find things we believe are relevant to us. You need to define not only who you want to reach, but also the best channels for doing so. This is where a targeted content distribution strategy will set your business apart from the competition.
Using the example above, an accountant or professional Phoenix SEO services like Internet Marketing Team would likely get more traction publishing the tax blog to a platform like LinkedIn because of its business-centric focus. A company selling products might consider Twitter and Facebook, especially when leveraging compelling media such as video and graphics. Don’t think of social media in terms of specific websites as these will come and go. Think, instead, about the demographics that tend to use certain sites and the direction you want to take to reach those demographics.
Measure Your Results
Perhaps the most important step in successful content marketing is to follow up SEO service Phoenix and any initiative with meaningful measures of its success. There are a few different ways to do this. If you want more followers for your Twitter account, you can see that metric right on the page. You can track visits to certain written pieces or pages of your website, and you can use analytics to determine how your business ranks for particular keywords. Increases in sales and user engagement are also easy numbers to track.
The idea is to measure the effectiveness of any content marketing initiative to learn what works and what doesn’t. The best return on your investment will involve the right mix of appropriate content and targeted distribution.