7 Tips to Maximize Your Content Marketing Strategy
Sitting somewhere at the intersection of advertising and editorial, content marketing is super versatile. It can take the form of a blog, eBook, native unit or video. When done right, audiences might not even realize they're looking at branded contact because of its value and that is how you pull customers in.
Providing useful and relevant content generates excitement and has the ability to create organic brand advocates through sharing and searches. A good content marketing strategy will allow you to:
- Close gaps in your conversion funnel
- Improve your SEO and rank
- Build brand awareness
It's also sharable so that you can integrate your content with email and social media for even more impressive results.
Increasingly content has evolved from a marketing tactic to being essential to campaign strategies. Whether your content includes long-form native to pull audiences in or captivating video that increases engagement, you’ll see how content in all forms will drive more traffic to your website.
Providing value, education, information, entertainment, or all of the above, content marketing allows your business to do a few things. First, content grabs the attention of your target audience, allowing them to naturally gravitate to your brand without feeling like you’re “selling” to them.
Next, you’ll consistently drive more traffic to your website and social media. When the content is good, people dive in and want more. Then comes the best part: More quality leads that will convert into sales. You see, a good content marketing strategy is a powerhouse move for any and all industries. Remember, content is king (or queen) of your marketing plans and the healthy increase of growth for your business.
Let’s get into how to create a content marketing strategy and a few of the best content marketing tips and practices to maximize potential.
Tip #1: Set Your Content Marketing Goals
Content needs a clear goal to execute efficiently. Otherwise, you risk delivering content that is disorganized and unaligned with the objectives you want to achieve. According to Coschedule's research, organized marketers are 397% more likely to report success, and those that set goals are 376% more likely to report success.
More importantly, set SMART — specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely — goals. This will ensure that your objectives are clearly defined and followed, so everyone is on the same page about not only your goals but the measures that should be taken to meet those goals. Your content marketing plan should include which KPIs you will measure in your campaign to achieve those goals, ensuring you're tracking and measuring in real-time for success.
Also, you'll want to ask yourself:
- What do you want to achieve with your content?
- More traffic?
- More clicks?
- More subscribers, etc.
Whatever the answer, stay true to your brand. After all, you may be able to increase traffic to your site with a tactic that isn't aligned with your brand (i.e., appeal to interest and curiosity). Still, you won't attract quality leads that turn into conversions if it's easy for visitors to misinterpret who you are, what you stand for, and what sets you apart from the competition.
Tip #2: Choose Your Content Channels
Know your audience and use that insight to reach and resonate with them on the platforms they are using. Not everyone is on everything, so despite what you may have heard before — you should not be on the most popular content channel if your audience is not also on that channel. This risks ad spending waste and does more harm than good since you'll only reach consumers who will likely disregard your offer.
On the other hand, you can increase brand awareness and reach among the right consumers when you take the time to find out where they spend most of their time (as well as the days and time of days they're most active) and establish a consistent presence on that channel.
Keeping in mind everything you've learned about your target audience, you will also want to utilize their preferred content formats.
Consider which of the following types of content marketing are best for you and your consumers:
- Podcasting or digital audio
Remember that native ads can be very beneficial for your content marketing strategy and expanding your audience. They're sponsored ads that resemble the content on the publication, making it a natural addition to that site's main audience.
Tip #3: Create Content for Your Particular Audience
For this content marketing tip, clearly define your audience before all marketing campaigns so that you can write for your audience. You must speak to them according to age, behaviors, lifestyle, etc. You'll also need to use their words and understand the buyers' journey (as well as where they fall into it). These are so important to remember because these small details set you apart from the competition and establish a bond/relationship with your consumers.
While you need to include content for all buyers regardless of where they are in the buyers' journey, appealing to their specific stages in the buyer journey brings more value to your content and your reader, influencing trust, authority, and even credibility.
Keep these three categories of consumer data in mind and collect as much as possible:
- Demographics: gender, age, marital status, income, employment, education, etc.
- Psychographic: lifestyle, interests, personality, opinions, attitude, values, beliefs, etc.
- Geographic: location
When creating content for your audience, it’s important to remember how each generation prefers to consume content. For example, you might find Gen Z and Millennials scrolling through TikTok, which includes short videos that can pack a marketing punch. Depending on your target audience, understand that the generations consume content and media differently, so be prepared to find them where they are.
Tip #4: All Content Should Have an Undeniable Purpose
Remember those goals it was so important for you to set? Now it's time to put them to work and make sure your content marketing plan is aligned with them. Every piece should contribute to the overall goal of your content marketing campaign, but more importantly, it should be good. It should be exemplary in accuracy and service, otherwise, why bother?
For instance, say you're doing an entire campaign on content marketing for other businesses with the overall goal of establishing authority. Each blog will have its own intended purpose that contributes in some way to that overall goal. This means that the purpose of one article may be to inform the readers about the benefits of content marketing, while another's purpose may be to simply highlight best practices with tips.
ALL, however, contribute to establishing authority on the topic.
Decide in advance what you want your content to achieve:
- Is it to educate?
- Add value?
- Move traffic?
Tip #5: Find Gaps in Your Competitors' Content Marketing
There's no better place to look than your competition when determining where to start, how to improve, and ways you can be better. Look at your competitors' content marketing and evaluate what works, what doesn't, and how you can fill in the gaps that they're not addressing.
If you have a similar audience, see what their strategy is. You don't want to copy what they have done but instead look for what they haven't done. Use that insight to design your own content, including what your competitors don't have.
When filling in the gaps, think about the following:
- Is your content addressing problems and pain points?
- Does your audience face an urgent need?
- Do you understand your audience’s priorities?
- Is your content marketing reaching people in the right places?
Full disclosure, everyone looks to their competition for guidance sometimes, and that’s as it should be. You just don’t want to look at what they’re doing and then hit your head saying, “shot I wish I did that first.” It's essential to keep up and get ahead in your industry.
Tip #6: Measure Your Marketing Campaign Results
Always measure the progress of marketing. You need to know what's working and what isn't working. When you see what's working, you can do more of it. If something isn't working, you can improve it.
It can be difficult to gauge the success of your content marketing if you don’t know how to evaluate it. There are some important content marketing KPIs to keep an eye on to measure and continually improve your strategy.
Some KPIs you should consider tracking include:
- Total traffic
- Page views
- Bounce rates
- New leads
Measuring your progress is important because you can save some ad dollars by pivoting when a strategy or tactic isn't working for you like expected in your content plans. You'd be surprised how much you can enhance your content marketing by making real-time adjustments and tweaks based on data, improving the quality of your pieces.
Remember, however, that you must be careful not to stop campaigns too prematurely. Content marketing takes time to see results, so it would be a mistake to scrap all your hard work when you don't see them right away.
Tip #7: Improve Your Success
No matter your brand or what industry you're in, there is always room for improvement. The more time you take to understand your goals and how your marketing is doing, the more successful you can be.
You can improve your success by:
- Analyze data of your campaigns
- Make changes
- Be willing to try something new
Optimize Your Content Creation and Delivery with MNIOne of the most important things you can do for your campaign is track, measure, and continuously improve. This includes learning from your failures and making the appropriate adjustments, as well as building from your successes. Some of MNI's solutions for content marketing that could really help you include KPI insight, native advertising expertise, and email marketing analytics for delivery.
About the Author
@Janine Pollack, MNI Integrated Marketing Director and self-appointed Storyteller in Chief, leads the brands commitment to generating content that informs and inspires. Prior to MNI, Janine worked with Fortune 500 companies and world-renowned education institutions on numerous research and white papers, podcasts and thought-leadership and education campaigns.