GETTING STARTED WITH CONTENT MARKETING
As a business owner, I’m sure you’ve experimented with many marketing techniques to try and meet your business goals. Some methods worked while others failed. However, one approach almost guarantees the results you desire: content marketing. More and more businesses are using it to raise brand awareness, attract more people, build trust, and convert their audience into loyal customers.
If you understand what it is, how it works, and apply the best tactics, you will quickly get the results you need.
Six reasons why your business needs content marketing.
1. To gain trust.
No one wants to be constantly bombarded with sales pitches or promotional content. That’s how most organizations lose their audience. Content marketing helps you to avoid falling into the same trap. It’s about producing content that adds value to your followers without advertising your products. You share helpful information that helps people solve their problems or find quick answers to their questions. Thereby building trust and ensuring your site, channel, or page becomes the primary source of information.
2. Reach a bigger audience.
Once users recognize how helpful your content is, they will like, comment, and share with their friends and, in so doing, attract more people to your content. You will be able to reach a bigger audience and, in the process, educate people about your brand.
3. Build brand awareness.
The more people rely on your content for specific information, the better your chances to build brand awareness. When someone visits your site or YouTube channel, for example, they will be interested in finding out more about your business. They will be curious about the type of services you offer or products you sell. So, share content that helps people solve their problems or gain easy access to valuable resources. Ensure your first-time visitors become loyal followers. Keep them coming back and hitting the ‘Share’ button.
4. Build authority.
Become an expert in your niche and be the go-to person for specific information. Build authority and make the competition irrelevant. Use how-to-guides, DIYs, and quick reference guides without including promotional content to prove to your audience that you care about helping them meet their goals. These are other ways to encourage them to share your content and check out your premium offers.
Building authority also accelerates buying decisions and helps your customers quickly get into business with you because they trust your work.
5. Boost SEO rankings.
Share keyword-optimized content to boost SEO rankings. Build backlinks to your site and ensure more people find you and learn more about your business.
6. Go viral.
Viral content matters if you grow your audience, improve conversions, and generate leads. The more quality information you share, the more attention you get from potential clients. Quality content can quickly start trending and circulating on the internet, leading to more people engaging with your brand and purchasing from you.
CREATE YOUR CONTENT MARKETING STRATEGY
Your strategy determines who interacts with your content, when, how, and how often. So, use the following tips to ensure success;
● Know your audience.
Target a specific audience, know their needs, and create content that adds value to their personal and professional lives. Knowing your audience will help you create quality content that goes viral and meets your goals. So, know your target audience, how you will reach them, and attract them. Doing this can guide you in the right direction when setting your goals.
● Set goals that meet your target audience’s needs.
Setting goals is one of the most critical steps when marketing your content. They keep you on track and ensure you consistently provide value to potential customers. So, center your goal-setting process on one thing; what your audience needs.
Create content that meets their needs, helps them solve issues or benefits somehow. Grow your following by sharing valuable content with nothing to do with your product or service. That is how you build long-term and worthwhile relationships.
● Create a lead magnet.
Lead magnets are a great way to build your mailing list, get potential buyers to subscribe to your business, and attract more people. Create one and choose one that’s best for your audience. It can be a free miniature version of your product, an eBook, a webinar, an infographic, a tutorial, an audiobook, or a giveaway. Your lead magnet can quickly turn followers into buyers significantly when it adds value to their lives or takes them a step closer to achieving their goals. When subscribers see the quality of your product, offering, or content, they will trust you and quickly get into business with you.
● Use multiple channels.
Social media presence is the key to increasing traffic and building brand awareness. So, be active on multiple platforms, form relationships, and share helpful information. You can join Facebook groups and connect with like-minded people. Open a Twitter account, comment on posts, and grow your following. Open a YouTube channel and interact with your subscribers and watchers personally. Have a Pinterest business account, create an Instagram business page, share eye-catching content and increase engagement.
● Optimize for mobile users.
More than 50% of people prefer browsing from their mobile phones, so give them a great experience and ensure they continue to interact with your content by optimizing your site or blog for them. Ensure your site is responsive or use themes developed for desktops and mobile phones of any size.
● Use email marketing.
Email marketing is one of the best ways to understand and grow your audience. You can effectively communicate with your subscribers, create personalized content, and increase leads. It also enables you to create valuable content that your followers or subscribers need. These tactics ensure that you reach the right people at the right time. It is a great way to build long-term relationships and turn your subscribers into customers. So, take advantage of that and incorporate it into your content marketing strategy.
WRITE CONTENT THAT SELLS
The next step is to write compelling and captivating content that encourages people to share. But how do you achieve that?
● Create personalized content.
Personalized content helps you to grab your audience’s attention and inspire action. For instance, if you send personalized emails to your subscribers and at the bottom ask them to follow a link or fill out a survey, the chances are they’ll do so. You could thank them for being loyal subscribers, mention how valuable their contribution is, and then ask them to complete a survey.
● Share useful resources.
Avoid constantly promoting your product and share valuable resources that will help your followers meet their goals in some way. Share online resources or 15-minute comparison videos to make their job easy when making decisions. Do this as often as you can, and then add CTA links to some of your promotional content. By then, you would have already gained their trust and established a relationship; therefore, getting into business with you will be easier for them.
● Offer giveaways or discounts.
Freebies and discounts are a great way to not only attract more subscribers but promote your brand. So, feature them on your social pages, website, blog, or YouTube channel.
Diversify your content and share interesting topics within your niche. Be the place to go for new trends, interesting findings, updates, as well as breaking information. That is how you keep your followers coming back, sharing, commenting, and hitting the ‘Like’ button.
● Use the proper format.
The way you present your content should fit your audience and be appropriate for the platform you are using. That is how you will command and retain people’s attention. Use different formats for different platforms. For example, eBooks work great on your site or blog but not so well on your Twitter account or Instagram page.
Use trending hashtags on your tweets, high-res images on your Pinterest account, and professional YouTube or TikTok videos. It’s all about your audience and how they interact with your content and what they prefer.
● Stay up-to-date.
Keep your content fresh and up-to-date. Don’t share outdated information, as this can cause you to lose followers or subscribers. So, do proper research before sharing new knowledge and avoid recommending services or sharing resources that aren’t as useful as they were the previous year.
Analyze your strategy repeatedly to see what works and what doesn’t. Find out how your audience interacts with your content and what they engage with the most. Is that content your YouTube videos, tweets, Facebook posts, or Instagram images? Answer this question helps you refine your methods, continue with what works and make the necessary adjustments.
Use Google Analytics or SEMrush.
Your content creation strategy determines how well people interact with your content and is responsible for the much-needed likes, shares, and comments. So, use the tips mentioned above to get it right.
After mastering the best ways to create noticeable content, make sure people find and continue to engage with it.
Here’s how you can do that:
PROMOTE YOUR CONTENT
Use the following methods to promote your content and get the attention you need.
● Email marketing.
Email marketing is one of the best content marketing methods. People prefer and interact best with direct messages that appeal to their curiosity or address their needs. So, the first step is to build your mailing list, establish a fruitful relationship, and start promoting. The best thing about this is that you can easily promote your content in your messages without worrying about losing subscribers because your recipients already trust and value your content.
Keep your emails short and straight to the point. Use persuasive headlines and avoid being salesy. You could also mention a discount, upcoming promotion, or freebies.
● Social media.
Social media is the best free marketing channel you can use to reach a bigger audience. So, use your existing accounts to raise awareness and attract people to your content. Talk about your new channel, blog, or site and share links. If you already have a decent number of followers, you will quickly grow traffic. Use LinkedIn posts for marketing your content. Write a brief description and link to your content.
You can also use paid Facebook and Twitter ads for faster and better results.
● Feature viral content.
Mention or leave links to some of your viral content on new posts. Viral content is a great way to attract your audience’s attention and convince them that you are an expert in your field. Referencing or featuring some of your best work is the key to getting more subscribers, building trust, and converting readers into customers.
Use short videos or attention-grabbing images to present your previous work.
● Connect with influencers in your niche.
You can also connect with influencers and ask to be featured or mentioned in some of their posts. Or better yet, ask an influencer to leave a comment on your business page, post, channel, or site. That is how you grab attention and grow followers.
Start by forming a relationship with them. Become a loyal fan. Follow their accounts, like, share, and comment on their posts. Don’t overdo it, however. Leave positive comments on posts now and then. Like and share their content time and again. Ask constructive questions or leave your opinion to capture their attention. Hopefully, after forming a beneficial relationship, they will be more than willing to read or leave comments on your posts as well.
● Use partnerships.
Partner with influencers, ask to be featured on their channel, or guest blog on popular sites. After receiving a positive response, mention your work on your blog or page. Leave a link to the article you worked on in the video you appeared. This encourages your readers to share and engage with the rest of your content.
● Use content marketing software.
Speed things up and see more effective results by using content marketing software. Some of the best include Google Analytics, Uberflip, BuzzSumo, Canva, and HotJar. Go with the one that suits you best and gives your business the flexibility and convenience it needs.
AVOID COMMON MISTAKES
Most content creators fail to attract people to their content and generate sales because they keep repeating the same mistakes. You don’t want to fall into the same trap.
So, identify those mistakes and reach your goals fast.
Top 4 content creation mistakes to avoid.
1. Not having a strategy.
Your content strategy determines your success. It allows you to remain consistent, provide quality information, and retain your audience. Nevertheless, this is where most people fail. They dive in, create, and post without considering the most critical aspects, such as how often they’ll share or the proper channels to use. So, avoid making the same mistake and take a different approach. Produce valuable content, use the right platforms, and always plan.
Come up with a 4-month or 6-month strategy. Decide what you will focus on and how often you will upload new information within those months. Post as often as you can. Use content curation software for ideas. Depending on your goals, you can either use free ones or premium ones. Feedly and Listly are some of the best tools to try out.
2. Not doing your homework.
Not doing enough research on your target market, failing to know your audience and their needs always lead to less engagement and negative results. So, know your audience, understand their pain points, and always do a follow-up. Following up means continuously keeping track of how well your content performs and studying customer behavior. Identify how their needs change over time and offer relevant content.
Collect information by using analytics software, creating email surveys, or asking them to leave comments on your site, blog, page, or channel. Go through all the responses and respond to each one of them.
3. Using the same content format.
Using the same format throughout your posts can drive people away from your content and force subscribers to unsubscribe. For example, lengthy blog articles with plain text, no headlines or sub-headlines, no paragraphs, and zero images. So, use different formats to retain your followers and grow your following. Add lists, infographics, videos, or images to your content.
Create highly-interactive content, add compelling headlines, use the perfect layout, and structure it right. Use hashtags and links where appropriate. Avoid going off-topic or sharing irrelevant content, links, or resources. Stick to relevant information. If there is a viral post that you would like to mention or share, make sure it’s in line with your main message.
4. Writing controversial topics.
Controversial topics often lead to too many debates or “That’s offensive!” and “How is that relevant?” You don’t want to force people off your site, page, or channel. So, stay away from controversial topics such as political or religious ones. Diversify your content but stick to neutral topics.
Identifying common mistakes helps you avoid them and develop an effective content creation strategy that guarantees results. So, study what those are and implement the right solution.