Someone has rightly said – “Content Marketing is a long term relationship. It’s not a one night stand.”
If you are taking content marketing as a part of advertising then either you are highly mistaken or living in the era of Wordsworth. CM is to show your customers who you are and how unique you are rather than merely informing them. The social media driven world has now entered into a zone where it has become a necessity to be vocal about your brand in order to hit the bull’s eye.
Cut, Copy and Paste hold no relevance now as customers have become more intelligent and are aware of what they are investing their time in. Hence, the old method of putting any content on your website in order to rank high in Google search will not work at all because along with the customers, Google bots too have become smart. Google bots too have become smart.
What is Content Marketing?
“Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”
Content is not only related to blogs but social media is also an integrated part of it. All sort of information that appeases your customers visually in the form of blogs, news, videos, posts et al are a part of content marketing.
Importance of Content Marketing
Before proceeding further, let’s take a quick glance as to why content marketing is important for every business to flourish online:
How To Improve Content Marketing Strategy?
A thoroughly and thoughtfully crafted marketing strategy for content is the heart of your core campaign. In today’s world, content is the KING that takes forward everything. The best way to engage customers is interaction and in the absence of a great content, all your effort will go in vain, no matter how much money you spend on social media to attract viewership. To make yourself visible among your target audience, you need to engage yourself in activities such as blogging, eBooks, social media, videos, etc. and for them you need a proper content marketing strategy, which may or may not be documented but the case shouldn’t be limited to producing content just for the sake of it.
However, simply keeping a strategy in mind and following it in the way you feel like doing isn’t right at all. Where the competition is cutthroat, you need to indulge in a strategy that is expected to yield some fruitful result in time. Let’s take a quick glance at some of the methods that are simple yet very rarely implemented to optimize your content marketing strategy:
1. Documentation of CMS (Content Marketing Strategy)
Nothing fancy in it! There exist many businesses that don’t have a strategy for their content at all, which is quite amazing and alarming, considering the rat race going around them to win the battle. It’s always better to document your strategy even if it is a three-page affair. According to a survey, nearly 53% of the business doing effective content marketing have a proper documented content marketing strategy. Those who don’t follow the pattern generally fall the victim of poor and ineffective marketing efforts.
With a plethora of information available in the market, you need to strategize your goals and put them in proper documents so that you can have a bird’s eye on their timely execution and implementation. The ideas can be represented in the form of images, videos, text and other type of media that is quite popular among your target audience. To save your effort and to make your strategy more effective, you can also take the help of some of the tools and applications available in the market.
2. Regular Meeting With the Team
It’s not necessary to have a dedicated content marketing team for such meeting, as those involved in the creation, publication and promotion of the content are a part of it. It’s obvious that a content marketing campaign cannot be a one man’s army and a group of skilled personnel is required to achieve the targeted goals. For large businesses, such meetings can be done on the daily basis either in the morning or in the evening to discuss the day’s agenda. However, for small businesses, such meetings can be weekly or biweekly depending upon the tasks involved and actions needed.
Here, comes the question – what should be discussed in such meetings?
3. It’s A Team Effort – All Are Heroes
Every member of the team is important and this is what you have to make them realize in order to build a sense of responsibility and belongingness among them. Though you may recognize and reward individual efforts, the overall outcome is the result of a team’s contribution. Always remember that the outcome of a team is higher than the summation of individuals’ efforts.
4. Allocate Specific Goals for Each Content Campaign
Agreed, there is a general goal for content marketing but it is also necessary for every campaign to have a specific goal that helps in achieving success in the overall strategy. You must also understand that every task is not quantifiable; hence, you have to come out of the game of numbers and think beyond it. The goals should be such that you can measure them within a specific period of time to keep an eye on the progress of the task.
For most of the businesses, increased number of sales is the ultimate result they are expecting out of the published content but that is not the case always. Make sure that the goals you are setting for your team must be realistic and can be reviewed, tracked, measured and adjusted timely to make the campaign a success. Some of the examples could be customer retention, brand awareness or increased leads.
5. Know Your Metrics
The performance of your content needs to be measured and monitored to know the progress and for that related content marketing metrics are available at your disposable. Some of them could be hard metrics such as sales, traffic, and leads, whereas the soft ones include social media engagement. Broadly, there are 4 types of content metrics to keep a track of the performance:
6. Customer Centric Content Strategy
Your content marketing strategy needs to be more about your customers rather than you and your business. Like you derive your content according to the taste of your customers, your content strategy should also be customer-centric. Herein you have to calculate the needs, expectations and wants of your target audience and how they prefer to interact with you. You can consider these elements while laying out your content marketing strategy:
7. Method of Promoting and Distributing Your Content
A majority of time is invested in the creation of content that is of high quality but it is not the sole reason behind the success of a business online as it’s just a part of the puzzle. How you have planned to present the content in from of your target customers also matters and there comes a full-proof content distribution plan into play. According to a research, where around 53% of the businesses are aware of the dire need of content distribution strategy, only 26% of them actually invest in it.
Hence, only creating content is not enough to promote your business but you also need to strategize how, when and where you are planning to promote each published piece of content.
8. Knowledge of ROI
To get a proper track, if your content is garnering you expected results, it is necessary to calculate the ROI consistently to make sure if your money and efforts are yielding any result or not. Tracking goals and metrics aren’t enough because until you know the content marketing costs and the revenues generated out of them, you can’t tag your campaign or strategy as successful. The calculation of ROI may vary from campaign to campaign and may yield different results but it will help you to know the most profitable area to invest and how.
How to Calculate ROI?
Well, you already have access to various tools that help in tracking your KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) and with their help, you can easily track down the impact of each type of content, its reach among the audience and how engaging it has been. Further, you can map these metrics to convert your goals and the values associated with them, which, in turn, will help you to drive revenue and sales out of each campaign.
There are chances that initially you may get negative ROI for a campaign but with increasing efforts, continuous tests, collective goals and fine-tuning your targets, you can achieve positive ROI in a small span of time.
There is no one-size-fits-all formula as it is a variable component that varies from business to business. Hence, understanding your goals and merging them with the requirements, needs and expectations of your target audiences is the best way to garner the desired results.