According to a recent report, content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing and generates about three times as many leads. But in order to truly gain traction and get results, a well-planned strategy needs to be put in place. Here are seven ways content marketing drives your brand initiatives towards success.
1- Staying up-to-the-minute with the trends
Content marketing is all about providing relevance, and you can’t do that if you’re not aware of the latest trends and topics. If you are not doing it real-time, you are behind time. Not being up-to-date makes a campaign stale and shows that your brand is out of touch. Researching latest trends should be a part of your organization’s daily schedule.
A great way to be on your toes for your brand’s online presence is by doing social media listening. Track what people across the world are talking about, within your industry. Let the world know that, as an expert, you are on it. Celebrate the events that lie around the journey that takes users towards your brand. That’s smart piggybacking! And it pays.
2-Preparing a game plan
Launching a campaign without a proper strategy is like shooting an arrow in the dark. According to social media examiner report, “Among the most effective marketers, 66% have a “documented” strategy, compared to 11% of the least effective marketers.” Define your goals around awareness, evaluation and purchase. Research your audience thoroughly. Invest time in building personas and create empathy maps. This will make the process of creating content amazingly simple in the longer run. The strategy might include how many social networks to utilize, how many new blog posts to publish, and which topics to cover. As a good practice, visit your strategy often and tweak it according to latest Internet demands.
3- Maintaining an editorial calendar
Order is what keeps everything in the world in its right place. Having an editorial calendar is not only a best practice, it’s an indispensable one. An editorial calendar helps distribute your content equally in different formats. For e.g. you can plan to share a video in the first week to introduce your proposition, a series of static creative post to ascertain your point in the second week and a whitepaper in the third week to get leads. In the form of an editorial calendar, the entire consumer experience is spread before you. It’s also a great way to ensure success and avoid last-minute goof-ups. Let your entire team be aware of the calendar so that the plans work out smoothly.
4- Keeping ideas stacked up
Have you had times where you put all the pressure on your mind and it still won’t squeeze out an idea? Well, every marketer faces such frustrating roadblocks once in a while. The only logical way to deal with this is to write down ideas whenever you get them- on a road trip, in the bathroom or while waiting for your friend to show up for dinner. Some might not make sense at the time, but the stack will be a goldmine for you in dire times.
5- Quality is supreme
Gone are the days when writers were forced to stuff jargon and ‘keywords’ into an article to meet unworldly word limits. People want quality, Google wants quality and there’s no scope for compromises. Whatever your organization creates, be obsessive about its quality standard. And what makes high-quality content? Value and relevance. Make sure you don’t create another piece that has been created number of times already. Be unique, be relevant to your audience, give solutions to their problems, and give it in a way that appeases them.
6- Keeping an eye on the ROI
No strategy can be considered good until it brings in profits. Make it a habit to check which blogs, posts, or videos are performing well and which aren’t. We can’t complain on a lack of tools and analytics available to make decisions based on the insights gained from data. So make sure you know what you are measuring, how you are measuring and against what you are measuring.
Successful organizations don’t feel content with a spike in number of visits or other reaffirming numbers; they in fact prefer metrics that actually help them make better decisions.
7- Being Original and Creative
Amidst the swarm of data on the internet, only originality prevails. You’re a content marketer, be as creative as you can. Don’t reject or accept any idea without proper thought and always give it your best shot. When Philips wanted to promote its Body Groomer range in a market where male body grooming is still considered a taboo topic, we had to mine our creative think tanks. The campaign Unpain #MrPainful first took the responsibility of removing the taboo around the topic using elements of humor. We looped in women in a strictly male domain and this made men come out of the closet and initiate conversations that went on to create a change in their habits! So, be as interesting as possible and remember content is king, but creative content is the emperor.
There are tons of more practices that a content marketing team must follow to bring value and generate results. Do share your opinions in the comment section below.