7 effective Content Marketing strategies in 2017
Author: Gayatri Srinivasan
Content Marketing has now become an important marketing tool for businesses all over the world. Effective Content Marketing has become the guru mantra for marketing executives jostling with competitors for their piece of the customer market share pie, in any Industry. Infact, students looking to learn digital marketing courses are advised to give a lot of importance to content marketing today. In this blog, we list the top 7 effective Content Marketing strategies in 2017.
Any written, visual or audio content on relevant issues of the industry or problems faced by consumers that improves company’s image and indirectly converts to more sales is called content marketing.
Here are the top 7 effective Content Marketing strategies in 2017:
First of all, as a content marketer you must be very clear about who will read or consume the content. They could be parents of 5-10 year old girls or college students or young couples with no kids. Without this clarity, no content marketing effort will be effective.
Then find out what are the needs of your customers? What is important to them? What are their pain points with currently available services or products in the market?
And then list out the Topics for your content marketing, focusing on how to solve these issues.
The language and tone for the topic should be decided only after the Who-What-How analysis. Even if your product or service is not directly addressing the issues faced by the consumers, when you write useful articles that solve a problem or give valuable time saving tips, it becomes the best long-term marketing strategy as you will definitely create a positive image of your company and products offered.
- Competitor Analysis
You should analyze the approach taken by your competitors. Read their published content, find out where they are excelling and the range of topics they cover. That said, assess your strength and take up a content marketing approach that you can execute to perfection.
For instance, if your competitor is publishing posts daily, do not immediately try to copy that. Sit down with your team and do an honest assessment if you have the time and resources to publish fresh content every day. If not, make a plan to publish content weekly instead.
Similarly, if a post made by one of your competitors is garnering huge number of shares and comments, do not aim for number of shares and comments just like that competitor. Understand the approach taken by your competitor as to why that post is popular and then decide how you can show case the expert knowledge you have.
In short, conduct a thorough competitive analysis & do what you can do realistically day after day while focusing on your strength that your competitors don’t possess.
- Quality Vs Quantity
There has always been a debate on what is more important – the number of content OR the quality of content published online, to bring in the coveted clicks and shares for your website.
Yes, quantity is important. That is how you ensure you have fresh content that keeps the audience returning to your site frequently, to read them. But if the actual content is not news worthy or say the content has not been edited properly in a hurry to publish new content, it can dent the image you have been building so carefully over years.
As reputed content marketing evangelist Joe Pulizzi said “Mediocre content will hurt your brand more than nothing at all”.
Focus more on quality of your content, so that the audience respects your expertise and feels like coming back to your site for more information later on.
- Modes of publishing content
Remember, written content is only one of the ways to disseminate information. Images and Infographics, Video, Audio, Podcasts, Webinars, Guides, eBooks, Social media posts like in Facebook, Twitter etc. , are also effective ways to reach out to your consumers.
In fact in a 2016 study, it was found that 40% of content marketers in India use Infographics and visual media.
Apart from the above-mentioned modes of publishing content, companies also publish white papers on topics that are cutting edge and piquing the interest of people globally. Mostly, these white papers can be downloaded absolutely free. Some companies ask for details such as the name, email address etc. before a download. Thus, there are multiple options for the content marketer.
Choose wisely from the various modes of publishing content which can bring in a loyal following to your website and make people aware of your product or service.
- Presentation of Content
The content should tell a story to the audience that helps in solving problems in their lives, presented in logical and intuitive flow till the end.
But no matter how good your content is, it will fall flat if it is not presented creatively to the audience.
In content marketing, the presentation is a make or break factor that decides bounce rates of your webpages. The design, layout, the images used and their placement are all very important to attract the consumer to click the link and also to keep the reader interested enough to complete reading the whole content.
For instance, let us say you have published a new Blog in your site. The placement of the Blogs link in your webpage is crucial since an average consumer will not click the Blogs section daily looking for new Blogs. You have to advertise it in your homepage and after a reader clicks on the Blogs link, the layout etc. should be really appealing to the reader till the very end.
- Thought Leadership as a Goal
Thought Leadership is the latest buzz word in Content Marketing. The content marketer needs to have thought leadership as a goal, which is to be considered an expert or leader in trending topics in the industry. To do that, make sure you discuss with your expert resources while preparing the content.
Suppose you do not have expert resources in your company then try to rope in freelancers who can review the content or even write it for you. The goal is to give good quality content to the consumers. The cost of hiring experts to help you with the content will be offset by the boost to your company’s image in the eyes of the consumers.
With interesting and reliable content, you can build a loyal audience base that respects your company as an authority in the field and engages with you through comments, social media sharing and links to your webpage.
- ROI of Content Marketing
Finally, you must decide on ways to measure the Return on Investment (ROI) of Content Marketing in order to analyze if your content marketing efforts are profitable or not.
For that, you must first define your business goals and then the estimated output from the content marketing exercise. In other words, how much do you expect versus how much you actually achieve. This is not an easy task for the content marketer since as mentioned earlier, there are several modes of content presentation and typically it is not a single mode but a combination that is adopted. For instance, you may publish the content in your own website but promote it on various social media like Facebook, Twitter etc.
Finally, you must have a clear accounting of how much money has been invested for the content marketing exercise.
Here are some of the common Content Marketing metrics:
Consumption Metrics which measures how many people are consuming the content
Sharing Metrics that tells you which content pieces are being shared, who is sharing, how they are sharing, and the frequency of sharing.
Cost Metrics which measures cost of Content marketing including cost per content created and cost per creative resource.
Sales Metrics that measures how the content drives revenue
All in all, Effective Content Marketing helps the company build a positive image of the products or services it provides and ultimately, improves customer loyalty and sales.
Hope you enjoyed our post and found it helpful! Do let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.