What is content marketing and why is it so important in today’s marketing plan? Content marketing is a strategy that focuses on creating and sharing valuable, creative and consistent content to generate interest in a brand, product or service.
In other words, instead of continually promoting products and business, content marketing is an avenue to provide expert and relevant content to your readership that helps, entertains or improves their lives.
Content marketing adds to increased sales and generates loyal customers. If you create online content that makes a difference, means something to your customer, or shares tips to make their lives better – the reader, in turn, will look to you and your business when they need products. Content marketing generates loyal repeat customers, up-selling and cross-selling. Here’s 15 tips to help you achieve this and more:
1. Start a Blog
Blogging is one of the most popular ways of communicating via the internet. The first step in content marketing is starting a blog that will offer readers valuable information in your industry.
Topics can be anything from your impression on an industry trend, a recipe for your favourite pasta dish or a review of the colour of the year. There are many websites available dedicated to starting a blog and keeping it current, consistent and full of content, such as WordPress and Blogger.
2. Create a Video
Videos are one of the most valuable content marketing tools for your business. It’s now easier than ever to make videos thanks to ever-changing mobile device technology. Many companies use mobile phone and tablet cameras to create very effective videos. They can be uploaded to your website, social media or even YouTube.
Some ideas for videos are how to use products, candid camera style impromptu videos and interview style videos. They can bring your product or service to life and allow the viewer to visualise the benefits they would experience if the video was their life.
3. Use Infographics
An infographic is a diagram or illustration that shares data, research, statistics and other information in a visually appealing way, as shown below. This type of content marketing is liked, shared and viewed more than other content, some studies show up to three times more.
Infographics are the fourth most used type of content marketing, suggesting that illustrations are worth looking into for an increase in online engagement. They can also boost a consumer’s understanding of your business and what you can offer in a creative way.
4. Create a Meme
According to Paul Gil of Lifewire, “a meme is a virally-transmitted cultural symbol that usually includes captioned photos intended to be funny, often as a way to ridicule human behaviour.” These appear on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other platforms, but usually not on a blog. You can create a funny meme using online resources like memegenerator.net.
When posted by a company, memes can project a friendly persona to viewers. Social media users love memes so there is always potential to go viral – meaning huge exposure for your business. ASOS is one company in particular that uses memes effectively to build a rapport with their audience.
5. Write a Product Review
Bloggers are famous for writing product reviews. Readers are notorious for reading product reviews. Product review content is an inexpensive, yet effective way to teach readers about your product line. That being said, before writing the review, know your product inside and out.
Make sure you’ve used it, have feedback from others who have used it and can offer ideas to get the most use out of it. Always include links back to the product page on your website, so readers can easily purchase the item if they like what they read. Reaching out to bloggers and recruiting them to review your piece could tailor it to the target audience and give it a flair.
6. Write a How-To Article
When you write ‘how to’ blog articles, you position your company and yourself as an expert that people trust. The “how to” is a popular content strategy and usually receives fabulous ratings in search engines. Start the title, “How to” or “How to Do I” and then proceed to offer advice and tips on the subject.
Think about topics that are relatable to your audience. For example, if you are a florist designer a title could be, “How To Design A Beautiful Autumn Wreath in Three Easy Steps” Take photos and/or videos to coincide with the article for even more detail.
7. Say Thank You
This idea never goes out of style. Saying thank you through an email or letter for purchasing something from you is the best content marketing you can do. A staffing company, When I Work, sends handwritten thank you cards to every new customer.
The recipients are so happy they take a photo of the card and share it on social media for everyone to see. They claim that referrals have increased to 23% thanks to a simple gesture. That’s effective and inexpensive advertising.
- Share, Share, Share
Make it a point to always include the social media buttons with links to your pages to encourage liking and sharing of your content. Social media is meant to be shared among followers and is key to getting your content read. Asking followers to share your content with their friends is also effective.
With every share, your business is automatically exposed to more impressions and potential customers. It also allows for more opportunities of engagement through various interactive features, such as polls, question boxes and rating scales.
9. Create Listicles
Popular sites like Huffington Post and BuzzFeed have mastered the love of the list. You’ve seen them and probably even read one or two of them. Ranging from every topic, these lists are often intriguing and informative at the same time.
With an engaging feature image, a list can attract anyone with a slight interest or curiosity of the subject. The format of lists are also appealing to readers as they know the information will be clearly laid out for quick access to the sections they want to read about. It’s a tried and true content marketing strategy that can work for you, too.
10. Use Guest Blogging
Consider writing a blog for another site, specifically a high-quality site in your industry circle. According to Business.com, guest blogging as part of your content marketing plan is one of the most recommended strategies on building and growing a blog.
Yes, you will probably not get paid for the article, but in the long run, you’ll create more awareness for your blog and company. Going one step further, invite another industry blogger or leader to write a blog for your site. It’s a win-win both ways.
11. Incorporate Educational Content
Educational content teaches customers about your products. Educated customers are paying customers. Indium has used this strategy and discovered content gold with their From One Engineer to Another blog, run by 17 of their engineers. Through it, they produce valuable content and videos to answer questions about a variety of engineering topics. Since the launch of the blog the company has seen a 600 percent jump in leads.
The key is to be short, sweet and to the point to teach readers why your product is worthwhile. The more you educate consumers on a product or service, the more open they are to being sold to.
12. Create Powerful Headlines
The headline is one of the first things to draw readers into your content marketing. It makes no difference if it is an Infographic or a blog post, powerful headlines will draw in the reader. Remember, consumers see thousands and thousands of promotional materials each and every day to produce a headline that will grab their attention and want them to learn more.
13. Get Grouping
Content marketing is all about reaching groups of people who are interested in the same thing. According to writtent.com, humans are groupies and our human nature is to embrace our groupie-ness especially in our headlines.
Allow your headline to invite a reader to share in funny photos their group is going to love, something they are just not going to believe or statistics that will make them laugh out loud. Use a common thread like Harry Potter books, left-handed people, cat lovers or single parents.
14. Be Consistent
Content marketing is all about being consistent and keeping your platforms full of current content. As the famous 1996 quote by Microsoft legend, Bill Gates said, “Content is King!”.
Write blog posts weekly, create links to your website, post on social media platforms daily, send email blasts monthly. Keep current, keep consistent and your content will do the work for you.
15. Share Interesting Facts
Entertain and educate your audience by sharing facts, stats and other information. There is so much information on the internet, much of it fluff and fiction that straight talk stands out!
Sharing statistical research that is proven as factual is a way to update your audience on trends and at the same time position your blog as a site to gain expert advice and information. Loyal customers are created when they depend on a resource for information.
Great content increases audience retention and has the ability to gain traction on social media. These online viewers are now more likely to purchase from you because they have an insight into your business and what makes it function. Your audience knows your mission statement and now you can connect with consumers that are also interested in that topic.
These tips can be incorporated into content marketing strategies to spur a call-to-action and generate leads among an audience that didn’t fully understand your business before.
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