You’re creating content. That’s great.
But guess what? About 60 per cent of content produced by brands is declared to be irrelevant, poor or failing to deliver, according to Havas Group’s 2017 Meaningful Brands study.
If that’s not enough, here’s a bigger wake-up call: people will not care if 74 per cent of the brands they interact with just disappeared as per the same Havas Group study.
It’s time to shake up your content marketing strategy and take a deep dive into the nine content marketing best practices to emulate in 2017:
1. Provide your users with value in every interaction
Content marketing’s golden rule is to inform, engage and entertain your target audience. Additionally, it’s necessary to be hyper-focused on your users and to avoid using your content for self-promotion. You need to create and share content that adds value to your audience’s lives.
For example, Whole Foods Market—an American supermarket chain that has more than two million Instagram followers—shares beautiful images of food, instead of sharing their store’s advertising deals or pushing people to purchase their products.
2. Your content should resonate with your target audience
Great content focuses on helping you reach your target audience; not just anyone. The goal of great content marketing is to get the right message to the right person at the right time, while simultaneously establishing authority, credibility and a brand-consumer relationship.
Stop focusing on increasing impressions or page views. Work towards creating relevant, engaging content instead.
3. A content promotion strategy is key
Creating amazing content, but not deploying an impactful promotion strategy to distribute it is one of the most common mistakes marketers make.
Having a content promotion strategy in place puts your content in front of your target audience, and encourages them to take action by subscribing to your newsletter, downloading a research study, or watching a video.
There’s no cookie-cutter approach to content distribution. Identify your content marketing goal, know your audience and who you’re trying to reach, speak to them in a language they understand, and analyze consumer behavior.
4. Use content to convert
Successful content marketing is hard work. It also involves relationship building with your audience over time. Therefore, as brands you have to learn to engage with your target customers on a regular basis. The most effective content marketing strategy results in converting users to customers, with whom a brand can engage and build a long-term relationship with. For example, Capgemini’s Content Loop website helps IT industry leaders stay abreast of the latest trends in their industry. The company provides value by sharing content that seeks to educate and inform visitors, and also generates leads by asking them to sign up for the newsletter.
5. Avoid the hard sell
The secret to great content marketing is to sell without selling. Content marketing is about providing your potential customers with information that is useful, and of relevance to them. Yes, conversions are important, but you can achieve them in a subtle way. If content that you create is overtly ‘salesy’, you’re going to lose your customers’ attention.
6. Understand the power of user-generated content (UGC)
Getting your audience to contribute to your content creation efforts is a great way to engage your readers and build trust with them. Doing so shows people that your audience is engaging with your brand in a much more authentic way. User generated content could range from pictures and tweets to blog posts and testimonials.
7. Get creative with content formats
Content is more than just producing articles, blog posts and social media posts. There’s a gamut of content formats you can use, depending on your content marketing goals, such as infographics, quizzes, interactive infographics, podcasts, animated videos and more.
8. Determine the metrics you’ll measure
How are you planning to measure the success of your content marketing efforts? How do you know if it is actually giving you the results you want? Establish content marketing KPIs and ensure everybody on your team is in agreement. Types of metrics you could track:
- • Consumption metrics: number of page views, visits, downloads, etc.
- • Lead generation: how many users are converted into leads?
- • Sales metrics: how is content marketing making an impact on your sales?
- • Shares: number of re-tweets, likes, etc.
9. Optimize and revise your tactics if needed
If you’re into content marketing, you have to be willing to experiment with new ideas and new formats, and optimize your strategy as and when needed. Evaluate what is working for you and what is not, measure your success, and perfect your content marketing strategy as you grow.