Ironically, Content Marketing is one of the most challenging aspects, but the real beauty is that content marketing can be done in as many different ways as possible. Content marketing can generate 300% more leads per dollar than paid search marketing (PPC). Also, content marketing generally costs 62% less than outbound marketing.
Finding what content to create, optimizing it, and implementing the right strategies are key to ensuring your content marketing strategy is successful. A very important tip is to always keep SEO requirements in mind before and during your content creation.
It's always a good idea to brush up on best practices, whether experienced in content marketing or just getting started. This article will tell you about some content marketing best practices you may not be using yet.
What is Content Marketing?
Content marketing is a way to engage your target audience and grow your network of leads and customers. Creating relevant and valuable content attracts, engages, and generates value for people, thus creating a positive perception of your brand and more business.
Content marketing is all about content designed to educate, inform, or entertain a potential customer. The goal is to make people aware & inform so that in the future, they will not only respect your brand and keep it as a reference but also become loyal customers of your company.
Today, audiences have more power than ever to choose the content they want to consume and how to interact with it. And you have the power and knowledge to produce exactly the content your audience wants.
Good content is not focused on selling but on bringing benefits to the reader, such as solving a problem, clarifying a doubt, or teaching something. The sale is just a consequence of this process.
The content you create is useful, but it also passes the right message to your audience when they need it most. You exceed expectations by providing amazing content that your audience will want to share with others.
The Best Practice to Approach Content Marketing
Content marketing is tied in with creating and distributing content tailored to meet the needs of your audience and building an engaged audience from which you will eventually gain enough trust and loyalty to move up the marketing funnel.
When it comes to content marketing, it's all about finding out what works best for your specific audience and what resources they can access. It takes creativity, and it all comes down to finding the most effective medium. Content marketing can come in written text, videos, images, audio, and more.
How to Write Good Content for Content Marketing?
Written content is a big part of content marketing, especially for marketers who are just starting, as it often has fewer barriers to entry. You can succeed in content marketing by talking directly to your audience, ensuring your content provides value, and you're not just a salesperson.
For example, a company that sells waxing products can take advantage of a problem that consumers may encounter with skin burns or irritation after waxing. For this, you can create content that exists solely to help solve that problem or provide a resource that can be helpful. It's not about selling or promoting your products; it's simply about looking at the context of a consumer's life, identifying a pain point, and providing value to solve it.
One of the best content marketing practices is providing a solution to a pain point, but there are many more to master to make your content marketing efforts worthwhile. You can succeed in content marketing if you follow some proven methods.
- Don't Just Sell
In content marketing, it's very important not to hit your audience with a hard sell. A hard sell immediately puts someone into the mode of being sold, rather than the mode of content consumption, where you want your audience to be.
Of course, you need to sell to be successful in your business, and you will sell, but not in the same direct way you would in other types of marketing. Always try to keep hard sales separate from your content marketing efforts.
Your content should show that you truly care about your audience and are interested in sharing resources with them that can help alleviate any of their pain points. It can be a differentiator when consumers are trying to decide whether to do business with a company. Remember that company that created helpful content without constantly resorting to calls to action (CTAs)? Yes, I want to do business with them.
- Providing Value
The points I have listed above are crucial (because they are), but I want to emphasize this one. Content marketing only works when the content you create adds value to the person using it. It may address a need, share new information, or include a dose of humour.
No matter what, content must provide value, and you should always define what that value is before pushing something live. While social media can be used in content marketing in various ways, keeping it fun and showcasing the brand's voice is what works best.
Instead of encouraging someone to buy your product, share links to buy your product, or something like that, try to make your followers laugh or at least put a smile on their faces. Also, remind them what day it is.
- Try Personalization
If content marketing aims to get someone with you before they finally start spending with you, it naturally makes sense to make the experience exclusively about them, right? After all, it is normal to like being asked questions about who you are or what you like when you meet someone new, so it should be the same way when we approach a new brand or company.
It is where personalization comes in. For example, as an investment firm, you can do interactive quizzes, asking the audience a variety of questions about how they save money, spend money, pay off their credit cards, etc.
An interesting statistic or information can accompany each answer before moving on to the next question. Based on the questionnaire results, the client can be provided with a customized action plan tailored to their particular needs. It doesn't get more personal than that.
- Answer Your Audience's Questions
Before we talk about how to answer these questions, we want to address how you can determine what your audience's questions might be. You can develop a brand persona to have a deep understanding of your audience and anticipate the types of questions they may have.
If you sell paint, you may know that your audience has a lot of questions about the design of their home. That might lead you to create a series of blogs or videos in which you feature real customers who have purchased your paints and share some of the creative ways they've brought the rooms in their homes to life.
You should also take the opportunity to consult with your sales and customer service teams on this topic. What kind of questions are they getting from your audience? Where do people seem to encounter confusion or objections? By better understanding what your audience doesn't yet know, you can find those gaps to address.
- Use Effective Content Types
Identify the types of content that might work best for you to make content marketing effective. Of course, this process has some trials and errors, but it will show you what content tends to work best, from blog posts, e-books, podcasts, and everything in between.
It's also good practice to use multiple types of effective content alongside each other. For example, if you own a podcast, create a newsletter to let your audience know what they can expect to see from you or to recap topics you've covered in the past.
The idea is to consider your offering and your audience to determine the most effective, even if it strays from the typical. Don't be afraid to challenge the norms to find what works for you.
- Search Engine Optimization
You could create the best content globally, but if no one finds it, your work will have been in vain. Improving your content and SEO (search engine optimization) is also important because it will make it easier for your audience to find you.
To carry out SEO, you have a variety of resources at your disposal. You can choose to work with an SEO professional, work with an SEO agency or familiarize yourself with SEO best practices and work on it yourself, depending on the size of your company and the resources you have available.
In any case, an SEO strategy is critical to the overall success of your content marketing and should not be overlooked.
- Publish Frequently
This tip seems easy in theory, but it cannot be easy to put into practice. Continuously creating quality content to post is no small feat, but it's important to maintain consistency.
You don't have to go through the creation process alone. Look for resources that share content marketing ideas or take inspiration from others. There are such a lot of great content marketing examples to inspire you that you don't have to reinvent the wheel.
Once these ideas and examples inspire you, use the tips and strategies above to find ways to make them your own. See a creative blog post that breaks down the steps you should take before creating your first website.
Maybe you can apply that step-by-step idea to your guide to finding running shoes that fit you. Or maybe you watched a brand's video interview with an industry expert. Is there an expert in your industry you can interview for your YouTube channel, podcast, or website?
Coming up with enough new ideas to establish a steady posting cadence (once a week, biweekly, etc.) can be difficult, but keep an open mind to the pieces of content you find effective and find creative ways to emulate them.
- Measure Your Content Performance
You would never run a typical marketing campaign and ignore its performance, would you? The same goes for content marketing. Content marketing can be effective at all stages of the funnel, which means it's important to define KPIs and map your content to the funnel before you create it.
This list from Contently provides an excellent and extensive explanation of how content marketing KPIs can ascend to business goals and objectives. Understanding some of the best ways to measure your content marketing efforts' ROI (return on investment) and some key content marketing statistics can also be a great place to start.