If you’ve already chanced upon this article, then chances are that you are a content writer. A content strategist. A content developer. A content marketer.
Various names. One purpose.
To generate valuable and effective content for brands to acquire an edge in the competitive industry.
As much as it sounds interesting and important, how many of you are aware of “content marketing” or “content marketing strategy”?
What is Content Marketing?
Attracting and engaging the audience, content marketing deals in the creation and distribution of online content. With powerful and effective content, several brands can actually portray their business objectives in an interesting way and not only entertain the target audience but educate them, create awareness, retain them and eventually turn the potential clients into existing clients.
Recent statistics by Content Marketing Institute have revealed that more than 70% of B2B companies are focusing and investing in content marketing and by 2020 the numbers will increase rapidly.
How is Content Writing different from Content Marketing?
This is more like a trick question and quite surprisingly, many might feel that there is a huge difference between the two. But there is none. In fact, content writing and content marketing are complementary to each other.
While content marketing is all about ensuring value to your audience to help in building trust and reliability by connecting with them, content writing is the silent partner without which content marketing is incomplete. Effective content writing will have an assurance towards the audience, convincing them to take some positive actions.
Content writing and content marketing are the two sides of the coin which when balanced together creates magic in itself. Adding value to the readers’ lives and then converting them to loyal customers for the long-term.
Why is Content Marketing important in today’s time?
If you are a content developer, then you would know how important it is to create quality content that would be extremely valuable to the audience and help them learn more about the brand. The uniqueness of your content will take you one step ahead of the game and will let you be easily visible in the Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs). In order to generate effective leads from your content, it is highly important to focus on robust content marketing strategies that will be more efficient and productive than paid advertising.
So, now that we are pretty clear about content writing and content marketing and its importance, as a smart and dedicated individual who is extremely inclined towards content development, it is essential to sharpen yourself as not only a content writer but as a content marketer as well. This will ideally heighten your dual roles, enhance your skills and also help in leveraging your prospective clients’ business goals as well.
Are you now ready to learn about the 5 effective steps to the ultimate content marketing strategy that will help you stand out from others in this cut-throat competitive industry?
Then, here we go.
Step 1: Set Realistic Content Marketing Goals
Rather than focusing on the “What” kind of content you will develop, first decide on “Why” you will create content. Content marketing strategies should begin with proper goals which are rational.
The moment you set and understand your goals, it will become easier to prepare your content marketing strategy. Ask yourself: why are you making it? Where are you going to use this content? How is it going to help the customer and you? The moment you have the answer to these questions, you can then start focusing on the “What’s” of your content and come up with your success plan.
Generally, for content marketing, the ideal goal is to convince and convert the leads into existing customers and retain them. It is usually through email subscriptions and signups. As you are gradually successful in bringing the right traffic to your blog or to your client’s website, the conversion rates start increasing and that leads to the promotion of your content and achievement of your goals.
Step 2: Proper Research About Your Target Audience
It is critical to know and understand the target audience for your content marketing strategy. Understand who is your audience. Understand who will witness the content that you create online.
The essential aspect of content marketing strategy when it comes to dealing with your target audience – educate and revolutionize them. But do you think that’s easy?
In today’s fast-paced life, where the attention span of your audience is reducing with every passing day, to hold on to their attention and ensure them to enjoy your content till the end is no easy task. So, what do you do?
Treat your audience with care. Talk to them through your content and engage them. Make them think from the content that you create. Let them connect with your content. Understand their problem and solve them with empathy and understanding.
As you understand your audience and their requirements, you will be successful in creating great content and acquire their faith in you which will in return, be a strong brownie point for your content marketing strategy.
Step 3: Blog Setup and Being Consistent
If you’re a content creator and haven’t yet set up your personal blogging page, then you’re missing out a huge chunk of an audience and potential customers for your work. Yes, it’s technical and might seem difficult initially, but there are several easy and prompt options to set up your own website in a completely hassle-free manner.
You can have your personal website from WordPress blogs or host your content on external domains such as Medium, Quora, Pinterest and YouTube. Both are equally good and works wonders for all kind of profiles.
Once you’re done setting up your website, it’s time to build your work profile by publishing regular content. It might sound a tedious job and posting consistently might become exhausting but when you realize the impact your content can create in the bigger picture, then the inspiration will come automatically.
Start brainstorming on topics that you feel relevant for your audience. You may be a prolific writer but when it comes to content marketing, you need to straighten your ideas, think about how they can be effective and then start developing content on them.
As a content developer, focus on your content style and content length. Be unique. Create a style that only belongs to you. Your style would be fresh and intriguing.
The content length of long-form receives more traction on SERPs as they are in-depth and in a detailed manner. But it’s not always necessary to have your content in long-form. A lot of blogs and newsletters which have converted the leads to potential buyers are less than 1000 words. It all depends on how you are able to engage the audience and retain them successfully.
Step 4: Targeted Keyword Research
If you believe keywords are old-school think again. Your entire content marketing strategy might depend on this little yet significant aspect which can surprisingly transform your content and make it stand out from others.
Keyword research is highly essential and effective if you are planning to make your content reach out to more of your target audience and get more leverage from that.
In today’s world, everyone on the internet depends on keywords. Even when someone is searching for a particular thing online, they do it by typing the keywords on the search bar. That’s the real essence of keywords.
There are several free and paid tools that are used for extensive keyword research. They not only let you find keywords that you are targeting but also suggest the importance of long-tail, competitive and non-competitive keywords.
Don’t just focus on one single keyword, but search for variety and related keywords as well. This will help search engines such as Google to understand your content better. For a strong and reliable content marketing strategy, it is highly necessary for you to have a proper set of mixed keywords for the particular content.
Step 5: Social Media for Content Marketing
Content marketing strategies are incomplete without social media strategies. Business tycoons and successful entrepreneurs like Gary Vaynerchuk swear by social media. Literally.
As more and more people are getting busy on social media platforms, it is simply a matter of fact to utilize those platforms and leverage the best from the right kind of audience. But just posting on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn won’t be the ultimate solution. You need to gain the audience’s trust by educating them, by showing that you’re a trustworthy brand and would maintain a long-term relationship with the customers.
You can either generate content specifically for the social media platforms or share your content from the website and engage the audience. As long as you are real and captivating the audience with value-adding content, you can definitely be the ultimate content marketer.
Content Marketing Strategy doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time, patience and effort to create and execute some amazing and killer content marketing strategies for yourself and for your clients’ brands.
If you have a proper plan, then your content marketing strategy is good to go.
With the perfect content marketing strategy, you can help several businesses grow and also enhance your personal brand and acquire potential clients.
A win-win situation for both!