What’s the Secret to Great Content Marketing?

What’s the Secret to Great Content Marketing?

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What’s the Secret to Great Content Marketing?

To understand the secret to great content marketing, you will first have to understand what content marketing is and how it operates. Many businesses and marketers completely misunderstand these concepts and end up using it haphazardly, producing no meaningful results through their content marketing efforts.

According to the Content Marketing Institute, “content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”

This method goes entirely against traditional marketing efforts. Digital marketing, or marketing conducted over a digital environment, can be separated into two major categories.

The Two Different Marketing Strategies

Outbound marketing, or sometimes known as interruption marketing, is how businesses were promoting their products and services before the internet. This method is still in use today, even over the internet. It consists of techniques such as advertising, promotions, PR, email spamming, direct mail, cold calling, sales, etc. Unfortunately, this marketing strategy tends to backfire, leading many consumers to suffer from a phenomenon known as ad fatigue

Inbound marketing is a marketing technique that aims to draw in customers to products and services by providing them with something of value in exchange for their business. Content marketing, social media marketing, video content marketing, branding, and SEO are some examples of inbound marketing. One of the significant benefits of inbound marketing is that it’s less intrusive than outbound, allowing customers to come in of their own accord. 

Many companies can’t tell this difference and misapply content marketing. So, what’s the secret to successful content marketing? Below are several steps that will help you answer this question.

The Content Marketing Strategy Goal

Every successful endeavor needs to start with a plan, and your content marketing is no exception. Fundamentally, your content strategies should be all about why. Why you are using it in the first place, and what are your content marketing goals? Some companies look for better engagement rates. Others want to lower their costs, while others are looking to generate more leads

So, before you start the process of creating material, you need to define why you are making it. Are you trying to become a thought leader in your industry? Do you need more recognition for your personal brand?

Having clear content marketing goals early on will help you determine other decisions as you craft your content marketing programs. You need to know where you are headed before starting on the journey. Keep in mind that there is no one-size-fits-all approach, and some trial-and-error will be required. Every business is different, desires different things, and will generate different results. Nevertheless, employing certain techniques and producing a lot of content will help you. 

This can be a challenging task to undertake on your own, and you may benefit from speaking with someone who specializes in marketing consulting. Having an effective project management professional who will guide you in your marketing efforts can be a critical factor for your content marketing success. Someone with a strong background in the content marketing industry can assist you with content creation, deciding on what types of content will be beneficial for your business, and developing an impeccable marketing program to promote brand awareness and improve your ROI.

Content marketing consulting is a vast and diverse industry. It is up to you to find the right organizations and individuals to build relationships and develop content marketing programs to accomplish your business goals.

Content Marketing Metrics and KPIs

Once your business goals are set in place, the next step is to identify and monitor the metrics that will help you get there. Numerous KPIs and metrics can be taken into consideration. Some of the most important, in our opinion, are unique visitors, geographical location, bounce rates, click patterns, page views, comments, and shares. All of these metrics can be tracked by using Google Analytics or similar marketing analytics tools.

  • Unique Visitors – This standard metric will show you how many people have viewed every piece of content within a predetermined period. This KPI acts as a baseline on which you can compare different types of content and trends over time.  
  • Geographic Location – This KPI shows where your content is being read. It helps you optimize your content ideas based on geographic locations that make the most sense for your company. 
  • Bounce Rates – This indicates the average time spent on every blog post or piece of content. The longer viewers spend on a page, the more valuable it is for them. High bounce rates, on the other hand, means that your material is not engaging enough. 
  • Click Patterns – A less obvious KPI are click patterns. Google Analytics and other similar tools allow you to monitor this metric. This will help you determine what is relevant to your audience and how to optimize your design and content. 
  • Page Views – This metric is generally overlooked but can provide valuable insights. This KPI tracks the number of pages a user has accessed before leaving your site. A combination of high numbers of page views and unique visitors can indicate that you have killer content that keeps viewers engaged. 
  • Comments – Once you post your content on social media, you can expect people to start commenting on it. Never make the mistake of blocking comments on a post. Instead, embrace it even if the discussion turns negative. Social media is a perfect environment for two-way communication, acting as an excellent customer service tool. The key is to answer and engage with customers promptly.  
  • Shares – Creating shareable content should be on every marketer’s mind. The more shares a piece of content receives, the better. 

SMART Goals and KPIs                      

SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Whether it’s the goal of your content marketing strategy or the KPIs that help you keep track of it, you should always use the SMART approach. Many businesses are unaware of this technique and usually, have unrealistic expectations from what their digital marketing strategy can deliver. 

  • Specific – Your goal and KPIs need to be explicit enough so that you can focus your efforts on achieving them. 
  • Measurable – You need to measure and keep track of these metrics before you assign them. 
  • Achievable – The goals you set for your content marketing strategy will stretch your abilities. Nevertheless, they also need to remain realistic and attainable to be successful. Try thinking outside the box and explore overlooked resources that may help bring you closer to that goal. 
  • Relevant – Always make sure that the goals and KPIs you use will align with your marketing strategy and goals. 
  • Time-bound – You will need to set a target date for each of these milestones. It will help ensure that you are making progress. 

An example of a SMART goal would be something like 2,000 more Facebook followers within three months, rather than more sales. 

Who’s Your Target Audience?

To create effective content and have a successful content marketing strategy, you will need to know your target audience. This means that you need to figure out who they are as well as their wants, needs, and pain points. The more information you have about your target audience, the better the chances of fulfilling your goals. 

Google Analytics and social media audience analysis tools will help you determine many of these factors. You can start developing the buyer’s persona – the fictional and generalized representation of the ideal customer. Make sure that every piece of content aligns with the personas’ interests. This will help motivate them to move down the customer journey. All content ideas should be tailored in such a way and provided at the right time to obtain your objective. 

Great Content for a Continuously Changing Target Audience

You should always keep in mind that any audience persona will change over time, and your content creation techniques should change with it. This is why you should regularly check your audience’s data and tweak the buyer’s persona accordingly. This way, you will ensure a constant influx of value with every piece of material you post on social networks or your landing pages.

Somewhat recently, Google introduced a new algorithm that favors a blog post or other text that is valuable to the reader. So, by staying on top of your target audience, you will also improve your site’s SEO ranking. Additionally, this audience insight will tell you which keywords to use for your content ideas. It helps drive organic traffic to your website. 

Focus on Long-Form Content

When creating posts to complement your social media strategy, you need to pay attention to its length. In the early days of content marketing, short content ruled the internet. Marketers realized that quantity trumps quality and attracted people’s attention with sheer numbers. But today, long-form content – over 1,000 words – reigns supreme. Also, Google’s algorithm can detect what is engaging content and what isn’t. It will help with search engine rankings. 

According to Neil Patel, this type of original content will earn you more online visibility through social shares and links. This visibility will increase your authority in the industry, help build trust, and provide more opportunity for engagement. 

Content Marketing Success and Email Marketing

All of your digital marketing campaigns need to contain an email component. While your social media, content, SEO, and other forms of digital marketing are designed to attract potential customers, email marketing is designed to nurture those leads before, during, and after their sales journey. 

Email lists are an excellent way of keeping potential customers engaged and up-to-date on your business. There are email providers that can sell you one such email list or allow you to rent it. The problem with using email lists from a third party is that the owners of those emails may not want anything to do with your business. 

Building an exclusive email list is the best way to go. By sharing gated content with those willing to provide their email, you will make such a list in no time. You should also promote that content on social channels as well as include sharing buttons in emails. 

Conclusion

A great content marketing strategy revolves around knowing what you want to achieve and keeping track of the milestones. Always remember that your audience is the one that ultimately creates content, while social media provides an excellent environment for engagement. Email marketing is where you nurture your leads and help them through the last stage of their customer journey.  

Strong Social is here to help you with every content marketing question you may have. Contact us today and develop a successful content marketing strategy that will best suit your organization.

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Strong Social has Been Recognized As a Top Social Media Marketing Agency By Clutch.co in 2019.

Strong Social has Been Recognized As a Top Social Media Marketing Agency By Clutch.co in 2019.

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Strong Social has Been Recognized As a Top Social Media Marketing Agency By Clutch.co in 2019.

71% of Gen Z uses Snapchat at least six times each day. 80% of leads generated by B2B brands come from LinkedIn. With stats like these, don’t you want your business to be on social media? Social media may seem daunting, especially to small businesses, but our team at Strong Social is dedicated to helping you reach your goals. We are thrilled to announce that Clutch named us a top advertising and marketing agency in New York out of thousands of others!

Aren’t aware of Clutch? They are a verified reviews platform that works to connect businesses to service providers from around the world. Clutch analysts conduct in depth research on company aspects such as market presence, work quality, and client experience. Most importantly, former clients of service providers are interviewed over the phone by Clutch analysts. This raw feedback is then published onto the company’s public Clutch profile for buyers to read through. We have seven such reviews, take a look at one of them below!

 

We are also featured on The Manifest, a Clutch sister platform that provides business news and how-to guides offering practical advice for businesses of all sizes. Visual Objects, another sister platform that lists top agencies in various business segments, showcases professional portfolios of creative projects to potential buyers.

Our success thus far is thanks to our clients and especially those who took the time to speak with Clutch. We look forward to receiving more awards and recognition in the future! Keep up to date with our agency via our blog or contact us today!

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How to Start a Business With No Website and Only Social Media

How to Start a Business With No Website and Only Social Media

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How to Start a Business With No Website and Only Social Media

Starting a business if tough, we know. Especially at the beginning, when resources are limited and you need to rely on whatever you have to get you started. Getting the first clients is always the hardest, because they need to know about your products and about your existence.

This is why you should start with a very modern, well-designed website, which is easy to use and easy to understand. The website should provide all the necessary information about your brand, your company and your products and/or services straight up front. This way, people will get a clear understanding about you and your business.

Build a Facebook Page

However, if you do not have the budget to create a fresh looking and functional website, you should go directly to Facebook. Having over 2 billion users, Facebook is already considered a second website. In some cases, companies rely more on Facebook than they do on their website, because that’s where their audience is.

In today’s modern world, if a company’s not on Facebook, it’s basically like the company doesn’t exist. At least that’s how most people look at the issue.

Having a Facebook page for your company will allow you to identify your key audience by running paid ads and it will give you the opportunity to better understand your clients’ needs. You’ll be able to make the first business contacts and you’ll possibly have your first clients if you run very well-targeted ads.

Build a LinkedIn Page

If your company is activating in the B2B sector (it also applies to B2C), it is mandatory to set up a LinkedIn Page for your business. This will make your entire company look more professional and it will make it even easier to connect with other companies.

You can learn to use Sales Navigator to generate leads which may just land you your very first clients. Keep track of all the ads you run and try to analyse what works best, with what target audience and on what platforms.

Create an Instagram Account

Your business will have a lot to gain if you’re present on Instagram. It’s the fastest growing social network and it’s easy to understand why. Focused on visual content (photographs and videos), Instagram offers companies the chance to connect with their audiences through a more creative approach.

By using specific industry-related hashtags, you can start making a name for yourself on Instagram in no time, if you also provide quality content for your future possible clients.

Focus on what works best for your business

After building a strong presence on social media, you need to start focusing on what generates the best results for your company. There’s only so much time you can spend on social networks trying to promote your business and to generate sales.

The first social network that brings in the first customers should become your number one priority. That means that you’re doing something right and you’ve already managed to identify your audience (or a part of it). Keep a strong focus on them.

Try to generate new leads which will lead to new sales. This will get your business up and running and it will allow you the breathing room to focus on developing a better presence on other social networks and also the budget to build a website for your company.

Whatever brings in revenue should be taken as a positive example and you should figure out how to replicate the things you have done right on your other social networks. If you’re interested in learning more tips and tricks about growing your business, be sure to visit our blog, or drop us a line right here.

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Innovative Approaches To Improve Your LinkedIn Communication Strategy

Innovative Approaches To Improve Your LinkedIn Communication Strategy

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Innovative Approaches To Improve Your LinkedIn Communication Strategy

If used correctly, LinkedIn can prove itself to be one of the most efficient social networks where you can make your content stand out from the crowd. As opposed to other social networks such as Facebook, or Instagram, where competition is really tough and where many distractions pop up every other second, LinkedIn can be a place where your audience is more focused, more connected, and more in theme.

We found that by regularly posting on LinkedIn, the number of views and hits your content will get can be even higher than the numbers received for the same type of content on other social networks. This is why we have decided to share a few innovative approaches to improve your LinkedIn communication strategy.

     1. Post your own blog/website content to LinkedIn Groups in order to drive traffic to your website

LinkedIn is the number 1 social network in the world for professional purposes and for seeking business collaborations, opportunities, and contacts. This makes it the number 1 priority for your business if you want to connect with a professional and knowledgeable audience.

Depending on your industry, on the product or service, you are trying to promote or sell, start by identifying the LinkedIn Groups where your key audience could be present. Make sure that those groups have over 20K members, because the bigger the group, the higher the reach of your content will be.

Don’t start posting your own content just yet. Start by commenting on the already existing content (go for the most recent posts) and get acquainted with each group’s active users. After a week or two, after you have gotten a look and feel of a group, start by posting content which is relevant to the group’s profile. You’re on your way!

     2. Post content from different sources, not just your own!

When you start posting, go for the 2-1-1 rule. This means that you should post two types of content from external sources (not your blog, website), 1 post specific to the industry, from a reliable source that most people are aware of, and 1 post which is your own content.

This will make you look like a professional of the field who is not there just to spam the group with his own promotional materials.

If you start posting and will take into account this rule, you can easily get 300 or more views per post, on groups which have tens of thousands and hundreds of thousands of members. If you add up the numbers, for 3-4 posts you can easily get over 1K hits, just from one LinkedIn group. Keep on posting!

     3. Engage with your audience

After posting on LinkedIn groups, don’t just leave the link there and wait for it to be buried under piles of more recent links. Engage with everybody who is commenting. Answer their questions and ask questions of your own.

This will make you look like an expert in the field, and not just someone who is looking to post links to get traffic to his company’s website or blog.

By following these simple steps, your LinkedIn communication will see a huge improvement. Don’t forget to contact us if you have any questions, or visit our blog if you want to read more tips and tricks about improving your online communication. Drop us a line, right here!

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How to Choose the Right Social Network for Your Business?

How to Choose the Right Social Network for Your Business?

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How to Choose the Right Social Network for Your Business?

Choosing the right social network for your business may not be as easy as one may initially think. Sure, you can start by creating accounts for your company on all the top social networks out there, but who will manage them?

Being present on all the leading social media platforms is not a bad thing if you’re sure that you have a social media manager to take charge and to handle your brand’s online presence. However, if you’re just starting off, you should limit yourself to the key social networks relevant to your business.

Even if you’re a big company, you will always have a stronger focus on some platforms as opposed to others, depending on where your clients and potential clients can be found.

 

How do I start finding the right social network?

Everything begins with research. Try to see the metrics for each social network. What do their demographics look like? Who are the people present on their platform? What do they like to do? Where do they live? How much time do they spend online?

All these questions will offer you the much-needed answers in developing your social media strategy. Not only that, but they will point to a clear direction on what social network hosts your key audience.

 

What are the top social networks to take into consideration?

At first, you will need to start with the top 4 titans of social media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. Sure, YouTube is right up there with these four, but it’s focused strictly on video content, making the platform usable for niche categories of business, mostly in the creative fields.

Facebook is all focused on building long-term relationships with your audience and requires a lot of time put into digital communication efforts. Be sure to constantly engage with your audience, because the social network’s algorithms will easily mark you as less relevant if your fans and followers don’t interact with your updates.

Twitter is very important if you want to communicate short, straight to the point updates, likes breaking news, or if you want to live stream events (this is where Youtube is also highly recommended!). Twitter allows you to post fast updates before offering more generous content on your blog and other social networks. It’s a good place to keep your audience informed in real-time, before you start giving them more details.

LinkedIn is the way to go, especially if you’re thinking of having a more B@B (business 2 business) approach for your company. It’s the easiest place to target people based on their profession and their industry. It’s easy to stay connected with top players in your field, and also a good place to keep an eye on your competition. Don’t count this social network out.

Instagram & YouTube are niche platforms focused on visual content. This can really bring a lot of attention to your brand, because they’re the fastest-growing social networks online. If you’re planning on choosing to work with visuals, which is highly recommended, be sure to choose high-quality images and videos. This will make your company stand out from the crowd. Try to avoid generic stock photos and videos, because most users can spot them a mile away.

 

What to do after you have chosen the most suitable social network?

No matter the social network you decided to choose for your company, one thing’s certain – Be consistent, be constant! It’s always recommended to constantly update your social networks, because otherwise, you’ll give the impression that your brand is fading away.

Keep things interesting with fresh content whenever you post and don’t forget to engage with your audience.

 

Questions and Answers about how to choose the right social network for your business.

How do I decide on the right social network for my business?

Everything begins with research. Try to see the metrics for each social network. What do their demographics look like? Who are the people present on their platform? What do they like to do? Where do they live? How much time do they spend online?
All these questions will offer you the much-needed answers in developing your social media strategy.

What are the top social networks to take into consideration?

At first, you will need to start with the top 4 titans of social media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. Sure, YouTube is right up there with these four, but it’s focused strictly on video content, making the platform usable for niche categories of business, mostly in the creative fields.

How to grow my network on Social Media?

The best way to grow your network on social media is to post frequently, with high quality content for your followers and for people that will find your content online. By using correct hashtags will spread your content further, and by responding to comments on your posts is another great way to gain more followers. If people see that you are active and knowledgeable in your industry they will naturally follow you and your network will grow.

Is Google my business a Social Network?

Google My Business can be consider a social network and a great SEO feature. You can add all of your account info to the snippet, have people call you and message you directly, and even receive comments on your business. You can easily manage Google my Business as a Social Media Network.

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How to Stay Fresh on Social Media with so Much Content Being Posted Daily

How to Stay Fresh on Social Media with so Much Content Being Posted Daily

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How to Stay Fresh on Social Media with so Much Content Being Posted Daily

During the past few years, social media has become the backbone of digital communication for most brands out there. There’s really no other way around it, considering that every company needs to go where its target audience is. And where are most people to be found right now? On social media, that’s right.

This is why adapting and constantly readapting your social media communication is an ongoing process that every business should get used to implementing. But how to stay fresh with all that content (social media noise) being posted online on a daily basis?

Go Visual – Make It Stand Out!

93% of communication is already visual. This means that the less you focus on visual and the more you invest time in other forms of communication, the more harm you are doing to your brand.

Try to keep things visual! Stand out of the crowd with strong high-quality images and videos that will make your audience engage with your content. Don’t just choose generic stock photos to communicate a message. Go the extra mile and pick (or create) a custom image that perfectly matches your brand’s style and approach.

Get Influencers to Talk About You

Nobody likes seeing someone blowing his own horn. This is why you should do some research and find the perfect influencer to go with your brand identity. Find someone who stands out in your sector of activity, or someone who your target audience trusts or admires.

This will attract new eyes on your brand and it will raise awareness about your products or services.

Organize a Giveaway with Relevant Prices

Depending on your industry, you should consider hosting a giveaway for your current clients and followers, and for your future clients and potential fans. Try offering something you make, or something you have decided that your audience is into.

If you’re a bookstore – offer books. If you’re an artist – offer tickets to your concerts, a painting, or even think about promoting other artists. Just try to keep it relevant to your industry, because this will make people follow you on the long run. It’s also the safest way to avoid prize hunters that only come to your page for hit and run jobs. As soon as the giveaway is over, so will their attention start to fade away.

Talk about what your followers want to hear, not just about yourself

Most of the times, a company’s social media accounts are all about posting dull, low-effort links about company updates. It’s nothing engaging, nothing of true value. And while many think that their fans will not notice this, trust us, they will.

People know when you are posting just for the sake of it, and not for actually creating value. Consider posting more relevant content from your industry, and not just news about your company. Post updates that are generally helpful for anyone who follows you, and this way, whenever you post a company update, people are much more likely to read about it, because they will consider you an objective source.

Staying fresh on social media is no easy task these days, but if you put the time into your company’s digital communication, it’s definitely worth it.

If you’re interested in learning more about staying fresh and relevant on social media, be sure to read our articles, or drop us a line right here.

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