You might already know that creating valuable content and using keywords for your website can boost your web traffic via SEO (search engine optimization). But did you know that sharing relevant, compelling content on your website or social media pages can help convert your audience into actual paying customers? This marketing practice, called content marketing, is cheaper than paid advertising and can also be better at generating leads. If you’ve been neglecting writing blog posts or engaging with your community on social media, you’ve been missing out on one of the best marketing tools for your brand.
What is content marketing?
Companies use content marketing to create and share useful information. This information educates or entertains readers about topics related to their offerings, with one main goal: build brand credibility, reputation and visibility amongst current and potential customers. These types of information, or content, range from the publishing of blog posts, videos, photos, email newsletters, social media posts and more. It gives you and your small business the opportunity to connect directly with prospects and customers, increase brand awareness, develop brand loyalty, gain insights and drive sales.
Here are our top five tips for creating relevant, compelling content for your brand:
Identify your content marketing strategy.
It’s not enough to publish a blog post and post frequently on social media; moreover, you need to have a clear idea of your strategy for sharing content. What is your goal? Are you trying to grow your online audience? Is it important to capture email addresses or phone numbers for future communications? How do you plan to convert your readers or followers into paying customers? What content is most interesting to your audience? Spend some time thinking about these questions — and get some answers — before you start writing your blog posts.
Create a content calendar.
Once you understand your goals, start to map out your content calendar: a shareable resource that marketing teams use to plan all their content marketing activity. A content calendar will help you be consistent and strategic in your content marketing, so you won’t be searching for ideas when it comes time for that next blog post or newsletter.
One way to build a content calendar involves molding content around a central theme you choose for the month. If the theme for the month is “Inspire,” you might start by writing a blog post about industry leaders who inspire you. You could then feature an inspirational team member in your newsletter and ask your social media followers to share their favorite inspirational quotes on your page. When you map out the content for several months at a time, you can ensure that you have an appropriate balance of promotional content vs. educational or informational content.
Don’t forget the graphics.
Long gone are the days where a strong headline and engaging content would keep you ahead of the curve and your competitors. As of 2018, 80% of marketers are using visuals in their social media to set themselves apart, and it’s easy to understand why. Featuring relevant graphics or valuable visual content will not only grab more peoples’ attention, but it’s been shown to help folks retain information much better than reading copy by itself. Moreover, articles with more images are also shared more than those with fewer images, which is certainly a plus if you’re looking for more engagement.
And don’t forget – not all graphics are created equal. For instance, a photo perfectly sized for an Instagram ad will need to be resized for Facebook, and vice versa. That’s why you should try to stay current on the way various platforms display graphics and photos. We use this handy social media sizing guide at the Studio to make sure every graphic we create is optimized for each channel.
Leverage what you have.
Recycling is not only helpful for the environment! You can recycle your content to save time and resources, as you are technically not creating something from scratch, but presenting it in a new, exciting way. Maybe you’re transforming common client questions and answers into blog content. Or maybe you want to compile a series of blog posts on a certain topic into one large downloadable guide on a lead generation form. You can also repurpose content you haven’t already posted online, like speeches and workshops, by formatting the information to use in a blog post, social media or a newsletter — the opportunities are endless!
Measure your results.
By now, you’ve formed a content marketing strategy, created a content calendar, and planned out content with appropriate graphics and relevant information… but after implementation, how do we track all of the progress? For email marketing, consider monitoring open and click through rates. Google offers their own program designed to track your website and social media metrics, called Google Analytics. This robust platform uses live data to help you see what’s bringing people onto your site, what your audience is paying attention to, or what might not be working. We always recommend consistently keeping track of this data that you can use to drive your decisions when it comes to marketing and design and optimizing the user experience on your site.
Our small business division, Red Orange SLICE, wants to help you get a piece of the action. By enrolling in our content creation package, our content marketing specialist will work with you to identify your goals, develop posts for various channels and help you enhance brand engagement. Don’t wait to experience the countless, proven benefits content marketing. Find out if you’re eligible today!