If you don’t already have a focused content strategy for your local business, you are officially in the minority. In fact, companies spend over 25 percent of their promotional budgets on content marketing on average.
This makes it obvious how important content marketing is to your business but is your strategy everything it could be? These three quick tips will help it get there.
1. Utilize Images Whenever Possible
Whether on social media or in email newsletters, images increase engagement. This is a truth that’s been proven time and again. When you aren’t posting blogs or articles, toss up an industry-related image that’s informative or humorous. And when choosing a featured image for your blog links, make sure the image is about 1200×628 so the preview isn’t shrunk down.
2. Utilize Content in Email Newsletters
One surefire way to bring traffic to your websites while also making your email newsletters worth reading is to share your content right in the email. For blogs, you could have small snippets to get people interested in clicking a link to read the full post. Videos, on the other hand, can be posted in their entirety right in the newsletter.
3. Include Evergreen Content
Content about industry news or trends is certainly important, but you should also make an effort to create evergreen content. Evergreen refers to any content – from infographics to articles – that remains relevant regardless of when it’s read. Ask your blog manager to include evergreen pieces when working on your content strategy.
There are innumerable ways to improve your content marketing strategy, but not all of them have to “reinvent the wheel.” Even minor tweaks can lead to big results, so take the time to discuss these possibilities with whoever handles your digital marketing.
As of May 2016, the streaming service Hulu had surpassed 12 million subscribers. In marketing terms, this means they’re definitely doing something right.
Of course, it may seem difficult to apply streaming marketing to other industries, but this doesn’t mean there aren’t a variety of marketing lessons to learn from Hulu. Here are three of the most important.
Video is Imperative
Considering it’s a streaming service, a video is obviously immensely important to Hulu. Video being the service they provide, however, isn’t the only reason it’s imperative. They also heavily use video marketing to promote their service. This was especially the case prior to the release of Hulu Plus.
Hulu is consistently putting out promotional content via video. They keep their ads short and sweet, and they also use real people as opposed to actors. Implementing a few of these tips while keeping the ads informative can go a long way.
Engage in Original Content Marketing
While posting an interesting meme or article found through a Google search may increase social visibility a bit, it’s original content that really gets noticed. Hulu proved this by creating 11.22.63, The Handmaid’s Tale and Difficult People.
Local business marketers must recognize the importance of original content and create their own blogs, videos, and articles.
Don’t Be Afraid to Drop Dead Weight
Hulu isn’t afraid to let streaming contracts expire when a certain show isn’t doing well on their platform. Local businesses should take this route when marketing as well.
Regardless of how much has been invested in a certain promotional endeavor, there’s no excuse to keep using a failing tactic. Either update it to work or switch strategies entirely.
Even with Netflix being the industry powerhouse, Hulu has still managed to draw subscribers and stand on its own. For local businesses that can utilize the company’s skills in their own marketing endeavors, the sky is the limit.
Most industries have certain questions that simply do not get much activity online. This could include anything from coming up with a roofing estimate, to how to create restaurant-style steaks.
Most of these questions are averted because those in the field think it could hurt their bottom line. This means people searching for these questions will not come across much. Thankfully, a budding entrepreneur can take advantage of this and get seen.
Utilize Headline Analyzers
Having an excellent piece of content and a title that truthfully represents what the blog is about is crucial. Sadly, this does not always guarantee maximum exposure. Titles really need to grab people's attention. A simple Google search for headline analyzers will provide tools that rank titles on their readability, grammar and overall structure.
Stake Out Industry Leaders' Information
Even though lots of people prefer to keep up with local businesses rather than national chains, these larger chains obviously have a much larger following. Luckily, business owners can use this to their advantage.
This only requires looking through larger companies' social media posts and blogs. If something gets hundreds or thousands of shares, be assured that it is popular. Never copy the post verbatim, but use its foundation to create what will hopefully turn into a viral post.
Content marketing can do wonderful things for small businesses. It can easily create online popularity which leads to offline achievement. Not every single post is likely to turn into gold, but it only takes one viral hit to really pay off.
Facebook was once a powerful tool that essentially provided free marketing and advertising to all, but times have changed a bit. Now the site has altered its algorithms and made garnering significant organic reach very difficult for companies. Thankfully, boosting a post is relatively cheap and gets your fans' eyes on your content, and after that, you will see a rise in your organic reach. Don't go broke boosting your posts, but do not just leave great content to flounder either.
Here are three content marketing strategies for you
It is great if you create an article that does nicely on your social networking sites, but why let it end there? An article can easily be repurposed into a blog post, video, or even white paper. When a piece of content does well, it is obvious that you struck a chord with your followers. Do not allow this content just fizzle out into nothingness. While you should share great content, giving it a full makeover can be even better.
Boost Content for the Search Engines
Google has slowly evolved so much that great content shows up high on search results no matter of some time-tested SEO tactics. This means there is less concentration on SEO, but that does not mean to forget search engines. A URL with your keyword, meta description with keywords, graphic names dedicated to SEO, and including the keyword in your title will all help you get noticed on Google. Whether or not you succeed from that point is based on your content's performance.
There once was a time when Facebook would show your fans anything you wanted, but that era has passed. The social networking giant has changed how it does things, and it is now tougher than ever to get organic reach on the site. Fortunately, you can boost your posts and ensure fans see your content, and once this is achieved, organic reach will begin to increase. It is not necessary to break the bank, but a few dollars can go quite a distance.
Content marketing can easily take your small business to the next level. This is why you should attempt everything at your disposal to increase your reach.
Content marketing has become the buzzword for online marketers and business owners urging them to reach out to their customers and prospects through their content. However, seldom do they mention how or why this approach works. There are aspects of content marketing that most people don't even think about simply because it just works. The key is understanding how these aspects work and leveraging them to develop your business even further.
Your content helps build trust with your existing and prospective customers:
Regularly posting or providing high quality content that are helpful and usable to your audience is a great way to earn their trust. Over time your audience will turn into prospects that have learned to trust your business because you provided them with reliable news and solid information that they found useful. When those prospects are ready and willing to buy, your business will be on the top of their list because they trust you.
Your content will help attract more website visits:
Great content brings more visitors on to your website. These visitors will eventually turn into potential customers if you give them the news and information they are looking for. Since you are providing content at a targeted audience through social media, they will end up looking for your website when they go searching for products or services in your industry.
Your content helps you engage with your customers and builds your brand presence:
Sharing your content on social media platforms gives you the opportunity to have a two way conversation with your audience. By investing your time and efforts into customer engagement, you strengthen your relationship with existing and prospective customers. This engaged relationship will make your prospects want to do business with you and become your customers.
Your content can position you and your business as an expert or authority figure in your particular industry:
As you continue to consistently provide content that is rich in information that is relevant to your target market, share your content on social media, and promote it on your own website, your existing customers, your prospects, as well as your audience will see you as the trustworthy expert authority on the subject matter. If they trust you, they will buy from you or do business with you.
The key to content marketing is the fact that it offers long term benefits to your business which in turn means you're in for the long haul. Being consistent and focusing your time and effort into engaging with your customers and your audience will help out a lot in the long run.
Businesses and brands know that they need to invest in marketing. The thing is most people make the mistake of generalizing how marketing works when creating their strategy. Content marketing is one of those strategies where people tend to have some misconceptions about how it works. Here are a few common misconceptions:
#1 Marketing content and creating content is the exact same thing
Just because they both refer to “content” does not mean they are the same. Creating the content and marketing the content are two very different things. Prior to creating and marketing any of the content, making a solid business strategy that answers some basic questions like:
Who is this content aimed at?
How do you want your audience to take action?
How do you plan to promote the content you create?
What websites can you get backlinks from?
Does your content marketing involve responding to people in real time on social media or on your blog?
How frequently would you post the content you create?
These are just some of the questions that need answering when creating your business strategy and then move on to implementing them. The bigger picture is that every piece of content that you create has to be coherent and work well with your content marketing strategy.
#2 It's easy and dirt cheap to do content marketing
It's true that just about anybody can start a website or at the very least, use social media as a platform to post the content that they create because the internet is virtually free of charges. People think that you don't need any special training or a college degree to conceptualize and create content.
As a matter of fact, this undermines the skill and creativity involved to conceptualize, create and market the content to make it work for the brand you are trying to establish in line with your business strategy. Content creation and marketing requires an intimate knowledge and familiarity of your brand, your audience, and the digital “market place”. Furthermore, you need to monitor and measure how successful your content marketing efforts are, that is not an easy task.
These questions need to be answered:
How does your audience respond to the content you put out?
Are they more responsive and interact better though social media or on your blogs?
Does your content convert your audience into leads?
Failing to put in the proper amount of time, energy and resources into content marketing will probably end with you not getting much success.
#3 The value of content marketing cannot be measured
Surprisingly, not all content marketers keep track and measure the success of their campaigns. Not being able to track and see the performance of your campaigns on paper (or on screen) can cause a lot of frustration and could discourage any further content marketing efforts.
You can find a variety of tools to help you track how your content performed and what type of impact it has on your readers on the internet. Google Analytics is the most common tool marketers use to retrieve data and measure them and show you the results so you can find out how your audience interacts and responds with your content as well as where you post them.
That being said, you need to invest your time, effort and resources to get your audience to know who you are, what you can offer, and establish trust so they can take the next step and become leads.
Content marketing puts the prospect (your audience) in the driver's seat so to speak. Your brand has to provide content that your prospects find valuable so they can move forward. That can take a long time which means you have to set a reasonable projection for your ROI for your content marketing campaign.
As if we didn’t already have enough to do, “content creator” has been added to the list of hats we must wear as online marketers.
It’s a really big hat, too. Content marketing encompasses so much more than just writing— SEO, graphic design, project management, lead capture, video editing, and social media— all come into play as we go about creating and distributing promotional content.
Thankfully, there are fantastic tools out there to help you create the best content possible, make your life easier throughout the process, and maximize the promotional value you get from your content. Continue Reading
People search the internet every minute of every day for information about certain topics, products, services or companies that they are interested in. Finding relevant material on the subject matter they are looking for online is something everybody wants and that's where you come in.
If your brand or website could present content that has a lot of educational and helpful information, that builds your brand's reputation up to the point of you becoming the expert on the subject matter. Here are a few examples of content that your website could produce.
The ability to answer questions that are frequently asked as well as questions that should be asked but currently aren't. You can also position the FAQs in such a way that it positively positions you in your market.
Target the useful and relevant topics that your readers ask about or want answers to. Answer those questions clearly and professionally so that your readers know that you are indeed an expert on the subject matter and can be seen as an authority figure.
A well written white paper is essential to successful content marketing. This document should reflect the core values of your business and will aid in generating sales leads, position your business as a thought leader, as well as educate, inform and persuade potential clients, partners, or investors.
Think of unique and original ways you can connect with your readers on your chosen topic.
These are a great way to convey your thoughts on a particular topic which can also be used as base material for an article or eBook. Blogs also provide a great platform to attract intelligent and like-minded audiences. If you are able to make content that is smart and thought provoking to your readers then you almost immediately build a list of intelligent people who like what you have produced.
When you are able to present content that is easy to read, well written, as well as well researched – it builds trust and interest among your readers which they will happily share your material with people they know.
Publishing content to the web is expensive. I know what you’re thinking: no, it’s not; it costs nothing, especially when compared to print. And you would be right, from a certain point of view. The problem is that publishing is cheap. This seduces you, encouraging you to put more and more content online.
In fact, the cost is so cheap that many organizations let almost any employee put content online. They install a content management system and give staff free rein. Even those who enforce standards for consistency and accuracy still produce a lot of content. After all, somebody might find that piece of content useful.
But you will soon discover hidden costs. Costs that are crippling larger organizations.
The Hidden Cost Of Content
Although there is a cost to producing this content in the first place, there is a far higher cost in maintaining that content over time. It costs huge amounts of money and time to review content on a regular basis and ensure it is still accurate and relevant. This is especially true when some organizations have millions of pages online. In the end, many companies just give up. We often forget content once we hit “Publish”, unless it is a particularly prominent piece.
The hidden cost is not just limited to maintenance. It also impacts the usability of sites. With so much content online it can be hard for users to find content that is useful. For example, at one point microsoft.com had over 10 million pages online, over 3 million of which a user had never visited. This clutter only succeeded in damaging findability and lowering customer satisfaction.
But there is a final hidden cost: a cost to an organization’s ability to evolve its site over time. Take, for example, a company that wants to make its site responsive. In theory we can do this with some updates to the CSS or, at most, the templates in the content management system. But when you have millions of pages produced over an extended period of time this is often not the case. Content producers will have marked up content in a variety of different ways making design changes hard.
Many digital teams give up on the idea. Instead, they redesign the core site and leave legacy content alone. This leads to a fragmented experience as users struggle to adapt to the changing user interface across the site.
How can this enormous challenge be overcome? It begins by addressing the ROT on your site.
What Is ROT?
ROT stands for redundant, out-of-date and trivial. Much of the content on our sites falls into one of these three categories. ROT is a huge problem on many larger websites.
The European Commission recently undertook a content audit. It removed a staggering 80% of its online content because it was ROT. This created a better user experience while reducing costs. It also allowed them to evolve their digital offering.
Much of the content that organizations put online is trivial. It caters to edge cases that most users do not care about. Yet it takes time and effort to maintain and makes finding important content harder.
But even important content can become ROT. As an organization evolves so should its online content. Yet it often doesn’t and that content becomes redundant.
Finally, a lot of the content we put online has a limited shelf life. Events that have come and gone, or news stories from years ago that clutter up search results.
Sooner or later this ROT will need addressing. But how do you do that?
Link-building seems so much easier for some industries. An exciting product means exciting marketing opportunities, right? Maybe, but working with a client in a so-called “dull” industry doesn’t mean the marketing itself has to be inherently drab.
Regardless of what you’re selling, the core principles of link-building remain unchanged. Ultimately, you’re still trying to appeal to other human beings, so let the needs of the customer guide your campaign ideation efforts. Their interests, goals, problems, and reasons for purchasing your service all give you ripe opportunities for coming up with fresh and engaging content marketing concepts. And anyway, sometimes a challenging sell produces the brightest marketing ideas.
Here are four ideas to help you create powerful content that will engage your target audience and earn links and shares.
1. Turn Case Studies Into Educational Opportunities
People love a good story, especially if there’s something to learn from it. Turn ordinary case studies into content you’d actually want to read. How? Rather than creating the regular problem-solution type post, think more in terms of an educational magazine article or video vignette. For example, marketing company Conversion Rate Experts has some examples of interesting case studies that are highly read and shared since they use their past wins as a way to educate the customer on conversion rate optimization.
2. Share Less-Obvious Ways Your Product Can Help
The more versatile you make your product sound, the more people it will appeal to. Scope out every person who uses – or might potentially use – the product and show them what it can do for them. Dropbox does a great job of this on their blog, putting up such content as how to use Dropbox to makesearching for a job more efficient and how to preserve family recipes. It’s an excellent example of a brand understanding its clients’ varied personas.