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Three steps to an effective content marketing strategy

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Effective marketing has never been more important for both small and large companies. The economic downturn has put businesses and entrepreneurs under greater pressure with tough competition for a share of an economic pie that is still smaller than it was in late 2007.

Content marketing is a particularly important part of many companies’ strategies, though people sometimes miss the simple things in doing content marketing effectively. According to the Content Marketing Institute, content marketing refers to the “the marketing technique of creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience”.

So how to do this successfully? Here are the three steps to help you improve your content marketing strategies and convert more customers:

  1. Produce and post quality content. Just posting content to your blog to increase your SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) and increase traffic to your website is far from enough. You need to create unique and diverse content specifically targeted to your clients’ needs. For this you should undertake an in-depth target customer base assessment to make sure content published on your website is there to answer questions your clients are actually asking or issues they are facing. It is not good posting a quote or an insight piece consisting of just a few sentences – you should put enough thought into your article, combining primary customer research and a review of public Internet sources. It may be worth making a list of all the different ideas for your posts in advance and the form they may take so that you can plan ahead.
  2. It goes without saying that blog posts are the most popular and most widely-utilised form of content marketing. However, keep in mind people like (and often prefer) visual or audio cues, which means that even a single video post on YouTube for instance or a podcast can make more difference to your campaign than several blog articles. So I strongly recommend you incorporate a video/audio strategy into your content marketing campaigns. But of course, make your video of the highest quality and possibly even include a transcript. Before creating a video, have a look what thought leaders in your industry do as part of their video marketing, what standards your industry require so that you can produce as best a video piece as possible. Another ‘hot’ part of content marketing is infographics, which can be used as a nice quick summary of the main points you would like to deliver on a specific topic.
  3. Promote your content marketing across a wide range of social media channels. It is no use to create good content and promote it just once or twice. Use the key snippets of already published content, re-package it and re-use it in different forms through such platforms as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Google+ and LinkedIn. Make sure you analyse when people are most likely to read your updates on different platforms not to waste your time and energy. It is also worth planning how often you will be posting on each social network of your choice. In my experience, it is best to post updates at least 3 times a week on Facebook and at least once a day on Twitter for instance.

 

Have you utilised content marketing as part of your overall marketing campaign and which strategies proved to be most effective for you and your business? I would love you to share your comments, thoughts and advice in the Comments box below.

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