Content is rapidly evolving, directly consumed by your target audience, or as a means to an end, such as converting your leads to actual customers/clients.
The tools, approach, and strategies employed in content marketing are in the fast lane; if you do not catch the bus, you will be left behind. On the other hand, content marketing has enormous benefits, with actual figures to validate its potency in making an online business skyrocket.
But beyond knowledge, the consistent application of the rudiments like a working strategy, an understanding of the figures in analytics, content optimization, and content relevance to targets promises a better outcome.
More so, a combination of some of these tools and strategies, augmented to better thrive in our fast-growing business world, will put you on that path to living your business dream. This guide has gathered the information you need to market your content using best practices.
Content is one of the most important elements of SEO these days. You need to give your readers information that they want to consume.
It should not come as a surprise that the first thing that needs keen attention in content marketing is the content itself. This is the service that you offer to your targets.
Creating A Content Strategy
When cooking up a strategy to market your content, considering every element that makes the content more attractive is quite important.
This aims to pull the intended audience, project to them what your services are about and what makes you stand out from the competitors in the room. Implementing these details, these elements will make your content the customer's choice.
Three primary aspects should be looked into before you bring your content to your targets:
The topic of branding is central to every part of a product or service. Branding is everything that makes your content unique from all other content and establishes your space.
It is challenging to market a product that looks the same as every other, which is why branding is essential—ranging from your business name, logo, and tagline to color choices. It is important to get it all right.
A handy method is to personalize an identity for your brand. Create a personality that shows the problems your brand solves and those that will benefit from its services. Branding is usually structured in the direction of a well-defined target market.
As much as there are billions of people on earth, not forgetting that this puts into account infants and toddlers, you should not aim to attract all of them.
Even if your product is as widely accepted and used as water, it is still best to have a well-defined group of people you see as your primary audience.
Your target market is your brand's main focus; they are the people you want to convert to customers, and you need to account for them properly.
Defining your target market should involve factors such as age group, location, gender, and social status. Putting out your content requires this step.
Along the line, each content will be tailored towards a target audience within the market (primary) you have defined, but the primary market has to come before marketing is considered.
The production of your content will be much easier once you have put the branding and target market into the picture earlier. Many marketers make the mistake of beginning their marketing plan after production.
Then they start to think of what way to market, who to direct it to, and other intricacies. With precise details about your brand and target market, the marketing becomes more straightforward, and you would have answered many questions before they are even asked. The production just has to fall in line with this established structure.
A good content strategy can appropriately demonstrate everything you need to prepare your content for marketing. Creating it will increase productivity and make content ideation (selecting topics for marketing) stress-free and successful.
Create a Content Calendar
Creating a calendar for your content is one of the best content marketing practices. It works for solo marketers and big companies with a team of marketers.
This practice will help you create a sense of responsibility and urgency by giving you self-created deadlines and reminders.
Content calendars also help you put your content to be published in categories. Contents are better sorted this way.
Most calendars come with a color-code function. Your content calendar is more readable when content categories are labeled with these color codes.
This helps you to divide each type of marketing strategy adequately, and you can match content for each target audience group and sort your categories of content (like entertainment, product description, and general education).
This organization system created by your content calendar will help provide your audiences with pleasant varieties, showing your consistency.
This can also bring about anticipation in your target market. A pattern has been established via consistency, and your targets are on their toes for what is to come next.
As a calendar will help plan for the future, it is good practice to limit your content wisely. Let the calendar have some breathing space. This will allow for unsaturation and also give room for spontaneous content.
Besides planned posts, some content will arise due to events, trends, or even a direct request by your customers. This is why your content calendar should be well spaced.
The calendar mainly helps to control the pace at which you develop content and the time you put it out for your targets. This significantly improves productivity. Never should it become a burden that demands too much from you or works against you.
A final tip as regards calendars is not to make them too futuristic. It is best to create your content calendars monthly, move with the times, and develop content as applicable.
This will need some personal touch because if you are in a fast-paced and spontaneous business, you could have to curate your calendars weekly.
Leverage Social Media Platforms
Social media is one of the most important communities for a content marketer. The world population is about eight billion. Statistically, about five billion people use the internet, with over 90% using social media.
More than half of the world's population served on a platter. Social media's reach and necessity in all marketing campaigns cannot be overemphasized.
The traditional ways of using billboards, blogs, brand placement, and the likes are still excellent adjuncts. However, it is a no-brainer that the bulk of your attention should point to the internet and, more so, to social media platforms.
You can leverage the Internet's reach by having a user-friendly website that acts as your online store but, more importantly, you have to establish a presence on social media.
It is good practice to have a presence on all major social media platforms, but the varying attention you will give each will depend on your content strategy.
For example, age-wise, you should be aware that the younger generations have more presence on TikTok, Instagram, and Twitter (With Snapchat also having a pretty good shout).
You can also appeal to a more mature and professional audience on platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn. There is also a generally more extensive reach on Facebook and YouTube.
Using this basic knowledge in planning to leverage social media in your marketing strategy becomes necessary. A good social media practice is not to place your presence on brand-related content entirely.
Being opinionated and having a natural feel on social media platforms gives you a unique representation that could, in turn, translate to engagements and followers.
The followers you build along the way will also become consumers of the brand-related content you post, bringing you full circle to the aim of Content Marketing.
Having a bot-like social media platform that only becomes active when it is time to showcase the brand will seldom achieve much.
Social media can be pretty distracting, it feels good to take hold of the latest trends and use them to create content that brings about engagements, but this could quickly take a wrong turn.
This is why you always have to remember to stay on brand. While there are many topics to take advantage of and utilize for attention, not all should be.
You have to align your content to the brand identity you have created. This involves interacting with suitable topics, the right brands, and events.
Several opportunities for endorsements, partnerships, and invites would arise from your interactions. Turning down such offers could affect you, so it is better to strategically structure your social media content to invite the needed opportunities.
Another best practice on social media is to promote uniformity. As you create a presence on all social media platforms, ensure unison between all your profile pages.
You do not necessarily need to have the same content everywhere, but you should always aim to preserve the identity and values of the brand. The importance of the brand should be upheld on all platforms, regardless of where it is.
For example, if you have an animated brand, keep to the upbeat and fun content on LinkedIn. Make sure you do not overdo it.
You should control the narrative on all platforms. This will help the public get more acquainted with your brand and prevent misrepresentation.
Select The Most Effective Method(s) of Delivery For Your Niche
We are in a time when a video content creation platform like TikTok significantly affects the music industry, helping to revive old songs and giving mass appeal to brand new ones.
This has been achieved using exciting video content, dance routines, and concepts. It shows that even if your brand is focused on one delivery method (text, audio, video, etc.)
The top methods of content delivery you can use in creating content are:
The public's attention has recently shifted to visual content and representation. Still, blogs have remained relevant due to their ability to fall on both ends of the content journey.
We have newbies starting blogs and documenting their journey before taking bold steps to audiovisual content marketing.
On the other end, veterans in the content-making industry are coming to a late realization that their life's work needs to be properly documented.
Text, in general, is a part of marketing that will never die. You have to include texts in most designs and videos. You also still have to write scripts to deliver most content types efficiently.
Podcasts and audio content do not have as much influence on an audience as other formats, but they have their specific uses. Audio content is excellent at securing a lot of the busy and working-class type of audience, those who are too occupied to hold on to their devices to read a blog or watch a video.
Audio content is where they spend most of their time, and they could just switch it on and carry on with their activities.
And if your target audiences are people with such a busy schedule, it is best to take advantage of this delivery method to connect with them.
Video is the most implemented and most effective method of delivery, yielding the highest ROI of all formats. Short-form videos are the new trends being introduced to many places in the online space. They are the theme of most ads, and they are working wonders.
The continuous growth and success of video as a form of marketing make it a good choice for your pick, but there are things to be wary of.
First, this success increases the stiff competition in this method of delivery. Most of your competitors will also be using this format, and those who are not are probably considering it.
In this case, you have two options: either you support this content with other forms of content to increase your reach, or you beef up your creative team to come up with unique video content that stands out and is easily recognizable by your audience.
Videos are moving images, which makes them a bit difficult to sequence in such a way that it would satisfy everyone.
You do not want to make them too slow so you do not bore those that comprehend fast, and you also do not want to make them too fast and risk losing communication.
Infographics solve these problems as they are just one design, and individual audiences can take as much time as they want to grasp the context of your message and understand your CTA.
Within one design, you can showcase your brand, product, advantages, and contact info in any creative manner you please. It is one of those mid-level methods that can satisfy all kinds of people.
Some factors that you would consider to pick the method(s) to use are:
- Your content
- Your target audience
- The amount of information you would like to pass
- The platforms you are using
- What you or your team are comfortable with
Still, on the topic of delivery, we all know some topics could quickly get boring when you get into too much detail in explaining them.
So a tip to apply here is to look for relatable content from other niches that you could bring in as a graphic to simplify and drive the message home.
Not only will this help pass the intended message, but the creativity applied will also receive great reviews from the audience.
Implement SEO and Copywriting
The importance of text manifests in almost all forms of content. Even those that seem not to have text would, at the very least, need a title or maybe even a description to back it up.
For this reason, you should be able to insert some advanced text-based knowledge into your marketing strategy.
One of the first things to learn and implement is Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and the use of keywords and key phrases.
It is good practice to make as much of everything you have in text form to be of popular search convention. Make your titles and descriptions in line with how people will search for them. It does not have to be search-engine centered. Slightly similar use of words occurs on both search engines and social media.
Using starters with search traffic potential like “The best….” “Top…” “How to…” in your ads and taglines are ways to increase your rankings in search engines.
The world of SEO is vast and somewhat unstable as they depend on the platforms' algorithms. The Google algorithm is constantly changing and quite detailed; knowing will help you get ranked easier on the most popular search engine in the world.
The Ahrefs' keywords Explorer tool can help provide you with a good analysis of highly sought-after topics, or you can take the time to use Google trends to check for yourself manually.
Another good practice for sorting for topic ideas is taking a hint from your competitors and predecessors in your niche. You should keep them close to get inspiration for valuable topics in the field.
You may think it is a bit odd to replicate topics that people have already done, but in this case, you have the advantage of correcting the flaws in their content.
You can take theirs and develop better topics, ideas, and details they might have missed, which their audience would probably be looking for. Do well to achieve this without portraying a sense of plagiarism or lack of authenticity.
As SEO has the power to get your content discovered, Copywriting takes it from there. Copywriting could be the retaining factor you need to apply in your content that prevents the audience from looking away immediately.
Every content marketer should strive to get some copywriting knowledge. The substance of your content may be beneficial to an audience, but it would go to waste if it fails to get their attention to go through it and unwrap the treasures you offer.
Have you ever logged on to YouTube for a particular reason, and you see the title of an unrelated video and find yourself clicking through and watching before realizing that this was not why you opened the app?
That is what good copywriting does. This hypnotic ability is what you should crave for your content, and you can have it with proper knowledge and implementation of copywriting.
In the world of text for marketing, it is more than just words on a screen. Marketers have taken steps further than their peers by hiring professional SEO copywriters or honing their skills. Take this to heart and take one of the available options.
Provide Easy Links to Your Content
You need to include links or CTA on every content you put out. You could be doing an excellent job putting your content out there and constantly shoving it in people's faces, but you must consider accessibility in all your marketing strategies.
For example, a product could be on the lips of a million people and not have up to a thousand sales daily. It is one thing to get your product or service popular, but it is another to translate them into sales or patronage.
Looking at a practical analogy, if you are back from work, tired and hungry, looking to order a pizza, and you find two old pizza boxes in the trash from two different makers.
Looking at the boxes, you see that the more enjoyable pizza does not have contact info on the box while the other less enjoyable but manageable one has its hotline written.
Now you have two options, try to search for the contacts of the preferred one or immediately call the fair one; which would you pick?
Naturally, the one with immediate access is more likely to be patronized in such a scenario. This is how marketing works. Marketing should not only get you to know about something but should also get you to engage with it.
You can include contact info, shoppable links, and link triggers in your promotional content.
Shoppable links involve you directly, including links that could lead to your content or online stores in your ads, bios, and posts. These make it easier to transition your audience to customers.
Once you have marketed your content well and gotten your audience interested, these links will give them a chance to effect the first thing that comes to mind before they forget or change their minds.
New features, like the newly introduced Shopify's Linkpop, have made these more enjoyable by giving you the chance to create another experience for your audience when they click the link.
Also mentioned earlier were Link triggers. Unlike shoppable links where you do the work, link triggers are ways of structuring your content so that people would be interested in making references (links, reviews, and mentions) to them.
Again, this is about using keywords and phrases to drive your content into the proper discussions.
Communication is incomplete without feedback. Therefore, creating an easy avenue for interactions and feedback within your content is necessary for completion. Once this is achieved and accompanied by a good campaign, you sit back and wait for future results.
Consider the Users Every Step of the Way
You do not need to be told that the audience is essential to any content marketing success. The content strategy has already outlined the importance of preparing a target market from which you will get your target audience.
The content strategy will be used to narrow down the broad market you would like to cover. It is also paramount to put forward the importance of the target audience. The target audience is that part of your target market you consider for each product element.
For example, you want to market a Cryptocurrency exchange platform, and your target market is middle-aged and elderly Americans looking to invest and grow their wealth; within that market, there are different audiences.
You have those looking to learn about Cryptocurrency from scratch, those who understand the basics and want to trade, and those who have been trading and want to go into more complex paths like futures trading.
In addition to content tailored for all groups at once, there would be content tailored for each group within your market. This needs to be understood before making each content. Once you understand various audiences within your target market, you must plan accordingly.
Adequately consider each target audience in your marketing plan and balance the promotion of content for each. During content ideation, you should be able to describe which audience each content idea will apply to.
This consideration makes for a more all-around touch. As you keep creating these categorizations, you equally satisfy all audiences, and some content can later be reused as some type of audience would transition to another kind.
A fresh new audience, who has not seen the previous content, will take their place. This is why content like well-detailed guidelines and introductions can be kept safely for reuse, except if there are new additions that would require you to make edits or create a new one.
Research is necessary for each target audience. You need to be up-to-date about what is trending, what is wanted, and what is doing poorly. This will help guide your creations.
Social media impressions, question-and-answer forums, and Search engines will help provide a lot of information as regards this and many more. Staying one step ahead of your competitors can be achieved by connecting closely with the audience and being the fastest to implement changes that will meet their needs.
This does not mean that you should prioritize speed over quality. Still, by getting the information earlier, you have a head start to brainstorm correctly and develop the best marketing strategy to tackle the new data you have obtained.
As a side note, try as much as possible to make your marketing as human as possible. Listing out the advantages of using blogs and Infographics is nice, but it is always good to show that humans use and love your content.
Show human content like reviews, use-cases, testimonials, and the likes. People connect more with these types of content. If you have video content that you want an audience to read, adding a voiceover is better to make it more relatable than just showing the text with an instrumental playing in the background.
Use AI Sparsely
Artificial Intelligent tools are having their day in the content marketing industry. Quality should always take precedence over quantity and speed, which has been why many marketers tend not to consider the use of AI-generated content.
However, quantity also has its benefits. With quality, the customer usually wins, but with quantity, the customer is reminded. High-quality content that takes a long time to develop could affect your results when it is not frequent enough.
This is where Artificial Intelligence tools for content production have their day. AI tools help increase output, consistently reminding people about your content. They save time and money for many businesses as they would not require much motivation and incentives as content creators would.
Aside from the speed they offer, many of these AI tools have great features to implement SEO, language translations, and various marketing schemes.
Tools like Jasper (Formerly known as Jarvis) and Writesonic are great for content marketers as they consider marketing in their features. It is like having a knowledgeable assistant that boosts productivity. They also help in creating landing pages and ad campaigns.
AI will also help you automate recurring processes that you carry out frequently, like daily reminders and posts. Recent AI tools can now personalize content based on the user due to their extensive database can fetch creative product descriptions crafted for your target audience.
Some other exciting ways AI is implemented into content marketing include:
- Processing and storage of large amounts of data collected for optimization purposes
- Scheduling posts
- Generating topics
- Adding to the brand strategy
- Predicting customer behavior
Nevertheless, the use of AI tools should be sparsely implemented. They also have their cons, which is why they are not a choice for many marketers. They tend to reduce the human effect you want your content to have. The relay of emotions such as empathy and humor would be lacking, and you surely do not want your brand to seem robotic.
A good practice is to put the finishing touches on the AI-generated content whenever you can. This way, you can add the human appeal to it. Another way is using AI-generated content as a template to make your fresh content.
Either way, they are good tools, but you must put a little life into them. Then, they can be used in the right direction to support your marketing.
Use Analytics and Metrics to Track and Optimize Results
Google Analytics has done well in providing an interface that you can use in tracking the performance of your websites. You can use it to check and analyze your web traffic, as well as impressions and time people spent on your websites which will be beneficial during your performance reviews.
It can also be implemented in Google ads and allow you to monitor the effectiveness of your ad campaigns to increase traffic on your website. It shows the reach of the ads ranging from the pages they appear compared to the activities they achieve.
Google’s web analytic service is not the only one out there, but it is the most robust, most used, and best of all, it has a free plan making it a top choice.
Social media platforms also have their analytics that gathers all data on each post on the site. Most of the platform's analytics have gotten more advanced over time; they not only provide the usual number of likes, retweets, and comments.
They now offer more in-depth data to help you work out action plans. They show a long list of different impressions, from the number of users who scrolled away to those who checked your profile through the post and those who shared it.
This has improved the way brands do social media listening, which is using the analysis to track audience conversations to gain insights about their thoughts of your brand, your products, and their preferences (as well as dislikes).
This also helps you decide which social media platforms are working best for your type of content so you can focus more on them or do better in the ones you are lagging (Quick tip: Maximize your strengths but do not let go of your weaknesses).
Analytics is also handy for content ideation. With an analysis of past content, you can see which of your features, products, and method(s) of delivery work best by comparing the data the analytics would provide. This data will give suggestions of the type of topics to look into for future posts and old topics that you can update or repost.
Not to leave out the obvious, analytics help content marketers track their progress. You can use them to see how well you are doing. Storing the data from each week or month is good practice for a quantitative breakdown of your monthly or yearly activities.
If your figures are great, having them in your portfolio is also a good thing. Content marketers use the analytics of their past projects to give pitches and ace interviews as many big companies believe more in numbers than word of mouth. These numbers should, therefore, be a source of motivation and challenge to you.
Adapt New and Old Content to Modern Concepts
We are in very innovative times, and you either adapt or get left behind. This last part keeps you in a conscious developmental state of mind.
Almost daily, new features are being created or released that have the potential to change the discussion, such as new tools, platforms, and techniques. It is challenging to keep up, but it is indispensable.
You need to stay informed about new additions and updates on every platform you use. Most recent developments are made to provide ease, but there are usually some gems among them that could do much more.
You may not be the first to implement them, but this is why keeping a close tab on your competitors is necessary. Once you notice a different and eye-catching innovation from your competitors, it is important to do your research on what likely is the new spice.
Apple and Samsung have maintained this close follow-up relationship for a long time, and many of their customers have noticed. The process is, however, healthy and has kept both brands on their toes. It has also been a vital factor that has kept them at the top of the mobile development industry.
Making your content marketing strategy adapt to most modern advancements is a key to staying relevant in the industry. You should be the one with the new shiny toys that attract people’s attention.
Using unique features will get you the attention of not only your target audience but that of your competitors, lovers and creators of the features, and online casuals.
To stay ahead, it is good practice to subscribe to a few useful newsletters and email lists of platforms you use and top enthusiasts in your niche. The advancements should make their way into the content itself.
You can not have a cooking channel and still be describing how to use stones to start a fire. Your content should have a present-day feel. If you are in a field that gets updated frequently, your audience will want you to bring to them the latest in a quick time. Your old content should not be left out.
There is nothing wrong with updating old content. Many content marketers update old promotional content to try to keep up with Google’s ever-changing algorithm whenever it seems or is rumored that there are some new changes or specifications for ranking. Updating content is a good SEO practice, so you have little to lose.
Top marketers in the industry have to evolve with the times to maintain their status constantly. Gaining information and consistency will be the two powerful tools needed to keep your head in the game and your eyes on the prize. You always have a new audience to attend to in your selected broad target market.
When marketing online, there are a lot of useful practices you need to be aware of, and beyond the knowledge is the consistent implementation. The good news is there are many helpful tools that can make the journey not as rough as it would seem.
Marketing is the action, but planning is more critical. You are placing the cart before the horse when you take your content online without adequate planning and strategy. A marketing strategy that adopts best practices can yield successful sales consistently if your execution of such a strategy is detailed.
Do you need a content strategy to keep you on track? Get in contact with me by adding your name and email below.