Content marketing is becoming an intrinsic part of the marketing mix and is now the tool of choice to reach out to relevant audiences in order to achieve sales and/ or branding objectives; in fact, research shows that nine out of ten B2B marketers will produce much more content this year than they did last year. However, in order to be successful with it, there are several things to keep in mind, as well as a number of things to avoid.
Here, we offer five quick tips to help you improve your content marketing today.
1. Be Aware of Your Audience
Businesses are used to thinking about customers, but content marketing requires them to think about audiences instead. You need to define what your target audience is for each piece and use that to inform your content. For example, content aimed at other businesses can be longer and more detailed, with data and statistics. Consumers, on the other hand, have shorter attention spans and may need short, snappy and slightly edgier content. It is crucial to find where your audiences are (on social media or forums for instance), and to listen to what matters to them in order to come up with valuable content ideas.
2. Provide Writers With Clear Guidelines
Anything published on your website is inextricably linked to your business and its values; even if it was written by an external writer. For this reason, you need to make your expectations very clear. If you have very specific needs, you need to provide your content creators with detailed instructions. Moreover, if you want a consistent tone and consistent style across your entire writing team, consider developing a style guide for them to adhere to.
3. Establish a Schedule and Stick to It
People like to know when they can expect more content from you, so try to get into a set routine. Talk to your SEO marketing agency, your social media manager and your writers to agree to a schedule for content creation and stick to it rigidly.
"It's one thing to attract a customer to your content, but it's another to keep that customer coming back for more," says Laura Williams, an entrepreneur and online marketing expert. "Make it simple for yourself to manage and your customers to consume by developing a content marketing schedule."
4. Try to Provide Evergreen Content
You may have heard the phrase 'evergreen content' – content without a set shelf life – when talking to search consultants and they push it for a reason: it performs better. While news articles are relevant for a few days, evergreen content like advice and tips remains relevant for months or even years, attracting readers for longer.
"It's not that we don't talk about news," explains Graham Charlton, the Editor in Chief of Econsultancy. "But we have to go further than merely reporting facts." He suggests explaining why a piece of news affects your audience, and providing them with advice on what they can do about it.
5. Remember That Quality Beats Quantity
Finally, keep in mind that the quality of your content is of paramount importance. When you start a content marketing strategy, especially if you enjoy some success early on, the temptation will be there to fire out as much content as possible. In reality, quality always trumps quantity. Focus on making sure you are publishing useful, unique and interesting content, that people will actually want to read and engage with.
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