Become more visible to potential leads and generate more traffic to your website by investing in a content marketing strategy for your business.
When done right, content marketing has the potential to transform brands, with lower costs and higher returns than traditional marketing methods. According to NewsCred, 74 percent of companies indicate content marketing is increasing their marketing teams’ lead quantity and quality. By developing a solid content marketing strategy for your brand, your content can create brand awareness, increase audience engagement, and drive more customers to your website.
Why Your Brand Needs a Content Marketing Strategy
If you haven’t already, it’s time to make a content marketing strategy your top priority. According to Alex Ionides at Entrepreneur, content marketing costs 62 percent less than outbound marketing but generates three times the leads. Together, websites and blogs reach 434 percent more search engine-indexed pages. By strategically spreading content across multiple platforms, you can drive more traffic to your site and boost lead generation even further.
As more consumers are turning to social media, blogs, and search engines for their news and information, they are looking for content that is accessible, authentic, and reliable. Through content marketing, brands are able to fulfill this need as well as cultivate trust and relationships, driving conversion rates to be six times higher than traditional marketing.
Building a Content Marketing Strategy with an Editorial Calendar
Michele Linn at the Content Marketing Institute says you should build a content marketing strategy like you would build a new home. The architectural design of your new home is the vision of what you want to achieve, and you need to help your architect understand your needs – your strategy. With that strategy, the civil engineer can create a building plan to implement your vision, which is parallel to your editorial calendar.
In order to have a solid content marketing strategy, you need to have a mission, a deep understanding of your target audience, and goals. Your strategy needs to answer these three questions:
- Who are we educating/helping?
- How can we help them in a way that no one else can?
- How will we know if we are successful?
Then comes the editorial plan, which includes what you are going to do and who will do it. For an effective content strategy, you should include these activities in your editorial calendar:
- Five to seven main categories for editorial coverage
- Topics in those categories to cover
- Key pages from your site that require ongoing attention
- Content to update and republish
- Team members’ responsibilities
- A measurement plan
A high-level strategy is critical, but without an editorial plan to implement it, your content marketing strategy will struggle to get attention.
Ways to Make Your Content Marketing Strategy Stand Out
Now that you have your content marketing strategy, it’s time to make it stand out. Here are some tips for building an effective content marketing strategy:
- Take Advantage of Video | Good content can always be optimized with video. Video summaries are a great way to complement your articles and blogs in order to expand your reach, gain social shares, improve your authority, and enhance SEO value.
- Make it Visual | Content isn’t valuable if nobody remembers it. Integrating visual references into your content marketing strategy, including charts, graphs, and infographics, will help your posts stand out to your readers. Visuals can be processed quickly and are found to appeal to the 65 percent of us who are visual learners.
- Integrate PPC Content | Fine-tune your strategy by applying collaborative feedback and improving content prior to publishing. Use a syndicating content service like Outbrain or Taboola that allow you to create A/B content funnels and offer substantial reach at a bargain price per click (PPC).
- Utilize Social Sharing | Add recognizable social widgets to your posts to make social sharing easy. These shares can get your content in front of more potential customers.
- Complement Your Content with Social Media | Expand social reach by creating a sharing schedule and sticking to it. Make sure content is optimized for each social network for maximum potential, and monitor your results to learn what works (and what doesn’t) and adjust your efforts accordingly.
- Create Buzz | Continue to spread the word about your brand by issuing press releases to get instant syndication of your content and any visuals or videos that go with it.
- Track Your Efforts | The only way to see your content marketing success is by tracking it. Use Google’s Urchin Tracking Module (UTM) codes to track content specific URL performance metrics.