Does it feel like your content marketing efforts are falling on deaf ears?
Has your bounce rate actually worsened since you got serious about engaging in effective content marketing? What gives? Chances are that you're relying on the wrong techniques.
It's easy for content marketers to sing the praises of various strategies, but applying them to your particular situation is a whole other story. What works for one brand may fall flat for another, so how can you pinpoint effective techniques?
A great first step is sticking to content marketing tactics whose effectiveness is backed up by cold, hard data. These tried-and-true strategies are veritable workhorses when it comes to keeping your target audience engaged and thirsty for more.
1. Create Buyer Personas
You can't hope to keep a user engaged and interested if you don't know what actually appeals to them. As nice as it would be to have one large, homogenous demographic to market to, few brands have that kind of luxury. Instead, most companies must market their goods and services to several different demographics.
Those that are the most successful at marketing to them take the time to establish unique buyer personas, and they then cater customized content to each one. The average marketer has at least four defined ideal customers. If you're in an especially niche area, you may require fewer. Either way, stop treating your audience as one monolithic entity to start seeing improved engagement.
2. Allot More of Your Budget to Content Marketing
With content marketing, you should be prepared to spend money to see results. Sure, getting started doesn't have to cost a lot. To keep things moving and improving, however, the most effective brands allot considerable amounts of their budget to content marketing.
The amount that you set aside for content marketing shouldn't just be used to create written content. Use it to expand your horizons with multimedia content, webinars and more. Devote some of it to long-form content like whitepapers and ebooks. And, perhaps most importantly of all, use a lot of it to promote your content and to analyze the results of your efforts.
3. Use LinkedIn for B2B Content Marketing
If you own a B2B business and aren't already using LinkedIn in your content marketing strategy, you're missing out. According to a study by Content Marketing Institute, LinkedIn is far and away the only platform that most B2B marketers feel is truly effective.
Create a blog, for instance, uses LinkedIn to publish original content and to share links to blogs and articles that they have written elsewhere. They also participate in groups that relate to their niche too for even better results.
4. Establish a Clear Content Marketing Strategy
According to data from Hubspot, 62 percent of the best marketers in the world use and follow clearly defined content marketing strategies. If you don't already have one in place, sit down and hash it all out right away. Once you've established your content marketing strategy, use it.
Then take feedback to see what’s working well. You can use a tool like UsersThink to get feedback on your landing page, for instance. If certain aspects of it aren't working, adjust accordingly. Your strategy will keep you and your team on track and will increase the odds of deriving exceptional ROI from your content marketing efforts.
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5. Hold Status Briefings Often
Ideally, you should have a team in place to handle your content marketing efforts. Additionally, though, they should get together regularly to compare notes and to see how things are going. According to Pardot.com, 61% of the most effective teams meet on a daily or weekly basis. The frequency with which your team should meet will depend on your budget, your strategy and other factors. The key is to hold consistent meetings, so make that a top priority.
6. Use Email Marketing
The rise of social media makes it seem like email is going the way of the dodo. However, according to CMI, 73 percent of B2C businesses still believe that it is very effective. Studies have shown that it is even more effective than video, so if you're prioritizing video, it's time to take another look.
Email marketing automation tools abound, so there's no good reason not to put it to use. In addition to automating the process for you, such tools can easily let you know how effective your efforts are. Simply sending a monthly e-newsletter to prospects and customers is a terrific way to maintain the visibility of your brand.
7. Publish New Content Frequently
This one has been true since nearly the beginning of the era of SEO and content marketing. Research has long shown that top brands and bloggers publish, at a minimum, once per week.
Brands that frequently publish fresh content generally excel at lead generation, SEO and in driving traffic to their blogs and websites. Of course, none of this is to say that quantity is more important than quality. If you were forced to choose between the two, go with quality. I recommend committing yourself to publishing new content at least once per week.
Effective content marketing isn't just about reaching out to new prospects. It's about nurturing relationships with existing customers and leads too. By keeping the preceding tips in mind, you'll have a much easier time achieving both goals. What kinds of things do you currently do to keep prospects and customers engaged through the content that you produce?