You’ve heard it over and over again.
Using content to engage audiences and promote your brand is an essential marketing strategy in 2016.
However, balancing social updates with blog posts, and of course, staying on top of digital trends like video, can quickly take up your time.
Marketers, rest easy. Below, I will share the nine ingredients necessary for content marketing success.
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1. Produce Good Content
The first key to content success is to produce content that your audience wants. When your content is considered to be interesting and helpful, you have a far greater chance of it being read and shared.
When your audience shares your content, that functions as a recommendation to their family, friends, and followers, which is an excellent way to boost both your company’s exposure and reputation. Make a strategy that emphasizes quality content over quantity, and you’ll be rewarded with greater engagement.
2. Schedule It With a Content Calendar
Creating a content calendar is going to make your process of production and distribution run smoother. When you are just getting started planning your strategy, setting up a calendar from the start will help make sure your plan is well-rounded and includes everything you need it to.
You should have a mix of content styles, from topical stories to evergreen ones, and using a calendar will help you make sure that you always have a good balance. Not to mention, a calendar will allow you to identify any holes in your strategy that need attention.
3. Create an Active Blog
Companies that blog tend to get more traffic to their sites—post over 16 times a month and see 3.5 times more traffic than companies who only post a couple times a month. Blogging makes sense for most businesses, as it provides you the opportunity to boost your SEO and prove to readers that you are knowledgeable industry resource.
Not to mention, nowadays, consumers are looking to blogs as a valuable resource, and even consider them the fifth most trusted source for online information.
4. Be Social
Social media is crucial to your content strategy. You want content that is shareable, and social media is going to be the fastest way to get your audience engaged with, and sharing, what you’re promoting. Before sharing, however, make sure you’ve spent time building a social following on your platforms of choice. Remember, your goal is to have people actually read your content, so an artificially-boosted follower count won't do anything when it comes to promoting content effectively.
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5. Use Visual Assets
Content including videos and images tends to get 94 percent more views than content without. Plus, visual content has a far greater chance of being shared, so take advantage by including a healthy dose into your strategy. Start with your blog content, use images to help break up blocks of text, and catch the attention of your reader.
However, you also want to use images as content themselves. Infographics are hugely popular, and can help boost your traffic by an average 12 percent. Not to mention, infographics can be a great way to build up back links to your site. Brand images with your logo, and tweak them depending on the platform you’re promoting them through.
6. Drive Action with CTAs
Content is a chance to convince your viewers to take action by crafting compelling CTAs. Take advantage of the excellent content you’ve produced by telling your customers what they should do next. Include CTAs at the conclusion of blog posts, in your online ad copy, and with your social media posts, driving your customers directly where you want them to go.
Your CTAs should always be clear and impactful, so spend time brainstorming the language that will resonate best with your unique audience.
7. Always Be Tracking
You must measure your analytics so you know how your content is performing; you can’t give your audience what they want if you don’t know what that is.
You should have goals for what you want your marketing efforts to result in, so make sure to measure the way your content performs in the context of your entire marketing strategy. If you post blogs to build your traffic, make sure they are actually doing so.
8. Don’t Forget About SEO
SEO is going to get your content seen, so stay on top of any changes in order to consistently optimize your content. Research your keywords and aim to add them to your content where appropriate. Keyword stuffing won’t do anything to boost your SEO, and in fact, might penalize it, so you’re better off creating content around topics that are of interest to your audience.
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9. Use Targeting
Finally, one of the best ways to get your audience engaged with your content is to make it personally appealing to them. Try and segment your audience into even more specific categories, and tailor your content to each of these groups. Content will be more personalized to your audience, which will make them far more likely to engage with it.