Content marketing remains a popular way to connect with customers and establish your position as a thought leader in your industry. But at times, it can feel as though your content may as well be invisible.
Even if analytics reveal that your posts are being read, you may wonder if the content is leading to actual sales. Over time, you may even begin to discover customer interest in your content is lagging.
If you’ve found yourself in a content marketing rut, it may be time to revamp your strategy. Brands have already begun to realize the benefits of personalizing their email and sponsored advertising efforts, since customers receive exactly the information they want. But how does this translate to content marketing?
How It Works
The long-term vision of marketing involves using data analytics to learn as much as possible about clients and delivering personalized information to each person.
But you don’t have to create an individual piece of content for each customer to provide this type of experience to your customers. You can use analytics to gather information on your customers and put that information to work in the content you create.
Keywords still play a large part in any content marketing campaign. While the days of keyword stuffing may be long behind us, it is still important to pay attention to the search terms that bring customers to your site.
The words a customer enters into search engines can give businesses a general overview of the very information those customers are seeking.
Are they searching for information about a certain product you sell or how-to tips on the services you offer? You can take this data and run with it, using it to inspire ideas for new posts that will bring customers to your site.
Be the First to Know
Of course, the most useful information won’t be found in keyword searches. That information hasn’t been posted yet. Any business engaging in content marketing needs to regularly post brand new information that will draw in customers and encourage them to share with others.
This means you’ll need to track the latest topics related to your industry and post the information while it’s still fresh. Most professionals have limited time available to read news articles and blog posts every day and often news alerts aren’t enough to capture the specialized information a business needs.
For this reason, marketers are increasingly relying on content networks to monitor the stories people are talking about most. Here are a few great content networks that can help with content curation efforts:
Frontpageit: Each day, users are delivered content from Frontpageit’s user-nominated thought leaders. Users can nominate their own favorite experts by simply entering the person’s Twitter handle.
Curata: One of the most popular content curation services, Curata learns each user’s interests and gears content accordingly.
Feedly: Feedly gathers and organizes some of the best content on the Internet, including articles from leading newspapers and websites.
Paper.li: Fresh content is provided each day, with included links that make it easy to share to all of a user’s social networks.
You can quickly identify topics that will be of interest to your customers and get them on your blogs and social media sites before competitors. Soon you’ll find your followers are reposting your content on their own networks, introducing your business to people who wouldn’t have otherwise known about it.
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Start a Conversation
One of the best ways to connect with your customers is to actively interact with them. Instead of pushing a piece of content out and waiting for customers to read it, you should find ways to draw them into a conversation.
End your posts with a question and invite your readers to leave their own thoughts in the comments section. If possible, take the time to browse the comments and reply to any questions or interesting commentary that appears in response to your content.
You can introduce the same type of interactive content on your social media sites. Ask open-ended questions to elicit interesting commentary from your followers or post polls to gauge interest in certain types of content.
This can be a great way to have a two-way conversation with your customer base, increasing brand loyalty. Your customers will see that you’re interested in getting to know more about them and they’ll start to see you as a business that cares about its customers. Best of all, the information you gain from these interactions can serve as a springboard for future blog posts and articles.
Whether you rely on analytics or let your customers tell you what they want to know more about, learning more about your customers can dramatically improve your content marketing. You’ll be able to generate posts that speak to their interests, which will bring them back to read more. Once you’ve gotten customers’ interest, you’ll have a built-in audience for future information about your products and services.
Have you been in a content marketing rut before? How did you turn things around?