Are you building the right content marketing strategy for your business in 2021? If not, you might be missing out on crucial growth opportunities that are at your fingertips – from better search visibility to greater site traffic and improved conversions.
Whilst there is a debate about the relevance of content marketing as the strategy that yields the best results. To be fair, it could be a complicated thing to measure as the algorithms of Google, Facebook change often, however, content remains the core to any marketing strategy and it’s up to you to feed your audience with engaging content at the right time.
Whether you run an eCommerce business like eBay or a SaaS company like Salesforce, quality content plays a huge role in your business success. Despite its advantages, only 42% of B2B marketers achieve their business goals through content marketing. This is because major businesses fail to create content for every stage of their buyer’s journey.
“Successful content marketers hit all stages of the buyer journey—from start to finish. Most brands are seriously over-weighted at the bottom of the funnel. And they miss huge opportunities to meet new customers at the point of need.”
– Michael Brenner, CEO, Marketing Insider Group
Creating valuable content for every stage on your buyer’s journey map shows that you acknowledge their ability to make decisions themselves. In return, you earn their trust, and they become paying customers.
In this guide, we have curated the best content marketing practices to help you achieve your business goals in 2021. Let’s get started!
What is content marketing?
Content marketing is a long-term strategic marketing approach aimed at planning, curating, publishing, and marketing relevant content to a targeted audience to establish a solid customer-based relationship.
Why is content marketing important?
Content marketing helps businesses to connect with prospects, form long-term relationships and generate profitable leads. Including content marketing in marketing campaigns can triple the lead generation rate.
Here are five more reasons why content marketing is vital for your business.
- Helps to build brand reputation
Sharing quality content with your customers that solves their problems can boost your brand reputation. When you do this consistently, they will amplify your content by sharing it with their networks.
- It boosts your SEO efforts
Although Google’s algorithm for ranking content on the SERP (Search Engine Results Page) keeps changing, one dominant factor is posting high-quality content on your website.
Why? Because publishing valuable content on your website is one of the best ways to drive organic traffic.
Besides, posting relevant content on your page can attract authoritative backlinks to your website.
- Connect and engage with your audience
Your target audience has different preferences. While some prefer video content, others might choose to read a blog post.
One of the benefits of content marketing is that you can distribute your content using diverse methods like:
- Blog posts
- Q and A’s
- Email newsletters, etc.
- Promotes conversion
Content marketing drives website traffic which helps to increase sales. A website with a low conversion rate can adversely affect your business!
A good content marketing strategy will take your visitors from the awareness stage to the decision stage, where they convert to customers.
- Builds Expertise, Authority, and Trust (E.A.T)
E.A.T is one of the most important Google ranking factors, and two things contribute to this:
- High-quality content
- Responsive website design that provides great user experience
As you continue to publish quality, useful and engaging content, it establishes trust with your target audience, and Google’s algorithm rewards it.
What is a content marketing strategy?
Content marketing strategy is a documented plan developed to communicate and achieve business goals via creating, publishing, and distributing high-quality content that transforms visitors into long-term customers.
Having a good and long-term content strategy helps to structure your content marketing process from start to finish.
To learn more, check out this George Stenitzer’s one-page strategy guide.
How to create a content strategy
A documented marketing strategy generates more leads than a non-documented strategy. 34% of marketers who documented their content strategy generated 4X more leads than those without a plan.
Check out these five steps to creating a solid content strategy for your brand.
- Define your business mission and goals:
As earlier highlighted, a documented plan is the first and vital step to creating your marketing strategy. With this, you can create a marketing strategy that will stay relevant for a long time.
You will also be able to track relevant metrics to improve your marketing ROI.
Important business goals to track are:
- Increased traffic
- Sales conversion from social/website traffic
- Social media engagement
- Increase in email newsletter subscribers.
- Create a buyer persona:
Another crucial step is understanding who your buyers are. A persona makes it easier to know WHAT they want and HOW to communicate with them.
You can access this information via:
- Customer feedback.
- Google analytics.
- Social media insights.
This way, you can also understand their pain points, fears and position your brand as the solution.
- Establish business KPIs:
Key performance indicators are like “trackers.” They help to track your brand’s goals and objectives. With KPIs, you can tell whether your marketing campaigns are successful or not.
You can include as many metrics as you want to achieve, from sales conversion rate to social media engagement rate.
Avoid tracking vanity metrics that won’t drive your business goals.
Read more about how to avoid tracking vanity metrics for your business.
- Create a content calendar:
Having all your content in one place will help you organize and achieve a good content plan. With a content calendar, you can determine when and where to post your content.
If you run a small business, schedule your content using Google Calendar. However, if you’re publishing tons of content on different platforms, you need to use third-party tools such as Coschedule, Hootsuite, Buffer, etc.
Read more on how to make the most of social media for your brand.
- Have a Content Management System (CMS)
After creating your content, you need to publish, manage and track them.
Types of content marketing formats with examples
The generic idea of content marketing is blogging, but there are over 30 ways of creating and distributing content. Here are the top five types of content marketing that will generate high traffic for any business.
Infographics (or information graphics) uses icons, illustrations, images combined aesthetically to communicate information.
Visual content is 90% percent of the information people take in. Using infographics is one way to tell data-centered stories comprehensively.
Infographics can transform industry jargon into a comprehensive report. Including infographics in your content boosts your engagement rate. Most top brands use infographics in blog posts or even standalone content for social media.
Check out how Netflix shares powerful data with its audience by using infographics.
Blogs alone account for 86% of the content on the internet.
Through blogs, businesses can connect with their audience, engage and collect personal data from them. Marketers who use blogs are 13X likely to increase their ROI.
Quality blogs are excellent media for small business owners to grow their business and generate leads via organic traffic.
Check out how Brian Dean leverages his Backlinko blog to connect with his audience and drive a positive ROI.
Podcast marketing involves sharing valuable insights through the use of audio messages. Over 1 million podcasts are covering different topics and across different niches.
With the right equipment, you can create a podcast to connect with thousands of your target audience. It provides a way to bring brand awareness and helps to penetrate your market.
If you’re looking for a means to build a solid and intimate connection with your audience, podcasting is just perfect for you.
To create a successful podcast, you should:
- Choose your show premise
- Obtain a microphone
- Buy a hosting software
- Create a content schedule
- Publish a podcast daily
- Engage with your listeners through email marketing
- Convert your listeners to buyers
See how Micheal Hyatt, the author of “Get Noticed in a Noisy World,” shares valuable information with his audience through his podcast “This Is Your Life.”
One way to tell stories that will trigger customers’ emotions is through videos. You can use videos everywhere—blogs, social media, newsletters, etc.
Including video content in blogs can increase the retention time spent on your website, and this helps to improve your SEO rankings.
See how Slack incorporates video marketing into its content strategy.
- White Paper :
The white paper is an informational guide about a topic or problem. It is usually written as long-form content.
Whitepaper has in-depth research, which explains why they help businesses establish authority and a good reputation.
How to measure your content marketing ROI
Content marketing ROI (Rate of Investment) is the percentage of revenue gained from your published content. It’s one of the most important metrics to track because it tells if your content marketing strategy is successful or not.
How to calculate content marketing ROI
To calculate your ROI, follow these steps:
- Calculate content production cost:
Sum up the costs used to produce your content. This includes images, videos, audios, content creators fee, miscellaneous expenses.
- Cost of distributing content:
If you use social media promotions, PPC, tools, or software to promote your content, you need to calculate all the expenses.
- Calculate conversion:
Sum up sales gotten from each piece of content.
Simple formula for calculating Content marketing ROI
Content Marketing ROI = Return – Investment /Total Investment × 100
For instance, if your :
- Total investment = $300
- Total revenue = $12,000
Then, content marketing ROI is,
$12,000 (Revenue) – $300 (Investment) = $900
ROI = $200
Other metrics to track are:
- SEO success:
SEO is a vital metric to track for your marketing campaign. Although, this is not so easy to measure.
How to measure:
- Track backlinks using Ahrefs and Google Search console.
- Use Moz link explorer to track website authority.
- Use Google Trends, Google Search Console, SEMRush, etc., to track keyword rankings.
- Click-through rate:
Click-through rate or CTR is the percentage number of clicks per total impressions gotten on your content. Content on Google’s first page generates 30% more clicks than those on subsequent pages.
- Lead generation:
A lead is a customer that shows interest in your products or service. This metric helps provide actionable insights on content performance, especially when you use different marketing channels.
How to measure:
- Track the call to action.
- Calculate conversion rate.
- Measure the number of downloads.
This is another important metric to track. The primary conversion goal for content marketing is sales. If you run an eCommerce business, most of your sales will be through your website.
How to measure:
- E-commerce conversion rate
You can access this on Google Analytics— Acquisition >> All traffic >> Channel
- Time to purchase
This metric tracks the number of days it takes for a customer to complete a purchase on your website; you can access Google Analytics—Conversion >> ECommerce >> Time to purchase.
- Social media engagement:
This metric tracks the number of likes, comments, and shares you receive from your marketing efforts.
How to measure:
- You can access this on Google Analytics— Acquisition >> Social >> Overview
- You can also access this metric using social tools on the platforms.
Content distribution is impossible to do without the right tools, in the next section of this guide we’ll be exploring 5 important content tools you can add to your arsenal.
5 essential content marketing tools
Content marketing tools can help boost your marketing efforts and drive your desired ROI for your business. You can employ various marketing tools to facilitate your content marketing process. With the right tools, you can create, publish and distribute content seamlessly.
Types of content marketing tools
There are lots of tools to boost your marketing efforts. Here are five tools that will help you make the most of your time.
- ClickFunnels: For creating sales funnels
Sales funnels are important because they help you plan the buying journey for a new prospect. ClickFunnels helps to create a funnel from scratch, saving you time and energy.
- SEMRush: Enhances all your marketing efforts
Want to improve your SEO efforts? Then use SEMRush for all your SEO activity, including competitor research. There are lots of other unique features on this marketing tool; you can try it for free.
- Hootsuite: Manage all your social media accounts in one place
Posting content on different social media platforms can get so tiring; you can even skip a date!
With Hootsuite, you can create posts, schedule, and even track your posts from the dashboard.
- Word press: For your blog content
Through WordPress, you can create a website, upload content, and track relevant metrics. You can also add plugins to optimize all your marketing processes.
- Mailchimp: Connect with your audience via email marketing:
Email marketing is a perfect way to build and maintain relationships with your customers. You can check relevant metrics such as open rate, click rate.
Most common content marketing mistakes
Using the wrong strategies can frustrate your content marketing efforts.
Here are six (6) mistakes most marketers make in their marketing campaigns.
- Not having a clear, documented plan in place.
- Not knowing who your customers are.
- Tracking vanity metrics.
- Publishing low-quality content.
- Not being consistent in your content distribution.
- Failing to check grammar and plagiarism for your content.
Frequently asked questions on content marketing
How much content should my business produce?
This is unique to your brand. While some are comfortable with 500-800 long blog posts, others prefer long-form content. However, a quality blog post of 1000 words enables you take a deeper dive into a topic. e
Long-form content establishes you as a thought leader in your industry. The Google algorithm ranks high-quality long-form content. So if you’re struggling with the thought of creating blog posts, a length between 800-2000 is perfect.
What type of content should my business produce?
This also depends on your brand goals and objectives. You can produce many types of content, but you can choose two or more for your content strategy. The key is to continually test and find which works best for your brand.
What is the most common content marketing mistake?
The biggest mistake is starting without a plan. Also, not understanding who your target audience is before activating your campaigns can affect your business.
What type of business can content marketing boost?
You can use content marketing for small and large businesses alike. The content strategies might vary but can generate leads for all kinds of brands.
With the steps outlined above, you can engage with your audience, garner trust, and drive them to buy your products. Test and track the metrics of your content so you know what isn’t working and how to improve the successful ones.
If you are ready to get more traffic to your site with quality content that’s published consistently, wow your customers with a responsive website design, as well as a social media manager to create engaging and sales converting posts for your brand. Book a Free 30 Minutes Consultation here and let’s discuss your goals.
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Originally published on DesignedbyAmos