Want to leverage content to grow your business? Here are some great content marketing tips to get you started.
Content Marketing is a technique that focuses on creating, distributing and publishing relevant content to demonstrate your authority in your area of expertise and attract potential customers.
Successful content marketing tips include putting the focus on design, the medium of marketing, research, search engine optimisation (without forgetting that it’s humans that consume content, not just Google) and most importantly, the right message for the right audience.
In contrast to interruption marketing (ads that are served up in your audience’s face), content marketing focuses on providing useful and engaging pieces that built trust and credibility, through answering questions your target audience is asking.
Despite the hundreds of content marketing tips being shared in books, workshops and online – you’ll inevitably come across challenges.
Let’s look at 7 common challenges our clients and team have come across when it comes to leveraging content marketing to build a brand and business.
1. Picking the right medium for your audience
Thanks to technology and the rapid growth of the internet, picking a medium to market your content isn’t confined to physical mediums.
If you are targeting the tech-savvy generation currently in their teens and early thirties, promotional videos on YouTube are a much better way to sell your product than ads in the newspaper.
When it comes to online channels, it’s about identifying which channels your target audience spend a lot of time on, and serving up context-relevant content. Sharing the same image and copy across Linkedin, Twitter and Facebook is a recipe for disaster.
2. Lack of resources
Content marketing might not always require a huge budget or an army of people power, but it does require a set budget and skilled individuals to make it work.
Skilled team members, whether internal or outsourced, with knowledge of how to create relevant and engaging content, and how to get that content to your target audience, are critical to your marketing success.
3. Not engaging your intended audience
Ignoring what your target audience wants is a fast track to wasted time, money and effort – too much “me me me” and you’re doomed to be forgotten.
Successful businesses focus on serving their customers, and that includes putting out content helpful to their target audiences.
There are several ways you can strategically use content to add value:
- Share a well-positioned and timely promotional offer,
- Produce an in-depth client case study that reveals how you were able to help others facing similar challenges to your target prospects,
- Publish a well-researched and produced industry report,
- Profile a team member story to highlight the culture of your company.
Whatever you decide to execute, make sure it’s got your customer’s’ best interests in mind.
Paying attention to what’s popular and trending is also important.
You have to create content likely to be high in demand by your target audience, instead of thinking in a company-centric way.
4. Having unrealistic time expectations
Most business owners underestimate how long it takes to create high-quality content and overestimate how long it takes for published content to produce tangible business results (such as appearing in Google search results).
The fact of the matter is, it takes a long time for high-quality content to be planned, produced and promoted.
Managing the research, design and refinement process can be time-consuming if done to produce good quality content.
Outsourcing your content production, or parts of your content creation (such as graphic design and content writing and editing) is one way you can ensure that you can consistently produce high-quality content.
You can hire a virtual assistant or outsource your social media to help with promoting your content.
5. Not having a documented content marketing strategy
As the adage goes, “when you fail to plan, you plan to fail”.
Content Marketing Institute and Marketing Profs conducted a 2014 survey of B2B marketers. Of the successful marketers who completed the survey, 66% had a document content strategy. Of the unsuccessful marketers, only 11% had a documented content strategy.
So if you want to be more effective with your content marketing, make sure that you actually have a documented content plan.
Coming up with a content strategy will also help you come up with creative content ideas, even if you’re in a “boring” industry.
Furthermore, your content maketing plan should form a part of your broader marketing strategy.
What would you think of a TV or radio show that did not air at a regularly scheduled time?
Not great, right? The same goes for putting out content- Inconsistency can damage the perception of a brand.
The more consistent you are with publishing quality content, the more your audience will anticipate it.
If you’re doing a fantastic job of putting out timely and relevant content that engages your audience, soon you’ll be well on your way to attracting more visitors to your site.
More visitors coming to your site over time will show relevance to Google, who are going to push your site up in search rankings, which in turns attracts even more readers to your blog.
7. Getting an adequate return on investment
This is a big one for every single business.
If you or your manager are going to invest money, time and resources into developing content then you’ll certainly want to know it’s performing.
A problem arises when content is produced that does not link back to business goals.
Do you want to grow your website traffic or get more subscribers to your email list?
Perhaps you would like more people registering for your upcoming events?
Or do you want your content to drive qualified leads that convert into sales of your product or service?
Whatever your business objectives are, you want to make sure to start your content strategy with the end in mind.
Tie that with a realistic timeframe (hint: play the mid to long game) and some paid promotion to get your content in front of your target audience quicker, then you’ll be well on your way to making content marketing work for your business.
Don’t just stop at reading this blog post. Review the above 7 points and write down which is the biggest challenge that you need to address, and then write down your next step to addressing it within the next 7 days.