As an industry, content marketing is expected to grow to 412 billion by 2021, with an annual growth rate of 16%.
Content marketing is no longer viewed as an add-on to other marketing efforts. Now, it’s deemed as a strategic marketing approach to create and share valuable information along with an economical means of brand awareness.
Content marketing is hugely important to businesses across industries. So how can your organization use content to its full extent to lead and succeed?
By now, most companies have dabbled in content marketing. While blogs and social media content remain the most known forms, organizations should be more strategic to get mileage out of their efforts.
Some types of content can be more intimidating than others. There’s a lot of variety, and they all have different purposes:
The challenge is, these types of content take hours to create. And, the more forms of content created means more time and money, right? Not necessarily. It’s all about leveraging content.
For example, can an infographic be reworked as a video script? Could the latest guide or eBook be used for shorter blog posts? Are there interesting graphics and topics within a blog post or eBook that can be turned into tweets or Facebook posts?
Additionally, most long-form articles, eBooks and guides can be repurposed quarterly or annually with fresh data and improvements based on user-generated content or social listening remarks. Remember, creating original content is crucial, but give it legs. No one piece of content should be a stand-alone piece.
Measuring content performance, and gaining insights from the results, is the best way to grow a content marketing strategy. Analytics can be broken down into several buckets. This is an example of how analytics can improve your content marketing strategy:
This is especially important for companies in their early stage of growth, or that don’t currently have personas. Google Analytics breaks down who is coming to your site like:
If your marketing team are running a PPC campaign alongside content marketing efforts, it’s important to know who to target. Demographic analytics can give those insights.
Basic reporting can also be used to try matching demographic insights with content creation. Is your content missing the mark, or right on target?
If content is created to focus on specific demographics, could these basic metrics be improved?
Social media is a critical space for any company. According to 2018 Pew Research, 68% of U.S. adults are Facebook users, and 88% of 18- to 29-year-olds use any form of social media.
With a potential audience that large, is your social media strategy as organized as it should be? Monitoring shares, audience growth, and comments can help generate deeper insights into audience and help refine strategy.
How closely do you follow your customer’s journey?
Monitoring lead specific metrics, and discovering ways to improve them, can generate new revenue and create new leads for your sales team.
Closely tied to lead generation analytics is conversion optimization. Is content being created for the funnel?
The funnel is a way of attracting potential customers, then grouping customers into a smaller pool they move toward their first transaction. By focusing on conversion optimization, it's possible to develop a content strategy which maps a journey through the funnel and aligns content with customer needs and tracks success via analytics.
Creating quality content can be time-consuming and resource intensive, so it's crucial to ensure prospects and customers see it.
Social media is the most obvious form of content promotion, but to truly amplify content, a multichannel approach is needed. This includes:
The purpose of amplifying content is to widen your brand’s reach while encouraging the audience to move through the content funnel.
Dynamic content (also referred to as smart content) is a data-driven, and technical approach to content creation.
In other words, it’s a way a company can customize their user’s experience.
With dynamic content, messaging can change based on a user’s previous interaction with the site. For instance:
The goal of dynamic content is to increase conversions through a relevant and customized experience. If businesses know where their customers are in the buying cycle, conversion funnel, or customer lifecycle, dynamic content can present information that is geared toward a customer’s logical next step, rather than presenting redundant information.
SEO and content marketing are often separated as if they were two very different things. But, they should always go together.
SEO decisions can be informed by social successes, sales initiatives, and other components of your business. Tying SEO efforts to an existing content calendar is the smallest, but an often overlooked, way of leveraging this department. A few important SEO strategies to keep in mind include:
An example of a well-done SEO, in conjunction with other marketing efforts, is when travel giant Thomson changed its brand to TUI, the name of its German parent.
The challenge for the company was that it’s been branded as Thomson for over 50 years and half of the site traffic resulted from SEO activities. Therefore protecting SEO during the migration was integral in the transition.
The rebranding effort began by communicating the name change on a simple landing page. Eventually, the site grew into more pages featuring videos and articles describing vacation locations.
During the migration, TUI used:
The combination of SEO and content marketing allowed TUI to quickly obtain higher rankings in search engine results. Within 6 months of the rebrand, TUI claimed their new landing pages had over 2 million visitors, who each spent over 11 minutes on average on TUI’s content.
When it comes to content, marketing and sales can combine industry knowledge for even more success. The best way for marketing to know which personas to target is to work with sales to learn what potential customers are saying in real-time. By working as a team, content marketing can drive more qualified leads and eventually revenue.
And finally, it’s important to maintain a quality threshold – regardless of budget. With so much content out there, it’s easy to create content for the sake of it. Produce high quality, targeted content that hits your audience’s pain points. The rest will follow naturally.