Useful content should be the focus of any business’s marketing strategy. Traditional marketing, such as television commercials and magazine advertisements, explicitly promote businesses and products. Yet they are often ignored by consumers. In contrast, content marketing uses unique and relevant content to engage consumers and earn their loyalty.
A recent study found that 92% of nonprofits use content marketing. It is also popular among for-profit businesses. Eloqua, a marketing automation company, developed Infographics and eBooks to interest its target consumer demographic. The strategy worked. The initiative earned $2.5 million in revenue. Similarly, Monetate, a technology marketing company, generated content about industry trends rather than their own products and their sales doubled.
According to the Roper Public Affairs report (PDF), 80% of consumers prefer to find out about a company through articles than through advertisements. And 70% said they feel like they know a company better after reading their content.
Content marketing is what consumers want, and it works. So, how can your business get the most out of it?
Create Engaging Content
Successful content marketing depends on the business producing content that consumers actually want to see. This is not straight advertising. With all the interesting information available on the Internet, no one is going to want to read an article that just lists all the benefits of your product or business.
So, you should cultivate content that is both relevant to your business and engaging to your costumers and potential customers. For example:
Content that drives viewers to your website over and over – can be cultivated simply by a good “how-to” list.
Write About Your Industry
Another good way to generate content is to write about your industry. Write an article about your insights into industry trends, interview another industry leader about problems in the industry, or summarize the highlights from an industry conference you attended. You can also ask employees in different departments to contribute insight. For example, an employee in sales can offer a unique and specific perspective on how the industry works.
Survey Your Online Community
Another idea is to survey your online community. Use a platform like Survey Monkey to ask respondents about their buying habits, industry challenges and more. Then you can analyze the information and release an article or Infographic illustrating your conclusions. This list of 100 content marketing examples (PDF) provides more tips and ideas for generating original content.
Distribute, Repackage and Analyze Content
Social Media Distribution
One of the best ways to distribute content is through social media. Social media has the unique ability to get your brand name out to millions of viewers very quickly.
For example, two billion videos are watched daily on YouTube, and there are more than one billion active users on Facebook. Likewise, the peak rate for a social media post happens much faster as well. So the opportunity to generate more content means that quality, not quantity, is even more imperative a value to hold.
So don’t limit your content to your website or business blog. Links to your written content can be posted to social media sites. Visual content, such as Infographics, can be uploaded directly.
Another great way to get the most out of your content is to repackage it. Long articles and white papers can be repurposed as shorter blog posts or Infographics. By the same token, several blog posts on the same subject can be combined into a longer article. Once you have been in the content marketing business for a while you can collect your articles together and publish an ebook on Amazon.
Track Customer Engagement and Return on Investment
Throughout this process you’ll also be tracking costumer engagement and ROI. This way you can determine whether or not you are producing the right kind of content or if you should shift strategies. Search Engine Journal suggests that you track four measures:
- Traffic (unique visitors).
- Engagement (page views, time on site, bounce rate).
- Social (shares and comments on social media sites).
- Conversion (downloads, newsletter sign ups, product purchases).
Then analyze the results to see whether or not your strategy is on the right track.
Developing quality, informative content can be time-intensive. But the results are worth it. Content marketing often reaches a huge audience at little to no cost to the business.
It generates new leads and customers – so invest in content marketing and create engaging content and watch your business grow.
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