Content marketing is sometimes considered too complex and complicated.
The truth is that it doesn’t have to be.
Many of today’s marketers have a difficult time wrapping their minds around the concept of a more modern way to do marketing.
They labor over how to handle social media profiles, improving their personal brand, and using their content to establish an audience.
Even Albert Einstein said that everything should be made as simple as possible – an idea that’s relevant to content marketing.
A definition for content marketing
Before going any further, it’s important to have a working definition.
One of the best explanations for content marketing is attributed to Neil Patel. He describes it as:
“A long-term strategy, based on building a strong relationship with your target audience, by giving them high-quality content that is very relevant to them on a consistent basis.”
Proof that content marketing works
There are a number of studies showing that content marketing is an effective strategy for businesses to employ.
Let’s take a look at what the numbers show.
- Social media impact. A business using social media to relay relevant content is six times more likely to meet their sales quotas than those who don’t use any social media platforms. Social media works!
- Relevant content opens doors. A vast majority (90%) of Business-to-Business managers will never answer a cold call, but they are influenced by content that is useful and brings value. The content is key.
- Content sways decisions. 82% of senior executives say that the quality of the content is what ultimately influenced their choices to work with certain vendors. Content can provide the competitive advantage to drive sales.
This sampling of statistics demonstrates just how effective content marketing is.
Strategies for no-sweat content marketing
What can be done to make content marketing as simple as possible and boost success?
Start with a strong foundation
It may seem like an unnecessary step, but putting a plan into writing is invaluable.
Develop a strategy that encourages the audience to take the desired action.
When the whole content marketing plan stems from a solid foundation, success is much more likely.
Develop buyer personas
Create profiles of what the target audience looks like.
This should be done using information gathered from LinkedIn profiles, Twitter followers, and Google followers.
This allows for creating content that is tailored to the specified audience.
Consider the content supply chain
Content should be easy-to-read, relevant, and current.
Following the step-by-step plan that was created as a foundation will ensure the right audience is being reached – at the right time and through the right medium.
Tell a story
The content has to have value, but it can also be relayed in a way that makes readers feel as if they’re being told a story rather than being blasted with a lot of information.
An audience won’t remember statistics nearly as well as they will a narrative that illustrates the point being made.
Be clear about expectations
The audience should always come away from interacting with content with a clear call to action.
It’s important to continue moving potential customers from one step to the next along the buyer’s journey.
Don’t ignore visuals
The inclusion of pictures, graphics, and video has a massive impact on the amount of views content will receive.
The more people who see the content, the greater the number of sales that can be expected.
Kissmetrics has found that content including visual elements gets a whopping 94% more views!
Remember the influencers
Most people value a word-of-mouth recommendation over any other kind of influence.
It pays to invest in reaching people who have sway over potential customers.
The return-on-investment is substantial when the right audience is targeted.
Focus on format
Don’t forget to use the right keywords, hashtags, and subtitles that will give the content a boost in Google rankings.
Lead readers to the content.
Set measurable goals
Keep track of progress.
Once there are metrics to gauge success, the focus can shift to optimization and more targeted efforts can be put on what works, while pulling resources away from what doesn’t.
The bottom line
Simple strategies can take content marketing success to the next level.
There’s proof that it’s an effective process for boosting sales and increasing revenue – when the right methods are followed.