Tips to Build a Strong Strategy
Content marketing is appealing as a way to leverage self-published information online to increase awareness and recognition of your brand. Social media is full of brands that have found success by employing content marketing. Your business can do the same. In order to make this work, there are some common myths and pitfalls you need to avoid.
Brief History of Content Marketing
Content marketing is a strategy that utilizes a variety of media to catch the interest of customers and potential customers. This media can consist of written words, photos, graphics, videos and more. The objective of this content is to help users get to know your brand and learn more about your services or product offerings. Individuals armed with this information are more likely to become customers, repeat customers and possibly even self-motivated brand ambassadors.
The main goal of quality content is to establish your brand as an expert in your industry. As customers get to know and trust your brand, they will form a relationship with your business. Establishing these relationships between your brand and customers can increase loyalty and ensure customers turn to you when they have questions or intend to make a purchase.
For many years, content marketing was free – aside from the time investment. As brands published websites and blog posts search engines would do their thing. If the content was deemed appropriate it would be picked up in search results. Social media made things even easier and brands could share updates and blog posts directly with followers.
Quality content in the form of social media posts would promote engagement which would get more clicks and site visits. Increased traffic was a clear sign to search engines and social media platforms that the content was useful. As long as you stayed on top of things and continued to crank out quality content you were set. This is still true – to a degree.
The Age of Pay to Play
Many social media platforms have begun to harness their services and monetize their offerings. Rather, they have become what is commonly referred to as pay to play. The rules and parameters have changed. That’s not to say you can’t do things the old-fashioned way and set out with a strategy to organically build your online presence. Paying for post placements may increase the odds of the right users seeing your posts. Although, you still need quality content to pull them in, get the clicks and justify the expense.
Here are some common myths around content marketing that you should avoid when creating your strategy.
Myth #1: Creating Quality Content is Easy
A lot of planning and organizing goes into creating a quality content strategy. The key takeaway here is that you need an entire strategy. This isn’t a matter of throwing together a couple of blog posts and posting about them to social media. You need to outline goals or objectives and then create a detailed and cohesive plan to reach these goals.
Your content needs to navigate the social media algorithms to reach your customers. The content then needs to resonate with those customers and be compelling enough to get users to act in a way that ultimately helps you reach your established goals.
Bring in Reinforcements
It can be really tempting, particularly for small businesses, to create content in-house. This may work, but it may also overburden your existing team. For many small businesses, employees wear multiple hats, so carving out time to create content can be a challenge.
Outsourcing your content creation needs can prove to be a cost-effective way to create quality content that fits your budget. Piecemeal what you need. Perhaps you hire a professional photographer or videographer to get shots for your website or videos. Working with a writer (ahem) can ensure focused blog posts and/or social media posts are created. Working with experts can be a great way to get the content you need without investing your own limited time, or incurring the expense of bringing on a full-time team member. As your company grows and circumstances change, you may find hiring a strong internal team is the best option, but maybe not.
Myth #2: Results Will be Quick
Content marketing is a long game. Expect to invest months just to get your site to show up on Google’s results page. Working your way up through the search results will take even more time.
It is so incredibly easy to become discouraged while implementing a content marketing strategy. However, it’s important to stick with it and see your plan through. Bailing too soon will prove to be a complete waste of time and resources. On the other hand, it’s important to constantly evaluate your strategy and adjust as necessary. Sticking to a plan that isn’t working is another way you can waste time and resources.
Myth #3: Quantity is King
A major misconception about content marketing is that you need to continually put content out there. Search engines do need a lot of content to sort through in order to get a handle on your site. It seems logical that pumping out content in quick order will help
Years ago, constantly posting to a blog was a good way to build content and establish a presence. This is no longer true. However, when you’re starting out, taking a more aggressive approach in regards to how often you publish content can help. The quicker you give search engines content to search, the quicker you’ll land on the results list.
Avoid Too Much of a Good Thing
Sticking to a fruitful content creation plan can cause fatigue and may have a negative impact on your site ranking. A good plan needs to find a balance between quantity and quality, but ultimately quality wins out. Fewer more targeted posts can help establish your brand and is a better plan than often going live with multiple posts that fail to hit the mark.
Repurpose Your Existing Content
Make the most of the content you have by sharing it across social media. Share the same blog post or video several times to keep your feed full without constantly creating new material. When you are posting the same content a second or third time or even more, mix things up. Post at different times, switch up the language used on the social media post and even swap out images. Freshening up your social media posts will help keep things relevant and prevent content fatigue for any users who already saw it. At the same time, this can continue to increase traffic to your site and help individual pages perform.
Learn How to Use Content Marketing
As much as content marketing has changed in recent years, the basic principles have stayed the same. Good, engaging content will appeal to readers and help present your brand as a knowledgeable authority. Reaching your customers can be tricky, but it’s not impossible. Especially if you have a well-strategized plan. Let’s talk about your content marketing plan and how I can take your business to the next level.