If you are writing blog articles, producing videos, or doing anything to help ease your users towards conversion, then you are content marketing.
This is an important part of revenue growth and development, as it helps you to encourage direct conversions while also developing authority and fostering long-term relationships with customers.
In this article, we’re going to be looking at the content marketing fundamentals you need to consider, as well as a few indicators that all is not well with your current content marketing strategy.
A few signs that your content marketing program may be in trouble
1. Content marketers cannot justify their work
What are you aiming for with your content? What kind of behaviour is your content designed to encourage — perhaps reaching out for more information or making a direct purpose? Marketers need to be able to justify the importance of the work they do.
2. Lack of understanding of acquisition funnel
Content marketing sits within your broader acquisition funnel, nurturing leads along their journey towards conversion. You need to be able to identify exactly where your users are at when they access your content, or else your content will not be able to do its job.
3. Poor user engagement for content
You are not creating content for the sake of it — remember, you are creating it for your users. If your users are not engaging with this content, this is a sign that something needs to change.
The fundamentals of successful content marketing
1. Understand your business objectives
What does your business want to achieve with its content marketing campaign? What are the key metrics for success that will be applied to the marketing program? You need to understand this if you are to justify the value of your content. This may include:
- Brand health – Content can be a great mouthpiece that demonstrates expertise and authority in your field. Make sure the content you produce is achieving this.
- Marketing optimisation – Your content is a form of inbound marketing. Once it is produced, it boosts SEO and encourages shares, reducing the workload of other marketers within the organisation. Demonstrate how your content is optimising the broader marketing program.
- Revenue generation – Direct revenue generation is always a powerful metric by which to measure success. Your website analytics will give you insight into your customer journey throughout your pages and will help you to prove that content pieces are directly leading to conversions and to increases customer lifetime value.
- Operational efficiency – It’s not just marketing teams that find their jobs — and their lives — become easier when content marketing is successful. Content provides customers with support and guidance, relieving the pressure on customer service teams and other client-facing employees, maximising operation efficiency.
- Customer experience – Customers love content, provided it is the right sort of content and is relevant to their needs. Gauging customer response is a great way to ensure that content is working towards achieving business aims.
- Innovation – Are you publishing content that no one else is publishing? Are you ahead of the curve in your industry? This can be very useful as long as this is something that your business is targeting.
2. Get executive buy-in
Demonstrating your worth to the executive team is crucial. They need to know that you have a distinct strategy and plan in mind, and content producers need to know that upper management is backing them on this plan.
3. Understand your audience’s pain points
What problems are your audience facing? How can you overcome these problems with your content? Again, everything you produce needs to be geared towards your customer’s needs.
4. Create a documented content strategy
How often are you going to be releasing content? Are you planning to produce a content series that expands upon previous ideas? The point here is that content should not be released haphazardly — it should adhere to a documented master schedule and strategy.
5. Identify the methods and metrics for measurement
It’s difficult to know whether or not you are making progress if you are not measuring the right things. Decide on the targets you want to hit, and then decide on the metrics you want to use to gauge this.
6. Identify the most effective distribution channels
This comes down to where your users are found and which channels they engage with. For some brands, something like Instagram or TikTok might be suitable for spreading the content message. However, other companies may find their audience are more likely to engage with email marketing campaigns.
7. Create amazing, user-centric content
Everything — and we mean everything — needs to be developed and delivered with the user in mind. Focus on providing the answers they need and the levels of interest and engagement they crave. If you can succeed in this department, the rest will come easily.
8. Never lose sight of your user
Creating content can be great fun, but it should never become self-indulgent.
Keep the user at the heart of everything you do, and make serious strides towards content marketing success.
Discover more about how these content marketing fundamentals will work within your unique business model.