3 years ago on
How to Build a Content Marketing Strategy in 2018
How do you know what’s the right content strategy for you in this ever-changing digital marketing world?
Google has come a long way from ranking results which are just stuffed with keyword. Also, many brands have proven that ranking content strategy is not about ranking first on Google.
So many start-ups have been successful with email marketing, social media, video content etc. For example, Leadpages grew its subscriber list from 0 to 15,000 within a year mainly from email marketing and tons of helpful content.
There are numerous ways to create and distribute your content. By the time you start implementing your video marketing plan you hear that influencer marketing is the next big thing.
This is precisely why picking a strategy and sticking with it is difficult for most marketers.
Add to this that most topics and niches are overcrowded by now. You will find brands already ranking with great content no matter what your niche is.
So how do you succeed in this challenging scenario? You have to be up to date and ahead of your competition in content marketing.
This is why we have put together a recipe to build a content marketing strategy that’s perfect for 2018 in this blog. Here is what you need to include in your strategy.
Remember that strategy for each company may be different but these are the basic ingredients that must be there in your content strategy if you want to succeed today.
Write Insanely Helpful Content
How Google ranks results has changed over the years and will keep changing in future too. There is just one way to make sure that you are ranking for years to come in your niche. And that is to write high quality content that answers reader’s questions.
Think of the pain points your customers face in your industry and create content to solve their problems. The content must be twice as helpful as the number one ranking result.
Even if you are not focusing on search engine it is a good practice to benchmark against the best performing content and then surpass it.
If the number one result on Google gives ‘10 helpful ways to increase sales’? Write ‘21 helpful ways’ instead to attract users.
Is the top content unbeatably good? Shoot a simple video to make the same points and embed in your blog. People (especially millenials) prefer to watch information rather than read it.
Remember there is always something you can do to improve the content already out there.
Write Long Form Content
Longer blogs typically perform better. The sweet spot according to most studies is 2000- 2500 words. However, even posts of up to 4000 words are now doing better in many niches.
Since every topic is overcrowded with content, it is now time to go niche in your topic and write in-depth content. In short write to cover more in narrow topic rather than touching on various topics in your industry.
Write for ‘Best women’s trekking shoes for Himalayan treks’ instead of ‘trekking shoes for women’ and cover everything possible under the narrow topic.
This also makes sure you are targeting long form keywords. Also, readers who fall under your narrow target are more likely to subscribe since you answered exactly what they wanted.
Of course it goes without saying that this level of micro-targeting can only be possible if you have done an in-depth research on your target market.
Use Video Content
2017 has seen a huge jump in visual content consumption. Cisco estimates the video content traffic will be 80% of all internet traffic by 2019.
Given that 4x times more users prefer watching a video rather than reading about a product it makes sense to invest your efforts in video. Live streaming on social media is big today. So is infographics and recorded video for helpful content.
Podcast is also gaining momentum since it allows users to multi task or listen when they are driving. So, simply converting your existing content to video or audio could also get you lot of traffic.
Optimize for Mobile
According to Business to Community nearly 80% of Internet usage will be from mobile in 2018!
That is a huge portion which should flip the way you look at device usage. It primarily means that brands should now start building for mobile and then optimize the content for desktop.
Use AMP pages for better mobile experience, make apps and focus getting share of the mobile screen for a winning content marketing strategy in 2018.
Have a Driving Purpose
This is important in an age where the internet is overflowing with similar looking ‘me too’ content. Being original and having a purpose sets you apart to your target market immediately. People connect with brands that have a cause and value that matches their own.
This is evident in case of the younger population. According to AdWeek, 49% of millennial will seek out brands that align with causes. This is more than any other generation.
Let’s Wrap It Up
Going niche is the best strategy to capture audience that is bombarded with unnecessary information all the time. Give your audience something they looking for and in a format they prefer and you are bound to succeed. Writing long form content which is helpful essentially takes care of this.
Focus efforts on video and mobile screen since that is where most of population is consuming content in 2018
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3 years ago on
The What, Why and How of Content Marketing:
Content marketing is disseminating information to your customers in the form of words, images, infographics, videos, and blogs that eventually translates into building customer engagement, trust and establishing a company’s image without writing any sales pitch. Interesting!!
But there is more to it. Content marketing is not a formula; instead, it is an approach which helps you reach your target customers by giving them something that adds value to their existing knowledge base and encourages them to buy.
Today, B2B companies are using nearly 30% of their digital marketing budget in content marketing. It has grown as one of the most influential media of communication between companies and their customers.
Why Content Marketing?
Knowing why you are doing content marketing is very important. While creating workflows, assigning responsibilities, and building a content calendar is an essential activity, but knowing the various reasons behind content marketing is pivotal.
Take a step back and look at the big picture, understand whether your brand needs it or not at first place. If the answer is ‘Yes,’ then what will be its ROI? What additional resources do you need to execute the content marketing?
Begin with the end in mind is the key to content marketing, therefore dive deeper and know why your brand needs content marketing. Some of the reasons are enumerated below:
Create Brand Awareness
When you share content in diverse forms with your consumers, it creates an impact on their minds. Content marketing helps you distribute your varied content on different media and establish your brand identity which is very important for the beginners.
Improve SEO and Traffic:
When you are present where you should be, it has an impact on your SEO and Google rankings. When Google ranking increases, it increases the number of visitors landing on your website. More visitors, eventually mean more business and revenue. Therefore, content marketing plays a vital role in improving search engine ranking and bringing traffic.
When you write better content in the form of blogs, videos, infographics, and emails, it turns customer awareness into something more meaningful. A great content pays the way for more customer participation, helps in building a better relationship that can add an individual’s experience with your brand.
Increase Brand Perception
Building brand perception takes time, and it gets created from various sources. Content marketing is one of them. People gradually learn to identify you from your content, its presentation, tone, and style; that helps you in becoming a brand in the eyes of your consumers.
Helps generate leads
Content marketing is a handy tool in generating a lead when you write engaging content on your website or other social media platforms; it encourages your customer to sign-up to know more about your product and services. Therefore, while the objective of content marketing is to attract your customers, it eventually leads to generating more leads.
When you do content marketing in the right manner, it increases sales. The primary objective of content marketing is not only to convert potential leads into customers but also to retain customers and to maintain them as loyal buyers for future. Your content assists your consumers in deciding to purchase.
Become a Thought Leader
When you write enticing content, share your opinions about pertinent topics, you become a trusted resource. People listen to your thoughts and refer your opinion before they make a buying decision. Therefore, content marketing also helps a marketer emerge as a thought leader.
How is Content Marketing done?
There is no one size fits all when it comes to content marketing, different brands and different company sizes pursue different content marketing strategy. While a consistent presence on social media gives expected results to one brand, blogging, and video marketing fits the nature of other business.
Let us dig deeper to understand how content marketing is done:
B2B Content Marketing types:
Nothing can substitute the experience of a live webinar when you want to generate qualifying leads. They are scalable and compelling and demonstrate what you want to communicate with your customers. Although expensive, it speaks about the viability of your product and proves to be a powerful tool for companies in B2B marketing.
Come what may, the blog remains as one of the most effective and surest ways to deliver your message to your customer. It adds to customer’s knowledge and assists customer buying behavior. B2B marketers can use blogging to their best of their advantage and generate revenue.
Email marketing brings positive value for B2B marketers. Its biggest benefit is not only the way it gets delivered to the customers but also in it being the best tool for nurturing the lead. Crafting regular emails forms an integral part of content marketing and is one of the most dependable strategies too.
Undoubtedly the cheapest and the most consistent result producing platform, which is integral to any content marketing effort is social media. When done thoughtfully and with absolute consistency, social media marketing creates results that no other platform offers.
White papers are valuable research and data points that give not only information about the business but also elucidates on industry trends, stats, government regulations, etc. In B2B, the white paper holds their importance and should be considered as a critical element for content marketing.
When you want to pass on your message to your customer in a quick form without taking much of his time, infographics are a handy tool. It is entertaining and visually appealing, therefore should form a part of any content marketing effort.
Through case studies, a customer is advocating your brand; you are mentioning how you helped his brand in reaching new heights through various marketing efforts. Such case studies engage customers who have the same pain points, and it inspires them to take help from your company. It is a great approach and should form a part of your content marketing strategy.
Check the video below to get an idea about content marketing methodology
What are the popular B2B Content Marketing tactics?
When you adopt content marketing in your marketing strategy, there are a few tactics which you should know about. Whether you are B2B or B2C, these tactics will make way for your success.
Let us list down the most important ones for you:
Create content that connects with your audience: Everything you create should work towards building your brand and connecting with your customers. The objective should be to reach the target audience and not the largest audience through content marketing.
Deliver value: This is the golden rule, deliver value at every touch point you interact with the customer. Educate, advice, advocate, entertain, inform and inspire your customer at every point to make your content marketing effort fruitful.
While selling, sell tactfully, do not push your customer to buy or load him with a lot of unnecessary information or messages, and don’t just speak for yourself, sell subtly.
Make use of user-generated content: Any content marketing effort is futile if it does not involve the ultimate user. User-generated content is a fantastic way to engage your customers and make them feel valuable.
Different content mix: Do not just stick to one content type, instead create a combination of different content that suits a B2B company and more specifically your brand.
Seek feedback: Feedbacks from your customers help you improve your brand image, therefore make sure that you ask your user to give feedbacks either on your website or through an email.
Optimize and audit your current strategy: When you optimize and monitor your current strategy, you get to know what you were doing wrong or which activity was the most result producing. Therefore, it is an important tactic to monitor and optimize your strategy from time to time.
Plan a distribution strategy: A content distribution strategy is crucial as it brings your content in front of your audience. Therefore, plan a robust and yielding content distribution strategy.
Build relationships: The last but not least content marketing tactic is to focus on building relationships rather than just conversion or revenue. It gives far-reaching results, and building relationship with customers has other notable benefits too.
B2B Content Marketing trends in 2018
The inclusion of Artificial intelligence and virtual reality:
Brands have to embrace AI and VR in their marketing mix else there are all chances that they might lose their customers to their competitors.
Influencer marketing will be on upsurge:
Influencer marketing will move away from the hands of big brands to the smallest level of business; it will spread its wings across all spheres of business.
Original content will top the list:
In 2018 too, nothing will be more important than the creation of original content. The marketer will focus on newer ways to create fresh and unique content to mark their presence.
Personalization and customization will be necessary when marketers will deliver product or service to its consumers in 2018.
Future of B2B Content Marketing:
The future of content marketing is at an all-time high this year and will see a quantum increase in the years to come. A little bit of change in their strategy and marketers will enjoy a host of benefits from their content marketing strategy and will earn more. A few changes that the marketers will have to embrace:
- More investment and a higher budget
- Increased use of Search Engine Marketing
- Explore all social media channels
- Communication and documentation of strategy
Tying It All Together
Content marketing is a time taking action, it does not produce results overnight. It might take few months to even a year to see the results of a content marketing strategy. However, the effects can be significant, and it can become your most cost-effective marketing channel.
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3 years ago on
What Content Marketers can do differently in 2018
Content marketing has emerged as the top marketing activity today. Every business is bullish on content marketing and is investing even more into it this year.
Here is the result of survey conducted by Smart Insights asking 850 marketers to pick the most important marketing activity.
As you can see all marketers are aggressive on content marketing. This has increased the competition marketers face despite great content.
In this blog we will discuss what you can do differently this year to stand out and pull more traffic through your content.
• Long form in-depth Content
There was a time when a decent quality 650 word blog post had a chance to rank on page one on Google. This is not the case now. Ranking high on Google requires quality backlinks, domain authority, time and so much more.
When it comes to blogs, think of long form anchor posts of 1500 to 2500 words. These should be like a helpful guide covering A to Z of your industry or topic.
Anchor posts are blog posts that are the pillar of your site and pull in tons of traffic consistently. Do not expect to get traffic within a month.
It is typical to see your traffic rising after 6 months of posting. Do everything to make your content really helpful for your audience. Use infographics and videos to explain concepts.
Any content which does not make your reader say ‘ Wow! That was helpful’ has little chance to rank in top three searches. This is how you can differentiate your content and rank higher on Google in 2018
• Go niche
Differentiating your content in an already overcrowded web can be challenging. In any industry there will be in- depth blog posts that have been on the web for five years or more.
How can you possibly compete with those pieces? The answer lies in narrowing the focus of your content.
Write about nutrition for dancers instead of writing on general nutrition. Focus on long tail-keywords that will have less competition.
For example, instead of writing on ‘ladies shoes’, focus on ‘office shoes for working moms’. This way you will not only rank higher on search engines but will also attract highly targeted visitors that are easier to convert.
• Semantic Search
Google no more relies on just keywords to rank results. It uses something known as semantic search.
Semantic search takes into account the intent of the searcher.
This means weighing in the context, location, searcher history, language style and device.
That means Google now understands that a user typing in ‘green dress online’ is more likely to purchase the dress online than if she had typed ‘green dresses’.
For marketers this means that they have to be more aware of the context of searchers and conditions under which they are searching. Content should now match situations instead of just keywords.
• Target Google Featured Snippets
There is something better than position one on Google search. It’s position 0 .
You may have noticed that Google also gives the answer to your queries in a highlighted search box above all search results.
This gives the searchers the answers at a glance without having to go to another page.
Ranking in featured snippets increases your traffic and decreases bounce rates. The great news is that you don’t even have to rank number one on Google to be able to feature in rich snippet.
To increase your chances to be featured in a rich snippet make sure your content:
- Has a structured format with sub-headings
- Keep your answers to the point, short and snappy
- Mark up your article with structured data
- Answer popular questions asked
• Explore other formats of Content
Audio podcasts have made a big comeback last year. There are more than 42 million people who listen to podcasts weekly in the US alone.
‘How to’ searches on YouTube have gone up by 70% in 2017. YouTube is also the second most popular search engine after Google.
The trend is clear. Users prefer video and audio form of content and marketers must produce this if they want to reach their audience.
Bringing it all together
Content marketing is here to stay as the most profitable channel to get leads. However, digital marketing landscape is changing continuously and marketers must concentrate on long-form quality content and niche topics to stay at the top.
Understanding Google’s semantic search and featured snippets will help to reach more audience. Lastly, experimenting with fresher format of content such as podcasts and videos will differentiate you from the other content.
Above all, it is important to keep experimenting in digital marketing. New trends emerge quickly and demand agility from content marketers.
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3 years ago on
How to Create a Content Marketing Strategy that Works Best for SEO
High quality content is still the king in online marketing. Most businesses are now focusing on creating more content than ever before. The major thing to note is that the content is used everywhere and influences every other type of marketing strategy; let that be emails, blogs, articles, press releases or even social media comments. A smart content marketing strategy helps to drive more organic traffic to your website.
Pushing out fresh content that keeps your audience engaged is the requirement that helps you score better in SEO. Professional SEO companies use advanced strategies to promote your brand and business.
Let us discuss some points that help you create a content marketing strategy that best describes your business goals.
Know your goals – Before you begin planning, define your goals. Think about how your content marketing should help you meet your objectives such as
- Organic traffic
- Developing brand awareness
- Generating sales leads, and more
Your audience is your asset
Determine your target audience and get to know them. Before you start suggesting topics and creating titles, you need to know exactly what your target audience is looking for.
Knowing your target audience needs will help you to produce more relevant and valuable content. Understand your audience clearly either using Google Analytics traffic report or with surveys. Learning to provide the right content for the right reader makes your job much easier.
There are few more tools that provide insight on your audience’s interests and requirements. Tools include
Answer the Public
The auto-suggest results provided by search engines provide insight for content marketers. When users start typing a word, Answer the Public allows them to link the keyword that relates to their product or service, the people’s queries about the concerned service, and it comes up with a number of search phrases drawn from Google, Bing and other search engines.
Twitter Audience Insights
This latest analytics tool from Twitter will provide marketers with relevant information about what kinds of people are interacting with their brand. The tool offers access to information such as key demographics, interests, lifestyle, purchasing behavior, and mobile footprint, which helps marketers know exactly what kind of people follow their brand and what sort of content attracts them to their website.
Competitor analysis, a great way to reach the right path
Grab a list of competitors, analyze them and understand what makes them different. Realizing your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses, and the opportunities and threats helps to find what exactly your customers are searching for in your industry. This analysis also can discover the most useful keywords your clients may be using to search you.
Quality, a priority
High quality, engaging posts with useful details are likely to get more shares on social media platforms. With top quality blogs and articles, even you can get attention from your competitors or even from other industry who take your company as an expert. Also make sure to choose trending topics that are relevant for your business and include a back link to the source, which helps them to know about your article.
Get familiar with content types
Once you establish goals and your target audience, try to provide content that includes informative data that is of use for your audience.
Useful content types include
- Video tutorials
- Case Studies
- Social media ads
- Email newsletters
Don’t just create content, track them too
Set a goal to publish one piece of content daily, weekly or in alternate days. Don’t just leave the content after publishing. Promote them and track the progress of your content. For instance, if you have posted a blog in Facebook, check how many people liked it, respond to the comments, provide answers if any questions were asked and write a follow-up blog with more updated information. This helps to keep your audience in track.
Editorial Calendar helps
Once you have an idea as to how great content can be created, then it’s the right time to go for an editorial calendar. This calendar, which includes social media posts, audit rates and more, helps to keep track of your content. They are extremely helpful to organize our workflow without any error.
Editorial calendar –
- Provides chance to carefully plan content creation beforehand
- Helps writers to overcome writer’s block
- Allows to keep track of every single post in social media
- Maintain the right track for publishing a well-balanced and diverse content on website
Social media is your friend
Engaging with your audiences in real conversations will bring better results and add more value to your social streams. Know your audience’s priorities as you plan. Focus on what they want to know and not what you want to tell them. Also stay up to date with latest social media changes.
Learn ways to distribute your content
Ways you choose to promote your content is also important. A detailed plan will help. Few suggested ways include
- Using paid ads on social media platforms like Facebook
- Preparing a list of sites and bloggers whom you need to contact, which helps in getting a steady traffic and fresh leads
- Sending Emails and following up them using tools such as Yesware and Mixmax.
Creating a content marketing strategy may be time-consuming, but provide fruitful results for SEO. If you are not that familiar with SEO or content, consider choosing an experienced SEO firm that can work as an extension to your company.