Best Practices for Content Marketing
Did you know that 70% of marketers are actively investing in content marketing in 2020? According to the Content Marketing Institute, 92% of marketers said their organization views content as a business asset.
Can you guess why the numbers are so high? Well, the simple answer is “content marketing works.”
However, some ultimate practices and strategies need to be in place to achieve your content marketing goals and view content marketing as an asset and not a cost. The results don’t fall from the sky.
Oh well, some people start doing things and just get them right, but this isn’t the same story with content marketing. You need the right tools, efforts, and strategies to win.
You’re probably here because you desire to join the winning team and boost your business with content marketing.
This guide contains ten tested and trusted tips and practices for effective content marketing for any business type. These tips outline the necessary steps and actions that you need to win.
10 Best Practices for Content Marketing
Define Your Brand’s Personality
The first step to every successful brand’s marketing is defining the brand’s personality and culture. This is the foundation to base your content on and distinguish your voice so you won’t sound like every other person out there. What is your brand’s personality? If your brand was a person, how would you describe him? You’ll be having a play day when you don’t know what your brand stands for. This is the foundation for your content marketing plan.
You need a brand voice that should be consistent throughout your content. The words, tone, and style you use in your content say a lot about your brand.
Every one of us has a personal brand, whether we see ourselves as a solopreneur, blogger, writer, or a small business owner. This is why you don’t ever want to leave defining your brand voice to chance.
Understand Your Audience
Understanding your clients, customers, and target audience is the key to providing winning content.
Henneke Duistermaat, in an article for Copyblogger, wrote: “Your ideal reader should become like an imaginary friend. You should know your ideal reader so well that you can start a conversation with her at any time. You know when she shakes her head because you say something she doesn’t agree with, what makes her smile or laugh, the questions she asks, and how to charm and flatter her.”
Contents used for marketing include videos, audio podcasts, articles, blog posts, and likes. However, without understanding your audience, you won’t know the type of content that best appeals to them. Hence, you are likely to make the mistake of creating the wrong type of content for your customers.
Did you know your audience hangs out more on a particular channel? Yes, they do. Well, you won’t know until you define your audience, what she’s likely to like, the type of content they love, and where they hang out the most — (blogs, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Podcast, etc.). A coffee addict is most likely to be at the coffee shop while a beer lover is going to be at the bar.
When you’re able to describe your target audience accurately, you will create just the perfect content for them at whatever level they are, meet them where they are, and you’ll never have to waste your time with people that don’t gel with your type of content.
Thus, to achieve a successful content marketing result, you must understand your target audience.
Learn From Your Competitors
Given the number of businesses already adopting content marketing, you know there are brands in your niche competing for the attention of the same audience you wish to attract. While competition means that you need to work harder, it could also make your work easier. This is because you have precedents to learn from.
Study your competitors’ strategy and learn from their successes and mistakes. Research their audience and the type of content they create. Which contents have maximum engagement, and which channel is the most successful? Endeavor to check out the responses and comments from the readers as these show their needs and how that particular content met it or did not meet it.
By doing all of this, you will get the hang of what makes their content marketing succeed or fail. Thus, you know things to do and things to avoid while creating content for your audience.
Set Marketing Goals
If there’s no goalpost in the football game, what would be the motivation to play?
You need to set a content marketing goal before going ahead with the plan. Goals give us the visions and help us with the right steps we need to achieve them. With a clear goal, you create contents that are closely tied to your goals; every piece of content has a purpose, and you know exactly how it’s going to help you attain your goals.
Whether your goals are to increase sales, build a loyal customer base, or widen your customer base, you need to state the goals in clear terms. This will also give you the perfect key performance indicators (KPIs) you’ll measure your success. This gives you a clear indication of what you hope to achieve and what you need to do to achieve them.
Create a Content Strategy
Did you know that “Content Marketing Strategy” is the most searched query related to content marketing? (SEMrush, 2019). When it comes to content marketing, failing to plan really does mean you’re planning to fail.
72% of successful content marketers have a content strategy in place. Thirty percent have a documented strategy; 42 a non-documented strategy. (LinkedIn Technology Marketing Community)
These statistics have shown enough evidence to prove that having a content strategy in place is critical to driving your content marketing goals’ success. It is interesting to know that a documented strategy is directly linked to success.
Endeavor to create and possibly document a strategy for your content marketing plans. When you plan your content, you cover the most important topics and ensure you’re delivering what your audience needs. With a proper strategy, the vision is clear and you can envision where you can be in months.
Create Unique Contents
Unique contents are one of the ways to ensure that your content marketing efforts yield positive results. By unique content, we refer to content that your viewers can only get from your business.
Think about your customer first. What is it that your customer needs? Then, how can you uniquely solve that? How can you create compelling content and treat it from a different perspective from your competitors?
Unique contents are peculiar to you. This is called ‘content tilt.’ The content tilt is what will separate you from everyone else in your niche. It is what makes you and your content different. This is what will get your audience to take notice of you and reward you with their attention.
These contents need to be informational, valuable, and interesting. Combining these features with the uniqueness of the content makes the perfect recipe for effective content.
When your customers realize that they can only get content they love and enjoy from you, they have no choice but to come to you, hence, boosting your brand’s loyalty.
This way, you get to build a loyal and vibrant customer base. An ideal example of the effect of unique content in marketing a product is seen in the efforts of Pat Flynn while marketing his bestseller, “Let Go.”
Write the Best Content
Good writing is often the foundation of any effective content that gets noticed, no matter what form the content ultimately takes. Ensure that you write contents that speak to your audience. Produce evergreen content that will be relevant in the next couple of years. Be emphatic to your reader.
Endeavor to address their pains with your content. Always write with clarity and ensure your content has a great dose of utility, inspiration, and empathy.
When you’re telling a story, write it well. What matters now isn’t storytelling but telling a true story well.
- Have a clear, clever, and catchy headline.
- Start your introduction with a hook to entice your reader.
- Let the body of the writing brim with clarity, readability, questions that’ll take the reader deeper into the topic, and use your bullet points well.
Endeavor to put time in creating your content. If they demand intensive research depending on the depth, endeavor to research to give your nothing but the best.
Interact with Your Audience
It is not enough to dish out killer content to your audience at all times. You need to ensure that they can always get in touch with you.
An interaction channel will give you the chance to know more about what they want. It will also allow you to answer any questions that they might have regarding the content you put out.
An ideal example of this interaction channel in your content is the Question and Answer section. It may be a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) section on your article. Make the comment section available on your posts. Reply to their comments on your post on any of the channels you use. Do not leave them unsatisfied and yearning for attention. They’ll move on to your rivals.
Diversify your Content Types
Each type of audience has their preferences when it comes to the type of content they consume. Some love long blog posts, while others are video lovers. Some people prefer to listen to podcasts, too, while others love visuals (infographics). This is where understanding your audience becomes important.
Meanwhile, if you’re unsure which type of content your audience likes best yet, do all forms that you can afford and watch which one has the most engagement and a lesser bounce rate.
No rule says you must stick to a type of content. Who says you cannot write blog posts and create videos for the same service or product? By diversifying your content type, you get to reach out to a diverse audience through different means. Moreover, your audience doesn’t get bored of getting the same type of content at all times because it is what they love.
Measure Your Goals
It’s not just about setting goals. You need to measure them too to ascertain how successful your efforts are.
Measuring your marketing goals allows you to access the extent to which you have achieved your goals. It allows you to understand the steps and processes you need to take to accomplish other goals.
If you do not see successful results, you need to take a step back, study what you’ve done, and restrategize, making sure you don’t repeat your previous mistakes.
Effective content marketing is important in ensuring the success of your business. However, you need to do things right to get the required response you need from your content marketing efforts.
Start now to define your brand’s strategy and create an audience persona. It can be pretty challenging to do but very rewarding in the end.
If you’re just starting out content marketing for your business or brand, endeavor to check my guide on How to Win at Content Marketing, (Even if you’re an Amateur).
If you would like to know how I can help you, click here.