It is still a big surprise to see how much content produced on the internet goes unseen, ignored, or fails to break through the seemingly endless crowd of messages circulating through the world wide web every day. Content marketing is the practice of reaching your audience with messages about your products or services with specially-curated content with messages your audience finds relevant. The ultimate goal is to remain visible online and stand out among your competitors using methods outside of the scope of traditional advertising. Many content creators pour hours of thought and consideration into the design and quality of their content, but they fail to do the rest of the work required to successfully reach a target audience with relevant messaging or calls to action. Unfortunately, the “if you build it, they will come” approach does not work in the modern digital age, and there are tried and true formulas for success when it comes to content marketing, and if used properly, it can set your business apart from all of the others. In this article, we will go over a step-by-step guide to content marketing that will deliver results for your business and brand.
The key to any successful marketing plan is research. For newer brands, research is essential for identifying your brand image, goals, and messages. However, for all brands, new and established, identifying and understanding your target audience is a non-negotiable step in staying relevant and consistent with your content marketing. There are numerous products, tools, and professional services available that allow companies to evaluate their current brand visibility on the Internet, along with user engagement and how your efforts of communicating with your audience have failed or succeeded in the past.
Keyword research for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and SEO-compliant content is also vital to your brand visibility. You can do everything else right in your content creation and research, but if the content doesn’t align properly with search algorithms like Google’s, then your content will fade off into the abyss of page 3 (or further) of the search engine results list. All published content should be evaluated for SEO compliance and also to see if there are any more adjustments or keywords that could be used to gain the extra edge for online visibility.
Doing the research to know what is working, what is failing, and what new trends could you make use of to create new content will serve to keep the audience interested in your brand, and keep them informed of any new products or promotions you’re offering. Failing to do the research, or failure to listen to valuable feedback, will inevitably lead your brand down a road of declining engagement, missed communication opportunities, and eventually obsolescence as your competitors will begin to take advantage of the market share your brand has left behind.
Successful content marketing always requires a specific plan of action. Now that we’ve done the research, we know what’s working and what needs to be improved, and we can now begin planning the next steps in our content creation schedule. Who, what, when, where, and why are the essential questions each content creator needs to answer before they begin in order to set a goal.
- Who are we trying to reach?
- What are we trying to say?
- When is the best time to publish the content?
- Where is the content going to be published?
- Why are we posting this?
Knowing what you’re trying to say to your audience and which platform you’re going to post it on go hand-in-hand in the world of content marketing. The nature of the message will determine the medium (video, picture, blog article, etc.), and deciding the best medium for your content can help determine which platform(s) would serve as the best delivery method. A good plan also begins with a good goal that is measurable and achievable. Determining what the purpose of your goal is will help keep all parties involved on the same page and keep the messaging consistent. The goal could be to increase website visits, increase subscriptions, boost sales, increase brand awareness, or grow your follower base on social media, among many other things. As long as the goal is something you can track, and measure, and will ultimately benefit the brand, it will suffice. Not a single piece of content should be published without asking these questions or having a desired goal in mind, or else it is just noise.
Create & Maintain Content
Now that you’ve conducted the research and finished planning, it is now time to create your content. Keeping current trends in mind, and making effective use of SEO should provide you with the guidelines you need in order to produce quality content. Content creation can prove to be a cumbersome task, but luckily there are plenty of third-party services and tools to assist you or take the burden off your hands entirely. However, simply creating the content isn’t always enough. It is important to maintain your current content as well. Perhaps some of your published content is doing as well as you’d like, whether it be the overall level of engagement that is lacking or the quality of the content just wasn’t up to your brand standard. Luckily, we have the tools and technology to improve any low-performing content with newly updated keywords, better quality images, or share it on additional platforms. Previously posted content does not need to fade into obsolescence simply because it was “yesterday’s news.” All content, new and old, can be maintained and updated to continuously serve the purpose of driving people’s attention to your brand.
CloudMellow Digital Marketing
Content marketing is an effective way to keep people talking about your brand, products, and services as well as make sure your brand stands out in the online community among your competitors. While it should not be viewed as a substitute for other forms of traditional advertising, content marketing is a relatively low-cost strategy you can utilize year-round to make sure your brand messaging stays at the forefront of your audience’s attention. Rather than hiring and training employees to maintain your content marketing schedule, you can make use of the training and expertise of a digital marketing company to take on the burden for you. CloudMellow is a digital marketing and technology company that specializes in creative content marketing with trained professionals fully equipped with the latest tools and technology to help your brand get the online attention it deserves. For more information about our services, please visit our website or follow this link for your free brand analysis today.