The Ultimate List of Key Ingredients for Successful Content Marketing
Content Marketing in the past few years has become a crucial need for every business. As the digital marketing ecosystem continues to advance day by day, more and more businesses are moving towards content marketing in order to generate better reach, engagement, leads and ultimately, sales.
According to the Content Marketing Institute, Content Marketing is a way of disseminating information to a clearly defined audience in the form of content. This information must have the following characteristics and should always lead to an action from customers that is both, beneficial and profitable:
Think of content marketing as a means of providing information to both, your existing and potential customers, that they would find useful. If you take out the relevance or the value, you aren’t doing yourself any favors. At the same time, if your content is both, relevant and valuable but you aren’t consistent, you’re still in trouble.
Contrary to popular belief, content marketing not only pertains to website content, SEO or blogs but also incorporates the following things:
Social Media Marketing
Pay Per Click (PPC)
Inbound Marketing i.e. a Pull Strategy
Businesses often underestimate the importance of high-quality content. In simple terms, content marketing has the ability to make or break your entire marketing plan. If done right, the benefits are more than one can possibly count. Ranging from higher SEO rankings and improved consumer education to higher sales. However, the opposite can happen if your content marketing plan isn’t as structured as it should be. In worst-case scenarios, this can include a penalty from Google, on top of a reduced Return on Investment (ROI).
Fortunately, we don’t want you to go for something that can result in a negative impact on your brand or business for that matter. For the very same reason, we’ve listed some key ingredients for your content marketing plan. These tips will enable you to formulate and execute your content marketing in a way that’ll only drive your digital presence upwards.
Below are some tips that’ll help you create some high quality and unique content:
This is by far the most important element when it comes to content marketing. When we talk originality, we don’t just mean zero plagiarism. The idea itself, also must be original. Think of content as a means to talk to your potential consumers. You want to educate them about your brand or business. It doesn’t make a lot of sense to simply convey the same message that other brands are conveying. Because if that’s the case, why would they bother coming to you in the first place?
Apart from the consumer education segment, you’ve also got Google rankings to consider. The better your content is in terms of originality, the better google ranking you’ll score. With Google’s frequent algorithm updates, you won’t be able to make your content stand out if it isn’t good enough, no matter how many loopholes you try to find your way through.
At the end of the day, you want others to link to your content. And that’s rather difficult if your content lacks originality.
Remember to Invest in Content Marketing
Most businesses think of content writing as an easy task which anyone with good grammatical skills can execute. The answer to that, however, is a lot more complicated.
You need a diverse set of skills when it comes to writing good content. Being a brand or a business, it’s perfectly normal to minimize expenses and move towards cost-cutting. However, if your cost-cutting is leading to a compromise in the quality, that’s never a good thing.
If you yourself aren’t all that great with writing content, engage someone who can. It’s okay if it costs a little. It’ll pay off a lot more in the longer run. If you don’t want to engage an additional resource, then invest in building the skills needed to be a good content writer!
2. The Headlines:
The first thing any viewer will read on your website or blog, are the headings a.k.a, the headlines. As a matter of fact, most viewers will only read your headlines, before moving onto the next article. When it comes to catching a reader’s attention and more importantly, retaining his/her interest, the headline will do just that.
Focus on creating good headlines that’ll make your articles stand out. Instead of going for something traditional or orthodox, do the exact opposite. Think out of the box and be as creative with headlines as possible. It’s always a good idea to invest a good amount of time and energy in your headlines. Don’t add headers just for the sake of it but rather, come up with something that’s relatable to reel in the viewer and read on further!
Below are some excellent examples of good headlines:
3. Your Target Audience:
Content is something that’s not defined by any hard and fast rule but rather, something that’s a lot more flexible in nature. That’s the fun of it!
When it comes to content marketing to attract more consumers to your brand, audience profiling is a very crucial element. It’s quite possible for you to target a single, specific type of audience as well as targeting multiple audiences. Audience profiling is usually based on the following elements:
Demographics (Age, Gender, etc.)
Psychographics (Interests, personalities, etc.)
Geographics (Physical locations)
Regardless of the fact whether you have a single audience or multiple audiences, developing content that speaks to your audience is a key factor in successful content marketing. Before moving onto drafting content for your readers, be fully aware of the nature of your audience. Then come up with content that your readers find interesting, and useful! If you’re targeting multiple audiences, be sure to develop different kind of content which cater to each and every audience, individually.
This is also where you’ll establish a direction for your entire content marketing strategy which can include the following things:
The Overall Tone(s) of your content (Formal, Informal, Semi-formal)
Where the Content will be shared (Website, Social Media, Email, etc.)
The marketing messages your content should communicate (The product/service value)
4. Write Content That is Actionable:
Like we mentioned, don’t provide information to readers just for the heck of it. When you’re developing/writing content, make sure it’s something that allows an action to be taken right after.
This can range from clicking a button, to applying the tips practically on a particular situation (this pertains to what the content is for in general). At the same time, the content shouldn’t act as a negative reinforcement but rather, a positive one. The content should allow them to be inspired to take a particular action and should always be phrased in such a way that enables them to.
5. Accurate Information and Sourcing:
Imagine opening up an article, reading it, and then using that information to create a business presentation, only to discover that the facts and figures were incorrect. Sounds scary, doesn’t it? Your readers will share the same sentiments if you provide information that isn’t accurate. The effects could be disastrous in terms of the brand image. And it doesn’t take long for something like this to go viral either.
When it comes to making providing statistics, always ensure that this data can be verified. Always be sure to use credible sources. Below are some things to consider when it comes to sourcing:
Always link to quality websites. This will build a better image for your overall content.
Linking should always be done as a tool to back up the claims your making.
Link to sources that directly relate to your content so that search engines are better able to categorize what your content is actually about.
6. Intrigue the Reader with Content that is Thought Provoking:
We’ve already discussed how important it is to create content that is engaging. Another thing you can add on top of it is to get your reader into a train of thought once they’re done reading!
This is an interesting one. And you’ve got several ways to go about it:
a) Open-Ended Questions:
This doesn’t in any way, imply that your content should be incomplete. However, you want to get your readers to a stage where your content sticks in their mind and they perform an action on it. This could be anything ranging from clicking the ‘contact us’ button, making a purchase, commenting or just doing some further research. In all of these scenarios, you’ve scored an engagement and are one step closer to a sale.
b) A Strong Introduction
We’ve told you how important to have a strong headline. Adding further to that, a good introduction is equally as important. The introduction paragraph defines if your content is worth reading. The easiest way to go about it is to write something that directly addresses the question your reader has in mind. If they feel your content will have the answer they’re looking for, they’ll continue to read on further!
Never underestimate the art of storytelling! You can opt to write something that’s clear and to the point. At the same time, you can add a personal touch to it so it makes the content more relatable for the reader. This depends on several factors but your target audience is by far the most important element in this entire situation.
This is a bonus. This may or may not apply to the form of the content being developed. However, wherever words fail to communicate clearly, visuals can step in. This especially pertains to statistical data because it’ll allow you to visually portray all your facts and figures in the form of a summary. You can find a variety of tools online that you can use to create some aesthetically pleasing visuals.
Moreover, Visuals can help your content stand out. And it’ll definitely make your reader look twice. Visuals don’t necessarily have to be bar charts or graphs. Sometimes they can just be pictures or embedded videos. Basically, anything that can add aesthetics and help your readers understand better.
Never underestimate the power of illustration!
8. Be as Crisp and Concise as Possible:
Ever heard of attention-span? Well, that principle definitely applies here! Eliminating unimportant content is difficult because it’s always difficult to critically analyze things from a reader’s perspective. What might seem simple to you, might be difficult to understand for someone else.
Being a content marketer, bullet points are your best friend. They enable the reader to understand, absorb, and retain the information you’re giving them. Don’t stress yourself too much on the word count. As a content marketer, it’s important to understand that detailed content isn’t always better content.
Presentation is everything!
9. Always keep Updating:
Content Marketing is something that you always need to look at as a long term strategy instead of a one-time activity altogether. If you’ve made up a mind where you want to bring content marketing into play, you probably want to make sure you can live up to the commitment.
Apart from not getting more views or engagements, you won’t be helping your Google ranking if you aren’t updating your website regularly. Keep posting regularly. Eventually, the results will come and when they do, you’ll be thanking yourself that you decided to put a content marketing strategy forward, in the first place.
Below are some excellent examples of websites that have engaged in excellent content marketing activities and have reaped the benefits of it:
Some Final Tips:
There are some general rules that every brand or business should always consider when it comes to strategy. Content Marketing is no different. These tips below, combined with everything we’ve mentioned will give you a bulletproof content marketing strategy that’ll allow your brand to grow and move its way to the top!
It’s always a good idea to invest time in strategy. Put in a good amount of time for ideation. Think of all the different things you can go with. Weigh in all your options and decide which route to take. A content calendar is an excellent way to get started and streamline all your content marketing operations. It’s always better to adopt a structured approach when it comes to strategy.
Never underestimate the power of research. Always be sure to stay up to date with the latest trends and tools. The digital ecosystem is something that brings more and more innovation every day. At the same time, it brings a lot of challenges. Always be aware of what’s happening in your surroundings and you’ll be able to formulate a bulletproof strategy!
Be patient. Your content will take a little time to gain traction and attention. Even if the results aren’t showing too soon, that isn’t a reason to quit. Keep at it and you’ll get there.
Being able to think critically is a skill. One that’s a must when it comes to formulating a strategy. Content marketing being of the creative nature it is, needs a fresh mind that’s able to look at all internal and external factors.
Review everything that you publish. We’ve already mentioned the importance of critical thinking. Be sure to apply the same principle here too!
Aim to get to a point where people want to read your content and actively seek it out instead of just reading it because it came in their newsfeed or email.
Wrapping it up:
We’ve covered pretty much all the important ingredients for your next content marketing strategy. By adding these tips in your content marketing strategy, you’ll be able to create something that’s unbreakable. And it’ll definitely contribute towards the growth of your brand or business. The boundaries are pretty much limitless.
By engaging in a good content marketing plan, you’re providing your brand with numerous benefits that include the following:
Improved SEO: By uploading original, meaningful, and quality content, your business will gain a better following in the digital ecosystem.
Better Leads and Conversions: Content marketing will enhance your chance of generating greater leads. By engaging in a call-to-action, your consumers will reach out to you instead of it being the other way around.
Trust-Building: By investing in content marketing, you’re allowing your audience to know more about you. It gives you a chance to show off the value your brand is bringing to the table. And over time, your audience will start looking towards you as a credible source of information. At the end of the day, you want to establish that bold image in the digital market space if you truly want to stand out!
We hope you’ve found this article useful! For more useful information, be sure to check out our library!