What is content marketing and why is it so important in today’s marketing plan? Content marketing is a marketing strategy that focuses on creating and sharing valuable, creative and consistent content to generate interest in a brand, product or service. In other words, instead of continually promoting products and business, content marketing is an avenue to provide expert and relevant content to your readership that helps them, entertains them or improves their lives.
Content marketing adds to increased sales and generates loyal customers. If you create online content that makes a difference, means something to your customer or shares tips to make their lives better, the reader in turn will look to you and your business when they need products. Content marketing generates loyal repeat customers, up-selling and cross selling.
Here are 15 tips to amp up your content marketing:
1. Start A Blog: Blogging is one of the most popular ways of communicating via the internet. The first step in content marketing is starting a blog that will offer readers valuable information in your industry. Topics can be anything from your impression on a industry topic, a recipe for your favorite pasta recipe or a review of the color of the year. There are many websites available dedicated to starting a blog and keeping a blog current, consistent and full of content.
2. Create a Video: Videos are one of the most valuable content marketing tools for your business. It’s easier than ever to make videos thanks to ever changing mobile device technology. Many companies use mobile phone and tablet cameras to create very effective videos. They can be downloaded onto your website, social media or even YouTube. Some ideas for videos are how to use products, candid camera style impromptu videos and interview style videos. According to Jodi Harris of Content Marketing Institute, videos are also excellent for raising awareness of important social issues and share your non profit involvement.
3. Use Infographics: An infographic is a diagram or illustration that shares data, research, statistics and other information in a visually appealing way. Info plus graphic equals infographic. This type of content marketing is liked, shared and viewed more than other content, some studies show up to three times more. Going one step further, Infographics are shared two times more than presentations and three times more than documents on social media platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.
4. Create a Meme: According to Paul Gil of Lifewire.com, “a meme is a virally transmitted cultural symbol that usually include captioned photos intended to be funny, often as a way to ridicule human behavior.” These appear on Facebook Twitter, Instagram and other platforms, but usually not on a blog. Social media users love memes and just as a virus spreads through a crowd, memes go viral on social media. Create a funny meme using online resources like memegenerator.net.
5. Write A Product Review: Bloggers are famous for writing product reviews. Readers are notorious for reading product reviews. Product review content is an inexpensive, yet effective way to teach readers about your product line. That being said, before writing the review, know your product inside and out. Make sure you’ve used it, have feedback from others who have used it and can offer ideas to get the most use out of it. According to Zak Johnson of blogging.org, “put yourself in your readers’ shoes and write from their perspective, not yours.” Always include links back the product page on your website, so readers can easily purchase the item if they like what they read.
6. Write a How To Article: When you write “how to” blog articles, you position your company and yourself as an expert that people trust. The “how to” is another popular content strategy and usually receive fabulous ratings in search engines. Start the title, “How to” or “How Do I” and then proceed to offer advice and tips on the subject. Think about topics that are relatable to your audience. For example, if you are a florist designer a title could be, “How To Design A Beautiful Fall Wreath in Three Easy Steps.” Take photos or video to coincide with the article for even more detail.
7. Say Thank You: This idea never goes out of style. Saying thank you through an email or letter for purchasing something from you is the best content marketing you can do. An staffing company, When I Work, mails handwritten thank you cards to every new customer. The recipients are so happy they take a photo of the card and share it on social media for everyone to see. They claim that referrals have increased to 23 percent thanks to a simple gesture. That’s effective and inexpensive advertising.
8. Create Lists: Popular sites like Huffington Post and Buzz Feed have mastered the love of the list. You’ve seen them and probably even read one or two of them. For example, 23 Clever Products That will Save You Money In The Long run and 10 Middle Schoolers Who Will Make This World A Better Place are just two articles that use the list technique. It’s a tried and true content marketing strategy that can work for you, too.
9. Use Guest Blogging: Consider writing a blog for another site, specifically a high quality site in your industry circle. According the Business.com, guest blogging as part of your content marketing plan is one of the most recommended strategies on building and growing a blog. Yes, you will probably not get paid for the article, but in the long run you’ll create more awareness for your blog and company. Going one step further, invite another industry blogger or leader to write a blog for your site. It’s a win, win both ways.
10. Share, Share, Share: Make it a point to always include the social media buttons with links to your pages to encourage liking and sharing of your content. Social media is meant to be shared among followers and is key to getting your content read. Asking followers to share your content with their friends is also effective.
11. Incorporate Educational Content: Educational content teaches customers about your products. Educated customers are paying customers. Some big companies that use this content marketing strategy are Whole Foods, Mint and Liberty Mutual. The key is to being short, sweet and to the point to teach readers why your product is worthwhile.
12. Create Powerful Headlines: The headline is one of the first things to draw readers into your content marketing. It makes no difference if it is an Infographic or a Blog Post, powerful headlines will draw in the reader. Remember, consumers see thousands and thousands promotional materials each and everyday so produce a headline that will grab their attention and want them to learn more.
13. Get Grouping: Content marketing is all about reaching groups of people who are interested in the same thing. According to writtent.com, humans are groupies and our human nature is to embrace our groupie-ness especially in our headlines. Allow your headline to invite a reader to share in funny photos their group is going to love, something they are just not going to believe or statistics that will make them laugh out loud. Use a common thread like, Harry Potter books, left handed people, cat lovers or single parents.
14. Be Consistent: Content marketing is all about being consistent and keeping your platforms full of current content. As the famous 1996 quote by Microsoft legend, Bill Gates said, “Content is King!” Write blog posts weekly, create links to your website, post on social media platforms daily, sent email blasts monthly. Keep current, keep consistent and your content will do the work for you.
15. Share Interesting Facts: Entertain and educate your audience by sharing facts, stats and other information. There is so much information on the internet, much of it fluff and fiction that straight talk stands out! Sharing statistical research that is proven as factual is a way to update your audience on trends and at the same time position your blog as a site to gain expert advice and information. Loyal customers are created when they depend on a resource for information.