Integration is key
Content marketing is best served as part of a strong integrated digital marketing strategy. Content can be the driving force behind defining the identity of your brand as well as the theme of your campaign. But, it’s also a lot more effective if it’s promoted across channels. Using your social media and email marketing platforms to push your content to a wider audience will help you drive that all important traffic to your content.
Balance engagement and SEO
Part of the reason content is such a powerful tool lies in its SEO value. But too much optimisation can lead to content that is uninteresting or unreadable. A great way to find a balance between interesting subject matter and valuable SEO content is to carry out regular keyword research and plan content around that. Identify some of the top long-tail keywords and try to structure your titles around these. That way, you’ll have a pre-optimised title that you can then expand on with engaging writing and thought-leadership pieces.
Make content a core part of your brand strategy
The aforementioned thought-leadership is another reason why content is so integral to a digital marketing strategy. As business guru Simon Sinek says, “people don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it”. Content is the channel to prove to your customers that you are the leader in your field, as well as to communicate your values and provide useful and entertaining information around your industry. Now more than ever, customers are looking for brands to be a part of their lifestyle, so they want to relate your content to their own lives.
Avoid the hard sell
It’s so easy to fall into the trap of making every element of your digital strategy all about the metrics.
We all want to see clear ROI on our strategies and assign a value to every single marketing activity. Unfortunately, that’s simply not the way content marketing works. Content marketing is about building your brand and drawing customers in. It’s about building loyalty and becoming a go-to for your customers.
They simply won’t respond to a hard sell that’s all about your product, and they’ll get bored of that approach pretty quickly. Think of your content as a way to pique their interest in your brand; it’s all about positioning your product or service so that customers can see your brand as part of their life and its that mindset that will turn them into hot leads and loyal customers further down the line.
Consider all forms of content
Another easy trap to fall into is to believe that content marketing is all about blogs. It’s not. Blogs are just one part of a wider content marketing strategy, and there are many different written formats that sit under the blog umbrella. Try to vary your content marketing strategy to keep it really engaging.
Consider video, imagery, user generated content, white-papers, listicles and traditional long form written articles as equal and complimentary forms of content when planning your strategy.
Keep an eye on performance
Google Analytics is a content marketer’s best friend! Yes, you want to be looking at how many views your content is getting, but keeping an eye on engagement is also important. Look at the average time on page of each individual blog, as well as bounce rates.
Average time on page will help you to determine how engaging your writing and subject matter is, whilst bounce rate is key when it comes to showing whether or not your content is keeping people on your website; both are important considerations for future content planning!
A few great examples…
Now you know the secrets to a great digital content campaign, but how is it working for other brands? Take a look at a few great examples to get you inspired…
Rip Curl position themselves as a go-to for surfers, not just in their produt offering but also in their content. Their hub, “The Search” documents their surfing community’s search for the best waves and destinations, featuring user-generated content as well as stories from their own team. With over 100,000 YouTube subscribers and Facebook followers hitting a cool 2 mill, they’re doing something right.
Beauty giants Glossier are a perfect example of how to do integrated content the right way. They’ve mastered the art of viral social media content through a combination of authenticity, consistent tone of voice and user-generated content and are a perfect example of how to get your content platforms in a row.
It might be six years old, but Hootsuite’s A Game of Social Thrones video has a way of sticking in your memory. The video and social media content campaign is a perfect example of a brand being in the right place at the right time with the right messaging. Sometimes, current events and trends can provide the perfect inspiration for content campaign, whether it’s directly linked to your brand or not, just be careful how you play it as your references should always be authentic and true to your brand, to avoid running the risk of bandwagon-ing.
*Now, more than ever, both B2B and B2C customers are looking for authenticity, safety and security from their brands, something that content marketing is well equipped to demonstrate. A strong content offering could be the deciding factor between your brand and your competitor, so getting it right is so important!
Thank you for reading through and reaching to the bottom of the page! If you have further questions on content marketing strategies & tactics or any other digital marketing channels such as search marketing, social media marketing, retargeting or chatbot marketing, feel free to join our weekly Digital Marketing Q&A on Whatsapp and learn more on these topics as well as most recent best practices!