Content marketing is becoming more important to digital marketers and marketing teams. Google’s algorithms are looking at whether your site includes quality content that reflects the more specific searches made by your audience on search engines.
People have access to so much content these days they are spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing what to invest their time in and read. You need to make sure that your content is appealing, engaging and interesting enough to capture them, get them to click through, and keep them reading.
So how do we go about doing that? We need to make sure that we have mastered the content marketing basics before we go about creating and distributing.
Golden Rule Number One:
Make it relevant, make it unique, make it readable.
Content needs to have a function. It should at least be one of the three things below, but it could even encompass bits of all!
- Amusing or Enjoyable
When writing your content, think about your end goal. If you are wanting to sell more holidays, promote travel writing pieces to the destinations you fly to.
You also need to really be aware of who you are targeting. You need to be sharing content your audience relate to, and make sure you share it on the platforms that you know they visit regularly.
So let’s talk a little more about the content functions, and give an example to bring them to life.
Content that helps people to understand, learn and develop. You give your customers something, in this case, new knowledge, and in return, they become more aware of your brand and what you have on offer. Some examples include:
- Travel websites such as RyanAir. We know that they promise cheap flights across Europe and wider. What we might not know however is anything about the destinations which they have on offer. RyanAir have a destination guide that gives you insider advice about the cities they fly to. This makes travellers have more of an insight into what’s on offer, and perhaps encourage them to book flights to somewhere new.
- A how-to guide from an expert in their field. Think about content such as How to make healthy and tasty food from Jamie Oliver, Top Ten Fiction Writing Tips from Stephen King. You get the gist.
Get your audience interested. Teach them something new that they will probably want to share and talk about with others.
This slightly overlaps with Informative Content, but it lends itself to being more creative and visual. Interesting content can include:
- An individuals’ opinion piece, maybe a reviewer’s insight on the latest films, or what they thought about the Academy Awards and who won.
- A history of how something has developed, such as how a chocolate bar has changed over time and why.
Amusing or Enjoyable:
The easiest content to think about, but the most difficult to create and get people to engage with. The problem with this function is that the content needs to be done well if it is going to be entertaining. You need to appeal to your customers, provide something unique and make sure it is actually amusing.
Examples can include:
- Funny cat compilation videos
- Sporting highlights
- Buzzfeed lists such as ‘Things most people remember from high school’.
Golden Rule Number Two
What should you produce?
There are several insights that can help inform your content marketing strategy. These will tell you what kind of content you should be publishing, what area it should fall into (Enjoyable, Interesting or Imformative) and where you should be posting it.
These insights can be gathered by:
- Looking at the people you are targeting. You can use a range of tools to look at your audience and try to create content that will appeal to different segments of people who are interested in your brand.
- Google Analytics can help you by providing insight into what keywords are bringing certain people to your site. You can then write content around these searches to ensure you bring the same people back again and again. It also tells you the demographics of your website visitors, their behaviour flows (how they navigate around your site) and what devices they might view your content on. If most people are mobile users, is your content easy to navigate and scroll through on a phone? Is it is visual and easy to understand and digest on a short commute?
- Social Media Analytics can tell you what people are saying about your brand online. They give you insight into what content is engaging people, what posts are encouraging people to click through to your site and read your content and when the best time to post new content is.
What content can you produce?
You can write about what you know, give opinion pieces, or if you want to make them entertaining, break them up with lots of visually appealing images.
- Infographics or blog graphics and timelines
Make quick, easy to digest infographics that inform people about what you do, an area you specialise in or services you have on offer. Great for sharing socially.
- Guides and Lists
People love lists, and they are always looking for how-to guides on the internet. If you have experts working within your organisation, get people to share their knowledge. If you want to write an entertaining top ten, do it! If you are a hairdresser, maybe write about the top ten best celebrity hairstyles from the latest awards show or film premiere. Entertaining, and draws people to your business.
Videos are leading the way in future content. People love videos, and by including one in your marketing or social media feeds, you will likely increase engagement by a large percentage.
- Social Content
People, especially millennials, are often taking in online information and content for many hours of the day. They read from their phones whilst they commute, they check forums during their lunch break and they catch up on social media after dinner. Make sure you are reaching them.
Innocent Drinks on Twitter have a great social content strategy, in that their tweets are incredibly entertaining, rarely promotional and all-in-all fun to read. They have such a large follower base because of this. Make your social content stand out. Make sure it entertains, informs or interests people.
- Interviews and Insights
Talk to someone your audience would be interested in. Document their views online or share the live interview on your YouTube channel.
Golden Rule Number Three
Measure, Analyse, Engage and Improve.
So you have just pressed the publish button, that’s great news. But the fun doesn’t stop there.
The next steps are just as important when looking at content strategy.
- Measure the success of your campaigns. You need to look at how well they are doing. How many people click through to the new content? Where do they then go from here? Are they completing goals such as registering for further email updates or booking a flight?
- Analyse the people looking at your content. What age are they, what device are they using, where are they located? This way you can ensure that whatever you post next is more personalised towards your audience. Personalisation is so important, and you need to make sure you are one step ahead of the game.
- Improve your content. Take what you have learnt above and apply it. Apply and repeat until you have met your targets and goals consistently.
All of the above is really a beginning guide to content marketing. Over the next three weeks I will look at different levels of content marketing and how you can develop your strategy as an organisation – so stay posted!
Remember Golden Rule No.1: