So to help you out, here are 9 essential tips for you to consider while formulating a concrete content marketing approach for your business.
1. Devise Your Content According to Where it Fits in your Sales Marketing Funnel
A general sales marketing funnel consists of three main layers. Content at each of these layers has a distinctive intent, presentation, and action it expects from its viewer.
Content at the Top-of-Funnel (TOFU) should be in a tone of introducing the brand and its products. It gets users more acquainted with your brand.
Content like blogs, social media posts, infographics, podcasts, vlogs, etc, work excellently at this stage of the funnel. The primary intent of the content strategy here is to grab users’ attention, engage with them and drive them to the website (or any other revenue-generating platform that’s working as your online Point of Sale).
The content devised at the Middle-of-Funnel (MOFU) is more focussed on nurturing interested prospects, or in other words, potential future consumers who have shown interest in your brand and your products in the past.
At this stage, the content needs to be more focused on delivering high-end product awareness and promoting other USPs of your brand, products, and services to turn those prospects into consumers.
Content at this layer is often in the form of webinars, white papers, and other valuable resources. Mid funnel activities also include engaging with potential leads through emails, polls, and surveys, and offering them exciting deals and coupons.
Bottom-of-Funnel (BOFU) content needs a customer-centric approach. Content here should be devised with both pre-sales and post-sales intent. This part of content marketing focuses on the personal aspects of interacting with your customers.
Product review follow-ups and cross-sales communication campaigns are great examples where content formulation can significantly improve the consumer’s purchase intent. They can also be used to score positive user-generated product reviews.
2. Synchronizing Your Campaigns On Different Channels
Adhering to a holistic, omnichannel approach in content marketing can be daunting, especially considering the challenge of creating content on a mass scale and distributing it!
The COPE method works best to address these issues. COPE, which stands for Create Once, Publish Everywhere, is a technique where content is created only once and is distributed or syndicated on multiple platforms to enhance your reach and get better impressions from your targeted audience.
For example, a blog post deployed on your website can be syndicated to multiple platforms such as article submission sites. It can also be broken down into posts and images for social networks, and even turned into videos and podcasts.
3. Short Format Content vs. Long Format Content
Many people have speculated about the optimal length of content to engage users. While long-form written content has often been associated with good performance indices, this cannot be said for long-form video content.
Blog readers often intend to read in-depth articles for facts and stats to better understand a subject. This reading often doesn’t carry a tight time constraint as users can consume a lot of content before reaching their conclusions.
However, on the other end of the spectrum, video watchers want things in a more presentable, short, crisp, and precise manner. This demands a quick presentation with emphasis on delivering the critical points in a more detailed manner that’s presentable and easily digestible.
These are, of course, general rules. You should do your own testing, but always remember that content that
- is easy to consume for the viewer/reader
- doesn’t use jargon
- solves problems
- delivers value to the consumer
is what will work for your business in the end. Make sure to keep these as your primary focus when formulating and strategizing your content marketing plan.
4. Content Distribution Channels That Work Best for You
Each content distribution channel works differently from the others. For example, social media platforms all use user-generated content but have pretty different audiences. What works on Twitter might not work on TikTok.
Therefore, it is crucial to understand which ones work best for your business, and those you need to start with. To help you up, here are a couple of necessary and ‘evergreen’ performing content distribution channels that you can use for your content marketing approach:
Blogging Networks are some of the best channels to distribute your content and get them directly to your website. There is a whole list of blog sites for you to choose from and you can select any one that’s suitable for your needs as per your resource availability.
Social Media Pages
The best performing social media platforms in terms of direct consumer engagement proximity are Pinterest, Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube. If the services and products are more oriented to a B2B approach, LinkedIn works best.
These platforms also work exceptionally well with video content. They are a great place to attract and interact with prospects and consumers online. Besides, these platforms also offer an equal opportunity to reach consumers organically and through various paid campaigns.
Content-Driven Email Campaigns
From sharing blogs to offers to the latest products, reviews, and user stories, emails are a great tool to distribute your content to targeted audiences and drive actual sales in the most feasible manner possible.
5. Don’t Ignore Influencers
Influencers can alter a user’s purchase preference. These individuals heavily influence a consumer’s perspective towards a brand, and therefore a brand’s upcoming performance projections.
Considering the latter, a famous instance of a brand’s value being affected by an influencer was the simple act of removing a soft drink bottle and replacing it with water during a press conference. With a famous influencer involved, it didn’t take too long for the soft drink company to see the effects with its share values plummeting almost overnight.
The best strategy for small and growing brands/businesses is collaborating with local and mid-level influencers. This would save you significant expenses and can also drive high-value results.
Do your research here! Understand the influencer you are planning to collab with and analyze their audience.
6. User-Generated Content is the Key Driving Force Today
Consumers today are more willing than ever to try new products, but at the same time are smart enough to be selective on what brand they choose. This equally applies to both B2B and B2C businesses.
Rather than being convinced by fancy display and video ads alone, consumers today are more interested in knowing other consumers’ experiences of using the product they are planning to buy. Consumers’ reviews on platforms such as review sites and social media pages make the difference here.
So it’s recommended to gather feedback from consumers who have had a positive experience with your product or services.
The days are gone when a straightforward review tone works for product reviews.
Today, it’s more about the art of storytelling and explaining a consumers’ journey using the product or service.
So try to encourage reviews that are meaningful and which give a sense of how your business connects with users.
7. Use Videos and Interactive Webinars to Drive Long Term Engagement
Unlike other mediums (such as text and images), videos have better engagement with users. Video content makes everything more consumable for viewers.
It also serves as an excellent medium for delivering your brand messages and sales pitches to a mass audience in the most engaging ways possible. Collaborating with industry experts for webinars, presenting exceptional consumer reviews and their product or service usage journeys are common tactics.
In this channel, you need to take care of two things (besides good quality content):
- consistency – regularly engage with your users;
- promotion – make sure your content is being promoted at the right places and at the right time to reach its audience
8. Use Analytics to Improve Performance
Using Analytics for optimisation is often ignored by new brands and marketers. Still, it’s an unintegrated part of marketing that cannot be ignored! It is the means of understanding the outcomes of your marketing efforts and lets you break down an issue to find ways to achieve growth.
For instance, you want to learn how users interact with your social media posts and analyze the platform-specific KPIs. By using analytics you can get a clear picture of what tactics performed well, which ones need alteration, and places where you would want to test new strategies.
While there is the option of analyzing performance using native analytics and tracking tools, there are specific content marketing tools available such as HubSpot and SEMRush, that can help you centralize your reporting all in one place.
This is recommended if you are going for a holistic, omnichannel approach for your content marketing strategy.
9. Plan Your Budget
As competition has taken its toll on businesses in the digital space, creating high-quality content has somewhat become a necessity. This is particularly true when results are expected to be delivered in a specific time frame.
To make the most out of your marketing efforts, try to allocate your budget to resources that work. From niche-specific influencers to freelance content writers, there are many available options out there that you can choose for effective resource allocation and to push-start your marketing campaigns.
Depending on the resources available, you will have to test what will work best for you. Plan your budget for both quick revenue-generating and achieving long-term benefits.
Content is the driving force of any marketing strategy in the digital space. As a business, you need content that fits the needs of your customers (both current and future).