- Most businesses do their content marketing wrong. But it doesn't have to be that way for you. Your first step is to online your content marketing with your business strategy.
- Second, don't always try to sell with every blog article and social media post. Build trust, then go for the sell.
- Lastly, market your content correctly, and then measure the success you see. You'll be miles ahead of other businesses if you do.
Content marketing is hot but it could be hotter. There has been a recent upsurge in marketers taking a truly data-driven, academic approach to content marketing and the results are – as the kids would say – lit.
There is immense PR value in content marketing – but only if you’re doing it right. It’s kind of like pay per click advertising. You can throw cash at a wall all day and occasionally a customer will bounce back. Or you can use data to find out what works and then throw more cash at that section of the wall.
Here’s what most businesses fail to grasp about blogs and content marketing:
It’s not a billboard. It’s product placement.
Content marketing isn’t an explicit sell. It’s subtle. A good content marketing strategy will make your customers come to you. It will boost your inbound conversions and position your brand as both relevant and fulfilling to their needs. To build good public relations, you need trust.
4 basic steps to follow when building your content marketing strategy
1. Align with your Business Strategy
Step one of building your content marketing strategy is to have a good grasp of your business’ direction. Where do you want to be in twelve months? How much do you want to improve your conversion rate, your click-through rate or your monthly lead acquisition?
Like any good marketing strategy, your content efforts must reflect your business values and align with your overall goals. Take a look at your existing data and get a good idea of how you’re currently performing, and where content might help you improve.
2. Don’t #AlwaysBeSelling
Gary Vaynerchuk has seen enormous success through blogging and social media marketing. His public relations are second-to-none, and he credits it all to one simple strategy. The “jab, jab, jab, right hook.”
Rather than always going for the knockout blow (the right hook), Gary recommends that companies focus on their jabs, and tailor these for their specific audience. A long series of trust-gaining and reputation-building blog articles and social media posts are crucial to building good PR and finally winning the fight with a successful right hook.
The key is to not #AlwaysBeSelling. Take a few jabs with some great content, reel in your clients and then convert them with a right hook – the big sell.
3. Spread it Right
Even the most well-written and informative blog articles need some kind of marketing to gain serious traction. Unless your website is attracting thousands of visitors daily and already has a stellar reputation for excellent content, you need to get yourself out there.
Use social media networks to communicate with your audience. Tailor your posts to each network with eye-catching imagery and attention-grabbing text.
Build your email lists. Customised, highly segmented email lists are fantastic for delivering the right content to your audiences at the right time. Don’t simply spam your entire list of members with every piece of content you generate – make sure you’re sending the right content to the right people.
Guest posting on other websites and making use of content distribution platforms such as Outbrain are great ways to get your blog articles in front of more people, and ultimately build a larger customer base.
4. Assess Your Success
The most critical aspect of any content marketing or PR campaign is assessing its progress. Use data. Dive into whatever analytics platform you use and assess where your traffic is coming from, where they’re arriving on your website, and what they’re doing once they’re there.
The more you understand how customers find your website and how they act once they arrive, the more effort you’ll be able to put into increasing your conversion rate. With a stellar conversion rate, all that’s left is attracting more leads – your website will do everything else for you.
Content marketing never stops. To build good PR through blogging, you must always refine your strategy. Never stop learning, and always return your focus to the ultimate goals you’ve set for your business.