Content Marketing Tips to Help Tap into Your Audience: Part 3
Content marketing allows businesses to define their online presence and attract an audience. We received a wealth of great tips, strategies, and ideas to master the craft from content marketing experts. There’s a lot to learn, from identifying an audience and producing valuable content, to managing resources and testing what works.
Digital Marketing Consultant, Skittish Digital
Repurpose your content across different media.
Know your audience.
Having a clear picture of who you’re targeting means you can tailor the tone of your content (language and vocabulary) as well as the length and format. For example, if you’re targeting time-poor professionals, a short video explaining your product may be more suited than a 1,000 word essay.
Think beyond your blog.
Content can be anything from the sales copy on your website and your product descriptions to your FAQs page. If you’re blogging regularly with the hope of improving search engine positions, for example, you’re missing out on an opportunity to optimise the rest of your content which just might increase your conversion rate on your website!
By repurposing your content, you are pushing it out in front of a different audience, making it accessible to more people and increasing your reach. For example, if you record a video, you can post it to your website and maybe your YouTube channel, but how about posting the transcript as a blog post, an email campaign or a LinkedIn article. The audio could become a podcast and the information within the video could be used to create an infographic.
Content marketing takes time, commitment and consistency to reap the benefits. To keep that content flowing, you’ll need to plan ahead. Have a schedule of content ideas and prompts to get the ideas flowing. Carry a notebook (or make notes on your phone) and get into the habit of jotting down ideas when they pop into your head—it makes it much easier to remember and refer back to when you’re ready to sit down and create content.
Struggling for ideas? Try using free tools such as answerthepublic.com to give you ideas of what to write about. Just type in a topic and see what the public are asking about it. And, of course, follow key accounts on social media and be inspired by others.
Online Marketing Specialist, Pistor AG
Make your calls to action easy to find, and make incremental tweaks.
Content Marketing is an essential part of the customer journey and it’s important to understand that it’s not just a collection of social media and blog posts. It needs a strategy and a solid understanding of the sales funnel. You need to know your target audience to reach them with your content and create awareness. As a major supplier to bakeries, restaurants and hotels, we at Pistor create specific content for our target audience such as success stories from our customers. It’s a chance for us to create an interesting story that could inspire other businesses and to highlight our own services and products.
Once you created awareness and attract visitors to your content you need to make sure your CTAs (Call to Action) are easy to spot and to understand. After a successful conversion by clicking on the CTA you present information about the product or service you’re offering. It should give a nice overview on the most important information and a possibility to buy or to contact your sales or consulting team. That’s how you create awareness, put yourself into the evaluation of your possible customer and if successful, close in the sale. You want to have returning customers so you can now use your content as a retention tool to show your present and success in the market. At every step you need to track conversion rate and adapt if necessary. If actions are needed you should implement them in small steps so you can measure the success of it. It’s difficult to check the success of different actions if you implement everything at once.
Marketing Coordinator, Sage & Investment Property Group
Market toward the shoppers who will dominate the digital space.
- Millennials and Gen Z represent the highest influential shopping power in the digital space for the next few years. Knowing this fact, it is time to cater to their taste in your marketing strategy. Or better have separate campaigns focused on that segment with as unique and personalized content as possible.
“The digital buyer penetration rate in the United States as of January 2019, by generation. According to the findings, online shopping was most common among Millennial internet users with a penetration rate of 84.8 percent.” (Source: Statista.com and Emarketer.com)
“Gen Z is already on track to become the largest generation of consumers by the year 2020, and they account for $29 to $143 billion in direct spending. But their impact on the market doesn’t stop there. Ninety-three percent of parents today say their children influence family and household purchases, according to a report by CASSANDRA, meaning a significant portion of overall market spend is because of these youths.” (Source forbes.com)
- Make it authentic and personal! More than anyone else, Millennials and Gen Z care to be unique and not another email on a brand’s list.
- An email with a 10% discount on a laptop that was searched by the customer is 5 times more likely to convert and earn the customer loyalty than a generic 10% discount site wide.
- Use “assisted clicks” to gain deeper insight on customers’ pre-conversion behavior and interests to build better re-marketing, audience lists, funnel and email campaigns.
- Google Search campaigns now allow building audience lists and exclusion lists; these are great new tools to refine your audience lists, create more authentic and personalized ads.
- Be proactive. Check your offer/landing pages and do a test trial before launching a campaign. As simple as it sounds, a discount code might not work or the landing page is down. Millennials and Gen Z are not so forgiving of bad experience, time waste or misleading ads.
Marketing Coordinator, Up with People
Your voice should appeal to the audience you want to reach.
Write with a purpose.
People believe that when it comes to content marketing, it’s all about frequency. The concept of quality over quantity will win every time. Every article or blog post you share should provide answers to questions that your audience is looking for. Whether you are educating someone or providing them with an incentive, the reader will need a genuine reason to come back or to share your content with others.
What is it that your audience is looking to have answered? If you’re working on content marketing, chances are you are already diving into keyword research. While that is a great start, you’ll want to dive into even more complex questions so you can work to rank in Google’s Featured Snippet. If you are able to rank there, your quality content marketing strategy is working, and your business will pay off dramatically from it.
Be authentic and consistent with your brand’s voice.
One of the biggest struggles I’ve seen working with clients in various types of industries is the reflection of their brand through the voice of their content. Many times, people believe that being grammatically correct and sounding professional is the way to go. If this is your company’s brand, then by all means roll with it! However, there have been plenty of businesses I’ve worked for that are seeking a more youthful and approachable brand to reach a younger audience, yet their voice doesn’t reflect this. It’s all about understanding who you are as a company and what story you want to tell to your audience.
Set up an email campaign.
Alright, let’s face it. At the end of the day, you are creating a content marketing strategy because you want to drive more people to your website, to become a leader in your industry, and overall drive more business. Generating regular content is great, but when you think back to the purpose, don’t forget about what you want your purpose to be. Get people signed up on your email list as a call to action. Your content will have an audience, and your audience will be receiving new and useful content directly to their inbox regularly. This builds authority and ultimately builds your relationships with your customers. Everybody wins!
Freelance Writer, Andrew Wrote That
Become an insider instead of a salesperson.
Assuming you know the wants and needs of your audience is the equivalent of rubbing a lucky rabbit’s foot. Will it work out? Maybe. Maybe not.
But content marketing is too difficult and too time-consuming to bet on those odds.
Instead, leave your assumptions at the door and research. A goldmine for understanding hearts and minds is the seemingly infinite number of Facebook groups. Find where your audience already congregates.
Once inside, remember that you’re there to learn, not sell. Put on the reading glasses and look for the following:
- Common questions
- Frequent issues
- Polarizing topics
- Insider language
- Emotional triggers
Use these to shape your content marketing strategy. This allows you to avoid fluff, pull heartstrings, and tell the types of stories they’re already telling themselves.
You’ll feel like an insider instead of a salesperson.
There is one essential, nonnegotiable ingredient in every social media post, blog, and random marketing collateral you publish.
Give your audience something they benefit from. This varies depending on whom you’re talking to, but value can take the form of the following:
Fluff posts, such as wishing everyone a happy holiday or announcing a new employee, offer no value. What you’re communicating is that your content is nonessential reading, or worse, you have nothing to say.
Before your hard work goes live, always ask how your audience will benefit from consuming this content. If the answer is vague or nonexistent, try again.
One easy way to inject value into seemingly boring topics is to frame product/service features in the form of benefits to your audience.
Owner, Smart Girl Digital
Spark conversations with your content.
Content continues to reign in 2020. Content marketing encompasses everything from your email messages to the tips, tools, and resources that your brand creates to bring value to your ideal audience.
Your content should be sparking conversations. Engaging and high-quality content can be one of the most effective online strategies for your business.
To get your arms around the behemoth of content marketing, implement these 5 tips that we use at Smart Girl Digital.
Start with the strategy, goals, and planning.
The strategy, goals, and planning are critical steps for your content marketing process in 2020. Define the themes or topics for your content. Set measurable goals for success. Layout a content calendar for the team to follow.
Provide value by doing a bit of research.
Use data from Google’s suite of tools to find keyword ideas and trending topics. Idea generators like Answer the Public can help you expand on the topic areas for your audience. Once you find topics or trends, build content that adds value.
Publish and promote.
Content is not worthwhile unless you publish it. Once it is published, promote it. Promote it to your email list. Promote it on your social channels. Promote it internally to your entire organization, so they can share it.
Drive for engagement and authentic conversations.
Content marketing should be driven by engagement (which can impact your reach). Be authentic and avoid over-hyped marketing speak. To increase engagement keep your audience in mind and create content they will react to. Track engagement to determine what is working and what is not.
Repurpose your content across all platforms and mediums.
To get the most mileage out of the content you are creating make sure your audience is seeing the content wherever they hang out online.
Director of Communications, United Rheumatology
Don’t block your own shot.
The business of content marketing isn’t that simple and no matter what production workflows you’ve developed or multi-pronged approach to promoting it, a few things can quickly ruin your results. And content without a good ROI is just corporate fluff that gets ignored.
Let’s explore these three things that will kill your content marketing:
Targeting too many personas.
Your target audience may not be a single persona type, but looking to appeal to every possible customer dilutes your marketing message. Multiple versions of the same content with tweaks to cater to each segment is a waste of time and will likely confuse your readers. Always write to your best-targeted customer, because they are the ones driving your revenue.
Not tracking your content.
You can pitch and try many approaches when developing content. But if nobody keeps track of what happens after it’s published, you’re likely never to know what your audience wants to read and interact with. Content performance must be logged to inform future content ideas. That way you’ll know exactly which content performs best and be able to repeat successes.
Not mapping out your content expertise.
If you know your targeted persona and learned what topics they are interested in, you still have to choose the most relevant topic that falls within your expertise. It’s tempting to write about everything your audience cares about, but it’s also an exercise in overwhelming your reader. Content mapping is the concept of mapping content creation to the needs of your users and organizing the main topics and sub-topics. Once mapped you can connect the content directly to your persona, and your product or service. If there isn’t a direct connection then you probably shouldn’t be writing about it.