Content marketing has already become the favorite online strategy for most businesses as it creates a link between brand awareness and lead generation. If well done, it builds trust and brand loyalty among prospective and current customers by providing engaging and relevant information. Unfortunately, there is so much content created on a daily basis that even the best is more than likely to get buried. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t focus on quality content, in fact it is now more important than ever to offer something of value to your audience. But the days, when just having great content was enough to build your community, are over. Now you need to focus on the second part of your marketing strategy – content amplification.
[ Image Credits: Mark Smiciklas]
Create goals for your content
Before you create any more content, first figure out what you want to accomplish. Do you want to generate leads, drive more traffic or simply increase brand recognition? This will allow you to focus on your content’s structure, voice, tone and audience. Also, you can ensure that every piece of content you produce adds value and maintains a consistent message across the board. Without a goal, your content won’t have any cohesiveness and you will end up confusing your audience.
Know your audience
Content marketing and amplification isn’t about direct selling. It’s about educating and entertaining your audience in order to earn their trust and loyalty. In order to do this successfully, you need to know who your audience is and what they want from you, so you can design your content for them. For best results, it’s essential to do the following:
- Develop a customer persona. This is the most effective way to discover your key audience and identify what topics you should cover. These key metrics can help you understand your target demographic:
- Where do they go for information?
- Who do they trust, respect and admire?
- How do they prefer to consume content? Text or visual? Long or short form?
Take advantage of remarketing
If you already have an audience, remarketing is an excellent option to keep your business on the forefront of your customer’s mind. Utilizing Google Adwords allows you to reach 84 percent of your visitors 10-18 days a month across numerous sites. It’s an excellent way to expand reach, connect with an audience that is more likely to convert, and target your ads to your most successful customer segments. In fact, remarketing through Adwords can increase conversion rates by 300 percent.
Utilize multiple avenues
The point of content marketing is to reach as many people as possible by leveraging all of the different avenues available to you. These options can be broken down into three simple categories: owned, paid and earned.
- Owned – This includes your business website, blogs, social media profiles and email lists. You probably already utilize these assets on a daily basis to keep your current audience engaged, but are you adjusting your content to fit each platform? Twitter users want their information in fun, bite-sized bits while Facebook users are more interested in images. You can easily adjust your main piece of content to suit each site in order to generate more interest.
- Paid – Some people might scoff at the idea of integrating paid media in content marketing, but nothing markets itself. Your owned media is limited to your current audience and has little opportunity to reach a larger audience. So, unless you already have millions of fans, it is unlikely people outside your circle will actually see your content. This is where paid media comes in. There are a lot of options to choose from and the best part is that you can reach a targeted audience on a budget. Some of the more popular options include:
- Promoted Tweets
- Facebook Ads
- Reddit Ads
- Content promotion ad networks
- Earned – This is perhaps the most valuable exposure to get, due to its credibility and potential reach. In fact, 92 percent of consumers worldwide say they prefer personal recommendations from friends and family than any other type of advertising. Customer reviews come on second place, at 70 percent, while traditional advertising trails in last place. While you might not necessarily be able to control who sees your content, the level of trust placed in these recommendations is unparalleled. Some of the more common forms of earned media include:
- Social shares on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.
- Bloggers and other influencers writing about your content
- Pickups in traditional media
- First page placement on sites like Reddit
Of course, in order to actually have your content shared by a third party, it actually needs to be exceptional. Once you do get your first write up from a news outlet or influential blogger, you should immediately promote it through paid advertising and your own platforms. This way you can expose your ideas and brand to others with the backing of a trusted media source.
Focus on quality over quantity
An editorial calendar can be beneficial, but it can also be the pitfall of many companies. You might have been told that you need to create unique content daily if you want your site to have a good search engine ranking. While it’s true that Google does rank pages that update frequently higher than those that do not, companies that focus on churning out daily articles often see a decline in the quality of their content. Often this leads to less social shares and less user engagement. Good content might take more time to deliver, but ultimately it will attract more people and free up more time for content promotion.
Benefits of Content Promotion
Most businesses spend the majority of their time creating their content, thinking that is enough to attract an audience. This is not the case anymore. Content promotion is necessary if you want to cut through all the noise on the Internet and build your brand. If planned and integrated properly, you will see a rise in the number of engaged and loyal users. You might not see the effects immediately, but the long term results will be well worth the ongoing effort.