The sudden upsurge in the popularity of social media has left many traditionalist marketing firms scratching their heads. This relatively new form of web-based interactions has changed the face of online marketing completely, and while a lot of firms have adapted to survive, quite a few haven’t, and are paying the price for it.
This is where Content Marketing enters the fray. This is a new approach to creating brand awareness online, and uses the internet, and primarily social media tools to create fresh and innovative content in an effort to draw more consumers to their brand.
Just hurling keyword crammed data at a customer base online doesn’t cut the mustard any more. Major search engines, primarily Google, have shifted the goalposts in terms of the functioning of their spiders and analytics, which has resulted in a lot of prevalent SEO activities being thrown out the window. How can you still effectively market your content? From years of experience working for a number of clients, I thought I’d offer you my tips:
Effective Content Marketing
- Audience driven content. Assessing your target audience, and creating content that will appeal to them is the way forward in this form of marketing. The content that is representative of your firm on the web must, on its own, not only attract unique visitors, but also keep them coming back for more. It is all about creating that personal touch, that direct connection with the reader. Here’s an example – Argos, a toy store chain in the UK received a tweet about the lack of arrival of the PlayStation 4 console in a quirky, ‘street’ based lingo. The firm responded in kind, and when the twittersphere got wind of it, the whole thing went absolutely viral. See this news piece, appearing in the UK’s Mirror news website, on the tweet exchange for further details.
- Diversify.While Twitter and Facebook are undoubtedly the rulers of the social media circuit, and blog posts are the in thing, you can’t just restrict yourself to these limited social media outlets any longer. You need to embrace the wide world of social media including Google+, Instagram, YouTube, Reddit and even the latest sensation in Social Media – Vine. The wider your scope, the wider your reach.
- Troubleshoot, don’t sell.Instead of trying to convince your consumers that your product is better than the rest, make sure you anticipate their problems and have solutions ready instead. For example, if you deal in photography equipment, write about how lighting is affected by the time of the day, and what tools can be used to solve the issue of harsh lighting, or insufficient lighting. This approach is received better by your readers, because even though you may mention extra halogen lights or diffuser set ups as part of the solutions for the problems, your main focus isn’t that, instead it’s helping them understand a vital part of the industry that you deal with, and giving them expert advice as well.
- Update strategies based on analytic results. There are a lot of free and paid analytic solutions available on the web. They usually give you similar information such as bounce rate, time spent on website, demographic of visitors, how they arrived on your site etc. Use these tools to assess your strong and weak points, and build your strategy around them. Your approach can be to consolidate your strengths or cover up your weaknesses, but identifying them is paramount.
- Include images and infographics. The average web reader loves images, videos and any such media that makes consumption of content that much easier. Include these when possible, and also incorporate infographics into your narrative. Infographics are increasing in popularity due to their simplicity, brevity and ease of understanding, coupled with their visually attractive presentation. If your content is flexible enough to be conveyed through this particular medium, then it should be exploited to the maximum.
- Be consistent. Consistency is the key in the world of content marketing. Once you have established a readership, you need to provide it with enough content to make it come back for more. This means uploading content on a regular basis, and if possible sticking to a schedule so that the reader knows when to expect new content.
- Presentation.Content marketing relies on visual appeal as much as it does on the content to win consumers over. This means that not only does the content have to be greater, but it must also be presented in a manner that entices the reader to consume it. It’s almost like a chef dressing up his dish before sending it out. No matter how good it tastes, you’ll remain skeptical about whether or not to eat it unless it is served in an attractive fashion.
- Make friends. Creating compelling content is not enough. You need to be able to push content on the right platforms to reach its target audience. Be socially active. Engage your readers on social media platforms. Develop relationships with those of influence in your industry as well as content publishers.
There are many ways to promote your content effectively on the internet. The bottom line, however, is to provide value to your readers. They’ll definitely remember you for it.