Chances are you’ve heard the phrase “content marketing” thrown around quite a bit recently. Content marketing is more relevant than ever with the growth of SEO and the release of Google’s latest algorithm, which increasingly takes the user experience into account.
Unfortunately, a number of startups aren’t quite sure how to implement a sound content marketing strategy. Too often they create online content haphazardly (just to get it out of the way) which results in poor content that may hurt, more than help, their business. Whether you’re new to content marketing or want to augment your existing content creation efforts, here are some tips for getting the most out of your content.
Connect Before You Convert
Content marketing is all about selling your industry expertise, not your products. These days it’s just not effective to continuously tell customers your product is best until they test your claim. Many customers care more about the companies they buy from rather than the products themselves. With content marketing, your goal is to build a relationship with potential customers. Share content they’ll appreciate, and soon you’ll have them sold on your business.
Use Analytics Data
Many social media sites have analytics data available for users. For example, Facebook business users can export a data report indicating which posts received the most shares and likes. Such data can be very useful in tweaking your content marketing campaign. It takes the mystery out of which content resonates best with your audience. Chances are you’ll notice a few trends when you export your analytics. For instance, you may notice that content posted around 7 p.m. tends to get the most traffic or, possibly, posts containing quotes are shared most often.
Consider Video Marketing
Did you know YouTube receives more than 4 billion video views per day? While you don’t necessarily have to use YouTube for video marketing, this illustrates just how popular videos are in the online community. Many startups have created branded motion graphics as a way to creatively market their brand. Today, there are several options for sharing videos through social media. Vine and Instagram allow you to take videos from your smartphone or tablet and upload them immediately. While they limit you to 7 or 15 second clips, respectively, these platforms make it simple to share videos even if you don’t have any experience. Also, the time limit may not a bad thing. Most Internet users have a short attention span, and limited time will motivate you to create a more innovative video marketing plan.
Reveal Some Eye Candy
No matter what kind of business you’re in, it’s important for you to take advantage of image-based media. At a very basic level, our brains love pictures. According to Billion Dollar Graphics, researchers at IBM have found that our brains process images around 60,000 times faster than text alone. That means if you’re not using images, you’re wasting time and being a less effective communicator. Fortunately, there are plenty of options for image sharing in social media. Instagram and Pinterest are two image-based social media sites worth your time. They’re the fastest growing social media sites on the Internet, so there’s plenty of opportunity to connect with customers. You can also share images across other social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter.
Guest Blogging Isn’t Dead
Lately, there have been rumors circulating that may make you think guest blogging is dead. Guest blogging may not be the best idea if you’re just doing it to gain backlinks, but it can be a great way to grow brand awareness and influence. Creating and accepting guest blog posts from trusted industry voices or experts can give your brand credibility and authority.
Automate Content Distribution
Content marketing can take up a great deal of your time, but you can reduce this time by scheduling your social media posts in advance. It’s often a good idea to set aside a few hours for content creation, and then schedule the posts for various times throughout the week. Facebook does allow admins on business accounts to have a backlog of posts, but you can also use a number websites and applications to schedule content across multiple platforms. Of course, use this technique sparingly. Social networks are all about being social in real-time. Don’t turn into a social media robot.
Savannah Flynn is a public relations specialist for WebpageFX, a full-service Internet marketing, web design and web development agency offering integrated web solutions for medium to large sized businesses across the globe. She has a passion for online marketing and PR.