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What Content Marketing Means For Your Business In 2015

With Facebook algorithm updates banning promotional content, the evolution of content shock, and other tumultuous tremors happening online, it’s time to start thinking about what content marketing means for your business next year.

It’s no longer acceptable to write “stuff” and call it content marketing.

Stuff and fluff — kitten memes, quote memes made in Canva, and other innocuous, or safe, content — will be the downfall of many brands in 2015.

Mark my words.

what content marketing means

What Content Marketing Means For Marketers

Some stats …

In looking at our Google Analytics, I can tell you that about 5%-7% of our articles drive 90%+ of our traffic.

And the majority of those articles in the 5-7% range are in-depth, high-level content.

I don’t have to tell you they took a bit of planning to get just right, and many of them are very visual or long-form content.

It’s not that we set out to create “stuff” or “fluff” — but it does appear consumers are particularly savvy; choosing to consume, share, and comment on absolutely AMAZING content.

The hum-drum crap won’t do.

And if that’s where you’re spending your precious time and money (or both), you could be kicking yourself in the coming months!

How to combat crappy content:

  1. Keep your content audience focused
  2. Make sure all content has a goal, and is tied to your sales funnel
  3. Optimize your content for search engines (we use Yoast for WordPress)
  4. Measure content “stickiness” in Google Analytics, look at:
    • Bounce Rate: Did the user visit only this page and the exit the site, or stick around?
    • Time on Page: On average, how long do users stay on a particular post, piece of content, or your site?
    • Number of Pages/Visit: How many pages, on average, are users visiting when they land on your site?
  5. Measure social shares of your content
  6. Measure how many other blogs/sites are linking to your content (you can also use Google Analytics for this)

What Content Marketing Means For Your Business

We’ve said this before, but a lot of people miss the boat when it comes to content marketing.

It’s Marketing > Content Marketing > Social Media.

And since content marketing is a subset of marketing, you need to have a strategy — or goals — for your pieces of content (also mentioned above).

Your Content Marketing strategy should:

  1. Know (define) your audience (interests, needs, pain points specific to what you do, etc.)
  2. Know your content buckets, pillars, or areas you’ll be writing about (example: we write about content marketing, social media marketing, branding, and email marketing).
  3. Know your tone and voice (this differentiates you from the competition).
  4. Know what types of content you’ll create for your buckets:
    • Short-form content: Blog posts, guest posts, newsletters, surveys, press releases, SlideShare presentations, etc.
    • Long-form content: Websites, eBooks, case studies, white papers, webinars, guest posts, etc.
    • … and more (WHAT types of content are your customers likely to consume?).
  5. Know which platforms your content will best be received/consumed by potential clients (WHERE are your customers?).
  6. Have a plan for successfully distributing your content online (a schedule or content calendar works nicely for this!).
  7. Know how much content to create.
  8. Know how to scrub your content for bite-sized pieces of information for your social media sites.
  9. Know how to optimize your content for SEO.
  10. Know how to use visual aids to make your content even easier to digest and share.
  11. Know how to analyze what’s working and what’s not (see tips above).

what's next with content marketing

What Content Marketing Means Moving Forward

There are many changes that have happened with content marketing over the past few years, and I think that’s likely to continue as a trend.

However, there are a few easy-to-spot ways to grow quickly with your content marketing plan.

They are:

  1. Give more time, attention and MONEY to your content marketing efforts
  2. Focus more on how/where you’re going to distribute your content
  3. Pay for distribution of content (ads, sponsored posts, etc.)
  4. Create, maintain, and nurture a list of influencers for your communities and ask them to help you share important pieces of content

Do you have any content marketing trends to add? Let me know in the comments section below!

 

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Brooke B. Sellas is the in-the-trenches Founder & CEO of @HelloBSquared, an award-winning social media, advertising, and customer care agency. She's also the Co-host of The Marketing Companion podcast with Mark Schaefer, where they discuss jaw-dropping marketing trends. Brooke's marketing mantra is “Think Conversation, Not Campaign” so be sure to give her a shout!
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18 Comments. Leave new

  • […] With Facebook algorithm updates banning promotional content, the evolution of content shock, and other tumultuous tremors happening online, it’s time to start thinking about what content marketing means for your business next year. It’s no longer acceptable to write “stuff” and call it content marketing.  […]

    Reply
  • I love your thinking here Brooke! As much as many people/businesses/agencies are afraid of these changes, I really think it helps to strengthen the impact content will have for brands and business moving forward. The brands that already use content as a means to strengthen their relationships with their customers/audience will have continued success on these channels and it will help to weed out the ones that are only doing content because it’s a line item on their “best practices” spread sheet. Just like any other marketing tactic, you can pretend for a short time, but ultimately if you can’t make an impactful connection with your customer(s), you’re only creating noise to ignore.

    Reply
    • Thanks, Josh! I knew you’d be in alignment (we always seem to be on the same page). I do think it’s going to be a good thing in most regards, but it still keeps me up at night, too. Smaller brands will have to work extra hard to combat the “biggies” and their teams of copywriters who are putting out EXCELLENT content, and then paying stacks of cash to promote it. I do think with consistent, SUPER DUPER helpful and audience-focused content that’s specific to their niche, smaller brands can stay afloat (strategically placed ads and distribution tactics won’t hurt either!).

      Thanks, as always, for chiming in and keeping in touch! 🙂

      Reply
      • Just like everything, the spend will always be won by the big boys, but I think it gives smaller brands a huge opportunity to win organically with customers. The key will be bringing the personality people love offline, online – something many of the big retailers struggle with through all the corporate red tape. As long as they focus on getting the right eyes to see their posts, I think they’ll come out stronger for it. But like you said, that doesn’t result from cat memes and other random fluff. And of course a little strategic spending wouldn’t hurt either.

        You know I’m always here for you Brooke! 😉

        Reply
        • YES, YES, YES! “The key will be bringing the personality people love offline, online – something many of the big retailers struggle with through all the corporate red tape.” I totally agree with the David and Goliath theory (have you read Malcolm Gladwell’s book by the same name?). I’ve been trying to start this hashtag movement: #EnoughWithTheFluff — Feel free to use it! 😉

          I’m always here for you, too! Let me know how/when/where I can help you! 🙂

          Reply
  • […] With Facebook algorithm updates banning promotional content, the evolution of content shock, and other tumultuous tremors happening online, it’s time to start thinking about what content marketing means for your business next year.It’s no longer acceptable to write “stuff” and call it content marketing.Stuff and fluff — kitten memes, quote memes made in Canva, and other innocuous, or safe, content — will be the downfall of many brands in 2015.  […]

    Reply
  • Wonderful- just music to my ears! But does this really mean the end of cat memes and the wonderful Google+ #caterday madness? I hope so. I’d normally not admit that in public, but I feel this is a safe place to admit this. I totally agree that the year 2015 will be the year for brands and businesses to wake up to the fact that we’re all drowning in a sea of content and adding more of the same content is going to mean… well more drowning.
    So here’s to 2015, a year of quality niche content. Where engaging and detailed content that challenges the status quo will win. I certainl!y hope so

    Reply
    • So happy I’m singing your tune, Ian! 🙂

      I don’t think it’s the end of cat memes. And, I’ll admit, I like (some) memes from time to time — especially if they’re relevant to the brand and original. And you’re totally safe here, my friend. In the vast sea of content, we all need to be focused on how our wave will stand out!

      Here’s to 2015 (can we clink champagne glasses now? … I love the bubbly!) and SUPER DUPER AWESOMESAUCE CONTENT! Thank you for stopping by and adding your wisdom.

      Reply
  • Excellent, thank you for this post. Just had a convo this morning about content with a potential client and then happened upon this post via Mark Schaefer. I focus on small business here in Canada and CM is a tough sell but it’s posts like yours that will break through outdates modes of thinking! Will do the same on my end… cheers!

    Reply
    • Thank you so much for the kind words, Max! Love Mark’s thought process and work.

      I think CM is a hard sell anywhere! It seems companies are jumping on the SMM bandwagon but not realizing that a good social strategy needs a good CM strategy behind it (and a GREAT marketing strategy behind THAT!). Anyhow, I’ll jump off my soapbox and just tell you thank you again, and I hope you stop by in the future. 🙂

      Reply
  • Hi Brooke,

    I’ve been beating this drum for nearly six months and I personnally believe you’re spot on!

    “The hum-drum crap won’t do.”

    Exactly, you cannot just post fluff or promote and talk about yourself. This just wastes people’s time and turns them off from reading business blogs all together.

    Instead, we ought to be writing to solve a problem or make someone’s life better. It’s not easy to do and you have to really know your business and your prospects and customers.

    I personally hope the lazy days of fluff content writing are behind us!

    Great post Brooke! I hope you have an amazing week.

    ~ Don Purdum

    Reply
    • Hi there, Don!

      I like to share your posts because I know we’re in the same headspace. I always say write to solve a problem but I love what you said to take it further, “or to make someone’s life better.” Sometimes I think peeps get confused and think motivational quotes fall into that category. And maybe they do form time-to-time, but I don’t think they add to the lifetime value!

      Hope you have an amazing week as well! 🙂

      Reply
  • […] With Facebook algorithm updates banning promotional content, the evolution of content shock, and other tumultuous tremors happening online, it’s time to start thinking about what content marketing means for your business next year. It’s no longer acceptable to write “stuff” and call it content marketing. Stuff and fluff — kitten memes, quote memes made in Canva, and other innocuous, or safe, content — will be the downfall of many brands in 2015.  […]

    Reply
  • […] help you move forward with your content marketing strategy (and it’s no secret that content marketing will be much harder in 2015 and coming […]

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  • […] What content marketing means for marketers, your business, and the future — with 21 actionable ideas and tips!  […]

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  • […] Around this time last year, Brooke wrote a post describing how businesses must change their content marketing style in order to make a positive impact on their aud… […]

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