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 For Marketers
Some stats …
- It’s noisy; over 90% of B2B marketers are using content marketing
- It’s time consuming; B2C content marketers use an average of 12 tactics
- It’s hard to succeed; only 32% of B2C content marketers consider themselves effective
- It’s expensive; 52% of B2C marketers lack a budget for content marketing
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:
- Keep your content audience focused
- Make sure all content has a goal, and is tied to your sales funnel
- Optimize your content for search engines (we use Yoast for WordPress)
- 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?
- Measure social shares of your content
- 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:
- Know (define) your audience (interests, needs, pain points specific to what you do, etc.)
- 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).
- Know your tone and voice (this differentiates you from the competition).
- 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?).
- Know which platforms your content will best be received/consumed by potential clients (WHERE are your customers?).
- Have a plan for successfully distributing your content online (a schedule or content calendar works nicely for this!).
- Know how much content to create.
- Know how to scrub your content for bite-sized pieces of information for your social media sites.
- Know how to optimize your content for SEO.
- Know how to use visual aids to make your content even easier to digest and share.
- Know how to analyze what’s working and what’s not (see tips above).
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.
- Give more time, attention and MONEY to your content marketing efforts
- Focus more on how/where you’re going to distribute your content
- Pay for distribution of content (ads, sponsored posts, etc.)
- 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!