Content Marketing has become a trend, if you look at the statistics, it has grown tremendously over the past 4 years!
Yes, it has become a trend, and a pretty good one at that. But why are agencies and entrepreneurs still failing at content marketing? That is the question that I keep on asking. And in this article, I hope to give some valuable insights on content marketing and why we need to invest time and money into getting it right.
It isn’t just about ‘putting out content’ and giving just anything to your followers. As a company, business, thought leader or influencer you need to be delivering content that is of ‘value’ to your followers and community.
Mashable published an article in 2011 on How 3 companies took Content Marketing to the Next Level. In the article, Shane says the following, “Mint dedicated significant resources to its blog, including a full time editorial staff and a slew of freelance contributors. It invested time in social news sites like Reddit and Digg, and after months of seeing consistent, quality Mint content, readers in those communities began trusting Mint as high quality, reliable, and cool to share. Eventually, those users turned into Mint customers, even advocating Mint in their personal networks.”
I liked what he said because it gives truth to what content marketing should always be about. Mint spent a lot of time and effort in putting up a blog and publishing quality content that the readers began trusting. And, as a result, Mint’s blog was known as a high quality and reliable blog. Mint got it right, and they did it before content marketing even took a jump up the ladder.
Not only did Mint get it right but Hubspot and American Express also developed strategies and have had awesome content marketing over the years.
Hubspot’s co-founder, Dharmesh Shah, said that “his customers who blog regularly average about six times more inbound leads than those who don’t.”
With all that said, I’ve got 3 things for you to consider when developing your content marketing strategy.
1. Consider your audience and make sure that you know what they want.
Publishing content isn’t as easy as some think. I previously worked for a company where they wanted like 2 articles a day, now I am not saying that you can’t have more than 1 a day but if you are publishing 2 articles a day and there are 1-5 reads on average, then you obviously need to do some tweaking.
You don’t just publish content just to say that you have a blog and it has X number being posted per day.
Let me say this, if nobody is reading it then it isn’t worth it.
First, you need to consider your audience, what do they want? List down needs that they may have and then go from there.
Example: If you have a website that sells spices, not many people would really care about the history of the spice and etc. They would be more interested in knowing what they can do with that specific spice and what difference it will make if they put that in a dish.
Remember, content marketing is all about giving value to your target audience and making sure that you are answering their questions before they even think of the questions.
Secondly, you need to know what they want. It isn’t enough knowing what they need. Knowing what your followers want will help determine what kind of content you should publish and on what platform you should publish it on.
You could have a certain group in your audience that would want to watch video tutorials on how to use different spices while another group would rather just read about tips on how to use difference spices.
2. Consider your resources and make sure you have enough to get stuff done.
I say this because there is still a huge number of businesses and companies who do not want to invest in a content marketing team, or even a digital marketing team in general.
If you want to increase your leads and sales, you need to invest in
different channels and methods.
Having a content marketing team to focus solely on publishing quality content is what every company should be investing in.
You need to move with technology and how people view and do things. Back then, it was very easy to just call someone up and sell something over the phone compared to now where there’s a huge segment that just wants to read about a specific product before even being offered anything or buying it, for that matter.
Mint is a great example, why? Because they had a full-time editorial staff and even some freelance writers. They invested. They grew their community. They conquered.
They took the time to set up a team, come up with a strategy and then started the execution. Remember, growing a community doesn’t happen overnight and sometimes takes months so don’t feel down if you don’t see instant results.
A few tips to get things in order.
- Evaluate the need – as mentioned, you must be sure that you are ready to do this and make sure that there is a general need to set up your own editorial (content marketing) team. If there isn’t really a need for a whole team, start with outsourcing and once you see growth bring it in-house.
- Review the requirements – most people get excited and hire more people than they actually need. Number 1 is very important, this will help you determine how much you will need to invest and how many you can afford. Hire a great writer and a few good writers. The better writer can lead the way and guide the others to become better. Invest in the best at the start, you won’t regret it.
- Lay down the goals – this is the area that is commonly forgotten. I know a lot of companies do have goals but if there are not clear goals for a content marketing team then it will fail. Now, when thinking about goals be sure to make the main goal clear as possible. Once you have that set, develop some KPIs that lead to that goal. Always ask, does it work? Review, Refine, Repeat – not everything works so you’ll need to work on refining the strategy/content plan if the main goal isn’t in sight.
3. Consider your expertise and make sure that you give solid advice.
There seems to be a trend where publishing sites try to cover every topic possible and they don’t do a good job at it either.
You should only be talking about stuff that you are very well familiar with.
People in your community will want to know that you value them and so they’ll be wanting you to return the favor. Give them valuable content. It’s all about giving value to them.
Once you start giving them content that has value, you’ll be sure to keep a good following. A perfect example of someone who delivers quality, valuable content is Gary Vaynerchuk. Gary and his team can be found on YouTube – the #AskGaryVee show.
So, if you are reading this article and you don’t have a blog yet then you should check out this pretty sleek and detailed blog on How to start a Blog.
If you want an example of someone who absolutely nailed content marketing, that would be Gary Vaynerchuk. If you don’t know who he is, you better start following him after you are done reading this article.
Now, go create some great content and have a way better online presence!
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