In 2014, investing in a cohesive content marketing strategy is essential to your overall marketing strategy. According to "B2B Content Marketing: Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends-North America," 78% of content marketers believe that custom content is the future of marketing. In this post, Top Floor explains what content marketing is, why it is beneficial, how to utilize it, and how to measure its effectiveness.
What is Content Marketing?
Content marketing is any form of marketing that focuses on communicating ideas and answering clients' questions. The content produced needs to be high-quality, relevant, and interesting for your audience. Instead of concentrating on selling to clients, content marketing aims to provide valuable information to clients. Seventy-two percent of marketers think that branded content is more effective than traditional marketing, stated in"B2B Content Marketing: Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends-North America." Content marketing is not a new idea; however, now all major marketers want to take part in the trend. Hubspot.com states that 73% of B2B companies produced more content in 2013 than in previous years. These companies are planning on increasing their budgets and creating 58% more content in 2014. Compelling and relevant content builds relationships between your clients and your business. These relationships build trust in your brand and, in turn, increase revenue.
Know your Audience
Knowing your audience and understanding what types of content they are looking for is key to a successful content marketing strategy. According to Hubspot.com, people spend an average of 50% of their time online reading content shared from companies. Using analytics to audit your current audience enables you to build out an audience profile that informs you of trends and creates an increased target audience. A free, useful tool is simplymeasured.com; this tool provides basic analytics for your current social media followers and their engagement with your brand. This information can be used to create relevant content that caters to your audience.
Create an Editorial Calendar
So, now that we know content marketing is important and necessary, how do we implement it? That is where an editorial calendar comes into play. An editorial calendar is a high-level plan for developing relevant content. Start by looking at your year as a whole and fill in important dates, trends, and events for your company and your customers. This will create themes for your content and, thus, what you should share with your audience. Next, break that down monthly and choose a general idea or theme for each month. Then, as each month approaches, you can break down the content even more finely into specific tactics, such as social media posts, website content, blog posts, etc.
Share your Content
It is essential that content is shared and distributed correctly to insure the information is easy to find. Within your editorial calendar, include your posts for each platform using best practices. For example, a Facebook campaign that discusses a particular topic should be shared with an image and link back to your original source, i.e. your website or blog.
This image illustrates the idea that content is the center of your marketing strategies. Putting that content in the right context, and then connecting that information will build your community.
After the content is shared and you have built your community, how do you measure its success? Part of content marketing is setting goals for creating content. These goals should fit within your overall marketing initiatives. Examples of content marketing goals are: to build awareness of your brand, provide better customer service, generate leads, and engage your audience. For instance, if your goal is to increase awareness, an indication of success would be an increase in Twitter followers, replies, and retweets.
Research from Newscred.com indicates that investing in content marketing is critical to building your business. Content marketing is the central idea to managing all of your marketing initiatives as they relate to your business goals. Per dollar spent, content marketing generates approximately three times as many leads as traditional marketing. Creating content that is relevant, timely, and interesting will leverage your online presence. Want to find about more about content marketing, editorial calendar creation, and developing customer personas? Join Top Floor at our webinar, Content Marketing: Your New Year's Revolution, on Thursday, January 30, 2014, from noon to 12:45PM.