You've presumably heard the expression "content marketing" hurled around a great deal in the online marketing and business space. Essentially, it means that content is the main thing that drives potential buyers to your business website, landing page, or blog.
With the huge amounts of content being published online every minute, however, it is not easy for a brand to stand out from the crowd. Creating digital content just for the sake of creating it is not a feasible strategy anymore. You need higher quality and more valuable content to succeed in content creation and marketing for your business.
Content marketing might not be as easy to execute as it once was, but it should not be neglected. As with most things in business, unless you have a proper plan or framework to assist and guide you in performing tasks, work might not be completed in the right way.
Odds are you have many contending business tasks and a larger number of operations that demand your attention, including content creation and marketing on social media. In order to execute all those tasks effectively, you need to have a content plan and strategy. Having a content creation and marketing strategy will help you in a number of ways, including to:
- Gain authority and credibility in an industry
- Grow an audience of people who know and trust your brand and business
- Broadcast your message and knowledge far and wide to the different parts of world, and
- Sell more of your products and services to your audience.
It will also help you implement things such as:
- A schedule for the current content creation, and
- A current promotional schedule.
All of these things in your content creation and marketing plan will ensure that you’re not just devoting time creating your content, but also using it to target the ideal customers effectively and win their business and loyalty.
The Perfect Content Strategy in the Era of Social Media
Today, the success of any business relies upon its capacity to be visible and present in all the right places at the right time, offering solutions and deals potential leads can’t resist.
It isn't sufficient to design a beautiful website and expect customers will just show up. You need to find out where they hang out online and go there to alert them about what you offer and why they need what you are offering. That entails using the most effective types of content, depending on the message and platform it will be published on for leads to see.
Because most people today spend a lot of time on social media sites, you have to create high quality content for each of those platforms to woo users to your website, online store, or landing page, and to convert them into customers, funs and followers of your business. The perfect content marketing strategy, thus, must of necessity include social media marketing.
Facebook, the world's largest social network, for example, boasts a staggering 2.4 billion monthly active users. YouTube, the second most popular social network, boasts 1.9 billion monthly active users, while Instagram boasts 1 billion monthly active users.
Other smaller social networking sites like Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and more also have large numbers of people visiting them every day that you can target and convert into customers with your content. Since popular social media networks are not created the same way, you need to tailor your social media content for each platform.
What’s more, content marketing isn't constrained to your online presence only. A strong marketing plan also incorporates other complementing types of offline marketing strategies, ranging from guerrilla marketing, to branded wearable, business signs, and trade shows and events.
If you want to win over the masses of people on social media, you need to understand your target audience, the platform they’re on, and your own business goals. Then, you need to create stellar content that informs and helps you convince them to try your offer, as well.
Keep in mind that ‘content’ in content marketing infers helpfulness or utility for the audience.
Factors, Challenges and Solutions to Consider when Creating Winning Social Media Content
Here’re common challenges brands and marketers struggle with in content creation, and tips on the most proficient method to fix them and crash content creation on social media:
1. Quality content
Sustaining high levels of content quality is a common difficulty companies face in digital marketing. In fact, this is why some companies shy away from starting robust content marketing campaigns, because of a fear that content quality won't be kept steady.
The reasons some companies and marketers are not able to maintain top-quality content creation ranges from limited/lack of human resource, financial constraints, to issues with planning, approval, and not taking advantage of available content marketing tools.
A solution for sustained content quality is to set up a dedicated content marketing team in your business whose sole responsibility is to create high quality content on a consistent basis.
It’s often difficult for one person, especially if they’re not a content creator, to create all of the brand content and perform other business tasks at the same time to the desired standards. A dedicated content marketing team will also know how to leverage content marketing tools and data to bring good results and ROI.
Alternatively, you can hire the services of a professional content creation/marketing agency to help with your content production. So long as the agency is well vetted and committed to meeting the needs of your community, they will never come up short on useful, intriguing and high-quality content. That is an ideal approach to ensure continued content quality.
2. Fine line between content creation, distribution and journalism
Another challenge for brands and marketers is how to contact and contract corporate journalists and editors on popular media outlets to get their content published for greater publicity. Companies often hire journalists as soon as they find them, and their marketing, PR and communication departments are tested in finding the correct procedures and staffing methods.
A solution for the corporate editorial and marketing workflow is to educate yourself on how content distribution works. One of the first things that would be recommended is to read Joe Pulizzi and Robert Rose’s book, “Managing Content Marketing.”
The book does a great job of answering the question about, “Being able to create breakthrough content and still have the budget to fund distributing that content.”
Many brands keep running into the budget issue since they depend so intensely on paid marketing/advertising, or paid advertorial for content exposure. They often neglect SEO practices and do not focus on social media networks as strategically as they should in their content sourcing and distribution. You need to incorporate those practices, as well.
Content promotion must be planned ahead just like content creation. It's erroneous to think that creating excellent content and paying for traffic alone will accomplish your marketing goals.
Building community, encouraging social networking and getting good press in the media, are other industry basics that the top companies and marketers use to improve the span of their brand content investments, engagement, and awareness.
Understanding the elements of consumer information delivery and preferences can help brands settle on more effective decisions about content formats and media types. PR, advertising, social media, email, SEO, and other methods should be implemented in a multi-dimensional effort to promote and enhance your brand content investments.
Strategies like sequenced content make communities anticipate what the brand will be publishing next, rousing interest and social shares. These are all organic responses and enhancements that costs little, if anything, and pay off immensely.
3. Balance both consumer-relevant and brand-building content
A strategy where you “sell without selling” is another challenge for brands and marketers that want to utilize content effectively for customer acquisition and brand-building.
Most people on social media don’t like being sold to aggressively and resent brands that are too insistent with their promotions. That means you need to be subtle and tone down sales language so that you don’t come across as an overzealous salesperson. But, at the same time there’s pressure for content marketing efforts to get higher conversions.
To ensure your content balances customers’ needs and your own business needs, begin by determining what your target audience wants. What are their objectives, hopes, and aspirations?
Think about how you can meet their needs and make them understand the value of your offer and solution as it relates to their needs. At the same time, incorporate branding in your offers and content presentation where appropriate. Be as customer-centric as you can, but ensure it’s clear that these customer-centric solutions are coming from your brand.
Leverage the power of storytelling or narration in content creation and marketing to ensure your brand messages are captivating and clients will love your content.
Provide your target audience and any social media influencers, journalist and publishers you’re working with engaging content, which is precisely what they need, and your brand will get the distribution channels and business results you want.
Remember, brands that give good reasons for clients to purchase versus focusing merely on stealthily selling inside content get the best results and build brand affection. Avoid traditional marketing attitudes of merely looking to close a sale as fast as possible and instead focus on building a connection with people that paves the path for happy, return customers.
Nurture high quality, logical and meaningful connections with audiences, partners and clients and use value-rich content to communicate and bridge your business objectives with clients’ needs. That’s the key to creating successful digital and social media content that leads to more revenue for your business in this age of social media.