“A good content marketer can empathize with their audience and can, therefore, understand what topics they should create content on, what tone of voice to use, and what channels to promote the content in.” – Pawan Deshpande
Living & working in today’s marketplace is radically different from the one in which many of us started. Formerly, salespeople or store employees used to be the expert guide when looking for a product or service. Businesses & brands used to spend dollars on advertising & even more to find the loyal customer base who needed their services.
But today, the business world has almost completely shifted towards digitalization and more of a buyer-driven environment. Consumers are directly engaging in businesses through Internet & social media.
This evolution has created many new opportunities & terms for both businesses & clients.
Content Marketing according to the definition from Amanda Maksymiw of Fuze is,
“The process of developing and sharing relevant, valuable, and engaging content to target [an]audience with the goal of acquiring new customers or increasing business from existing customers.”
Develop & Share
Content Marketing is not just about creating content but the way you distribute & promote that content. There are many different formats and platforms of social media content marketing. This new trend in the media world is used as a process of creating valuable, meaningful, & high-quality content which helps to inform, attract & engage the audience for the promotion of the brand. Your brand should be uniquely positioned to offer the answers buyers & consumers are searching the web.
Knowing the Market Trends is Not Enough Unless You Respond Suitably.
“When taking a content-first approach, our job as marketers is not to create more content … it’s to create the minimum amount of content with the maximum amount of results.” – Robert Rose
Getting into the world of digital marketing, without keeping an up-to-date social network marketing strategy wouldn’t let you survive longer. Many companies know that content marketing is effective & they need to stay on their toes to let their brand breath, but they fail when it comes to scale & integrate.
The question arises here is where does the content marketing strategy fit if it is not a standalone strategy?
Can it be a centralized activity which has its own thing yet still supports other social media optimization efforts?
Content marketing is not a new concept yet the way organizations & brands are doing it is changing the things a lot in the past few years.
According to Robert Rose, Content Marketing Strategist, Author and Speaker, “The true value of content marketing doesn’t come from cost savings or increased revenue generation, It comes from leveraging audience data to help us do things better, or different, that we couldn’t do through other methods”
How Content & Social Connect With Each Other
Your success revolves around the plan you create to scale both content & social. Four elements that combine content marketing with social media marketing are:
- Buyers’ Persona
- Editorial Plan
Mostly content & social have the same functions to the overall marketing strategy & they serve the following objectives:
- Helping the audience to understand the subject
- Challenging the status quo on the subject
- Entertaining the audience with content particular to them
- Convincing the audiences to purchase your product.
Content & Social should not only be aligned with each other but should also be aligned with the overall business objectives of building brand equity, creating & retaining customers, & enabling sales. To prevent making big leaps from business to social media goals, turning the overall business goals into social media goals first need a marketing & content marketing equivalent, then a social media marketing.
According to HubSpot:
“Buyer personas are fictional representations of your ideal customers. They are based on real data about customer demographics and online behavior, along with educated speculation about their personal histories, motivations, and concerns.”
The benefits of developing buyer personas include:
- Identifying your audience
- Rallying the internal and external teams
- Sharing a common understanding
- Driving messaging development
- Guiding content creation
Next step is to determine which social networking platforms & tactics will suit you best to achieve the goals at every stage & overall objectives.
As a content marketer your ultimate goal should not just be user engagement but to develop a social strategy which drives leads, conversions, & revenue. Performing a social media audit will help you to evaluate your current strategy, identify opportunities & improvements for optimization & let you analyze your company’s current exposure to usage & area of strength in different social media platforms.
What Trends Set are Enduring in 2018 in Content Marketing?
“The new era demands a focus on ignition, not just content, on trust, not just traffic, and on the elite people in your audience who are spreading and advocating your content.”
Mark Schaefer, Executive Director, Schaefer Marketing Solutions
Here are few trends which are going to gain momentum in the world of content marketing in 2018.
Increase in Personalization
People nowadays are willing to get hyper-personalized content which is according to their preferences, wants & needs. Instead of a blanket statement, people are more interested in smart content which is more relevant to them. Personalized & hyper-personalized content increases user engagement as well.
Live videos are also an option encouraged by many online social networks to give your brand promising results by giving the audiences more personalized content & generating far more user engagement.
Users put their trust in the products or services that are used or recommended by their favorite personalities or influencers rather than the products which are recommended for another type of advertising. Influencer marketing boosts the level of trust which is already established with the audience.
Localized Marketing Strategies
Users or audiences usually get bored when they can’t relate to the broad advertisements which are non-applicable for them. Localization also works in the same mood as hyper-personalization to target audiences online through advertisements.
With the increase in accessibility of Internet in mobile devices, the opportunities to present the content to the audience from all around the globe at different points in time has also increased. This has made this trend an important thing to focus on in the upcoming months and years. Start exploring your specific industry on how you can take advantage of the IOT by considering a new form of content.
Following The Buyer’s Journey
Content marketing is not just about throwing broad advertisements around & hoping for conversions, it needs to be existing at every stage of your buyer’s interaction with the business. Start with a base-level content marketing to help people educate about your products or services & fulfill the needs of your audiences for more information. People who are already aware of your brand might be looking for solutions to any specific problems, while some are looking for comparison content. Depending on buyer’s own journey your content should match as closely as possible regardless of the fact that they will convert to that exact point or not.
Many big brands are involving themselves in creating content in different formats with a slight variation to use for the same marketing campaigns. Recycling your evergreen content over a period of time will let your story be heard more conclusively. Assuming that all your followers are reading your posts 24×7 x 365 is unreasonable. This is the same reason why news channels repeat the same news stories. You can try a tool like Social Champ to auto-repeat or schedule your posts!
Focusing on the people in a transactional way, won’t necessarily make them reach the point of buying.
“A better content strategy will lead the person to the sale over time and will continue to build the relationship after the sale, leading to a higher customer lifetime value.”
It is somehow difficult to be on the top of the best trending practices in content marketing, but if you do so it will mark the difference between a successful campaign & below-average performance.
To get the best ROI, you need to keep up with the fast pace & avoid getting lost in the marketing crowd with others who are on the same level doing the same things as you!