It’s undeniable - content marketing is effective, as a lead generation tool and to build brand trust and loyalty with existing customers.
You’re enticing customers by showcasing your expertise, with information that they would benefit from, or enjoy, warming them up to convert to loyal customers.
Content marketing can be more efficient than ‘traditional’ marketing methods, like paid promotional activity or email marketing, because the costs involved can be significantly less, and the ROI (return on investment) of your time, and any budget that you do spend, can be more.
According to Demand Metric, content marketing costs, overall, 62% less than traditional marketing, and can generate three times as many leads.
Plus, with ad blockers, diminished attention spans due to dual (or triple, or quadruple) screens, and an overall negative opinion of advertising (even if it’s personalised), content marketing drives potential customers to you, rather than you chasing them.
So, it stands to reason that you need your content to be of high quality. After all, it’s reflecting on your brand. Here are a few handy tips on how to create quality content:
Know your industry
Constant vigilance! (Harry Potter reference, anyone?)
You have to stay abreast of the goings-on in your industry, know what your competitors are saying, know what people are saying about your brand, know the latest trends and how they fit in with your brand/product/service.
As I always say, knowledge is power.
Set up Google Alerts relating to your business and industry, keep track of social media trends, read industry blogs, subscribe to magazines (if you have a budget), even watch the latest films and TV programmes.
You never know what amazing content you can produce from the unlikeliest sources of inspiration.
Plus, if you can create content quickly, and it’s relating to a recent trend or story, you’ll get so many more engagements with it.
Look at meme culture - Netflix’s Birdbox marketing went viral with the huge number of memes people created, because Netflix’s marketing team referred to and used those memes in their own marketing efforts, knowing their audience and the best messaging platform to use for them.
Keeping up-to-date in the goings-on in your industry, and the world, can be useful in determining the gaps that your content can fill.
Has anyone else written about what you’re writing about? Are there any other videos with your content? Be the first, be the best.
In short, know your industry, know your customers. Know everything you can!
I know I harp on about testing in marketing, but it’s the only real way that you can see where you can improve your messaging.
Test your images, your titles, which platforms you promote your content on, what type of content it is... test everything and anything you can.
If you’re testing your content, you need to know how to track it, and what you define as success for that piece of content. What’s its purpose? Is it for lead gen? To convert existing customers? To promote a particular product?
You need to track the number of clicks, the number of new leads, the number of products sold to customers coming from that piece of content.
Define success, and from that set your KPIs and your metrics.
Keep SEO in mind
SEO is important, but don’t sell your content to SEO.
If you litter an article with keywords to the point where it doesn’t read well, all you’ll be doing is bringing in readers and pushing them away.
I can’t count the amount of times I’ve come across an article on a Google search only to find that it’s pandering to SEO, and doesn’t actually make grammatical sense.
Needless to say, those pieces of content didn’t achieve what they were created to achieve, and would have ended up a waste of time for the marketers who created it.
Of course, how search engines rank SEO is always changing and improving, so spamming your content with keywords may actually negatively impact your search engine ranking.
Type of content
There are many types of content, the only limit is your imagination.
Here are a few to get you started: articles, videos, infographics, eBooks, checklists, interviews, case studies, essays, reports, podcasts, quizzes, webinars… the list goes on.
However, you need to consider what type of content is the best for you to say what you need to say.
For example, a podcast of a makeup tutorial might not work as well as a video.
Also consider your brand and your budget. Video can be a great form of content, but can take time, skill and money to create.
Know your customer journey
Once again, know your customer. Know where they are in your customer journey.
If you’re writing an article with excellent SEO that’s bound to bring in new leads, don’t just assume that they know your brand.
This could be their first impression of you, so make it a good one.
Use your content to guide your lead through to the journey of becoming a customer, using various platforms and pieces of content.
Don’t just copy and paste other people’s content.
When I say ‘be original’, I don’t mean create something entirely new - that’s too much pressure on you and your ideas. It’s important to take inspiration from other people’s work, just don’t straight-up copy it.
Being ‘original’ is nearly an impossible goal, but you can be different.
This is the key to success - tell your story from yours or your brand’s unique perspective on the world. You are your own person, your brand is your own. Be yourself.
Differentiation and originality is a huge topic of discussion (or debates!) here at NSC headquarters - stay tuned for a blog post or podcast on that in the future.
Those are our hints and tips on how to create quality content.
Tell us about your most effective content marketing strategies in the comments below.