A Target Marketing Magazine research found that 27% of the marketing budgets are dedicated towards it. Survey Anyplace found that SEO and content marketing has the lowest cost per lead (CPL) among the major marketing channels.
No wonder, that companies are increasingly turning towards content marketing. Further, the 2019 B2B Content Marketing Institute(CMI) research found that:
- 56% of companies have reported an increase in spending on content creation.
- Yet, 41% of organizations reported a concern with seeing content marketing as a revenue center.
How can you derive a great ROI from your content marketing efforts?
What makes an effective content marketing strategy?
Here are 9 proven content marketing tips to get success in the competitive content marketing landscape.
Table of Contents
1. Storytelling Is The Ideal Way To Connect And Engage With Your Audience
Stories breathe life into your brand and make you relatable to your audience. No wonder content marketing in the form of storytelling has been around for centuries (since 1732!)
Technology and tools might evolve. However, they are only meant to facilitate telling your stories with better strategic planning (which we’ll talk about in a bit). Glean on the example of Nat Geographic engaging 350 million global followers through storytelling. Then, start acing your content marketing with relevant stories for your audience (asking these six questions will help).
2. Document Your Content Marketing Strategy
It’s 2019. If you’re still ‘winging’ your strategy and investing in sub-standard content creation, then you’ll get lost in the sea of content. Target Marketing research found that 18% of the content marketing budgets are spent on strategy and management.
To pursue effective storytelling, you need to understand your audience and serve stories relevant to them. Next, you need to find the relevant container (the format) to serve your content. Here’s a detailed HubSpot guide on creating your content strategy.
3. Create A Persona And Take An Audience – First Approach
The 2019 CMI B2B research found that 77% of the most successful content marketers use personas.
Further, 90% of the top-performing B2B content marketers put their audience’s informational needs first.
What does it translate into?
Finding the real needs and preferences of your current customers.
Note that you can rely on digital marketing tools, online surveys, and scouting forums for the same. However, the ideal way is talking directly to customers.
And guess what? CMI research found that merely 42% of B2B content marketers have customer conversations as a part of their audience research.
So don’t cut corners. Go out there and talk to your customers. Here’s an example of the right way to create a persona.
4. Conduct Original Research To Stand Out In The Sea Of Content
As content creation continues to get crowded, a content format that still gets attention is original research. B2B SaaS companies that have treasure troves of user data continuously publish such blog posts. A couple of examples include the anchor text study of over 384k web pages by Ahrefs and the Content Trends Report by Buzzsumo.
Why does it work?
Well, as per Andy Crestodina original research wins “…because you just filled in a blank in human knowledge and in your industry’s content.”
Further, about half a percentage of marketers surveyed by Mantis Research are creating and publishing original research.
And 49% of the marketers are considering using original research in the future.
Once you make up your mind to create it, here are 29 ways to promote your original research.
5. Great Content Can Create A Strong Company Culture (And Substantially Increase Your Chances Of Success…)
CMI in its research of enterprise content marketers found that coordinating the content marketing efforts across departments was the biggest challenge.
What’s the solution?
Well, while it’s difficult to measure, baking content into your company fabric can create a strong culture. Intercom has been hugely successful with their content marketing. And their Chief Managing Editor, John Collins, credits the Intercom culture for their success.
“People block out time in their diaries to write for us. It’s a company-wide goal. Teams will say, we are going to produce 2 blog posts this quarter. People get recognized for it internally. It benefits your career at Intercom if you produce content.”
And Intercom began creating content, the first 93 blog posts out of 100 were created by their co-founder Des-Traynor.
Here’s how Gianni Giacomelli, the CMO at Genpact, put it at the Contently Summit – “Content has an incredibly strong grip on culture formation,” he said. “The moment we started having strong stories, the CEOs, the CFOs, the investors… [They] loved it.”
So stop thinking about content as a channel in a silo. Let it influence all the aspects of your company and prioritize it. Here’s a content marketing institute article on kicking off a unified strategy for content in your marketing that you can refer to.
6. Organic Search Remains The Most Reliable Traffic Source
If you’re promoting your content on social media, then you might have had first-hand experience in the continuous drop in organic reach.
However, do you know that all the top traffic referring websites are continuously sending less traffic to websites? And that includes even the search giant Google!
Yet, SEO is still a more dependent channel than other platforms. So focus on it to let new people that go with their problems to Google, discover you every day.
Traffic from communities, social media, and the like, can complement your organic SEO efforts. No wonder that Orbit Media found that there is an increase in the usage of SEO and email marketing by bloggers in the last five years.
Also, paid promotion has seen tremendous acceptance. There are 322% more bloggers that are paying for traffic as compared with 2014.
7. Driving Targeted Traffic Is Essential To Grow Your Product Signups. Here’s How To Do The Same…
While growing your blog traffic is important and most websites fail at it, all traffic isn’t created equal. Say, you’re a marketing agency and publish an article on “DIY SEO” that ranks on the first page in 3 months and starts getting you a trickle of visitors. What are the chances that the prospective visitors will hire you? Bleak.
Remember how I mentioned taking an audience-first approach in the third tip?
Well, that’s why you need to talk to your audience and find their pain points. Grow and Convert have a trademark Pain Point SEO strategy for their clients. It turns the traditional way of approaching keyword research upside down.
As they prioritize the customer pain points, they can map the search intent to the buyer’s journey. Hence, they often find posts that get a few thousand visitors converting 10 times than the posts that get tens of thousands of visitors.
Nat Eliason leveraged the pain point SEO strategy and saw a 300% increase in revenue while the traffic only increased by 175% in that period.
And that’s how you drive targeted traffic.
8. Content Marketing Starts Showing Results Only After Six Months, So Stay Patient
Most blogs fail because they don’t stick with their strategies. Lack of execution can’t save you even when you’re creating the most creative and disruptive content. Document your strategy, attach dates on your calendar, and then stay the course (those deadlines aren’t suggestions, yo!)
How long does content marketing take to start driving significant traffic and conversions?
Well, if you’re relying on search engines to index and rank your content, then it can take six months. However, you’ll probably also launch off-site content marketing campaigns to get in front of a new audience, build backlinks, and the like. It might take you 6-12 months to see the results.
If you lose motivation along the way, then remember that the content marketing growth is compounding.
9. Update Old Content With Fresh Information
If you’re in content marketing for a decent amount of time, then you know the importance of publishing evergreen content. It’s a topic that will remain relevant for years to come with your audience – you just need to make minor updates.
Over 50% of the traffic of The Atlantic came from content that they didn’t produce that month.
In their survey, Orbit Media found that merely 38% of bloggers update their old content.
And the ones that do report “strong results.”
Often Content Marketing Tips That Work Are Uncommon!
And that’s the reason they work as well, right? Only a small percentage of bloggers and content marketers are willing to put in the work and hence, they bear the fruits.
Have you got other content marketing strategies that have worked for you? I would love to hear about them in the comments below.