Happy New Year! Are you looking to reach and engage with customers in a new and exciting way? This is going to be the year your business embraces content marketing in a real and serious way. Why is this going to be the year of content marketing?
Neil Patel reports that:
“According to the 2017 benchmarks and trends report from Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs, more than 60% of B2B marketers reported that their content marketing strategies are more effective than one year before.
Comparing the data year over year, 34% of marketers felt their content marketing was effective in 2016 vs. just 30% in the previous year.”
This is exciting news for companies who are currently actively engaging in content marketing and for those who are just entering the arena. These statistics prove that content marketing is working and is well received by customers and target audiences.
If you’re not sure what content marketing is, how to use it and why it’s important, keep reading for information on each and discover how Three Girls Media can help your business thrive.
What Is Content Marketing?
Whether you know it or not, content marketing is everywhere these days; you’re reading a piece of content marketing right now! It covers everything from blog posts, social media updates, email newsletters, videos and even feature films. There are many ways to market your products and services by using original content as a vehicle for spreading the good news about your brand and business.
According to the Content Marketing Institute, “Content marketing is a marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.” To ensure you are making the most of your efforts, read on to learn ways your company can be successful.
As I mentioned above, content marketing covers blogging, social media updates, images, email marketing and videos. Keep reading to learn a little more about each!
Content Marketing Items
Blogging is one of the best elements of content marketing. A well-managed blog can increase website traffic, improve search engine optimization (SEO) rankings and provide customers with important information.
Here are some benefits of blogging to encourage you to start one for your business:
- Boosts your visibility: Search engines love fresh, new content that is relevant to the people searching the web. Making sure you add new posts regularly and consistently will help your odds of being found through an internet search.
- Positions your business as the go-to expert in your field: Knowledge is power. Show your audience and competitors you know what you’re talking about and have a vast amount of expertise in your industry.
- Gives you access to an audience on a national platform: Blogging is a great way to reach people outside of your local region on a more national, and even international, level. Anyone who has access to a computer or mobile device can find you!
- Establishes credibility: Sharing information from other industry leaders and collaborating with them establishes your credibility of your business as a strong force in your field.
- Amplifies awareness and recognition of your brand: Sharing a blog post is quick and easy! This ability to share posts on multiple different channels increases your brand’s awareness.
- Increases traffic to your website and social media profiles: Since your blog should be on your website, people have to visit it to read your posts and will be more likely to explore other areas of your site.
Social Media Updates
After you have your blog post completed and uploaded to your website, social media is a great place to share it. Social media updates offer an incredible opportunity to express your brands image and reach customers. You can do this through sharing your blog articles, company and product information, self-made videos and images (we’ll discuss this more below) and by posting industry-related articles.
At Three Girls Media, we recommend following the 80/20 rule. This means you should post about industry related content about 80% of the time and about your business 20% of the time. This is to keep your pages interesting by talking about more than yourself and providing valuable information to followers. In addition to industry updates, the 80% can also include interesting infographics, amusing memes or anything else that’s not directly promotional but still related to your field.
Video marketing has quickly become a must in content marketing. Social media users love videos and routinely interact with them.
WordStream found some interesting statistics on video marketing that include:
- 82% of Twitter users watch video content on Twitter.
- YouTube has over a billion users, almost one-third of total internet users.
- 45% of people watch more than an hour of Facebook or YouTube videos a week.
- More than 500 million hours of videos are watched on YouTube each day.
- More video content is uploaded in 30 days than the major U.S. television networks have created in 30 years.
- 87% of online marketers use video content.
If you’re interested in creating your own video Kissmetrics notes that there are nine areas of focus when creating an “explainer video.” Among them are the following:
- Script: The script simply has to be on point and acts as the video’s foundation. It may be a good idea to get someone outside of the company to write the script who is unbiased, has a fresh perspective and who can write for the masses. Also, when writing the script, ask yourself what problems you’re solving, which three benefits you need to mention and what your call to action is.
- Voice: Be sure to have a professional narrate your video. Investing in voiceover talent is a great way to make your video sound polished and professional and is worth the money.
- Music: Choosing the right music that mimics the tone of your video is essential. Testing out and choosing your music after the rest of the video is complete often times works best.
- Visuals: While visuals are important to any video, sometimes the simpler the better. The important thing is to ensure you are using visuals that speak to your story and match the voiceover.
- Fun: Don’t forget to have fun! If you loathe every minute of making the video, chances are it will show through in the final product. People like to be entertained, so entertain yourself while you’re at it. Your authenticity will come through in the final product.
While you don’t need thousands of dollars of professional equipment to create a quality video, having a well put together video can be fun and interesting to fans. Also, creating a schedule for fans to follow will attract traffic back to the site. Learn more about using videos to increase customer engagement here.
Images are another integral part of content marketing. Nearly everything you post or write about should include an image. Whether you’re writing a blog post or social media update, make sure at least one image is associated with the update.
To make sure your images help increase engagement, use these tips:
- Size: Whether you create the visuals yourself or find them online, make sure they’re as high-quality as possible. You want the photos representing your brand to be crisp and clear, not blurry or with a bunch of pixels.
- Faces: Whenever possible, include faces in your pictures. Even if your readers don’t know the people in the photos, they’ll still be able to identify with them better than with inanimate objects. Plus, sites like Facebook prioritize images with faces in their algorithm, making them more visible in users’ news feeds.
- Investing: Depending on how many new visuals you need on a regular basis for your digital marketing strategy, sometimes it’s worth it to invest in a stock photo site Some allow you to buy credits and purchase per photo that you need whereas others have subscription plans that allow you to download a certain number of pictures a day or month.
Interacting with Customers
One of the most crucial parts of a content marketing campaign is interacting with customers. The job isn’t over when you write a blog article or post something on social media. If customers write to you, they expect a response.
Interacting on social media is important because it lets customers know you care, plus they expect it. According to a recent study by Eptica, the average response times for email, Facebook and Twitter are:
- Email: 7 hours, 51 minutes
- Facebook: 1 day, 3 hours and 47 minutes
- Twitter: 1 day, 7 hours and 12 minutes
So that’s how long it generally takes for businesses to respond through email, Facebook and Twitter, but how long are customers willing to wait? The expected wait time is drastically lower than how long it takes a business to respond:
- Email: 6 hours
- Facebook: 6 hours
- Twitter: 60 minutes
Don’t underestimate the value of strong customer relations.
Does My Business Need Content Marketing?
The short answer to this question is, yes. Whether you know it or not, you’ve been using content marketing with every social media update and addition to your website.
As content marketing becomes more and more expected and critical for businesses, it’s important that it is done correctly. Many business owners find themselves too busy to consistently write blog articles, social media updates, create videos and interact with fans. But it’s worth the investment!