Lindsey Walters

Lindsey Walters

Content marketing comes in all shapes and sizes, and is a great way to elevate and promote your company. As a provider of a product or service, you are an expert at what you do. You or others on your team may have some ideas that are suitable for your content marketing plan, but how do you make the most of your content-related efforts? Follow these 5 tactics to help ensure your message is read:

  1. Target: Determine who you are targeting. Are you targeting by industry types, B2B or B2C segments, age groups, professional roles, locations or something else? Knowing your target is critical to a successful campaign. Another question to keep in mind is whether your goal is to find new customers or to engage with current clients. This will help you craft the right message for the right audience.
  2. Identify: Where are your prospects or clients likely to read your content? There are many communication platforms out there. How and where will you position your content to maximize readership? Options include webinars, newsletters, eBlasts, press releases, social media, video technology, and other avenues. You will also need to determine whether your internal platform is the most appropriate place for your content, or if you will need to go somewhere external (like the media or Google).
  3. Tailor: All of your content should be tailored directly for your desired targets. Utilize topics you and your team know inside and out and make them relevant to your readers. By demonstrating expertise, providing consistent & thought-leading ideas, and giving valuable guidance, your content will become a credible source. Providing genuinely insightful information for your prospects is the goal, but if you are not also tailoring your messaging based on where you are promoting it, you can completely miss the mark. Following best practices for writing standards, sticking to character limits where applicable, and putting time into things like subject lines, tweets, headlines, and themes will ensure your messaging is on-point.
  4. Track: Tracking is key to knowing the success of your messaging, and potentially the ROI that you are responsible for. Whether you are promoting a webinar, pushing out a new blog post, or sending a tweet to your audience about an upcoming conference, all of your content can be tracked. Most sites and social media platforms have tracking & analytical features built in. If you are using outside sources like advertising or media publications, be sure to request statistics on how your content or promotion is performing. Insert things like tracking links or customized URL’s within your campaigns to make sure you get metrics on how your efforts are performing.
  5. Engage: The last step of any content-related campaign is to engage with readers. Those who reach out with questions, comment on your posts, retweet or ‘like’ your statuses are all people who have proven they are engaged and interested in your content. These are the most actionable clients or prospects from your campaign, and you should be sure to keep your relationship moving forward. Providing answers to questions, retweets/likes, coupons, freebies, or any sort of recognition shows that their feedback and engagement did not go unnoticed.

Content marketing can be difficult, time-consuming, and lead to a slippery slope of wasted marketing dollars that are already hard to come by as is! Beware of the dangers of these campaigns:

Don’t bite off more than you can chew. Committing to year-long campaigns without a proven track record of consistent/regular content creation can end up wasting your marketing dollars. For example, investing in the redesign of your site’s blog along with promotional efforts for it, but then writing only a few blogs, can amount to money (and time) down the drain.

Be sure to stay away from direct sales pitches. Your content campaigns are not the time to give a demonstration of your products or service. As soon as you come across as a salesperson, you will lose all credibility as a thought-leader.

Content marketing is a great way to support your company’s traditional advertising and sales efforts, however it is a commitment and must be pursued with the right resources and expectations. If you keep these five tactics and the cautionary warnings in mind, it will help you make the most of your investment!

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