5 Tips For A Successful Content Marketing Strategy in 2017

In Content Marketing by Michael G. Keating0 Comments

This post originally appeared on Medium, but was written by yours truly. I’ve set the rel canonical to point to this site and also added noindex/nofollow on the post so don’t worry about the duplicate content issue my SEO peeps.

5 Compelling Content Marketing Statistics:

  1. Content marketing costs 62 percent less than outbound marketing and it generates more than 3x as many leads (source: Content Marketing Institute)
  2. 72 percent of marketers have a content strategy in place (30 percent documented; 42 percent non-documented) (Source: Curata)
  3. The most popular social media platform among B2C businesses is Facebook, with 94 percent reporting its usage. Other popular platforms are Twitter (82 percent), YouTube (77 percent) and LinkedIn (76 percent) (Source: Forbes)
  4. Companies that published 16+ blog posts per month got about 4.5X more leads than companies that published 0–4 monthly posts. (Source: HubSpot)
  5. 86 percent of B2C marketers and 89% of B2B marketers are using content marketing (Source: OneSpot)

Benefits of Content Marketing:

Content marketing has many benefits for businesses that are willing to spend the time, energy and resources to create an effective strategy. If you aren’t 100 percent sold on content marketing strategy, here are a few benefits of content marketing to make you feel warm and fuzzy.

Content marketing will…

  • Decrease your cost per acqusition (CPA) since the cost to produce content is generally much lower then running ads (this is assuming you would be paying for ads to deliver equal traffic volumes)
  • Increase traffic from search engines, social media and referral sources since content is digested, indexed and read through these sources
  • Increase time on site and reduce bounce rate since a every content marketing strategy should use high-quality content that speaks directly to your target audience
  • Increase domain authority since part of content marketing involves producing content that resides on third-party websites and hyperlinks back to your website (this passes link juice)
  • Increase conversion rates since your content marketing should include content that educates customers and relates to your product/services, it’s natural these visitors will convert at a higher rate then those from something like paid ads

Please note: The value of content marketing will be much lower for businesses that are at the beginning of their content marketing journey. If you are a business with a solid brand reputation, high traffic volumes and a strong social media presence, you can experience quicker returns as opposed to a business just starting out that doesn’t have the luxury of these already existing metrics.

5 Tips For A Successful Content Marketing Strategy

The content marketing process involves three basic steps: research/planning, production and publishing. The key is successful execution, but adhering to the following five tips will help your content marketing strategy be more successful:

1. Create Scannable, Easy To Read Content

The average reader stays on a website for about 58 seconds. That’s less than one minute! In order to create effective content, you must create content that is scannable. Scannable content will allow the reader to quickly get the jist of your article without having to spend 10 minutes trying to digest it. To create scannable content, be sure to include the following textual elements:

  • bullet points
  • subheaders
  • headers
  • numbered lists

By utilizing this tip in your content marketing strategy, you’ll save your readers from experiencing the frustration that results from having to read and perhaps even reread a blog post or web article to find key information.

2. Utilize Timing Strategies For Social Posting

Another tip to help get the most from your content marketing, especially with social media, is leveraging timing strategies. As noted in “6 Types of Iteration Every Content Strategy Needs,” the only way to determine the best time your social media followers are most likely to engage your content is by posting at various times and tracking your results. By implementing this type of timing strategy, you’ll be able to determine the best time to post your content and engage with your audience. The end result will be increased engagement and more opportunities to build relationships with the individuals who could eventually become life-long loyal customers and/or brand ambassadors.

3. Leverage User-Generated Content

Another essential tip for your content strategy is encouraging the production of user-generated content. User-generated content is content produced by people like customers, reviewers and media professionals. When people are consistently speaking about your brand in a positive way through this type of content, you enhance your online reputation while also expanding your dimension of online authority and influence. There are many types of user-generated content that you can encourage people to produce on your behalf. Some of them include:

  • wikis
  • blog posts
  • discussion forums
  • tweets
  • video
  • audio files
  • digital images
  • podcasts

There are several ways that you can subtly or overtly encourage the production of user-generated content. One of them is by asking customers who like your product or service to write a positive review about it. Another is by creating a discussion board where your fans or customers can share information and ideas regarding how to use your products, when to access discounts, etc.

4. Conduct Research and Create A Plan

Another essential tip for your content marketing efforts is to conduct research and creat a plan. Knowing things like who your target market is, when they like to shop and which social media channels they use most frequently can empower you to optimize your content production process in a manner which increases visibility and conversion. One savvy research strategy that many business owners find effective is the use of polls. I’ve personally conducted market research leveraging Craigslist alone and received over 250 responses in less then 2 days.

5. Include A Clever, Compelling Call To Action

One final essential tip that should be a part of your content creation process is the integration of a clever, compelling call to action. The call to action is incredibly important because it prompts your reader or viewer to do something that will benefit your brand. This course of action could be anything from making a purchase to signing up for your weekly e-newsletter. Without the call to action, your customer may be intrigued with the value of your content, but she or he has not attained the push necessary to move from the realm of brand awareness and into the sphere of conversion. With these ideas in mind, be sure that you always conclude your content with concise language that encourages the audience to take a course of action that will sustain her or his engagement with your brand.

A few sample calls to actions:

  • Purchase Our eBook By 11:59PM To Obtain A 50% Discount!
  • Sign Up For Our Free E-Newsletter Now To Receive Coupons Every Week!
  • Share This Article Now And Receive A Free Promotional Product!
  • Don’t Delay: Start Optimizing Your Content Marketing Strategy Today!

If you want to optimize your company’s online presence so you can attain an exceptional bottom line, know that creating exemplary content and advertising it strategically is a great way to achieve this goal. Use some or all of the content optimization techniques and marketing strategies outlined above to ensure that your business becomes increasingly influential and authoritative in the online domain. And keep in mind that a great content marketing strategy is the result of hard work, proper planning and sound execution.

About the Author

Michael G. Keating

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For over 15 years I’ve been in board rooms helping CEOs of start-ups, Fortune 100 companies, & small businesses (SMBs) get results. These articles are the result of my experiences and written to help guide you on your quest.

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