A new year is coming for #ContentMarketing, and you might want to start your 2021 with a fresh outlook for your business. Be mindful of these seven things to watch out for to keep your Content Marketing strategy up-to-date.
But wait, what is content marketing?
Content Marketing is, as the word says, a content-focused marketing style where you create and distribute valuable, consistent, and relevant content to potential customers with the intent of getting an affirmative and profitable action.
Is content marketing effective? It sure is. In today’s increasingly digital world, content is everywhere and especially on the devices you use and interact with the most – your phone, TV, personal computer, even transit locations.
If this is your first time to manage your content, your first time to put on your game face to challenge the world to market the things you love most, then take a deep breath and clear your mind because the first thing to do in making strategies for Content Marketing is:
- Create specific goals
If that sounded very basic, well, that’s because it is. One of the first things that you have to create is a backbone for your strategies, and Content Marketing isn’t very different from other fields in that regard. You have to define your niche, the kind of things you want to create. Even if you hire an entire content marketing agency, chances are this is the first thing they do on day one, too. One of the best ways to start things off is by making a list because it can help foster creativity. Be specific on the goals you want to attain, so you wouldn’t end up getting lost in the middle of your thoughts. Focus on the things you love and are passionate about, and stick to those. As we defined above, your content should be valuable, consistent, and relevant to audiences.
- Find your voice
Your voice a.k.a. branding persona is the way you speak, how you communicate your brand to your audience. This develops an image that your viewers or potential customers will relate to and know your brand. Take, for instance, Finance outlets like the Wall Street Journal versus Spotify – these two very different brands also come with very different approaches. Knowing how you want to be heard or seen is essential when selecting an audience. For example, if you’re going to create content targeting Millennials for hip and cool kind of product, or want to maintain an everyday-Joe voice, you might want to do away with a rigid structure and sound a bit friendlier and more approachable.
Tips and tricks: You don’t have to change your voice even if you’re targeting a slightly different audience for other content. Consistency will keep your brand image tight and reliable.
- Define your audience
An audience does not always guarantee that they will translate into buyers, but they are still potential customers. You want to have the highest rate of conversion possible – that is, turning them from mere listeners or viewers to followers and clients. Again you could make a list – types of people you could categorise and target when creating your content. One important thing in selecting an audience is to know what specific questions or problems they have that you can address. This will provide value to them as they see that you are the entity to approach for their needs or wants. Another thing to keep in mind is the use of keywords, which will help propel your brand or content upwards in search result listings. In combination with knowing your potential customers’ questions, this creates a closed loop that will pull them towards you – where they ask questions, and you supply answers or become the answer itself.
- Know your keywords
What are keywords? Keywords are words that frequently come up in search listings that you can use as anchors in your content that search engines will more likely pull up as relevant results. Fortunately, there are a ton of tools out there born in the previous decades that can help with this dilemma, which will help you find the right keywords to use. Tools like Ubersuggest are a great (and free) method to get keywords that rank high in CPC (cost per click, which is a significant number when doing paid ads), because these keywords are usually the ones with more value, or have higher conversion potential. Other tools may carry additional features for a small fee, which is up to you to explore to maximise your keyword search potential. Now that you know what you want to do, it’s time to generate content.
- Content Generation
Organise your thoughts by beginning with ideation. If you’re kind of lost on where to start, it’s best to check out the beaten path – your competitors. Find out what they are doing, how they deliver to their audiences, and what things they use. You can also use Ubersuggest to find out the top pages of competing brands or companies, and it can also show you a breakdown of shares, traffic, and backlinks. The best posts and content are usually the ones with both traffic and shares so you can maximise and diversify where your traffic may come from. One thing you might find that stands out as you’re searching is video. Back then, video was a high-end featured content for many brands. It cost a lot to create a simple production. Thankfully, technology leapfrogged this for use by almost everyone now. So it’s best if you can create your own videos, which does not necessarily mean you being in front of the camera, depending on what kind of content you want to highlight. What’s important about video is that it is a proven method of capturing audiences and holding their attention if delivered effectively. Visual storytelling is usually more effective, as it can exhibit something you’re trying to explain in a shorter and more visually engaging way. The use of infographics, animated elements, or even just clips and pictures improve your content to make pieces of information easier to understand. In conjunction with video, it’s also best to tailor your content for voice search. It’s a new hot feature that’s gaining a lot of popularity and usage now with device assistants like Google Home, Alexa, and built-in phone voice search features. 2021 going forward will be a decade that will see more voice search usage than ever before, and it’s best to be ahead of the curve and prepare for it.
By taking advantage of voice search, you can hook audiences better through rich snippets, which are the result of getting answers to questions in spoken format. Yup, Google, and other players can do that now.
Tips and tricks: when looking up rich snippets find where it leads to and makes it an objective that your content can knock it out as the top of one of the top results and get your page and content there.
Aside from video, you can still use audio and blogs. After all, in-depth information is always best narrated in forms that will instill rich data that your customers can use, find valuable, and link back to which will generate even more views and traffic to your page or site.
In relation to video, it’s also best to leverage social media. Facebook might have started as a casual game platform on top of a community, but it has grown to include marketing opportunities. Get your content in networks that will get your message circulated best, or at least in networks that have considerably high traffic and active monthly users.
- Be first, or be the authority
Many businesses skyrocket by being either the first to cash in on an idea or have the best implementation of one. Content Marketing is similar in that there are several ways to combine being ahead of a given topic such as answering a specific question or providing very helpful and informative content that everyone believes it’s the best source to reference. You can do this by building your trust level or authority. Add credibility to your sources by indicating your author’s name or citing how you came up with a particular conclusion – and making consistent points by creating a concept series than one-shot creations. You can also upgrade content in ways such as creating an extension of an existing article or providing new information. You can also create exclusive content to attract loyal followers.
- Take advantage of new technologies
There are hundreds of new tools and developing technologies this previous decade that will only get better from 2021 onwards. AI and Machine Learning will surely step up with understanding natural human language, and Google’s algorithms now move more to better user experience and relevance on top of authority. Tools like Ubersuggest can also generate keyword ideas based on data collected from the questions people type in, which is an excellent way to source topics for your content.
Keep in mind that context in content is king. These seven basic things contribute to building relevance, consistency, and value for the audience that can lift your page or website listing in the search lists. Add more to your knowledge pool as you learn more about Content Marketing. Follow these tips and you can have a better grasp of the things that make your Content Marketing strategies work this 2021 and beyond.