A mere 6%1 of UK marketers believe their content marketing efforts are truly effective. The rest either feel they’re not quite hitting the right spot, or are at a complete loss as to where to go next.
But did you know that getting it right is the way to win business in 2015? We break down the essential components necessary to succeed in content marketing.
Set up the goalposts
First and foremost, everybody on your content marketing team needs to know why they are writing the content being asked of them, so it’s important that your head of content marketing is present at senior marketing meetings.
Content marketing can conquer a number of acquisition barriers, from dwindling web traffic numbers to struggling conversion rates, yet only 51% of companies have a documented content marketing strategy.
Once a writer understands the end goal, writing a narrative that directs the reader there becomes a linear process that can be measured. So sit down and clearly define the targets you need to hit this year, quarter or month, build a strategy based on well-timed content pieces to help you reach those goals, and review your progress on a regular basis.
A content marketer needs to know how many people are clicking through to their content, how long they are reading it for and what actions that content is spurring.
There are two ways to do this:
- Give content marketers access to Google Analytics
- Have your data analyst compile a report of the relevant information to pass on to your content marketers
With this information, a content marketer can determine which articles or videos are working better, thus they’ll be able to optimise current campaigns and understand which direction to proceed in when creating future content.
List your keywords
SEO is at the heart of content marketing – so if you haven’t yet had your SEO and PPC executives provide an extensive list of the keywords you are competing for, then do so now.
Your content marketing team can work from this list to make sure these keywords are integrated into your digital content every time, which is essential for a positive Google ranking.
Develop a hybrid skillset
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: a writer working in content marketing needs to be able to think like a journalist and get the results of a marketer.
At least 92% of marketers are currently using content marketing, and we’re sorry to say it, but that statistic includes those writing about some pretty boring industries too. It’s in these circumstances that a hybrid skillset becomes so essential, as straight-laced statistics and uneventful happenings have to be spun in to compelling stories that can engage an audience, whether that’s in 500 words or over the course of a three month campaign.
Unless you have a team of dedicated researchers, over half of a content marketer’s time is spent on research.
Subscribing to specialist publications makes this process easier, and potentially, quicker. For instance, if you work in marketing, you may want to take out a monthly subscription for Marketing Magazine, which publishes industry research that statistics can be pulled from to make your content pieces richer.
Sat on the train and spotted a typo on a blog post that’s already live? Is a hashtag trending that your company could use to initiate an interesting conversation through social media?
This is why the ability to work remotely is imperative for a content marketer. Make sure laptops are provided for each member of your staff, as well as a list of all the login details needed to get the job done, even if your content marketers are out on meetings, at home or commuting.
Appoint a budget
Unless you’ve got a massive, loyal following, you will need to throw some money at promoting your content.
There are countless ways to do this, including:
- Boost your social media posts
- Run PPC ads that direct to specific content marketing landing pages
- Join a content recommendation platform, such as Outbrain or Taboola
- Incentivise bloggers to promote your brand
Be prepared to expand
Content marketing has the ability to take a business to new heights extremely quickly.
Fresh, regular content is a must from the outset, and that demand only becomes more vital as your audience grows. So always be aware that you may need to hire more people, or even relocate, to accommodate new business as your content marketing campaigns begin to reap their rewards.
1 Digital Marketing Magazine, 2015. The Effectiveness of Organisations’ Content Marketing. [Online] Available at: http://digitalmarketingmagazine.co.uk/digital-marketing-content/the-effectiveness-of-organisations-content-marketing/1378.