Content marketing tends to get a bad rap. First of all, it’s hard. It takes a lot of effort, and no matter what type of content marketing strategies you’re invested in, you need a writer to make it happen.
As a content strategist and writer myself, I could be a little biased in my love for content marketing, but study after study has shown that content marketing is one of the most effective inbound marketing methods to take your company to the next level when it comes to digital presence, lead generation, and most importantly to you — ROI.
Once you have a good content marketing strategy in place, it can provide some of the highest returns, with very little investment on your part. With all of those awesome benefits in mind, then how do you get started with content marketing?
Are there some strategies that are better, more proven, or easier than others?
We say yes.
While nearly all forms of content marketing are effective, there are a select few that are proven to drive serious results, especially when implemented and executed properly. We’re here to talk about those seven. Use the menu below to jump to the strategy you’re most interested in, or read all the way through for everything you’ve ever needed to know to set your company apart from the competition with intuitive content marketing strategies.
7 Content Marketing Strategies to Take Your Company to the Next Level
Blogging feels like a given, but we’re going to talk about it anyway because it’s that important. If you want to up your company’s digital presence — that is, rank ahead of key competition, be the first in search results, and more — you need to blog, and you need to blog with intention.
Start by developing a true blogging strategy. Do keyword research and figure out which search terms are:
- Relevant to your business
- Highly searched
- Easy to rank for (that is, they have low competition for organic search results)
- Interesting and useful to your ideal buyer personas
Then, develop a blogging schedule and strategy around those keywords. When you’re developing a blogging strategy to stick to, keep these best practices in mind:
- Blog regularly (on a monthly or weekly schedule)
- Write blogs that satisfy a buyer persona’s pain point or question
- Ensure that your content creation structure makes sense. This is important for SEO and ranking purposes. See this blog on topic clusters for more information there.
- Write blogs that are long enough to satisfy readers and search engines alike. We recommend at least 1,000 words.
If you blog regularly, on topics that are relevant and useful to your ideal buyer personas, you’ll start to see results. And if you’re honest, and your information is actually helpful to those ideal buyer personas, you’ll keep rising up through the SERPs for those keywords that matter most to you, and your ideal buyers.
If blogging is how you leverage content marketing to reach strangers, then email marketing is how you leverage content marketing to reach leads you already know.
Email marketing gives you a decided advantage when it comes to nurturing leads through to close:
- You already have the lead’s contact information
- You have a general sense of what they’re looking for — which product or service they’re interested in
- You likely know what company they work for
- You know that they already have at least some interest in your company — they did give you their email address, after all.
Use this information to your benefit. Email marketing is about strategy. Given what you know about your contacts, what information will they need to keep moving towards closing a sale?
And, considering that many email marketing tools allow you to automate workflows, you can use these features to set up email workflows and let the tools do the work for you. While you can’t quite forget about your workflows, you can check back on the analytics and optimize as you go.
Email marketing is one of the only tools that allows you to market directly to people who are already interested in the products or services you’re offering. If you’re looking to boost your digital presence and close more deals while you’re at it, a solid email marketing strategy is a must.
If we’re talking about taking your company to the next level, we have to talk about social media.
There’s no better way to get the word out about your company, and build a brand and personality, than on social media. And remember that building your social media presence is about more than just getting likes and comments. The more followers you have, the wider reach the rest of your content will have.
Your social media marketing strategy should be just as calculated as your blogging strategy — it’s a common misconception that keywords don’t apply to the wild west of Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, and Twitter.
That’s not true, especially for a platform like Linkedin, where people are searching for companies and employees by the keywords you’re already trying to rank for. For a killer social media marketing strategy check out this post, and keep the following tips in mind:
- Follow a regular posting schedule
- Curate content that’s specific to each platform. What resonates on Instagram isn’t what resonates or is appropriate for Linkedin.
- Vary your topics. Don’t just talk about what’s happening in your office or promote your blog posts. Share great posts from other industry leaders, share fun content when appropriate, and make sure you’re curating an interesting feed for followers.
- Incorporate your keywords where it’s relevant. Don’t spam your followers with unnecessary hashtags, but do be conscious about what terms you’re using in social media copy.
If your company is new to social media, we always suggest starting small. Pick one platform, like Linkedin or Facebook, and put all of your efforts into building a following there. When you feel comfortable managing one platform, and you feel like you have a handle on how to get and maintain followers, you can expand into additional platforms.
Video is hands-down one of the best ways to engage visitors.
People love video content, search engines love video content, and you should love video content, too.
That said, we know that developing a video strategy can be a little scary. It’s a much more involved process than writing a blog post, and it takes more time and money than any other content marketing strategy out there.
Remember that you don’t always have to produce professional-quality videos. While you might invest in professional help for videos that are going up on your website, a simple how-to video can be done on a smartphone, as long as your audio quality is good, and you have plenty of natural light.
It’s true that video is a lot of work. It’s usually one of the last content marketing strategies that companies tend to invest in, for that reason. But if you’re really looking to stand out online, video is a surefire way to do it. Don’t take my word for it, though. Here are a few stats that should convince you, if I haven’t already:
Okay, so not only are most marketers already using video content, but one-third of all the internet activity online is spent watching video. Put that with the fact that video is highly shareable, and that most marketing professionals report it as having a very high ROI, and you really can’t go wrong.
We live in a visual culture.
People are watching videos constantly.
Most millennials would prefer to watch a two-minute explainer video that tells them about your services, rather than read about it.
Investing in a quality video strategy will boost your digital presence far beyond your competitors. Just make sure you’re transcribing all of your videos, so search engines can rank that valuable content for you, too.
One of the most tried-and-true content marketing strategies to exist in the digital world is content offer development. Plain and simple, content offers work.
When you take the time to put together a valuable resource that someone interested in your product or service genuinely wants or needs, it’s going to pay off.
Since we’re content marketing strategy fiends, we’ve tested, written, rewritten, and retested about a million content offers. I can tell you with confidence, nothing converts leads better than a quality content offer.
So what does this do to grow your company?
Well, if you have an awesome content offer, you can share it around social media and promote it on your email marketing strategy. It’s great for your company’s digital presence in that way. But, if we’re talking big picture, which we should be, content offers are what get you leads.
If someone is interested enough in what you have to say that they give up their email address, they’re a qualified lead.
And when your content offers are drawing in qualified leads, your company is going to see some growth.
But how do you develop content offers that work?
Think about the questions you get the most often.
What holds people up from making a purchasing decision? Do they have trouble deciding between your products? If so, create a product comparison guide. Are they on the fence about how much of a difference your service will make for their company? Create a content offer that talks about the specific benefits your service provides.
Develop content offers for specific stages of your buyer’s journey.
You know who your buyer personas are. You know what they’re looking for. You should know the places that they tend to fall out of the buyer’s journey. Whether they get stuck comparing your product to a competitor, or they just can’t decide if your service is worth the money, develop content offers that speak to those specific stages of the buyer’s journey.
When you have at least one content offer for the awareness, consideration, and decision-making phase of the buyer’s journey, plus content that nurtures potential leads through some of your most common sticking points, you’ll start seeing more leads convert, in less time.
Only gate the content offers that matter most.
No matter how many content offers you’ve developed, make sure you’re only gating the ones that matter most.
The new, most effective trend in digital marketing is to leave most of your content offers open to the public. Instead, you can offer those content offers as downloadable PDFs. This works to help you weed out unqualified contacts. Readers who are really interested in what you have to say, and want to take your offer home with them to read again, are likely to download the PDF and give you their contact information.
While you can still gate a few content offers — like checklists or product pricing guides — try to make your content as accessible to leads as possible, while still giving them the opportunity to give you their contact information.
If we’ve said it once, we’ve said it a million times — your home page is NOT a landing page. You’ve dedicated time and effort to a specific, relevant content development strategy that’s designed for multiple buyer personas — why would you send them all to the same bland, basic landing page?
They don’t have the same goals for your company, they don’t have the same needs, and they’re not all at the same place in the buyer’s journey. Targeted landing pages are one of the most effective content marketing strategies you can implement to directly improve your company’s digital ROI.
Don’t take my word for it though. This company increased online ROI by 60%, just by optimizing their landing pages.
That’s so easy! Landing pages are some of the shortest, most simple pages of content. Just write a lot of them, and develop them with specific keywords in mind, and you’ll start to see some serious results.
Before we get off the landing page rant train, let’s just close with one more example.
Say you’re scrolling through Instagram, and an ad comes up for a really awesome hoodie. It’s exactly what you’ve been looking for, and you’re ready to make the purchase. But when you click the ad, instead of being sent directly to that hoodie’s product page, you’re sent to the Amazon home page.
What a disappointment.
Are you going to search through Amazon’s massive website to find that specific hoodie and checkout while you’re on your 10-minute coffee break? Yeah. Didn’t think so.
That’s all targeted landing pages are. Pages that offer your ideal buyers exactly the content they were looking for in the first place. Invest just a bit of time in landing pages that are targeted to specific buyer personas and specific content offers, and you’ll start to see results.
Our final content marketing tip is to have a content promotion strategy. All of your other content marketing strategies — your blog, your social media, and even your email marketing — won’t mean much if you’re not working to get the word out. You should spend at least as much time promoting content as you do creating it.
When it comes to content marketing, you can do all the work of building and developing an awesome content marketing strategy, but if you’re not drawing people into your website to read your content, you’re not going to see the benefits you were looking for. Here are a few ways to take your content promotion strategy to the next level:
- Cross-Channel Promotion. Promote your blogs on social media channels. Add social media buttons to the bottom of your email newsletters. Share your email subscribe link on social media, at the bottom of blogs, etc. You’re creating content in a variety of channels, as this blog has shown. Make sure your followers know about all of the opportunities you’re offering them to read more amazing content.
- Search Engine Optimization. The better optimized your site and content are, the more likely you are to boost organic traffic coming to your site. And when you have more traffic, you have a greater potential for leads. Check out this blog for tips on ensuring your content is following SEO best practices.
- Paid Search Advertising. If you’re just getting your content marketing strategy up and running, paid search is a great way to draw in the traffic you need now, without waiting for your site to organically come up in SERPs. Make sure you’re only bidding on relevant keywords, and stick to a budget, but with a little help from paid search, you’ll start seeing the traffic you’ve been looking for.
- Boosted or Paid Social Media. Boosted social media posts and paid social media promotion is a great way to get your social media marketing strategy off the ground, too. Boosted posts help ensure your content is reaching all of your followers. Social media ad campaigns can help you expand your reach, by getting more likes, more followers, or just getting the word out about your company.
Start with one or two of these content promotion tactics, and see how they work. Then, make sure you’re adding them to your content marketing strategy and schedule. When you’ve scheduled in time to focus on content promotion, you’re more likely to make it happen.
Content marketing is tough. It takes a lot of work and it takes a good writer — or three. If you don’t have a writer on staff, or if you’re just not sure how to jump into more content marketing strategies, we can help. Get in touch with the Evenbound team for more information, or check out the case study below to see exactly how we’ve helped our clients stand out from the competition with killer content marketing strategies.