The term "digital footprint" has been around for quite awhile now, but what exactly does that mean for your business? Basically, it's the digital trail that your business leaves behind on social...
According to Curata's 2014 content marketing statistics, the right mix of content includes at least 65 percent original, created content. The other 35 percent of content you publish can be curated or syndicated, which means you create blog or social media posts around the content of others. Whether you're creating or curating, though, value to the audience should be the first consideration of all content marketing. Additionally, most businesses contract with content marketing services to augment their internal content development resources. In all cases, content is important for successful on-line marketing.
Content Marketing Research: What is Valuable to the Consumer
Don't assume you know what information is valuable to the consumer of it. Begin with online research in your niche to discover what questions your audience is asking, what problems consumers have, and what topics are trending in your industry. Pull research from:
- Google searches of keywords related to your product or service.
- Forums in your market niche.
- Blogs of competitors or consumers who review products or services in your niche.
- Consumer reviews on sites like Amazon or Yelp.
- Polls and questions you ask on your social media feeds.
- General trends on social media.
Blog Content: A Story or Educational Item
Content marketing is a unique form of advertising because it involves two primary goals. Of course you want to get your product or service noticed, but you also want to connect with your audience and build lasting engagement and branding. Avoid putting your product or service at the front of the stage. Instead, tell a story that naturally integrates the product or provide education or information that sets your company up as an expert in the niche without mentioning the product.
A company that offers claims billing and electronic health record software publishes a blog twice a week. Many times, the blog doesn't directly mention the company's software or include any type of call-to-action. The blog is hosted on the website; links to services are prominently displayed above the content. The blog itself is dedicated to providing an educational narrative to small medical offices; topics include regulatory updates and how businesses can avoid fines, tips for best claims practices, and reports about current trends or statistics in the niches.
Each company must find it's own way to bring stories and education to consumers. The medical software company looks for information that is helpful for it's audience as well as questions its audience is currently asking, and provides those answers on its blog.
Social Media Content: Engagement and Sharing
Content marketing on social media also requires you to understand what your audience needs, but interaction will be different than with a blog. Share small bits of information and advice from your perspective. Include images to increase sharing and likes, and curate content from related sources by sharing links to videos, articles, and posts in your niche.
Don't forget to return audience engagement. The best social media marketers are people-centric, which means consumers feel like they are conversing with a real person. Not only does it humanize your company, it also bolsters communication with customers. Use social media for a full-circle impact--this is a great place to find out what consumers are thinking or need.
Managing Content: By the Numbers
As you develop content marketing strategies on various platforms, keep an eye on data. Use analytic software that can connect web traffic and conversions to each individual link, page, or platform. Review numbers regularly to see what is working. Drop efforts that aren't driving traffic, but remember that things change fast on the Internet. What works now may not work tomorrow, so be ready to make changes in your content marketing on a regular basis.
Bristol Strategy is a full funnel inbound marketing agency and inbound sales agency offering the full complement of services to enable our clients to surpass their business objectives by transforming the way they engage with their buyer on-line. Reach out to us to learn more about how our experience and capabilities can help your business grow.
Tags: Content Marketing