In today’s content-driven world, every leading brand is aware of the power of content. Content is the nucleus of marketing — the currency to draw attention to your brand. This is precisely why all companies, small or big, are leaving no stone unturned to tap the potential of content marketing. They are using content marketing to build trust, generate quality leads, and cultivate customer loyalty. With consumers wanting well-researched content to solve their problems, it does not come as a surprise that content singlehandedly brings in web traffic by almost 8 times.
But how do you strike the right chord? Just creating content without a sorted vision would end up in much ado about nothing. So you need a strategy to go about the task. But there again lies a stumbling block – what do you include in the strategy to fetch the desired results? The right plan can take your company to unimaginable heights. But one step amiss and your company can suffer an unrecoverable bout of loss. If you are planning on creating an effective content marketing strategy, then I have come up with an effective list of the essentials that must go into the checklist.
8 MUST-HAVE COMPONENTS FOR YOUR CONTENT MARKETING STRATEGY
To start with, a successful content marketing strategy must include these core components. And if you need evidence, then here are some bonus stats to convince you.
- Almost 90% of traffic originates from a search engine, says HubSpot.
You need to remember that on an average, Google gets 3.5 billion searches from all over the world. So, you need to make sure that the content you are publishing is optimized for Google and all other relevant search engines. Get an SEO team to incorporate the best practices in your content to target the right audience. You need to remember that no two consumers are the same. So you need to understand their behavioral patterns. Go through search queries, reviews, Q&A’s, and user-generated content for the most relevant keywords that align with the products you offer. This will help your content resonate with your audience.
- 46% of consumers connect a brand with the content theme, says Forbes.
A theme will not only help you create an omnichannel for your content but will also create a brand for the kind of content you publish. Take for instance, BuzzFeed, which uses the same layout for their content – be it articles, listicles or vlogs. Most big brands have themes that have become a part of their identity now. Having a theme will help you establish your company’s position as a thought leader. And with the rising relevance of evergreen content, a theme will help your content cut the mustard and achieve the badge of relevance for years to come. Create your own thing – this could include Q&A sessions, video snippets, webinars or infographics.
- 66% of users hit the ‘unfollow’/unsubscribe’ button if the content gives no solution, says Delloite.
The goal of your content should be to resolve the queries of your customers. You need to understand that no one has time or energy to spare in the fast-moving world. If they find out that you are publishing fluff or recycling old information, then they are simply going to stop coming to your page. This would usher in every marketer’s nightmare – a high bounce rate. So you need to craft content that saves your users from further research. While at it, you must remember that high-end words are a big no-no. I’ll give you a practical example – I could have had used esoteric in place of high-end. But that would have had many readers searching for its meaning in a dictionary. You would not want to do anything that makes your content incomprehensible.
- 43% of consumers respond to an eye-catching Call To Action, says Moz.
Every piece of content must have a clear call to action. For example, in the case of an email thread, you could ask your consumers to subscribe to your company newsletters. For an event such as a product launch or a press release, you could ask your customers to RSVP for the event (or even buy the product). Always consider your users to be forgetful and unaware. So you need to tell them what to do. At the same time, do not make it the kernel of attention. Your focus should be on the content, but a smart and crisp CTA would yield you more results.
- 77% users trust associated adaptive material with brand credibility, says ContentMarketingInstitute.com
Before we delve any deeper, a gentle reminder – adaptive content is not just about responsive design. Sure, device responsiveness is a factor, but that isn’t all. Keep in mind that content changes according to the device, the context, and the user. Apart from leveraging it in an omnichannel strategy to maximize its reach, you need to make the instructions adaptive too. For example, right below the CTAs, you have a button that users must click on to complete the action. Your content should say “click” when it is being accessed on a laptop. Similarly, it should say “tap” when being read on a tablet or a smart-phone. In case your user is using voice instructions, then the content should include a “say select”.
- An ideal content marketing plan should be multidimensional, says Neil Patel.
The scope of publishing your content has given you the chance to do your PR and become your own media channel. If you want to take things up by notches, then you need to start thinking more broadly from a strategic perspective. The first step to turn this into reality is to adopt a multidimensional approach for the content you create and publish. “Look into the influences and overlays, key angles for your business, format lead times, timing, etc. and then map out your content editorial calendar”, says Emily Jones, the content marketing head of essay help brand Allessaywriter.com. While at it, make sure that you are consistent, i.e. you need to strike a healthy balance between over-posting and not posting at all. Here are some templates for a content marketing calendar that you can follow.
- Infographics can increase website traffic by 12 percent, says Sumo
Not only do eye-catching visuals captivate us, but they also lend a better understanding of the message of the content. Visuals can explain the intent of words in a faster and easier way. So give a lot of thought into creating compelling visual content. Right from the very beginning, plan what kinds of images, infographics, animations, etc. you would use to enhance your content’s message and ensure that it resonates with the users.
Moreover, you need to remember that our attention spans are getting shorter by the minute. So, adding engaging images and videos in your content strategy becomes all the more important.
- 87% of marketers use storytelling for better results, says MarketingProfs.
People of all ages and walks of life can relate to extraordinary stories. And therefore, storytelling should be a core component of your content strategy. In our fast-paced lives, facts and answers are important to people who are always on the move. If you want to strike a personal chord with your content, you need to tell stories to your audiences. Moreover, storytelling can help you develop brand affinity by building better user engagement. To apply the basic tenets of storytelling – drama, humour, anecdotes, rhetoric – to enhance human connection. You can also ask your readers to share their stories to make it a two-way thing.
Content marketing is all about trial and error. To measure the correct metrics and track how well your content marketing plan is doing. There is no point in implementing a content marketing plan if it doesn’t work. So wait no more and get your content strategist to work right away. Here’s to the hope that your content brings a rise in your marketing efforts.
All the best!