Science Says: 7 Data-Backed Content Marketing Best Practices to Adopt Today

November 25, 2016

If you’re new to the content marketing sphere, you may be wondering what all the hype is about.00

 

Frankly, content marketing is all about providing information to customers in a way that draws them into your sales stream without the high pressure outbound tactics of years past. Instead, content marketing relies heavily on building a trusting relationship with customers and inviting them to join you in learning about your products, services and industry in a safe, non-threatening way.

 

But while content marketing may sound simple, it’s often easier said than done. Want to do it well? Here are seven tips for building an effective content marketing strategy today:

 

Get to Know Your Customer

 

The only way to truly provide valuable content to customers is to know what they want. Most companies track data about their customer bases such as: age, social status, income, etc. Use this information to create a variety of different personas that represent different parts of the intended audience.

 

For instance, Susie is a married mother of four with a household income of $85,000 a year. She has a busy schedule and needs products that add convenience and efficiency to her life.

 

By contrast, Dan is a single male in his mid-twenties. He is an early adopter of all the latest tech gadgets. He wants something that he can show off and see a future in.

 

By creating content to serve targeted demographics, content marketing campaigns have proven two to five times more effective than traditional advertisements.

 

Prioritize Your Content Outlets

 

It’s no secret that social media is here to stay. Given that sites likes Facebook that have 59% of the internet users in North America signed up, this is an easy way to reach a huge audience.

 

Your marketing budget should go towards the outlets that are most likely to gain momentum first. In fact, companies that prioritize social media are 1.5 to 2 times more likely to expect growth than companies that do not have a social media goal.

 

Use the Buyer’s Journey

 

Timing is everything when it comes to building a successful content marketing campaign. Understanding how individuals and businesses make purchasing decisions will allow content to be directly aimed at each stage in the buying process.

 

Overall, companies that align their marketing with the buyer’s journey see a 45% increase in the lead generation ROI. They also see 47% larger purchases from customers that were pushed along the process through nurturing at each stage.

 

Be Creative

 

Customers get tired of searching through lengthy blog posts for the information they really need. Instead, they want short and sweet posts that can easily be scanned through. This includes short video clips and infographics that present the information in an efficient way.

 

Some sites report that the use of infographics generates a 5-15% increase in traffic, because these types of media can easily be shared on social media sites at a glance. As a result, they make a much bigger impression than a blog.

 

Optimize, Optimize, Optimize

 

Search engine optimization (SEO) depends on customers being able to find what they’re looking for with a single search, as approximately 63% of all customers click on one of the top three results when they search for a specific product or term. The only way to get to that place is to optimize content so that it includes relevant keywords, highly valuable information, and strong industry connections.

 

Without proper optimization, your content will linger lower in the search rankings and generate far fewer leads.

 

Plan Long-Term

 

Content marketing is a long-term strategy, but it provides organic results that last. One of the biggest benefits of content marketing is that there’s more lead generation created per marketing dollar than in traditional outbound marketing campaigns.

 

Nevertheless, even a good content marketing campaign will likely take three to six months to really gain steam. During this time, it is possible to use a combination of paid lead generation tools alongside SEO, but the ideal situation is to allow the content to speak for itself.

 

Update Regularly, Go Deeper

 

With so many companies relying on content marketing these days, the fact is that information gets stale quickly. The only way to earn and maintain high rankings is to update on a regular schedule.

 

However, customers want to get to the meat and bones of the industry, so content updates need to be meaningful. They should also continue to go deeper into the use, design, and development of products and services. Surface level content will not continue to engage customers that are already familiar with products, so the only option is to continue drawing them in with more details and facts as you go.

 

These seven tips have shown that they produce real results in any content marketing strategy. By taking the time to understand what makes content valuable to customers and how customers use that information, the overall effectiveness of your media, writing and presentation can be better suited to what your audience expects.

 

What other suggestions do you have when it comes to running a successful content marketing campaign? Share your best tips by leaving a comment below:

 

Image: Flickr

 

 

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