Content marketing is one of the most popular and effective marketing channels. Content marketing refers to creating and distributing relevant content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined audience — with the objective of driving profitable customer action. For businesses, it’s about having a digital footprint (a website), a social media presence (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn accounts), and creating content to engage their prospects. Content marketing isn’t new, but it’s one of those things that everyone talks about until they actually try doing it.
It costs time, money and effort to produce quality content, especially if it turns out there was no ROI for this investment. But if your business doesn’t do any form of content marketing now, you’re leaving profit on the table because “content is king.”
Here are ten tips that will help your business improve ROI from its content marketing efforts.
1. Solve a Problem
People don’t want to buy products and services. What people do want are solutions to their problems, which also include wants and desires. Content that discusses how you can solve a problem or fill a need will be more persuasive than lists of features and benefits; plus, it’s easier to create posts around “how-to” information rather than describing product specifications. Potential customers want to know what you can do for them, not what they should buy from you.
2. Use Videos
This one might seem obvious, but there are still businesses out there that don’t have even one video on their website despite all the tools that make it easy to record, edit, upload and embed videos (e.g., YouTube). A good video transforms your website into the visual medium that it should be. If you’re not sure how to create a video yourself, outsource it. The cost is minimal compared with what you’ll gain in terms of qualified leads.
3. Tell an Engaging Story
Video isn’t the only way to tell a story; there are other formats as well, such as podcasts, images, infographics, social media updates and so on. It’s about communicating information or sharing experiences that emotionally connect with your prospects rather than just giving them facts—and producing this content consistently over time will help build up your business.
4. Use Social Media
This is another no-brainer that too many businesses still don’t understand. The primary benefit of social media isn’t in driving sales directly; rather, it’s about growing your brand awareness and generating leads through the interest you generate on these sites. If you use Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or YouTube only to post links to your product pages (i.e., self-promotion), this won’t get you far. But if you provide valuable content to prospects on these sites, they’ll share it with their friends, who may opt-in for your offers—leading to more qualified opportunities for your business.
5. Focus On Quality
Of course, content must be produced consistently (this goes without saying); but quantity doesn’t matter if the quality is poor. It’s better to have a few high-quality pieces of content than dozens of half-baked posts. Don’t expect immediate results from your content marketing either, but if it’s relevant and helpful, prospects will eventually take notice.
6. Offer a Call To Action
This is a standard requirement for websites today. Visitors shouldn’t be able to get through your site without being asked to do something—to opt-in for more information, say hello or buy your product. It doesn’t mean that you’re forcing people into buying what you’re selling; you’re just giving them the chance to continue the conversation with you by opting in for something they want.
7. Provide Useful Information
If all you do is promote yourself on your website, don’t expect this strategy to work for you. People want content that will value their time by providing good information—regardless of the format it takes. For example, if your audience is made up of engineers who love to read about new technology developments, then write blog posts on these topics (from an angle that’s relevant to your business). Or you could create videos showing how some of your customers are using your products in innovative ways.
8. Create Content That Fits Your Marketing Plans
If the only content marketing strategy you follow is “link building” (i.e., writing blog posts on other websites with links back to yours), this isn’t likely to get you very far; remember, people want value-added content, not spammy self-promotion disguised as something “useful.” Your content must relate to your business—both in terms of how it helps prospects and whether you can use it in other ways, such as for social media or email marketing.
9. Make It Easy To Comment
If you have a blog, giving visitors the opportunity to leave comments is another basic requirement for effective content marketing. This allows people who are interested in what you’re writing about to interact with your posts rather than just passively consume them.
10. Let Visitors Interact With You Through Social Media
Remember that social media isn’t just about broadcasting links; it’s also about engaging with others online through likes, retweets, shares and more. Using these networks effectively can help increase awareness of your brand while driving traffic back to your website or blog.
Content marketing is a big investment for any business. It takes time, money and effort to produce quality content that will engage your prospects and turn them into customers. But if you’re not seeing the return on investment that you expect, don’t worry – we have ten tips that will help improve ROI from your content marketing efforts. Contact us today to learn more about how our team can help you create content that engages your audience and drives sales. Thanks for reading!