Although the ‘dawn of the digital age’ has passed, it’s high noon during the Internet revolution, and you’ve seen digital convergence change the demands of your audience on your business and your brand. In an increasingly digital economy, working with a quality content marketing agency can make or break your business.
But really, what is digital content marketing? Even more importantly, how can quality content marketing add value to your business? Facing increasingly diverse audiences, the normalization of interactive technologies, and an ever-evolving social media landscape, companies simply can’t rely on outmoded mechanisms of connecting with their audiences.
As traditional marketing is becoming less effective by the nanosecond, we know that investing in quality content marketing can result in increased sales, cost savings, and increased brand loyalty; but what is it?
Content marketing is a marketing strategy that employs the creation and distribution of relevant, informative, and consistent marketing content designed to reach a particular audience. The object of content marketing is to drive profitable consumer actions like purchasing services or products.
Although digital marketing or social media marketing will be a part of any content marketing agency’s approach, quality content marketing requires a more strategic and cohesive approach. While most businesses find themselves reactively engaging online or via social media, you need a defined goal for your digital presence and a sense of how the content you produce will help you reach your goals and establish your brand online successfully.
While the Internet may still feel like the Wild West, it’s not; it’s a kingdom, and you must know your people. That means your content must be designed to benefit a defined audience. Knowing your audience is key to designing a successful quality marketing strategy.
Who is your business seeking to serve? What does your audience care about? What are the needs, desires, concerns, questions, interests, and obstacles facing your consumers? How does your product or service add value to their lives? What expertise can you offer your clients? An experienced content marketing agency will help you answer these questions to inform, entertain, and engage your audience in an authentic way.
While many firms employ—or at least have heard of—some form of content marketing, they don’t realize that Google closely monitors websites for functionality and content. This means your content marketing strategy must incorporate relevant and consistent content that adds value to your online visitors, i.e., your audience.
More than 3.2 billion people are turning to the Internet—and search engines—for information and solutions to their problems. That means one of the best ways for you to get in front of your audience is to be there when they ‘Google it.’
Search engines catalog and crawl through the web using algorithms so they can continuously improve the quality of results they pull up for their (read: yours, too) consumers. If you haven’t already, you should reach out to your content marketing agency to confirm there is an SEO strategy in place for your brand.
While developing your digital content marketing strategy, bear in mind that Google’s updates increasingly reward quality content, functionality, mobile-friendliness, and speed while punishing sites with low quality, bulky, or outdated content.
The algorithms Google and other search engines use are more increasingly sophisticated; this means content created using black hat tactics like keyword stuffing or overly optimized pages can also get pages or websites flagged and even removed from search engine results, depending on the content in question. If you aren’t sure how to grow your brand online, try investing in a content marketing agency that specializes in creating content that is both user-friendly and SEO-friendly.
Today’s audiences have an ever increasing appetite for valuable information delivered quickly and accompanied by visual stimuli. Instead of settling for the first pitch or product they see, most consumers use search engines and social media platforms to research different products and services before committing to a purchase. From CarFax to Angie’s List, consumers turn to the Internet before buying in.
That means your consumers are actively looking for informative content to help them make educated decisions. Modern consumers want to feel empowered, not ‘sold’ on a product. In fact, according to one report, 70% of both B2B and B2C consumers prefer to learn about a brand through content marketing instead of more traditional advertising methods. For investors, the number is even higher. According to the same report, 80% of business decision makers prefer to get information about a prospective purchase from articles as opposed to ads.
As your business thrives within the dynamics of the digital age, content marketing is becoming the primary mechanism through which brands establish customer relationships. A quality content marketing strategy will showcase your expertise in the field and help you build trust by highlighting your insight on the topics that matter most to your audience.
Most marketers know that cultivating and growing brand loyalty is one of the essential aspects of any campaign. Incorporating content marketing into your digital marketing approach will draw traffic to your social media profiles and website, as well as improve your rankings in search results. Your audience will also have the opportunity to share your content within their circle of influence.
To this end, business sites with blogs not only attract more inbound links, but they also tend to attract more visitors as well.
The focus of any marketing strategy is to drive profitable consumer action, and content marketing is no different. As innately social creatures, people want to go to businesses or engage with organizations they feel resonate with their lives or goals.
Consumers also tend to trust the recommendations of their peers as opposed to more traditional “hard sell” techniques; that means when a customer shares branded content on their social media feed, their endorsement of your brand enhances your credibility. In this way, working with a content marketing agency will help you create opportunities for your business or brand to earn credibility and establish brand loyalty.
If you’re unsure of just how to design and implement a cohesive content strategy plan, you’re not alone. As one 2014 survey of marketing professionals found, recognizing the need for a content marketing strategy is not same as being able to implement them effectively; at the time of the survey, an incredible 56% of marketers said they were practicing content marketing without a defined strategy.
Begin by defining what your organization needs to accomplish and determine what role your content will play in meeting your goals. You will also want to consider how your content marketing plan can complement or pivot from other aspects of your business, like promotions, services, sales, and advertising.
To create content that connects with your audience, you have to know who your audience is. Is your market niche and your audience relatively homogenous, or is there a more diverse segment of people who could be interested in what your brand has to say? Defining your audience will help your content marketing agency match your brand with your consumers’ wants, needs, interests, and concerns.
Engaging and informative content is defined by its ability to communicates what you need to say in a way that represents the mission, expertise, and values of your organization. You may want to consider entrusting a content marketing agency that specializes in optimizing this content for your audience and search engines to ensure your content strategy works toward business objectives instead of against them.
Now that you have all of this content, where will you put it? Will you be publishing articles to your website through a blog and if so, how often? Once you do publish your content, how will you let people know about it? Which social media platforms will your brand engage in and in what ways? When first implementing a content strategy plan, it’s important to remember that a consistent schedule is the best way to familiarize audiences with your brand.
Once you’ve started to implement a content marketing plan, try monitoring your website traffic, social media engagement, and search engine rankings. As you look at the data, take note of who is interacting with your content and HOW they are interacting with it.
How are people responding to your content? What kind of content is getting the most attention or engagement? By tracking these results, especially over time, you and your content marketing agency will gain insight on which content marketing strategies are most effective for your audience, allowing you to pivot your strategy plan to ensure optimal results.
Making Internet magic is what our set of web wizards at Post Launch specializes in. When it comes designing effective, on-brand content that drives brand awareness and loyalty, we’re the only content marketing agency you need.
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