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With the release of the Google Panda algorithm update in February 2011, unique and high quality content has become increasingly important for a website’s rankings on this powerful search engine. More significantly, from a pure user-experience perspective, relevant and engaging content is a quintessential component that not only reflects the value of a website, but also the brand as a whole. The word “content” is typically associated with written text on a company’s website, but in the larger scope, content marketing really encompasses a variety of initiatives both on and off-site. From videos to infographics to social posts to consumer-generated-media (user generated content), in order to captivate, inform, and engage your intended audience, it’s vital to have a carefully executed content marketing strategy. Here are five tips you can utilize to improve your content marketing campaign:

1. Content marketing should be well planned out, yet remain flexible and adaptable.
Content marketing should be strategically defined and thoroughly documented, and generally involves:

  • Setting Clear Goals And Objectives – What do you wish to accomplish with your content marketing? Are you trying to drive more traffic to your website? Create more social buzz around your brand? Boost the conversion rate of your products? Increase lead generation or newsletter signups? Understanding what you intend to achieve with content marketing will provide you with a general direction in your strategy.
  • Outlining Key Metrics To Track And Report – With your goals and objectives in mind, identify the key metrics that you want to track, report, and analyze to make adjustments. For example, if your content marketing objective is to drive more traffic to your website, you may want to track and report the unique visits coming from a particular piece of content and see whether it is helping you to meet this goal. If you’re looking to utilize content marketing strategies to get more leads for an email marketing campaign, then setting up event tracking can help determine which posts are driving the most signups.
  • Identifying Your Target Audience And Their Key Personas – With an abundance of brand new content sprouting across the Internet each and every day, knowing exactly who you want to reach with your content and what they are like can help you refine your marketing strategy to attract your intended audience. You can gain valuable information about the types of users that are already engaged with your site by taking a look at the Google Analytics demographics and interests reports. This can give you key insights about your existing audience and help you create content that will resonate with them.
  • Adopting A Voice And Style That Speaks To Your Target Audience And Is Representative Of Your Brand – The content you create for millennials could be drastically different from that which you use to attract their grandparents. Make sure you employ a style and tone that resonates with your target audience, but do so without sacrificing the authenticity of your brand.
  • Establishing Consistency In Frequency Of Posts And Tone – Create a content calendar to engage your audience on a regular basis. This way your audience will know when to expect content from you and how frequently they should be checking your site for posts. It’s especially beneficial to remain consistent if you already have a solid foundation of followers in place.

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While it’s certainly important to have a content calendar to guide your initiatives, always keep room for spontaneity. For example, following the 2015 Grammy’s, the dress worn by well-known artist Rihanna became an overnight Internet sensation. TBS’ beloved series “Family Guy” most likely did not have Peter Griffin’s new dress on the initial content calendar, but when Rihanna’s pink fluffy dress became a trending topic, Peter Griffin also appeared donning an outfit of uncanny resemblance. The takeaway here is that even if you have your entire content marketing strategy outlined by date, don’t hesitate to make last minute changes when a fitting opportunity comes along.

 

2. Aim to produce content that’s relevant, unique, interesting, and valuable to your audience by conducting research, leveraging different tools, and thinking outside of the box.
The Internet is saturated with a wide array of content, both good and bad, thus making it extra difficult to present fresh and captivating content consistently. Researching pertinent topics regarding your company and reading about what’s trending in your industry can provide you with content ideas. There are a variety of tools online that you can utilize across various content marketing strategies to get a better gauge on what interests people and to brainstorm ideas. Below are a few examples:

  • Buzzsumo: Allows you to see posts of a certain topic with the highest amount of engagement on social media platforms. You can assess the type of content that is most popular among a shared or similar target audience.
  • Google Search: Take a look at what shows up as the top results on Google for a particular subject, and learn about what makes the content exceptional.
  • Trending Topics On Facebook And Popular Hashtags On Instagram: These features on social media are real-time indicators of what people are currently interested in.
  • Ubersuggest: This tool is great for showing you what people are searching for based off of your target keywords.

Be creative in your content marketing and outshine your competition. Don’t limit your content initiatives to just blog posts. Instead, include visual, interactive, and shareable items in your strategy, such as infographics or videos.

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3. Content that lives on your website is top priority, but don’t forget to get social.

Social media’s ubiquitous presence makes it an integral part of modern day content marketing. Promoting your content across a variety of social channels can increase its exposure and popularity. Even utilizing social media as a direct content marketing platform is not far-fetched. The “Happy” artist, Pharrell Williams, wore a hat shaped like Arby’s logo to the 2014 Grammy’s. Arby’s then took this opportunity and tweeted Pharrell, “Can we have our hat back?” The singer took the message in good humor and re-tweeted a reply, which was also re-tweeted numerous times by his fans. This tweet went viral, clearly reflecting the unstoppable power of social media.

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Network with other websites and organizations and welcome the opportunity when others are wiling to help promote your content.

 

4. Involve your audience to be a part of the content creation process.

  • Invite your audience to write reviews about your company and publish their opinions on your site.
  • Start a forum on your site so that your audience can communicate their ideas with each other.
  • Motivate your audience to participate in a contest and share their work on your site.
  • Create a hashtag for your company or campaign and feature your audience’s posts on your site.

Some of the most successful content campaigns can be attributed to user-generated content. Want to #shareacoke? What about participate in the #alsicebucketchallenge?

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5. Design your website so that your quality content can reach its target audience.
Even the most amazing content would be futile if it remains unseen. To ensure that users can find the content on your website, categorize it properly and place it under appropriate headings that can be identified with ease. Make sure that you’re linking to your posts from other pages of your site as well. A good rule of thumb is that you should never be more than three clicks away from any page on your site.

 

Capitalize on SEO efforts such as including relevant keywords in the copy and meta data and establishing a user-friendly page construction. This will help you rank more effectively for long tail search terms and obtain organic traffic from search engines. Aside from that, it’s important to market your content to other websites and influencers. Building high quality backlinks to your content will help boost your rankings and referral traffic as well.

Finally, ensure that your website is mobile friendly, because mobile traffic is on the rise and many people will be accessing your content on their tablets or phones.

Hope this article provided you with some insight on content marketing strategy. Be sure to keep these tips in mind in refining your content campaigns, and don’t hesitate to try new methods or ditch the ones that don’t work well for your site or industry. Good luck, and feel free to add your own strategies in the comments below!

 

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