Content marketing is defined by the Content Marketing Institute as “a type of marketing that involves the creation and sharing of online material (such as videos, blogs, and social media posts) that does not explicitly promote a brand but is intended to stimulate interest in its products or services”.
According to stats from Smart Insights for 2017, 90% of companies used content marketing in 2016 and the number is predicted to increase over this year. Apparently, 1,440 WordPress blogs are published every minute and 500 hours of content are uploaded to YouTube. The most popular forms of content – as identified by the Content Marketing Institute – are social media content, case studies, blogs and enewsletters.
And yet, despite these statistics, approximately half of companies fail to integrate their content marketing strategy with their overall marketing and business goals.
When was the last time that you paid attention to your content marketing? Does it tie in with your overall strategy for marketing and growing your business? Or do you fly by the seat of your pants when it comes to creating content, relying on inspiration to hit as and when you have a spare moment?
If so, this article is for you. We’ve put together our seven top tips to help you improve your content marketing and use it to increase brand awareness and attract new clients:
1. Be consistent
One of the most important steps you can take to improve your content marketing is to come up with a plan, including an editorial calendar, which enables you to publish new content consistently.
You don’t have to create new content on a daily basis but you should try to identify the most realistic intervals and stick to them. For some businesses, this might mean publishing a new blog and newsletter on a fortnightly basis, while others might only be able to commit to monthly articles.
Ideally, you should post to social media, particularly Facebook and/or Twitter, on a daily basis but, if this isn’t doable because of time commitments, for example, you could at least commit to posting two to three times a week.
By posting at regular intervals, your fans and followers will come to expect new content from you and look out for it as part of their routine. If, on the other hand, you publish a cluster of new articles but then fail to post anything else for six months, you will lose the interest that your first flurry of blogs attracted.
When it comes to content marketing, slow but consistent trumps busy but unreliable any day of the week.
2. Know your goals
Another way to improve your content marketing is to know your goals. Why do you want to create fresh content? Is it to improve your organic SEO? Is it to build your reputation and authority within your field? Is it to promote your treatments or services?
For most businesses, content management serves a combination of purposes. To be effective, it must support your overall goals for your business.
3. Know your audience
A helpful tip when writing content of any description is to picture someone who represents your target audience sitting in front of you. If you know who that person is and what motivates them or what keeps them awake at night, you can create content that resonates with them. Your content may not appeal to everyone – what content can? – but if you understand your audience, it will appeal to someone who needs what you have to offer.
4. Forget about word counts
For a long time, people held on to the idea that a blog had to be a specific word count to appeal to Google – typically, 300 to 400 words. In our experience, there is no magic number when it comes to word count. Your content should be as long or as short as it needs to be to cover a topic appropriately.
We do know that Google prefers longer content because it contains more clues for the search engine to index it correctly in searches. Also, longer articles that provide value to the reader tend to decrease website bounce rates and increase site dwell time – both positive signals to Google about the quality of the content.
Our advice is to forget about word counts and concentrate on writing a strong article that your audience will find engaging.
5. Think about your organic SEO strategy
When planning your content, you should always keep your organic SEO strategy in mind. What are the search terms and keywords for which you want to rank highly? Which treatments or services do you want to promote? What do you want to be known for professionally? For example, do you want to become the ‘go-to’ practitioner for a particular treatment?
Once you know that answers to these questions, use them to plan out your content marketing. If, for example, there’s a specific treatment that you want to promote, you could publish some blogs and case studies about it on your website and social media channels.
6. Don’t publish and forget
One of the most common mistakes businesses make is to create and publish fresh content and then assume that people will automatically find it now that it’s in the public arena. In reality, you will need to bring people to your content – even the most viral content needs a little help to get noticed.
Here are just a few ways that you can flag up your fresh content:
- Post a link to a blog article on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn several times each week, intermingled with your other content
- Pull out key points from the article and turn them into Tweets, Facebook statuses and memes on Instagram
- Add social sharing buttons to all of your posts
- Share your latest blog article in your enewsletter
- Create a blog board on Pinterest
7. Be prepared to invest in content
It’s important to be realistic about your content marketing needs and recognise that you may need to invest your own or staff time, or hire a skilled content creator to write content on your behalf. This might mean engaging the services of a marketing agency, copywriter, virtual assistant, social media manager, or even a combination of some or all of these. As we said at the beginning of this article, the key is to identify what you can realistically and consistently commit to in order to maintain and grow the interest in your brand.
Above all, content marketing can help you to:
- Create engagement with new and potential clients
- Provide more information about treatments and services
- Grow your professional reputation
- Educate people about your industry
- Bring new traffic to your website
- Develop brand awareness
- Improve your organic SEO and rankings
- Stand out from your competitors by providing greater information and value
Need help with your content marketing? Call us at Cosmetic Digital on 0115 9140 640 to start a conversation.