It has become something of a cliché in digital marketing circles that “Content is King.” It is a term that has been used in so many different ways, to mean so many different things, to so many different kinds of marketers.
And yet it is as true today as it has ever been. Content is indeed king, but it rules in different ways depending on your business, role, prospects, and customers.
By 2019, global content marketing spend is expected to reach $300 Billion. Today, more than ever, organizations across the world spend – on average – over a third of their marketing time and effort creating content for inbound marketing purposes.
You only need to look at the swathe of sponsored content and guest blog posts that appear on the Internet every few hours to appreciate the power of content marketing for brands.
But there is actually a very fine line between producing content that is a) contextual, informative, insightful, and b) simply shrouded as a sales pitch.
To prevent that – and to boost the effectiveness of your content marketing efforts at a time when it is so much harder to be seen, heard and respected – there are four pillars of good content that will always stand the test of time.
1. Content Needs CONTEXT
Understanding the current issues and concerns of your primary audience is ultimately why you will succeed or fail as a business and, as such, is a huge part of your content marketing. You want your content to resonate with your target audience(s) and provide solutions to the problems they’re facing.
Community groups, forums, and discussion sites are great places to glean information about your demographics, allowing you to create content that is targeted to them and hits home. If your visitors find your content interesting and useful, there’s a much greater chance they’ll share it, act on it, and keep you in mind. That kind of organic reach is priceless on an increasingly pay-to-play digital marketing landscape.
The bottom line is your audiences want content that is easy to consume, to the point and valuable.
When Content Is King, Rule No.1: Craft Content that Addresses the Pain Points of Customers and ProspectsClick To Tweet
2. Content Needs PURPOSE
With contextual topics and areas of focus now in hand, begin to build a content library which comprises different pieces of content that can be leveraged across all your marketing channels.
For example, you may decide to write a blog post on your website which addresses a particular pain point, challenge or opportunity within the marketplace. This will, of course, be published and hopefully promoted via all of your social media channels to drive traffic to your website.
But what if you took this further, complementing this blog post with a more in-depth piece of thought leadership; something like an eBook that delves deeper and provides even more tangible insights. This larger piece can be used as a means of obtaining more information about your website visitors, via email address, name, role, etc.
When Content Is King, Rule No.2: Build a Content Library for All Your Marketing ChannelsClick To Tweet
3. Content Needs SCHEDULING
Depending on your goals and line of business, a content marketing schedule and action plan should range anywhere from 3 months to 2 years. It should outline and document every day, week, and month with a content plan that is timely and relevant to that given time. It needs to be completed each month to keep your content marketing strategy on track.
A clear content marketing schedule will mean that you’re never without something to post, or left looking for ideas at the last minute. It will also mean you are ahead of the game creating content that fits exactly that period of time when prospects and customers need topical insights to help them make informed decisions.
When Content Is King, Rule No.3: Create a Timeline and Action PlanClick To Tweet
4. Content Needs MEASURING
Producing content is one thing, but understanding how well it boosts your prospects is quite another. Fortunately, Google and the major social media platforms have fantastic analytical tools to enable you to gain powerful insights into the effectiveness of your content – by demographics, seasonality, content type and amplification strategy.
Some of the most important information you can obtain from these analytical tools relates to how well your pages and posts are performing. This is invaluable when you are planning your future content as it allows you to concentrate on the types that are truly resonating with your primary audience, and spend less time on the types that aren’t.
When Content Is King, Rule No.4: Track, Evaluate and ImproveClick To Tweet
When time and resources are so precious, building an integrated content marketing strategy can on the surface appear to be a steep hill to climb. But if you build your strategy around these 4 pillars, you won’t go wrong.
Doing so will see your business creating content that thinks bigger picture, talks about ‘them not us’, is timely in delivery, highly relevant in focus and authoritative in voice.