Let us start with a question. Which form of marketing is most suitable to digital marketers?
To give you a direct answer, it is without a doubt, ‘content marketing’. But to take you right through it and its many inflections, we shall look at the broader spectrum. Digital marketing is the king of this age and content marketing has emerged as the Queen.
Marketing these days has become more focussed and practical. Marketers have realized the fact that the best option to build customers is to build quality content related to their service. Factually, more than 82% of marketers have recorded a positive ROI from their blogs alone. Content marketing takes a whole new approach separate from traditional marketing. Content marketers tend to promote the need for a service rather than the service itself. After all, no one likes to see bulks of advertisements pop up which in the end makes no sense. Check out this image specifying three stages of the content marketing funnel-
Through content marketing, companies have shifted focus to building relationships with prospective customers. They have realized that the most successful businesses have thrived on strong and long-lasting relations with customers. The theory of providing value to customers have attained a greater scale through content marketing and well, stats stand strong to support this phenomenon – 68% of consumers have a more positive view after consuming that brand’s content.
What does content marketing bring to your business?
Content marketing has been on a rise and it is much more than a coincidence. There are various advantages of opting content marketing in the strategic marketing mix. Let us see a few of them:
- Increased website traffic
One of the key reasons for content marketing is to divert traffic to a website. Afterall website for a company is its representation to the outside world. Through content marketing, several new people get either attracted or diverted to business websites, which is a great aid to all other SEO efforts. In fact, research says an investment of fewer than 6 hours a week, led to an increase in website traffic for 91% marketers.
- Better website optimization
Content marketing being an off-page SEO helps a business owner to optimize the actual website as per the feedback received on its content from external sources. This helps in delivering the best value to consumers when they scramble through a company’s website.
- Word-of-mouth promotions
The basic idea behind content marketing is to help a consumer develop an idea of the service. What it does is that it creates a certain image in the viewers’ mind and if the content proves to be effective, all the viewers go about telling other people about the idea and service. This will initiate word-of-mouth promotions which shall be a great help to other marketing efforts.
This list shall continue to several pages and this shows how effective and desirous content marketing has become. A well-planned marketing strategy in tandem with content marketing shall be the secret key to lead generation. Now you must be wondering what are the best practices of content marketing that could help you generate enough leads. Do not worry, we have got you covered.
Here we shall look at 9 such practices that would help you a great deal in lead generation.
- Visuals take you a long way
Content marketing is all about attention. There are several content materials that are available on the internet eyeing for viewership, but the one that gets the best response is usually the one that appeals to the viewer. For better viewership, you have to improve on the visual aspect of your content. It might be better than the rest, but to bring an audience to it, it must be catchy enough
Did you know, the brain processes lots of information every day out of which 90% are visual?
To make your content more appealing, you can induct several elements into your content space. This can include infographics, which shall be useful to those who are quick readers and do not have much time to read through an entire blog. It can also contain pictures related to your content. Pictures add visual vibe and avoid the monotonous feel of written content. This shall help you in converting viewers into leads. Tools like Canva, Visually, Venngage are some helpful resources to help you with embedding visuals in a content copy.
- Tap your Target Consumers
After all, what’s the use of your content if it doesn’t reach your target consumers? But before that, do you know who your target consumers are? If not, start identifying today and segment them wisely, because without a specified consumer set in mind all your marketing strategies are just a waste of time.
One of the many ways to achieve this insight is to go for sample distribution of actual products. In this exercise, your primary and initial content would be the product or service itself. This will give you a direct and more competent idea as to how different sections react and you can choose your audience accordingly. By combining the above information with a good concept, you can develop better and more responsible content which will also fetch you higher lead generation.
- Focus on the long-term impact
Drafting content is not an overnight’s play, it demands a considerable amount of time and effort. A lot of research has to be done, multiple trials and considerable funds are also employed. All these factors make it necessary for contents to bear a long-term advantage for the company.
Also, content marketing is one form where the same thing has to be modified several times based on observations and response. This can only be possible if the actual content stays on the surface for a greater period. You are more likely to get 74% more strong results if you regularly update your old blogs. In fact, this strategy has recorded an overall increase of 402% in website traffic!
To ensure the longevity of your content, you must take into account various future considerations, such as the life of the content publishing source, the relevance of your content to changing conditions and other similar factors, while formulating the content strategy. You must also consider the adaptability of your content to changing needs. It has to be minutely planned so that it could prove to be a lead generator.
- Call–to-Action decides the next step
Content marketing involves a high degree of communication with the reader or viewer. When a viewer lands up on your content, he should be engrossed into the subject. Such engrossment will not only educate him but also impart great trust to the viewer on your content. But what after that? Where do you want your consumer to go? Back to the lost crowd?
Certainly, No. This is where CTA or Call to action comes into play. A good CTA has the power to convert a prospect into a lifelong customer. Almost 90% of viewers who read the headline, also read your CTA copy. However, you need to critically analyze the authenticity and reliability of your content, only then your leads would show a positive trend. Here’s a classic example of a call-to-action on Instagram
- Multiple Channels equals multiple growths
Content marketing is largely dependent on the platform on which the content is published. The growth and reach of a particular content are decided in the context of the platform and your industry’s play in it. Hence, it becomes important for marketers to choose a particular platform especially in this age where there are abundant content publishing platforms. For instance, for B2B marketers LinkedIn makes more than 60% of their traffic to blogs and websites.
However, choosing the correct and most profitable platform is dependent on several factors. Firstly, the kind of audience a particular platform serves to or interacts with has a huge bearing on the selection criteria. Secondly, the scope of support that a platform extends to different forms of content, for example, a website may not publish video content that easily or a particular graphic may not come in terms with the website guidelines. All these factors jointly contribute to the channel choosing process.
Ultimately, a good mix of several channels would fetch you maximum leads. Factually, a typical B2B marketer distributes their content through 6 different channels, while a B2C marketer uses 7 channels.
- Never Compromise on Viewers Security
The advent of the internet has opened up several loopholes that might compromise on viewer’s security and the viewers are highly aware of this fact. As a result, not many of the common users go through such platforms that have or pose a risk to their internet security. So, if you chose a platform that is not secured, your content might miss an important eye.
To help you prevent this, we recommend you to conduct external research of such platforms you desire to put your content on. You need to focus on such terms that relate to collection and preservation of user data, use of such data, legal feasibility of such collection and most importantly, consent of the user. You have to make sure that the user is well aware of what sort of data is being collected and how it shall be used. This shall infuse a sense of security among your viewers and fetch you better leads.
- You ALSO got to do what your competitors are doing
This is a point where most of the marketers miss out an interesting opportunity to learn and improve and it is one of the cheapest and most reliable methods. As a marketer, you must be having some great competition in content marketing. What you can do here is, you can sit back and observe how your competitor is going about its business and what are the modes and themes your competitor is using to gain an advantage over you.
Being a marketer, you can prepare a keyword chart based on your competitor’s performance. You can also analyze the channels your competitor is using to promote his or her content. To obtain better leads, you have to include all the better points from your competitor’s marketing strategy and combine them with your plan of action. This will not only result in greater lead generation but will also help you gain a strategic edge over your competitor.
- Streamlining is Crucial
How are relationships meant to form and last? Through understanding about each other, right? While you market your content prepared exclusively for people to read or see, you need to be well aware of the fact that you have entered into a process of building a solemn relation with your viewer who can be a prospective consumer.
To develop such a relationship, it is important for viewers to have a clear understanding of your organization. To go through with this thought, it is important for you to streamline your content with your organizational values and beliefs.
- Niche Content establishes authority
Doing everything that you can and still not being able to nurture quality leads? Chances are, you are lost amidst the crowd of generic content! The way out? Craft niche content – believe me, your audience loves exclusive content. After all, in the world where everyone is running after quantity, who wouldn’t love some exclusively crafted quality content. In 2014, 57% of marketers said that custom content is their top priority – so now you know its ultimate competency?
The first idea while developing content should be of what your viewer wants and relates to and not what you have. A person will be least interested in content if it does not relate to his endeavors. On the other hand, a person shall be deeply interested in your content if he finds it useful and relatable. In the end, you want to be a resolver for your viewer and not a problem creator.
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“Content Marketing is the only marketing left!”
Content marketing is the most rewarding effort for a digital marketer, provided he is ready to put the effort and research it demands. If your content is relevant and authentic, you will soon see a surge in your leads gradually. Lead generation can most certainly be stated as a benchmark for content marketing. It is the result of what you brought out of people through your interaction with them.
In content marketing, you cannot depend upon content only. All other facets relating to its creation, delivery, promotion, and feedback have to be considered. You need a strongly valued team to stick to content creation and improvement. This sort of marketing is a never-ending process in itself.
Many leading brands have been a testimonial of success that is achieved through proper content marketing. It is all about understanding and delivering what consumer needs. A Consumer is a kingpin in the market and if consumers are kept engrossed into a company, that company will never fall short of generating enough leads.
But wait, I want to end this extremely informative piece of content on a happy not. So, here’s some good news for you –
Content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing!