This new year rolled around very quickly. If you’re like me, you’re still trying to wrap your head around the fact that it’s been almost two decades since “Y2K”. So I’m a little behind. That’s okay with me though. What’s not okay with me is not having a shiny new strategy for all of my content marketing efforts this new year.
Content marketing is one of those things that is pretty much ever-changing. The companies that are doing it well are fully aware that they have to be innovative, ahead of the curve, and ultimately they need a strategy.
Because I want you to be one of those companies, I’ve listed out a few tips for planning your content marketing strategy for the new year. Don’t worry, there’s still time.
Tip #1: Research
Have you ever heard the expression, find who did it best and then do it better? Okay, it might not be a quote from Buddha or the Dalai Lama but I heard it once and it still drives my work to this day.
Without knowing what is already out there, there is no way for you to offer something unique and new. The very first thing I recommend doing when creating a new content strategy is to dive into what kind of content is already being churned out and which pieces of that content are doing best. Start with your closest competitors. What kind of information are they sharing online? What blog topics are they weighing in on and how often are they publishing content?
Use this information to gauge what’s going on within your industry and online.
How can you use current relevant content that’s being distributed online to improve your own? This can be as simple as taking a general topic that’s being highly engaged with in your industry and offering a different perspective on it.
Start creating content within a popular vertical that hasn’t necessarily been done yet. Create your content with your audience in mind at every level. What haven’t they seen yet? What do they want to see? Doing this research will help you answer both of these questions and more. Taking the time to do the research will give you a leg up on the competition.
Tip #2: Get Creative
Think of the internet as a digital marketplace, because that’s what it is. When you go into a mall or market, there are an infinite amount of eye-catching products just begging to be purchased. It’s the ones draw you in that you’ll end up seriously considering. The same goes for your content online.
If you’re selling a product, give it a story and make a video out of it. Promotional content like video, graphics, and impressive images go incredibly far. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box when creating your content. This includes every type of content, from original images to blog posts.
Consider utilizing multiple forms of content here, your audience will react differently to different forms of content. Each serves its own purpose, so it’s important to have a good amount of short and long-form digital content to adhere to audience preference and where they are in the buying process. Try to be original and don’t be afraid to create something that hasn’t been done before.
Some of the most out of the box content has become the most effective. Think Apple’s color flood video or Nike’s dream crazy video. Some of the best digital marketing content doesn’t necessarily give you every detail of the product, it just pulls you in so you want to learn more. The idea here is to get creative while staying on-brand.
Tip #3: Think Like a Consumer
If you haven’t yet, take the time to create your buyer personas. This will be an incredibly useful guide for creating content. By knowing who your audience is, you’ll know what kind of content they want to see, what they’re more likely to engage with, and ultimately what will convert them to a customer.
Getting into the minds of your audience gives you insight into the most effective places to focus your marketing efforts on. Think in terms of why we as consumers make particular buying decisions. And understand that about 88% of consumers research their purchases online before making a decision. What this means is that the more present you are online, the more likely that you’ll be seen by a potential buyer.
Don’t stop at just being visible online though, think about what a consumer is looking for - this includes things like; positive testimonials, product descriptions, a social media presence, and more.
Let’s start with testimonials. Yelp and Google Reviews are both incredibly popular among consumers, so if you’re ranking low on either, create a strategy to boost your ratings. Then, once you’re making your current customers happy again, ask them to give you a positive review.
Your digital content like video, image, or blogs, are meant to increase the awareness of your product or service, make sure you have an effective website that gives your potential customers all the information they need to make that final purchase or decision.
Every piece of your content marketing strategy serves a purpose. It’s our jobs as marketers to create the most effective content possible and then set those pieces in motion.