Thanks to the digital revolution, there are innumerable ways for a company to promote itself. If you’re seeking the most bang for your buck, though, you should seriously consider implementing a few content marketing best practices. This form of inbound marketing has consistently proven effective, and if you’re not making an effort in this area, your revenue is going to suffer.
Whether it’s a white paper or a how-to video, your potential clients want content. Of course, not any old content will do. That’s why it’s time you put the following practices into play. You’re likely to notice a difference almost immediately.
1. Always Convey Expertise
One of the most important content marketing practices is conveying expertise. Even if your brand voice isn’t particularly serious or professional, you want potential clients to view you as a thought leader in your industry. This means showcasing a high proficiency in every aspect of your field. Consider the content displayed below from Redshift by Autodesk.
The company has its hands in areas ranging from manufacturing to construction, and as you can see from this example, they are very informed on their industry. This article isn’t just a carbon copy of others. The title alone tells you to expect an in-depth look at how new players in the field may have huge effects on current services.
Always ensure that your content conveys a high level of expertise.
2. Content Marketing Should Provide Value
Consumers don’t want content for content’s sake. When they see your videos, blogs, white papers, or any other content, they want to get value from their time commitment. In addition to helping you build a positive brand reputation, you’ll also show potential clients that you’re in tune with their needs. Consider the following Facebook post.
This company provides home inspection services, but during the COVID-19 outbreak, they recognized that their clients had other concerns in mind. This led to the creation of a guide for staying motivated and getting work done from home. Even though this is unlikely to lead to a direct sale, they’ve ensured that readers get real value from their content.
3. Don’t Forget SEO
Marketers have been talking about search engine optimization (SEO) for a long time. So long, in fact, that it’s simply become background noise for many. This is unfortunate since – regardless of the next big digital marketing tool to hit the scene – optimization will remain an essential step for anyone focused on content marketing best practices.
Consider the following blog post:
This is a blog from a company offering online giving software. While you might not see it immediately, there’s plenty of focus on SEO here. First, readers are more likely to click on titles with numbered lists. They also make the point of using their target keyword, “data metrics,” in the title and first paragraph. Once you open the article, you also find plenty of internal and external links.
All these steps are geared towards improving search engine optimization. This is one rule you should never forget.
4. Personalize Content Whenever Possible
While it may seem difficult to customize something like a YouTube video ad towards a specific audience, this form of personalization is one of the most essential content marketing best practices. Among consumers, 90 percent get annoyed if they’re presented with content that’s not “personally relevant” to them. Additionally, 67 percent of Millennials and Gen-Zers expect marketing to always be personalized.
Take a look at the following content to get a good idea:
While this may not immediately seem personalized, Google actually targeted the ad to a very specific subset of people. Individuals who ran ads on Facebook and Instagram saw this promotion – because thanks to Facebook targeting, Google already knew they were engaged in paid marketing.
You should make the effort to personalize as much content as possible. From using readers’ first names in emails to having your website “remember” the type of items they’ve viewed in the past – it all improves your content marketing strategy.
5. Ask Questions
Regardless of what type of content you create, asking consumers questions is vital. In addition to making them feel important and involved, it increases engagement on every type of content. Fortunately, people love sharing their opinions. This is why you shouldn’t be afraid to ask for them. The following blog excerpt is a great example:
As you can see, there’s nothing complicated about this. After a story about how bad certain airlines are at bumping passengers, the author merely asked readers for their opinions on specific airline companies. Engagement improves SEO and shareability. This makes polls, surveys, and “tell us what you think” comments (even during videos) powerful tools in your arsenal of content marketing best practices.
6. Repurpose Great Content
We’ve all had a moment where we felt like content marketing geniuses. This usually occurs when we create a blog, infographic, video or other promotional post that gets 10 times the engagement we’re used to. Thanks to content repurposing, this doesn’t have to be single fleeting moment. By converting what you already know works, you can ensure it continues paying dividends.
Check out the following example of repurposed content:
Lowe’s created a blog that provides value to their customers, and they also repurposed it into video content. Repurposed content has shown – on average – to reach 75 percent of the previous content’s engagement. Of course, your updated content could also easily surpass its former self. It all depends upon the platform in question and what consumers prefer in a given situation.
7. Always Maintain Branding
No matter what form of content you’re creating, you should always strive to maintain branding. This can include your brand voice, colors, slogans, and any other form of identifiable material. Consistent brand representation can increase revenue by up to 23 percent, so there’s no excuse to not engage in this content marketing best practice.
Take a look at the following example:
You can see from the Heart and Stroke Foundation that – whether it’s a blog, ad, poster or even a company advocacy badge – brand consistency is vital. This ensures consumers can immediately identify your content when they see it, so all the hard work you put into content marketing best practices will be credited directly to your brand.
8. Always Track Engagement
Of all the content marketing best practices out there, the most important has nothing to do with what you’re showing consumers. It’s all about what you’re showing yourself. Tracking engagement on all your platforms is absolutely essential. This will tell you what you’re doing right, what you could be doing better, and what simply isn’t working.
Check out the following Facebook page dashboard:
This new page has a relatively small reach, but you can see that their uploaded photo from January 9 “knocked it out of the park.” Not only does this provide an idea of content that can be repurposed, but the page owner can also take hints from this to identify the content their followers are likely to enjoy.
The point is this: If you’re not paying attention to what works, you’ll never know how to replicate success.
Discover Your Content Marketing Best Practices
Even though these general guidelines are applicable across industries, it’s important to remember that specific fields will always benefit more from certain promotional strategies. This is where the final content marketing best practice – tracking your results – comes into play. If you find what works and stick with it, your company is going to see great days ahead.
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