Whether you’ve been running a content marketing campaign for months or years, you might be surprised to learn a few facts you don’t know. Take a look at these five little known realities which relate to the content you’re creating and use them to boost your content marketing strategy…
1. Your Fans Want Good Content More Than You Think:
Sure, you want good content — but did you know your fans want it, too?
According to Content Plus, interesting content is actually one of the top three reasons people follow brands online. That means the content you’re creating and sharing is about more than SEO or branding — it’s about drawing an audience that’s waiting for you.
What kind of content is good content?
“90 percent of customers find custom content useful,” says Kevin Alley at PR Daily. In other words, they want to see highly relevant, customized data that relates to your industry and speaks to their needs.
Consider these examples of creative, interesting, custom content marketing:
Home Depot: Home Depot is a retail store on top of its content marketing campaigns. From its seasonal Pinterest boards to its regularly updated blog filled with DIY tricks, this company constantly offers custom content to its followers.
Hubspot: Inbound marketing software company HubSpot uses custom landing pages to connect with followers and promote its products.
Tollhouse: Drawing on its target audience’s values and interests, Tollhouse ran the clever “Bake the World a Better Place” campaign, which involved commercials that showcased heartfelt baking moments.
As these examples demonstrate, there are many formats to content marketing, from blog posts to videos to social media updates. What they all have in common is an understanding of audience and a crafting of content based on that.
2. Content Marketing Is about Engagement:
Sure, you might think you know this one already — but does your content marketing show it?
Far too many brands get lost churning out content without a purpose, despite 68% believing engagement is their top priority. If you post months of creative blog posts but no one sees them, what good are you accomplishing? If you churn out interesting boards on Pinterest but your audience doesn’t respond to it, you’re not meeting your goals. So how can you increase engagement in content marketing? Consider the following tips:
a) Be More Interesting: The single biggest step you can take to increase traffic and connect with fans is also the hardest: Be more interesting. Do some casual market research and look at companies in your industry engaging well with fans — What are they writing about? How are they doing it? And, most importantly, how can you be more interesting than that?
b) Promote Your Content: Before someone can engage with your content, he or she has to know it exists. So to boost traffic and views, QuickSprout recommends emailing your content the day it goes out (via newsletter or promotional email with landing page), posting it to social media (Tweeting three or four times throughout the week, posting to Google+, posting to Facebook, pinning photos, etc.). They also recommend regularly connecting with other bloggers (and occasionally emailing them personally about something you’ve posted), and making promotion a daily activity.
c) Respond to Readers: Whenever possible, when someone @replies you on Twitter, comments on a blog post, or reshares your Facebook post, respond. When someone asks you a question, answer it. This is the key for building community and engagement around your brand.
3. Leveraging the Power of Influencers Expands Your Reach:
When you want your content marketing to reach farther (and, let’s be honest, who doesn’t?), you need to leverage the power of the influencers. Find the people in your industry — bloggers, authors, social media big-wigs, etc.—with large, engaged audiences, and find ways to connect with them.
4. Growing an Audience is Hard Work:
Large audiences are not born overnight. They come through consistent, high-quality work, plain and simple. So put your nose to the grindstone day after day, growing your content skills, and eventually your work will show it.
5. It’s Not about You; It’s about Them:
“One of the biggest mistakes I see in the online world is people making their engagement efforts all about themselves,” says SrinivasRao at Search Engine Journal. If you want to write content that converts visitors into customers, you’ve got to write content that’s about your audience. Instead of writing about your company and your products, write about the rewards that they bring to your audience. Make your content about them instead of you, and you make it powerful.
How could you implement the information in this post into your content marketing efforts from now on? What changes will you make? What other facts about content marketing do you consider to be little known? Please leave your comments below.
Shanna Mallon – has written 5 posts on this site.
Shanna Mallon is a writer for Straight North, an Internet marketing agency providing SEO, web development, and other online marketing services, with headquarters in Chicago. Follow Straight North on Twitter and Facebook.