Content marketing is very popular today. Not a day goes by without this term being mentioned on the web. The reason ? Content marketing has become the new deal. It was presented as a new way of marketing…
Over the years, traditional marketing has become less and less effective. Consumers who have become more educated have started blocking ads, erasing promotional emails. That’s when adblockers became popular. Companies therefore understood that they had to approach their prospects differently.
Content marketing has taken off so much that it has become the hottest topic we know today. It is essential for your business and good for your customers for at least three reasons:
- Sales increase ;
- Cost savings;
- Acquisition of the best customers loyal to your brand.
These are advantages that abusive marketing does not bring with the same effectiveness. And between the theories evoked and the practice on the ground, the distance is immense.
In this article, I want to point out that companies are wrong. They think they’re doing content marketing, but they’re wasting time. I do not accuse them of doing things wrong. It is not entirely their fault. The error is rather to be blamed on pseudo-experts and other content creators who are dumping several articles on the internet about content marketing. They say you need to post articles at a breakneck pace to get traffic and leads. Nothing could be further from the truth.
For my part, I would also advise you to invest in content marketing. But I have to warn you: posting articles on your blog has nothing to do with content marketing.
You have to do content marketing the best way.
Why am I so assertive in saying that you are hurting content marketing?
Let me explain. In reality, what we observe are convinced companies who have been led to believe that content is the new Holy Grail. They believed it. They launched a blog and set out to produce content on a rhythm. Sometimes, the blog was updated in a haphazard way, by a collaborator who wrote an article according to the mood of the day and his inspiration for example.
After some time, it is clear for these companies that the objectives have not been achieved. What they expected never showed up. They are disappointed and convinced that content marketing does not work.
Who should we accuse?
There is evidence that content was produced long before the advent of content marketing on the web. Remember the 90s and early 2000s that saw the birth of the first blogs. The production of the articles was palpable, bloggers already existed and made a name for themselves. Does that mean it was content marketing? No.
By the way, to clarify things, let us take inspiration from the definition given by the Content Marketing Institute on this subject :
Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on the creation and distribution of valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience and, ultimately, to generate profitable customer action.
This definition specifies the requirements to use content marketing perfectly in your business.
But before I go any further, I want to speak out against a posture that companies adopted when they understood that content marketing is the new Holy Grail. This attitude consists in putting aside and definitively advertising.
True, disruptive advertising should be banned, but useful, non-obstructive advertising should be used if only to bring valuable content to your audience.
What does it take to make content marketing happen?
You need a documented strategy. Because without a strategy, there is no worthy human enterprise. This also applies to content marketing which needs extraordinary content to exist and be effective.
Marketing is impossible without extraordinary content
Whatever type of marketing strategy you use, content marketing should be part of your marketing process, it should not go it alone. This is an opportunity to clarify that quality content is part of all forms of marketing:
- Social media marketing: the content marketing strategy comes before your social media strategy;
- SEO: search engines reward companies that publish quality and consistent content;
- PR: Successful public relations strategies address the issues that readers take into account, not their business;
- PPC: For the PPC to work, you need great content behind it;
- Inbound Marketing: Content is the key to driving inbound traffic and leads;
- Content strategy: Content strategy is part of most content marketing strategies.
If you have understood that content comes into play in all marketing plans, it is time to see how to develop your content marketing strategy and hope to reap positive results.
In this section, I’m going to approach this strategy in a minimalist way to avoid overloading you with too much information at once.
Define your goals
- To educate;
- To entertain ;
- Promote yourself;
- Increase traffic;
- Develop your branding.
Define your audience (target)
What is the nature of your audience: B2b or B2C? Because depending on the target, your approach will be different. B2B is focused on analytics, while B2C is based on emotion.
Analyze the market
- Competition: how does it communicate? What are its channels? What keywords does she use?
- Consumer needs: what are they looking for? How do competitors meet this need?
Build your foundation: create your blog
You have to build your blog. It will be your fortress:
- Integrate lead capture tools: landing page;
- Integrate an email marketing service;
- Create social profiles: Facebook, Twitter, Instangram, Snapchat depending on your target. LinkedIn will be essential if you target professionals.
It is advised not to disperse yourself, because the abundance of social networks would waste your time and money in their management.
The lead acquisition system
The biggest goal should be to capture contact information for your visitors. To do this, you must use all possible strategies: capture form on the sidebar, opt-in at the end of the article, pop-up on landing on the blog, opt-in in the middle of the article, etc.
The development of the editorial strategy
What types of content will you produce?
- Blog articles;
- Guide / white paper;
- Video ;
- Practical tools;
The content created must be in line with your values, your mission, the image of your products or services.
Example: Redbull creates content focused on extreme sport and is considered today as a large-scale content producer.
Adopt a clean tone
Tone is what sets you apart from your competition when consuming your content. It’s the atmosphere, the feeling. It defines your personality. So you and your team need to define your own.
Build an editorial calendar
What to publish? Who publishes? When to publish? Which keywords to target? How to recycle the content?
The editorial calendar will help you plan content to produce and publish without running out of ideas.
Without promotion, nobody will know what you are or who you are. The content you create should be consumed by your target. So you have an obligation to show him what you did for him.
Social networks: Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter advertising; ads-guestblogging: participation in groups, participation in forums.
You should always measure your actions. What benefits have you obtained? A simple document should allow you to trace all of these metrics:
- Number of emails captured;
- Number of visits to the blog or site;
- Number of people who downloaded the application or subscribed to the service;
- Number of ebooks downloaded.
In this article, we discussed the misuse of content marketing. I have shown that publishing blog articles only is not content marketing. I supported this idea with the existence of a strategic document, proof of real involvement. The last piece of advice I can give you is to use a documented strategy and follow the steps described by the definition of the Content Marketing Institute. Content marketing works great. It would be a shame if you got it wrong and didn’t get results. If you get stuck, you can call in professionals who can assist you.
Have you already introduced content marketing into your business? What is your experience to date? Do not hesitate to share your results.