Within the last two years, we’ve seen a monumental shift from the black-hat search engine optimization methods of the past to high-quality inbound marketing techniques. Thanks to Google’s menagerie of animal-themed updates, e.g. Penguin and Panda, the abusive practices of keyword stuffing, link farming, and the mass production of low-grade content are things of the past; we’re left with a marketing world where content marketing is king.
As defined by Forbes, content marketing is an inbound marketing strategy that employs engaging content to offer customers value and service within each piece of content produced. According to Marketing Sherpa, effectively implementing content marketing strategies can increase website traffic by as much as 1,200%, leading directly to more opportunities to make a sale. Of course, you first need to know what makes content marketing strategies effective.
How to Craft Effective Content Marketing Strategies
- A Well-defined Target Audience
- Appreciation of the Mobile Market
- Have a Plan, but…
- Learn to Use Social Media
Content Marketing Institute smartly suggests that all marketers define their target audience before diving into any content marketing strategies. After all, you can’t properly build a web advertising campaign until you know who you’re going to be marketing to. Figure out who it is your product or service will be most usefl to, and start shaping your outreach from there.
According to Mashable, 17.4% of all web traffic now comes from smartphone users. This is why some web stores have seen their mCommerce sales jump as much as 90% in 2013. If you want your content marketing strategies to succeed, you have to start adapting a “mobile first mindset,” as Forbes suggests. Cutting down the length of your content, ridding it of anything that could slow its loading speed, and focusing on punchy headlines are the best ways to have your content found and read in the growing world of mobile computing.
Search Engine Watch recommends all marketers take the time to sit down and create a content delivery plan. However, having said that, you need to be able to adjust your content release schedule to the oftentimes volatile world of marketing. Imagine that you’ve made a plan to release an article about the importance of using RSS feeds. On the day that you’re set to publish that content, a well-known newspaper releases a viral article on why RSS is useless. Your content marketing plan should adjust to either counter and consider the other claim or be altered to fall in-line. These types of content marketing strategies, popularly referred to as “newsjacking,” are great ways to either generate positive publicity or shoot yourself in the foot.
Did you know that, according to LinkedIn, 87% of marketers are using a social media platform, like Facebook, in their content marketing strategies? As KissMetrics shows, more than 30 billion pieces of content are shared between 1.4 billion active Facebook users each month. By learning how to time the release of your own content, promote it, and gain followers from doing so, you can gain a powerful, lucrative following on social media.
Despite what anybody says, content marketing strategies aren’t just about writing great content. That is certainly the biggest battle in the war, but these four tips need to be taken into consideration as well. Only by finding your target audience, appreciating the mobile market, and paying attention to news and social media trends can you get your content in front of the largest possible audience.