It’s almost 2014 and a lot of discussion is going on regarding the new marketing trends that would rule the web sphere. Marketers estimated that around 135 billion dollars will be spent on new digital marketing collaterals [WebDAM study]. The main focus of the marketers will be to provide customers or prospects with highly personalized experiences by creating dynamic content.
According to insights from Hanley-Wood Business Media, around 78% chief marketing officers believe that the future of marketing will depend on custom content and around 50% companies are already implementing customized content marketing strategies.
Let’s have a look at three different types of content marketing strategies, how each of them works and what your approach should be.
1. Long-form Strategy
If you are looking for ways only to increase your traffic, long-form content strategy is not for you. But if you want to engage your readers, this is definitely your perfect tool. And search engines will love you too! The content must be engaging as online users have brief attention span and are likely to get diverted while reading longer pieces of content.
Here are a few examples of long-form content strategies –
Blogging: According to a recent survey by Hubspot, blogs give websites 434% more indexed pages and 97% more indexed links. But to make people read your posts, you must identify the purpose of your blog. Why are you creating it? Do you want to increase awareness, establish expertise or build a community?
This is the most important factor as you need to plan your content based on your blog’s purpose. The blog must enrich the readers’ lives either by answering questions they have, provoking debates or directing them to something resourceful. The likes, expectations and desires of your readers should play the prime role in your blogging strategy. Don’t forget images. People love well-placed pictures that can emphasize certain points, apart from breaking the content up. Infographics are one of the best ways to attract readers to your blog.
Article Writing: Article writing is one of the oldest forms of content marketing. People usually do it for SEO purposes like increasing the number of back links and boosting their organic search ranks. If this is your sole purpose, you are doing it wrong. Reminisce your school days. Why would you read an article unless it helps you to learn about something new and exciting! Nothing has changed much. Even today, articles educate. People will read you only if you can give various angles to a concept. Also, remember that articles are not sales pitch; rather, they should be educational and entertaining. Create a dramatic effect with your works – describe a dream, talk about audience’s issues and offer solution – but in a way that takes your readers on a rollercoaster ride.
Press Release Writing: Old school press release strategy is dead. It is no long a tool to merely improve SEO; instead, a great press release is a web content in itself. Tell the story with your press release that can automatically become news. Your strategy for writing press releases should be to think like a journalist – identify what your story is about. What is its angle? Why is it important? The story you choose must contain the sparks to evoke readers’ interest and entice them to take immediate action.
2. Short-form Strategy
In today’s marketing era ‘less is more’. Short-form content strategy is about posting updates to social channels like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ etc. You need to create simplistic marketing messages that can say it all in as less characters as possible. If you think the time and character limits in short-form strategy are constraints, think again.
A new study from Market Force Information found that 78% consumers agreed that the social media content of a brand influences their purchase decisions. But you need to be creative enough to connect to your audience.
Facebook Updates: Facebook heads the list of social media platforms with 89% of marketers using this channel to share content with their target audiences. A Hubspot report revealed 52% marketers found a customer through Facebook in 2013. The first 30 minutes after you post an update is most vital as you will get half of your reach within this time frame. Your motto should be to create teaser messages that are specially funny, short, engaging and interesting. Tell only part of the story using your Facebook updates. In any case, time your updates in a way so as to reach the maximum number of fans.
Twitter Updates: When it comes to Twitter, character limit is one of the prime concerns. The strategy of creating short and crisp messages remains the same, but there is more you need to consider. Take advantage of the hashtags and use them with your updates. Participate and take advantage of the big trends happening daily on the internet and keep only 20% of the post to promote your business. Post images and links as they have higher reach than content without them. There are also tools like Twuffer and Future Tweets to send out updates at a time when you’ll reach out to the maximum number of followers.
LinkedIn Updates: Though LinkedIn stands fourth in the list of social media platforms used by marketers with a score of 71%, Hubspot report found 43% marketers were successful to get a customer through this professional network. Use this social channel to answer trendy questions and solve problems of your prospects. Instead of focusing on the advice, give more importance to ‘how and when’ you are giving it in LinkedIn. Also, use subtle calls-to-action so that they can reach out to you for more knowledge.
3. Conversational Strategy
This is where you need to use all the social media sites and blogging platforms to talk about your content. In other words, you need to socialize around your content to reach out to your audience, get feedback and drive traffic.
Blog Commenting: If you want (and of course you do) authorities to notice your blog, start commenting. Whenever you find an interesting, educative or entertaining blog post related to your industry, do comment on them, tweet them and mention them on your social networks. Don’t spam. Be honest and respectful and try to do it without spamming.
Link Sharing: You add social buttons to your blog and other content so that your readers can share your content easily. Similarly, share other people’s links that you think will interest your readers on your social networks and mention them or thank them for their effort. Chances are high, they too will return the favor if you are genuine in your approach.
Video Commenting: As compared to other forms of content, videos attract the most attention. So, commenting on videos is a surefire way of connecting with an audience quickly. The new YouTube comments powered by Google+ prove how serious the search giant is when it comes to video commenting. Comments will now become conversations where you can engage people in your Circles in meaningful discussions. Besides, marketers can now better moderate the discussion by deleting spam comments and blocking spammers.
Content marketing is a lot about appropriate timing. You must know when to post and what to post to get your audience engaged. Creating an editorial calendar including the strategies, suggested topic and deadlines is a good option here. However, be flexible in your approach. And bear in mind that content marketing is not shouting about your business; it’s more about building relationships with your audience, customers or prospects.
What does your content marketing strategy include? Please comment.