Consumers are intelligent, autonomous beings who recognize sales tactics when they see them. Over the past few years, consumers have become less and less tolerant of reading sales pitches while they’re trying to find recipes. Content marketing is the answer to this phenomenon: the response to skeptics who don’t appreciate solicitation. It’s establishing a network of direct, meaningful, and reputable information through a variety of media.
Content is King
“Content is king” because it dictates the laws of the land. If visitors happen to wander into the kingdom, do they want to stay? If a business’s content feels suspicious, or the land is barren, visitors will unabashedly leave. Users want no part of ad-ridden, spammy blogs with links to nowhere. On the other hand, if a business’s content feels legitimate, or the land is bountiful, visitors will gratefully stay.
Users are interested in answering their queries thoroughly, and quickly, without needing to jump through hoops. A genuine business with a genuine content network will have no trouble doing so. Providing value is a content marketer’s top concern – and a loyal following is an added bonus.
Every business is different. What is valuable to the users of one business’s website won’t be relevant to another’s. To keep everything organized, and in perspective, content marketers often employ overall strategies for consistent success.
Establishing A Goal
The first step is a doozy. Businesses sometimes have a hard time nailing down their goal. Content marketers help them distill their needs into one concrete goal to shoot for in the following months.
Goals must be singular, attainable, and measurable. For example, a newer business may feel like they need to get out there and mingle with consumers and get more interactions on social media. Although this is a perfectly legitimate need, it’s not quite a goal.
It’s too complex to be a goal; in fact, it’s two goals. “Getting out there” and “increasing interactions on social media” are definitely connected, but they’re measurable in different ways for different reasons. Simplified, one goal would be to “increase name recognition” and the other to “increase social media engagement”.
Once a business chooses a goal, all of their content can be honed to suit that specific goal.
Creating content is a way for businesses to communicate with potential clients and share what they know. Good writers are important for this step, because users notice – and mistrust – bad writing. Mixing up “there”, “their” and “they’re” won’t do a business any favors.
The content must also be relevant. For example, a business selling appliances will write blogs relating to appliances. The more useful the information, the better the content network. When users find these blogs through search engines, they’re often looking for a specific answer to a query – so the business must make sure to answer that query to become trustworthy.
There is level of flexibility, of course, for topics and blog creation. As long as users are happy, the content is good. And if the content is good, the business is good.
There is a myriad of content types out there, and many are perfectly suitable for most businesses. By and large, however, the most commonly used content is blogs. Content marketers use blogs centered on a business’s website to express knowledge bases and establish trust.
As long as the content is relevant and valuable, this distribution method is reliable. A strong web of blogs can convey a solid mastery of the information involved. Most importantly, it’s measurable.
Metrics are an invaluable tool in content marketing. Using tools, like Google Analytics, content marketers can gauge the success rates of their content. For metrics to serve their optimum purpose, they must be attached to a specific goal. For the sake of brevity, we’ll use the simplified goal from above.
For a business trying to gain name recognition, a content marketer would likely begin setting up a blog network to establish legitimacy. Distribution would likely occur across multiple platforms for maximum views. To measure the content’s success in increasing name recognition, the content marketer would employ a few handy analytics: like bounce rates.
A “bounce rate” collects the number of times users have landed on a page only to leave it shortly after. Usually, a high bounce rate is indicative of less relevant content. The less relevant the content, the less memorable the business. If users are clicking away from your business, then they’re not invested in learning about you. If a content marketer’s blog has a low bounce rate, then the campaign is starting off on the right foot. The goal is one step closer to completion.
If, on the other hand, your metrics show a less desirable result then you need to change your methods. That’s the beauty of metrics: pure, unbiased efficiency.
A Less Cluttered Internet
Ultimately, the refinement of content marketing is deep cleaning the internet of wasteful pages. It’s bringing valuable resources to the table in return for loyal customers. Content marketing is serving its kingdom benevolently, and in good faith.