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7 Effective Content Marketing Tips and Strategies for 2016

updated on Jul 20, 2016
7 Effective Content Marketing Tips and Strategies for 2016 There is no need to re-emphasize the importance of content if you have already built up a website with a business goal. As a saying goes, content is undoubtedly the king in the virtual world.

However, a case may have happened now and then that you have created great content with much detailed information and statistics but no one reads it. No leads are generated, thus your brand cannot stand out from the crowd, and no income is brought in.

That's why you need a content marketing plan if you rely heavily on content to carry out your online business. With a well-prepared plan, you can only write content that resonates with your audience, and make the content read by more people.

This tutorial will provide some basic information about content marketing, and present the most effective content marketing tips and strategies you can utilize to generate more traffic and leads.

What Is Content Marketing?

There are various ways for quickly marketing a business online, including PPC ads and list purchasing. The traditional marketing methods could bring a short-term boost of the sales and brand awareness, but eventually, they are found to be either expensive or ineffective. That's where content marketing comes to the mind of many marketers.

Content marketing is a broad concept. It includes any marketing approach that involves the creation and distribution of valuable content in order to drive and retain customers. A good content marketing program with a well-defined audience makes it a natural process to gain customers and build brand reputation, so it brings long-term benefits while not being costly.

As long as you hold a business purpose for your website, you are suggested to utilize content marketing. Compared with the traditional online marketing, content marketing has been considered to be more cost-effective, scalable, and predictable. You can control the expense completely based on the size of your business and your planned budget, and you are also able to measure and speed up the success.

What Is Content Marketing

But as content marketing requires consistent efforts and a well-made plan, you must be patient and careful when making your own program. In below, we have selected several useful tips and introduced them in detail. These tips should drive an inspiration and help you get a boost of traffic, leads and sales later.

Tip 1: Research Your Target Audience

What content to create and publish, and how the content helps accomplish your business goals are two of the most important questions to answer when making your own content marketing program. The answers to these questions are closely related to the researches about your target audience.

To make your content noticed, you have to define the target audience and then market the content to them. Only when your audience values your content, will the potential consumers notice your brand and be turned into customers.

You need to be specific when defining the target audience. For example, if the general audience is mothers, you can have a clearer target by making a choice between full-time mothers and working mothers, young mothers and those in their 40s, inexperienced mothers and experienced mothers.

After defining the target audience, you still have to learn more about the group. Make sure you can answer the following questions before producing content.
  • What do they want but is not easy to get?
  • What information do they need most that you can provide?
  • What are their pain points?
  • Where do they spend most time online? Forums, Facebook groups, or other social media platforms?

Tip 2: Find the Content That Resonates

The clue of this tip is already included in the researches of your target audience. The content that is good enough to generate leads should at least meet the following standards.
  • Answering the questions that are asked by your target audience so as to encourage conversations between you and your potential consumers.
  • Being valuable and original. Unique content with creative ideas and a sense of humor is more appreciated.
  • Not pushing too many marketing messages.
Find Content That Resonates

Tip 3: Get the Most Out of Your Content

To maximize the marketing outcomes, you need not only to create content, but also optimize it, because being original and valuable is not the only requirement of producing the best content. If you have enough knowledge about your field, try to write like a pro by learning writing skills. Or in the case you have sufficient budget, you can also hire someone to create good content for you.

Besides producing content in a professional manner, you can follow the tips below to get the most out of it.
  • Writing SEO optimized blog posts to increase your brand's visibility in search engines.
  • Create visual content like videos, infographics and SlideShares to increase the readability and readers' interests. Uploading the videos to YouTube is also a good idea.
  • Create premium content assets like whitepapers and eBooks and offer them for free.
  • Add share buttons to your content to make it easy to reach a larger audience.
Except for the first tip, all the others make it easier to promote your content on social media platforms.

Tip 4: Make Use of an Editorial Calendar

Editorial calendar is a necessity if you want to manage your content effectively. It enables you to group ideas, schedule post creation and publishing, and integrate your content plan with your social marketing campaigns. The result is that you can better guarantee the consistency of your content creation and marketing.

It would be good if you can make a 3-month or 6-month plan with an editorial calendar because a good content marketing program needs to start from it. And it is better if the editorial calendar includes specific information about the time, platform, social channels and other details about the publishing of each piece of critical content.

Making such a calendar would take some time and researches, but the value it will bring to you is enormous.

Make an Editorial Calendar

Tip 5: Reach and Engage Your Audience Through Social Media Platforms

Social media marketing is an important component of content marketing as it enables you to reach millions of potential consumers easily. If you have already been active on some social networks like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram, make sure to share all your valuable content to those platforms.

In terms of promoting your content on social networks, we have the following three suggestions.
  • Stay active on as many social networks as possible if time allows. The popular ones with millions of users have unlimited potential for generating leads and traffic.
  • Create different content for different social networks. For example, you can share posts directly to Facebook and Twitter, while well-made images with your brand information are better for Instagram.
  • As some social networks come with groups, make sure to participate in the groups closely relevant to your content. The members in those groups are probably your target audience.

Tip 6: Accelerate Your Content Marketing Progress with Technologies

In fact, there are some good-to-use tools that can help you save time while accelerating your progress. Utilizing some of these tools would certainly make a difference to your manual efforts and marketing results.

Here we'd like to introduce several of the popular services. Some of them are free, and some are paid. You can learn more about them by making researches online, and then select the one/ones you really need.
  • IFTTT – It is a free tool that shares your blog posts to hundreds of platforms automatically. To initiate the automation, you have to connect your blog with the social network you want to publish posts to, but the setup is quite simple, taking minutes only.
  • CoSchedule – It is a good helper if you want to create a comprehensive editorial calendar for social media scheduling, workflow management and more with the least effort. Keeping track of your content marketing tasks becomes easy.
  • Workado – It is a marketing management system suitable for teams with multiple members. Organizing tasks, measuring members' works and improving client relationships are all made easy.
  • Visual.ly – It is a paid service that creates premium visual content including videos, infographics, ebooks, and presentations for you.
Create Visual Content with Visual.ly

Tip 7: Measure the Success of Your Content Marketing Program

The effort doesn't end when you finish making a content marketing program. After carrying out the program for several weeks, you have to make reports for the important metrics like the leads, search engine traffic, conversion rate and the number of social media followers in order to measure the effectiveness of your social marketing program and improve it.

Regular reporting is a must if you want to be a professional modern content marketer. The frequency is suggested to be one month. Based on the reports, you can look back and adjust the marketing plan by repeating what works, abandoning what doesn't work, and adding new ideas. Google Analytics is a good tool for collecting the statistics you need.

Conclusion

Content marketing is a time-consuming work that you should always do as long as your website is active. However, it is very effective in generating traffic, leads, and sales. So we'd suggest you invest some time digging deep and make a plan carefully. Make sure to learn from the experts.