Not all content marketing strategies are created equal, and unfortunately not all of them are effective in bringing the results. Though a recent survey found that 80 percent of B2B marketers have a content strategy, 48 percent of marketers did not have their strategy documented, and nearly 55 percent of responders said that they had no clue what an effective content marketing strategy looks like.
Businesses around the world know that content marketing is important, but many of them may not realize all that goes into a truly effective content strategy. A company blog is a great start, but simply writing the blog posts and sharing them on Twitter or Facebook will not attract the audience that you need to grow your business to the level that you’re likely looking for. These are the building blocks that make up a comprehensive and effective content marketing strategy.
There are a few reasons why your content might not be as good as it could be. The simplest explanation is the writing. Short, poorly-written content with spelling and grammatical errors will not endear you to your audience, and will undermine your search engine ranking. Always read over your content (or have an editor do so) before publishing, and keep an eye on the pacing. While longer content generally performs better in search results, forcing longer content for the sake of having it will not improve your performance with search engines or site visitors.
Your content topics could also be the culprit here. Boring content that does not offer new information or solve a problem will not inspire any readers to learn more about your business. Depending on your industry, this could be a difficult thing to overcome: certain fields of work are not as predisposed towards fun, exciting, shareable content as others. It will naturally be more difficult to come up with varied yet consistently entertaining content for insurance (which tends to be more serious and technical) than something more hobby-oriented like cooking or sports. As you develop your content, it’s best that you vary it. Rather than posting an endless stream of blogs, vary up your content and create infographics, branded images, videos, webinars, whitepapers, or quizzes and other interactive materials.
One final common content error, and the most difficult to fix, is content with no value. Think about it: why are you creating online content for your business? Most likely, your ultimate goal is to attract potential clients and drive them to take the next step (whether it be by contacting you, filling out your form, subscribing, or purchasing a product) to becoming customers. But each individual piece of content should have its own way of achieving this goal, by demonstrating to your audience that you have the authority and the knowledge to back up your claims.
The quality of your content does not matter if it isn’t readable for your audience or for machines. There are two possible reasons for this: bad web design, and bad layout.
The more simple of the two issues is bad layout. Your site may be well-designed, but consider what your content will look like to a reader. If it’s nothing but a wall of text, it is very likely that your average visitor will not read the whole thing, and any valuable information or important call to action (CTA) will be lost. Break up your text with headers (H1 and H2), images, and numbered or bulleted lists. In addition to making your posts easier on the eyes, this will improve your conversion rate.
The second issue is web design. If a human can’t read your site, then neither can search engines, and that will immediately give your ranking a huge penalty. Consider the following characteristics:
At any given moment, up to 74 percent of users are on social media, and 46 percent of online users depend on social media to help them make purchasing decisions. Certain demographics may be more likely to spend time on some social media platforms over others, but no matter who you’re looking to appeal to, it’s likely that you will be able to reach them on social media.
Effective social media marketing goes far beyond sharing your content on a few social media channels or following others in your industry. Targeting your social advertising is one of the most important steps; if you’re looking to reach adult professionals, LinkedIn should be your top priority, while content aimed towards a younger audience would be more successful on Instagram or Snapchat.
While social media outreach is important, you cannot neglect organic traffic. Of the links that users click, 70 percent of them are organic (as opposed to paid), and 93 percent of adults use search engines to learn about products and services. Without a robust search engine optimization (SEO) strategy in place, your content marketing will not succeed. Your SEO strategy should, among other things, include the following:
As we mentioned earlier in this article, it is imperative for your business’s content to have a purpose and offer value. Ask yourself: “What is this content accomplishing?”
Here are some of the things that your content can accomplish:
One of the most common errors that businesses make with their content marketing is not documenting and refining their strategy. Once you’ve established what you want to accomplish with your content, you need to determine how you’re going to accomplish it. This should include who your audience is, how you will reach them, what type of content you will create, what your goals are, and how you will measure your success (KPIs). Your content strategy should not remain the same year after year; as your business continues to develop, so should your goals and your content strategy. Don’t be afraid to step back, realize that what you’re doing isn’t working, and adjust your efforts.
Overall, content marketing is not just about your content. A good content marketing strategy will pull in elements from your other digital marketing efforts: web marketing to ensure that your content is readable and visually appealing, SEO to help new customers find your content, and social media marketing to further extend your reach.
Agency Tsunami is the digital marketing division of Neilson Marketing Services, who has provided the insurance distribution sector with innovative marketing and communication solutions for over twenty-five years. With our Agency Tsunami program, we have implemented an integrated marketing strategy that includes optimized, professional websites supported by high-quality SEO and Social Media for hundreds of insurance retailers and wholesalers. Our goal is to help your insurance business perform and generate new opportunities. Give us a call at (800) 736-9741 to learn more about how we can do that for you.