arrow

What No One Will Tell You About the Biggest Marketing Trend

The great news about marketing trends is that experts seem to agree on what’s most important. In fact, you won’t be able to find a single marketing expert who is not saying it’s all about content, content, content. The new twist? Doing content marketing better.

The problem is that all those experts aren’t really telling you what to do about doing content marketing better. At least, not in detail. So, we’re diving deeper into the “big one” and focusing on how to think about content for greater success from your effort. Of course, we are also blowing the lid off the dirty secret no one wants to talk about, so let’s start there.

The Dirty Secret About Content Marketing

There’s no doubt that today, content drives marketing. Marketing has become more of a conversation than a sales pitch – and as a result, rather than sell, sell, sell, it’s much smarter to share, share, share.

But here’s the problem: doing content right is difficult. It’s difficult to make time to create it, and it’s even more difficult to get results from it.

To start, content takes a lot of thinking and planning – not only about what content to share, but also about how to move your prospects from consuming content to taking action.

Not to mention the fact that prospects don’t move en masse. Every prospect who shows interest in your content and your organization is going to be at a different place in the marketing cycle at any given time.

So, if you’re going to follow the trend of focusing on content – and you truly should because it’s only going to become a stronger and stronger marketing driver – then use the following pointers that will make your content marketing program much easier to implement and much more successful (and, yes, much better).

Think of Content as the New SEO

Today, search engine rankings are based on how much or how little search engines view your organization as being an expert in the areas and topics it claims as its “expert position.”

This means that every piece of content you post online (whether it’s a new page on your website, a blog post or a news release) is going to influence how high or how low you rank in searches for your topics of expertise.

Viewing content as the main SEO driver helps to define what this content should be about – just think about the keywords, for which you are trying to outrank your competitors. All of sudden, content is not “just another article we need to get up on our blog because we haven’t posted in awhile,” but instead, it’s “another article that is going to prove to Google that we know what we’re talking about.”

Once you have the mind-set that content = SEO, follow these few specific tips for getting it right:

  • Your content must be high quality. The search engines know. Even more so, the prospects seeking your expertise do. Therefore, your content must be relevant to the search terms and the user.
  • Your content must incorporate pre-identified keyword phrases. This means you’ll spend time thinking up front about what your prospects are actually searching for, how competitive those keywords are, and where you can make the most improvement in rankings (because your best way in is when there are lots of searches for a certain keyword or phrase, but not a lot of companies creating content around that keyword or phrase).
  • You’ll need to include keywords in everything from web page content, online press releases and other news items to blog posts and even image Alt tags and file names.

Again, we’ve found that thinking about content from the perspective of claiming your expert position gives you a much stronger focus on the topics that showcase what your organization is about.

Employ Marketing Automation

The purpose of creating content is to demonstrate your company’s expertise and, most importantly, to generate and nurture leads. Marketing automation helps move prospects along the lead generation and nurturing path by serving up relevant content triggered by prospects’ behavior and increasing your prospects’ engagement with your organization.

Marketing automation is what solves the challenge of every prospect being at a different place in the marketing cycle at any given time.

Of course, with so many marketing automation software options on the market, it’s crucial to choose a solution that aligns with your organization’s specific needs. Developing a clear lead generation and nurturing strategy first will make it easier to evaluate various systems and make the right choice.

Consider Tailored Content

Dynamic Website Personalization (DWP) gives your website the ability to change its content, messaging, and offers for a select visitor group based on a set criteria that you determine.

It requires a combination of fully developed buyer personas (highly detailed target audience profiles) and careful content mapping.

While it may sound like a complicated strategy to implement, there are several tools and a growing number of consultants already available to help you get started. And as DWP moves toward the “marketing mainstream,” more tools will become available.

Stop Sharing Just to Share

While it’s important to keep a consistent flow of content, we’ve hit a point where there’s just a lot of content out there, much of it not very good. Pick quality over quantity – share only what would be of great interest to your audiences and in alignment with your expertise – and consider writing a good commentary about why you’re sharing it.

Put the bulk of your effort on developing original content that is unique to your organization, and focus on getting more out of each piece. For example, you can write a single article, then split it into sections and share the series over the course of three or four weeks.

Don’t forget that content doesn’t have to be words alone. Add high-value visual content into the mix – it creates higher levels of engagement.

Keep Sharing What You’ve Already Shared

Our final takeaway is that making content easier has to do with not letting what you’ve already created go to waste. It is very likely that only a small fraction of your audience will see any single piece of content when you first share it, and there is no reason why something you wrote last year isn’t still relevant.

Create a database of all the content you already have – including articles, case studies, project photos, presentations, etc., and map out how often to re-share each piece on your editorial calendar.

The simple scheduling function is typically available with any email marketing solution and most social media tools. There are also several platforms you can use to make re-sharing even easier – for example, Hootsuite or one of the newer platforms, Edgar, which lets you pre-schedule content at specified intervals.


Additional Resources

Aligning Content and Context

5 Questions and 10 Ideas for Making Content Work


Let’s make sure the effort your company puts into content pays off. We’d be happy to answer any questions you may have about your content strategy. Call 410-732-8379 or email brand@substance151.com to learn more about our strategic approach and the value we place on helping companies deftly navigate the new marketing environment.