Online trends rise and fall.
From one year to the next are written thousands of articles by SEO experts instructing businesses on how to keep up with the latest changes to Google or the latest ideas about keyword use or content marketing strategies.
Their doing so has led to the creation of ‘ultimates’ since over the last five or six years we have seen a natural selection, of sorts, of the way we manage our presence online.
The best of the advice has remained and the worst (that which failed to provide any advantage to a website) has largely gone – though there is still plenty of duff info out there, provided by the shysters who’ll say anything to get you to part with your hard-earned coin.
Thankfully, what we are treated to more often than not now is the cream of the crop of online policies – the very best and most effective ways in which to manage your online purpose – and out of these policies we’re going to talk about content marketing strategies specifically.
If you are searching for a watertight content marketing strategy for your business, that is wrought from the evolution of the last few years then you are in the right place.
Make sure that you heed the advice herein, because time is of the essence.
A content marketing strategy that is both effective and manageable is good for business. It brings purpose to your online policy; it empowers and inspires others in the company, it focusses the mind on the creation of top-end original content and it leads often to inventiveness.
Think long and hard about what is to be contained with the content marketing strategy, because attacking the process from an imaginative standpoint is best.
Be certain too that you have taken into account the most recent or upcoming changes to the internet, and by that we mean either Google’s never-ending updates or the latest fashion in search techniques employed by your customers.
On this point, big changes are already upon us in the field of voice search, and many companies are already providing voice-activated access to some of their products and services online.
The trends of online usage will naturally steer online marketing strategies, and there’s nothing that can be done about that. We are all a slave to what is new and what is not. If something is out of favour with your cohort of customers abandon it; if it is a la mode then use it till the cows come home.
Above all, focus on the end goal.
Make sure you — and whoever else you are employing to manage your marketing strategy — are singularly concerned with where the company will be at the end of the year.
Now, read on to learn of a five-point step-by-step guide to the most effective marketing strategy of 2019.
1. Audit last year’s content
It goes without saying that to review your work is a valuable course of action.
That can be said of any line of work. But there’s no point in reviewing something unless you are going to act to change what didn’t work in the past.
So, review the heck out of your 2018 content marketing strategy.
Look for holes in business logic, gaps in content that appeals and/or is being covered by your competitors, and any drops in online activity. And when all of that is done begin to plan to implement new ways for 2019 that will ensure the same problems don’t reoccur.
Consider questions such as:
- Which elements of 2018’s content marketing strategy performed best? The blogs, the live streams, the webinars, the videos?
- Was any part of your content badly received? Did it even for some reason cause consternation? Perhaps something you may have written was seen as a little edgy or misinterpreted?
- Did you publish a piece of content (or series) similar to your competitors that they were able to get more traction and engagement than you were? Why do you think that is?
Now take a quick look at your main competitor’s overall performance last year. Does anything strike you as different from what you did? Different may not always mean better but different is a good way to instil inventiveness in the minds of your colleagues.
And of today’s online strategies inventiveness is needed in abundance.
2. Name your purpose
To identify your business’ objectives is always worthwhile. Where would you like the business to be at the end of the year? Do you intend to concentrate your 2019 efforts on customer acquisition, brand awareness or maybe care and complaints’ resolutions?
Or is 2019 the year which heralds in the arrival of brand new product?
Whatever the purposes of the business are you must make sure that alongside the travel of the business walks the content marketing strategy. The two must be hand-in-hand since they are, in essence, linked.
Where your business goes, so must your content marketing strategy.
Whatever you decide to do with the business this year make sure you employ your marketing strategy accordingly.
If to “muster the customer” is your goal then so too should “muster the customer” be an intrinsic part of the content strategy.
After all, a content strategy that travels alongside the business can inform and be informed. The two will be, by the end of the year, so intrinsically linked that they will pose a force to be reckoned with.
The success of your business (as you are no doubt aware) relies heavily on vision and strategic planning.
3. Pick your target
It’s fun to believe that a great content marketing strategy may reach out to every user of the web… but it also misguided.
If standing out from the crowd is what matters to you then lessons about precision and selectivity are called for.
The very best way to reach a reasonably sized audience that is also the type of audience of use to YOU is to choose your target cohort accurately.
To know the wants, loves, hates, needs and triggers of your customer is worth everything. Knowing well the characteristics of a smaller group matters far more than hardly knowing anything about a much larger group.
Be selective of your content; target your potential customers by small degrees of precision.
Do this by promoting yourself as the online expert in all things relating specifically to your brand. Far better to do this than to appear vague and only semi-knowledgeable.
You can find out more about your audience by using Google’s ‘demographics and interests’ section. It can be found on the Analytics page. So too will you find out something of your customer base from their habits of use of Facebook and Twitter.
Be certain and confident of the part your business could play in the lives of your potential customers. And if you have already played a part then consolidate and be proud; insist that a recent (happy) customer leaves a good review for you.
Simple techniques can bolster your content marketing strategy many times over.
To know your intended audience is extremely valuable and doing so will allow you to steer your business towards them. You cannot bombard but you can tempt and you can add value to your own website by forging links with people and businesses that sit among your target audience.
4. Get your content out there
What good is content if it sits on someone’s cloud and never gets used? Content needs to be out there working for you. It begs to be seen by others.
Content is written or produced or recorded for the purposes of communication.
For a business, the purpose of communication is more often than not to generate profit. Even the most well-meaning businesses must admit that their written and verbal connections with customers exist, in part at least, to retain custom.
A great content marketing strategy relies most heavily on the promotion of the word: your word, and the words of your colleagues.
Use the reach of the internet to promote this word. It is, if nothing else, the place to tell people news and to advertise wares. A strategy will not succeed unless it is biased towards near-constant promotion.
Keep your content original, relevant, precise and trustworthy. Do not instil the services of a writer who does not understand or cares not for your strategy. And do not instil the services of a writer who is intent on spinning someone else’s work. Instead, why not try to create your own content; at least in doing so you will be able to express yourself with accuracy and clarity.
The strategy to amplify your name and your brand relies on such content and it also relies on your monitoring what progress the content is making.
The ability of Google to augment its analytics pages knows no bounds. More and more resources and updates to enable finite measurements of social traffic and conversions prove Google to be one of the forerunners of web-based analytics.
To monitor the course of your business using Google’s resources is a must.
Use Google to check in on the progress of your content marketing strategy. Use Google to see whether the right people have the right material in front of them at the right time. Use built-in tools such as Facebook Insights and Twitter Analytics, third-party tools. Use it all.
5. Voice search and friends
Voice search is upon us.
The power of this relatively new innovation has paved the way for yet more interaction via mobile devices. Thus your handling of it must tie in with your content strategy.
Voice search cannot be ignored. It is not likely to take the place of typed search within the next ten years but its functionality is ever-increasing and your content marketing strategy must take this into account.
For now, try to devote one part of your content to voice activation. Learn from online resources how it is possible to do this (you may not need to employ someone if you are trialling it).
Next, take heed of its use. Check again with Google analytics to discern the characteristics of the user – age, gender, location, search terms, etc – and monitor how the voice search performs in terms of conversions and generation of footfall.
As a greater number of companies invest in and become driven by voice search it is bound to become a more intrinsic factor in business strategies than it currently is. It is worthwhile at least being ready for when the floodgates open (and you could even argue that they already have).
Content marketing may be reaching a peak in as much as its legacy of the last few years has driven out the substandard and welcomed in more of the good. But due to the way in which the internet is developing it may not be too long before a new strategy becomes available.
All the more reason for you to have already made the most of your content marketing strategy in 2019!
Content is everything.
It illustrates ideas, drives interest, builds reputation and most of all allows fluid communication of ideas and transactions. Learn how best to develop and implement your content marketing strategy and be at the forefront of any changes that come your way.
A great strategy will not only be one that is watertight and fit for purpose, it will also be one that is flexible and able to accompany new developments and updates online as they happen.
The connection with your customers that content seeks to build is what fuels your business but it is what also fuels inspiration and inventiveness.
Get this year’s content marketing strategy right and you will have won a half of next year’s battle.