The term content strategy became a part of the marketing lexicon in 2009. While the term had been used previously, in 2009 it grew exponentially in 2009, going from 286,000 search results in 2008 to 4,210,000 in 2009. That year also saw the first formal content strategy meetup by way of the Content Strategy Consortium at Memphis’s IA Summit. In those days, the concept was novel, yet vague. While the term was beginning to gain widespread use, the term was in its infancy and people were still working to decipher what it entailed and how to best create one.
So, what is content marketing?
The Content Marketing Institute defines content marketing as “a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”
Instant, quality content is the future of marketing. The marketing materials that you use, be it podcasts, branded images, infographics, videos, or blog posts, are crucial for engaging with customers. In order to attract more business through your content, the following must be in sync for it to work:
- SEO: Search engines such as Google and Bing reward businesses that consistently publish quality content. The way this works is that as new content is created, the search engine indexes it and registers it higher than older content. If your site has a good amount of search engine authority (which can be done through outward links, social media sharing, and more), your content will rank higher on search engine response pages (SERPs).
- Social Media: Content marketing on social platforms can foster engagement and expand your reach, improve communication between businesses and consumers, and establish your brand as an authoritative voice. At the beginning of 2017, it was reported that there are 2.8 billion users on social media channels worldwide, and many are using social media to learn more about businesses. If you aren’t taking advantage of the wide base of potential customers, you are only hurting yourself.
- Website Design: Having a dynamic, responsive website is crucial to content distribution. Technology is steadily intermixing with our mobile lifestyles, making the consumption of content instant and habitual. If your website is not adaptive or responsive, this could hurt your overall ranking on various search engines. As we’ve stated, a well-designed website can quite literally mean the difference between a customer making a purchase or leaving for one of your competitors. In addition to optimizing your site for both mobile and desktop users, ensure that it runs smoothly and has fast loading times to keep your customers interested.
As you seek to incorporate these digital tools into your business strategy, remember that specific platforms are also changing and have their own characteristics. What works well for LinkedIn might not be as successful on Facebook, and Twitter has different requirements than both platforms. In addition to understanding the capabilities of the most popular social media platforms for your particular product, it is vital for you to keep up-to-date on where and when to share your blog post. Keeping the following in mind:
Time and Frequency of Post
What is the sweet spot for social media posts? How do you find this out? Trial and error. Only way to do it is to try several different times a day. For example, this Hubspot study found that companies with large followings (over 10,000 followers) benefit from posting on Facebook more frequently, with 31-60 monthly posts, whereas smaller companies see the highest click rate (over double its ordinary rate) with 1-5 posts per month. Use common sense: you want your audience to remember who you are and want to check back for more posts, but overloading them with too many posts could turn them off.
As for the time of day, keep in mind that 80% of the United States population is in the Central and Eastern time zones, so keep them in mind when scheduling posts. Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday have been found to be the best days to post, with Thursday and Friday boasting 17% higher engagement rates and Saturday and Sunday 32%. Overall, the best time to post is between 1 pm and 3 pm. Avoid posting late at night or early in the morning.
However, it is important to keep in mind that every industry is different. Consider your starting point from the above statistics and your own informed guesses about your target audience, but make sure to track the data with analytics. This will help determine what your audience responds to and when you can best reach them.
The Function and Look of Your Content
How your content is laid out, from an aesthetic and functional point of view, informs visitors on your brand. Everything from call-to-action form to a responsive design will help generate leads or conversions through an intuitive process. If your audience can’t easily find your content, it won’t be of any help to you. Make sure your site is designed to be easy on the eyes, both in terms of visual appeal and in terms of easy navigation, and provide your audience with an easy means of finding the information that they’re looking for through navigation systems, internal linking, and call-to-action forms to encourage them to take the next step.
The Incentive of Your Content
What incentive do visitors have for reading your blogs or listening to your podcast? When a visitor comes on to your website, do they find what they are looking for? There are many ways to incentivize your audience for long-term loyalty. By offering discounts, free webinars or free books, you can foster brand loyalty with your customers. Don’t just focus on the bottom line – focus on creating sustained brand loyalty through your content. In 2017, it’s all about the customer experience. Make your customers feel like they matter, and they will be more likely to return to your services.
Agency Tsunami has over 20 years of experience building, managing and delivering quality marketing media and excellent customer care. We offer a fully integrated marketing strategy customized for you that incorporates an effective online user experience designed to convert leads and position you ahead of the competition. We implement robust and ethical SEO practices to drive relevant traffic and leverage the way businesses and consumers interact. Contact us today to take your content marketing to the next level.