Marketing is an amalgamation of four factors – Demand, Product, Value Proposition and Transaction. A productive marketing campaign bridges the gap between demand and value proposition by positioning the product in a way that it prompts user transaction. Not all marketing efforts prompt a transaction, although delighting customers and getting them to succeed is the ultimate goal of every marketing campaign. An accomplished effort is one which effectively induces a feel-good effect in your prospects.
The parameters for measuring the success of a content marketing program are no different. What you need is a piece of content that not only connects with your customers but also impels them to follow your brand and take a desired action.
The recipe to successful content marketing is a three step process.
1. Create Authentic Content
Purposeful content that addresses an existing pain point has higher chances of being read than a simply ornamental article. While a sales oriented pitch lacks the articulation needed to woo readers, engaging content will undoubtedly retain reader interests, but unless it serves a value it will fail at achieving its objective.
Audience-focused content makes a mark in the minds of its readers. Therefore, prior to working on your content you need to plan, explore your target audience and find their pain points. This exploration, which can be based on gender, occupation and age preference, will help you arrive at a topic that appeals to your audience.
Adopt a tone that is most suited to your target audience. The tone of a video is clear to the viewer but textual content relies completely on perception. Create content that is sharp and comprehensive. User stories are also a good way of engaging users, providing them the information they need from experienced operators.
Optimize your content before publishing. Provide your readers with enough resources to read and learn; also include reference links within your article. Along with preserving the authenticity and genuineness of your work this will build upon the resource-value of your content.
The more your content is read, the more it tends to get shared over the internet. A large reader-base brings in more customers to your doorstep as well as more brand advocates, and at times, both. Resourceful content provides a pleasant experience to readers. Better yet, followership is permanent, building a minimum reach for your future posts.
2. Distribute Content to Reach Maximum Eyeballs
Creating good content is a job half done. The other half is distributing that content to its audience. The research you did before creating a post can aid you in selecting appropriate distribution channels. Publishing your content costs efforts. Therefore, select only those platforms which ensure maximum footfalls of your target audience.
Social media is a quick way to spread awareness about your content to a large audience. However, you cannot compel people to share your articles. Neither does social media guarantee a relevant audience for your content.
Moreover, different social media websites have different engagement patterns. LinkedIn has a professional and high income user-base, Facebook has pretty much everyone, teens and bloggers like Tumblr, Twitter has more niche experts from almost every industry voicing their thoughts, and mobile click addicts frequent Instagram more. Knowing your audience base is very important while promoting your content.
Further, put your email marketing to work. Email has been around way before many of us even knew what marketing was. This workhorse finds its place in most marketing plans thanks to two simple facts:
- It’s super cost effective
- It delivers results like no other marketing tool
An email marketing platform such as GetResponse will provide you with recurring email templates; all you'll need to do is to customize your piece of content for email, and send it to the audience segment you’re targeting with that content. If you’re clever about it, you can lead your subscribers back to your site and convert them with effective landing pages associated with the content of your emails.
Finally, there are content marketing tools for all your needs. From curating content to distributing it to measuring success, they do it all. You just have to figure out what works best for your niche. For example, if you’re a marketer, here are some platforms that can save you from the pain of getting your good content shared in your community:
- ViralContentBuzz is a free social media promotion platform that works on the concept of credit points for sharing other bloggers’ content.
- BizSugar is another effective tool that uses the idea of voting to popularize your content. This platform is dedicated to small businesses.
- Inbound.org is a professional networking as well as community platform to get industry opinion on your content.
3. Keep Track of What Your Posts Are Doing for You
With great content and an effective marketing plan in action you are almost there. But it’s equally important to know how your content is faring with your audience: Does it generate leads for your business? Or does it simply bring tourists to your website? Don’t just go for a website that brings in a lot of traffic with no substantial business. It is like judging a player’s efficiency by the number of kicks rather than the goals he scores. The ultimate aim of your content marketing exercise should be to persuade the reader to take a step further down the sales funnel.
Encourage your readers to pour their hearts out in the comments section of your posts. This will fetch you better ideas about writing and promoting your content, apart from helping you understand the expectations of your customers and where you stand amongst your competitors. Sometimes the ideas expressed might repeat themselves, but then this will give you a quantifiable comparison for the interests of your audience. Social media can also be leveraged as an effective tool for gathering feedback on your content.
Before determining the outcome of your content marketing campaign, you need to define the measurement criteria that will help you evaluate how far the campaign has gone in achieving its goals.
Using a mixture of web analytics and content analytics tools such as Buzzsumo and Parse.ly will stand you in good stead. These tools will show you the sources of visitors to your content, pages with high traffic over a given period of time, most sought after sections of your blog, and so on.
As a content marketer, your goal is to find marketing techniques that help you connect with your readers in the best possible ways. For example, if in the last quarter your team had produced a couple of great infographics and it brought you 15% more customers than usual, you know infographics are working for you in influencing customers. You could take a cue from that and include infographics as a part of all your future content marketing campaigns.
A successful marketing campaign starts with creating or curating desirable content that appeals to a specific audience, promoting it on relevant platforms to stimulate appropriate user actions, and tracking its effectiveness to assess the ROI of your efforts. These steps will build the framework for your marketing campaign.
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