Content is King! We’ve all heard that one, but what does it really mean? Why do companies nowadays place so much importance in content marketing? The answer is value, or more specifically, value over marketing. Traditionally, marketers focused on Advertising and Marketing to promote their brand and products to drive ROI. While both are great during the “Consideration” and “Buy” stages of the buying cycle, content marketing is phenomenal in raising awareness in your brand and products. Consumers look to ingest content that is valuable, and by providing them with what they need, combined with your traditional marketing efforts, you have a winning strategy in your hands.
So what do you need to consider in order drive a winning Content Marketing Strategy?
Content Marketing is a relationship-building tool. Forging a meaningful relationship with your customers & key influencers is key for long-term sustainability, engagement and re-engagement.
Creating and sustaining personal relationships with key influencers allows you to drive awareness about your brand & products via a network of opinion drivers because they trust you. You need to think about who are your key stakeholders and then create and nourish that relationship. Think about what they need, want and love. Your number one priority should be the relationship with your audience and not driving sales.
2) Provide Value:
Substance over matter. Your content should be not used as a selling tool. Ditch the hard-sell strategy and focus on good story-telling that will drive awareness & will keep your audience engaged all the while keeping in mind that your writing should centre about topics your audience cares about. It won’t benefit your brand or your target audience if every piece of content your produce is not worth sharing and has no substance. The key is to provide actionable, valuable and insightful data to your audience. Get creative about your content, focus on quality & avoid being too promotional.
Last but not least: Don’t talk about yourself & don’t try to sell!
So what are some great story-telling tools you can leverage?
There are a number of metrics you can leverage to measure the effectiveness of your content marketing strategy. From time-spent-on-site, social shares, inbound links, leads, return visitors, to referral sources. But these are only quantity metrics, to truly have an integrated measure of the impact & effectiveness you also need to assess the “quality metrics” that will make up the whole of your KPIs.
You need to think beyond just metrics and consider what your Key Performance Indicators truly are. This will go a long way in providing valuable insights that will pave the way to a long-term successful & sustainable content marketing strategy.
Below you can find a list of some top KPIs to keep in mind when measuring success & performance:
Your audience can turn into the best brand ambassadors. Encourage conversations and social sharing, don’t try to have a monologue but allow for constructive dialogue. Actively listen, monitor and tune in to the opinion of your audience, this feedback can pinpoint what messages are driving the desired levels of engagement.
Even if the conversation turns negative, it can provide valuable insight of what is not working and what needs to be tweaked. Don’t try to block out negative sentiment, it can pinpoint areas of improvement. With sentiment analysis, you can dig a little deeper to see how your audience truly felt and responded to your content. Some of the metrics that can track sentiment include opinions, feelings, satisfaction ratings, the quality of shares, comments, re-tweets, replies, ratings or conversations, as well as the quality of engagement over time.
You may have a million unique views on your Youtube videos but your high bounce rates may tell a different story. Driving your users to a page that did not engage them can allow you to understand if your content is relevant or not. Understanding the correlation between unique page views and bounce rates is essential. In addition, you can look at the behaviour flow within your site content to analyze where your users dropped off.
Time-spent-on-site, is also a great indicator of how engaging the content is. In-page analytics by Google Analytics is also very helpful in allowing you to analyze click patterns and loss of interest within a page.
How many people read your content and where did they come from? How qualified was this traffic? What are the percentages of new visitors vs return visitors? Have your email open rates increased? Have you seen spikes or dips in overall traffic volumes? Can you identify error pages to assess potential visitor issues? These are some potential questions you need to ask to estimate and calculate reach.
Ultimately, your content Marketing Strategy should align with your Digital Marketing Strategy & objectives. It can help your customers make an informed decision through the purchasing funnel without driving away from providing a quality and engaging experience, whose sole purpose is focused on generating sales & revenue.