9 Content Marketing Best Practices You Should Start Following NOW
Our world has two categories of content marketers, good – who follow the content marketing best practices and bad – who blindly follow some ‘cool’ tactics to get their content across.
I am pretty sure that you don’t want to be in the latter category. So, here I present 9 content marketing best practices for you to kick-start your successful content marketing journey.
Create a Documented Content Marketing Strategy that is Effective
Content marketing studies show that majority of B2B and B2C marketers do not have a documented content marketing strategy. It is like trying to drive a car without the steering wheel. Dangerous, isn’t it?
So, here are few elements which combined together help you create a documented strategy:
- Buyer/Customer Personas – Who are the people you are looking to target, what are their interests, where are they located, their profession, etc? Create a detailed profile of the personas and figure out what makes them buy a product.
- Brand Story – People don’t remember statistics, features, and numbers but they love stories. Create stories about and around your brand which your audience will love to know and share.
Marketing is no longer about the stuff that you make, but about the stories you tell.
– Seth Godin
- Social Media – You need not be ubiquitous across all social media channels, instead select the right ones for propagating your content. For instance, if you are a B2B software provider, there is no point promoting your product on Instagram. Key is to select the right channel and share the content accordingly.
- Listen – It simply means listen to what your customers and prospects are talking about and where. Their opinion about your brand, their interests, and problems. Send out your message based on these insights.
- Measure – Measurement is an absolute necessity in content marketing. It tells you whether what you are doing is a success or a lost cause. First, determine what needs to be measured and then select the metrics that matter.
Now, documenting alone doesn’t turn a bad strategy into a good one. It has to be effective.
An effective content marketing strategy is the one which helps you improve the KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) and get a positive ROMI (Return on Marketing Investment).
Target on the Basis of Intent
Targeting on the basis of demographics may be successful, but not as successful as targeting on the basis of intent. Keep in mind that a customer and a consumer need not be the same guy.
Let me give you an example, about half of the baby products buyers in the US are people without children. They are grandparents, co-workers and friends, and other family members. So, if you are only targeting parents to share your content and convert, then, believe me, you are leaving a lot of money on the table.
The essence is to help buyers find the information they are looking for by targeting them on basis of their interests.
Frequently Produce Engaging Content
This has always been an uphill battle for content marketers, probably because it’s the most dynamic of all content marketing best practices.
Before we discuss anything else, let us first understand what exactly ‘engagement’ refers to.
When a user finds content that is emotionally compelling and relevant to him, he interacts with that content and shares it. This is engagement.
Producing shareable content consistently is no cakewalk. No wonder it is the topmost challenge for both B2B and B2C content marketers.
I have a separate post on how to produce an engaging content. However, I can list some tips here:
- Stir an emotion
- Balance your content using both text and visuals
- Give them a clear and compelling Call to Action
Use Correct Metrics to Measure Content Effectiveness
By corrects metrics, I don’t mean Facebook likes or shares or retweets. How can you try to calculate as to how many likes it takes to sell a TV? That’s doltish.
It doesn’t mean that Likes and Shares are useless. They aren’t, but, they are micro in nature. They don’t tell you how many macro goals got completed like how many TVs got sold on your e-commerce site.
You can assign these goals to the analytics tools you use such as Google Analytics. Here are some of the key metrics for you:
- Percentage of New Visits
- Click Through Rate
- Conversion Rate
Use Effective Tactics
The effectiveness of your content has a correlation with the number of content marketing tactics you use. But it doesn’t say that the more tactics you use the more success your content gets.
The key is to largely use the most effective tactics.
One important thing to keep in mind.
You may use many tactics, but they won’t do any good unless they are used correctly. So, take out time to evaluate if the marketing tactics are being used in the right way.
Use Social Media for Success
Having a page or an account on every social media platform and puking out lots and lots of content regularly is simply a waste of time and resources.
Like I said earlier, if you are a B2B software provider, there is no point promoting your product on Instagram.
So, the focus here is to identify the nature of social media platforms and pick the ones which are effective as per your content marketing strategy.
For example, Facebook and Twitter are primarily good for B2C and LinkedIn for B2B. YouTube does pretty well with both B2B and B2C.
And yes, the rules of engagement for various social media platforms may differ from a little to a lot.
Target Key Influencers
Well, content marketing best practices aren’t always about directly targeting and communicating with your customers and prospects.
There are some people in the market who can help you big time in driving your message effectively across to the right people. They are called Influencers.
First things first, who are Influencers?
Influencers are generally experts in a field also thought leaders and people trust them enormously. They can influence people to make decisions hence; they are ‘Influencers’.
Now, to identify the right influencers, be very clear about the nature of your target audience and who can be the right guy to influence them.
There are platforms in the market like Traackr which makes it super easy for you to find the right influencers for the right audiences.
Return on Marketing Investment or ROMI is a much better metric than ROI if you want to calculate returns on your marketing spending. ROMI is the incremental revenue that can be ascribed to marketing.
It considers 3 major areas:
- Goal Value (Revenue) of Sales and Leads
- Value of the Sales pipeline (percentage of Leads that convert to Sales)
- Contribution or Profit Margin (Revenue – Cost of Goods Sold)
The formula to calculate Return on Marketing Investment (ROMI) is,
ROMI = [Incremental Revenue attributable to Marketing * Contribution Margin (%) – Marketing Spending)] / Marketing Spending
Let’s see an example,
Content Marketing Spending = $100
Incremental Revenue attributable to Marketing = $500
Contribution Margin = 60%
ROMI = ($500*60% – $100) / $100 = 2
So, it tells you that for every 1 dollar you spent on content marketing, you produced 2 dollars in profit.
Cool, isn’t it?
As Mark Twain once said,
Continuous improvement is better than delayed perfection.
For content marketers, it’s no different.
As per Content Marketing Institute (CMI), even after you’ve learned how to be an effective content marketer, you need another ingredient: experience.
To become a matured content marketer you need to be an effective content marketer first.
An effective content marketer doesn’t work in a silo, so, meeting your team on a regular basis (daily or weekly) will help a lot. It will keep the ideas floating and creative juices flowing.
All these content marketing best practices let you gain maturity as a content marketer and it’s not an overnight process, it takes time. So, don’t hurry and don’t worry.
See you on my next post.
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