Are you interested in spending more time and money on content marketing in the new year? Have you finally come to realize that this could be the best way to reach your target audience? Are you ready to change your approach in order to reach your goals in the near future?
While there is more to content marketing than meets the eye, once you have the right strategy in place, you’ll know. With the right approach, you should feel confident in your ability to effectively reach your audience, generate and convert new leads, and establish yourself (or your brand) as a thought leader or innovator.
With all this in mind, it’s time to tackle some of the questions that have been weighing on your mind when it comes to maximizing your content marketing strategy. Here are a few questions you should consider to help refine your approach.
- What has worked for your company up to this point?
It’s important to reflect on the strategies you have used in the past, since it will help give you direction for the future. It should go without saying that if a particular approach has been generating positive results, you should stick with it — there’s no need to reinvent the wheel — but you should also be reconsidering content or strategies that fell flat or underperformed. You don’t want to waste resources on something that isn’t giving you results.
According to the Content Marketing Institute, content marketing “gets three times the leads per dollar spent” when compared to paid searches, but HubSpot reports that only 68 percent of marketing professionals believe their marketing strategy is effective. That means that marketers are either failing to convert leads effectively with their current strategy or they are failing to accurately assess the strengths and weaknesses of their approach.
- What are you doing to share your content with your audience?
It’s one thing to create high-quality content, but it’s another thing entirely to distribute it to your audience effectively. Social media is one of the best ways to connect with your potential audience; Facebook, for example, boasted an average of 1.37 billion daily active users in September 2017 alone. That’s a huge resource you could be mining.
There are a lot of social media platforms used regularly, so be sure to publish content in a variety of places to cast a wider net, but be sure to optimize your content for each individual platform. For example, hashtags don’t mean nearly as much on Facebook as they do on Instagram or Twitter, so if you are cross-posting materials, you’ll want to tweak them according to where they’re placed.
Finally, don’t forget to pay attention to which platforms your customers are watching; it doesn’t do you any good to be crafting perfect posts over on Instagram if your audience prefers to hang out on Snapchat. Social media can quite literally connect you to billions of people — you really want to make sure you’re aiming for the ones who want your products and services.
Neil Patel notes that only 42 percent of B2B marketers believe they are effective at content marketing, and it’s understandable given just how much terrain businesses are expected to cover — social media presence, compelling blog articles, effective SEO strategy, self-serve customer service… the list goes on and on.
This is why it’s important to have a concrete strategy in place and to take time to legitimately reflect and refine on your model. No business wants to spend time and money on generating high-quality content just to have it fail to reach its intended audience.
- Do you need some help?
Whether you are the type to think you can do it all yourself or you just don’t think you can afford to hire help, don’t feel bad if you feel as though your content marketing strategy may be best left to professionals. Although a Chief Marketing Officer averages a hefty six-figure salary according to PayScale, Glassdoor reports that your average run-of-the-mill social media strategist costs about half that figure. You could probably even hire interns, enjoying the benefits of some of the best and brightest minds current on industry trends at virtually no cost.
You could also help yourself by staying organized and implementing clear policies and procedures among your content development team. Streamlined processes and clear expectations go a long way toward improving your overall content marketing strategy.
There is no reason to believe content marketing is going anywhere or that its impact is going to diminish, so start answering the tough questions and tighten up your social media strategy for the new year.
What content marketing questions are you asking yourself as we launch into 2018?
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