Most companies spent up to $10,000 on content marketing in 2019, with the goal of generating more leads, attracting more traffic to their website, improving brand reputation, and customer engagement.
The same survey of 1,200 marketers, conducted by SEMRush, found that only 9% of companies are actually satisfied with their strategy. And, 38% of companies recognize their content marketing strategy as average.
To improve their chances of achieving content marketing goals in 2020, 62% of survey respondents said they intend to increase their budget this year.
The Content Marketing Institute found that “content marketing generates over three times as many leads as outbound marketing and costs 62% less.”
Content marketing not only builds your relationship with your audience, it builds trust, improves conversions and can also encourage your audience to take action with your content.
That is, if you do it correctly.
Your content marketing strategy should encourage your audience to engage with your content and take action. Whether that action is to sign up for your email newsletter, visit your website or buy the product you’re selling, you want to increase those odds.
Here are five ways to get your audience to take action with your content.
1. Focus on Brand Reputation
People want to engage with a brand that comes across as real and trustworthy. In the world of content marketing, you build your brand’s reputation by focusing on producing top-notch content and meaningful engagement. Building your reputation can take time, but it’s a critical piece to finding, engaging and encouraging your audience to take action. Consumers are savvy. They do their research when it comes to buying a product, and they’re looking for a company they can trust with their time and their money.
A few ways to focus on your brand reputation:
- Carefully curate what you’re sharing on your social media channels, and choose wisely who you choose to align your company with, ensuring your values match.
- Think before you post on social media, and more importantly, before you respond to someone on one of your social channels.
- Focus on customer experience every time, to ensure you’re converting customers into long-time fans.
- Use customer feedback to make product/service improvements.
- Be as honest and genuine as possible when telling your story, because customers can smell a lie, and they will call you out on it.
2. Diversify Content for Customer Engagement
Adopting and implementing a content strategy is just one step to success. To ensure the content you’re creating is delivering on your overall conversion goals, consider using multiple formats.
With just the right recipe of diverse content, you will get better ROI, attract new customers and retain a loyal following.
The SEMRush survey found the types of content that companies are using to reach overall marketing goals:
- Blog posts (86%)
- Emails (67%)
- Case studies (42%)
- Success stories (36%)
As far as distribution channels, the same survey found that marketing teams consider the two channels to be the most effective:
- Social media (94%)
- Emails (76%)
There are a number of ways to diversify the type of written content you’re producing to engage with your audience. Consider the following content formats:
- White papers/reports
- Quizzes and polls
3. Learn New Ways to Position Your Products
How your audience and competitors perceive your products or services in the greater marketplace determines your product positioning.
The goal should always be to stand out from the crowd, and clearly show how and why your product is different and better than the competition. How you position your product in the market will determine whether your target audience chooses to purchase your product over your competition.
Consider the most recent social media frenzy over chicken sandwiches. Popeye’s chicken sandwich is in a tough space. They compete against Chick-fil-A, Wendy’s, Burger King, and KFC to name a few. Positioning their product, differently, was necessary to cut through the already crowded space.
Popeye’s took to social media to announce their new, ‘late-to-the-game’ chicken sandwich. Which a fine-tuned digital content strategy designed to ‘wage war’ and evoke competition in the marketplace, Popeye’s sandwiches were selling out, nationally, after just 15 days in the game.
This case study shows the importance of taking a unique position in the marketplace, to differentiate yourself from the competition – no matter how stiff it is.
Learning new and innovative ways to position your product can mean improved engagement with your audience. To learn new ways to position your product, consider your target audience and what they are looking for, or what’s missing from existing products. The more you understand about your audience, the more you are able to position your product in a way that feels intrinsic.
Other factors to consider when thinking about new ways to position your product:
- Be honest about your product.
- Prove your product is the best option out there.
- Research and develop a clear value proposition.
- Explain why your product is unique.
- Customize the communication channels for each market segment.
- Have a complete understanding of your competition.
- Clearly state your competitive advantage.
4. Assess New Ways to Distribute Your Content
High-quality content is one thing, but if your audience doesn’t know it exists, it is essentially a waste of time and money to produce.
Perhaps the most important part of your content marketing strategy is your content distribution plan. On Jan. 28, 2020, there were more than 5.6 million blog posts published, according to Worldometers. According to YouTube, each month they have more than 2 billion users logged-in. TikTok, one of the newest social platforms out there, already has 1 billion active users.
Are you getting in front of enough of your audience?
Regular analysis of the tools and channels your company is using to distribute content to your audience is a smart idea. It may help you discover a new channel, better options, or unique ways to leverage an existing channel.
Analyze the channels your company owns, the channels that share your content for free (social shares, mentions, product reviews), and the paid channels you’re using.
Most content marketers are familiar with the 80/20 rule — spend 20% of your time creating content and the other 80% promoting it.
Follow these steps to assess new channels of distribution:
- Research your target audience
- Review your existing content
- Choose content distribution channels
- Choose your content formats
- Set content KPIs and goals
- Create your content
- Distribute your content
- Measure your results
Taking the time to create a distribution strategy will ensure your investment in creating content pays off.
5. Hire Someone to Help
Your brand reputation and your success as a company relies on effective content marketing. If you don’t have the in-house expertise, it may be time to consider hiring a content marketing consultant, such as Full Stadium.
The right content marketing strategy cannot be faked.
SEMRush recently gathered the top content marketing trends of 2019, by analyzing tweets and 2019 Google search queries related to content marketing. Among the most popular keywords were “content marketing agency” and “content marketing services.”
The Content Marketing Institute recently found that “50% of B2B marketers outsource at least one content marketing task. Content creation is the most likely task to be outsourced.”
Creating content internally costs too much money and is time-consuming for many businesses. Hiring a content marketing agency is usually more cost-effective, and ensures high-quality content that meets ever-changing trends.
Agencies that are focused on content creation can create great content based on a stellar content strategy that is focused on growth and engagement. They also ensure consistency in your brand voice across all content formats and channels.
According to Forrester, consistent customer experience helps build brand reputation.
For more information on ways to see higher conversion rates, more quality leads and higher revenue per lead, chat with us here.