Everybody Does Content Marketing – Or At Least Every Serious Online Entrepreneur Does. But How Do Some People Get More Success Out Of It Than Others?
The point about successful content marketing seems to be that you first have to define what kind of success you want to get out of the content you create. There can be many goals, but you have to make a commitment to the ones important to you.
At Solohacks Academy, our roundups usually pick topics that most people would consider a question that begets inspiring answers. On a topic like success with content marketing, we’ve tried to see what different successful content marketers think are top priorities and how they follow up on them.
In the collection of thoughts we’ve put together here, you’ll notice that there’s no one recipe for success. But the fact that successful people stick with content marketing till they gain insights for greater wins is the important lesson.
Our picks for this Solohacks RoundUp include 10 great quotes from the blog posts of Lisa Murton Beets, Neil Patel, Jay Baer, Eric Siu, Dan Shewan, Pawan Deshpande, Kumar Arora, Sujan Patel, Keran Smith, and Miles Anthony Smith.
1. Research reveals that commitment is one of the most important indicators of content marketing success: Lisa Murton Beets
Lisa Murton Beets in the article “5 Research-Based Actions to Improve Your Content Marketing”:
Year after year, CMI (Content Marketing Institute) research reveals that commitment is one of the most important indicators of content marketing success. Any actions you take based on the insights here won’t get you far if your organization doesn’t have a strong commitment to content marketing.
Each success with content marketing builds upon the next. If you’re operating with a campaign-like or one-off mentality or “trying” content marketing to see how it goes – and you aren’t committed over the long haul – you won’t get long-term results.
If you have a solid commitment to content marketing, great. Keep the momentum going by keeping yourself updated with success stories, reports on new things you’re trying (and why), and metrics demonstrating results toward your content marketing goals (be cautious when you use vanity metrics, as you’ll want to show impact versus effort).
Metrics that clearly demonstrate positive impact or results should strengthen or solidify commitment to content marketing. If commitment isn’t strong in your business, ask why.
Ask if your goals are realistic based on factors such as the size of your organization, its overall goals, management commitment, the nature of your industry and audience, total addressable market, competitive landscape, and available resources.”
2. Segment your target audiences to increase engagement, especially with email autoresponder lists: Neil Patel
Neil Patel in the article “21 Content Marketing Tactics That’ll Skyrocket Your Search Traffic”:
Smart content marketers know they need to segment their audiences based on product need. Segmentation is crucial for one simple reason: some of your blog readers aren’t buyers, but others are.
Simply put, your content can’t suit everyone because they’re at different phases of the buying cycle. So, example, content designed to create awareness with new customers is wasted on loyal repeat customers.
Make the most of your marketing efforts by segmenting customers based on their personas. Remember, a buyer persona is a fully fleshed-out profile of one segment of your audience. It enables you to develop content that speaks to each segment more effectively.
Segmenting your target audience is difficult to do on your blog or website. Instead, use your email autoresponder.
In fact, email list segmentation is a must if you want to get the most from your list. According to Emarketer, 39% of email marketers who segment their email lists see better open rates. And, 28% report better email deliverability and increased revenue.”
3. The goal isn’t to be good at content marketing – it’s to be good at business because of content marketing: Jay Baer
Jay Baer in the article “7 Simple Steps to Improve Your Content Marketing Strategy”:
Why are you doing this at all? What is content going to do for your organization? Create awareness? Generate leads? Improve loyalty and retention? Remember: The goal isn’t to be good at content marketing. The goal is to be good at business because of content marketing.
What will you create in your content marketing program that sets you apart? There is an enormous glut of content (and more on the way). Will you be disproportionately useful? Will you create Youtility (I say YES!). Will you be disproportionately motivational, inspirational, or otherwise? What is the heart and soul of your content program? Remember: Give yourself permission to make the story BIGGER.
Your objectives dictate your metrics. If you’re trying to generate awareness, measure that. Remember: If you want to track behavior, you must do something trackable.
Your objectives also dictate your audiences. Use personas to model the audiences for your content marketing. Understand them like you understand your family. Remember: You are not your audience.
What do your audiences need to know from you? Use search and social media, plus conversations with customers and your internal personnel (sales and customer service, especially), to better understand the information and persuasive requirements of your customers. Then, organize those needs by persona and funnel stage to create a map of necessary content. Remember: Don’t settle for data—get real insights. This requires customer conversations, not just spreadsheet mining.”
4. If you don’t know what you hope to achieve from content marketing, you’re never going to achieve it: Eric Siu
Eric Siu in the article “7 Ways to Improve Your Content Marketing Strategy”:
If you don’t know what you hope to achieve from content marketing, you’re never going to achieve it. After narrowing your focus to a few channels (for instance, your blog, YouTube channel, and Instagram), look at your current stats and analytics, and set goals.
Come up with a vision for where you want those channels to be in a year – how many followers, how much traffic, and how much interaction. Then, break down your annual goal by coming up with monthly milestones.
Finally, determine what action items need to be completed daily and weekly to help you achieve your monthly and yearly goals. You can always adjust your goal-setting as needed, but vocalizing and writing down your goals is a sure step toward eventual success.
Customers appreciate consistency. Just like they like knowing who you are and what you stand for, they want to know when they can expect to see new content from you. Create a content schedule, and stick to it. This schedule might vary from channel to channel, and that’s okay. For instance, you might put out a new blog every Monday to send through your weekly customer newsletter. Then you might post Instagram images Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and new YouTube videos once a month on the 15th of the month.
If your content is high-quality, and if your customers are engaged, they’ll start looking forward to and counting on your new pieces. Just make sure your content is always geared to your audience and fulfilling a need they have – if you’re giving them something they can find everywhere else, they’ll go somewhere else to find it.”
5. It’s smarter and better to publish one excellent post per week than five mediocre posts per week: Dan Shewan
Dan Shewan in the article “Our 13 Best Content Marketing Tips… Ever!”:
With so much content being produced, competition in today’s so-called “attention economy” has never been more intense. As such, it’s vital that you only publish the very best content possible, or you can’t possibly hope to succeed. It’s better to publish one excellent post per week than five mediocre posts per week.
Not only do you have to set the quality bar incredibly high, but you also have to keep meeting (or exceeding) this standard. This can be a challenge for even the most experienced content production teams, but it’s essential in standing out from an increasingly large crowd and making your voice heard. Accept that producing exceptional content takes time, effort, and money – and that there are no shortcuts.
One of the most common misconceptions about content marketing is that simply by publishing blog posts, your business will magically take off and you’ll be besieged by armies of eager prospective customers clamoring for whatever you sell. Unfortunately, this is rarely the case. Smart content marketers don’t just produce excellent content, but also know how to measure the results of their efforts.
Some bloggers are content to glance at the number of social shares their latest post has accrued and make a judgment call on its success based on that. However, even the most widely shared blog post may fall short of achieving your business goals. What do you want your content to actually accomplish, and how will you measure it?
Whatever you want your content to do, it’s crucial that you evaluate the performance of your content using analytics and other data-driven approaches – otherwise you could be wasting your time and money on content that isn’t doing anything for your business.”
6. Trusted content provides useful information without trying to sell readers something: Pawan Deshpande
Pawan Deshpande in the article “3 Content Marketing Strategies That Increase Your Chances of Success”:
As digital has displaced tightly-controlled media channels like TV, radio, and newspapers, consumers have rapidly assumed the driver’s seat in curating their own content. Clever jingles and repetitive ads — the classic “sales pitch” — are no longer as effective a means of attracting new customers. Today, the old-fashioned hard sell drives consumers away.
Instead, today customers seek trust. Trust in the product or service being offered. Trust that the people behind a product or service understand their needs and challenges. The trust that comes from authenticity.
So it’s easy to see why content and trust are so closely intertwined, as professional speaker Andrew Davis argues: “Content builds relationships. Relationships are built on trust. Trust drives revenue.”
Today’s customers are not only buying the initial product or service, but also a company’s expertise. It’s this expertise and understanding of a customer’s needs that keeps companies successful in a rapidly changing and hypercompetitive marketplace.
Customers are buying “value” more than features, so much so that 71 percent of consumers surveyed say they trust brands that provide useful information without trying to sell them something.
Here are three things you can work into your content marketing strategy to increase your audience’s trust: Be consistent. Create an emotional connection. Incorporate existing customer recommendations into your strategy.”
7. Assessing the necessity is the first step to a good content marketing campaign: Kumar Arora
Kumar Arora in the article “Here’s How to Improve Your Business’s Content Marketing”:
Content marketing is the only type of marketing that doesn’t cost anything. What’s more? It’s as profitable a marketing strategy as paid search advertising or paid social marketing.
You’ve probably heard many times the importance of keeping a blog and creating social content. Assessing the necessity is the first step to a good content marketing campaign. Does it align with your business model? Do you have the resources for the upkeep of a blog site?
Content marketing is a lot of work. If you don’t see how content marketing can serve you, or if you don’t have the means to update the blog periodically, it is not the right time to launch content marketing.
If content marketing serves your business model and you have the resources to run the blog, ask yourself this next: What’s your goal? In other words, what are you trying to accomplish with a content marketing campaign?
For an e-commerce website, the obvious goal is to increase the conversion rate by producing highly convertible content. Ecommerce conversion rate refers to the percentage of website visitors who make a purchase on the site.
The conversion rate in a broader sense refers to the percentage of users who take a calculated move. It could be based on a number of indicators, such as the percentage of people who filled out and submitted the contact form, or the percentage of people who RSVP’d to the webinar series.”
8. Create content with behavior in mind – and mix it up with varied content formats: Sujan Patel
Sujan Patel in the article “5 Ways to Improve Your Content Marketing Efforts for 2019”:
Humans are complex, but we’re also remarkably similar. If you understand even a little about human behavior, you can give yourself an edge. Take the Fogg Behavior Model, for example. It states that motivation, ability, and trigger must occur at the same time for someone to take action. Miss just one – or even not enough of one – and your content won’t convert.
Or explore Cialdini’s six principles of persuasion. A little social proof – number of subscribers, famous clients, social media engagement – can make us more likely to take the requested action (canned laughter on a sitcom is an example of this at work — we laugh because others laughed). Persuade better, convert better.
Content marketing has survived because of lower associated costs and higher performance than more traditional tactics. But that’s not to say it hasn’t evolved over the years, or that it won’t continue to change going forward. Video, AI, and Instagram are on the rise. Tomorrow may bring completely new formats, channels, and tactics.
Do you lean heavily on one type of content? If so, you’re not alone. But consider: blog output by brands has increased over 800% in the past five years, and organic social share of blogs has decreased by 89%. The takeaway? Blogging and sharing on social media alone will not make you stand out, spread awareness, or generate traffic to your site or landing pages. You’ve got to mix it up.
Launch a podcast or video series. Get active on Instagram. Create infographics. Share how-tos, listicles, expert roundups, why pieces, think pieces, profiles, interviews, Q&As, behind-the-scenes, surveys, and more. Try different forms and distribution channels. Explore paid promotion.”
9. If you want to get your money’s worth, your content should be strategic in the topics you choose: Keran Smith
Keran Smith in the article “Why is Content Marketing Important?”:
For those wondering why is content marketing important, take a look at all of the ways that content can help your business bring in new leads. Lead generation is important for small businesses that rely on consistent traffic to grow their brand and boost sales. Content marketing is not only great for lead generation, but it’s also affordable.
Though content marketing costs about 62% less than traditional marketing tactics, it generates about 3 times as many leads, according to DemandMetric. The affordability of content marketing makes it a necessary tactic for small businesses that want to maximize their budget.
It’s important to note that content marketing is time intensive, and it can also take a while to see the results of your efforts. This is especially true when it comes to SEO. However, when it comes to creating quality content, a little can go a long way. In fact, according to Social Media Examiner, more than 81% of marketers found that they experienced increased traffic by investing as little as 6 hours per week in their social media content.
Not only is content marketing an affordable tactic, but it also provides an ROI that small businesses just can’t ignore.
The importance of content marketing is easy to see when you consider the return on investment. Since creating content is fairly affordable and highly effective, many small businesses will see an impressive ROI on their content marketing over time. In fact, per dollar spent, content marketing efforts produce 3 times as many leads as paid search ads.
The key to maximizing content ROI is creating a content marketing strategy that takes your target market into consideration. You should never just create content for the sake of creating content. If you want to get your money’s worth, your content should be strategic in the topics you choose, types of assets you produce, and your promotional methods.”
10. To maximize content marketing benefits, there are some things to avoid like the plague: Miles Anthony Smith
Miles Anthony Smith in the article “What Is a Content Marketing Strategy and Why Does Having One Matter?”:
It would be a mistake to use content to pitch a product or service directly since people who read/view our content usually aren’t ready to buy. They can draw the conclusion that you sell something as they read more of your content. Plus, if you hook them into subscribing to your email list by giving away an ebook, you can continue the conversation with content first, but you can sprinkle a pitch or two in your emails to them.
Focus on educating the potential consumer, and over time, they will reward you. Give a lot of value away via longer-form content. Don’t skimp. Because there is so much competition, you must find a way to stand out in terms of quality and comprehensive information.
If you have the resources, you should do both quality and quantity, but if you have to pick (as most of us do), choose to produce less quantity, but higher-quality content.
Yet, it’s surprising how few organizations focus on quality. There is a palpable pressure to regularly pound out content, but is that really that effective? We recommend you create less content if that means you can take more time to create something robust and invaluable to your reader. Then spend extra time promoting the heck out of it.”
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