5 Best Practices in Content Marketing to Use When Planning Your Strategy
Content marketing is a valuable tool for marketers and business owners who are looking to enhance their online reputations and boost their brands – and there are many ways to go about it. But before you jump directly into the best practices in content marketing, it’s important to start out by understanding what is actually meant by the term “content marketing.” There are lots of different concepts and buzzwords swirling around the digital marketing sphere at the moment, and it’s easy to lose track of what each one means.
Adobe defines content marketing as “a digital, inbound marketing strategy that uses educational, entertaining, or informative content to attract, engage, and grow a target audience.” In other words, building a content marketing strategy implies creating quality content (educational articles, e-books, videos, webinars, etc.) that draws upon your brand’s messaging strategy, and that is actually meaningful to your audience, so that they are likely to react and/or respond to your content in a significant way.
Digital marketing, in general, is becoming an increasingly competitive undertaking, and marketers need to understand how to produce valuable content, not just more content. It’s all about quality over quantity, and that’s where the best practices in content marketing come into play. An effective content marketing strategy is one that follows the five steps outlined below, which are designed to cover not only how to plan and build a successful content marketing strategy, but also highlight what should be in a content strategy.
5 Best Practices in Content Marketing
While the best practices in content marketing are not hard and fast rules, they are highly valued recommendations. So, whether your goal is developing a content marketing strategy for B2B or for B2C, when you follow these recommended steps, you’re likely to end up with a marketing and content strategy that’s strong and effective.
You may think of your products and/or services as your business’s most valuable offerings, and you wouldn’t be wrong. But even when you’re not actively selling those products or services, you can still provide value to your consumers. You can do it by writing an informative article on your blog, or sharing an engaging video on Instagram, or maybe even hosting a webinar. Valuable content will be defined differently by each individual business and its followers, but the idea behind this best practice in content marketing is to keep generating high-quality content that consistently engages your target audience so your brand stays fresh in their minds. Then, the next time they need your product or service, they’re more likely to come to you than to your competitor.
One of the greatest advantages of marketing your business on Facebook, Instagram or other social media platforms is that you can target your content not only to your audience as a whole, but to specific segments within your audience. So if you have a defined group of followers who all live in California, for example, you can create a California-specific post and ask Facebook to show that post only to your followers who live there. It’s a great way to make your audience feel like you are speaking directly to them, and it allows you to allocate your advertising dollars much more directly so you’re not paying to advertise content to people who won’t relate to it. Of all the best practices in content marketing, this one really helps you optimize your ROI.
Focus on Evergreen Content
What good is a video or article whose content goes stale minutes after being posted? When someone scrolls through your Instagram feed or blog page, you want the content they encounter to feel fresh and relevant. For most businesses, that means there’s very little value in generating overly-timely content (like breaking news) and much more value in creating feature story-like content that stays relevant for longer periods.
Engage with Customers
This particular best practice in content marketing refers to the idea of making your followers feel like they are part of the conversation. So whatever piece of content you’re sharing – whether it’s a webinar where you’re already directly engaging with participants by default, or simply a scheduled social media post – be sure to answer their questions, react to their comments, and let them know that you’re there and listening. That little bit of interaction goes a long way in building a relationship of trust and loyalty with your brand.
Don’t be afraid to think outside the box. As we mentioned, marketing in the digital sphere is becoming increasingly competitive as it becomes easier and more affordable for businesses to promote themselves online. Sometimes, all it takes to stand out from the crowd is a little bit of creativity, and that’s what this best practice in content marketing is all about. If everyone else is posting animated gifs on Facebook, maybe you create a full-length video with sound, or go back to basics with a good ol’ fashioned (high res) photo gallery. If they’ve got a hold on educational articles, maybe you publish a book or host a professional speaker series. The possibilities are virtually endless.
We hope you find value in these best practices in content management. But if you are looking for even more information on how to develop a content marketing strategy, contact us today, and one of our Paradigm team members will be in touch to help you get started.