Good news first: In 2016, 62% of B2B content marketers and 63% of their B2C colleagues were “much more” successful with marketing strategies by contrast to 2015. (Source) Doesn’t it sound like we are getting better in content marketing?
2017 is here, and perfection knows no limits for those willing to make the best use of content strategies for more business benefits.
Marketers know that brand awareness is king, so they don’t build content strategies upon traffic and lead generation only. They prioritize brand trust and consumer engagement, which would result in search engines loyalty and, therefore, higher positions in SERP leading to more traffic and conversion.
That’s all well and fine but:
What on earth can you, a professional, do to improve content marketing strategy for brand awareness?
Here are (at least!) nine ways to consider.
CMI reports that only 53% of effective marketers document their strategies, while those with no documentation consider content marketing inefficient. It seems that if you want to get the best results from your strategy – write it down.
When on paper, your content plans and marketing goals become easier to “see” and, therefore, implement with particular tactics and time limits.
Not sure how to document content marketing strategy?
With personalization a hot topic, marketers understand that content strategy is not about business — it’s about people. Competition is high, and today we need to build strategy in the light of content shock, as well as use consumers’ data for their benefit.
So, to improve your content marketing strategy, make it more buyer-centric. For that, consider three factors:
- Know what content type your target consumers prefer, and where they want to access it.
- Know what motivates the audience to buy.
- Know their purchase path, and use content to move consumers through it.
Also, think of content personalization something more than writing peoples’ first names all over the place. Instead, join the 67% of marketers who use behavior-based data to create insight-driven and emotive content.
3) Hero Image
Most people are visually-oriented, and a title picture of your website main or landing page impacts brand awareness by far. It’s the first thing visitors see, so make sure this picture leaves a positive impression, tells a story, and motivates people to scroll and take action.
In other words, you need a hero image for your marketing strategy. It should express a defined goal and evoke emotions, as well as be a personification of your brand.
Four types of hero images to try:
- The picture of product
- The picture of creators
- The picture of context
- The picture of no context but strong visual cues
Another way to increase brand awareness is to give it the identity. If your industry allows a little humor or provocation, create a hero personality who could become a viral sensation. That’s what Dollar Shave Club and Old Spice did for making their brands memorable.
4) Targeted Newsletters
Back to our well-liked CMI, they found that most marketers consider emailing the #1 success metric for measuring content strategy.
With social media growing as quickly as it is, that might sound counter-intuitive, but people still check emails. And even if they don’t open every single email, it still works for brand awareness and exposure.
5) White Papers
The purpose of this content is to educate, not sell, so it won’t evoke any negative emotions from consumers who dislike ads. White papers can help your marketing campaign because:
- They are relevant to your niche;
- They introduce your brand to the audience;
- They teach your topic to people;
- They give practical information, relevant to your audience needs;
- They encourage shares, increasing brand awareness and bringing more leads.
To take content marketing strategy to the next level, make sure you use diverse content types.
- Infographics. They increase the willingness to read your post by 80%. The great example is Omnipapers: with the focus on infographics, they’ve got 200+ backlinks from A-list blogs in the niche and turned a tiny website with no name into the brand.
- Videos. It comes as no surprise they are among top marketing trends of 2017: posts with videos get about 300% more backlinks, and video content at landing pages increases conversion by 86%.
More content types to consider: memes, presentations, podcasts, gifs, slide show, case studies.
7) Influencer Marketing
People don’t trust sales pitches but do trust recommendations from industry leaders and peers. So, the right influencer can help improve your position in the market and add credibility to your product or service.
Efficient tactics to reach influencers include sponsored posts, social media coupon campaigns, and hashtags. Also, keep an eye on competitors to find out which thought leaders work with them. It will help to build a better strategy and grab opportunities you might miss.
To outreach influencers successfully, you’ll need:
- A professional email address;
- Appealing subject lines;
- Personalized approach;
- Concise writing skills;
- Emails sent at a proper time.
In numbers we trust:
85% of people trust content made by peers, not brands; and 80% of all online content is user-generated nowadays. With that in mind, you might want to consider UGC campaigns for building brand awareness and exposure, as well as better virality, SEO, and conversion.
Ways to get UGC:
- Ask consumers to write reviews of your product;
- Organize a competition on social media (Starbucks example);
- Encourage users to share photos with your brand mention (Coca-Cola example);
- Ask them to make a video with your product.
9) Metrics That Matter
No need to remind about the analytics significance for strategy success, but considering metrics that matter could help to improve your content marketing strategy by far.
Jay Baer cuts it into little pieces for marketers, emphasizing four types of content metrics to track:
- Consumption, aka page views, downloads, and visits.
- Social media shares.
- Lead generation, aka how often consumers turn into leads.
- Sales, aka how often leads turn into sales.
With clear content metrics at hand, you will see if the strategy works and which of your efforts bring measurable result.
Yes, leads and conversion matter. However, what’s more important is the relationship between consumers and the brand. Once you realize that your content marketing strategy is about awareness, trust, and engagement, your efforts will be rewarding in spades.
The nine above-listed tactics are just a few ways to improve content marketing campaign. Anything to add?