There’s a reason why businesses of all sizes are investing in their content marketing departments and strategies: it works. According to recent statistics from the Content Marketing Institute, content marketing gets three times as many leads as paid search.
But there’s a bit more to developing a content marketing strategy than just cranking out blog posts and hoping they drive sales.
You already know that blogging and email marketing campaigns can potentially reap great results. In this article, we’ll look at how to take your content marketing strategy to the next level and make it more effective.
Be flexible when developing buyer personas
If you’ve spent time working on your marketing, you’ve likely already developed some buyer personas and thought about targeting your content to them. But how long ago did you create them? Is it time to take another look at these personas to see if they’re still relevant?
We recommend reconsidering your buyer personas on a quarterly basis. Think about recent company goals and marketing initiatives, as well as to reflect demographic data and campaign results. Then, ask yourself if those personas you developed previously still capture your goals and ideal customer types.
This is a smart item to factor into your yearly marketing plan to keep the whole team on track.
Share your success stories
One of the most powerful tools in any content marketer’s arsenal is storytelling. It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day slog of directing content to sales, but don’t ignore all the ways that your company has already helped people. If you have access to reviews, those are a great source of information to see what has stood out about your products or services and made the difference for customers.
You may also want to follow up with some of your best customers for a quick call to discuss their buyer journey. This can yield a relatable, easy-to-reuse story that can help encourage other customers down the funnel. You can use these stories in digital marketing collateral, blog posts and email marketing campaigns, as well as anywhere else that could use a jolt of storytelling power.
Highlight your team
There’s something about having a human face and voice to tie to a name at the other end of the computer that just makes people feel good. That may be why so many businesses are integrating more video into their marketing strategy.
With more money put toward these assets, be sure to highlight your team members. Not only does showing recognition boost positive sentiment internally, but it can also help your customers feel more comfortable and warm toward your company as a whole.
Think about ways to integrate this into your strategy. It could be as simple as adding a “tip corner” in your email marketing communication that lets your customers know fun facts about your team, or maybe it’s having your blog post come from an individual team member, written in the first person. Personalization is important.
Get serious about feedback
It’s not groundbreaking information that gathering analytics can be helpful when shaping the next month, quarter, and year’s expectations on your content marketing calendar. However, it can be really easy to let waning results slide. Be strict with yourself and your team when it comes to the tangible analytics such as click and open rates on an email, or traffic on a blog post.
If there’s a serious dip in numbers, don’t expect them to improve out of thin air. Have an open conversation with your team about what can be done to turn things around. Don’t lay the blame on any one person, but make sure that everyone feels equally invested in the results that you’re attaining.
Chances are good that your company is churning out a ton of content, both in and out of the marketing department. While you likely have a good grasp on what’s happening within marketing, see if there is other reusable content out there.
Has anyone done research or studies that you could turn into a case study? Does your COO moonlight as a blogger? Are there interesting internal reports that might be of interest to a customer? With a little bit of editing magic, you can expand your content marketing strategy to include parts of your business that you may not have ever promoted before.
Looks for ways to expand your reach
It’s easy to get bogged down trying to meet deadlines and hit your web traffic, lead, and sales metrics. However, it’s important to see what others are doing with their content marketing strategies in and out of your industry. This doesn’t mean just attending the annual conference and shaking some hands, but proactively meeting people who are exploring innovative areas of marketing.
One way to do this is to do a content trade where you each write posts for each others’ websites, even if it isn’t in your immediate niche. If your content partner is in an adjacent niche or industry, that can bring web traffic from new people who would never have found you otherwise, which can then lead to more sales for your business.
It’s always worth making an uncomfortable first step to try something new, and a curious mind can lead to new initiatives that can seriously affect the way that you conduct business. If you have a big idea, try to find a way to make it work, even if it means putting in a few more hours. Those big ideas are often the game changers.