Do you have a content marketing strategy?
Do you have the resources necessary to implement your content marketing strategy?
Do you find it easy to create unique content on a consistent basis?
If you answered NO to any or all of these questions, you’re not alone. According to OneSpot, most firms face these and other problems in managing their content marketing.
In their infographic, OneSpot shares good information and makes some excellent suggestions for overcoming obstacles keeping your content marketing from meeting your expectations.
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I’d like to expand on what Onespot offered:
The content marketing dilemma
The content marketing dilemma is actually multi-pronged.
Creating unique, valuable content on a consistent basis
Driving traffic with your content through effective sharing
Monitoring what’s working and tweaking your strategy
Let’s take a look at each problem encountered in optimizing your content marketing strategy
Content marketing arose out of changes to SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and the social web. Creating unique, valuable (in the eyes of your target audience) content on a consistent basis (2+ times / week) became a non-negotiable criterion for success, forcing firms to develop and implement content marketing strategies.
Despite the need for good content marketing strategies, firms provided too few resources and failed to effectively integrate content marketing into other digital and offline marketing efforts. Given the importance of content marketing in achieving ROI (Return on Investment) or other marketing goals, firms must devote the necessary resources to develop quality content on a consistent basis.
Here are some solutions capable of creating quality content on a consistent basis:
- Hire an outside content marketing firm
- Create cross-functional teams from IT, PR, and marketing to develop a cohesive content marketing strategy and train community managers to implement the strategy
- Crowdsource content from your community under the direction of employees trained in building and managing community
- Guest posts, especially from authoritative sources
- Reuse quality content. DON’T duplicate content, but re-purpose it. If you do a podcast, publish a transcript on your website or use it as part of a video. Combine posts on similar topics into a white paper. Update the information on old posts as technology, best practices, and your market evolve.
- Optimize content for SEO to ensure it gets maximum exposure.
Don’t buy content unless you test to ensure it’s unique, high-quality, and from a reputable source.
Driving traffic to your content requires optimizing your strategies related to organic (earned), owned (your own platforms), and paid (through online advertising media.
So called earned media results from effective SEO and social sharing. Earned media are all those RT, mentions, Likes (+1s), and comments on social networks plus the organic traffic earned through effective SEO, which is a moving target.
Earned media relies heavily on creating valuable content and making it easy to share and bookmark by using tools such as AddThis, which creates social sharing buttons on your website and suggesting related posts when visitors arrive to read something on your site. Outbrain is also great to stimulate sharing because it offers highly visible suggestions for related posts.
Automating these content sharing tasks is the easy with free tools such as Hootsuite or paid tools such as SproutSocial.
But, you need to do more than this to gain earned media cred! You need a community to support you, which requires extensive time, skill, and sharing great content created by others — content curation (studies suggest you should share 10X more curated content than created content).
Owned social media are the social platforms you manage — Facebook pages, Linkedin profiles and pages, Twitter, Instagram … I’ve always created multiple social platforms for clients, but I recently read something suggesting you start with 1 platform and move on to others once you’ve built and audience on the first platform. I may try this — experimentation is always a good thing.
In creating owned media, be aware of best practices for each social network, as well as their terms of service. Getting banned by Facebook is an expensive proposition so stay within guidelines. Create attractive, functional profile pages with compelling images on those platforms you use.
Often overlooked by small brands, paid media is an important element of your content marketing. For example, Facebook nearly wiped out organic reach for brands in Nov, 2013 and, without paid advertising, you’re simply spinning your wheels.
Learning how to optimize advertising on different platforms (including PPC — pay-per-click or Google Adwords advertising) or paying someone to manage this task for your is increasingly necessary. Paid PR using tools like PR Newswire, PR Web, etc help spread your message online, but recent changes called Panda 4 reduce the SEO value of such sites.
Monitoring market performance
Never has monitoring market performance been more critical for success. While using analytics to drive decision-making was always important, it’s now so prevalent that firms lagging behind in creating metrics are losing serious ground to their more intelligence savvy competitors.
Establish KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) across ALL social networks, monitor performance relative to these KPIs, modify social media strategy based on insights, and repeat.
Whether you need a complete analytics strategy, some help with brand marketing, or some consulting to learn how to optimize post content, we can fill your digital marketing funnel. We can help you do your own social media marketing better or do it for you with our community managers, strategists, and account executives. You can request a FREE introductory meeting or sign up for my email newsletter to learn more about social media marketing.