Content marketing is gaining steam rapidly, and the strategy has now moved far beyond the halls of cutting-edge marketing departments and into the mainstream. That’s not to say it’s past the growing pains though. There is still plenty to learn by marketers rushing to join the CM party.Mere adoption by an overwhelming majority (70% in a recent Ecoconsultancy survey) doesn’t mean that the adopters have gotten this content marketing thing down pat yet. Mistakes abound as marketers try to flatten out the learning curve.
Here are 6 important keys to content marketing success that many marketers still manage to forget, at least as it applies to their content offerings.
1. Ready, Aim….
Targeting and reaching the proper groups is obviously important. A case could be made that it’s job 1 from a content marketer’s perspective. Unless you have a Texas-sized ego, you’re in this to fill a need in the marketplace and make money doing it. Creating your content so it appeals to precisely those people you’re trying to attract and build credibility with goes a long way. To where, exactly?
Well, toward making your boss think you weren’t off your rocker when you submitted that proposal to spend a chunk of your budget publishing a bunch of stuff that your target market would like, in the hopes it would ultimately drive sales. That kind of talk will still get you thrown out of offices and boardrooms across the land, although most execs are now getting wise to content marketing’s potential.
In the name of keeping the goats away, do your research. Follow it amd make sure your content is aimed at the audience most likely to benefit from it…… and that you’re likely to benefit most from.
2. Multi-Platform Optimization
Unless you’ve been asleep lately, you’ve probably heard… the web is mobile now! It’s not a new trend, and it’s accelerating like that cheetah taped to grandma’s back. According to some projections, by next year more than half of all page views will be mobile. In some locales, it’s doubtlessly higher than that already.
Despite all those wondering eyeballs perusing the web on smart phones, iPADs, little green robots, and the occasional Surface, an amazing proportion of site owners have yet to get the message; visitors hate scrolling and zooming while web surfing.
That goes for everyone, from national brands down to little Johnny trying to make his first buck online as an affiliate marketer. There are organizations of all sizes who haven;t got the message: scrolling back and forth sucks! If user experience matters at all, please, for the love of all that is good in this world have your development team move towards multi-platform optimization.
Easy Mobile Optimization
In many cases it’s easy to make your site look properly when a visitor hits it from their KindleFire. If you’re site and/or blog is running on WordPress look for a responsive theme. That means it is supposed to accommodate different sized devices on the fly.
A responsive theme will at least give you a reasonable facsimile of a mobile optimized website. Some themes do a better job of it than others, but any one of them will likely be better than the micro print visitors will find otherwise.
However you do it, make sure the 61% of site visitors one study found that leave non-mobile optimized sites (when viewing them on a mobile device) don’t leave yours. If you just want to let them go, send them this way.
3. Don’t You Forget About Me
In addition to being the title of a great ’80′s song, it’s what you should do with your content after you publish it. Too many brands publish their content, only to let it ride off into the sunset, never to be heard from again.
Sure, they’ll give it the initial promotional shot in the arm, but after that, it’s let to fend for itself like a stray dog. While some of your content may take off and go viral, the fact is that the majority may get some attention, but will never hit the big time.
That doesn’t mean you should forget the whole thing. On the contrary, unless the piece is extremely time sensitive, revisit it every few months for a year or so. There’s no reason your blog post, webinar, or podcast can’t ultimately taste some success.
In fact, it may get better with age, like that 1994 Harlan Estate Cabernet gathering dust in your wine cabinet. After all, it only takes the right person to share it, then look the hell out! That could happen 2 minutes after you publish it, or it may be 4 months later.
4. Pile It Sky High… or Not!
A recent study indicated that, for B2B marketers at least, producing enough content was one of the most imposing obstacles to creating an effective content marketing campaign.
Yes, it’s true, you do need content for content marketing, but you may not have to lay it on so thick. Targeting, engagement and distribution are just as important. Don’t skimp on the quality, and get what you produce in front of the right people, and be sure they like it enough to tell their friends about it.
When you can do all that, add more, but not before.
5. Drag Your Feet, Lose Your Seat
Sometimes there is a definite first mover advantage to content creation. If your brand can exploit such situations as they arise, your content can do very well. Positioning is paramount. Content creation teams need to be ready to step up and deliver when the bell sounds. While most marketing execs recognize that for social media, it can be just as important for content, too.
Just because you’re moving fast to capitalize on a recent development doesn’t mean planing should fall by the wayside, If your team is aligned n your strategy and goals. That way, when opportunities arise, you’ll be poised to take advantage of them, and maximize your content’s effectiveness.
6. Engaging Doesn’t Mean Getting Down on One Knee
Targeting the right audience is great, but if your content doesn’t reach out and grab them, you’re just pissing in the wind, and wasting your budget. Sure, if it’s informative and has at least a modicum of value, you’re going to benefit from it somewhat, but aren’t you looking for more?
Engaging your prospects and customers, making them dig in and immerse themselves is the key to that more. If the content is informative, make them forget they’re learning.
Wha struggles have you found when implementing a content marketing campaign in your organization? Drop in a comment and let us know, and of course you can always share this (It’s oh, so easy!)