The Ultimate Guide to Content Marketing in 2020

The Ultimate Guide to Content Marketing in 2020
Jay Gross

Main picture for The Ultimate Guide to Content Marketing in 2020

There’s that buzzword again, you know – the one you can’t stop hearing no matter what you do?

It’s hiding in the shadows around every corner in your office. It’s tip-toeing around the lunch table, eavesdropping on every conversation. It’s lurking in every business meeting you have. 

Because just like you know the inevitable fate that befalls Jack and Jill after they fetched that cursed pail of water.

It knows that every business conversation will eventually lead to content marketing.

And that’s all because it’s important – vitally important – to any business.

Including yours.

So how do you implement it? How do you add this onto your already full plate. And the ever-important question, how do you embrace content marketing and make it a successful strategy in your business?

Maybe you’re deep into your content marketing journey and are struggling or frustrated, maybe you’re just starting on your journey, or maybe you want to know what in the heck I’m even talking about.

No matter where you’re at, content marketing is a crucial step – and it doesn’t have to be hard.

But you do have to have an excellent strategy and you do have to do it right.

Know this – creating content just for the sake of creating content is not the right way.

You must create engaging content that people want to read.

No matter the stage you’re in, Digital Marketing Tools is here to help. 

While your competitors are running with a middle-of-the-road content marketing strategy, we will show you everything you need to know to create a grrreat one.

via GIPHY

So set your frustrations aside and prepare to learn how to build your business the right way using content marketing.

Contents hide

What is Content Marketing?

If you’re like me and about 95% of Americans out there, content marketing has confused you at some point, and maybe it still does.

Heck – I was content marketing certified (yes, it’s a thing… don’t laugh), and even I really didn’t know the full implications of the term.

I knew how to write articles and blog posts, after all, I was a content marketer – but I didn’t realize the immense value that I could wield with even more knowledge of content marketing.

It casts a very wide net.

Let’s play a game – do you know what you’re reading right now?

If you guessed content marketing, that’s written about…well…content marketing, you get a gold star for the day!

We use this article (and others like it) to give you, the reader, valuable content for free to build our organic (not paid) audience. 

And we hope that you will find great value in it and come back again. 

And that, my friends, is really the key to content marketing. 

You know that feeling you get when you help people? That’s kind of like content marketing. You’re helping people solve a problem they’re having – for free.

The problem they’re having could be anything: Be a better basketball player, learn how to be happy with themselves, cooking for themselves, or even creating your own ice-cream flavor.

Any crazy idea you can come up with, there’s probably someone that needs help with it.

And your goal is to give them a helping hand.

give people a helping hand with content marketing

Image by Sasin Tipchai from Pixabay

Think of content marketing as karmic. You’re helping people for free, and those people will stick around; they will follow you, they may purchase something from you in the future, and they may even become a brand advocate and advertise for you.

Sure, it’s a lengthy journey, but what’s the worst that can happen? You can feel good about yourself for giving people great information that could help them in life? 

I don’t know about you, but I’m ok with that.

Many people get it wrong – heck, many businesses still get it wrong.

For example, Wikipedia describes it as:

…a form of marketing focused on creating, publishing, and distributing content for a targeted audience online.

Accurate? Sure. Short-sighted? Absolutely.

The word ‘marketing’ has such a negative connotation with it – I wish they would drop it from the term altogether.

But I digress.

For my money, I love Neil Patel’s definition:

…content marketing is a long-term strategy that focuses on building a strong relationship with your target audience by giving them high-quality content that is very relevant to them on a consistent basis.

His description brings up some important takeaways for you to remember:

  1. Long-term strategy – it’s not a pay to play short-term money grab. It’s a long-term strategy that may not show results for months.
  2. Strong relationship – this is key – you’re working to build a great relationship with your target audience. 
  3. High-quality content – you’re delivering top quality, relevant, engaging, and helpful content to them – and you are NOT throwing advertising in their face at every chance.
  4. Consistency – people come to rely on consistency, so whatever your format, you must remain consistent.

And if you can remember this section, if you can remember the bullet-list above, if you can remember that your primary goal is to help people, you’re already doing better than half of the content marketers out there today.

Types of Content Marketing?

This is a trick question.

Why?

Because we can consider almost anything a type of content marketing. Anything that delivers content to your target audience – blogging, writing, tweeting, emailing, creating gifs, or even in-person demos.

But let’s briefly touch on some more popular types that you can add to your strategy.

Blogs

Blogs are often at the top of the list because they’re a great way to improve your search engine optimization (SEO), build relationships with your current customers and leads, and bring a new audience into the fray.

And it gives you the freedom to write about anything your heart desires. Well, assuming that it has something to do with your business.

It’s a way for you to express your viewpoints while helping people out by giving them the information they need.

There are plenty of businesses in which their entire model revolves around their blog.

And though it seems over-saturated, you could do a lot worse than blogging. You just have to use our tips (below) to stand out from the crowd.

Videos

Video is the new Furby, the new Tickle Me Elmo, or even the new Totally Hair Barbie (who was, I’m told, the hottest Barbie of the decade). 

So, are you using video?

Well…are you?

comparison of a furby to how popular video content is in content marketing

Image by Alexas_Fotos from Pixabay

(Sorry if that creeped you out a little.)

The phrase “a picture is worth a thousand words” may be overused – but there’s a reason for that. Because visual content catches the eye, it can tell a story in a single image, and it can substantially increase clicks.

But all visual content looks up in awe at the ever-powerful video

One-third of all online activity is spent watching video content.

It is one of the best types of content marketing to reach and engage your target audience, no matter your industry.

Infographics

Infographics help businesses provide value by educating their audience and adding a significant visual element to any platform. And, hey – they can be fun!

And everyone likes fun.

Here’s an infographic about…well…infographics :).

An Infographic About Infographics

From Visually.

Cool, eh?

Case studies

Who are you going to listen to – Jan Schman, your excellent friend (and wife of Joe Schmo), or an ad in Sunday’s paper?

They both tell you the same thing: That you should buy Totally Hair Barbie because she is the hottest Barbie of the decade.

And yet, how you hear it, or rather who you hear it from, makes a major difference. 

And it doesn’t always take a friend. Reading or hearing about a story about how a product or service helped a customer, from that customer, can have a considerable impact.

And therein lies the value of case studies.

Sure, you can tell people how valuable your service or product is, but people love to hear from others just like them why your product worked great for them. 

Think of the popularity of reviews – I don’t know about you, but I’ve been known to spend countless hours on reviews – even for my last purchase: a $25 pair of sandals. 

Ebooks

Think of eBooks like a blog post, only long(er)-form. They don’t have to be the latest Stephen King novel, but they should be longer than any blog post you create.

Give your audience valuable and engaging information, and be careful not to think of every page as an advertisement.

EBooks are often used to collect lead information. I’m sure you’ve stumbled on a site – or, as I have, about 100 – that was giving away a free ebook to sign up to their email list?

And, as I have, I’m sure you signed up if the information seemed worth having.

Checklists

Checklists are valuable to potential customers. They provide a step-by-step guide for solving a particular problem or achieving a specific result. Giving the client the exact pathway to go.

They are also a great type of content for you, as they provide great value and are easy to promote on many different platforms.

Interviews

Interviews are another form of content that can go cross-platform. You can do an interview with an industry expert, a business that partners well with yours, an influencer, or even a customer. 

Interviews can help your audience better understand your product or service and everything that you have to offer. And it can increase brand awareness and position you as an expert in the industry.

Now for the fun part – interviews can be broadcast in several ways: A live stream on Facebook Live, as a blog post, broken out on social media posts, on YouTube, or what’s next on this list…

Podcasts

microphone to record a podcast as a type of content marketing

Photo by Matt Botsford on Unsplash

Think of podcasts as an audio blog post. Many people do interviews, but many also discuss an important topic related to their business or brand.

For example, rather than (or in addition to) this blog post, I could write some notes, grab a decent microphone, and take to the airwaves in a podcast format.

Engaging and valuable content is again key, maybe more than other platforms, but if you have that and build an audience, that audience will follow you anywhere.

Social Media Posts

You didn’t think you would get away from this conversation without discussing social media, did you? 

Social media should be a large part of your content marketing strategy, (you should also implement a social media marketing strategy.)

Content marketing and social media go together like Batman and Robin, Aladdin and Jasmine, grilled peanut butter & jelly (and if you haven’t had a grilled PB&J, stop what you’re doing and make one, stat!)

social media and content marketing go together like grilled peanut butter and jelly

GIFs and Memes

If you haven’t been sidetracked while working (errr…trying to) by GIFs and memes for hours on end, I don’t even know you anymore.

They are fun, often funny, and can pack a wallop when done right for your content marketing strategy. Consider it entertainment, but again, be sure to bring it back around somehow, even a little, to your brand.

We love memes.

Testimonials or Reviews

I won’t go in-depth here, because I believe I’ve already said enough, but people are always looking for testimonials and reviews to pour through before making a choice.

Make sure you’re always actively getting them, putting them on your website, and sharing them where you can.

User-Generated Content (UGC)

UGC is all too often forgotten. And it’s really too bad – it’s a fantastic content marketing strategy because it gets customers involved in your content. Maybe it’s as simple as a review, or a social media post touting your business that you can use (be sure to ask), or perhaps they go so far as to create a meme, gif, or video. 

Either way, people respond to others like them, so if you can find good UGC, it can be a goldmine.

Why is Content Marketing Important?

Picture two scenarios:

  • Scenario #1 – You meet someone you barely know for coffee to discuss the possibilities of you traveling to the past. Your pleasantries are barely out of the way, and you haven’t even sipped your delicious Coffee Americano when this person (you think his name was Sam, but you can’t really remember) says, ” You want to change the past? You have to purchase my amazing, new, flux capacitor. I mean, everybody needs a flux capacitor! It literally makes time travel possible! It’s great, here are some reviews, I’ll give you a great discount! Whaddya say!?”
back to the future flux capacitor

Image by Dave Tavres from Pixabay

  • Scenario #2 – You sit down with a person you barely know for a cup of coffee to discuss time travel. You exchange pleasantries, you learn that his name is Joe, he’s had a crazy journey, and it’s so far taken him here. As you talk about yourself and why you need to travel to the past, he listens, he makes eye contact, and when you’re done talking, Joe gives you some great advice that actually helps. You two sip your coffee and talk for thirty minutes, after which, you feel like you know Joe. Joe gives you one last piece of good advice, and at the end of the conversation, he gives you his card and tells you to call him if you’d like to get together and talk again.Now, you don’t know Joe, but you feel like you have known him for quite some time. And you do, you meet Joe often, and he helps you quite often. You know the option for the flux capacitor is always there, and you may one day need it. But for now, you’re content.

Which scenario would you rather encounter?

And you probably guessed where I’m going with this.

Scenario #1? That’s marketing.

Scenario #2? That’s content marketing, baby, and isn’t it, oh so divine??

***Dean martin or Sinatra***

And that, my friends, is why content marketing is king. And why it’s not going away any time soon.

Importance of Content Marketing for Small Business

I’m not going to sugarcoat it – every business should have a great content marketing strategy. Unless, that is, you have no desire to grow or expand.

So, if you don’t have one, it’s time to jump on that horse. It may just be the thing you need to get your business back on track, push your business over the edge, or take your business to the next level. 

***jumping on a horse***

Even if your business is successful without it, there’s something there for you. Because it can lead you to new avenues and gain you even more clients.  

Here’s what content marketing can do for your small business:

  1. Build and spread brand awareness
  2. Drive traffic to your website and/or key landing pages
  3. Build relationships and bring in potential leads
  4. Bring in additional revenue

Don’t you want some of that?

How does Content Marketing Work? 

Good content marketing is a little like a fairy tale relationship.

Initially, the other person isn’t even aware you exist. But soon you put yourself out there, saying and doing interesting things.

Eventually, this other person takes notice, and they begin to pay attention to what you’re doing.

Interested, they may even eventually reach out and start engaging with you in some way.

This interest can eventually lead them to make a bold step – to make a purchase from you.

Many think this is the end. But they are oh, so wrong.

This is like the first date – and you don’t propose marriage on the first date.

You continue to put out the vibe – you continue to be helpful in any way you can to your new customer.

In doing so, your customer continues to get closer to you, eventually even telling others about you.

Now you’re starting to create a brand advocate – and boy, do you want brand advocates.

And just think – most people stop at the first sale.

That whole song and dance is considered the customer journey.

In a nutshell, it looks a little like this:

  1. Unknown – Joe Schmo hasn’t crossed paths with you yet – but he’s about to google a term that brings him to one of your blog posts
  2. Casual reader – Your blog post inspires Joe. He’s interested. He’s interested enough to go back to your page and read more
  3. Interested reader – Now he visits your page more often and eventually clicks onto a landing page
  4. Lead – Joe fills out a form on the website to show interest. He then gets contacted from you in some form (email, call, social media)
  5. Customer – Joe decides it’s worth it – he’s in. He makes a purchase.
  6. Promoter or brand advocate – Joe loves your product, he loves your customer service and, and he loves your consistent communication and still your engaging and helpful content. He writes a great review or even gives you a testimonial. And he’s now telling his friends and family – and eventually, anyone that will listen, about you and your product or service.

The more brand advocates you can get, the better off you are.

Because not only will they holler your name from the rooftop, they will be the first person in line for that shiny new product you create as well.

Think the lines that form for the new iPhone.

***iphone line***

You Need a Great Content Marketing Strategy

Your content marketing strategy steps, in a nutshell

What’s that? You don’t have a content marketing strategy?

You’re just going to start posting?

Well, that may have actually worked in the past.

But not anymore.

Because…what are you going to post? On which platform(s)? How often? 

Better yet, who are you going to direct it towards?

And just what are you planning to say? 

Those are questions that all of your competitors have already answered.

Do I have your attention now?

Because before you just go posting all willy-nilly on us, you need a content marketing strategy.

And as always, we’ve got your back.

How to Create a Content Marketing Strategy

Creating a content marketing strategy upfront will save you loads of time later on, and it will help you remain consistent in producing content that people like and share.

But first things first, have you created your overall marketing strategy for your business? We go over the basics in our Ultimate Guide to Social Media Marketing (note: this link takes you directly to the strategy section). If you haven’t done this yet, we highly encourage you to start there.

But where do you go from there?

Below are six easy steps to follow for your content marketing strategy.

1. Research

Your research never ends. Not really.

But I put it first on the list because you have a lot of research to do up front, even before you choose your content marketing strategy. 

Specifically:

  • What is your competition doing out there? What social media are they on? What’s working and what’s not?
  • What does your audience like? Do they like blog posts? Maybe they like podcasts? Which social media channels are they hanging out on?

2. Set Your Goals

how to set content marketing goals

Set long-term and sustainable goals. 

Why are you content marketing? Is it to build relationships? Improve your client’s experience? Is it build leads? Maybe it’s to create brand awareness?

And once you have that, choose your stage.

***picture of a stage***

And remember, creating content just to create content is never a good goal.

So set goals that are realistic and attainable. Meaning, whichever platforms you choose, make sure you stick to a schedule and follow a content calendar.

Here’s a good rule of thumb to start with

  1. Pick at least one long-form content avenue (blog, podcast, email newsletters) to get your voice out there.
  2. Pick two social media channels to post multiple times every week
  3. Engage and interact with your audience on all channels
  4. Be consistent.

Always remember:

All content you share with the world should do at least one:

  • Educate/Inform
  • Inspire/Motivate
  • Entertain

3. Create and Publish Your Content

Ultimately, the first step may be the hardest. Because what do you create? I’ve sat in the planning stages for months, avoiding the day that I went “live”, and if you haven’t been out there up to this point, it’s easy to do. 

Being real, being truthful, and being raw can be hard, especially putting that out into the world for all to see.

But it’s so worth it.

Just put pen to paper and go, and once you’ve created content, decide which platforms you’re putting it on, and hit that publish button.

4. Promote

Don’t forget to promote your content. 

For example, did you just write a great blog post? How are people going to find it?

Share it on social media, in an email, scream it from the rooftops. Do anything to get people checking out your content.

5. Measure

Once you publish content, it’s important to measure your results. By doing so, you understand what’s working the best, what your audience adores, and what you could do without.

Some categories to measure?

  • Consumption – What did your audience do with the content? What actions did they take? Views, downloads, listens, visits, etc. 
  • Sharing – How often did your audience share your content?
  • Lead generation – How many leads came from this piece of content? Did it do what it was supposed to do?
  • Sales – If you set out to make money from this piece of content, did you? And how much?

There are content marketing tools to help you every step of the way.

6. Optimize

Your research never ends. 

Measure your results, continue to research your competition, and use some of the tools available to you to find other metrics to dig into (think broad, not just you or your competition, what are other businesses doing that’s crushing it? Could you implement anything like that?)

Then, optimize your content, your cadence, your voice to attain better results.

That, my friends, is a quick and dirty content marketing strategy in a nutshell. Go through it, rinse, and repeat.

And enjoy – remember, this should be fun!

 

 

Content Marketing Tips

“You need to create ridiculously good content – content that is useful, enjoyable and inspired.”

~Ann Handley, Digital marketing pioneer, and author

If you’ve been in this game for longer than a few days, you know that a strategy and creating content is only half the battle. You have to consistently look for ways to optimize what you’re doing, but also continually add content, and continuously improve the content you’re creating.

It’s all daunting, isn’t it?

I’m sure you’re thinking – “I should be doing something else with all the time this is taking!”

But you also know it’s essential. So you slog through it, anyway.

Let’s see if we can save you some time and make this easier on you.

Repurpose Your Content

There’s little doubt that creating content can take time – especially creating useful content. Which is why so many companies find ways to repurpose existing content. 

Some take this to the next level and call this splintering.

For example, take a blog post you just wrote. Can you do some of the following?

  • Post a quote
  • Add one of the tips to another social media post
  • Post a gif to another
  • Add a piece of advice to yet another post

All while linking to the original blog post.

And that’s just a start, a business that’s good at splintering their content could get ten posts out of a single article, schedule them for different days, and voila, you’ve got yourself a great couple of weeks set up!

Recycle, Reduce, Reuse and Close the Loop

Creating green content, or content that doesn’t get old and can be reused at a later date, is something you should strive for.

Maybe you won’t take my word for it, but will you take Recycle Rex’s?

I know – it’s catchy. Feel free to sing along while you read on…

By creating good quality content that’s also green, you can go back to old content and re-post, repurpose, and straight-up reuse. 

The timing will depend on the platform.  

So keep a calendar and track everything you’ve posted, when you’re in a pinch, start going back in time and recycling your old content.

You’ll be happy you did.

There’s Nothing Quite like Curating Content

The content marketing world is one place where stealing content is acceptable.

We just have a nicer word for it – curating. 

It’s taking great information, a great post, quote, or any other type of content, and using it for your own purpose.

Make it your own by adding some commentary in your own brand voice, give credit where credit is due (retweet, links, etc.) and post other’s content. As long as you agree with it, it’s relevant, and your audience will appreciate it.

And hey, it’s a-ok. People love it when you share their content as well, as long as you give credit where credit is due.

Think of it like this – you write a great article, and people start sharing it on their feeds, but they’re giving you credit and linking back to your website.

Ideally, this will get people reading their content, and will also drive people to your content.

So – win-win!

Say Something Worth Saying

With the millions of blog posts and billions of social media posts produced every day, it’s hard to stand out from the crowd.

To do so, say something worth saying. Something that your audience cares about. Something fun and funny. Take a stand. Be a voice worth following. 

Use Social Proof

Social proof is outside proof that what you’re talking about is true. For example, in the eCommerce world, you would use reviews as social proof that your product is excellent and potentially superior to others.

In the content marketing world, these come in the form of links to other articles and data, quotes from those that are considered leaders or influencers on a given topic, and stats in the name of infographics, to name a few.

Sprinkle these throughout your posts, and people will associate your brand with being on point, and people will associate you and your content marketing with truth and positivity.

SEO and Content Marketing

I think in a much simpler time, when the internet boom was beginning, we could post articles, keywords be damned, but now…not so much.

We’ve established that competition is fierce. While some still take the “keyword-less” approach to content (publishing content that serves their audience first and foremost), and we respect that, we recommend finding a way to do both.

Because you can bet your bottom dollar that your competitors are.

Write great content that serves the reader, but figure out how to use keywords within that context.

Practice Makes Perfect…Content

Always practice your skills. I write for a living, and yet I practice and read about it daily. You can always get better.

  • Practice posting a lot on one platform, see what’s working.
  • Practice writing in general. Just write, write, write. Every day.
  • Practice short form and long-form social media posts
  • Practice headlines, because they are crucial for blog posts, but also grab attention in social media posts

Just keep working at it and getting better.

Just Be Yourself

Keep being yourself and always write in your brand voice that your audience is coming to expect. It doesn’t matter whether you’re writing a blog post, doing a podcast, or tossing out a quick post on Twitter.

The Importance of a Social Media Content Strategy

Social media marketing is a massive part of any content marketing strategy, and yours should be no different.

Honestly, any content marketing strategy that doesn’t involve a social media content strategy, to me, is incomplete.

You already know that everyone is on social media, so you should be too. You can do worse than finding your ideal customers in a sea of 2.95 billion people.

Publish and Manage With a Content Marketing Calendar

Far be it from me to tell you what to do, but I’d recommend you look for or create a content marketing calendar.

It will help you stay on track and plan out at least one week in advance, more if you’d like. It enables you to avoid the pitfall of scrambling – last second – to post something on social media, or forgetting what your post would be about. Or even *gasp* forgetting you had to have an article ready by tomorrow at 8 AM.

part of your strategy should be to remain consistent.

You can put out great content, but your audience is demanding. And if it’s not there by every Tuesday for them to read while they’re eating their breakfast burrito – they will grow tired of your inconsistencies and move onto someone they can rely on.

And you don’t want to upset your audience, do you?

via GIPHY

There are digital calendars you can purchase online (and even some for freebies!), monthly to-do lists & calendars (I use Infinity / Trello) that can do so much more, or simply create your own content calendar like I used to do.

Any way is fine, whichever works best for you!

The Content Marketing Metrics that Matter

There’s one last major step to your strategy, and it can really set you apart. Because as many businesses pay as close of attention to this as should, so it’s an area where you can get ahead.

And that area is analyzing your content marketing metrics to see what’s working, what’s not, and decide what you will do about it.

It involves doing more of what’s working and changing your strategy for what’s not.

And it’s a continual effort. You should measure your metrics monthly, if not more.

There are tools out there to help you, such as Google Analytics.

Some things you do will be great, but some just won’t receive the love you’re looking for.

By focusing on the content marketing metrics that matter, you’ll be able to narrow it down, keep doing what’s working, and focus on fixing what’s not.

So, without further ado…here are some metrics for you to pay close attention to.

Social Media Shares

You’ll want to pay special attention to social media shares. The more people like your stuff, the more they will share it with people all of their followers. Who knows – you could even go viral.

Great, so how do you track shares? Luckily for you, most social media platforms have built-in analytics systems that will give you the information you’re looking for. Still, there are also 3rd party tools, such as Sendible, which can monitor social activity across platforms and could be worth seeking out.

Traffic

Don’t worry – this is the good kind of traffic. The kind of traffic you want. The kind of traffic you need

And you need to know more about it. Where’s it coming from? Where’s it navigating to? Where’s it spending most of its time?

There are plenty of tools for that, an easy one that most people use in some fashion is Google Analytics.

Bounce Rate

You take the good, you take the bad, you take them all, and then you have…

via GIPHY

The facts of content marketing, the facts of content marketing (it doesn’t quite have the same ring to it, does it?)

What I’m trying to get across in my weird way, what I’m trying to get across is when measuring analytics, you’re going to find good and you’re going to find bad. And bounce rates are bad.

But bad is simply an opportunity to find something and make it better, and that’s your goal here. 

Bounce rate is the percentage of users that left a particular page without visiting any other website pages.

If a specific page on your website has a high bounce rate, then there’s possibly something not quite right with the page that needs a little tweaking.

Maybe some aren’t finding what they’re looking for on the page, perhaps your load times are bad, or maybe your SEO needs refinement.

This is your opportunity to find and optimize.

He’s Baaaack!

And it’s a marvelous thing! 

One of the most important things is developing a relationship with your readers.

And you can track who comes back, how often, and what they interact with.

So it’s important to set the standard that you’re here to interact from the get-go. Turn on the comment section, leave calls-to-action (CTA’s) asking for your reader’s involvement (asking for future content/post ideas), be active on social media by responding to and engaging with others.

Your favorite readers are those who keep coming back, and may one day purchase from you and tell their friends.

Keep them close.

Engagement

Piggy-backing off the comment above, engagement with any post, whether it be: likes, shares, follows, comments, or mentions, is a must. 

Why did a particular post or article get so many shares and likes? Find what made it popular and follow that structure.

Time on Page

The amount of time someone spends on your page is a great metric. If people spend an insane amount of time on one page, what do you have there that could cause it? Can you use that strategy on other pages? Or, if it’s content, can you splinter the content out to other platforms?

Again, Google Analytics is your friend.

The Future of Content Marketing

Content marketing is not going anywhere – it will only grow.

Seth Godin said that content marketing is:

“The only marketing left.”

And when Seth Godin speaks, we listen.

But we don’t need Seth to tell us that it’s here to stay. It’s real, it’s helpful, and it’s engaging, and often, it’s fun. Oh – and it’s perfect for this generation of online marketers.

The question you should ask yourself is,

how will it grow?” 

Fantastic question, thank you for asking.

Allow us to try our hand at answering it for you.

Create Less Content, But…

The game’s changing. 

It’s no longer “throw as much as you can at a wall and see what sticks.”

Though, that actually kinda worked for a while.

People would inflate their blog posts to 2,000+ keywords of bloated words. Send out 30 social media posts on a particular platform each and every week, create 20 podcasts in a week, and sometimes they would do all of it.

And while that may be impressive, it’s no good if none of it means anything.

Why? Because the internet is more flooded than ever with blogs and social media accounts. Anyone with a working cell phone enjoys telling people what they think of the world on social media. And everyone who can cobble together a sentence thinks they can start a blog.

But none of this should deter you from doing any of it, in fact, you should be doing all of it.

The trick? Stand out.

Stop focusing on quantity so much and focus on quality.

Your brand, your blog posts, your social media posts – everything – has to stand out from the crowd. 

Be the Purple Cow. 

stand out in content marketing by being the "purple cow"

Image by kordula vahle from Pixabay

“You’re either a Purple Cow, or you’re not. You’re either remarkable or invisible. Make your choice.”

~Seth Godin

I think you get the picture.

Good Content Marketing means Real-Time Conversation

Or as close to it as possible.

Human interaction is always best – which is why we recommend checking your social media feeds and comment section at least once per day – more often if you can. (there are tools to help you with this ***link***)

In fact, 67% of consumers are now turning to social media to post complaints or ask questions.

In today’s impatient, “I want it NOW” world, it’s no surprise that people expect a response quicker than ever.

via GIPHY

But it’s not just about customer service. People expect quicker responses to everything from comments on a blog post to queries about a Facebook post to questions when navigating a website for the first time.

But you’re not always available, so what do you do?

Many businesses hire people to be available when needed. 

And you’ve probably recognized the other trend – chatbots. Yep, some of your favorite websites probably now have chatbots.

Why wouldn’t they? They’re inexpensive, and while they are obviously a chatbot (no point in trying to hide it), people still appreciate the interaction. 

Voice Search 

In 2018 the number of voice searches reached over one billion, and it’s generally thought that over half of all searches this year will be conducted by voice.

Which means we have some work to do. Because only about 60% of voice queries are answered accurately.

Sure, some of that is technology. 

But how can you help?

By taking to heart something that we preach – writing conversationally. By writing headlines and key phrases the way you speak to others, you will help search queries find you.

Instead of this headline:

Content Marketing for Business

Try:

How do You Use Content Marketing for Your Business

Highly Personalized Content

People have a need to be individual; they don’t want to receive the same content their neighbor receives when their interests may differ.

Use tools (often found for free within certain social media platforms) to help you narrow down your niche into many separate groups to target gender, age-groups, and even household income, in your content.

Pillars and Clusters – Building Content Authority

“2020 will be all about building topical authority.”

~Kelsy Reeves, Organic Growth Marketing

If you follow our blog posts (or at least check back every once in a while, please?), you will notice a trend.

And that trend is no accident.

We are creating pillar pages with cluster content. So a page may be for social media marketing, with the cluster content being anything that falls under the broader term of social media marketing, such as Facebook marketing and LinkedIn Marketing.

Why? 

Frankly, it used to be easier for marketers by just placing all of our content on one page. 

But that didn’t work as well for you, and now Google has recognized that too. 

So call it a ‘two birds with one stone’ scenario.

We help you out by focusing our pages into pillars, so you can better find what you’re looking for, along with information related directly to the topic.

And Google helps us, and in turn you, by ranking our page better. Better for us and easier for you to find the valuable information you’re seeking.

Podcasts 

Podcasts just keep growing.

Personally, they’ve become one of my favorite forms of content. It’s an education system and storytelling built into one that I can listen to while I drive, while I eat, or while I hit the gym in my bid to look like Sylvester Stallone (I’m not close.)

With that kind of convenience, it’s no wonder that the form is still growing, with millions of podcasts expected to launch this year.

But…

Visual Content is King

Visual content continues to do well and grow.

Especially in the realm of videos and live-streaming.

In fact, it’s getting to where consumers expect to receive video content from their favorite brands.

And for your benefit, video content keeps your audience engaged longer than anything else.

No matter your content marketing platform(s) of choice, be sure part of your strategy revolves around visual.

I’ll leave you with this:

“We believe that in 2020, YouTube is going to be the place where business owners thrive most. Contrary to the over-saturated and expensive ad platform over at Facebook, YouTube video ads are relatively an untapped goldmine. Additionally, because it’s video, there is a much better ROI for business owners if they can create catchy, quality, engaging video content.”

~Brian Fanale, My Lead Systems Pro

It’s Time to Unleash Your Content Marketing on the World

celebrate understanding and implementing content marketing into your business

Image by StartupStockPhotos from Pixabay

We understand – you have enough on your plate without the stress of adding content marketing to the mix.

We’ve been there too.

But you know just how important it is to do, and to do right.

So instead of stressing out about it, follow the advice above, create a S.M.A.R.T. content marketing strategy, and get out there.

It’ll get easier and easier, and at some point, you’ll realize that maybe this isn’t that bad – and you know what? It’s actually kinda fun.

And you’ll also watch your audience grow and start to go through their customer journey, from buying from you to becoming a brand advocate.

Won’t that feeling be oh so sweet.

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