Content marketing is one of the most time consuming, difficult marketing initiatives you can undertake, but it’s also one of the most rewarding for your business. It takes a great deal of commitment and effort to plan, develop, distribute and promote content, but the returns can be exponential, including increased website visitors, new leads and higher sales.
It’s most challenging for small to medium-sized businesses who don’t have the time, resources and skill set needed for their content marketing program to be successful. They typically end up either not doing it at all or doing it poorly, despite how critical it is to the success of its website and other digital properties, including social media platforms.
As a digital marketing agency who regularly helps clients plan and implement content marketing, we’ve seen companies make some very common mistakes that can completely negate the benefits of doing it in the first place. Do any of these sound familiar?
- Your HR person manages the company’s content marketing... when she has time.
- You develop new content - but only once a year.
- You post new content but don’t promote it.
- Your content focuses on your company and how great you are.
- No one in your organization is really sure what exactly content marketing is or why it’s important.
This list can go on and on. The point is, if aren’t following content marketing best practices, your content marketing program has virtually no chance of being successful.
Benefits of frequently updating your website and social media platforms with new content
If your content marketing is done correctly, it can help your business in a multitude of different ways. If you regularly update your website and other online channels with original, useful, and relevant content some of the benefits you can expect include:
- More frequently indexed web pages. Search engines reward websites who regularly update pages with new content. Keeping your website current with new info can help contribute to higher rankings in the organic search engine results.
- Increased website visitors. Adding new website content appeals to visitors looking for products and information. The more frequently you update the site with current, relevant information, the more reasons visitors have to come to the website.
- The ability to test and make improvements. If you never change your site how can you test different copy, images, layouts, etc? Don’t be afraid to try different headers, image placement, wording, etc. Testing content and the organization of that content will let you discover what works best and will help you improve the usability of your site.
- Position yourself as the expert. Frequently updating your website and social media platforms helps position your company as an industry authority. The more often you provide your target audience with valuable content the more likely it is that they will begin to view you as an expert in your field.
- Boost your reach. Having great content in your back pocket means you can repurpose it, share it, and invite others to share it. The more content you publish, the more likely it is to be picked up by someone else and distributed to more people, increasing your visibility and reach.
What kind of content should you focus on?
One of the most frequently asked questions from businesses struggling with content marketing is: What kind of content should we focus on? There are tons of options to choose from. Pick a few that make the most sense for your business and focus on them. They could include:
- Images/photo galleries
- Project portfolios
- Blog posts
- White papers
- Case studies
- Press Releases
- Customer testimonials
Tips for Creating Content
Companies often tell us they don’t have enough “material” to publish new content regularly. In reality, most times they have plenty of material to pull from, they just don’t realize it. Finding topics to post about can be as simple as talking to your sales team about what problems, concerns, questions or issues customers are bringing up on a regular basis. Creating content around customer needs is a great way to connect and engage with your target audience - especially when it helps solve specific problems.
Here are some tips to help you plan, create and distribute content that will resonate with your customers:
- Develop a “content marketing” plan around things like new product releases, trade shows, events, etc.
- Set aside 1 hour each week and devote it specifically to new website content, whether it’s a new landing page, blog post, product description, video, image, etc.
- Repurpose content so you have to create less frequently.
- Keep abreast of industry news and use it to generate new content.
- Hire an internal or external resource if you can’t set time aside each week. Digital marketing agencies have the experience and knowledge needed to plan and implement a successful content marketing strategy.
Because content marketing is so critical, we developed a program to help companies create, distribute and promote authoritative content that is purposeful and inspiring. Our Interactive Hat program is designed to help businesses with managed services such as website updates, email marketing, blog posts, social media, and more.
We take the time to get to know our clients’ businesses, industry and customer base, and customize solutions that are designed to accomplish specific business objectives. These solutions include:
- Original content creation
- Keyword research and paid search campaign creation and management
- Organic search optimization
- Google Analytics reporting
- Ongoing content updates to website
- Enewsletter and email content, design & distribution
- Social media platform styling, content creation, and monitoring
- Editorial calendar development
- Blog posts
Partnering with an experienced digital marketing agency can make all the difference. If your content marketing program is lacking, we can help you get it right. Reach out to us today to find out more about how we can help you develop the content that will get you the increased leads and sales you’re looking for.