The new year marks a time for change and evolution. Many will be working on strategies to improve themselves with the start of the new year (“New Year, New Me”). Marketers at the top of their game know that with a new year comes the emergence of new content trends and strategies to help grow leads and conversions for companies.
I’ll let you in on a timeless secret: Smart and strategic content marketing is an excellent way to grow your brand, position your business as an industry expert, and improve the efficiency of your business.
Here are 5 strategies you can implement in the new year to crush your business’ content marketing strategy and see measurable growth. Post your way to goals with the strategies below or by downloading our ultimate guide to creating a profitable content marketing strategy:
1. Define Your Goals
You want more conversions and customers. Knowing how to approach both in a S.M.A.R.T way is just as important as your desire to grow brand interest and obtain loyal customers.
You read that right—S.M.A.R.T. is one of our favorite marketing acronyms. Here's how to set S.M.A.R.T goals for your inbound marketing campaigns:
Specific: What do you want to achieve from content marketing? Define your ultimate objective and then break out the specifics.
Measurable: Decide on the metrics you want monitor to measure campaign efficiency and brand growth through. Once your measurable KPIs are set, it’s important to routinely collect and analyze content data. Make data analytics your new best friend: collecting and making sense of data will help you track the pain points and successes of your content strategy.
Attainable: Consider your current efforts and bandwidth. How often are you posting? Do you have the time to keep up with your content campaigns? Or do you barely have time in the morning to grab a coffee? If content posts aren’t frequent (daily or weekly), it’s unrealistic to expect a surge in growth from sporadic and infrequent posting. It’s best practice to post routinely and to differentiate content based on analytics. Be sure to set goals that work best with your bandwidth and budget when developing strategy.
Relevant: Are the goals you laid out complementing and supporting your overall objectives? Relevancy is key: Your content development and marketing strategy should be designed to help to make your overall business strategy more efficient.
Time-Bound: Set a timeline for campaigns and initiatives. A concrete timeline can help measure week-to-week and month-to-month month data against your KPI goals and objectives.
2. Define Your Audience
Attention please—strategy only has the chance of success when a business’ content targets the best audience for their industry. Your audience largely shapes not only what platforms you post, but also the content you develop. You want to make sure that your content appeals to your target audience and riles up some brand enthusiasm. Remember: Engaged users turn into profitable leads—and returning customers!
To target the right audience at the right time to maximize your chances of converting them into customers, building Buyer Personas is crucial. Buyer Personas are research-based profiles that depict a target customer. Buyer Personas help marketers to better understand their ideal audience in terms of their motivations, mentality, and more to determine their purchasing behaviors.
Based on your experience with current customers and your dream leads (the sales you’re dying to close), use this checklist to figure out who your customers are and their consumer needs:
3. Define Effective Content Formats
Once you have honed in on your potential customers with the perfect Buyer Personas, you can start developing content to help successfully move users through the Buyer’s Journey.
Depending on your audience, there might be a number of formats that perform better for your brand than others. While there are a few that have proven to have higher engagement and ROI, there may be other types of content that appeal to your audience more successfully. Trial and error—or consulting with a marketing specialist about your brand— can help you navigate which formats are best suited for your business.
4. Know WHERE to Share Your Content
Successful inbound marketing is nothing without a solid, complementary social media and email strategy to share and promote content. Social media is a great opportunity to create brand awareness. If your content engages and excites users, consumers will not only interact with your brand, but share it with their friends and followers. Social shares mean increased brand awareness and leads— in a totally cost-efficient way.
When choosing what social media platforms to share content on, it’s important to know what platforms your target audiences are most active on. Posting on platforms where your target audience isn’t frequenting is like marketing into the void and can slow down your sales over time. Knowing which platforms to utilize and share your content on can be a very effective and cost-effective way to grow your brand and leads.
Moreover, content can easily be re-shared and repurposed on social media. Content and social media marketing, though proven to be highly effective, can be time consuming—especially when you have a business to run. It's important to be strategic about time and effort when posting on social media. Consider the numbers:
5. Know Your Limits
Look— running a business takes up enough of your time. Day-to-day operations require a lot of maintenance to keep a business a successful, well-oiled machine. Content marketing is a great opportunity for businesses looking to grow their clientele and brand. Content marketing also requires much thought and strategic planning to be successful for a brand.
However, there is one way to ensure your marketing efforts are effective.
Trust the professionals. By outsourcing your marketing efforts, you’re hiring experts in content and digital marketing to optimize the efficiency of your campaigns. Agencies are comprised of specialists that lend their expertise to help overcome pain points and to collaborate with you to help you meet your business goals.