Danielle St. Cyr
Why and How You Should Get Started with Content Marketing
To start, here are some statistics:
88% of consumers use search engines to do research
60% of people actively seek out a product after having read content about it
70% of people would rather learn about a company through a content piece than an advertisement
53% of consumers say that offering free content on a relevant topic is likely to attract their business
There you have it: content is highly effective and drives consumers to your products. You may think that only huge companies like Under Armour or Pandora have the resources to produce effective content – but that’s just not true! Even the smallest company can create engaging content that attracts customers if they just follow the right formula. Unfortunately, there isn’t a one size fits all formula. An effective content strategy evolves over time, and your content will get better as you go along if you adjust based on measurable results. But there are some basic steps you can take to ensure the time you spend on content creation has good ROI.
First, you need to define your goals. Do you just want to drive traffic to your site? Or are you looking for more specific goals, such as downloads or contact form submissions? Do you want to boost the credibility of your company as an expert in your field? Your goals will determine what slant you take in your content, what you emphasize, and what your CTAs are. Be very precise about your goals (remember SMART: specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely) and actually write them out so everyone is on the same page and you can refer back to them.
After you know what you want to accomplish, you need to plan out what kinds of content you will create. There are so many types of content that are available and can be effective for your business. Here are just a few:
Each of these content types appeals to a different type of consumer, so you’ll want to narrow down what makes the most sense for your target audience. It is better to do a few of these well than try to do all of them – especially in a small business, where time is at a premium. Also, remember that you can experiment; try something new, and it might be wildly successful! If not, you can always shift gears and move forward in another direction.
Creating a content calendar is also key. Planning out the month or several months in advance allows you to be strategic in your content. You can look ahead at upcoming sales or promotions, seasonal events, and changes in your industry. Some companies like to have content always drop on the same day, but you don’t have to be that rigid. One important thing is to keep your content varied throughout the month. A content calendar will keep everyone on track and on deadline and also be very helpful when you are attempting to measure your success.
Speaking of measuring your success – the only way to know if you are being effective with your content marketing is to look at hard numbers. Make sure you have a baseline of all your relevant stats before you start your content journey. What you view as relevant will vary for each company, but it’s generally tied directly to your marketing goals. Make a point to check Google Analytics (or whatever your analytics tool is) frequently throughout the month, and you will learn what is the most effective for your company. Then expand on that! If blog posts get you the most email signups, and that’s your goal, do 4 blog posts instead of the 2 you were doing.
Content marketing is absolutely effective, if it’s done strategically. And it absolutely isn’t just for companies with million-dollar marketing budgets! We can help you get started with a content marketing strategy and help you reach your goals. Contact us to start your content marketing today!