In the past, the only industries that felt the pressure to constantly push out fresh and original content were news, entertainment, and scholars. Fast forward to 2015, where platforms such as Facebook or a company blog have become an essential part of a brand’s’ digital marketing strategy. No matter the industry, you’re expected to have mastered content curation. The famous saying, “If it isn’t written down, it doesn’t exist,” now applies to everyone.
With so many companies now on board the content marketing train, it’s imperative to focus on what you can do to stay ahead of the game and set yourself apart. So, what’s the secret ingredient of content marketing that can take your business from bland to zesty?
Here, we reveal the recipe for achieving content marketing success with three simple, secret ingredients.
Invest in an Editorial Team
Many lucrative marketing agencies have one thing in common: They have contracted freelance journalists to produce their content.
Journalists, by definition, have sound editorial knowledge. They grasp what readers really want, their interests, and what’s newsworthy and relevant to your brand. Having journalistic skills in their back pockets, they can respond to a rapidly changing landscape and produce great copy on a daily basis. Journalists have the ability to craft compelling stories. They have been trained in the art of interviewing, which means they know the right questions to ask. And they are great when it comes to framing killer headlines.
Whether you choose to hire a journalist or an editorial team, the facts show that 49% of marketers have a dedicated content marketing group, and the percentage is even higher for the most effective small business marketers (69%).
One of the leading online fashion stores, ASOS, is a perfect example of how hiring an editorial team can take your brand to the next level. In fact, they hired the entire editorial team from the agency they were working with to be in-house. They revamped their website and focused on making editorial content more prominent with the launch of a daily blog and a free fashion magazine that can be delivered to your iPhone or iPad every month.
The secret: Have a devoted content team or person, and give them the freedom to establish a solid vision for your content.
Don’t Be a Content Marketing Dinosaur
Content marketers need to stay current in order to be competitive. Staying current means keeping up-to-date on how the content marketing scene transforms from month to month. With content marketers getting better at what they do and audiences becoming more perceptive, it’s survival of the fittest.
One of the biggest recent changes in content marketing is the adoption of rich-media content to incite engagement. Rich-media formats such as video, interactive quizzes, and gamification are slowly but surely making their presence known. Ultimately, a brand’s success will require bigger-budget but more engaging forms of content. Looking ahead to the future, content marketers evaluating the best curation strategies and platforms will need to look at the ability to curate relevant videos and pictures.
The secret: Aim to get your audience involved and engaged with rich-media content.
Set Aside Budget for Content
Content marketing is no longer a buzzword. It now needs to be an integral part of your overall digital marketing strategy and budget. The Content Marketing Institute’s 2015 Report showed that B2B businesses are spending 28 percent of their total marketing budgets on content marketing, with B2C close behind at 25 percent. But even with all that spending, 41 percent of B2B and 46 percent of B2C businesses cite lack of budget as a major barrier to their content marketing success.
It’s obvious that the more money you have, the more projects you can spend on. What’s important is knowing how to allocate your finances for the content marketing cause, as well as convincing your colleagues the importance of content marketing.
Even though your final budget may look intimidating, the ROI of content marketing is certainly there because you’re reaching customers in a way they prefer. After all, 80 percent of business decision makers prefer to get information from articles versus ads.
The secret: Create a researched strategy, and carefully monitor your impact. The budget you invest will redeem itself many times over.
Now that these secrets are out in the open, it’s up to you as a business to use content to connect to your audience and keep them coming back for more. It only makes sense to invest and create an effective content marketing strategy.
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