6 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
When it comes to a business’s activities and initiatives online, content marketing is absolutely critical to a digital strategy’s success. Content is typically defined as the information and experiences a business directs towards a base of potential and existing customers. In a marketing context, content creation is an aspect of marketing focused on the conceptualization, publication and distribution of content for a targeted online audience.
Effective and powerful content will attract and retain customers by providing them with engaging and valuable free materials to learn more about and connect with a brand. Content marketing enables your business to sustain brand loyalty, generate online sales, increase brand awareness and credibility, and build an online community of engaged and responsive customers.
Content is an incredibly broad term and covers anything from social media posts to blog pages, as well as videos, images, e-books, mailing lists and even webinars and podcasts. Whatever content you decide to incorporate into your digital marketing strategy, this versatile and useful guide lists some of the key concepts to keep in mind to achieve the results you want.
Ultimately, by creating and publishing relevant and consistent content, your business can encourage the type of positive customer actions which will generate traffic, leads, revenue and sales.
1. Copywriting is the basis of content creation
Essentially, copywriting is writing content for the purpose of advertising, promotion, outreach and any other marketing-related activity. The resulting product is called cope or sales copy and is written specifically to establish a recognizable brand image, increase brand awareness and ultimately persuade existing and potential customers to take a particular action, such as a purchase or subscription.
Copywriting is critical to any business’ marketing initiatives because it conveys your business’s vision and message in an engaging, memorable, and interesting way. Copywriting forms the foundation of many content types, whether it is video scripts, blog posts and articles or mailing lists. This is why it is crucial that your copywriting is attention-grabbing, relevant and topical to encourage customers to act upon the content you are publishing.
Related: Here’s How to Improve Your Business’s Content Marketing
2. Engage your target audiences
Making sure that your copywriting is on point is the first step, but regardless of the quality and strength of your content, your efforts will be futile unless your content is actually reaching your target audiences. Content that isn’t visible, accessible or is reaching the wrong audiences won’t produce the results that you want to see. Therefore, it is essential that you identify your target audience and strategically implement content that will interest them, leading to meaningful interactions, which will ideally result in increased traffic, revenue, and sales.
Engagement is critical to transforming customer reach into actual conversions, developing long-term relationships with potential and existing customers and creating opportunities for customers to continue learning about and purchasing products/services. When customers are engaged, you can ensure positive customer experiences, brand loyalty and recognition, and also receive valuable customer feedback and insight. Through engagement marketing, your business can offer value to your customers, which goes beyond your products/services.
Related: How You Should Be Evaluating Your Content Marketing Success
3. Stay relevant with evergreen content
The Internet is incredibly saturated when it comes to content, with articles, videos, webpages and media being uploaded every second on a truly unimaginable scale, and ensuring that your content remains visible and relevant is a constant struggle. For this reason, creating content that remains relevant over extended periods of time is critical – known as evergreen content. Evergreen content will not expire in the short term, will always be topical and relatable, and will continually engage and attract users.
Evergreen content can’t include news reports, statistical trends, or seasonal topics; otherwise, it becomes identified with a particular date and loses relevance. Incorporating evergreen content is regarded as a critical success factor for a business’s marketing strategy, especially because they drive more traffic, have lower maintenance costs (because you don’t have to keep updating or replacing it), sustain high SEO ranks and can be shared on social media for prolonged stretches of time.
Related: 8 Content Marketing Ideas to Strengthen Your Bottom Line
4. Make the most of content management systems
Maintaining a website alongside your business can be exhausting and draining, which is why content management systems (or CMS) are a brilliant way for you to manage the conceptualization, modification and publication of your online content. A content management system enables you to manage the content on your various digital platforms without the need for specialized or advanced technical knowledge. It basically provides you with the interface you need to build and run a website without writing the code from scratch.
This means that basic infrastructural functions such as generating webpages and embedding images are handled by the content management system, enabling you to focus on the visible aspects of your platform instead. So you can invest your valuable time into actual marketing strategies and building your brand rather than the running of your website.
5. Interact with a call to action
Ideally, content should be presented in an interactive and conversational tone rather than a passive relaying of information. A call to action not only speaks to your audiences directly but actively encourages them to act upon the content you have given them. A call to action should prompt a positive response, interaction or sale from a customer. Typically, it’s the use of specific words or phrases which establish your brand’s image and purpose and can be incorporated into sales scripts, advertisements, social media platforms and webpages.
An effective call to action will encourage potential and existing customers to act immediately and in a specific way. Essentially, they’re meant to improve the response rate to your marketing initiatives. Phrases such as ‘Buy Now,’ ‘Join Free For A Month,’ or ‘Discover Today’ are some examples of engaging and relevant calls to action.
6. Create connections with blogging
A blog is a website or webpage which is updated regularly. In a marketing context, blogs are frequently used as a marketing strategy for businesses to reach out to and connect with their target audiences. Blogs can be either separate from the business’ e-commerce website or integrated with one another for easy navigation and access.
Whatever you choose, a blog is a great way to interact with your customers on a more personal and intimate basis. Through your blog, you can advertise and promote your products/services and build brand awareness, generate leads, encourage sales and establish a distinctive and recognizable brand image. For example, you could write a blog providing instructions on how to use your product/service, providing clickable links so that your customers can immediately make a purchase or query.
The efficiency, impact and reach of your digital marketing strategy depend massively upon the content you create and select to convey your business’ branding, message, vision, products/services and mission. By strategically publishing quality content that is unique to your business, you can enhance your social media marketing, elevate your SEO and establish long-term relationships with your target audiences.