Over the last few months, there has been a noticeable shift in the online marketing campaigns of most businesses toward incorporating content marketing strategies. This is a direct result of the advisory from the search engine giants, particularly Google, to focus on providing the ultimate User Experience to end users by emphasizing fresh, relevant and engaging content.
Here are seven (7) ways you can run a successful content marketing campaign:
1. Know your target audience
Not all social media platforms are the same. Each network caters to a unique community and a specific audience with defined needs and objectives.
The community that thrives in LinkedIn is certainly different than the community that frequents Facebook. Before creating content for your marketing campaign, you should always take the time to conduct research on the social media platforms you plan to use.
Visit the different focus groups and review the posts they are sharing. These will give you a great idea on the subject matters which interest your target audience and how these were crafted to encourage engagement.
2. Content must be crafted to solve problems
When you are doing your research, make it a point to identify trending topics or issues. People look for content that solve issues they are presently dealing with or interested in.
For example, if you are in the fitness industry, you may decide to write a blog titled “Losing Weight by Exercising”. But it probably would not generate much interest because the topic is very general. Now, if you were to re-write the blog as “Losing Weight without Doing Cardio” then chances are you would be attracting a specific audience that would be interested in your topic.
Once your content addresses issues which concern your target audience, your campaign will gain a solid foothold in your industry.
3. Use story-telling
One of the biggest mistakes of business-owners is to authorize content that is too technical. In their quest to establish their reputation as experts, some business owners resort to posting content that reads like a college textbook.
Effective content is engaging content. It must be relevant to the reader and this must be established immediately. One of the most effective ways is to adopt a narrative approach or what is more popularly known as story- telling.
Story-telling works because it puts the reader in the perspective of the writer. Words create imagery; the readers are able to understand the context regardless of their level of competence in the subject matter. Content that is well-crafted in the narrative form is entertaining, intuitive and organic because story-telling is our natural way of communicating.
4. Create shareable content
Simply stringing together keywords, grammatically correct phrases without typos that reads well is no longer enough to qualify as good content. The difference between good content and great content is that great content is shareable; it has a quality that encourages it to go viral.
What makes content shareable? Here are a few ideas:
a. Write positive content
In a study conducted by “Contagious” author Jonah Berger, he found out that of the 7,000 articles published in the New York Times, positive news were shared more often than negative news.
b. Content must have practical value
In the same study by Berger, he found out that the articles mostly shared were highly informative.
c. Write content that is congruent with “who” you are
Berger also found out that 68% of people who shared articles identified with the purpose and vision established by the author.
Again, the ability to create shareable content is linked with our first tip which is to conduct research. Learn who your target audience is and understand the social media platform in which they proliferate.
5. Have a healthy ratio between First Person and Second Person Points-Of-View
Story-telling is a great approach that has been proven to be effective in generating engagement but many content writers get it wrong by relying heavily on the First Person Point-of-View. Put simply, repetitive self-reference will not encourage engagement. It doesn’t engage because it does not invite or include the audience to become part of the narrative.
There should be a healthy ratio between using First Person POV and Second Person POV. By distributing perspectives appropriately, you are still able to address the issues raised by the audience directly to the community. A great story pulls people in; once you have a captive audience, it is easy to take them to where you want to go.
6. Customize your outreach e-mail
If your content marketing campaign strategy includes outreach e-mail, avoid the mistake made by most content writers of adopting a one-size-fits-all strategy.
In this day and age of social media and digital technology where connectivity and contact can be made possible by a click of a mouse, a tap of a keypad or an online program, people expect a more customized, personalized approach.
The days of “Dear Ma’am/Sir” are long gone. Your audience wants you to address them directly and with less formality. Thus, instead of “Dear Sir” or “Dear Mr. Smith”, address him as “Hi John”.
Another mistake in writing outreach e-mail is using default templates. People appreciate it if they know you’ve spent time researching on their background; who they are and what they do. Finally, be brief and to the point. Most people will not have the patience of perusing through an e-mail as long as the Declaration of Independence.
Always customize your e-mails. It may take a bit longer but you will get better results.
7. Track your performance
Remember that all markets are made up of human beings who are unique, unpredictable and ambiguous. Their tastes and preferences can change without warning. Therefore, the strategies and processes you are currently implementing with great success may be rendered irrelevant and ineffective by next month.
It is always good strategy to track your performance. When you share links on social media platforms, make sure to use the many free metrics tools to determine which of your posts are generating activity and feedback.
And don’t stop there. Track your landing page visitors, your leads, ad engagements, conversions and other metrics. When it comes to validating your content marketing strategy, you can never have too much data. The information you get from tracking data can be used to fine-tune your current content marketing campaign.
Content marketing has been proven to be an effective strategy in promoting a campaign. The key is to remain patient. It takes time for a campaign to gain traction. Just like any marketing tool, the success of a content marketing campaign will depend heavily on your level of commitment.
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