content marketing strategy

How To Set Up A Successful Content Marketing Strategy

Your content marketing strategy should be based on original research.  Research helps you produce quality online content. Content quality is a compelling factor when potential customers are making decisions about which products or services to purchase, and where to purchase from. According to Content Marketing Institute, the top two influences on consumer decisions are word of mouth and original research.

By investing some time and energy in creating an online strategy that includes original research, you can create influential content too.

What Is A Content Marketing Strategy?

An online marketing strategy is a plan for what, where and how often you publish that content. To create a successful content marketing strategy you need to:

Big Return On Your Content Marketing Strategy Investment

content-writers-1-300x200 How To Set Up A Successful Content Marketing StrategyYou may think you have no money for a content marketing budget. However, a well-researched strategy will make you money. When you spend money to outsource to , you stop losing online revenue. You can even measure the Return on Investment (ROI) of your strategy.

How A Good Content Marketing Strategy Benefits You

We’ve all heard the phrase “content is king.” Take advantage of the far-reaching benefits of using the quality content you create. You’ll increase online sales and grow your business.

For example, you can use your Content Marketing Strategy to:

5 Tips to Help You Improve Your Content Marketing Strategy

  1. Set SMART Goals – Based on your target market research and knowledge of your company, set goals such as the quantity of customers, specific volume of sales, or number of followers.
  2. Hire Content Writers – consider using a Website Copywriting Company.They’ll use their content and marketing experience to give your business a competitive edge.
  3. Automate Your Content– Use Hubspot to automate your content and reach more customers. Content writers partner with youto give you the benefits of marketing automation.
  4. Use Search Engine Optimization – Be sure to use professional tips for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) when writing your content. Use research to carefully select your keywordsto improve website ranking and get your posts found faster.
  5. Create Pillar Content – To capitalize on the newest Google algorithm, divide your content into topics or pillars, create a pillar (main, introductory) article for each topic and then use that article to link to more in depth content on sub-topics.

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References:

http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/2017/07/content-influences-purchasing-research/

How SMART Goals Align Your Sales And Marketing Departments

Use SMART goals for sales and marketing to help align these two essential departments when executing your content marketing strategy. SMART goals make your business objectives reachable. So what are SMART goals and why do sales and marketing need to implement them? Following a SMART goal approach helps you and your staff envision success because they’re:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Relevant
  • Timely

Implementing SMART goals align your sales and marketing departments so they can take action and achieve better sales together, which is beneficial for the company as a whole.

3 Ways SMART Goals Align Your Sales And Marketing Departmentstarget-SMART-goals-for-sales-and-marleting-alignment-300x211 How SMART Goals Align Your Sales And Marketing Departments

Implementing SMART goals benefits your content strategy and execution aligning your professionals to work better to generate more qualified leads and reach sales objectives. Here’s how your sales and marketing departments can use SMART goals. To:

  1. Work Together: Though there is potential for animosity between these departments, sales and marketing can work interdependently. For SMART goals to be effective, sales and marketing departments need to meet each other in the middle (physically) consistently and often so their shared SMART goals keep them in the forefronts of each other’s minds.
  2. Understand the Stakes: Now that they’ve met in the middle, your sales and marketing teams can create an action plan that meets the needs of both departments. They need to identify what they are achieving together now. What they want to achieve together later. And plan how to get from now to later, together.
  3. Share Knowledge: The marketing department can share their ad campaigns’ online stats and achievements. The sales department can share data on closing rates. Both teams can understand how their data and stats can inform the other team’s decision making and goal setting.

Implementing SMART goals asks your sales and marketing departments to align to build stronger teams individually and a stronger business, as a whole.

Get Insider Tips About SMART Goals For Sales And Marketing. Woo-Investors-Image-1024x512 How SMART Goals Align Your Sales And Marketing Departments

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f7d451d5-91d6-4320-9ba5-e189a0c642f1 How SMART Goals Align Your Sales And Marketing Departments

Is Successful Content Marketing Strategy Eluding You?

You are not alone. 94% of B2B content marketers feel that the effectiveness of their organization’s content marketing strategy is sub-optimal, according to CMI’s 2016 industry survey. 50% of B2C marketers have a Content Marketing strategy that is not documented, as reported by 2015 B2C Content Marketing Trends – North America.

Too often, a content marketing strategy is not a strategy at all but “a way of sounding smart or leader-like and used to avoid necessary choices,”
Frank Cespedes in the Harvard Business Review

Why Is My Content Marketing Strategy Not Working?

Your strategy may be:

  • Difficult to define
  • Hard to measure
  • Impossible to attain
  • Tough to track
  • Irrelevant to the rest of the organization and its overall mission

How to Turn Your Content Marketing Strategy Around

Stop foSMART-goals-300x225 Is Successful Content Marketing Strategy Eluding You?cusing on the strategy and start goal setting. We’ve all heard of SMART goals. We know we are supposed to use them to lose weight, study for exams and plan our careers. But did you know they also work for content marketing? In his article, Here’s Why Your Content Marketing Strategy is Totally Failing, author Neil Patel states, “If businesses would forget about “strategy,” and instead pick real goals, I think that content marketing would explode in effectiveness”. Clear, concise, written goals ensure effective communication within the marketing team, one integrated focus for all departments/activities, and vision cohesion throughout the entire organization.

“SMART goals are powerful, unstoppable, and ready to push your marketing efforts to new heights of success,” declares Neil Patel.

Here is a short summary of Neil’s instructions for setting SMART goals to improve your Content Marketing Strategy.

#1: Be Specific with Your Goals

Types-of-Content-300x231 Is Successful Content Marketing Strategy Eluding You?Make a list of the types of content tactics you will use. Define those tactics. Be precise. Select 1 or 2 main tactics to dominate your content marketing, but keep your overall strategy diverse to increase the chances of appealing to a larger percentage of the target market at all stages of the buying process.

#2: Make Your Goals Measureable

If you have measurable goals, then it is easy to evaluate your Return On Investment (ROI). Measuring your ROI is an effective way to define success. David Meerman Scott uses AdWords equivalency to measure ROI. Scott Severson tracks specific keyword data and measured SEO-click value in dollars. Other suggestions to measure ROI can be found in this HubSpot article. Pick a method that works for your business and stick with it.

#3: Verify that Your Goals are Attainable/Achievable

Are your expectations realistic? Can you achieve them in a reasonable amount of time? You need a clear definition of your success so that you know it is possible to achieve it. Your content will be directly tied to an attainable goal and how that goal will be measured.

#4: Confirm that Your Goals are Relevant

To be relevant, your goals for content marketing must be tied to your overall business goals. Neil Patel likes to think of content marketing as a funnel. “The skinny end of the funnel should be the company’s business goal,” he describes. Goals can involve after-sale activities such as customer satisfaction and retention too. 

#5: Bind Your Goals to a Time Frame

A smart goal has a logical endpoint when you know definitively whether it has been achieved or not. Your goals should evolve as your business does. Although each goal will end, you will have multiple goals that overlap as part of your overall content marketing strategy. Neil Patel reminds us, “Content is a way of serving customers, and customer service is a never-ending process”.

Tangible Words can help you set SMART Goals and…

Learn How To Sell More Online

f7d451d5-91d6-4320-9ba5-e189a0c642f1 Is Successful Content Marketing Strategy Eluding You?

Learn ways you can increase your sales online PLUS receive ideas and advice on online sales, improving your website, and other content marketing techniques.

PLUS receive the “How To Increase Your Sales By 340%” infographic!

 


References:

http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/2015/09/b2b-content-marketing-research/ (CMI 2016 industry survey **Note: Neil says 9% but study says 6%)
2015 B2C Content Marketing Trends – North America: Content Marketing Institute/Marketing Profs (2015 B2C Content Marketing Trends – North America: Content Marketing Institute/Marketing Profs)
https://hbr.org/2014/12/stop-using-battle-metaphors-in-your-company-strategy (Harvard quote)
http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/2016/02/content-marketing-strategy-failing/#.VykXAWAUscI.mailto
https://www.quicksprout.com/the-complete-guide-to-building-your-personal-brand-chapter-2/ (target market)
http://www.webinknow.com/2013/05/building-inbound-marketing-assets-are-not-marketing-expenses.html (David Meerman Scott)
http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/2015/06/measure-content-marketing-roi/ (Scott Severson)
https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/measure-content-marketing-roi (Hubspot article)

 

 

 

 

Make Your Twitter Content Worth a Retweet

When your followers ‘favourite’ your Tweets, it can make you feel warm and fuzzy inside. You’re just happy you’ve tweeted information someone is interested in. But how do you ensure that someone shares that interest through their own networks (and not just save it to read later)?

Here’s 5 Tips To Help Get Your Twitter Content Retweeted

  1. Make Your Followers FeelAdd an image that is awe-inspiring or just plain funny to prompt followers to pass the message on. Include links (near the end of the message) and relevant hashtags, (no more than 3) too. It will all help tell your story and save you words.
  2. Say What You Want—Ask for Retweets, yep that’s it. “Please Retweet” works well. You could say this is a call to action, which is also essential to your complete content marketing strategy.
  3. Tweet At The Right Time—Tweet when your followers are actually free to look at Twitter (use your analytics). This may be the weekend or lunch times or on the train to work. Find the best time to catch them so they’ll read your Tweet and make the effort to pass it forward. Use an editorial calendar to help you plan the most relevant Twitter content and the best time to Tweet it.
  4. Pay It Forward—If you want Retweets, Retweet others’ good content and give them credit. Choose carefully so it meshes with your own ideas and upholds your online reputation. Do it often enough to show respect for their content and they’ll return the favour. You can also Retweet to voice your opinion on someone’s content to either support or argue against. (But be aware of your target audience sometimes strong opinions can backfire.) Keep your business Twitter respectful.
  5. Make Followers Look Good If They Share—Tweets are marketing content and good content is what will get you noticed and get your information shared. Give your followers helpful content or offer up something they don’t know and will want to pass on, like news, instructional advice, and opinions. Help them feel they’ve discovered something new and timely to share. They’ll forward the information on making them, and you, look good.

Hurrah Retweet and Comment Is A Thing!

No longer do you have to leave room for a retweet (before April best practice was to use only 71-100 of your precious 140 character allotment to let people share adding their own voice). Now with the Retweet and Comment option users can quickly retweet your post and add their own comments without mashing everything into the original 140 character limit.

Just getting started using Twitter, or using other social media for your business?

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d113cef6-1bc9-41dc-870d-a70d18475d57 Make Your Twitter Content Worth a Retweet

The Most Powerful Twitter Task You Can Do Today for Your Business

We’ve written about Twitter a few times on the Tangible Words Blog, but not a lot lately, and that’s for a very good reason.

 

Most of you know that in 2013, Tangible Words went through the same website redevelopment process we lead our clients through. And recently, I wrote about the ABSOLUTE NECESSITY of realizing your website is the hub of your content marketing (which includes social media marketing, ahem.)

 

For Tangible Words, 2013 was all about redeveloping the website for user-friendly navigation, optimal interaction, clarifying our services, and continuing the steady stream of good ideas and thought-provoking content for small and mid-sized companies through our blog. We also changed our e-newsletter strategy a little bit, but made sure that our content strategy, editorial calendar and content policy (frequency, posting process) etc., were all in good shape – and working hard for the company. (Your content marketing is like a hard working sales person, and if your content marketing isn’t helping you make sales, we need to talk).

Methodical Approach To Content Marketing

Many of you have heard me say at our Content Marketing Program workshops that content marketing really is the main source of most of our leads. And while we’ve been on Linked In, Facebook and Twitter for years, it’s always been front of mind that social media marketing is usually done poorly instead of well because people forget to make sure their website content is SEO copywritten, navigation-ally sound, and bursting with great information before they start, and stop, and start, and stop at their social media.The end result is that the sales process gets broken sooner than it should, like this great e-newsletter that broke the sales cycle.

 

So speaking from experience, as well as knowledge about the industry and what these tools are supposed to do for you, we recently took the time to review our social media marketing strategies and content policy for each social media tool, and with our website, blog and e-newsletter leading the charge, we’re now into the new phase of content marketing, using new tools. The result? We’re getting great results because the content marketing strategies and cornerstone tools are already established. So now it’s easy to use these tools for business and meet our high expectations: Twitter Counters, Likealysers and Linked In post engagement have shown exciting metrics – but more than that, our strategy is allowing us to have genuine, helpful sales conversations with our prospects – which we really like!

All of this boils down to what we promised in the headline:

“if you’re using Twitter, here’s a wonderful thing to do for your Twitter account to start using this tool more effectively for sales: go through your Twitter following list – find key accounts and put them on a “List”.”
If you don’t know how to separate your Twitter peeps into lists, I found some great resources online to show you how:
  1. Social Media Today has a great article that shows you Simple Steps To Create Twitter Lists on the Twitter web browser.
  2. The Twitter Help Centre’s article about Using Twitter Lists shows you some added functions of Twitter lists, like how to message a list at once.
  3. And if I don’t convince you about the benefits of using Twitter Lists in this article, you should read Tom Durby’s post on #Hashtags.Org “How Do You Benefit From Using Twitter Lists?”
The wonderful thing about separating your Tweets into lists, is that it prevents you from going onto Twitter and seeing “NOISE” instead of immediately knowing with whom to engage. When you don’t know where to start on Twitter, you often default to the “I’ll just broadcast my latest blog article- because this is too hard” setting and that’s not necessarily great for building relationships (if that’s all they ever get from you) and it might not be an awesome return on your energy because SOCIAL media is about building relationships (and relationships are how you make sales).
Lists help you engage more efficiently and more meaningfully with your targets. I’d suggest you make at least 3 lists – you can make new ones as you go.

3 Twitter Lists To Make Today To Build Business Relationships and Make Sales:

  1. Clients – you should be following and engaging with your clients on Twitter, they love to feel the love and it’s a great opportunity to show who you’re working with to the world.
  2. Prospects – put all the people you’d like to build relationships on a list so you know who to connect with.
  3. Competitors – keep track about what other people in your industry are doing, it’s a great way to find opportunities and get stronger as a company.
I use Twitter a lot for Professional Development, too, so I also made a “Learn” list of people who help me stay on top of best practices for website marketing, and those who create content I might want to share like Infographics and statistics.

 

I’ve also found that there are a lot of really FUNNY people on Twitter, so I made a “Fun” list – for when I want to have a good jolly giggle to break up my day or someone else’s.

 

You can make lists private or public so that Oscar The Grouch doesn’t get alerted that you put them on a list, and also because these lists are really just for you: to make your Twitter experience more business-y and less messy.

When’s the Best Time To Start Putting Your Tweets Onto Lists?

It took some time to separate my tweets onto lists, so you might want to multi-task while watching a webinar or talking to someone on the phone. It allowed me to really clean up my Following list to make sure no matter which tasks I’d be switching between on a daily basis, whenever I got to Twitter, I was thinking proactively and able to follow my content strategy for Twitter.
From now on, whenever I decide to follow someone, it will be with my Lists in mind – because I know neither you nor I have time to lose with social media and content marketing. We need these amazing business practices to be a process we can follow almost absent-mindedly in our daily work, but that completely align with our over-arching business goals.

What’s an Infographic and is it a Good Content Marketing Tool?

Today I came across this Infographic, called “Who’s Sharing What: The State Of Social Sharing in 2013
thanks to my Tweep @Faydra_Deon (aka Ms Social Media) who shared it.

The infographic was published in #SaleWritingToday (Tangible Words’ Paper.Li issue of articles that are aligned with our content marketing goals for best practices) on June 4th and I shared it on my Linked In profile  and Twitter.

FYI Paper.Li curates these articles on our behalf based on our Twitter Feed. It’s a neat shortcut to make sure I don’t miss any “hot topic” articles each day, without spending tonnes of time surfing Twitter. I do a lot of my professional development to make sure Tangible Words is following best practices on Twitter, and I rely on the people I follow on Twitter to share good information with me so I can continue learning. It’s part of our Continuous Improvement Plan at Tangible Words.

Infographics are getting a lot of attention online these days, and for good reason. Infographics are a pretty neat way to share some complicated information in a way that is very “internet-reader-friendly.” But despite all the appeal of Infographics – like any “cool new thing” online – it’s quickly catching on and people are forgetting some pretty important website copywriting rules – in terms of upholding the expectations of online readers. But before I talk about what’s good about info graphics–and the dangers to avoid, let’s get one awkward thing out of the way.

Some of You are Wondering, What is an Infographic?

An infographic is a VERY visual display of an idea, argument, or definition. I suppose some people will say it’s also a way to display a whole bunch of statistics – but if you’re in that camp – jump to the Infographic Dangers Should You Avoid in our next article.

Why are Infographics Appealing to Online Readers?

Because online readers are nearly always skim-reading, visual images have a tendency to stand out really well. (That’s why as website copywriters, and in our E-Writer Content Marketing Training Programs, we always recommend that you use Graphic Text, and not just a whole bunch of long essay-like paragraphs on your company websites and your business blogs.)

Because an infographic displays information in a logical sequence, you still manage to understand a complete idea, but it’s like training-wheels for online readers. You don’t have to try to separate the ideas in your mind in each sentence. (And on that note, my English Teacher Literacy Expert wants to interject: “that’s actually a main reading hurdle for less experienced readers.” As you read, strong readers are always forming mental pictures of each explained idea. They compute each sentence before moving on to the next, and do the same with paragraphs. But there are fewer strong readers in 2013 — especially online–than there are better readers. Hence why “literacy” has become such a hot-button topic in Western Education the past 10-12 years.)

60% of learners tend to be visual learners (instead of auditory or kinetic learners). That means most people like visual displays. Complement that fact with the idea that we’re moving too fast online to read slowly, and that illiteracy is a bit of a pain point–and you can see why Infographics are becoming so popular.

Instead of writing a text article, an infographic takes the same ideas you would normally have to explain in a text-based article and turns every idea into a visual display. Each idea is separated by colours and complemented with a graphic, wherever possible.
Thus, infographics are a great way to do content marketing because you can explain an idea visually and more people are likely to give it a quick skim – and still be able to digest it – getting your message across to potentially more people.