How to Create Dangerously Effective Content
Does your overall marketing strategy include a comprehensive and well-planned content marketing strategy?
If not, you’re probably a bit behind the curve—according to industry experts like Neil Patel, the Aberdeen Group, and others, businesses defined as content marketing “leaders” generate nearly eight times as much traffic as competitors.
Content marketing is a bit of a blanket term that gets thrown around in marketing circles. When people say it they’re usually referring to blogging or email marketing, though the term covers the gamut, including social media outreach, press releases, the static copy on a website, or the brochure in your waiting room.
“Content marketing” is really just another phrase for “effective communication.”
Where most business owners miss the mark with content marketing is the whole communication thing. The content you produce is one of the most powerful ways you can start a conversation with your target audience.
Are you sure you’re saying the right things?
Or maybe you haven’t thought it was necessary to say anything at all, which leads us to the following question:
Can I Get By Without Content Marketing?
Sure, you can “get by.”
However, businesses that want to thrive rather than simply get by should absolutely investigate how much content marketing can contribute to overall company growth. There isn’t a single industry in which businesses wouldn’t benefit from at least one form of content marketing as part of their overall strategy—if there is, we haven’t heard about it.
Content is like the “grease in the wheels” of your overall marketing strategy. It can enhance your email outreach, make your Facebook advertising more successful, improve your search engine optimization (SEO) for better rankings above your competitors, and more.
As powerful as content marketing is, you still have to do it right. Countless startups and small- to mid-sized businesses have slapped together a blog, written about “whatever,” not seen any results, and gave up the whole thing all together.
Below we’re going to take a moment to explore the wrong way to do content marketing, and then we’ll discuss how to turn content into a lead- and sale-generating asset.
This Content Marketing Mistake is So Devastating, You Might As Well Not Write Anything
The primary cause of content underperformance is the lack of a solid plan. Simply writing a piece and “hoping for the best” just doesn’t cut it. Strategy must be used.
The biggest content marketing mistake is to not know what action you want the reader to take after they finish. All content should be designed to “funnel” readers into taking a certain action—purchasing a product, using a service, or setting an appointment and so on.
A good way to determine whether or not your content marketing efforts are meeting this goal is to ask yourself two questions:
1.) “What is the single most important action a visitor could take after reading this piece?”
This is the funnel part. Should your readers hire you for a certain service? Upgrade their product to a newer or enhanced version? Leave their email address and phone number so you can reach out to them later?
Once you know the answer, the next question to ask is:
2.) “Does my content either directly or indirectly inspire the reader to do this important thing?”
If the answer is no, that’s almost certainly why your content is underperforming.
Note that “underperforming” in this context means that the content isn’t generating revenue. A piece of content, for example on a blog or social media post, might be interesting and well-written, but if it doesn’t inspire the reader to take that strategically thought out action, it hasn’t helped your bottom line.
This also doesn’t necessarily mean that every single piece of content you produce needs to be a sales pitch of some kind (it really shouldn’t be). What it does mean is that your content is strategically structured to maximize the likelihood of the reader becoming a lead or customer.
This might be a well-timed Call to Action (CTA), describing a problem that one of your products or services can resolve, or digging deeper into how the reader can benefit from choosing to work with your organization.
What Happens When Content Marketing is Done Right?
Content marketing, when coupled with a cohesive overall marketing strategy, should always result in the growth of your business.
Look at it as the cornerstone of all your other hard work—you’ve got the website, logo, branding, and other elements all in place. The content is what keeps your target audience interested and establishes you as an authority in your field.
And boy is it worth it.
On average, content marketing generates three times as many leads as outbound marketing alone… and costs a whopping 62% less.
Like we mentioned before, “content marketing” is just another term for effectively communicating with your audience. It can help you build lifelong relationships, generate word-of-mouth, and non-time-sensitive topics can serve you year after year, continually bringing in new leads and customers.
How to Improve Your Overall Marketing Strategy
Start doing content marketing, but make sure that you’re doing it with strategy in mind. The primary takeaways from this post should be:
- Content assets are hugely valuable if produced correctly
- Content marketing is just as (if not more) effective than outbound marketing by itself
- Content marketing should become an integral component of your overall marketing strategy
There’s a lot of moving parts to consider. If you’d like professional advice, the team at Optemyz has the experience and expertise you need to bring your overall marketing strategy to the next level. We’d love to learn more about how we can help you grow your business.