Content Marketing

My hot content interview with Natalie Hailey

My hot content interview with Natalie Hailey

Well, I had an exciting time today as I had the pleasure of getting a hot content interview by the uber-professional Natalie Hailey of Hot Content.

We talked about content and in particular content strategy.

Loved talking with her (she knows her stuff) so do check out the interview and do let me know in the comments what you think about my tips after you have listened.

My hot content interview with Natalie Hailey

Listen here https://www.hotcontent.co.uk/how-to-create-a-content-marketing-strategy/

If you want some more tips about content marketing check out this post.

If you are looking to understand how to create a Digital Marketing Strategy why not download my hand guide below that will give you a step by step plan to get started today.

Best Wishes

Phillip, The Curly Marketer

Posted by Phillip Twyford in Content Marketing, 0 comments
Do you struggle with content marketing? 

Do you struggle with content marketing? 

If you struggle with content marketing then this #curlymarketertip video is for you as I give you 6 tips to get your content marketing back on track.

Content marketing has exploded in popularity with many businesses and rightly so.  When done right content marketing can be a very potent form of communication.

More and more customers are now conducting their own research on products and services before they ever go to a physical store.  Hence, if your website is providing content by way of blogs, video, ebook downloads that answer a customer’s queries etc chances are you will be seen in a positive light by your audience.

However, it is critical that when you begin your content marketing efforts that you create a strategy to ensure your content efforts are focussed on achieving your objectives.

If you want more information here is a detailed post I wrote on how to create a full Content Marketing strategy.

I hope you enjoy this post and please share with your community.

If you are looking to understand how to create a Digital Marketing Strategy you can get my ebook by filling in the form below and you will be asked to confirm your subscription to my blog.

But don’t worry you can unsubscribe at any time.

Posted by Phillip Twyford in Content Marketing, 0 comments
How To Create The Best Content Marketing Strategy

How To Create The Best Content Marketing Strategy

Before I get into the nitty-gritty of how to create a content marketing strategy, I want to give you a compelling reason why you need to make Content Marketing an integral part of your marketing budget.

Consider this statistic highlighted courtesy of Lenati

67% of the typical B2B buyer’s journey is now done digitally, and 9 out of 10 B2B buyers say online content has a moderate to major effect on their purchasing decisions.

Even though this statistic is based on a B2B consumer I have no doubt that the outcome would be the same for a B2C buyer.  Why?

The consumer whether B2B or B2C is intelligent, protective of their privacy, does not want to compromise on quality, expects a personalised user experience and above all now conducts their own research before considering making an enquiry.  

Gone are the days of someone blindly engaging with a sales rep and this very point is encapsulated in this piece of research from the Demand Gen Report – Content Preferences Survey which states that:

47% of buyers viewed three to five pieces of content before engaging with a sales rep.

At the end of day, while increased website traffic, increasing impressions and lots of social shares are positive, a business will only survive if it can turn casual visitors into advocate customers.

Therefore, a business needs to employ tactics and use strategies that will motivate and increase the chances your target audience will want to do business with you, and a content marketing strategy, done well, is just such an answer in my opinion.

Business Is Buying Into Content Marketing

In 2017 Content Marketing is appearing to be now seen as an integral and vital part of a company marketing strategy. This is very well evidenced by an excellent survey done by Smart Insights who asked their readers the following question.

“Select one marketing activity that you think will give your business the biggest incremental uplift in leads and sales in 2017 (or your clients if you work for an agency or as a consultant)”.

Out of 2,352 responses, Content Marketing was polled at the top as illustrated by the image below courtesy of Smart Insights

 

Top Digital Marketing Techniques for content marketing strategy

 

Content Marketing Is Becoming Universally Accepted

In 2016, 90% of businesses were implementing a content marketing strategy and tactics in their business and for 2017 it is estimated that this figure will increase according to this report by the leading authority in the area of Content Marketing The Content Marketing Institute

They define Content Marketing as follows:

“Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action”.

This is a very clear definition of what Content Marketing is and when you think about it makes perfect sense when creating your content marketing strategy.  

Customers, buyers and prospects in 2017 are more sales savvy, knowledgeable about what it is they want and are intent on doing their own intensive research when trying to find an answer or a solution.  

Therefore, it stands to reason that if a company provides quality information that is relevant to their audience that allows them to come to a decision easier, than the company in question should see positive results.

But this not the case!

Businesses Are Struggling To Get Success With Content Marketing

Even though Content Marketing makes sense and companies understand the benefits that can be accrued from employing such a strategy, businesses are struggling to get the success they want.

In their 2016 Content Marketing Benchmark report The Content Marketing Institute in conjunction with Marketing Profs found a number of challenges (see image courtesy of Smart Insights below) that businesses reported when trying to get traction with Content Marketing.

content marketing strategy challenges

If I go back to the headline of this post titled:

How To Create The Best Content Marketing Strategy

I do believe that a number of these challenges could be tackled and the results improved if companies reviewed what they had defined as their Content Marketing Strategy.

Consider these core statistics for a moment:

70% of marketers lack a consistent or integrated content strategy. (Altimeter)

80% of B2B marketers have a content marketing strategy. 32% documented 48% not

Having a detailed documented content marketing strategy that is consistently applied, reviewed and iterated where and when necessary, is a crucial element that based on the above results a lot of companies are failing to do which then feeds into the issues and struggles that I alluded to earlier.

 

content marketing strategy

How To Create The Best Content Marketing Strategy

targeting for your content marketing strategy

Step 1 Define Your Goals

This invariably is the most critical step.  If you don’t know why you are undertaking Content Marketing and what is it that you want to achieve from your Content Marketing Strategy you will struggle to see any real traction or benefits accrued. You may, in fact, do damage to your brand as you come across confused and inconsistent in both messaging and communications.

When defining goals when it comes to Content Marketing I believe you have to do it with your end customer in mind and based on the stage of the sales journey they could be on with you.  

Simply Measured did an excellent job to flesh this out and how you need to create content that has a purpose.  From this article, they put forward an excellent content funnel (see image below) where they mapped content against the traditional sales funnel journey a person would travel.

Social Metrics Map for content marketing strategy

I think the above map would be an excellent overlay to allow a company develop very personalised and relevant objectives for the various tactics that would be employed as a prospect moved closer to conversion.

Customer Personas for content marketing strategy

Step 2 Persona Research

Knowing and understanding what your customer and the target market pain points, needs and wants are is crucial for your content marketing strategy so that you can align your message tailored to what will peak their interest.

Hubspot outlines a very detailed plan to begin creating your customer personas but a core element is you have to conduct your research on the market and use insights from customer surveys, reviews, interviews from your sales team etc.

Every customer and prospect is looking for a solution or an answer, but the core interest or element that they deem critical in order for them to make a decision is vital to know.

For example some customers maybe price focussed, others look for testimonials and proof of delivery.  Once you can identify these you can then better craft your message to resonate with them.

Content Audit for content marketing strategy

Step 3 Content Audit

A lot of companies have produced lots of content yet it gets forgotten in place of yet another campaign.  

When developing your content marketing strategy, you must review what has been done before, how did it perform, did it work, did it not, why did work, why did it fail, could it be used again, updated etc.

Looking at what the company has initially produced and reviewing how it performed the first time will provide not only potential content for the new strategy but doing this review will yield critical performance information to ensure mistakes that happened the last time don’t occur again.

Wordpress for your content marketing strategy

Step 4 Content Management

You need to document and agree on a system for creating the content, publishing the content and then reviewing how it performs against your objectives and KPI’s as part of your content marketing strategy.

For example if the company decides that a blog will be a core content tactic to be used, will this be managed via WordPress or an alternative solution, or will you decide to have one all encompassed approach that allows for content marketing, analytics and CRM to be contained in one bespoke piece of software such as Hubspot.

Brain storming for content marketing strategy

Step 5 Content Brainstorming

While this is down as a step it will not be a once off action.  

Setting up agreed idea generation meetings is a necessity to allow for new ideas or the iteration and improving original content previously shared with the market.

At these sessions, you need to agree what types of content should be produced and for blog posts using a blog post title generator like this one from Hubspot is valuable.

Ultimately though at these sessions you are looking to come up with ideas and solidify the core content you wish to create as part of your content strategy.  

Some excellent forms of content that could be created are as follows:

 

 

  • Blog
  • Ebooks
  • Whitepaper
  • Industry Report
  • Infographic
  • Video
  • Tips sheet
  • Templates
  • Podcast
  • Quotes
  • FAQ’s

 

 

Blog for your content marketing strategy

I placed a blog at the top because I truly believe that it is a content marketing tactic that is mandatory for the majority of companies.  

Not only does having a blog help in the long term with SEO and page-rank, but it allows you showcase your expertise to your market and the beauty of a blog is that a post or multiple posts under the same theme could be repurposed into any of the other content forms listed above.

create Calendar for your content marketing strategy

6 Content Planning

Creating a plan around an editorial calendar is critical from a Content Marketing point of view.  You need to work towards having your content designated for a certain audience and then scheduled to post and be distributed at key periods ahead of time rather than try to do it live on the due date.

An editorial calendar allows you plan what content should go on what date against each of the social channels, and it can also allow you forward look at specific events or seasonal times like Easter or Christmas where if applicable, you can ahead of time create content specific to that event, and hence, become more relevant and on topic in the face of your audience.

content marketing strategy

7 Unlock Influencer Relationships

A lot of companies fall into the trap that because they are “the company” they see themselves as automatically being an influencer in the market.  While that may be true of some of the large brands it is not a given.  

In many industries from tech to food to fitness, there are individuals who have built up a follower base of raving fans who live and breathe every word and piece of content that these people promote.

However, I would never advocate any company or individual that they go down the influencer route by purely paying for an influencer to endorse or promote their company or product to their audience.

I believe in creating genuine relationships with influencers where there are mutual respect and support for what each other is doing by building a trusted relationship built on transparency from which the benefits that can be created are very positive for everybody.

unlock communication for the your content marketing strategy

8 Promotion

One of the biggest mistakes both individuals and companies make when it comes to Content Marketing is the area of promotion.  For example, with a blog post, a lot of bloggers and companies will simply post the blog once and forget about it.  

However, promotion and multiple publishing are key to ensure that as large a segment of your audience gets to see a piece of content.

This is yet another reason to have an editorial calendar where reposting of content at set times across various mediums from email to social can be utilised.

Conclusion

Content Marketing is becoming an integral part of every company’s marketing strategy, but I do believe that a lot of the struggles that companies are facing with their own Content Marketing as identified in the research is down to the fact that either there is no documented strategy in place, or at best they are using a very loose plan.

For it to work it needs to have its own detailed plan that is linked to the overall strategy for the business.  You need to set a budget to ensure your Content Marketing can properly work towards achieving the objectives set, you will need to actively measure and monitor results of how content is performing and iterate or change as required, and above all, you need to have patience.

content marketing strategy

Apart from having no documented strategy, I believe the number one reason why a lot of companies struggle for content success is that they don’t have patience and expect it to be an instant win.  

Unfortunately, this is not the case and I always advise a client that at a minimum you need to allow for 6 months of consistent activity before you could see any traction.

This is where Marketing and Finance can come to blows as return on investment is questioned.  

However, building awareness, reputation, expertise and trust takes time.  If you commit to it and focus on aligning your content against the requirements of the target audience at the right stage of the content funnel, I honestly believe you will seriously increase the likelihood of taking that prospect from intent to conversion.

I hope you enjoy this post and please share with your community.  If you are struggling with content marketing why not read why post here to get some tips here.

Best wishes

Phillip

If you are looking to understand how to create a Digital Marketing Strategy you can get my ebook by filling in the form below and you will be asked to confirm your subscription to my blog.

But don’t worry you can unsubscribe at any time.

 

Originally published on Marketing Maven

Posted by Phillip Twyford in Content Marketing, 0 comments
4 Content Marketing tools That Will Make You A Blogging Superstar

4 Content Marketing tools That Will Make You A Blogging Superstar

As someone who has started blogging more seriously in 2017, I have used various Content Marketing tools to help me overcome one of the biggest challenges bloggers and content marketers face which is what to write about next.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am not stuck for content or ideas as I use Feedly to curate articles from my favourite marketing blogs but the problem I faced was around what overall topic should my post for a particular month be, how could I craft a headline that would resonate with the audience and how could I ensure my grammar and spelling made for a rewarding and clear experience for the reader.

In my search to find solutions, I found the following Content Marketing tools that have made a huge difference to my content creation and I would urge you to consider implementing and using these yourself.

4 Content Marketing Tools That Will Make You A Blogging Superstar

 

1 Buzzsumo

When writing a new blog post you dream of it going viral and getting shared by multiple followers.  However, the reality is a very different story as that lovely blog post you have created sees shares languish in single digit figures.

While there are many reasons why your piece of content has not taken your audience by storm one explanation could be that your subject and content matter is just not popular or of interest.

To help you find what is popular before you write anything one of the Content Marketing tools you should head over to first is Buzzsumo.

This tool is free for limited searches and allows you to input a blog topic you are thinking off in order to display the most popular posts and social media shares that each post got.

The benefits of this are fantastic because you can quickly see what is resonating online, who the blogger is that wrote the post so that you could engage with them and link to their content within your post and what channels worked best based on the content.

See below a very good tutorial from John Jantsch of Duct Tape Marketing explaining how to use this tool to great effect.

 

 

2 Hubspot Blog Topic Generator

So let’s say you have used Buzzsumo to see if your chosen topic has popularity. Now you need to come up with your blog post topic based on that subject and to help you do this look no further than another one of my favourite Content Marketing tools, the Hubspot Blog Topic Generator.

This is a really easy yet effective tool to help you come up with a topic for your post.  All you have to do is put in three keywords related to the topic you want to write about and the topic generator will give back various topics from which you can choose to create a post.

For example, I put in the following 3 words:

1 Blogging

2 Content Marketing

3 Twitter

 

These are the blog topic suggestions I got back:

The Worst Advice We’ve Ever Heard About Blogging

Think You’re Cut Out For Doing Content Marketing? Take This Quiz

How To Solve The Biggest Problems With Twitter

5 Tools Everyone In The Blogging Industry Should Be Using

Why We Love Content Marketing (And You Should, Too!)

 

As you can see this tool has real benefits to help you get started with creating your next post.

 

3 Co-Schedule Headline Analyzer

The legendary David Ogilvy said the following:

“On the average, five times as many people read the headlines as read the body copy”

Your headline is the first piece of copy your audience sees.  So whether it is your next blog post, ebook title, email headline, direct mail letter etc if it does not intrigue or capture the immediate attention of your audience you will lose the reader.

To help you craft a headline that will resonate and grab your audience’s attention you should use one of my all-time favourite Content Marketing tools, the Co-Schedule Headline Analyzer.  It is a free tool to use and all you have to do is type in your chosen headline and it will rank it based on grammar, readability, and structure.

For this Linkedin article title, I got a rank of 84 which is positive.

Click here, paste in the headline of this Linkedin post and you will see the report breakdown how the headline was ranked.

 

4 Grammarly

I must admit I have a problem sometimes with commas and when to use the words been and being in my sentences. However, with Grammarly, I have reduced these issues.

According to their website Grammarly is the world’s leading automated proofreader and based on my experience I can’t argue.

By using it your content will be checked for a large number of spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors as well as offer useful wording suggestions to further enhance your content.

 

Conclusion

By using these 4 tools I have no doubt your content will become better which in turn will lead to more readers, engagement and shares with your audience.

If you struggle with content marketing then read this post I wrote that will give you some tips to help you.

I hope you enjoy this post and please share with your community.

If you are looking to understand how to create a Digital Marketing Strategy you can get my ebook by filling in the form below and you will be asked to confirm your subscription to my blog.

But don’t worry you can unsubscribe at any time.

Phillip (The Curly Marketer)

 

 

 

Posted by Phillip Twyford in Content Marketing, 0 comments