Are you leveraging content marketing for your business?

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]As a team of digital marketing specialists, one of our core services at Twenty3Media is content marketing and content creation. We believe that every business benefits from including content marketing as part of its business marketing strategy to achieve its goals and ROI. Over the years, we have helped a number of businesses to leverage content to build their brand, establish themselves as thought leaders in their field and engage with their target market.

Content Marketing

While almost everyone is aware of the benefits of content marketing, it can be a challenge to figure out where to get started. What is the right strategy to generate more leads and website visitors with content, without overshooting your marketing budget?

Content marketing can be a truly cost-efficient long-term marketing strategy, especially when planned, executed, and managed properly. If you manage a business that is yet to leverage content marketing, here are some quick tips to get you started, because no business can afford to ignore the benefits of content marketing – and it is never too late to begin.

In its most simplistic form, content marketing starts with understanding your target audience and the online platforms where you can reach them. Next is competitor research to see what your competition is up to. What types of content are they publishing? How frequently and where? Which types of content get the most traction? Whom are they targeting?

Armed with this information, do the following:

• Brainstorm with your team to determine content goals
• Create your own content strategy
• Determine measurement criteria to assess your return on investment to see what works
• Make an editorial calendar
• Categorise your content and mark publication dates in your calendar
• Create content and publish, followed by sharing on social media
• Engage with your audience
• Measure, and fine tune to meet your goals

All this can appear overwhelming to manage, especially if the required expertise is not readily accessible. Moreover, hiring and maintaining staff to carry out these activities can be expensive.

At Twenty3Media, we work as an extension of your team to help you achieve your digital marketing goals and invite you to get in touch with us for a discussion on how we can assist with your content marketing strategy.

In the meantime, here are some pointers on successful content marketing:

Maintain a business blog

Your business blog is an effective way to make sure you have a continuous stream of content. Decide on a publishing schedule and stick to it.

Publish quality content

Give your audience the type of content that appeals to them to increase engagement.

Share your content on the right platforms

The aim of content marketing, besides business generation, is to connect with your market and build a loyal customer base. Based on your research about where your target market spends its time, create and publish shareable content. Include images, videos and an appropriate call to action to engage your readers. This will also keep them longer on your website.

Remember it is about your audience

The days of building a product and hoping the buyers will come, are gone. Today, businesses must go to their audience. Marketing is no longer about pushing your products or services on your customer. It is about understanding your audience’s needs and pain points and creating content around this so that you can attract them into your sales funnel. Follow it up by engaging them in conversation.

Content marketing takes time and effort

Creating content and managing it is a continuous process and most businesses outsource the activity so that they can focus on building their business. The good news is that the investment is well worth it and will bring long-term rewards.

At the end of the day, the World Wide Web is a huge mass of data linked together in different formats that include blogs, videos, expert comments, guides, and much more. Every business must be a part of this to succeed. We are here to help!

Does your business use content marketing? We’d love to hear from you, please feel free to leave a comment below :-)[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Why a content calendar is critical for your content marketing strategy

For every business, regardless of its size and niche, content marketing is among its primary digital marketing strategies. However, unless this is organized and implemented with meticulous planning, all the content that goes out to its audience can be a waste of time and money.

At Twenty3Media, we believe that content marketing, in its simplest form, begins with knowing one’s audience, creating engaging content, and promoting it to the right audience across the platforms frequented by them.

During the content planning process, a content calendar is invaluable. Not only does it enable us share it with our virtual team to plan and monitor our content marketing activity in real time, but also shows us, at a glance, scheduled content, important event dates to keep in mind to plan content, and ensures that we have different types of content ready and published on schedule.

As we already know, a business must consistently publish quality content to build its brand, its credibility and its presence in its niche. The frequency of publishing can vary depending on the business and the industry in which it operates. It is also important to be flexible based on changes in the industry, showing that the business is up to date with trends.

So how do we build a strong content calendar to support our content marketing strategy? Here are our top three tips:

Know your target market

Practically every business activity is based on knowing one’s target audience, and content planning is no exception. In fact, a brand must plan its content in such a way that it appeals to all audience segments the business caters to: for example, prospective and existing customers, potential employees, investors, and suppliers.  Besides focusing on lead generation and sales, this content must be diverse enough to connect with all its audience types. Based on this, content must be planned in terms of what, how much and how often for each segment.

Plan and create the content calendar

Depending on the business, content can either be created from scratch or take into account existing content to work from there. Existing marketing material can often be reworked into new forms of content. For instance, if there are marketing presentations in the form of PowerPoint, these can be made into videos, blog posts, or made into SlideShare presentations that can be shared online. Existing blog posts can be updated with new data to make them relevant. If there is market research, this can be made into infographics, which in turn can become blog posts. If there are industry white papers, these can be published as case studies and blog post series.

The idea is to leverage existing content, as well as to come up with new ideas, which can then populate the content calendar. Responsibilities can then be assigned and tracked. Once the content has been created, it can be scheduled for publication on various platforms as per the content marketing strategy.

Promote and monitor

Just publishing the content is not enough. It must be aggressively promoted on social media and through business newsletters, besides engaging with the audience it reaches. The response and engagement must then be monitored and compared with similar previous activity to gauge what works and what doesn’t. 

Based on this the promotion strategy and content can be tweaked to achieve the content strategy goals. There are a number of analytics tools available to measure performance or each type of content.

In short, the content calendar can be used to record content ideas, determine types of content and frequency, create that content, schedule it, and monitor it, so that you can accomplish your content marketing goals. 

Do you use a content calendar as part of your content marketing strategy? Let us know if you have any tips to share!



Content marketing to become even more important in 2013

Over the last few weeks I’ve read a lot about content marketing, including the predictions regarding the direction of content marketing in 2013. The consensus seems to be that marketers are going to spend a bigger percentage of their marketing budgets on content marketing, and they are going to utilize more marketing tactics in order to reach their content marketing goals. Many brands have already seen the success of content marketing, and those are the brands that are already a step ahead of the rest.

For those that are not 100% sure what content marketing entails – here is a brief explanation. A content marketing strategy normally include all the platforms that you use to connect with customers and prospects (for instance your website, blog, newsletter, social media profiles, etc) as well as the editorial plan for these platforms. An editorial plan will detail what content will be posted when, and where. As part of the strategy, a business should also determine its “voice” and this voice should be consistent in all content. Your content strategy should aim to tell your brand’s story and connect with your target audience in an engaging way. To determine how to engage with your target audience, market research is needed. It’s also important to set content marketing goals and determine how you are going to measure the success of your content marketing strategy. Some of the marketing goals for a content marketing strategy can include:

  • Drive targeted traffic to your website
  • Lead generation
  • Engagement
  • Educating your market on your brand, products or services
  • Improve SEO results
  • Retain customers

It seems as if the biggest obstacles that marketers are facing include a lack or time and resources. Another obstacle is that marketers are not sure how to accurately measure the ROI of a content strategy, and others don’t measure ROI at all. In 2013 it is going to be important to make sure that your brand don’t get left behind. Competition in the online world is tough and brands with strong content marketing strategies will have a definite advantage.