Did you know that 92% of companies that blogged multiple times a day acquired customers via their blogs this year? It is time to take full advantage of this content marketing craze by reaching out to your customers with the right content.
The Rise of Content Marketing
All Google updates have led to one conclusion by SEO experts: Content is King. It all started in 2011, when the search query “content marketing” began its rising trend, and has now grown to be extremely common. Creating quality content for your business has major benefits for your search engine optimization, social media marketing, and your company’s overall branding.
What is Content Marketing?
Content Marketing is the new way to get higher search rankings and increased sales by creating useful, informative content that is appealing both to your target group and also to Google and other search engines. The motive is to attract, obtain and engage a clearly defined target audience in order to drive profitable customer interactions.
By answering the most frequently asked questions with respect to your content, your company can become the most credible resource for your domain and gain new leads that convert to customers in the long term.
Image Source: Iciweb
What types of content should you create?
If you are looking for opportunities to generate more results from your marketing efforts, you need to look at establishing a content marketing strategy. This Pyramid highlights a variety of different types of content that need to be taken into consideration:
Content Marketing: Parts as a whole
- Creating Valuable Content: Content needs to be created for your audience with the objective of informing and educating them, by simultaneously boosting your credibility and connections with consumers. This can be done in the form of articles, eBooks, press releases, white papers, blogs, webinars, posts, infographics, etc.
- Distributing that Content: This unique content needs to be then shared with users through social networking websites, blogs, through e-mail marketing and other platforms where your viewers are active, provided your content is suitable for that particular platform. Once your content strategy has been recognized, metrics need to be defined in order to accurately measure and monitor your success.
Take a look at metrics to effectively measure the content marketing efforts:
- Brand Lift: “Brand lift” is the blanket term for a brand’s increase in customer or audience perception. This is a concept that has its roots in online advertising (brand advertising, to be more specific) and refers to an increased awareness of the brand (product, or contribution), attitude (view on quality, value and appeal), recall (ability to evoke), favorability (likelihood to recommend), and intent (likelihood to purchase)-all of which can be a challenge to measure.One way to measure the rise or fall in the sentiment of your brand in the long run is through social media. Once we have a plan in place, we create content that promotes your brand and conveys your expertise, distributing it over the right channels to ensure effective placement. When highly consumable content gets published in front of your target audience, you can begin to gain authority and thought leadership in your industry. Increased authority in your space not only helps to retain customers, but also generate awareness and trust in your brand. This creates an organic sales funnel that can dramatically increase conversions.Ultimately, this increased inbound traffic improves your overall branding.
- Social Media Success: This is a metric that allows you to better understand where the social traffic is coming from. By observing the gross amount of social media success, your business will be able to understand what type of content was well received, on what platforms and by which users. It also helps explain how these social actions are affecting your other marketing channels too.The “social media content” widget looks at how many “social actions” were taken while viewing your content. These can include:Interactions – Likes, Comments, Shares, Replies, Retweets, and so on.Reach – The percentage of fans that have seen your post from your page.Engagement Rates –A formula for quantifying a brand’s success.This is a valuable performance measure, as it displays that visitors didn’t just passively leave the web page open for an extent of time, or click through to other web pages because they were bored. It shows that they actually appreciated your content enough to share it within their network.
- Onsite Engagement and content effectiveness: Once traffic is driven to your website from the variety of content that has been distributed to your audiences, the hope is that this effort will drive repeat traffic to your web site. The metrics in Google Analytics helps measure whether the content you’re creating is engaging enough to draw traffic to your website from the search engines. This allows you to make two conclusions about those pieces of content that are attracting a lot of readers and giving you a lot of their time.Firstly, that content is building relationships by compelling readers to return. Secondly, that valuable content is creating an increase by facilitating repeat exposures.This is a valuable way of determining if your content marketing efforts are driving real value to your business. If your content efforts are often the most viewed part of your website, it might be safe to say that your audience is finding value and that you are educating them on a particular expertise.
- Google Analytics audience Widget: Google Analytics is a collection of widgets that allows you to quickly visualize your data. The audience related widgets on the Google Analytics dashboard provide information about viewers. The visitor’s pie chart gives an idea of the number of visitors that revisited the website because they found well optimized content in search engines.Some of these are:“Content behavior metrics” Helps to determine the number of new/revisiting users. Also helps to check whether the content you are creating is engaging enough to draw traffic to your website or not.“Site Content metrics effects” Shows the website’s ALL/ landing pages performance metrics which helps in determining which page content played an important role to get the visitors on the website.Lastly, “GEO metrics effects on content strategy” shows you where in the world your visitors are from. You can use this data to improve your content in all kinds of ways, such as:‘Visitor Language use’ helps in optimizing multi-language websites.‘Location area’: helps to determine the place / nearby places of the visitor, hence it can be helpful in optimization / filtering the content related to location.By using Google Analytics we can measure the content effectiveness using real data. It is always helpful to see what is effective and to avoid what is not.
- Lead Generation: One of the most valuable metrics to monitor when it comes to your content marketing efforts is if lead generation efforts have increased. Lead generation is important because leads are the most likely people to convert and make your business revenue grow. This is where we start determining whether the content marketing efforts are making financial sense.When a visitor signs up on a website, he/she enters his/her contact information to have access to exclusive content created by the company about business. This visitor is a new lead who can eventually become a paying customer. It is important to measure the rate at which leads are being generated from the website content to see what type of content is working to get more traction from your web visitors.Successful content solicits a certain response from your target audience. For instance, taking advantage of a special gift or promo being offered and filling up information sheets that converts visits into leads.
- Conversions: Consumption is the most basic and most measurable type of metric you can use to measure content marketing success. It is straightforward and deals with real figures and statistics. It states how many people actually consumed your content. Google Analytics, Website platforms and social media insights already have these tools available for you to use and the only thing left for you to do is use them and gain better insights about your content consumption. Content marketers and conversion optimization professionals have a glorious collaboration ahead.
- Thought Leadership: Content marketing can describe a business as being an expert or a thought leader in an industry which can lead to many invaluable benefits. Becoming a thought leader and a trusted source of information will gradually gain more traffic, follows, and subscriptions, leads, and conversions over time. Social signals get a boost when website owners refer your work and when social media followers share the content. Take a step back and observe the media mentions of your content, if other thought leaders refer to your content, if the media is requesting for your contribution on certain topics or requests the leaders to speak at business events.Look at how your content is performing and helping you to position your company as a thought leader. By becoming an industry known expert, your content could continue to gain more traffic, follows, subscriptions, leads, and conversions over time. Overall, there are several ways to measure the performance of content marketing strategies.What metrics does your organization use to measure your content marketing? How often are you analyzing the results of your content strategy? I’d love to hear about your experience with your content marketing strategy. Share your thoughts in the comments below!
Blog contributed by Anu Gupta, SEO Analyst, Position2