We’ve previously written about how to improve content marketing with How to Write Content Answers and How to Write Content in Times of Upheaval. But what good is investing in a content marketing campaign if no one reads it? We’ll show you how to improve content marketing below.
What is Content Marketing?
Content marketing (aka content promotion) is the practice of making sure as many interested people as possible have knowledge and access to your content. Many businesses can think their job is done once they’ve published their piece or put it up on their social channels. However, this is where your content can stall. This is because the internet can be a crowded place with literally millions of voices vying for attention. To improve content marketing you must consider your approach from the time you start conjuring content ideas all the way through to when it finally finds its intended audience.
Hopefully, you’ve been building an email list of your target audience. This can include buyers, current clients, prospective clients, CFOs, decision makers, and even their assistants who can also be looking to make their boss’s lives easier. Don’t have an email list? They are for sale from various channels that can be narrowed to your industry, area, etc. You may also conjure up one yourself by researching your target audience and gathering their emails. However, use this tactic lightly as they may not want to be contacted. Convention, expo, and other event contact lists can also help you create a list. Have an interesting white paper or other piece of popular content? Require an email to see it. Be sure your site has a prompt to sign up for your newsletter, updates or anything related on each page that is working.
Make your regular email subscriptions an opt-in option. Remember that if you are being reported as spam on a regular basis can result in your domain getting banned from some email providers. Visitors should know they may choose to sign up for your emails but are under no obligation to. A good email list with content is great for creating engagement, reinforcing awareness of your business, and can lead to an increase in sales.
Don’t Discount Social Networks
You may have a so-so social media network, but you probably know the movers and shakers in your industry. See what kind of content they are creating and linking to. You may even approach them to see if they are interested in partnering together. Don’t know where to start? Use a service like Followerwonk to research and make connections. It’s time to get in touch after you know who is open to it. This is a challenge within itself. We recommend approaching them how you would like to be approached. You know your industry. Lead with what they are most interested in.
The ultimate goal of your social network content promotion should be to build awareness of your business, as well as motivate your readers to get in touch with you.
Remember Direct Mail?
You may throw out all the junk mail you receive at your home. But don’t you give it a quick glance to see if it is something useful? Now think of the mail you get at work. You give it more than a glance. In fact, you may thoroughly review it to see if you, your associates, or your superiors may find it useful. Now imagine you send a piece of direct mail to someone who is actually looking for what you do. They will now have in their hands a physical manifestation of the benefits of working with you, along with your contact information.
Direct mail companies often know the businesses in the area and can give you the publicly listed addresses to you for a reasonable fees. All you have to do is decide what to send them. We recommend your best service or product at the forefront. Don’t forget to include your contact info, as well as review, edit, repeat.
A few benefits of direct mail for content promotion include:
- Approximately 80% to 90% of direct mail is opened compared to about 20% to 30% of emails opened – Source
- It allows you to target the clients you want.
- Your mail is tangible which means it can be tacked to a board, shared by hand, or even tucked in a drawer for later reference. Emails that aren’t useful generally get deleted immediately.
- You don’t have to become a junk mailer to be effective with direct mail campaigns. In fact, with the right marketing agency partner you’ll be able to filter your mailing list and ensure your message gets delivered to a demographic specific to the personas indicated in your marketing plan (the right agency can help with the marketing plan, also).
- EDDM versus first class mail? There are appropriate uses of both, but the right marketing agency can show you how first class can actually be less costly and provide a greater campaign ROI.
Every tactic you utilize leverages your website and brand, not to mention your blog. The role of your content promotion is to deliver relevant traffic to your site. Once they have read your relevant, useful content, they will be compelled to spend more time there. Be sure to offer related articles, as well as conversion opportunities such as forms, subscription prompts, offers, contests, etc. to keep them hanging around. Contact the Zen Marketing team if you need help on how you can improve content marketing.
Before undertaking any content campaign, perform an honest and subjective review of your website (or have a marketing agency perform this for you).
You are making an investment in a content campaign, which will drive interested people to your website to learn more. Once there, will your website help you convert suspects into prospects? Does it have the necessary landing page to support your campaign and allow tracking?
Don’t let your website corrupt the start of your customer’s journey.
Any Small Business Business Can Improve With Content Marketing
If you have read this far, you are living proof of the advantages content marketing can bring to any small business. When properly executed and part of a well-defined marketing plan, it can establish you as as thought leader, fill your sales pipeline, and reduce your advertising spend.
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