By Chris Hardy, XChange Training
“Content is king” – the phrase we all cringe at, but know to be true. Well, at least if the latest statistics are anything to go by.
Let’s have a quick recap of some of the most interesting (and useful) stats which were published last year – 51% prioritised visual content in 2016, by 2017 video content will represent 74% of all internet traffic and infographics are shared on social media three times more than any other content.
Clearly, it seems that creative content is where businesses should be placing most of their marketing spend, but there is often a misconception among some that while marketing is nice, it is an unnecessary expenditure for a business – especially a small business.
Yet, it doesn’t matter if you are Apple or the local café – you still need a marketing strategy in place.
If you are new to marketing your business it can seem a daunting task at first, but in reality, you just need to keep two things in mind throughout your marketing journey; one – how will content marketing bring value to your business? Two – how will it resonate and engage with your audience?
Ultimately, your audience is who you want to inspire, and your business is who you want to benefit from that inspiration. Therefore, these two should be at the forefront of your mind throughout the creation process.
If you’re still unsure, then take a look at the below points to see why you should really be investing in content marketing in 2017.
With increased digital connectivity and more channels than ever before, consumers are becoming bombarded with adverts and messages at every point throughout their day – leaving the overall message of those campaigns diluted. Content marketing is more powerful in that it is more targeted and therefore resonates more powerfully with your audience.
Rather than being a promotional outlet, content allows you to add value, inform and inspire your audience through the words or creative pieces that you create. The content you produce shouldn’t read like a sales pitch; it should be a well thought out piece which is useful to your audience. If it’s not useful, then rethink it.
Improves your digital presence
The more consistent you are with your content marketing – this means regularly updating your blog and social media, sending out regular email newsletters, and getting featured in relevant publications – then the better your digital presence will be.
You’ll also be able to see these results in your Google Analytics; in terms of how long people are spending on your website and blog posts, what they are reading and how long they are spending on each post. Your Google Analytics will also show you how your placements have performed for you – showing your referral traffic and which placements are performing the best for you.
You are also able to use the data to create better campaigns. In fact, no blog post, placement, infographic, interactive piece, video, social media post (you get the gist) should be started without thorough research first.
Don’t be fooled into the box of thinking content marketing is all about the written word. There are many other mediums which come under the term content and can be used to enhance your businesses digital presence.
Whitepapers, e-books, quizzes, infographics, videos, calculators – this list is certainly not exhaustive as to the types of content that you can create. Above all though, you should ensure that it is relevant to your business and your audience. If it fails on either one, or both, of those areas then you will be wasting time and money.
Establishes brand identity
Everything you do, says something about your brand. Whether it’s a blog post on your website, the colours you have used in your logo or the way you communicate with employees and clients. Content marketing helps you to establish your brand.
The content that you create is a great outlet to let your brand shine through. Whether that’s through an article you write or a creative piece – your tone of voice and style should all be on brand. Think about how when you watch an advert, and you can instantly tell who it’s by; your content should be identifiable as you.
Choose your investment
You can also choose how much you invest in your content marketing strategy – scaling up your approach as your budget increases. Remember that you should be investing in high-quality content – the higher the quality, the better the impact.
If you can’t afford to be creating fancy content pieces in your first month, then that’s okay. It’s always best to start out small and grow your campaign as your business grows too.
Simply put, you cannot afford to not be investing in content marketing. So, make 2017 the year you invest – who knows where you will be by the time 2018 comes around?