It is so easy to dismiss content marketing trends, especially when your business is doing well. How often have you simply disregarded them as noise or fads? But then you realize months later that you’ve been left in the dust? Many businesses including former multi-billion dollar corporations such as Kodak and Blockbuster Video have made the same mistake. Today they are no longer in business.
Most companies understand the need to have good marketing campaigns in order to make sales. However, many of don’t see the need to have a content marketing strategy as the backbone of their marketing campaigns.
Consumer behavior is changing rapidly as new technologies are adopted faster and faster. Consumers are highly influenced by the content they are exposed to and the quality of its delivery. Choosing to pay attention to new trends in consumer behavior and implementing a good content marketing strategy are essential to any modern business’ success. This article will outline 3 reasons to develop a content marketing strategy, and the best way to implement one.
(Hint: Get our best tip on the quickest way to an effective content marketing strategy)
#1: Brand Definition
Writing and publishing content alone does not spell success. It does not get it to rank high in search engines or help its audience identify with it. A well developed content marketing strategy is what shapes a company and its products/services in the mind of its customers. This is key for defining a target audience, developing a unique brand voice, and rallying your ambassadors. These methods get customers emotionally engaged to stand behind a brand as raving fans.
#2: Content Marketing is Good For SEO
Search engine optimization (SEO), according to Wikipedia, is the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a web search engine’s unpaid results—often referred to as “natural”, “organic”, or “earned” results. An effective SEO strategy is found at the intersection of content quantity and quality. Content quality plays a huge role in domain authority among search engines. The quality of the content refers to having content that is grammatically correct and is relevant to the company’s audience. There are tools such as Yoast that help improve content quality by identifying key metrics within the content that help it meet SEO standards, as shown in the image below:
The quantity of the content produced is just as important as its quality because it helps educate consumers. It allows them to set valid expectations about the brands they follow. This is where a content marketing strategy brings quality and quantity together.
Apple Case Study:
Look at the way Apple launches its products. Although the process is not well documented, there are some clear patterns that jump out. Let’s look at when the company is about to release a new product: They start with information leaks to certain news outlets such as Macworld, which starts building hype about this mysterious new product. Once the hype spreads, it helps bring attention to their official product announcements, which are nothing more than over-extended commercials about their new product(s) release.
The minute the products are officially launched, it takes months before they are available for sale. This builds such anticipation among Apple’s raving fans that they often experience absolute product sell-outs within hours of being available for sale. This all may seem just the way things just are, but one can’t help but notice the well executed content marketing strategy sitting at the center of its success.
#3: Build Consumer Trust
The widespread adoption of social media did not replace word of mouth. It redefined it and made it even more powerful. Although the information exchange happens over digital channels, the ease of communication and reach through social media has allowed for newly emerging companies to thrive and old ones to disappear almost overnight.
Content is one of the most effective ways to connect and engage with customers. Content gives customers an up-close and personal view of the company’s mission, its culture, and enables them to experience the brand’s commitment to delivering value. Clients are ever more savvy and can pick up whether or not a company is true to its values. A well executed content marketing strategy delivers value-driven content that lays the foundation for a healthy and trustworthy relationship.
Customer experiences do not happen in a vacuum. When companies deliver great experiences customers spread the word and become brand ambassadors on and offline. Some companies have even taken customer experience to new heights through these methods.
Zappos Case Study:
Customer Zaz Lamarr forgot to return a pair of Zappos shoes in time because of her mother’s passing. She called Zappos and told them the story hoping the company would allow her to return the shoes after she had missed the deadline. Not only did the company allow her to return the shoes, it sent someone to pick them up from her house so she wouldn’t have to go out and get this done. To top it off, they sent Zaz flowers with a note expressing their condolences.
Because this type of customer service is disruptive and it creates a type of virality around it. This not only serves as great word-to-mouth for the companies who do it, but it also help reinforce consumer trust in the brand.
“Branding Through Customer Service Over the years, the number one driver of our growth at Zappos has been repeat customers and word of mouth. Our philosophy has been to take most of the money we would have spent on paid advertising and invest it into customer service and the customer experience instead, letting our customers do the marketing for us through word of mouth.” ― Tony Hsieh, CEO and Founder of Zappos on Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose.
Tip: Quickest Way to Building a Successful Content Marketing Strategy
The quickest way to learn and implement a successful content strategy is to learn an effective content marketing strategy framework. There are thousands of resources online (blog posts, books, online courses, YouTube videos) where you can learn about different ways to create an effective content marketing strategy. However, this is time consuming and not the always the most effective way to achieve this goal. We recommend attending a hands-on workshop or one-on-one training session. There’s simply no replacement for access to experts with proven track records of implementing successful content marketing strategies.
Good luck in your content creation and roll-out!