Content is the backbone of digital marketing. Really! Is that true? How many of you have asked this question?
And how many of you really think that content marketing is, in fact, the backbone of digital marketing?
I don’t know what you think. But, content is really the backbone. Don’t believe it? Well, by the end of this article, you will.
Content is the most essential part of digital marketing. Ok, repeated it many times. But I want to make sure that this fact makes its place in your mind.
But wait, what do you understand by content? Long written text? NO!
Content is not just about long texts. It is a lot more than that. Before jumping to, what are the rules for successful content marketing 2019, let us first understand the aspects of content.
What is content in digital marketing?
Content is everything from long texts in blogs, articles to small information, taglines, SMS, visual content, emails and a lot more.
Every field of digital marketing is incomplete without the content. Ok, let’s talk about the most important component of a business. What is it? Any guesses?
The most important component for any business is its customer. And what is the most important thing that you need to do to keep your customers happy?
Of course, give them the best service, satisfy their demands and build a long lasting relationship with them.
Here, the content steps in. The following quote can explain it best:
“Content builds relationship.
Relationships are built on trust.
Trust drives revenue.”
-Andrew Davis, Marketing Speaker & Bestselling Author
It is pretty much clear that digital marketing is incomplete without content marketing. Let us move to the next thing now, that will explain, how your content marketing should be.
Rules for successful content marketing in 2019
It seems like yesterday, that 2019 began. But wake up. A quarter of 2019 is almost over. Digital marketing practices of January 2019 are also becoming things of the past.
The rate at which technologies and strategies are changing is faster than the forest fire. And you need to keep up with this fast pace.
Earlier, when it came to the role of content in digital marketing, it was limited. But like I said, things are changing and so has content’s role.
Content is more important than ever now. Let us understand how?
Links and SEO Benefits
Both link building and SEO is crucial for digital marketing. Now links are not just limited to building links. Link building means both inbound and outbound links.
I am sure you are aware of both these terms. But for my satisfaction, just a brief description.
Inbound Links – are the links that may be on your website or on any other site, but it redirects the user to your site.
Outbound Links – these are the links of any other website present on your website.
And everyone knows what is SEO. Because every digital marketer is in the race to rank 1st on the SERP’s.
Search engine optimization is the base of digital marketing. More or less, everything revolves around SEO. And content plays a major role in deciding the success of SEO practices.
Gone are the days when you could build links or buy them and improve your SEO results. In 2019, you have to earn the links.
Knock on the door of content marketing for this.
How to promote content?
1.SEO: This is especially very important when you are writing website content. That is how people online are going to find you when they are searching for solutions.
If you want to divert all the traffic to your website, give the relevant information. Understand what words your potential customer might use to search for you. And add those keywords in your content.
The keywords should be in the title, description, meta tags and also in the content.
Understand which content will transform the audience to customers and which content is informative. Accordingly, add transforming keywords and informative keywords to the content.
2.Link Building: In this battlefield, you need to make your content stand out. For that, you have to fight with the real weapons!
By this I mean, you really need to push and promote content to make it visible to your audience.
Promote your content on third-party sites. Include relevant links to previous blogs/articles in your latest content.
Add proper inbound and outbound links on your website. That is the best way to promote your content at the right place.
Social Media Engagement
Everyone who is online is on social media. That is a statement or at least that is the way it should be.
You have marked your presence online, but are missing social media presence, then all your hard work goes down the drain.
“I use social media as an idea generator, trend mapper and strategic compass for all of our online business ventures.”
This quote is the perfect crux of why social media is important. Your presence and promotion on different social platforms pave your path for the road to success.
Social media, helps you to understand your audience, their demands, behavior, etc. Once you get a hold on this, you know what your customer wants and what you have to deliver.
But to remind you back, social media is nothing without good, unique, creative and engaging content.
For 2019 content marketing strategy, you need to include content for social media as well. If you are successful in engaging with your clients here, mark my words, you are a winner.
And the viewers will get engaged only if you provide creative and not to forget, unique content.
Now that we are talking about social media, have you heard of the term ‘Dark Social Media’? Actually, this is the type of strategy or say social media promotion, that everyone is following.
Let us understand –
What is Dark social media strategy?
This term in itself is very interesting – Dark Social Media. What comes to your mind first, when you hear the word ‘dark’?
The first thing that I can think of is something that is secretive or hidden.
Dark social media is also something like this. Using and promoting social media links/posts, but not letting the world know that you did it.
You act like a secret or mysterious power, but doing your activities in the dark. For example, you are in your office, scrolling down your social media page and you come across something interesting.
Now instead of directly sharing it (because you don’t want the world to know), you copy the link and send it to your friend by mail or WhatsApp or any other platform. You just engaged in dark social media.
Millions of people are doing this. To quote the number, 84% of outbound sharing is done through dark social media.
Now let us dive in a little deeper and understand –
Why Your Business Can’t Ignore Dark Social?
The tricky secret here is, anything is shared because it is worth sharing, not because it is on social media or any other platform.
So again, even if you are number one in social posting, you will not get good engagement if the content is not good. In Short – good content = more number of shares.
You need to adopt the concept of this hidden power of dark social media and implement it because:
- Dark social media has penetrated its roots deeply everywhere. Knowingly or unknowingly everyone is doing it.
- It has the power to drive huge traffic. Even if xyz person does not know about your company, possibilities increase that he will visit your social page if he gets a dark link from somewhere.
- Dark social represents the real interests and likes of your consumer. It offers great opportunities to understand your customer and satisfy the needs accordingly.
- According to the stats, 46% of customers of age 55 and above share content only through dark social.
- Dark social can be the best and organic way of spreading awareness by word of mouth.
With the frequently changing scenarios, privacy is going to be a major priority for every online user. Hence, sharing privately is more likely to rise in the coming months. In short, dark social media is not going anywhere, not for a few months at least.
Facebook proves to be the largest contributor (82%), followed by WhatsApp, direct message on Instagram and Snapchat – 56%, 34% and 32%, respectively.
Next in the queue to add to your content marketing strategy in 2019 is –
What is the first thing that comes to your mind, when you think of ways to increase traffic on your website?
Probably SEO is the first thing that comes to your mind. And to some extent, it is right also, but it is not the only thing.
Yes, SEO plays a major role in ranking your website on the first page of search engine results and ultimately drive more traffic. But there are some other things too other than the SERPs that generates traffic.
The audience that comes to your site, redirected from different sources, other than search engine pages is called the referral traffic.
Digital marketing also seems to be round like a circle. We come back to, right from where we started. I mean we come back to the importance of content. For using the techniques of referral traffic also, you need great content.
Let us look at some of the ways of how you can include referral traffic into your content marketing strategy 2019.
- Guest blogging – the best thing you could do to gain more exposure.
- Sending regular emails (newsletters) – could be the next big thing!
- Pinterest – you can even publish your infographics there.
- Blogging community sites – a great way to find and connect with like-minded people and also to share a word about your content.
Now that we have had a look at the ways of doing the referral, Let us understand what you need to keep in mind before indulging in these activities.
The first and foremost thing you need to keep in mind is – buyer persona.
What is a buyer persona and why you need to conduct persona research?
This is a look-alike of your potential customer, the one you want to target.
Figuring out the buyer persona proves to be the best thing you could do to your content.
Though conducting a buyer persona research does take time and effort, but it is equally fruitful.
Example: if you produce fine quality green tea, so let us build a fictional character that resembles your potential customer:
- Health conscious: those looking a way to stay fit and healthy
- Ones who are willing to spend on luxury products
- Age: probably 20-60
- Fitness Freak
- Demographic – this will help you to target people according to the location
- What is their standard of living?
So by figuring this out, you would get a fair idea that who would be your potential customer and you can accordingly customize your products/services.
Next topic to hover over is –
Brand Awareness – Superdrug Marketing Strategy
Do not be alarmed. It is not any strategy that the marketing colleges missed to add in the syllabus. Nor it is any term that has anything to do with drugs.
It is basically the case study of a company based in the UK named Superdrug. It is a health & beauty retailer in the UK.
A few years ago, the company was drowning in losses and the figures were going from green to red. But then something happened in 2016 and there was a magical change in Superdrug’s overall growth.
In 2016, the company claimed a 10.4% increase in its revenue. This was shocking to such a level that research was done about how this happened.
During the study, the marketing strategies of Superdrug were examined closely and the results kept the marketing companies dumbstruck.
Since then, several marketers have started following the same strategy and hence came the name – Superdrug Marketing Strategy.
Now, what exactly were the strategies that turned a loss-making company to a profit earning one?
Some of them, which should be included in your content marketing strategy as well are:
- Targetting the right audience
- Enhancing and sharing customer experience
- Rewarding points/loyalty cards to regular customers
- Up to date technological capabilities
- Always be a step ahead of your competitor
And of course, not to forget the brand awareness. After putting in all the above efforts, if you do not spread awareness. It will all be a waste.
For this, all you need to do is build an alliance with a brand through which you can reach more potential customers as well as build your brand awareness.
A lot has been said and discussed about why you need a content marketing strategy and how to build one. Hope you are convinced now?
If not, there is a lot more to scroll down to the bottom. Keep going, you never know if the trump card is revealed at last.
Next is –
What questions you should keep in mind while forming a content marketing strategy?
Only drafting the strategy is not enough. There has to be some logic and reason behind why you are doing it. And most important is, implementing the strategy at the right time and in the right manner.
Some questions that you should keep in mind while making your content marketing strategy in 2019 is:
- Have you set the goals?
- Are the goals logical and achievable?
- Do you know who your target audience is?
- What are your customer’s pain points?
- Do you know what your target audience’s interest is and what they want to read?
- What tools you can use?
- How you will you measure the success of your content marketing?
- How and where you can promote your content?
- Do you understand the nature of your target audience?
- What are your competitors doing?
All said and done, but have you really understood the motive yet? I hope by now you have an idea of –
Why you need a content marketing strategy?
For those of you who are still waiting for some strong points to pop up, I have something for you too. Digital marketing is nothing without content and after almost 2000+ words now, I don’t have to prove this.
Let me support my statement with some facts and figures.
In 2018, more than 58% of the marketers globally, have spent more budget on content marketing than any other tactics.
“Content is the reason
the search began in the first place.”
You need a content marketing strategy for your business to:
- Build an online presence
- Work on brand awareness
- Build links – both inbound and outbound
- Provide relevant information to your to-be and present clients
- Build a strong relationship with your customers
- Build credibility
And last but not the least, which you should not miss is generate leads and increase conversion.
Let us dive in a little deeper and list down –
What are the steps in a strategic content marketing approach?
Only thinking and planning are not important, you need to execute the plan as well. Successful implementation is as important as systematic planning.
According to the research, 63% of businesses do not have a content marketing strategy in writing. If you are one of them, you need to get this corrected right away.
The steps you should keep in mind while jotting down your content marketing strategy are:
- Understanding and analyzing what your audience wants to read.
- Preparing a list of existing content and other resources that can be used as content in any form.
- Prepare a systematic calendar, as to what will be published, when and where.
- Plan and prepare channel-specific content. Something that is fit for website publishing may not be relevant on Facebook.
- Identify and define your metrics and KPIs in advance.
- Write content that satisfies the needs of both, your audience and your business.
- Create all types of content. Only promotional content is not a good idea. Go for informational, educational, etc.
- Make sure that the content focuses on your buyer’s persona as well as your sales.
And not to forget, keep an eye on the analytics. This will give you an idea of whether the strategy is actually working or you need to change anything.
Now that we are discussing so much about content and why content marketing is so essential, let me add something more to it.
I am sure all of you know what is 3D. Any object that is 3 dimensional is called 3D. Right? But have you heard about 3D Content mapping?
Interesting, isn’t it?
Let us understand –
What is 3D content mapping and how it can be a strategic approach?
By 3D content mapping, I do not mean the literal meaning of 3 dimensional. 3D content mapping actually means a content mapping with three strategic approaches to it:
- Buying and Sale Cycle
- Type of Content
Let us consider one at a time.
Segmentation is basically dividing. In context with content, segmentation means, divide your content strategically, keeping in mind your buyer’s persona.
Take into account everything, from demographics, needs, nature, behavior, age, to challenges faced, pain points, everything.
2. Buying and Sale Cycle:
Content also plays a major role in the buying and sale cycle. Customers today are more advanced than ever before.
They do thorough research online and try to squeeze every possible information they can, before buying any product or service.
Therefore, you need to provide them the most authentic and reliable information. Only then the content can help boost your buying and sale cycle. Give them what they want to read.
3. Type of Content:
Categorize your content in advance. The above two points define clearly what you need to focus on.
So accordingly, distribute your content. Decide in advance what type of content will be written for which category and where it will be published.
Make a calendar and assign when you will write promotional content, when will it be a call to action type, etc.
By mentioning type, I remember, did you know, there are types of content marketing and content formats as well?
Not to worry, I will list that down too.
Types of Content Marketing and Content Formats You Should Focus On:
Most of the companies usually fail to understand the right approach and planning, when it comes to content marketing.
Even today, for the majority of them, content marketing has only one goal and that is generating leads. But this is wrong and this is the reason for the failure.
According to the data, 85% of B2B marketers claimed that lead generation was the only goal of content marketing.
To make this right, let us look at –
Types of Content Marketing:
- Blog posting or Organic search: according to HubSpot, companies who publish 16+ blogs in a month are likely to get 3.5 times more traffic compared to those who post 4-5 blogs.
- Guest Blogging: this is basically, promoting your content on other platforms, who already have huge traffic. It is just like you are being where your audience is, even if it is on a third source.
- Case Study or Sale Based: this type of publishing is only possible when you have extraordinary sales to boast about and people would like to listen to whatever you say.
- Influencer Writing: like influencer marketing, you can go for influencer writing as well. This type of content usually includes leader thoughts, opinions about your niche industry, etc.
- Referral Content: earlier, I had mentioned about referral traffic, it is something similar to that. The audience might read your content on any third party site or platforms, but they come back to your site, to check relevancy.
Types of Content Format:
Content can be published in many different formats, it is not just about long text. Some of the formats are:
- Case Studies
- How to Guides
Almost everything is covered regarding the importance of content marketing and how you should do it. When so much is already talked about, why miss another important thing?
Optimizing Content For Mobile
The Audience is shifting from desktops to mobiles. According to the research:
- In 2018, nearly 80% of internet surfing was on mobile devices.
- 40% of the online users search for anything on the internet, only on a mobile.
- Mobile devices are accountable for more than half of all the video traffic.
- In comparison to the desktop market share of 44.2%, mobile market share is for 52.1% worldwide.
These facts and figures are more than enough to understand that, it is high time to switch to mobile optimization.
Here are a few tips to enhance the content according to the mobile:
- Break content into smaller lines
- Make use of bullet points
- Create precise content
Our aim is to curate content that looks readable on the website as well as mobile.
But, now arises the most important question, after applying all the strategies and making the best use of them, how to retain visitors?
Convert Abandoning Visitors into Customers with Exit-Intent
Did you know that 98%of your visitors return without even doing anything? Also, 75% of the visitors add products to the cart, only to abandon them later.
This is where exit-intent comes into the play. It is crucial to retain your customers and even more important that you should know some steps to take, to retain them.
This is a technique, which works best on e-commerce websites.
How does this work? This technique tracks the visitor’s mouse moments, when they hover near the exit panel, they are welcomed with a pop-up form that requests them to submit their contact details, so that you can follow up with them.
Some of the things to keep in mind to retain your customers are:
- First and foremost is to understand the reason why your customer left.
- The second thing is to make fast moves, take decisions and also risks sometimes. If you are late, you lose. If you are not fast enough somebody else will be.
- Valuable content is your trump card use it well.
- Maintain personal contact with your clients. Increase lifetime value (LTV) with them.
So I hope this article has solved your majority of problems related to content strategy in 2019.
- Create valuable authentic content
- Promote your content
- Connect with your audience emotionally
- Use Link building and SEO to the best
- Excel your Social Media engagement skills
- Adopt dark social media
- Build referral traffic
- Focus on Brand awareness
- Build buyer persona
- Build a well planned and customer-focused content marketing strategy
- Decisively plan which type of content marketing and content format you need to use
- Go for mobile optimization
- And foremost do everything you can to retain your customers
Adopt these techniques to boost your content marketing and derive customers in 2019.