If you look at the latest content marketing statistics, you will see that 91% of B2B and 86% of B2C marketers are using content marketing.
So nine out of ten marketers in the world are using content marketing as a part of their arsenal. That is the same as the number of dentists that recommend you brush your teeth twice a day. And who are we to argue with people that keep our gums healthy 🙂
Leaving clever metaphors behind, all available data points to content marketing as the go-to marketing approach.
But we are not here to debate if content marketing is important or not. The numbers tell you everything you need to know.
What is on today’s list is explaining why should you stop thinking about content marketing as a way to place a few editorials on high-authority sites and start thinking how to incorporate it into your long-term marketing strategy.
It is something your competition most likely already does, and here are the main reasons why.
Better preparation always leads to better results
It doesn’t matter if you are trying to lose weight, build a castle or become a leader in your industry – if you don’t have a plan how to get there, you’re most likely going to get lost.
Every great long-term plan is preceded with an in-depth research which does eat away at your resources, but in turn gives you invaluable information on which your whole plan will be based.
The equation is rather simple.
RESEARCH + PLAN + EXECUTION => STRATEGIC GOALS
The same thing translates to content marketing. If you want to fully utilize its advantages you need to have a comprehensive content marketing strategy that is based on meticulous research.
More options to choose from
Content marketing should never be mistaken as a synonym for blogger outreach.
Yes, outreach campaigns do play an important role. Without them, the plot can’t move forward. But at the same time, they need great supporting cast, goals and vision or else this movie isn’t going to have a good return on investment.
A full content marketing strategy will deduce where you are now, where do you want to be, and how to get there.
There are many routes you can take to achieve your goals. However, you will find that it is best to divide your resources and explore a few different paths. Paths being on-page and off-page marketing activities.
Classic on-page efforts cover:
- On-page seo
- Developing editorial calendar and subsequent content promotion
- Optimizing landing pages
- Creating lead magnets
Here are just some of the off-page activities that you can incorporate into you strategy:
- Influencer marketing
- Editorial link building (Guest blogging)
- Broken-link buidling
- Resource list building
- E-mail marketing
On top of all that, you need to also think about building your presence on social media, forums, Q&A sites, and so on.
There is a lot of ground to cover and you don’t want to stretch yourself too thin. This is where long-term planning comes into play.
Coincidentally, this is one of the reasons why creating a strategy requires so much work. You have to explore yours and your competition positions on the market, and make a plan to reach your destination in a given time-frame with a limited budget.
To complicate things even further, different niches respond differently to the same marketing methods so you can’t always just transfer methodology from your last successful project.
That means you have to decide early on which channels you will concentrate on and which marketing techniques you want to use. A comprehensive content marketing plan will enable you to do exactly that.
Ability to adjust and correct
As a continuation from the last section, let’s touch on another important advantage of having a strategy in place – the ability to do course corrections on the fly.
Every proper marketing strategy will have defined metrics you want to track.
It is extremely important that you are able to track the progress of your marketing efforts. How else are you going to know if you are getting closer to your goals?
Additionally, following only one or two metrics can be misleading so it is recommended to broaden your, let’s call it, metric interests. That will ensure you are reviewing current stats in the right context as well as help you to pinpoint the problem when you underperform in a certain area.
With ad-hoc marketing approach, you can never have the same level of understanding of how your marketing activities affect your position on the market.
Improving over time
Our every content marketing project starts with an exhaustive target audience research.
Despite investing considerable resources into researching your target market, there is always some room for improvements down the line. There is a few reasons for that.
Spending more time with your product or service allows us a deeper understanding of slight nuances that might be important to your potential customers. That, in turn, allows us to craft content that perfectly hits their pain points and consequently improves brand trust & loyalty as well as improves engagement and your conversion rates.
The second reason is understanding the niche.
As mentioned before, different niches react differently to your marketing activities. Depending on the type of your business, you might see more success with resource list building or PPC promotion than with a standard editorial link building approach.
Full content marketing strategy allows you to test the waters with less risk of drowning your budget because you can always repurpose your content for a different approach.
Another argument worth mentioning is that prolonged exposure to any niche allows us to have a complete picture of your position and pace compared to your main competitors, in the context of content marketing. Add here the ability to follow and predict trends in the industry and your success story is starting to write itself.
Doing “extra-curricular” activities
One thing that business owners tend to overlook is that content (and subsequently content marketing) is not just your landing pages, blog posts, and infographics.
Your whole web page is one big content piece that communicates your products and services to your customers. Content is found in your newsletter, social media posts and comments, forum answers and so on.
The trick is getting your content on all of your channels to work together for a common goal. That is the single fastest way to growth.
Having a long-term content marketing plan lets you coordinate all of those efforts and also incorporate some not so standard marketing activities.
A great example is interactive content. Things like calculators, quizzes, and social media contests can work wonders when it comes to gathering leads and increasing the engagement of your customers with your brand.
If you have the resources for it, you can even consider developing webinars, conducting a research, providing courses…
It takes time to open all doors and leave no stone unturned. Whatever you decide to do, it should be a part of a strategic plan.
Content marketing is by its nature a long-term approach
While content marketing can help you reach short-term goals with improvised planning, strategic goals require a more structured and well-thought-out plan.
Trying to reach multiple goals by independently focusing on a few different marketing methods without a proper plan is just not effective. You might as well throw your money in the nearest wishing well as the long-term effects are going to be practically the same.
The beauty of a strategic approach to content marketing is in coordinated efforts of multiple methods that all work together to reach selected milestones.
If your goal is, for example, to increase traffic to your website and overall conversions rates, your whole content marketing activities can be focused in that direction. Content creation and promotion, social media updates, landing page optimizations, etc., can all be crafted in a way that is reflective of your goals.
Content marketing offers you a wide array of different marketing activities you can employ to reach your goals. That fastest and safest way to your destination requires you to choose the methods that will prove to be most effective and then to properly execute them.
And that simply can’t be done without a strategic approach.