How Good Content Marketing Can Build Your Business
Content marketing is an effective strategy focussed on delivering valuable and relevant information to a specific target audience to drive leads. Most marketers focus on the bottom end of the lead generation funnel however successful content strategies reach audiences in all stages of the buyer journey. Content is an important tool to build trust and credibility with new prospects and loyal long-term customers.
More and more, consumers are getting inundated with marketing messages than ever before. The online landscape in particular is enormously cluttered by marketing messages, and many of these messages are communicated via disruptive ad formats. Fuelled by the frustrations of an invasive digital experience, 30% of all internet users now use ad blockers. It’s become increasingly challenging for marketers to create cut through and have impact.
A strong content marketing plan is a highly effective strategy to drive search visibility, cement your positioning as an expert in a particular topic or industry, and build long term relationships with your customers. Done well, it can be a significant cost-effective traffic driver to your website.
“Content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing and is nearly three times as effective”
Content Marketing Institute
Types of Content Marketing
Content marketing can come in text-based formats such as website pages and blogs, highly visual formats such as infographics, Slideshares and video or audio such as a Podcast. When planning your content, it’s essential you understand your target audiences; what type of content will they find useful, entertaining and informative, and what channels and formats they are most likely to engage with.
Blogs: Typically 900-1200 words, an SEO keyword optimised blog on your website is a powerful tool to drive website traffic. When writing a website blog, it’s important your page is SEO optimised, you have a clear structure (introduction, body and conclusion) with subheadings, and you include a strong call-to-action to drive traffic to your product or services.
Whitepapers: A persuasive, informative, well researched, in-depth analysis of a specific problem and solutions, whitepapers are an excellent tactic to cement your positioning in a particular industry or topic. A minimum of 2500 words and typically presented in a downloadable PDF format, whitepapers are a great lead generation tool, when you have an email sign up for download (this is called gated content).
Video: Videos are a highly effective medium for quickly engaging an audience. Focus on the story and mission of your product or service vs the sale. Capture the most important message in the first 10 seconds of the video (20% of viewers will click away from a video in 10 seconds and under), and ensure your video is SEO optimised. Add relevant tags and ensure your description and title includes your target keywords.
Infographics: A great format to clearly explain an important concept or process, share interesting statistics and promote your products or services. Explore creating your own infographics using a Canva template, or get in touch with the team at Vim + Zest to create one for you as part of a strategic SEO Content plan.
Know Your Audience
How do you ensure audiences are picking your content over your competitor’s? A good place to start is by developing Buyer Personas – these personas allow your brand to identify the 3-5 key types of people who are most likely to be consuming your content. Research their interests, lifestyles and behaviours.
Understand their core needs and aspirations. What’s the problem your brand is solving for a customer?
For example, if you’re selling paint, why would someone buy paint? A professional tradesman will require different levels of information and guidance than an accountant looking to spruce up his bedroom with a fresh coat of colour. The accountant may need more guidance with what tools to buy, how to prepare the walls for painting and tips how apply the paint with a roller.
This level of information is highly useful and engaging, opening up the opportunity of building a long-term relationship with a prospective customer beyond a one-off sale.
Effective content follows three key pillars:
1. Search – content should be easily found in places your potential customers prefer to search.
2. Engagement – content should be valuable, building an authentic relationship based on trust with your potential audience.
3. Persuasion – content should encourage your audience to invest in your product or service, without coming across as a hard sell. It should communicate why a person would want to become your customer and reflect the same key messages across all touch points.
Drive Search Visibility and Increase Web Traffic
We developed a robust, audience centric SEO content strategy to drive website traffic and strengthen Sunglass Fix’s credibility as an expert in sunglasses repairs.
A targeted content strategy designed to engage six different buyer personas across Sunglass Fix’s Australian and European websites, and a comprehensive ‘pillar and cluster’ framework, formed the foundation of the strategy, focussing on 3 key topic areas: Maintenance & Repair, Sustainability and Lifestyle.
‘Pillar’ content refers to core brand messaging, most often long-form content such as research papers or informative articles. ‘Cluster’ content refers to associated brand messaging and can be more topical, timely and casual in shorter formats, such as blogs or listicles.
To further increase reach, the UK focussed blogs were amplified through Outbrain, a highly efficient paid content distribution platform, as part of a tactical summer campaign to drive an increase in website traffic.
Sunglass Fix saw a significant increase in SERP (search engine results page) rankings for the campaign’s target keywords, as well as a substantial increase in monthly website traffic.
Know What’s #trending and Lead the Conversation
One of the best examples of identifying a timely opportunity to lead an online discussion is social media management platform, Hootsuite’s, A Game of Social Thrones campaign.
Whilst Hootsuite is a well-recognised company with substantial budgets at their disposal, their content marketing strategy is a great example because it relies on timeliness and shareability; a model which can be easily replicated by businesses with small budgets.
In 2014, Hootsuite identified a timely opportunity to drive the conversation across social media, just before the new season of popular television series, Game of Thrones, was set to air. A series with a dedicated following like no other, 10 million people tuned in to every episode as it aired3 – a figure practically unheard of in today’s era of video-on-demand.
With the single goal of creating awareness, driving conversations and ‘going viral’, Hootsuite created a video to appeal to the show’s massive audience, playing on the parallels between the series’ various kingdoms, and the number of social media platforms managed by the platform.
By tapping into a trending topic at exactly the right time, Hootsuite, a social media management platform with just 21,000 subscribers, captured over a million interested fans with just one piece of content. The video was shareable, light-hearted yet informative, and (most importantly) extremely relevant.
Build a Leading Voice to Penetrate New Markets
Elements of Byron, cited by Forbes magazine as one of the top ‘25 Coolest Hotels in the World’ came to Vim + Zest when the resort first launched, needing to anchor their position in the Australian luxury tourism space – a market that was highly crowded.
In response to the challenge, Vim + Zest developed a highly successful SEO content strategy to build search and a video-based family targeted campaign that built an entirely new market that continues to grow.
Following a ‘pillar and cluster’ framework, we developed blog content targeted to two specific audience segments: Families and Couples. Interweaving compelling copy with beautiful imagery, we designed a highly targeted content plan for each audience segment focussing on Byron Bay and surrounding areas, local activities, indulgences and events, establishing Elements of Byron as a leading information source for prospective travellers to the area.
A strong social media strategy focussing on the brand’s core content pillars saw a 170% increase in organic website traffic in approximately one year and 60% increase in followers across Instagram.
The always-on SEO content plan has significantly increased website traffic with the resort now ranking No 1 on Google for 18 non-branded keywords. Regular SEO keyword research allows us to continuously identify new opportunities to ensure Elements of Byron continues to improve its search visibility.
Add Value Beyond Expectations
A successful content marketing strategy incorporates content that adds value to your audience. Relevant for both business and consumer audiences, content that addresses shared pain points will prove to be highly engaging and effective.
A great example of value-adding content is the Canva Learn page. The content on the page caters to Canva’s core audience of small business owners, freelance creators and novice designers. Canva has created a hub of valuable, relevant content that goes beyond ‘how to’s’, guiding users how to get the most out of the platform, and extends to informative articles under three pillars: Design, Marketing and Branding.
The content is educational, up-to-date, and assists Canva’s audience to position themselves as the professional authority within their own career. With articles such as ‘The ultimate guide to brand awareness’, ‘Marketing trends to watch out for in 2020’, and ’20 design rules you should never break’, Canva has created the definitive one stop content shop for their audience.
Canva knows their audience inside out, and the brand’s tailored content strategy equips their readers with the tools to grow their business, develop their professional skills, and establish a leading authority voice amongst their own audiences.
Leverage Content Marketing to Attract, Engage and Convert Your Audience
These content marketing examples are just some of the ways a comprehensive content marketing strategy can achieve tangible results. Today’s audiences have become highly discerning and critical, and don’t organically engage with a brand’s content unless its personalised to their search preferences, interests and needs. It’s vital that you keep your audience in mind when developing any form of content.
Vim + Zest is an internationally recognised expert Personal Branding agency, dedicated to helping leaders grow authentic reputations to create life-long employability.