Content marketing is a great way for companies to spread awareness, build trust, drive traffic, acquire leads, retain customers, and increase sales. This all-encompassing marketing approach has witnessed a boom in recent years with the explosive growth of social media and smartphone use. Nearly all brands, whether they're established corporations or burgeoning startups, employ some form of content marketing to spread the word about its business. Unfettered by the monetary requirements of online advertising, they collectively post countless videos, infographics, creatives, and blogs across the internet every hour.
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While content marketing doesn't require large amounts of money, it does require considerable amounts of time and effort to be made successful – things which are, at times, more important. How does one maximise the return on their investment then? How do marketers make sure that they're getting the most out of their content marketing efforts? Here are three suggestions to help marketers looking to solve this dilemma:
When it comes to starting content marketing, most companies make the mistake of spending too much time trying to come up with the perfect strategy. They consume countless marketing blogs and podcasts in an attempt to figure out the ideal content format for their business' goals and the most suitable social media platform to share it on. While that is certainly all marketers should do, the most important thing is to start. Devise a basic content marketing strategy and implement it as early as you can. Of course, there are good chances that it won't work out. But it gives you the chance to analyse its performance and see what's working and what isn't. This allows you to make the necessary changes and try again and again until you get it right. Content marketing is largely a trial-and-error process and no amount of theoretical knowledge can help you get around that.
The correlation between the amount of content you put out and the success of your marketing efforts is much smaller than you may imagine. Marketers often flood their social media channels with a barrage of posts touting their company and its products/services but this almost always results in a compromise of quality. Online audiences are drowning in a sea of information, so bombarding them with more of it is clearly the wrong thing to do. Instead, marketers should aim to post quality content every single time. It's perfectly all right if a company only posts content once or twice a week as long as it resonates well with its potential customers. Posting several times may increase awareness and reach but has the accompanying detrimental effect of potential customers losing trust in the brand. By posting high-quality content each time, brands will be seen as entities that offer value to their customers, and hence their engagement and conversion rates will automatically go up.
Companies should keep in mind that content marketing is a long-term effort. Despite the time and money marketers may put into creating and sharing their content, they shouldn't expect to see any noteworthy return on investment (ROI) early in their marketing campaign. But maintaining a steady level of effort over an extended period of time is the only way to make your content marketing strategy a success. The thing is, content will stay on the internet for long durations and will attract more viewers as the brand's reputation grows – something which is achieved only by continuously pushing quality content. The relationship is a symbiotic one, with quality content needed to improve a brand's reputation and a brand's reputation essential for its content to have the desired effect. That's why a good content marketing strategy needs patience. Marketers should start out small and steadily increase their efforts as their brand's presence slowly spreads across its online channels.
Spending on content marketing is another thing companies should keep an eye out for. Underspend and you won't get the desired reach, overspend and the ROI won't justify the budget. Finding the sweet spot between the two, however, is something that you can only figure out through practical application.