What are the top 3 Content Marketing Strategies you should adopt for your business?

With a splurge in digital marketing, anybody and everybody can write. There are platforms that restrict how much you can write and there are other platforms where sky is the only limit. Every second, the internet is erupting with new content. A short post and a long article are both called as ‘content’ and extensively shared on social media platforms.

Content marketing is not just churning out content and promoting it to different social channels; it goes beyond that.

Content that is informative, qualitative, and interactive forms the core of content marketing. Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach that is more focused on solving/guiding/clarifying a specific topic that ultimately benefits the customer. It is an indirect selling approach – to solve customers’ issues by providing timely, useful, and relevant information.

In short, content marketing improves and makes your business fit and healthy. A high performing content marketing strategy will:

  • Generate organic traffic, thereby increasing leads
  • Attract a loyal community that escalates online visibility
  • Make your brand more trustworthy and powerful

Good content will filter out itself from the overflowing informational garbage. But in this age of information overload with changing generation, increasing customization, value proposition, neck tight competition, algorithm modification, and target conversions, how to steer your brand forward? What are the content marketing trends does the future hold for business growth?

1. Find your micro-niche

There is no point in starting on a journey when you have no idea where to go.

Before embarking on a content journey, go back to your roots. Start researching. Dig deep to know what the customer really wants. There are already millions of information hidden in Google. Find your business niche and expertise. What product/service is scarce or unavailable in the market? How much is the demand and what is the price consumer willing to pay? What are the value-added benefits they are expecting? How are competitors attracting and retaining their customers?

Gone are the days when you could post anything and it would be greatly appreciated. Problems have increased and consumers are looking for customized solutions. It’s not just about expertise or niche, it’s more about the micro-niche and then growing from roots to wings there.

Let’s understand this through an example. Say you want to offer products/services for new parents. There is already a lot of competition in that. Go a little deep. What about the parents who have differently-abled kids? Sounds good. But then again, there are so many categories there. Dig more. How about offering services to parents who have autism? Now, that’s your micro-niche.

Once you drill down to your micro-niche, start thinking about personalized options you can offer them. For instance, apart from offering products and services, why not organize seminars and sessions for parents? Let your brand be the platform that connects parents and they can share their stories, little achievements, and pain points.

To be more successful, it is imperative to ask yourself – what is my USP (unique selling point)? How will my product/service help consumers? What are the problems increasing day by day? Have they already been solved? How differently can you solve them?

Plan your goal so that you know the route and methods to take.

2. Make the framework

Now that you have identified your specialization, what next?

One of the most boring yet important and fruitful tasks is planning. Content marketing without a strategy will not achieve any result. Right from planning out the content to the mode of delivery, it’s important to outline the content marketing strategy. Not only the goal is important, but to achieve that goal, every step matters. Planning will equip you to face challenges, utilize resources, and achieve goals on time.

Research, research, and research. Create a survey/audit to understand customer requirements. Explore Google Trends. It is important to know what the audience wants and design your plan accordingly. List down the topics you want to write on. Take one question at a time and prepare a detailed answer.

  • What are the different types of content to publish?
  • When to publish?
  • How long should be the content?
  • Will it be liked and shared?
  • How to promote?

To answer these questions, you need to prepare a content calendar. Right from topics to be covered to content promotion, the content marketing plan will include everything. Outline your content mission. Check which platform your audience prefers to hang out. Do you have enough resources to get started? List out your KPIs (key performance indicators). Set benchmarks to ensure that you are going on the right track.

Breakdown long term goals into short term plans. Try to assess the challenges and obstacles that might hinder your work. Check and measure your results periodically. If something is not working out, make sure the plan is flexible enough to make necessary changes. Review and reset the parameters.

Whatever be the methodology you adopt, make sure there is no compromise in quality. The start may be a slow and painful process, but consistency and determination will definitely pay the reward.

With patience, you will not only achieve your goal but also surpass your own targets.

3. Explore new channels

Don’t focus only on the written content. Go for different mediums. Of course, text with images is an evergreen option, but it is also important to sail with the changing tides.

White Tablet Computer on Apple Magic Keyboard Near Apple Magic Mouse

Videos are the second most popular content marketing medium. Visual information is 60000 times more powerful than text and image combined. Videos and live streaming are taking the internet by storm. By 2022, videos are going to dominate with 82% of internet traffic. With crunching time and growing diversions, micro videos are getting more shares and likes. They bring about 300% more traffic and can boost up to 80% conversion rates. All these work well only when the video is crisp, to the point, and has visual appeal. Also, it is true that (most) video making takes up a lot of time and money. But of course, there are also mediums that help you in making videos – in case you are running short of time or are working in a tight budget.

Next in line comes podcasts. There are those who prefer visual mediums and there are people who are either traveling or wish to multi-task. With 700000 podcasts (in iTune catalog alone), Podcast is sure to be one of the fastest, powerful, upcoming content marketing strategy. For those long content that looks too boring to read, for the human voice that brings a spectrum of emotions, for establishing brand authority anytime and anywhere, a podcast is a smart way to connect with customers on a personal level.

To add color and make the content interesting, adding Infographics is a good option. For content scanners and big-post-scrollers, infographics provide information in a gist. It is easily readable and shareable. Unlike a full meal, this bite-sized information is snackable and digestive too. It is a growing lead generation strategy that lures the target audience and visitors.

Blogging is a necessity. 86% of the respondents from a survey agreed that blogging is an integral part of their online business. Having a blog gives brand awareness, educates readers, and an instant connection with customers. It is also a famous excuse for digital marketers to have (and update a blog regularly) so that search engines can crawl and index the pages in top searches. Whatever be the reason, blogs have, over the years, proven to be the most consistent and result-oriented content marketing medium to create brand authority in the digital world.

E-mail builds lasting relationships. Right from creating personalized conversations to automated content, emails have always been in fashion. It is cost-effective, time-saving, interactive, and easily measurable. It is the most popular medium for building organic traffic and gives a great conversion rate.

Optimize the use of other social media channels like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn to promote your existing content. Keep your social media posts fresh and crisp as they form the face of your content marketing.

A good and successful content marketing strategy doesn’t involve one or all channels, but a perfect blend of different types of medium that works best for your business.

Of course, it doesn’t stop with these. There are many other issues that need to take care of:

  • Since most of the information is accessed from mobile/smartphone, ensure your web page or other content-rich post is mobile friendly.
  • Transform your content in the form of a story. Nobody likes a long, boring post. Ensure your content is concise and engaging. It should be more conversational than a lecture!
  • Sprinkle your content with an appealing add-on like images, GIFs, videos, backlinks, charts, and so on.
  • Since most of the audience uses mobile, creating an app is also a good option for that personalized touch that takes your business to the next level.
  • Be flexible to experiment with modes and channels like ebooks, online courses, webinars, and case studies.
  • Hone soft skills like leadership, communication, and time management. They affect your business a lot – both directly and indirectly. Period.
  • Go the extra mile. Everyone loves complimentary gifts.

Do you have any more points to add? Feel free to drop in your views in the comments section.

How does blogging help your business in 2020?

When was the last time you actually read a blog post or an article?

In this digital age of micro posts and insta pictures, does anyone even talk about blogging? Have #hashtags and likes taken over the SEO and articles? Are long posts slowly fading into oblivion?

Right from 1994 to 2020, blogs have undergone many changes – from being the personal homepage (Justin Hall in 1994) to being the only source for content, it has aged gracefully. From being the journal of personal life to increasing (few) businesses up by 700%, blogging has changed the way business performs. In this era of digital marketing and instant results, blogging has not only survived, but has become one of the most beloved tool for search engine ranking. When blogging has offered and continues to help businesses in ways like driving traffic and building online presence, why then it’s one of the last topics talked about when it comes to internet marketing?

The fact that blogging seems to fade is a myth. Blogging is one of the oldest tool of the digital times. Blogging was one of the most popular medium in 2000s with every business/companies and many individuals having their own blogs (having a blog gave an extra edge). Including SEO keywords and monetization became a fad then. With the arrival of social media channels, blogging took a backseat, watching the new players playing the same old game in a different style.

How blogging has evolved over the years

In the later half of 1990s, from being accessible to handful (to those who had software knowledge) to early 2000s (with a plethora of blogging platforms transforming the blogging methods), blogging became a serious and profitable channel of marketing. In fact, when WordPress, one of the most popular blogging platforms, launched their site in 2003, connecting with audience was no.1 reason cited for Why Blog?.

There was no dearth of topics which blogging was refrained from. Right from political discussions to climate talks, promoting business to personal life, blogging established itself as the most sought after ways of doing a business.

With the advent of facebook and other social media marketing channels, blogging became a blur. As much as there are lot of business and courses erupting every few days on how tos and tactics to mark online presence (or go viral) through social media posts, there are handful that talks about blogging for business (especially in India).

Winds of change

In 2000s, when internet became the rage, appearing in top search results became challenging. The blogging season was at its peak. In order to climb to top search result pages, many content writers started adding keywords in their articles. Sometimes, the keyword would be layered and plastered continuously in the content, at times would be highlighted in bold so that search engine bots can sniff the keyword and move the page on its top rankings. As a result, many articles, (read: irrelevant articles) started crawling up in the search pages.

Tired of being stuffed with keywords and SEO, companies like Google changed their algorithms. The winds of change transformed blogging into a useful, functional tool for business. Gone are the days when a handful most searched keywords were filled in the blogs/articles in order to appear in the top search results. Google changed its algorithm and though it is one of the most unsolved mystery, there are (genuine) ways to scale your business through blogging, which many business swear by, as it has helped them progress.

Blogging in 2020

You may ask – when the whole world is busy liking and instagramming micro posts, who has the time to read or even write a blog? It’s so outdated and old-fashioned, right?

The answer is “no”. Blogging has gained more prominence and is the most authenticated means to establish business credibility. When you blog about your business niche, and are continuously writing genuine, meaningful content, search engine bots (who are way more smarter and intelligent now) will bring your website to limelight and you will be the center of attraction (read: getting more traffic which, in turn, will generates more leads)

Of course, overnight success is not possible when it comes to blogging. The adage ‘Slow and steady wins the race‘ suits blogging aptly. A blog with steady flow of posts at regular intervals combined with right knowledge and in depth subject matter knowledge will outshine other websites and land in top search results. The more detailed and correct information/knowledge (without needless keyword garnishing) post it is, the more it benefits the reader, the higher your traffic will be (There is also a myth that a post with higher traffic will shift website to top rankings. A good website with informative content will appear in top search results even though it might not have a huge traffic trail)

With a hurricane of short posts swarming the internet, long posts have become the new dad. A post of about 1400 words doubles your chances of appearing in search rank index.

Why long posts?

If you have a question or want to learn something and are looking for a solution, what type of answer would you expect? A one-liner or a detailed answer, explaining the processes, whys, and takes you through the steps? When it comes to problem solving, long form content with relevant information are important. If we are to believe latest reports, posts with a minimum of 1000 words garner more social sharing than shorter posts.

Although, there is no Bible to guide how and what to write in a blog, to give an edge and add sparkles to your content with increased visibility, its important to have following in a post (I have broadly outlined them, will give detailed explanation in a while):

  • Choose micro niche or a specialized concept
  • Describe the problem
  • Explain in detail – in and out
  • Provide solution/options

How to write a blog post for your business?

Let’s get straight to the point now. It’s easier to pen down personal journey than discuss and showcase business issues. But then , you are not alone. Many, like you, have struggled and have risen up. Many are still struggling and can’t fathom ways to tackle. Here, you step in and try to pen down your journey and the ways you overcame the hurdles. The reader can get inspired or even might just apply the same techniques and get their issue resolved. Imagine the satisfaction and trust you build by offering to understand their challenging journey and giving him the right, timely solution! This trust that you build will prompt them to come back again and again.

So, the picture is all fine. But how to get there? Fret not. We break down into easy steps to write that perfect blog post for your business which will drive traffic and improve your online business visibility. Even if you are a beginner, follow these steps and craft a smart, crisp, and effective post:

  • Kick off with a detailed research of the topics you want to discuss and if solutions have already been provided. There is no use of writing on a common topic. Do a research and search for problems that are growing day by day. You will find that plenty – because the very nature of any problem is they keep recurring in different forms and sizes.
  • Start penning down your experience/view on the topic. Ask questions. Is it really an issue? How it all started? What is the impact on the business? What does future hold?
  • Sktech an outline giving an overview of the topic you are planning to discuss
  • Dig down to the center or go till the root to show how the problem started to sprout and grew bigger
  • Discuss the challenges and pain points. Don’t forget to add how (if) you/your business suffered and what all you had to endure. An empathetic connection hooks the reader.
  • Mention the experiments and failures/lessons learned. What does solution A do? Why did solution B never worked? How is solution D better than other options?
  • Share the strategies you used and ways to overcome hurdles, generating ideas.
  • Summarize the issue
  • Review the whole article. Cut. Chop. Edit extra fillings.
  • Hit that ‘publish’ button.
  • And lastly, which is the most important one, spread the word. Let the world know.

Once you get the hang of it, it will not seem such a tedious task. To avoid getting stuck, always keep an eye on market trends. Make a note of issues/topics that keep sprouting here and there. Develop a voice and stick to it. Be regular and consistent. Remember, blogging is not a destination, it is a journey to the destination.

Now that you know how much blogging in 2020 holds important for businesses who want to scale up their online presence and stand out from the crowd, its time you start dating it (and be committed!). Go start a blog and have a wonderful writing journey!