Content marketing remains one of the most reliable methods for nurturing leads and driving traffic to your site.
People use the internet to research and gain new information. And brands are more than happy to oblige. Brands use content marketing to answer readers’ questions, provide detailed how-to guides, and dish out free, high-quality content that meets readers’ various needs.
If a company can find elegant ways to embed marketing messages into their content, each piece of content becomes a mechanism for finding traffic, generating leads, and urging people toward becoming customers.
This simple process is what makes content marketing so popular. It’s relatively inexpensive, scales incredibly well since it often delivers value years after the bulk of the work (research, writing, formatting, publishing) is done, and it’s a proven, massively successful marketing channel for countless businesses for decades.
If your company’s content marketing efforts aren’t delivering a solid return on investment, or if you’re looking to overhaul your entire content marketing strategy due to a shift in business strategy, reading this article is a great place to start.
We’re going to take a look at some content marketing strategies that are emerging as the latest best practices, as well as shine a spotlight on evergreen tactics that you may have overlooked.
Provide Exceptional Credibility
The internet, as a platform for distributing information, has what people in the PR industry call “an optics problem.”
And for a good reason. Anyone can start a blog. Literally, anyone. Anyone can call themselves an “expert”.
We cannot overlook the effect this has on consumer trust. People know how easy it is to make bold marketing claims or create content that somehow has the facade of credibility.
If your brand operates in an industry that’s often damaged by misinformation, it’s vital that you find ways to differentiate your content and give it a genuine air of authority.
The supplement industry is one of the best examples, as it is often plagued by pseudo-scientific claims. The supplement manufacturer Transparent Labs took this problem very seriously when devising their approach to content marketing.
The brand does two things right when combating misinformation:
- Firstly, the topics their blog covers steer clear of hyperbolic claims and pseudo-scientific terms that would be red flags to knowledgeable customers. This post, in particular, is a good example of how to pitch a complex topic with authority.
- Secondly, they have an advisory board that reviews every single one of their blog posts. They make this absolutely clear just below the title on every post. Clicking on the “advisory board” link even takes the user to a page dedicated to the women and men tasked with “keeping things real” on the Transparent Labs log.
Offer In-Depth Evergreen Value
When it comes to creating popular content amongst readers, leads, and other prospective customers, detailed “how-to” guides are about as good as it gets.
When people look for informational content, they’re often looking for more than a simple answer. They’re looking for comprehensive coverage of something that’s important to them.
If your content strategy doesn’t include creating the odd deep-dive evergreen piece, you’re missing out on a massive subset of potential blog visitors – people who aren’t there just to skim-read or search for one or two sentences that give them the snippet of info they need.
These are the people who are seriously invested in your information.
So give thought to the amount of evergreen informational value your blog offers. No matter what industry your company operates in, there will be ample opportunities to create in-depth guides that aim to offer exceptional educational value to a reader.
Career development brand Skillcrush is an absolute master at this. In fact, the company’s blog consists almost entirely of exceptionally valuable evergreen guides that aim to help readers improve their lives by preparing them for a new career in the tech industry.
Each post’s title makes it clear that you’re about to read something significant. And the content of these pieces doesn’t hold back on detail, either.
Take a look at this piece titled: “Open Source Projects: What They Are And How To Get Started.”
Here’s what I love about this article, in the context of this section:
- The topic will always be relevant. It’s super unlikely that careers in software development will be taken over by robots. And open-source platforms are always likely to be available.
- It comes in at a hefty 2500 words. That’s double the recommended length of an average blog post.
- There’s no fluff. Reading the article, one gets the very real sense that its purpose is to create knowledge. Every single sentence seems crafted for this purpose.
- It links to other valuable resources. The writer’s goal is to educate as effectively as possible, not monopolize the reader’s attention.
- It’s step-based and easy to follow. People love reading “how-to” articles that convey a process. Numbering sections is one of the best ways to achieve this.
- The content is authoritative. The person who wrote this article clearly knows what she’s talking about.
Create Content for Your Entire Audience Spectrum
Most brands know exactly who their target audience is. When diligent companies develop new products or services, they typically do a ton of research into this area. It’s a vital part of establishing product-market fit.
What these companies sometimes fail to do, however, is to create content that appeals to their entire spectrum of buyer personas.
Part of developing a solid content marketing strategy is to consider the needs of your audience. It’s not all about keyword research and the other technical aspects that comprise SEO. Content has to genuinely speak to every single type of customer that buys your product.
Bay Alarm Medical is a terrific example of a company that uses its blog to directly address the respective concerns and interests of three very specific buyer personas.
The first persona is someone who falls into their main customer category: an elderly person concerned with their health and safety. For these customers, Bay Alarm Medical has written and published posts like:
- How to Choose a Medical Alert System: 6 Key Topics to Research
- Three Things To Consider Before Tapping Your Retirement Savings During The Coronavirus Crisis
For their second buyer persona, the relatives of a person needing extra care, the blog offers content like:
- Can a Robot Pet Help Relieve Your Senior Relative’s COVID Isolation & Loneliness?
- How To Find Support When You Bring A Relative Home From Long-Term Care
And for their third customer type, professional caregivers, the site covers topics like:
- 7 Coronavirus Safety Tips For Seniors, Caregivers, And Families
- GPS Medical Alert With Caregiver Tracking: Find Dementia Patients Who Wander
By aligning their content strategy with their buyer personas – offering information that’s unique to the needs of each of their customer types – Bay Alarm Medical reduces the risk of new leads falling through the cracks.
Supplement Prestige Content with a Podcast
So, you’ve poured a significant amount of resources into creating an enticing piece of content that has a ton of amazing new knowledge and shows your brand off to be an absolute authority on a niche topic.
Great! You’ve just increased the chances of the post being shared on social media. On top of that, generating backlinks for it will be much easier than just another piece of regurgitated information.
Awesome. These rewards are immense. Great content will continue to draw traffic years after you’ve made the initial investment to have it created and published.
But can you do more to promote these content pieces that you’ve spent so much effort on creating?
The answer is an enthusiastic YES!
By attaching a podcast to the article, you’re linking an additional ‘hook” to it. A hook that will snag segments of your audience that are more interested in listening to experts talk about a complex topic than they are in reading about it.
Supplemental podcasts play a big role in Ad Badger’s content strategy. Take a look at their post: “Scaling On Amazon Advertising: The Complete Guide.”
Aside from containing some seriously insightful content, the site owners decided to dedicate an entire episode of their podcast to the topic.
Doing so has two distinct rewards for Ad Badger:
- Their article is more accessible. The content is now available to people who don’t have the time or inclination to sit down and read an in-depth post on a complex topic.
- The content is available on third-party platforms. An established podcast (this particular episode from Ad Badger is #128) is available on podcast platforms like Google Podcasts, Spotify, Castbox, and Apple Podcasts. Users who go directly to these platforms to find content are likely to find Ad Badger’s episode. If it resonates with them, the company has a new lead.
Launching a podcast is hard work, but it’s a proven method of generating high-quality traffic and nurturing leads. And, as we know, podcasts dovetail beautifully with existing content marketing efforts.
Content exists to get eyeballs on your website. Sure, there are other reasons, like establishing authority, but the main reason you pour resources into creating amazing content is that you want people to find it on Google, read it, and (hopefully) share it.
What many companies forget is that they, themselves, have the ability to do the latter.
Yes, this article isn’t about social media marketing, but this particular topic is about the space where social media and content intersect.
Building a solid following on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter is great for many reasons that we won’t go into right now. Having thousands of people interact with your brand’s online persona is a really good thing!
But have you ever thought about creating content that’s designed to be shared on social media? I’m talking about provocative topics with an interesting, even controversial, angle. Topics and content that’s likely to spark debate amongst your followers.
If your company’s CEO has an opinion that contradicts another thought-leader’s well-known views, write a post about it. Go into a great amount of detail. Cite sources that prove your point. Be provocative without looking like you’re trolling. Don’t hold back on making these views credible.
And then, once the post has been published, broadcast it far and wide on every single social media platform you have a presence on.
Encourage conversations. Ask your followers which side they agree with. And then get involved in subsequent debates.
On a platform like Twitter, every time someone mentions or replies to your social media account, that person’s followers will find the content piece that sparked the conversation.
So don’t just think about your blog as something that sits there waiting for people to find it. Proactively use it to make an impression on social media. Use it to stimulate conversations and drive people to your blog.
Go the Native Advertising Route
Using content to actively promote your company’s product or services is typically not a well-known strategy. This is because readers tend to engage with content specifically because it prioritizes information or entertainment over selling.
With native advertising, an advertiser creates a promotional story or article that’s virtually indistinguishable from the non-promotional content on a publisher’s website.
Native advertising content is written with the same style and tone as any other piece of content on the site, but it has an additional reason for existing – positioning and selling something.
When done correctly, native advertising is exceptionally effective and boasts incredible engagement and click-through rates.
Advertising platforms like Taboola help brands find the best publishers to house their native advertising. Taboola works with over 9,000 digital properties, putting your content on premium publishers including Bloomberg, USA Today, and more.
Some Final Words
Content marketing is a complex beast. There are so many moving parts to this channel that the thought of mastering it can seem intimidating.
Don’t let this stop you from constantly looking for ways to improve on your approach to content marketing.
Urge your marketing team to stay on top of emerging trends. Never stop looking at what your competitors are doing or what thought-leaders like Neil Patel and The Content Marketing Institute are saying.
The key to success isn’t in waiting for a revolutionary new thought to strike you out of the blue. The key to success is to respond swiftly to changes in trends that specialists are more than happy to point out to you.
Make use of their expertise and always be among the first to try out a new tactic.
This is how you see breakthrough results in content marketing.