5 Ways to Prepare Your Content Marketing for Success in 2018

content-marketing-2018

You’ve heard it said over and over again, “Content is king.” If  you’re still wondering how you can prove ROI with your content marketing efforts, how to ramp up a more robust content marketing plan, and how to get the right resources in place, then you’re already getting started off on the right foot.

As you begin building out your content marketing plan for 2018, keep these stats top of mind and more importantly the following 5 ways to prepare you for success below.

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1) Make Video a Top Priority

If you’ve been holding off on pushing video, then now’s the time to change that. Pull the trigger. Integrate video into your overall content calendar and hold your team accountable for leveraging it to help drive qualified leads and influence sales.

Still not sure? Here are a few ROI stats to be aware of:

  • 76.5% of professional marketers and SMB owners are seeing results with video marketing.
  • 73% of B2B marketers say that video positively impacts marketing ROI.
  • 27% of companies who use video in their marketing see 27% higher CTR and 34% higher web conversion rates than those who don’t.
  • 49% of companies that use videos in their marketing grow revenue 49% faster year on year than those that don’t.

2) Develop a Clear Social Media Strategy

If you haven’t been taking social media seriously by tracking relevant KPIs and how they impact your business, then it’s time to get that going. Social media is an easy and open avenue that can be used to help promote your content while also serving to help with customer service needs, brand awareness, and building relationships with influencers.

If you’re not exactly sure what you need to include, then start with these components:

  • Goals – Know what you want to achieve.
  • Target Audience – Be present on the social networks that your target audience is too.
  • Competitive Analysis – Gain perspective on what your competitors are doing that’s working and where there are gaps that you can capitalize on.
  • Identify Themes – Instead of just curating content, or promoting what you publish on your blog or website, develop hashtag themes you will use every week to engage with your target audience.
  • Tools – Adopt tools to help you see what’s working and how you can make improvements along the way.

3) Authenticity Will Drive Leads and Sales

Branded content is great, but what will work when it comes to attracting more traffic, leads, and sales is that you humanize your brand.

I’ve said this before but I’ll say it again: people don’t buy from companies, people buy from people.

You have to make sure that the people behind your brand allow their personalities to shine, to create meaningful connections with your target audience, and to bring life to the content you are pushing out.

Here’s why authenticity matters:

  • Allows you to be transparent
  • Builds trust, loyalty, and credibility
  • Showcases your vibe which will attract your tribe (that’s my fancy way of saying that you’ll actually capture the attention of your customers)
  • Makes you more likeable. Customers will do business with people they like.
  • Make you more approachable. Encouraging interactions among your company and your audience is the way to ensure that you are able to increase retention while driving net new sales too.

4) Personalize Your Content Assets

Chances are, you’re not going after just one persona. So it is critical that that you find a way to ensure the content you are pushing out is relevant to each of the personas you’re going after.

To be more specific, writing content for a CEO is different from that of a CMO, Product Manager, and so on. In order to be successful with personalizing your content assets, you must deeply understand the challenges each persona faces. Then, you should be able to ‘speak their language’ by using key terms that they use.

Here’s an example to help give you a head start:

buyer-persona-template

5) Stop the Fire Drills and Leverage Analytics

As you’re reading this part, I’m sure many of you are nodding “yes.” How many times have you had to stop everything you’re doing because your boss requested that you have to do something else right now because it’s what the market wants. Conversely, how many of you are reading this are that boss that’s done that to your employees?

Rather that falling into these traps, it’s time you make data a priority such that you leverage it drive your decision making. Doing so means that you have quantitative data points that explicitly show you what’s driving results, i.e. positively impacting the business.

Having a strategy these days just isn’t enough. You have to have the data points in place to prove your point and your executions. So don’t ignore the power that analytics can play with helping you understand where you need to dedicate your marketing dollars and make improvements.

Final Thoughts

Let’s face it, not all five of these points will happen overnight. However, you can absolutely take the steps to instituting the right practices and mindset to get you there.

Make sure everything you do backs out to how it will help the business progress and let everything else follow or fall into place. And make sure there is cross-departmental alignment so that your entire company is collectively working towards achieving the same goals.

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