Today, content marketing is becoming more popular than ever. Unfortunately, many companies have bought into the myth that simply publishing content leads to a successful content marketing strategy. According to AOL and Nielsen, 27 million pieces of content are published every day. Therefore, while publishing content is important, it is only a small piece of the content marketing equation as businesses have to work to stand out among the multitude of content.
In order to truly engage consumers and generate leads, content needs to be targeted at the right audience and promoted in the proper marketing channels.
According to a recent report from the CMO Council and the NetLine Corporation, 48% of content is not developed for a target audience, while 43% of content is not reaching the right decision maker.
Looking at these statistics, it is evident that many companies fall prey to the same mistakes when producing content. This article will provide easy tips to improve customer engagement and generate leads with content creation by correcting these common mistakes.
Without the right audience, content falls short
Even if a business excels at content creation, without targeting the right audience the content will fail to engage consumers. Therefore, rather than creating content and crossing your fingers that it performs well, determine the audience before starting content creation so that you can significantly increase its reach.
In order to effectively target an audience, companies have to be able to understand the consumer’s needs, wants, interests, characteristics and more. For this reason, utilizing buyer personas has become the most effective tactic for understanding the target market.
A buyer persona is a generalized idea of a specific consumer. Most companies create multiple personas to represent all of the different audiences they need to target. Each persona represents a different type of consumer with specific interests and needs.
For example, one buyer persona may represent a 20-something millennial who is in school living in an urban environment with a limited disposable income. Or the same company could target an entirely different persona with completely different needs such as a stay-at-home dad in his early 40s living in the suburbs with a flexible income.
Once buyer personas have been established, businesses strategically have to determine which persona to target with content. From this point on, content topics and messaging can be easily streamlined to fit the interests of the specific audience.
In addition to understanding the target audience, choosing the right platforms to publish content is equally important to improving the success of content marketing.
According to a recent report from Experian Marketing Services, 32% of marketers said the lack of a single customer view was the top challenge to their cross-channel marketing efforts.
Publishing content on multiple channels is a great way to increase its reach. With that said, ensuring that content is distributed to the right channels is necessary to effectively reach the chosen target audience.
From blogs to social media, downloads, landing pages, emails and more, the variety of marketing channels is extensive. With so many channels it is no shock that 39% of content is not being distributed to the right marketing channels, according to a report from the CMO Council and NetLine Corporation.
To determine the necessary platforms, companies can refer once again to buyer personas. Looking at common consumption trends and research based on the designated market, businesses can easily learn which platforms are most widely used by the target audience.
One example is the use of mobile email among older generations. Today, most companies use email as a marketing channel, but 17% of marketers have no strategy for mobile email. With that said, many companies that target an older demographic assume that mobile email is only being used by younger users. Looking at current research it is only a myth that older users do not utilize mobile email. In fact, tablet usage is the highest in the 30-44 age group and usage has jumped from 5% to 17% in 2014 for 65 to 74-year-olds. Therefore, when targeting this demographic, mobile email would be a beneficial marketing channel to utilize.
Ensuring that content is published on the proper marketing channels is vital to the success of content marketing.
Engage the audience with content
For many businesses, reaching the audience is not the challenge, but engaging the consumer with content is. In 2015, 54% of B2B marketers and 50% of B2C marketers cited “producing engaging content” as a top challenge.
When trying to engage the audience, one easy solution comes back to the first tip: You have to know your audience. This means you must know who the target audience is as well as what they are interested in and how they prefer to receive the content. The key is to anticipate the audience’s interests by staying up to date on industry trends and audience research.
In addition to understanding the audience, there are a few simple optimization techniques that can help increase engagement. Today, information searchers make up 75% of blog traffic. Therefore, ensuring that content is optimized for search engines can significantly increase customer interaction. Techniques to consider include:
• Keywords: Optimizing content with relevant keywords is a simple way to increase the number of visitors to a given piece of content. Once specific keywords have been determined for a company, adding keywords to titles, descriptions, headings, image files and URLs can significantly improve SEO for content.
• Call to action: Most blog visitors are searching for content in hopes of fulfilling a need, solving a problem or gaining insight. With that in mind, it is important to make sure users continue to interact with your content instead of simply moving onto another company’s piece. Calls to action can be implemented into any piece of content in order to guide the reader to an additional action. Examples include offering free downloads, webinar signups or additional information through a call to action.
According to a recent survey conducted by HubSpot, calls to action that were targeted to a specific user had a 42% higher view-to-submission rate than calls to action that were designed for all possible visitors. Incorporating at least one call to action with any given piece of content is a great way to keep consumers interacting with your content.
• Headlines and titles: Even if content is filled with relevant keywords and calls to action, this still does not ensure that a user will click on a piece of content or read through the entire piece. Headlines and titles act as a great way to entice the reader. A good headline or title captures the curiosity of the reader while leaving enough to the imagination so that the user follows through in engaging with content. Titles and headlines should always be written with the target audience’s key interests in mind.
Content creation does not guarantee lead generation. Successful content should also target the correct audience, reach that audience on the proper marketing channels and engage readers. To learn more about how to generate leads with quality content creation, please download our free ebook, “Optimizing all roads to your website through Inbound Marketing.”