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Content marketing and lead generation are a lot like investing. Unfortunately, just as with investing, lots of business people make expensive blunders and fail to obtain on their advantages. Getting better outcomes from your content marketing requires you to make smart investments and execute a solid strategic plan.
It can be hard to develop any type of marketing strategy without a clear idea. Especially for businesses, where digital marketing strategies seem to change all the time, without any real understanding of what works.
One of the proven ways to seek returns on your marketing efforts is through content. However, many don't know how to implement or develop a content marketing strategy.
We found that treating every aspect like you're an investor is a beneficial way to develop your content marketing strategy. Not sure what we mean? We'll elaborate.
1. What is content marketing?
Content marketing is, in short, the process of creating and sharing high-quality content. The purpose of this is to bring new customers to your site, increase traffic, and ultimately grow your sales.
Content marketing helps build relationships, and it acts as a subtle way to advertise your brand. It strays away from the traditional "hey, look at me" type of marketing, and acts as more of a guide or a helping hand.
For this reason, content marketing nurtures your audience - which ultimately creates meaningful and loyal relationships.
The most effective content marketing focuses on verifiable information. Google receives over 63,000 searches every single second, on any day. This might seem daunting, but in reality, it's an opportunity for you and your business.
If you provide people with useful, quality content - these thousands of searches every second, could just work in your further.
2. Thinking like an investor
What do we mean by thinking like an investor? Don't worry, this doesn't mean that you have to great with numbers. It's more of a mindset that you should adopt.
For the most part, investors have a logical approach to new projects. They look at the bigger picture and consider everything. By looking at analytics, statistics, and case studies.
Investors look at the world around them and consider what changes will happen in the world. This is a different mindset for most people - who look at momentary change.
The thing is, content marketing doesn't require a significant investment. In comparison to most marketing techniques, it is low-cost. Even if you outsource the content.
Thinking like an investor doesn't necessarily mean that you're making a significant investment. It's about making smart, valuable gains - that will benefit you and your business in the future. Economics has always favored the people that do their homework, rather than compulsive decision-makers.
3. Why you need a content marketing strategy
The first step as an investor is realizing why you need something. A practical, well-executed content marketing strategy has multiple benefits:
- It provides value to your audience - giving them something to engage with.
- It drives conversions
- It brings more traffic to your site
- Helps to build brand awareness
- Educates your target audience about your brand
- Builds a level of trust with your visitors
- Builds up credibility and authority
- Positions you as an industry expert
- Gives your customers/visitors reason to stick around
- Helps with SEO purposes
- Brings in qualified leads
- Keeps you competitive
As an investor, these reasons probably already have you interested. If you're not an investor, here's how you can build your content marketing with an investor’s mindset.
4. Think about the long-term
This is what investors are fantastic at. Sure, short-term benefits might not be the best, but in the long-term, it will be worth your while. Investors are experts at deciding what will end up as an excellent investment, in months or years.
Content marketing should be treated the exact same. You should never consider the benefits in the short term. If you look at content marketing in this way, you'll be disappointed, and more than likely give up.
Content marketing can be slow - it doesn't necessarily have instant benefits. It takes thoughtful consideration, a long-term plan, and constant attention.
It's an ever-changing market, and you need to find new content to post. Investors can relate to this - in an ever-changing market, you need to ensure that you're still traveling down the profitable road. You need to make thoughtful changes to make sure it will always benefit you.
With this in mind, you should always check your analytics. Find out which pieces of content is working best for you, and work on that. Similarly, find out what content didn't work so well and ask yourself why.
Investors, unless they get lucky, will also consider the long-term plan. For the most part, if they're saving for retirements and investing in their futures, they don't choose a "get rich quick" type of plan.
Instead, they invest in a strategic plan; they look at ways to retire comfortably and sending their children to college. Content marketing requires a strategic plan and long-term planning. Especially in regards to lead generation.
For this, you need to understand your sales cycle, conversion rates, and understand every part of your sales process. This, in itself, takes time to understand. Over time, you'll build up a long-term strategic plan.
In the same regards, you shouldn't be distracted by short-term emotions. Investors rarely do this. If they were to get ruled by their feelings when there is a sudden move in the market, there's a chance that they will regret it.
Content marketing can very often be driven by cycles of fear and greed. Very often, marketers can be distracted by short-term fads. If one thing's certain - what's popular today on the internet might not be popular tomorrow.
The good news is, with content marketing, you can dabble into everything. You can test out new trends, but you should always have a long-term plan in mind. Everything should be strategic.
Don't try out all the trends and fads, it'll make your content marketing chaotic, and it wouldn't be beneficial to you.
5. Consider the benefits
When building your content plan, always consider the benefits that it will have - especially in the long term. Investors will always consider the benefits, especially when they are in investing in something long-term.
The benefits of content marketing are extensive. However, you have to consider the benefits for you and your business, in regards to your specific content plan. Every plan is different, and the benefits vary from business to business.
What might work wonderfully for one business could be a complete waste of time for another? For this reason, you have to list what you want your plan to truly achieve - what are your main goals.
Investors very often do this. They consider what they want to invest in, what really matters to them. For some, it's a new car or house, and for others, it's for their children's future and retirements. There's no right answer, but being aware of this will help you decide what your content plan really needs.
Below are the main benefits and ways that you can build your content plan to achieve your goals.
6. Brand awareness
In a world that's so technology-based, getting people to notice your brand is becoming increasingly difficult. Content marketing is a great way to bring awareness to your brand. More importantly, it brings valuable awareness to your brand.
If you're looking for more sales, you want to make sure the people entering your site are relevant to your business.
Importantly, fewer and fewer people are responding to traditional forms of advertising. People are bombarded with an overload of adverts on their devices, and it isn't appealing. According to PageFair more than 615 million devices now have ad-blocking software installed on them.
Insert: adblock explorer
Content marketing saves the day. By providing value to lives, and increasing brand awareness in a less intrusive way.
If your business is looking to improve this aspect, guest posting could be the best option for you.
Guest posting is predominately the act of posting blogs, on somebody else's site. For example, if you are a lifestyle brand, you might consider posting a blog on a lifestyle website, which advertises your business and gains new customers.
You could also appear on podcasts and videos, this acts in the same way. Videos and podcasts are becoming increasingly more popular in the world of content.
7. Building trust
By providing your audience with informative, truthful content, you're ultimately building a trustworthy relationship with them.
Your content must have credible sources and be honest. 61% of U.S online consumers have made a purchase, after reading recommendations on a blog. Content marketing really does build trust, in a way that no other method can really match.
This is especially great for new or relatively unknown companies. Publishing content that is credible, helpful, and valuable will help to establish a level of trust.
With so many businesses and the internet making everything so accessible, you have to stand out from the crowd. Trust is really key to this.
Informative blog posts, podcasts, and videos will be the best option for you if you want to build trust with your audience.
8. Boost leads and sales
If you're an e-commerce site, content marketing will benefit you greatly. Content marketing, in general, generates more leads than paid ads and outbound marketing.
In fact, content marketing brings in conversion rates six times higher than other methods. Which means the leads you gain from content marketing, will be more likely to convert into sales.
As an e-commerce site, this is precisely what you want.
The best content, in our opinion, for these purposes, is nothing too sales focused. We know, this might seem counter-productive but, as we mentioned before, people don't respond to pushy adverts anymore.
We'd say publish informative blogs, post newsletters, and use user-generated content to promote your products.
Every now and then, post a blog that advertises your products, but saturates it amongst purely informative posts.
9. Compare it to other methods
Investors very rarely dive into anything. They research and check out the alternatives. Perhaps another investment is a better idea for them, and that's completely fine.
Obviously, we believe that content marketing is the marketing choice for you. It costs about 62% less than outbound marketing and generates three times as many leads. It seems like the best choice.
However, your business might benefit more from other forms of marketing, especially in terms of investing. You should always look into different ways, and compare.
There's absolutely nothing wrong with looking around and considering other options. This might also inspire your content strategy.
For example, if you find that guerrilla marketing is the option for you. This is the process of promoting products or services in the street, with little money. This will still provide you with content, but your focus may be elsewhere.
We'd say, a content strategy is possible, even if you're investing into other types. Content comes in many forms, and you should always focus on it. How much time and money you invest in it depends on your personal research and needs.
For example, if you're serious about your content strategy, you will invest in all forms. Blog, video, podcasts, and graphics. You might outsource writers, creators, and SEO specialists too.
If you've compared and found that you'll use content marketing a little bit. You might just focus on running a blog and sending out a newsletter once a week. There's no right way to do this, don't worry.
10. Financial returns
Investors always look at one thing - the financial returns. Bringing it back to the first point, obviously, this will be in the long run.
Content marketing can be slow, just like investing in stocks. Perhaps you won't see returns for a few months, which is why your content strategy should take into consideration money and time.
To measure the return of investments of content marketing, can be different for every company. You can measure it on content consumption and content shares.
You can also measure the ROI on lead generation metrics and the impact on sales. It might be hard to decipher if it was your content which created a specific sale, which is why analytics is essential.
For instance, if you find out that you gained 7 new clients every month through content marketing. Find out how much money the average customer spends, and then multiply this by seven. From this, minus the investment into content marketing and discover if it is worthwhile.
Again, remember that content marketing can be slow, and your ROI might not be everything you envisioned at first. That being said, the fact that content marketing is so cost-effective does make us confident that your ROI will impress you.
The fact we mention the ROI is essential, as it determines your strategy and how it evolves. Over time, you can work out which pieces of content and investments are worth it for you.
11. The actual content
You can't have a content strategy without content. Obviously. So, how do you decide what you include in your plan, and decide this like an investor?
Here are the different types of content, and the benefits of each:
- Blog posts - This is probably the most popular. It's great for all businesses, as you can relate it to your company, and post anything relevant to you. Did you know that small businesses that have a blog, generate 126% more lead growth than small businesses without?
- Videos - Consumers are viewing video content more than ever before. It's an excellent option for small businesses. Take the soap making videos from Royalty Soaps. Her YouTube videos have brought in hundreds of thousands of views, she has over 80,000 followers on Instagram. Her store is opening up and is already so popular.
- Infographics - This is especially great for companies that have visual content to help viewers. For example, if you have a carpet cleaning service, you could produce infographics on carpet cleaning tips.
- eBooks - It shouldn't just be a 10-page advert for your business. It should provide information. If you have a marketing company, why not create an e-book on how to triple traffic to your site? This is great for businesses that want to build up their mailing list.
- Interviews - Conduct interviews with industry experts. This has multiple benefits. It'll create valuable content, provide information, be shared with multiple people, and create meaningful connections.
- Social media posts - If you make enough content, you'll always have content to post on social media. However, creating content specifically for social media is also essential. This will help to build up your digital presence and create brand loyalty.
These are just a few examples of content that you can include in your strategy. Using an investor mindset, choose a few (or all), based on what will work the best for you in the long run.
We hope this provided you with useful information. Sometimes, jumping into an investor mindset can help you with your marketing efforts. Not only should content marketing be seen as an investment, but it should be treated in the same way as other investments.
Content marketing takes time, it takes work, and putting together a great strategy can be difficult. When the effort is put in, the results can be incredible.
Author: Emma Robertson
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