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5 Proven Content Marketing Strategies

5 Proven Content Marketing Strategies

An increasingly huge segment of the capital that modern businesses are assigning for marketing is being dedicated to online marketing. In fact, research has identified content marketing as the single most productive and sustainable form of attracting a loyal customer base in the 21st century. After decades of newspaper, radio, and television advertising, the global audience is waking up to the competitive advantages of a new online media. These advantages have influenced the ever-growing dominance of content marketing. The main advantages of content marketing allow marketers to:

  1. Fluidly incorporate the creative edge of 3D content
  2. Have a comparatively cheaper option for marketing
  3. Create a long-term market presence using online media
  4. Accommodate emerging trends of the Information Age
  5. Personalize content despite using social/mass media
  6. Integrate multi-media platforms with both video and audio

Regardless of these advantages, however, content marketing does not work for everyone. Some firms invest less capital and still convert more visitors to active customers. In contrast, other firms invest gigantic sums only to attract a few customers. It would seem, then, that success in content marketing depends on the science of marketing, not on the amount of time or resources invested. Like every form of marketing, content marketing is both a science and an art. This means that content marketing employs a creative and artistic strategy to attract online traffic to a site and then converts this traffic to loyal customers.

The question now becomes, “How can you improve the success of your content marketing program?” Previous research has proven that it is possible to improve the success of your content marketing instantly. You need only use a precise set of strategies, most of which have proved extremely effective for modern online entrepreneurs. The following five strategies are among the most essential and effective secrets to improving your content marketing outcomes.

1) Creating Problem-Solution Content

Improving your content marketing must always start by attaining the content’s purpose. Content marketing is, after all, a strategic and purpose-driven marketing approach that helps create, publish, and distribute valuable content for a clearly defined online audience. Content marketing seeks to move a customer towards taking profitable action. Before promoting a product or service, content marketing must first inform, educate, and positively improve the customers’ knowledge of the product or service. Such education preferably comes from an expert’s point of view. Only then can the content attract and sustain worthwhile traffic.

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    This explains why “how to” online content generates perhaps the highest portion of online traffic. Potential customers seek to know, learn, and understand issues that are of personal interest to them. Content marketing thus needs to precisely and concretely address realistic customer concerns, guide them towards ideal solutions, and offer a problem-solution exchange. Online marketing succeeds when it shows a customer how to do several things, including:

    1. Know more about an issue that is interesting to them
    2. Service their needs effectively and without additional cost
    3. Progressively improve their homes or workplaces
    4. Make their lives more enjoyable and affordable

    2) Anticipating Emerging Trends

    Content marketing helps anticipate future trends in the market. It is also becoming the only possible way to embrace these trends. Leading media companies that had previously relied on newspaper and TV advertising have acknowledged an emerging marketing trend. This new marketing trend is exclusively underscored by content marketing. Consequently, modern media giants have launched content marketing studios to service a new age of marketing dynamics. Companies that have traditionally relied on their global reach are gradually attaining the same outcomes through online platforms. Their online activities usually include posting videos and articles through their social media pages and blogs.

    Significant trends in advertising hinged on content marketing are evident in modern business. According to recent research, over 62% of content marketers have claimed that they saw an increase in the success of their content marketing strategies this year. This included over 88% of business-to-business advertisers who were using content marketing by the end of 2016. Furthermore, over 76% of all marketers claimed that they were planning to improve their content marketing strategy by 2017. Evidently, content marketing is no longer a choice. Rather, it is a mandatory component of 21st century marketing. This reality is the product of several emerging practices:

    1. Increasing the positive impact of content marketing on contemporary businesses
    2. Reducing the cost of content marketing
    3. Increasing the usage of social media platforms
    4. Personalizing general marketing messages for online visitors
    5. Customers making purchasing decisions using online content

    3) Optimizing the Marketing Message

    Content marketing should provide content that markets a product or service. As such, the mere presence and frequency of high quality content on an e-commerce site are not the only requirements. Long before dissemination, content marketing must start with a creation process. That process of creating content is both an art and a science. By default, the success of online marketing relies on how well both the art and the science are integrated.

    It is during the creation process that a message is strategically constructed. In most cases, content is judged based on its information value. For the marketer, however, the purpose is not to inform, but to market a product or service. The science is in making that marketing goal indirect yet convincing. Only when informative content is created can the content then be used to convert the reader to an active customer.

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    4) Embracing the Era of Multi-Media Usage

    According to recent research, advances in communication technology have triggered the use of and reliance on mobile devices. The prospective customer simultaneously uses assorted stationery and mobile devices. This means that the online content must be effectively accessible from smartphones, tablets, desktop computers, and laptops. Successful content marketing must embrace the simplicity and liquidity of being available and accessible in what has become a multi-device world. The marketer should customize the content for consumption by a relatively mobile public.

    content marketing

      The world is going mobile, and content marketers should therefore always cater to a mobile audience. Unfortunately, that is not all. In a recent study commissioned by Facebook, it was found that the international audience targeted by content marketing uses several mobile devices simultaneously. Among a sample of 2000 adults in the UK and the US, the study recorded over 60% of adults online accessing the internet using at least two mobile devices on a daily basis. Most of these adults used the mobile devices simultaneously. Further still, 25% of Americans and 20% of UK residents simultaneously use three mobile devices. Interestingly, over 40% of the sample in both countries start an online activity using one mobile device and then complete the activity using another device. The impact of content marketing thus depends not only on how well it caters to a mobile audience, but also on how well it facilitates multi-device usage.

      5) Personifying the Marketing Appeal

      Readers largely prefer reading information given by experts. This explains why quality content marketing needs to have the perspective of an authoritative voice. Even so, when marketers make the content personal, they take the content to a level it might never have reached even with an authoritative voice. Personalized content is more attractive, appealing, and convincing to the reader than abstract text. TED talks, how-to articles, and advisory YouTube videos, for example, attract such a gigantic following because their content is always personalized.

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        The problem with content marketing is that it cannot attain essential eye contact. Nonetheless, even without eye contact, the content attains nearly the same effect with a personalized interaction with the reader. Content that does not address “the” reader, and which builds an interactive discourse with “you,” helps attain the goal of content marketing better. Once that personal contact is made, sustaining it with reliable, consistent, and regular content solidifies how well content marketing attains its primary goal.

        Content Marketing Is Invaluable

        The future of content marketing is evidently more prosperous, influential, and critically essential than any other traditional form of marketing has been. Content marketing is not only becoming dynamic, but is also a combination of advertising art and marketing science. It might be extremely cheap to get likes on Instagram, for example, but the potential marketing impact of those “likes” is priceless. That said, use the advice here to tap into this potential and consolidate your content marketing success. This success in content marketing is both attainable and essential.

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        Last Updated on October 18, 2018

        10 Key Characteristics of a Highly Successful Entrepreneur

        10 Key Characteristics of a Highly Successful Entrepreneur

        When it comes to starting your own business and pursuing your dream of becoming an entrepreneur, it can be advantageous to go all in and embrace the flexibility of finally quitting your day job.

        Keep in mind, though, that it takes a special kind of person to take the business world by storm: a person who has cultivated the key characteristics of entrepreneurial success.

        People with these characteristics are likely to succeed, whereas people without them have difficulty moving forward with even the most brilliant business ideas.

        These characteristics of an entrepreneur are so important that I’ve decided to cover all 10 of them in detail so that you can start your business with your best foot forward.

        1. Successful Entrepreneurs Practice Discipline

        Plenty of business experts claim that you can’t get anywhere as an entrepreneur without vision or creativity, but that’s simply not the truth. Instead, the one quality that no entrepreneur can be successful without is discipline.

        To build an idea into a business, you have to have the discipline to spend time slogging through the least fun parts of running a business (like the bookkeeping), rather than taking that time to do something fun.

        Andrew Carnegie, one of the most financially successful Americans of all time, grew up working dull and difficult jobs in factories. Despite going to bed hungry some nights, he continued doing his best work. He was eventually hired by a railroad company and continued to move up the ladder until starting his own successful businesses. Carnegie is a fine example of an entrepreneur dedicated to discipline and hard work. He truly earned his dreams of prosperity and success.

        When you’re the boss, there’s no one to keep you at work except yourself — and there’s no short-term consequences for skipping out early.

        Sure, if an entrepreneur plays hooky enough he knows that the business just won’t happen, but it’s very hard to convince someone that ‘just this once’ won’t hurt (and to keep ‘just this once’ from becoming a daily occurrence).

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        2. Successful Entrepreneurs Keep Calm

        Things go wrong when you run your own business.

        Most entrepreneurs go through crises with their businesses — and more than a few wind up with outright failures on their hands. But when you’re responsible for a business, you have to be able to keep calm in any situation. Any other reaction — whether you lose your temper or get flustered — compounds the problem.

        Instead, a good entrepreneur must have the ability to keep his cool in an emergency or crisis. It may not make the problem easier to solve, but it certainly won’t make it harder.

        Honestly, losing your calm is a quick path to becoming the kind of person who gives up in the face of adversity. Instead giving in to frustration, remember classic entrepreneur Benjamin Franklin.

        Franklin kept his calm as he experimented and tweaked his inventions again and again in pursuit of success. He didn’t give up during his many failures – he chose to innovate. You can choose innovation, too.

        If an entrepreneur can handle failure without frustration or anger, s/he can move past it to find success.

        3. Successful Entrepreneurs Pay Attention to Details

        Restricting your attention to the big picture can be even more problematic than ‘sweating the small stuff.’

        As an entrepreneur, unless venture capital has magically dropped out of the sky, a small expense can be a killer. It’s attention to detail that can make a small business successful when it has competition and it’s attention to detail that can keep costs down.

        Attention to detail can be difficult to maintain — going over ledgers can be tedious even when you aren’t trying to pay close attention — but keeping your eye on a long-term vision is just asking for a problem to sneak in under a radar.

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        After a business grows, an entrepreneur might be able to hire someone to worry about the details. In the beginning, though, only one person can take responsibility for the details.

        Skeptical about the importance of details? Look no further than Howard Schultz, who grew a small coffee shop called Starbucks into one of the most globally successful coffee businesses in the world through his extreme attention to detail.

        He is famous for taking all aspects of growing a business into account, paying attention not only to financially smart business decisions, but also focusing on socially responsible business decisions. Details can take you far.

        4. Successful Entrepreneurs Embrace Risks

        No entrepreneur has a sure thing, no matter how much money s/he stands to earn on a given product. Even if a product tests well, the market can change, the warehouse can burn down and a whole slew of other misfortune can befall a small business.

        It’s absolutely risky to run a business of your own and while you can get some insurance, it’s not like most investment options. Even worse, if something does go wrong, it’s the entrepreneur’s responsibility — no matter the actual cause. In order to deal with all of that without developing an ulcer, you have to have a good tolerance for risk.

        You don’t need to channel your inner frat boy and take on absolutely stupid risks, but you need to know just how much you can afford to risk — and get a good idea of how likely you are to lose it. If the numbers make you uncomfortable, the risk is too great.

        Embracing risks is essential for growth and additional success, as well. Walt Disney, for example, could have stayed comfortable with his advances in the film and animation industries, but decided to expand his brand with a new dream: a theme park that soared above the competition. Without taking this risk, the incredibly successful Disney theme park empire would never have come about.

        An entrepreneur has to be willing to accept pretty big risks, with some level of comfort.

        5. Successful Entrepreneurs are Balanced

        You can take any characteristic too far. There’s a point at which attention to detail can become obsession or calm can become unemotional response.

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        As an entrepreneur, you have to be able to balance your characteristics, getting the most of them without going over the edge. But balance for an entrepreneur goes far beyond keeping your characteristics in check, though.

        Just as an entrepreneur doesn’t have a boss to keep them at work when necessary, they don’t have one to send them home when they’re done. If you are working for yourself, you have to decide how to balance your work and home life — and if you have a day job to add into the equation, balance just gets more complicated.

        Oprah Winfrey, one of the most successful and influential entrepreneurs out there, understands the importance of balance. Winfrey has a lot going on; she runs her own media kingdom, acts, produces films, publishes print, and more. In an interview with Fast Company,[1] she talks about her efforts to balance priorities and self care, saying that she must ask herself what is truly important in each limited day.

        You may or may not have as much on your plate as Oprah, but learning how to balance whatever you have going on in life will certainly help you farther along down the road as you learn to be a great entrepreneur.

        6. Successful Entrepreneurs are Passionate and Motivated

        In order to develop any of the above characteristics, you must have a foundation of passion. Staying disciplined day after day during the building of your business takes unrivaled motivation.

        Before you start any business, ask yourself if you can sustain true excitement about your idea during even the darkest days ahead of you. If the answer is yes, then good for you! Nurture your natural motivation by taking these action steps throughout your business journey:

        • Commit to making short and long-term goals. Check in with them often to stay on task.
        • Have a plan in place for the inevitable days when you feel discouraged. Make a list of things that will help keep you motivated and focused.
        • Share your ideas with trusted individuals who are just as excited as you are. They will help keep your enthusiasm rolling even when you are feeling down.

        By being prepared for apathetic days and holding fast to your authentic passion, you can actually enjoy your journey to success.

        7. Successful Entrepreneurs Adapt

        Remember this one word: flexibility. Seasoned entrepreneurs know that change is not only a part of life, but also a part of the business world. Expect change and choose to adapt.

        As a new entrepreneur, it will be tempting to cling to your original business plan with no exceptions, even if you notice it isn’t working. Good entrepreneurs know that it’s okay to make smart, informed changes in order to ensure efficiency.

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        8. Successful Entrepreneurs are Marketing and Sales Experts

        No matter what kind of business you are starting, a knowledge of marketing and sales will save you many headaches. A passion for creating a beautiful handmade lifestyle product is not enough to run a successful lifestyle brand; it is critical that you understand key business principles in addition to your natural skills or great product line.

        Not sure how to start? Taking business courses is a great idea, but you can also easily brush up on sales and marketing through free online resources. Check out these 10 Sales Skills Everyone Should Master To Be Successful to begin now.

        9. Successful Entrepreneurs Have Strong Money Management

        Along with sales and marketing skills, money management is a very useful tool in the box of the entrepreneur. Understanding how to best manage your money can be the difference between early success and early failure in the business world.

        If money management isn’t your strongest skill, prepare to hire a financial expert to help you with any tricky business that comes up. Financial guidance and knowledge is never a bad idea.

        10. Successful Entrepreneurs Ask Questions and Continually Improve

        Pride is a natural human quality, but it’s important to humbly conduct some constructive criticism every now and again on both yourself as a leader and your new business as a whole.

        Assess how things are going and be willing to make positive changes if necessary. Here’re 15 ways to cultivate lifelong learning.

        If you are always improving, then how can you ultimately fail?

        The Bottom Line

        Let me remind you of one important fact: the qualities of an entrepreneur listed here are not exclusively available to some people and elusive to others.

        Although some people may have natural strengths and weaknesses, these qualities can be learned by anyone interested in taking up the entrepreneurial challenge. It might not be easy to change old habits, but it is absolutely possible to cultivate these characteristics in yourself.

        Whether you’re a business owner or an aspiring entrepreneur, with hard work, you can train yourself to develop the qualities that truly determine the entrepreneurial spirit and future success.

        Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

        Reference

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