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5 Proven Content Marketing Strategies

5 Proven Content Marketing Strategies
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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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      content marketing

        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.

        Image Credits :

        Working in Laptop via Pixabay.com, Apple Devices , jcomp / Freepik Via Freepik.com

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        Vikas Agrawal

        Vikas is the co-founder of Infobrandz, an Infographic design agency that offers creative visual content solutions to medium to large companies.

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        Published on July 27, 2021

        15 Smart Video Conferencing Etiquette Tips to Follow

        15 Smart Video Conferencing Etiquette Tips to Follow
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        During the pandemic, video conferencing replaced in-person meetings and has now become the standard option for business meetings. Over the past 17 months, most workers have gotten past the video conferencing learning curve with Zoom or Microsoft Teams (or their platform of choice).

        But just as with in-person meetings, attention can wax and wane. Some say we’re just not used to staring at ourselves so much on the screen. Instead of fixating on that, try employing smart video conferencing etiquette, or you may risk indiscretions that will flag you as a slacker.

        Put the Pro in Professional

        After more than a year of fine-tuning, here are the new rules of video conferencing etiquette.

        1. Mute Your Mobile and Other Devices

        The first video conference etiquette you need to know is muting your other devices. Just as in the pre-COVID days, someone’s obnoxious ring tone blaring Taylor Swift’s newest single in the middle of a meeting is also an annoyance if it happens during a Zoom meeting and so is the inevitable fumbling to turn off the sound. Even the apologies to the group get tiresome.

        Also, when notifications are activated on the computer that you’re using for the meeting, the incoming message takes over the audio and you’ll miss out on snippets of the conversation. Be sure to eliminate this possible faux pas.

        2. Dress the Part

        While working from home, you may have fallen into the habit of slipping on your comfiest T-shirt each day. Hey, no judgments! But before you log on to your video conference, try to make an effort with your appearance.

        Depending on your company culture and the importance of your meeting, consider dressing the part of the professional whom you wish to project. It will help you feel more self-assured, and others will likely take you more seriously.

        For women, wear light make-up, put on earrings, and make sure your blouse is crisply pressed. For men, show up freshly shaved. Wearing a crisp collared shirt in a solid color will usually suffice.

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        Pro Tip: Stay away from wearing white or black, unless those colors look great on you. Consider wearing light blue or brown instead.

        3. Stage Your Workspace

        Have you noticed the backdrops of experts interviewed on news shows? Bookshelves and photographs are carefully curated, and no busy-patterned furniture or artwork is in sight.

        Take note of what appears behind you when you choose the location of your video conferences. Piles of junk mail on the table or stacks of folded laundry on the couch will convey more about your personal life than you care to share. Make sure you remove clutter from the camera’s eye, and present a tidy, orderly workspace to your colleagues, coworkers, and bosses.

        4. Put Some Thought Into Lighting and Perspective

        Be aware that in a video conference, your computer camera can actually make you look up to ten pounds heavier depending on where you sit. But you can easily drop those added pounds by moving back from the screen to diminish the wide-angle distortion.

        Frame your head on the screen by tilting the screen up or down. Also, it’s best to not place yourself in front of a window or bright light, which makes you appear in shadow. Instead, face the light source, moving it (or yourself) until you have a flattering amount of illumination. You can also purchase some small spotlights that allow you to add light as needed.

        Pro Tip: If your lights add too much redness to your skin, consider counter-balancing with a green filter.

        Remember That Half of Life Is Showing Up

        5. Arrive on Time

        In the old days of in-person meetings, it was nearly impossible to slip in late into a meeting unnoticed. In today’s video conferences, logging in late still shows poor form. Instead, strive to arrive five minutes early and get yourself settled.

        Once the meeting is underway, the host may be less attentive about late arrivals waiting to be let in. Diverting the host’s attention away from the meeting with a tardy entry request is the ultimate giveaway that you didn’t honor the schedule. If you don’t want a black mark against you, log in on time.

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        6. Turn on Your Video

        Few people like to see their face on the screen, but buck up and turn on your camera in video conferences. In most cases, it’s better to be a face on a screen than a name in a blank square. Your statements will be more memorable when other meeting attendees can see you.

        If you need to turn off the video, either because of a poor connection, some commotion in the room, or a need for a quick break, give a short explanation via the chat feature. Then, go back on video as soon as you’re able.

        Pro Tip: Keep your explanation for your departure pithy. “Sorry! Doorbell rang. Back in five” says it all. Be sure to honor what you say in chat and really do return in five minutes.

        7. Plan Ahead Before Sharing Your Screen

        Don’t be one of those people who makes everyone else wait as you click through folders in search of a document. That’s just poor video conferencing etiquette. If you know you’ll need to share a document or video on your screen, prepare by pulling it out of its folder and onto your desktop. Also, clean up the files and folders on your desktop to reduce clutter and facilitate easy access. Close other programs like chat, calendar notifications, and email. Disable pop-up notifications to ensure there’ll be no unforeseen distractions.

        Be sure to remind the host before the meeting that you’ll need them to activate the screen-sharing function. Show courtesy once you’re finished by hitting “stop share” to return to the screen with participants.

        Attend to the Pesky Details

        8. Make Sure That Meetings Remain Right-Sized

        With the easy accessibility of video conferencing, it can be tempting to extend the meeting invitation beyond the core group and include everyone peripherally involved in a project. But just as with in-person meetings, the more people involved, the more unwieldy the meeting becomes.

        Use good judgment when asking others to sit through a video conference so that you don’t needlessly take up others’ time and so that participants can be fully engaged.

        9. Remember to “Unmute” Before You Speak

        Most of us are likely able to count on one hand the number of video conferences when someone didn’t have to be reminded, “You’re on mute!” Forgetting to unmute before speaking has become one of the most common missteps in video conferencing.[1]

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        Show everyone your impeccable video-conferencing poise by managing your mute feature with flawless control.

        10. Stay on Point to Keep the Meeting Length in Check

        As with in-person meetings, an agenda with assigned time limits for discussions remains necessary to keep a meeting focused. Data shows, however, that video conferencing can actually reduce meeting time.[2] Reasons include the elimination of commuting time and the ability to screen share and annotate to keep everyone on task.

        Additionally, side conversations are virtually impossible with video conferencing now that you can no longer have back-and-forth exchanges with the person beside you.

        Pro Tip: If you’re running the meeting, let attendees know in advance the protocol for the chat feature. Is it okay for them to “chat among themselves” or not? (See point 11, as well.)

        Talking Has a Time and a Place

        11. Chat Appropriately

        Just like side conversations or texting in an in-person meeting, the use of the chat feature during a video conference can be disrespectful unless it’s directed to all participants. Hence, it’s good video conferencing etiquette to mind your use of the chat.

        At the start of the meeting, you may want to ask the host if it’s alright for participants to use the chat feature. This allows them to disable it if they choose. Used appropriately, it can be a helpful tool to clarify or amplify an earlier point once the conversation has moved on or to let the group know that you need to sign off early (and why).

        12. Use the “Raise Hand” Feature to Avoid Interruptions

        The slight lag in many video conferences can result in speaking over another person if you attempt to jump into a conversation. To avoid this awkward interruption, indicate when you have something to add to the discussion with the raise-your-hand feature that signals the host you would like to speak. This effective meeting management device makes video conferencing run more smoothly, especially with a large group, but it must be activated and monitored by the host.

        Pro Tip: For meetings of six to ten people, sometimes the old-fashioned raising of your physical hand may be the best option. But it’s up to the meeting host. Ask them what they would prefer, and follow that.

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        13. Don’t Record the Session or Take Photos Without Prior Permission

        In this case, not sharing is caring. The “sharing culture” made popular through social media has little place in video conferencing. Before recording a meeting or capturing a screenshot of the participants, always ask for consent in advance from the full roster of attendees. Knowing that a video conference will be photographed or recorded could have a bearing on what others are willing to discuss.

        Manage Yourself

        14. Minimize Distractions

        While de-activating audio and video features can keep distractions from affecting the other participants, you will need to manage noise and disruptions on your end to give your full attention to the meeting.

        Move out of high-traffic zones in your home, keep your door closed, and ask family members to be considerate.

        15. Save Snacking for Later

        Save snacking for later—or earlier. Eating while on video conference is a no-no. Munching in front of the group while close to the camera—as you are when video conferencing—subjects the participants to an up-close and (too) personal view of your food consumption process.

        However, it’s perfectly fine to sip quietly from a glass of water or cup of coffee or tea. If the meeting threatens to last for more than two hours, you may want to ask the host in advance to schedule a five-minute break at the halfway point.

        Final Thoughts

        Even though bosses are now beginning to ask workers to spend some of their workdays on-site, up to 80 percent will permit employees to work remotely at least part of the time, which means more video conferencing in your future.[3] Mastering these video conferencing etiquette tips will help you dial in—as well as dial back—your participation and demonstrate your unwavering level of engagement to the team.

        Featured photo credit: Chris Montgomery via unsplash.com

        Reference

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