Finding the right mix of material for your content marketing efforts can be an exhilarating or exasperating operation. For instance, you might enjoy posting those quirky short posts with employee activities, but are they doing anything for your Google juice? Take for instance the Q and A format or an expert interview. These are content formats that take time to set up, prepare for and execute properly. But guess what brings in more site traffic, qualified leads and interested eyeballs?
Knowing what to keep and what to drop in your content marketing strategy can make a big difference in your efforts this year. Maybe you’ve spent all of 2014 trying everything on for size, by testing all sorts of content marketing formats, like these below:
- Blog Posts
- Animated GIFs
- Social Media Posts
- Photographic Images
- Social Graphs
- Motion Graphics
- Free Guides/White Papers
- Case Studies
- User-Generated Content
- How to’s/FAQs
- E-mail Content
But when you look at the KPIs of your efforts, what have you found? What’s worth keeping around in 2015? What formats and strategies should be relegated to the dustbin of eternity? A key focus for content marketing professionals in 2015 is recognizing what works and what doesn’t – in other words, what’s hot and what’s not. You have to know what to keep and what to drop in 2015.
Effective Content Marketing
High-performing, effective content for many B2B and B2C marketers should have the following characteristics:
- Center on audience needs (i.e. educate, answer, or inspire)
- Connect to the audience’s self-identity
- Generate an emotional connection
- Be distributed through relevant and visible mediums
- B designed to fit a strategic place in the sales funnel
Your content needs to focus on the 3 Cs – consistency, concept and corroboration. It must answer your customer’s questions, go beyond just the blog format, and reflect well on your organization as a thought leader. And more importantly, you need to stay up on what’s happening with winning content marketing around the Web.
Because many people have figured these few characteristics out, they have seen positive results after consistent effort. This is what makes content marketing the fastest-growing marketing strategy in business circles for the New Year. Need reasons? May we suggest a few reasons why content marketing works:
- Content marketing generates more leads and follow-up opportunities all at a lower cost.
- Content marketing can help drive SEO
- Content marketing can increase quality traffic to your site
- Content marketing matches consumer expectations for information delivery
What to Keep and What to Drop
We know what we need to do with our content marketing – but what can we leave behind? In our new webinar, The 2020 Content Marketing Strategy, you’ll learn from Robert Rose of the Content Marketing Institute exactly what should be in your strategy plan moving forward.
Here are a few areas to keep or consider dropping from your 2015 content marketing strategy.
– Mindful Content Strategy
– Authoritative Content
– Link Earning
– More Robust content
– Quality Information
– Mobile Strategies
– SEO Audits
– Informative infographics
– Short, Crisp Videos
– SEO Manipulations
– Author Rank
– Link Building
– Consistent short content
– Sponsored Advertising
– Duplicate Content
– Generic Titles and Copy
– Stock Photos
– Talking head clips
These statistics from How to Convince Your Boss also help to show the need of what to keep and what to drop in your content marketing practices:
- Brands that create 15 blog posts per month average 1,200 new leads per month (State of Inbound Marketing Report)
- 61% of US consumers have made a purchase based on a blog post (The Blog Economy)
- Content marketing produces 3 times more leads per dollar (Eloqua)
We’ve referred to this earlier in 2014, but we think it’s important to share this overall definition of content marketing again to set you up for an even better 2015:
- Content marketing is the art of providing relevant, useful content to your customers without selling or interrupting them.
- Instead of pitching your products or services, you are delivering information that makes your customers more informed before they buy.
- If you deliver consistent, ongoing, valuable information to your customers, they ultimately reward you with their business and loyalty.
How about you? What content marketing tools will you keep, and which ones will you drop in 2015? Leave a note in the comments and share with the community!
If you’re interested in the state of content marketing in 2015 and beyond, register for our upcoming webinar with Chief Content Strategist, Robert Rose, on January 8.