You may think content marketing is new. In fact, it’s hundreds of years old. It started with magazines, pamphlets and little guides, long before they could imagine the internet. Now, brands use content marketing in every form. Video, audio, graphics, and text, to promote their brand.
So what is content marketing?
It’s simple. It’s relevant content that is consumed by the customers who will purchase your product or service. When your customers devour your content, be it audio, video, written word or any other form, it will lead them to your products and services.
In the 1900s Michelin was using content marketing with their little red “Guide Michelin”. As a tyre seller, the Michelle brothers Andre and Edouard Michelin made a travel guide. They wrote helpful information about automobiles, hotels and travel ideas.
Michelin rated upscale restaurants in faraway countryside locations with 'Michelin Stars'. Readers of this travel guide would drive around more to get to these locations, and their tyers would wear out.
Guess who they went to for new tyres? Michelin.
In the post, you’ll learn 10 world-class content marketing strategies for 2020 that you can implement right away. These are based on hundreds of years of proven strategies. Are you ready to dive in?
The first thing to start with is to set your content marketing goals. A good framework for this is to use SMART(Specific,Meserable, Actionable,Reliable, Timely) goals.
A bad goal would read something like this. “I want to do some content marketing this year”.
A goal that uses SMART elements would be much more specific. “I want to use one content marketing strategy per month this year to promote my blog”. This goal has more of the SMART elements in it.
Try to be more specific and set real deadlines and checkpoints for your goals so you can measure the results.
#2) Build A Customer Persona:
When Superdrug wanted to target their perfect customer, they first had to build a persona. They knew that their audience was of a certain demographic, age and with unique goals and desires.
Your customers will be the same. Every business has a perfect persona to target. Find out who you should be targeting. This will frame all of your content marketing services.
Superdrug knew that their target audience were women who cared about health, beauty and body image. So they set about to create a campaign that would earn tens of millions of views.
To raise awareness about body image, Superdrug posted a controversial and hot topic. They hired graphic designers to edit photos of models. The request was to edit the models so they match the standard beauty norms of different countries.
The article titled “Ridiculous Beauty Standards Around The World” published on BuzzFeed and Huffington post and soon went viral. It got international coverage and got picked up by the New York Times, the Telegraph and Business Insider. Celebrities started sharing it, and it racked up over a million times.
Who is your customer persona? What do they care about? Your job is to create content that they want to read.
#3) Understand User Intent:
This continues from the last strategy, because it’s so important to know. Michelin knew that their customers (drivers) wanted to know where to go. They needed travel advice and distant destinations and restaurants so they had excuses to drive around.
Superdrug knew that their customers cared about body image, so they focused their content on ‘ridiculous beauty standards’. You must understand what your users care about. What problems are they looking to solve, and what are their pain points?Ask yourself, ‘what is my customer doing before and after they use my products?’. Michelin didn’t target customers interested in tyres. They target customers who are interested in driving.
Create content that fits to what your customers are already doing, and they will end up where you want them to be. Reading your content, using your products and following your brand.
#4) Create Content Guidelines:
Make content marketing easier for yourself. Build out guidelines and content types. These will help you structure your content and produce more, higher quality content.
The 4 main types of content are: rb_blog, videos, infographics and e-books or guides. From these main types, you can create many other types of content.
You can get the audios from videos to make podcasts and audio tracks. You can screenshot images and use for Instagram posts. Highlight quotes, turn them into tweets and take snippets of articles and post them on various social media platforms.
Many of our readers struggle with using video to boost their SEO. If that's you, check out this post on how you can use video in your marketing strategy: https://biq.cloud/blog/video-seovideo-content-marketing-boost-seo/
Start with these 4 main types of content, and then leverage that content to make tons more ‘mini-content’ to distribute.
#5) Keyword Research:
Keywords are the heart and soul of online marketing and SEO (Search Engine Optimisation). Every time someone searches something into google, they use a keyword. A keyword is a word or phrase that someone might search.
To find your own keywords you can use BIQ’s Keyword Intelligence tool at https://app.biq.cloud/sign-up. Search your business niche or topic, and you’ll find many keywords that people search when they look for you. A good idea is to focus on long-tail keywords. These are keyword phrases that are longer, and therefore less searched. These less searched keywords are less competitive and easier to rank for in the search engines.
So instead of targeting the keyword “yoga poses” you can focus on the keyword “yoga poses for late term pregnant women”. This longer tail keyword phrase is less competitive, and you’ll rank faster for that keyword. Some SEO content marketing practices are an embarrassment. Don't make these same mistakes that we outlined in this article - https://biq.cloud/blog/7-content-marketing-practices-embarrassment-seo/
#6) Use Idea Generators:
If you’re stuck for ideas, you can go to an idea generator. Use websites like “Answerthepublic” and type in your topic to find hundreds of potential ideas. You can use the HubSpot “Blog Ideas Generator” to come up with hundreds more ideas.
Wanna have even more fun with this? Get out a pen and paper and draw a good old fashioned brainstorm mind-map. Put your topic in the centre and then use the strategies in these post to come up with as many ideas as you can. In the center, put your target customer and what they might be thinking. Jot down ideas from the idea generator. Write down keyword ideas. Start linking these ideas together, and you’ll have an infinite resource of content ideas.
#7) Analyse Your Content:
ou want to make sure you target your content to your audience. To check and grade your content, you can use BiQ’s Content Intelligence module. You’ll find out the relevancy, readability and sentiment of your content.
You can also find out how targeted your content is with the keyword SEO checker and the word vector for SEO. To analyse your content using this technology, go to “https://app.biq.cloud/sign-up” and sign up for the BiQ SEO Suite.
#8) Visuals All Day:
Visual content is a must in your arsenal. People just love consuming colourful content. Use graphics, screenshots, graphs, GIF’s and videos to excite your readers and keep them interested. Coke is a great example of a company who do this well. Although they are a sugary soda, their advertising and graphics take you on a journey of visuals that excite and enlighten you.
One strategy coke used was the “Share A Coke Campaign”. They put your name on their bottles and invited customers to post their name so Coke could create personal bottles for everyone. This created a powerful visual effect where customers felt connected to the Coke brand.
Think of ways that your customers like to view content. Then create images and graphics that they will love.
#9) Schedule Consistency:
Go back to your original SMART goal that you started with. Take that goal and break it up into a daily or weekly consistent strategy.
You should have a regular schedule of when you will post content. This consistency will be the number one factor in your content marketing plan. The more consistent you are, the more likely you’ll create a post that will go viral.
Every post you create will add to your marketing strategy. Slow and steady wins the content marketing race. You’ll be so effective in your content marketing strategy that it will become impossible for people to ignore you.
It’s time to distribute your content. There are many places you can go, so we’ll start with the big ones. Start on your own website and blog. Create relevant posts for your target audience and stick to a regular schedule.
These posts should be easy to share and lead to readers to signing up so you can collect their email information. Post videos on YouTube, and audios on podcast distributors. Break your articles into pieces and rewrite for Facebook, LinkedIn, Quora, Medium and other sites where you can post written content.
Share on social media, email your audience, and post on relevant groups and forums. You should scream your voice from the rooftops so people can hear about what you’ve got to say.
Content Marketing Conclusion:
In 2020 it’s easier than ever to create, and share content. The world is more connected than ever because of the internet. You can use time-tested strategies that companies were using hundreds of years ago and grow your business right now.
Whether you take inspiration from Michelin, Coke or Superdrug, you’ll be heading in the right direction.
Follow the 10 strategies in this post and you’ll be years ahead. Inspire yourself by the big companies that have used content marketing and start making your own content that fits these ideas. Keep creating content and improving it where you can, and your strategy will pay off. Now, it’s content marketing time.