How to nail your 2019 content marketing strategy

Be a content marketing hero in 2019

Be a content marketing hero in 2019

If you’re reading this because you want your content marketing to work better - to deliver better results, be a content marketing hero - you’re not alone. Only 3 per cent of businesses describe their content marketing strategy as “extremely successful”, according to the CMI’s 2018 benchmarking report. Apparently, 93 per of organisations are “committed to content marketing” - whatever that means. I’ll tell you what that means - a lot of CMO’s are pouring money into content marketing but aren’t seeing stellar results.

So how can you create a 2019 content plan that puts you in that top 3 per cent, that gets you hero status?

1. Know Your Audience

Aligning content with your business objectives only gets you half-way -. You also need a clear picture of your audience’s interests and drivers. You need to know which of your audience are most likely to contribute to growth (note that this doesn’t necessarily mean the biggest spenders). Take your C-suite audience - 46 per cent engage with branded content on mobile devices, while 74 per cent are most receptive to receiving content in the morning before work. This is valuable insight. Combine this with insight on specific challenges that CEO’s are facing and you’ve got some real business intelligence that shapes which channels and content formats you should use to engage business leaders. This is a crucial part of your content strategy. It’s only when you have a clear view of who you’re creating content for that you’re ready to think about what messages will resonate and which channels to reach them.

2. Tailor content for each stage of the marketing funnel

The best ads never ask you to buy. They almost never quote a price. Go and speak to your sales teams - they already know this. Buying psychology is driven by emotion, not logic. What you need to give them is reassurance; to help them answer the questions they’re asking. Provide them with evidence that your product or service will help them make their lives easier. And keep it engaging by using the story technique. Combine this with a solution to a problem they’re facing, and they’ll be smashing down your door.

3. Test different channels and formats to get impact

The fundamentals of writing great content haven’t changed since the days of David Ogilvy.

“The more informative your advertising, the more persuasive it will be”

- David Ogilvy.

The key is to identify the messages that your audience will respond to at each stage of the marketing funnel. Start talking about your products or services straight away and your audience will evaporate. Instead, lead with a unique story, some original research, make a bold statement about the state of the market or set out the problem that’s been keeping them up at night. And then show them how to solve it.

Content for the top of the marketing funnel is about grabbing audience attention and making them want to find out more. In the middle, it’s nurturing that interest with brand stories, compelling data or research. Towards the bottom of the funnel is where you start talking about your solution in detail with direct calls to action.

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So How does this work in practice?

1. You decide to commission some original research on your market and uncover some unique and exciting insights. This is the core of your content strategy and should sit somewhere between the middle and top of your funnel. You’ll use some of the emotive solutions and bold claims at the top-of-the-funnel comms

2. Reach a less engaged audience by repurposing some of the key insights as blog content; create some tasty infographics; create some short videos featuring your leadership and/or social media influencers.

3. Repurpose it further to increase reach and raise brand awareness - run some podcasts, webinars, get it featured in news publications; bylines in industry publications; speaking engagements

The greatest challenge you face at the top of the marketing funnel is standing out from the crowd. The amount of branded content being created has tripled in recent years, so you need to be doing something unique or innovative to get your content seen. Publish bold ideas that capture your audience’s imagination, and experiment with unconventional formats can yield strong results

Mediocre content won’t generate results in 2019. Get laser insight on your audience, their challenges and pain points. Tailor inspiring messages for prospects at every stage of the marketing funnel and re-appropriate content to make it ultra effective across all channels. And don’t forget to measure.

How To Make Your Blog Work Harder

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Blogs should be an essential part of your 2019 Marketing Strategy. Why?

  1. Blogs drive traffic - Since 75% of users don’t scroll beyond the first page of search results, your blog provides a rich source of keywords, articles and expertise that will increase your search ranking. Research shows you are 4 times more likely to be ranked highly on search engines if you feature a blog as part of your website.
  2. Blogs generate sales leads - Businesses using blogs as part of their content marketing mix get 67% more leads than those who don’t.
  3. Blogs build trust - blogs are the 5th most trusted source for accurate online information. It’s the most honest connection between your audience and your brand. 56% of bloggers who maintain business blogs say it has helped their company establish a position as an industry thought leader.
  4. Blogs are essential for successful social - a good, well-structured blog plan will automatically feed your social calendar and drive high-quality engagement with your audience.
  5. Blogs are THE place to go for long-form material - Google research has show that up to 10% of users’ daily information needs involve detailed insight

Lots of compelling reasons to get writing. But how do you make an impact, cut through the noise and establish YOUR blog and YOUR brand from the competition? 

How To Make Your Blogs Work Harder

  1. Set your objectives - Define clear objectives for your blog - are you promoting new products/services; expanding into new geographies; trying to promote your C-suite? Whatever the blog objectives, they need to be aligned with your overall business and marketing objectives. There is zero point turning out random content for the sake of it. Give it a clear purpose and it will work for you.
  2. Define your audience personas - fundamentally your content plan needs to deliver the answers to your audience’s questions. You won’t know this until you identify who they are, what their motivations are, and the social channels and publishing platforms where they’re active.
  3. Do your research - The stand-out difference between blogs that add to the noise, and those that cut through it, is the latter provide clear answers to the questions people are asking - about your sector, your products, your services. Use online research tools from Google, Buzzsumo to get a clear picture of the questions you need to answer and the content you need to create.
  4. Establish your style - The most successful corporate blogs are engaging, entertaining and answer the questions people are asking. Have a look at what your competitors are doing to see how you can improve, and how you can differentiate.
  5. Create a publishing plan - 68% of B2B marketers say they don’t have a documented content marketing strategy. Avoid this pitfall by creating a 6-month content calendar to keep your plan on track. Posting content regularly is important for building trust with your audience and establishing your presence as a thought leader. It needs to be at least weekly. Twice weekly is even better because you’ll generate 4 times as many leads than those that blog only weekly. Things to include in your plan: 
    • blog audience
    • the question(s) you’re answering
    • the offer/CTA
    • publishing dates
    • publishing channels
    • Key snapshots from your blog post to promote on social media

 

The average company that blogs, generates 55% more website visitors, 97% more inbound links, and 434% more indexed pages. Concentrate on producing in-depth, valuable content that answers the questions your audience are asking and you’ll have a blog resource that will support your marketing strategy efficiently and effectively, and generate a positive ROI.

To find out more about how to improve the performance of your content marketing, get in touch