Content is more prevalent than ever, and brands left-right-centre are putting them out in all kinds of formats – blogposts, visuals, videos, 360-images, live streams… the list goes on.
While it’s easy to embark on a content-producing spree, it’s certainly an uphill task maintaining the momentum month after month. In a recent report, 56% of marketers are facing challenges with their content strategy, and 57% reported difficulties in producing quality content. What’s more, keeping up with the frequency of posts is also a struggle amongst marketers, with 53% of us facing the challenge of racing against time.
To aid the entire content strategy, a plan sounds like an easy enough solution. While most marketers understand the need to plan and execute content strategy properly, many are not convinced of its ROI, especially with significant time and resources required to be invested in the earlier stages.
The result is that many of us embark on our content marketing efforts without a long-term, sustainable plan – which more often than not proves to be a huge mistake down the road.
In this post, we’ll be sharing some of our baby steps we took at AKÏN.
1. Content should always be pegged to relevant keywords
There are many tips telling us that we should pair authentic and relevant stories with high quality media such as images, videos or animations. But how should we even get started on identifying these content topics?
Enter keyword research tools. At AKÏN, we use a mix of the HubSpot Keyword Tool as well as Google Keywords to research our keywords. The benefits are two-fold – we can get valuable insights on relevant keywords that are ranking well on Google, in addition to spotting potential opportunities such as a trending keyword or a keyword with easier ranking possibilities. Pick out certain keywords you hope for your content to rank for, and make the content as useful and insightful as possible – to provide great value to your readers!
|A screenshot of Google Keywords Planner using search term "social media"|
For example, if you are preparing for a blog content article about social media but am not sure what aspect of social media you want to talk about, you can begin your research by keying in the term ‘social media’ into the keyword tool. Search for relevant keywords with high search volume, and analyse them one by one to look for the perfect one – with a good balance of both high search volume and mid to low competition!
2. Extend the reach of your blog with social media
It doesn’t end when you hit the ‘publish’ button on your blogpost. Lots of time, effort and resources have been dedicated to creating that piece of content, so why not go ahead and maximise its reach?
Leverage on your other digital platforms and create more touch-points for your content. Publish bite-sized hooks on your social media page to increase its visibility and traffic. You can even extend it further through the use of media spending, broadcasting the content piece to users who would find it relevant and helpful.
It still doesn’t end there – you can always revisit evergreen content you have produced in the past and publish them on your social media pages again with a different teaser or hook each time. This greatly increases the shelf life of these blog content pieces, as well as brings new visitors to your page each time.
|Graph extracted from APAC Content Marketing Report 2016|
If you are at a loss of the social media platform you should be embarking on, Facebook should definitely be on your lookout list. Many marketers in APAC have expressed that the medium was the most effective in promoting their content. The platform also has a more matured advertising targeting system, which allows you to better refine your target audience you’re serving the content out to.
3. Send out relevant content pieces to your already-segmented email lists
While social media is a great way to increase the reach of your content, emails are also a great channel for such purposes. Especially if your content is very educational, informative and valuable.
Note that certain types of content should only be sent out to certain personas – for example, higher-level strategy-related content will resonate with C-level executives, much like how a content calendar would with managerial-level staff and below. Understanding your audience and the type of content they seek is important, and we definitely wouldn’t want our emails to be classified as spam!
The email channel is also one you can get creative with, by leading users to other locations of your choice with attractive call-to-action buttons or simply inviting the user to drop you a direct reply.
4. Utilise lead-capture mechanics on your website
When users land on your page, you wouldn’t want to let these visitors leak out of your funnel just like that. Simple solutions such as LeadIn allows your page to set up lead capture forms on your website, without needing to know any coding (yay!).
A simple call-to-action asking for users to subscribe to your blog will do wonders. This, of course, is contingent on the quality of your content – your blog certainly has to have enough valuable content to warrant sign-ups for!
|Screenshot of a Leadin-powered tool on the AKÏN website on the bottom right hand corner|
5. Analyse, Analyse, Analyse
What closes the entire loop is the proverbial cherry on the cake – analytics. It is crucial having a sound analytic architecture beneath all of your efforts in order to measure, optimise and improve your content marketing over time.
This is important across every step of the content strategy – analytics for your blog articles, pixels installed for your social media, email analytics to track open and click rates. While it may be overwhelming initially, you’ll also start to appreciate the beauty of linking everything up and seeing at a glance not just the hard numbers, but also correlations and relationships between these platforms.
|Graph extracted from APAC Content Marketing Report 2016|
With all these metrics, you can then easily tell:
- Which platform was the most effective in bringing in new leads?
- Of these platforms, which was the most effective in converting them into customers?
- Which content topics had the highest traffic count and engagement levels?
- Which blog posts led users to the ‘Contact Us’ page more often?
- What are the best times I should be sending out my emails for better engagement levels?
With all these insights at your fingertips, you’ll be able to better allocate resources, doing more of what works and dropping those which don’t.
Ready to get started? Now that we’ve shared some tips on how you can proceed with a basic strategy, it’s time to put that into action! Here are some content and editorial calendar templates you can fill up right away – share them with your team and get buzzing!
Good luck – and it’s possible to have fun too!