Creating successful content marketing
Written by Sarah Rowland
Last updated: 06/10/2016
Great content is the key to great marketing and is invaluable to both your audience and your brand. By writing engaging, quality content, your brand delivers value to your audience, whilst at the same time showcasing your expertise and increasing your own knowledge and authority.
Yachting Pages details three steps to successful content marketing, helping marine businesses to reach, and hold on to, new audiences in a bid to generate those coveted leads.
Three-step plan for creating successful content marketing articles
Step one – Focus your writing
The key thing to remember is that all content must be targeted towards your business audience, or even a specific sector of your audience. The idea isn’t to write general content that appeals to the masses, as this won’t grow your brand, instead create content that is valuable to your target audience within the marine and/or superyacht sector. Always keep them in mind when you are writing and think:
- What challenges do they face?
- What content do they enjoy reading?
- What are their goals?
- How can your knowledge help them?
Step two – Ensure your content is attractive and engaging
Every business has great industry knowledge that can help its readers in one way, shape or form. As a knowledgeable marine business, the next step is discovering how to make your content stand out amongst the masses. On average, visitors only read 28% of what’s in front them; so, to increase their engagement, make use of eye-catching visuals. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- The highly shareable image: Find an image which reflects your brand or your content and overlay a snippet of your text. Make sure to include your brand name and/or website address in the bottom right hand corner.
- Infographics: If your content speaks volumes about data, then why not present it in a visual form? Instead of using a plain table, spend time creating an attractive and shareable infographic. Be different – infographics are becoming the norm, so you need to stand out from the crowd.
- Behind-the-scenes images: Creating content is all about becoming closer with your audience. Put a human face to your content by including a picture of the author at work, in the location in which they often work. This could be at home, in a café, portside, or in your company office.
- Video: Making a video doesn’t necessarily mean awkwardly standing in front of a camera and forking out thousands for the pleasure. Think about combining photos, text and music to create a fast-paced video that gets your message across in a more fun and eye-catching way. A quick and easy way to do this is to use apps such as Instagram or Flipogram, taking on two jobs at once, and taking on the responsibility of step three below, by sharing the video right on your social media channels.
- Product images: If one of the aims of your content marketing is to get people to sign up to your product newsletters and email campaigns, or in encouraging them to buy into your brand, then including an image of what they can expect to receive is vital.
Step three – Make a plan to promote your content:
Wonderful content is worthless if it doesn’t get to your audience. Therefore it is imperative to spend as much time thinking about the distribution of the content as you do in developing it. By knowing your audience inside out, you will know which channels are most appropriate for them. For example, posting a corporate post about your industry will usually work better on LinkedIn than it would Facebook, with a 'fun' video of your team at a trade show perhaps doing better here. Read top tips for social media for marine businesses, here.
Content marketing myths
Myth one – It’s not worth anything unless you get a link back
There used to be a time when search engine robots didn’t deem content valuable unless it contained a link back to your site, however with the huge advancements in the way robots dish out ‘link juice’, this is no longer true. Mentions are worth something: They build on your authority, your brand name and your products. You shouldn't always expect to get something back for your efforts; content marketing is a long-term marketing plan rather than a race.
Myth two – Content should focus on your products and services
Audiences are looking for insight and education, not just product catalogues. Content marketing is changing from a culture of selling to a culture of helping. Aim to answer the questions your audience is looking for; It's key to understanding how they are searching and enables you to tailor your content accordingly.
Myth three – Content needs to end in a sale, otherwise it’s pointless
Although the end goal is often a sale, there are many mini goals to meet on the way. For example, signing up to newsletters or visiting a specific landing page on your website. Instead, you should aim for your content to encourage people to visit your website again and again, so they grow a memory of your brand eventually resulting in a sale.
Myth four – More content equals higher reach
It’s about quality, not quantity. Focus on your best content and create a distribution plan for those pieces, instead of abandoning them in favour of churning out endless streams of purposeless content.
Myth five – You don’t need to worry about optimising old content
If you’re regularly adding new content to your website, previous posts quickly get knocked off the homepage and stop being promoted. However, your old content is still being found in internet search, and read by your audience: By only focusing on new content, your old content is quickly becoming outdated.