The key to successful content marketing
Written by Sarah Rowland
Last updated: 09/12/2016
Great content is the key to great marketing, invaluable to both your audience and your brand. By writing engaging, high-quality content, your brand delivers value to your audience, whilst at the same time showcasing your expertise and increasing your own knowledge and authority.
As we explained in our previous article why you should be using content marketing to promote your marine business, content marketing is all about creating informative, exciting and educational content in a bid to attract new prospects and increase leads for your business. If you've already read this, you'll probably instead want to know more tips about creating great content.
Yachting Pages details below three key steps to keep in mind when creating content and debunks some mysterious content marketing myths.
Three-step plan for creating successful content
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, educational and engaging
Every business has great industry knowledge that can help its propsects in one way, shape or form. As a knowledgeable marine business, the importance is in discovering how to make your content stand out amongst the masses and keep them coming back for more.
On average, online readers skim read something like 51% of the content 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/create an image that reflects your brand and content and overlay a snippet of your text. Make sure to include your brand name and/or website address in the bottom corner.
Infographics: If your content speaks volumes about statistics and data, then why not present it in a visual form? Instead of using a plain table, spend time creating an eye-catching, informative, shareable infographic to reach new prospects on social media, etc.
Behind-the-scenes images: Creating content is all about becoming closer with your audience. Add a human face and author bio to your content pieces, or create a page that shows images of your employees at work in their typical surroundings. This could be in the company office, at home, portside or even on board.
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 job 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 almost worthless if it doesn’t reach your audience. Therefore it is imperative to spend as much time thinking about the SEO and distribution of your content as you do in creating it.
By knowing your audience inside out, you will know which channels are most appropriate for them. For example, posting a corporate notice about your business or complicated industry update will usually work better on LinkedIn than it would Facebook, while a 'fun' video of your team at a trade show would perhaps do better here. We cover making social media work for marine business here.
Content marketing myths
1. Content marketing isn't worth anything unless you get a link back
There used to be a time when search engines didn’t deem content valuable unless it contained a link back to your site, but with the huge advancements in the way robots now work, this is no longer true. Link building and online sharing is however still worthwhile, building on your page authority, your brand name and your reputation. You shouldn't always expect to get something back for your efforts right away, however; link building and content marketing are both long-term marketing efforts to build future business.
2. Content marketing should focus only on selling your products and services
Audiences are looking for insight and education in and around your products and industry, not just product specs and promotional copy. 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 online and enables you to tailor your content accordingly.
3. Content needs to end in a sale, otherwise it’s pointless
Although the end goal is often new leads and ultimately sales, there are many mini goals that content marketing helps you to meet along the way. For example, encouraging new prospects to sign 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.
4. More content equals higher reach
Content marketing is about quality, not quantity. Focus on writing what is (or will become) your best content and create a stellar distribution plan, instead of dedicating less time to instead churn out endless streams of sub-par content.
5. You don’t need to worry about optimising old content
If you’re regularly adding new content to your website, previous posts quickly get pushed down and forgotten about. Hopefully your old content was indexed and is still being found by your audience in the relevant onlines searches. By only focusing on new content, your old content is quickly becoming outdated losing you credit with new prospects and search engines alike.