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5 Realistic Essentials to Effective Content Marketing

This post is also available in: Spanish

With all the buzz about content marketing these days, plenty of articles offer general tips on development and distribution. However, many are so basic that they skip over the success drivers.

That’s our focus here.

#1 Make Sure It Meets Goals

Ideally, content should be on a direct pathway to deliver sales. Here are some ideas for this:

  • Set up a subchannel on an Internet portal with coded banners that have offers. Traffic and purchases from the subchannel let you know if it’s working.
  • Create and distribute free E-books to generate leads
  • On the B2B side, you can interview clients as subject matter experts when you create e-books: this spur more interactions, builds the relationship and could drive sales
  • Develop exclusive content only for key clients that’s distributed several times a year: this also spurs more interactions to build relationships and sales
  • Distribute e-books and whitepapers at special events organized for clients: again, more opportunities for sales to interact with clients at an event where your firm has the control over the agenda and, obviously, the speakers
  • Create a useful app or game that can have ad content rotated into it so you promote your product
  • Once you build an audience for your content marketing product, act like a media outlet and put in ads for your other products and services and measure response

#2 Measure and Adjust

Realistically, not every firm can use content specifically to boost sales. The sales process can be complicated for certain companies, making it difficult to show a direct relationship between content and the purchases that are ultimately made. However, content can still help as an influencer in the buying process. For example, firms whose sales are driven (even in part) by their perceived expertise can “own” a subject area. However, it’s important to set up realistic metrics that allow a brand to see the effectiveness of content: web site traffic, open rates for e-newsletters and social media followers can be relevant in many instances. Measurement also allows brands to see what kind of content works and what doesn’t so they can scrap unpopular topics or formats in favor of what works.

It’s important to note that brands shouldn’t be satisfied with these indirect measurements. These are good for a starting point, but brands need to always be thinking about relating content to sales. So let’s say you create a company blog that ends up “owning” a subject area and your traffic metrics are good. Build on that by trying to work banners for your products or services into your blogs. Or look at turning blog content into a useful e-book and then use it to generate leads by offering it to prospective clients via an e-blast.

#3 Know What to Talk About

If your firm produces beauty products, a beauty blog or magazine could make sense. If your firm produces CRM software, content on CRM makes sense. If your product area is not a compelling enough subject for articles, does it relate to a lifestyle topic that you can cover with content? The relationship doesn’t have to be 100% direct to allow you to build a link between your brand and the content you produce. Brands need to think about how their product fits in with people’s lives. This could help them identify an area of focus for their content and also help them convert readers or viewers into buyers.

#4 Know How to Talk About It

As odd as this may sound, some brands use content to promote their PR departments or their new snack pack in branded magazines. Content is supposed to entertain. Brands are trying it because people are tuning out ads in favor of cute pictures, interesting videos, informative whitepapers and engaging blogs. So serving up more ad-like content is not the solution. Consider the kissing video by Wren and its impact: it never mentions how great the clothes are, does it? Often, getting on the radar screen of a consumer works just as well as creating content that entertains while promoting a product.

#5 Know Where to Put It

By running paid media campaigns, you probably know what your audience watches, listens to and reads. Adapt your distribution to this market intelligence. For example, when a brand establishes a blog with a solid audience, it can offer free posts to industry publications in exchange for linkbacks that could help with SEO and further the promotion of the brand in general. In this context, distribution can also mean native advertising, in which case your internal team needs to develop content to fit the style of targeted media sites or they can have the in-house teams of Web sites develop native ads.

To find out how we can help you reach Latin American consumers via any type of media, please contact us.

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