Are you sick and tired of feeling like your content marketing strategy is a whole bunch of guesswork?
Even the most data-driven marketers can find themselves grappling with what to integrate next. The cost of creating video or infographic content can seem overwhelming. It's hard to make the leap if there's little proof in your content market metrics that a new tactic will work.
Understand that you're definitely not alone. While most of us realize we should significantly expand the repertoire of our content marketing strategy, making decisions about precisely what to do next can be challenging.
Well, you're in luck. We've combed studies and surveys to compile 8 data-backed tactics that will drive results in 2015:
1. LinkedIn Promotion for B2B
Looking for a surefire platform to convey your content to B2B prospects? In a slightly surprising 2014 study from Content Marketing Institute (CMI), it turns out that LinkedIn reigns supreme. In fact, it's the only content promotion method that the majority of B2B marketers feel is effective. Make LinkedIn a core component of your content marketing strategy; for posting original content, links to your blog, and participating in groups.
2. Dedicating Sufficient Resources
The world's most effective content marketers aren't afraid to front enough resources. In fact, CMI reports there's a strong correlation between how much budget is dedicated toward content, and results. Remember, this doesn't necessarily mean producing more content. It could also mean more multimedia content, or content that's exceptionally high-quality.
3. Don't Dismiss Email
Inbound marketing tactics may come and go at a staggering pace, but email is still hanging on. In fact, 73% of B2C marketers feel that eNewsletters are a highly effective way of communicating with customers and prospects. If you're still a little dubious, consider the fact that email is ranked by your content marketing peers as even more effective than video.
4. Content for Sales
When asked to pick the top organizational priorities for 2014, your peers had ROI on their minds. Sales copy for lead nurturing was a major component, which supports the fact that email communications are definitely here to stay. If you're still focused on creating content for first-time website visitors and other non-leads, it's critical to start considering lead nurturing. An effective content marketing strategy encompasses the entire scope of marketing, from first click to sales.
5. Don't Ignore Paid
Can your business thrive and grow using purely inbound marketing tactics? Absolutely. However, it's wise to never dismiss anything entirely. Nearly 60% of marketers use paid search advertisement in their content marketing strategies at least occasionally. Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is even ranked as the most effective paid tactic.
This doesn't mean you should immediately drop ship and start investing heavily in PPC. Other paid tactics, like billboards, print advertising and radio commercials still don't work. However, always stay open to new possibilities to drive results.
6. Refine Your Buyer Personas
Are you still relying on just one buyer persona profile, to encompass all of your target audience? That might be dangerous.
The average marketer today has 4 defined ideal customers, and creates content for each of these personas. Expanding to further target your work can only increase your relevance. However, keep in mind this is an average. Highly niche organizations will naturally market to fewer types of people than very large companies with a wide range of services.
7. Publish Frequently
Planning your content marketing strategy around a once-weekly blog and monthly eBook could cause your organization to fall behind your peers. Researchers have long known that the more often you publish, the better your search engine optimization, traffic, and lead generation will be.
As of late 2014, nearly half of marketers are publishing fresh content either daily or multiple times per week. This measure almost certainly includes some of your competitors. If you're looking to achieve serious results in the year to come, it will almost certainly pay to publish better content, and more frequently.
8. Using Your Content Marketing Strategy
This may seem a bit meta, but a really effective tactic is using your documented content marketing strategy. Recent studies indicate that 62% of the world's best marketers follow their strategies "very closely." Your strategy should be a living document, which clearly maps your editorial calendar to your brand's overarching goals.
Bonus Strategy: Reach Out to Influencers and Build Relations
Influencer marketing is a rising trend. No wonder! Influencers come with their following and help you grow credibility. You can involve influencers in the creation process, host competitions and give aways - to name just a few strategies.
Feeling overwhelmed by the idea of expanding your content marketing tactics? Check out our blog, 9 Pillars for a Killer Content Marketing Strategy for a comprehensive overview.