91% of B2B marketers – they do use content marketing, but 63% of businesses , they actually DON’T have a documented content strategy, making it really hard for content marketers that are just getting started and that’s why I wanted to make this video – with 5 things that I wish I’d known about content marketing… in the video! Hey it’s Chia from Brand24 and today I’ve put together a few content marketing tips based on the top 5 things that I wish I’d known about content marketing before diving in headfirst.

 

First of all, content can take on many forms: blogging, articles, podcasts and videos. Today, we’re going to focus on articles and blog posts, since it’s where most of us begin. So, the first thing I wish I’d known about content marketing is that there are so many ways to RESEARCH your audience. DON’T make any assumptions – that’s how you create a disconnect between what you THINK your readers want VS what they actually want. Start by looking at their demographics. Where is your target audience from? What do they do? For the most part, are they older, younger or somewhere in the middle? How did they find you? Research as much about your audience as you can – this will help you figure out how to communicate with them and even build a buyer persona.

Then you want to dive even deeper into your research and see what kind of problems or questions you can answer for your audience. To do that, you have to be listening to them in the first place and paying attention to the obvious clues they give you. Maybe one of your best features is hidden too deeply and they have no idea it even exists. Or your last product upgrade could’ve turned out to be more of a downgrade for them. See if they’re confused about how your product works – you might need to provide more educational content. And in some cases, you could even find that they’re using your product in a really different way than you’d expected. All of these situations require different types of content, or at least different messages. The 2nd thing I wish I’d known is how much your content is affected by SEO. If you’re going to be writing articles and blog posts, then one of the first things you want to do is learn the basics of SEO – if you like YouTube, I recommend Moz and Brian Dean.

And before you start to write any articles, run a simple content AUDIT first. Go through the existing content for your site to identify content gaps. Basically, you want to avoid covering the same topics or you might hurt your SEO with content cannibalization. This is when you have more than 1 blog post targeting the same keywords – you could end up splitting your traffic between these articles, making it hard for any of them to rank on page 1 in Google.

And the 3rd thing I wish I’d known about content marketing is how much DATA matters, because it’s not enough to just write good copy – not anymore. After you’ve run your content audit and found fresh topics that haven’t been covered yet, you want to look through your data for trends. This will show you what kind of content has a record of performing well. For most of us, this starts inside Google Analytics. Depending on your goal (traffic or conversions), you can see if your audience has responded well to “how to” type articles that show them how to do something. Or, maybe they prefer curated lists where your product is listed as one good option in a selection. And you can also look at the length of your top-performing articles to see if your readers prefer shorter or longer posts. See what type of content has worked and match that with the content gaps that you’ve identified. Now, the 4th thing I wish I’d known about content marketing is how much RELATIONSHIPS matter. Between content creation, distribution and curation – it’s a balancing act.

Let’s say you’ve created that amazing piece of content – now you want as many people as possible to see it. This is where content distribution comes in – and apart from tools and time, the communities that you build can make a world of difference. Start to cultivate good relationships with other content creators and engage with their posts. Include their articles when you’re curating content to share – you’ll find that this will help foster engagement for YOUR articles too, maximizing the social media reach of your content. This is something that can also give your SEO a little boost in a roundabout way. Even though Google has said that social shares don’t directly impact your search rankings, evidence points to a strong indirect connection. The highest ranking sites and blogs on Google usually have strong social media presence. And while backlinks will inevitably be more valuable than social shares, people can’t link to your content if they don’t know about it; and the more shares your content gets, the more people that get to see it.

It’s all connected: relationships, distribution, shares – there’s a little bit of PR and networking involved in content marketing as well. And last but not least, the 5th thing I wish I’d known is how much TIME you can save by using tools and apps. Between working out the first 4 things I mentioned above, there’s not much time for anything else – unless you learn how to delegate by using tools.

This is really a matter of knowing how to streamline your work process: which part requires a human touch, and what you can have a tool or application handle – and there’s a tool for almost everything these days. In another video, I’ll show you some of the tools on heavy rotation for our content team at Brand24 – including what we use to find potential topics, for writing the actual content, optimizing it, creating images, down to scheduling, distribution, measuring the impact and more. Hopefully, sharing these 5 things that I wish I’d known about content marketing will help those of you who are just getting started gain some perspective. If you have any questions or something to add to the list, put it in the comments below.

And if you found this video helpful, remember to like, share and subscribe to our YouTube channel – where I’ll be sharing tips & tools on how you can do MORE in social media & digital marketing each week. And that’s it for today – hope you learned something useful.

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