Most businesses understand the need to engage with their audience and deliver high quality content that boosts brand awareness while providing useful, sharable information. But despite the recognition of content’s importance, many businesses aren’t seeing any difference in their performance or growth and are left with little to no return on their investment.
Content Fuels Modern Marketing
Content awareness is on the rise, as is production. According to Content Marketing Institute’s Benchmark Report:
- 90% of digital marketers use content marketing
- 80% of buyers prefer to learn about a brand through content rather than advertising
- 69% of marketers are now producing more content than they did last year
Based on these statistics, you could be led to believe that content marketing is the most sure fire way to boost audience engagement. But it isn’t - at least for most of the brands currently using it. During 2013 and 2014, brands increased their content output by 78%, but the frequency of user engagement decreased by 60%. This doesn’t necessarily signal low quality or weak content, but rather, it’s often the result of a poorly executed strategy - or not having a strategy at all.
Every Plan Needs a Strategy
When approaching content marketing, many businesses begin with content creation. They scour through news articles and competitor publications to find out which topics they should take on. Then, they go about creating their unique content and, once published, posting it to their various social media outlets. But this method of diving in headfirst is dangerous because it fails to take into consideration questions such as:
- Who is our audience?
- What do they care about?
- What social media networks do they use?
- When do they use those networks?
- Who else are they engaging with?
Simply answering these questions isn’t enough to create a strategy, but it can help you decide where you should be sending your content. Without knowing your audience and knowing how, when, and why they engage with social media, you cannot know the most effective way to deliver your content and compel them to engage, either by using your brand’s services or sharing your content to their friends. TrackMaven recently published a study of content marketers and discovered the following:
Effective Content Marketers
- 54% have a documented strategy
- 41% have an undocumented strategy
- 3% have no strategy
Ineffective Content Marketers
- 44% have no strategy
- 44% have an undocumented strategy
- 11% have a documented strategy
These statistics show that by documenting your brand’s content marketing strategy, you have the best chance of creating content that engages your audience and encourages them to share with others.
So, if your brand is struggling to create or maintain an effective content marketing strategy, take it back to the drawing board. By creating a thorough, documented plan, you’ll have the best chance of creating - and delivering - valuable content.
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