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10 Important Content Marketing Questions Answered

Content marketing is a well-known practice that many companies implement. But, in practice, executing effective content marketing can sometimes be a major challenge. In honor of our 10th anniversary, we are addressing 10 of the most important content marketing topics, including questions clients often ask, problems that content marketing newcomers face and subjects that might even interest content marketing experts.

Content marketing is a well-known practice that many companies implement. But, in practice, executing effective content marketing can sometimes be a major challenge. In honor of our 10th anniversary, we are addressing 10 of the most important content marketing topics, including questions clients often ask, problems that content marketing newcomers face and subjects that might even interest content marketing experts.

1) Why do I need content marketing in the first place?

1. Your target audience needs to notice you. According to a recent study in the digital world, more than 100,000 words bombard the average U.S. citizen every single day. It's no wonder users are extremely selective about the messages they read and remember. Busy and impatient online users absorb only what interests, entertains or helps them. 

2. Content marketing helps you reach your business goals. High-quality content not only makes a good impression, but itb also has a positive effect on your image and builds trust and customer loyalty, which is then often expressed on social media. Quality content also ensures better search engine rankings, which leads to higher visibility, more site traffic and thus more potential sales and leads.

2) Where do I find meaningful ideas for topics?

Many companies have relevant content and great stories to offer; they just don't recognize it yet. The themes that are relevant for your company will depend on your particular industry and target audience. There are many approaches to finding meaningful content ideas:

Look at the past, and remain up-to-date with the current market.

First, it’s worth evaluating content that's already been distributed to identify topics that have worked well. Other valuable sources include platforms that are constantly being updated, such as forum and community discussions.

Evaluate ideas from a searcher's perspective.

Only those who know what their own target group is seeking can offer relevant content, so studying what areas are pertinent to your target audience is important. Google has multiple tools that can show you how popular certain topics and terms are as well as which keywords users are searching for most. More tips on keyword research can be found here.

Review social media shares.

To find new content ideas, it’s also useful to analyze which articles on your site, or a competitor’s site, were most often shared via social media. BuzzSumo can help with this.

3) What types of content work in my industry?

That depends on your company's products and target audience. To find the answer, there are three important questions to solve:

1. Which format transmits your message best? For example, is it a blog post, a video or an infographic?

2. Does your target audience have a distinct preference for visual or written access to detailed information?

3. Which content type is required to access the channels where your target audience has a presence? There are photos on Instagram, for example, while lists and infographics are often shared on Facebook.

The type of content used must also take into account budget and effort – a video is more expensive than written text; a webinar is more complex than a social media post.

According to one study, B2B companies in the U.S. on average implement 13 different types of content. Social media material was at the top, followed by newsletters and website articles.

4) How much content do I need, and how long should it be?

How much you need depends on your goals and the format of your content. Different publication frequencies are appropriate for different types of content. The following gives a rough guide:

  • Social media posts: several times a day
  • Blog: once, or several times, a week
  • E-books & whitepapers: once a quarter, or less
  • News and press releases: according to the frequency of relevant events

So, for example, if you want to publish a weekly blog post over a period of five months, you should plan for at least 20 submissions.

The ideal copy length depends on the genre. Several studies show that longer texts work better online than short ones. For example, according to a study by BuzzSumo, longer content is often shared more frequently on social media.

Regardless of content length, its relevance for the user should always be the priority.

5) How long should each content marketing initiative last?

Content marketing is a process that takes time, so have a little patience.

In our experience, a content marketing initiative should last at least 3 to 6 months to record measurable effects.

Posting regularly is critical to success, especially when blogging – doing so makes it easier for users and search engines to find your content. But even here, it usually takes a few months to impact rankings and traffic.

And when it happens faster, be happy!

6) What should be my content budget be?

According to a report the Columbia Journalism Review, Coca-Cola is now more spending more money on the production of content than on TV ads. But every company is different and should develop its own marketing strategy.

How much of your budget should be assigned to content creation always depends on your specific objectives. A study by the Content Marketing Institute shows B2B companies in the U.S. invest on average nearly 30 percent of their marketing budget in content marketing. Companies that describe their content marketing as very effective devote an average of 37 percent of their marketing budget to content.

The “50/15 principle” is a rule of thumb for the allocation of marketing budgets based on SEO and SEM spending: So a company should invest half of its search engine optimization budget in content, and 15 percent of its search engine marketing budget should support its landing page content – the idea being that there can be no search engine success without high-quality content.

Regardless of any rule, one thing is certain: Content marketing is generally much cheaper than traditional advertising, and even with a small budget, effective content can be created and result in measurable success.

7) How can I measure the success of my content marketing activity?

Use a consistent measurement to regularly monitor and update content marketing initiatives. The indicators used will depend on your goals. While shares and downloads are relevant for an e-book, rankings for certain keywords or user engagement may be objectives for an initiative like increasing Website traffic.

The Content Marketing Institute divides the metrics for measuring marketing content into four areas:

  • Metrics for lead generation: newsletter sign-ups, number of registrations, etc.
  • Sharing metrics: number of likes, tweets, etc.
  • Sales metrics: the number of online sales, etc.
  • Consumption metrics: page views, downloads, etc.

Many indicators can be measured via Google Analytics. For instance, the Google Analytics URL builder tool can be used to add a URL tag to each of your channel variables to track which of your content initiatives are generating the most traffic.

In addition, applying the ROI formula – which takes into account your profit and cost of content creation – is useful to check whether a content investment has paid off. More tips for measuring content can be found here.

8) How should I distribute my content?

Knowing your target audience, and which channels and multipliers will reach them best, is a prerequisite for successful content distribution.

We also recommend that you should:

  • Test various social media channels. According to a study, LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook are very often used to distribute content in the B2B sector – but depending on the content’s format, YouTube, Instagram and SlideShare can also be used. 
  • Use a customer newsletter to distribute your information.
  • Ask your contacts to spread content on your behalf.
  • Identify key influencers in your industry and utilize them.

Not every company will necessarily be active on every channel. But consider this: If you distribute your material across many channels, you can increase your coverage at no extra cost and reach users who might not even be on your radar.

9) Should I produce my own content, or is it preferable to outsource?

That depends on what kind of content you need, how often it’s needed and what goals you’re pursuing. Does your author need to have insider knowledge about your company or be familiar with your location? Will you regularly need a lot of material on current topics? If so, then it would be worth having in-house editors who know your industry and target audience and can generate highly authentic content.

Do you have limited resources or lack the time to produce quality content internally? Or do you need to be ultra-flexible? Then a collaboration with agencies or freelance writers could be a solution. With so many freelance writers offering their services on the Internet, there’s a good chance of finding a suitable author with the necessary skills and qualifications.

In terms of content, many companies settle for a combination of internal writers and outsourcing, deciding the best option on a case-by-case basis. However, content produced through external service providers must include clear instructions to ensure the results meets company requirements. 

10) Do I really need a content strategy, and what should it look like?

Yes, if you want to operate effective content marketing and reach your goals. According to a survey, 61 percent of companies who implemented a content marketing strategy were able to increase their sales.

This strategy includes tactical planning, production and distribution of content. Development can be divided into five steps:

1. Content audit: analyzing previously published content to uncover potential for further optimization

2. Goal definition: determining concrete goals your content should accomplish

3. Planning: outlining content for your target audience and determining the appropriate communication channels, timetable and resources for content creation

4. Preparation and publication of content

5. Measurement: monitoring the results so that content can be continuously customized

A perfect content strategy applicable to every business does not exist; each company must develop its own preferred methods. Working with an editorial calendar is a helpful way to clarify long-term content planning. Whether this is a simple Excel document or a professional tool, the main thing is that it must serve the practical purpose of ensuring a regular and chronological publication frequency. An editorial schedule should at least cover the following elements:

  • Topic
  • Content format
  • Publication date
  • Author
  • Publication channels

 


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