What Is Your Content Marketing Aiming For? 5 Goals To Consider

As the online content marketing trend continues to rise, businesses are spending increasing levels of time and money on it. A third of B2B marketing budgets already are spent on content marketing, and more than half of B2B marketers say they plan to ratchet that up.

Data from the Content Marketing Institute show that certain techniques work almost universally. These include:

  • Case studies: 64 percent effective
  • Webinars: 61 percent effective
  • Blogs: 59 percent effective
  • Video: 58 percent effective
  • eNewsletters: 58 percent effective
  • Whitepapers: 57 percent effective
  • eBooks: 55 percent effective
  • Articles (on your own website): 53 percent effective
  • Articles on other websites (guest posting): 50 percent effective

The problem with just following a list is that not all organizations are alike. They have different needs, talents, and goals.

This brings me to the crucial first step in content marketing: figure out what you’re trying to accomplish. Do you want to generate leads or create buzz? Many content plans fail because businesses are clueless about what they’re trying to achieve. They just want to “do content” because someone went to a seminar and heard that it’s a good idea.

So, what should real content marketing goals look like? Read on!

content-shutterstock

1. Help & Educate

Marketers have earned a certain amount of distrust over the past few years. They send spammy emails and make cold calls to busy business owners. That’s why people hesitate to give up their contact information when leaving blog comments or by accepting a free gift; they don’t want the non-stop pestering that can come with it.

Marketers can overcome that reluctance by giving customers something they truly want or need. People will gladly trade their email address in exchange for expert advice about solving their problems.

Though they can be expensive to produce, case studies and webinars are excellent ways to provide valuable educational content. Don’t have that type of budget? Write a white paper or eBook and promote it on your site. At AudienceBloom, we did this with my eBook titled “The Definitive Guide to Marketing Your Business Online.” Not only has it been immensely popular among visitors, but it’s helped to build a solid and steadily-growing email list of amazing subscribers.

2. Build A Community

Community can be more important when you’re marketing to a business than when you’re trying to reach a consumer. With a business, you’re asking leaders to make a decision that will affect their bottom line. Build that trust, that relationship, by building a community.

Social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter are often the first thing that people think of when they talk about building a community around a product or a brand. But there are other ways to reach out to customers and hear what they’re saying.

Blogs allow you to relax your presentation. Use your blog to announce new products, educate potential customers or address their concerns. Read comments and answer them in a meaningful way that goes beyond, “Hey, thanks for commenting!” Respond to what they say.

This is crucial if the comment is uncomplimentary. For more information on engaging your audience through blog comments, see my article, “What’s the Secret to Getting Blog Comments?

Video sharing also helps build strong communities. Video appeals to visual learners, and it’s a great way to show off your product line. It literally puts a face and a voice on your company. Whether you create a YouTube channel or incorporate video on your site, you inform, educate and encourage viewers to share on their social media streams.

3. Demonstrate Your Expertise

Anyone can write an article and host it on their own website without any editorial review. But if you write something for another site, it establishes credibility, builds authority in your niche, aligns your brand with that of the publisher, and builds trust in your business. It demonstrates that industry leaders trust what you have to say.

Webinars also can help build your reputation as an expert because real-time question-and-answer sessions allow prospects to test you. If you can answer on the spot, they’ll be convinced that you have the expertise they want and need.

4. Help The Search Engines Help You

Much of the power of social media is in communicating with people you already know. But just as going to a party and talking only to your friends isn’t a good way to network, failing to reach out to new businesses is a lost opportunity.

That’s why you still need the search engines and why you need them to keep coming back to your site. You do that by regularly and consistently giving them something new and awesome to index. Sites that frequently publish new blog posts and/or articles have 434 percent more indexed pages than those with static content.

Fresh content also helps you with people you already know. They’ll keep coming to your site to read the latest, and they’ll stay there longer because your content is outstanding.

5. Keep In Touch With Your Customers

A weekly or monthly newsletter helps bring people back to your website and improves sales because it keeps your business top-of-mind. People are reminded about you every time the email hits their inbox. But, be careful! Don’t just throw a few teasers into an email and send it. People can get that content by visiting your blog.

Instead, give customers something they can’t get anywhere else and supplement that with links to other content you have worked hard to create. Special offers and discounts are popular email content as well, and they keep people subscribed to your list. An eNewsletter also is a fantastic way to announce a new eBook, product, service or other publication.

Conclusion

You can’t jump into content marketing without solid planning. Brainstorm with your team or your partners and establish measurable goals. Determine an acceptable timeframe for reaching those goals. Gather data and evaluate regularly. If something works, keep doing it. If something isn’t working, accept that and move on.

Once you figure out what works, get better at it. Keep these goals in mind, and your content strategy will yield the positive ROI you’re looking for.

 (Stock image via Shutterstock.com. Used under license.)

Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land.

Related Topics: Channel: Content Marketing | Content Marketing | Content Marketing Column

Sponsored


About The Author: is the founder & CEO of AudienceBloom, a Seattle-based content marketing & social media agency.



Sign Up To Get This Newsletter Via Email:  


Share

Other ways to share:

Read before commenting! We welcome constructive comments and allow any that meet our common sense criteria. This means being respectful and polite to others. It means providing helpful information that contributes to a story or discussion. It means leaving links only that substantially add further to a discussion. Comments using foul language, being disrespectful to others or otherwise violating what we believe are common sense standards of discussion will be deleted. You can read more about our comments policy here.
  • sharithurow

    Hi Jayson-

    I would not have read your article if I didn’t find the topic and the content interesting. So please first and foremost understand that.

    Regarding this quote:

    “Sites that frequently publish new blog posts and/or articles have 434 percent more indexed pages than those with static content.”

    A number without context is just a number. Data presented in the wrong context is probably inaccurate or outright wrong. This is an example of a study’s conclusion … a conclusion that is just plain “duh”!

    If you publish more content, Google (and other search engines) have more content to index. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy…a “duh” thing. Like the eye-tracking studies that show that Westerners read left-to-right, top-to-bottom….

    You might be surprised at how many of your customers DON’T want to read your blog.

    Context is QUEEN.

    I did like your article. That quote just hit a sore spot, that’s all.

  • http://www.bigupticksocial.com/ Meloney Hall

    These are very good guidelines. In short, everything we do in the way of our marketing social media activities must have a foundation of engagement to it. Today’s customers are more tech savvy and can quickly identify insincere and spammy attempts to convert them into buyers. Targeted and meaningful engagement is required now.

  • http://www.prosemedia.com/ Justin Belmont

    Great article! If you keep these goals in mind, your content marketing will be quite effective. Prose Media always has concrete goals in mind for our strategies. And your statistics about effective marketing were really informative – thanks!

  • http://metzmiranda.wordpress.com/ Metz

    This works so well for some businesses and doesn’t seem to
    do anything at all for others, but why? Because, they do not have an accurate
    and firm goal/s. So it’s totally time to move. By considering these 5 goals,
    you will see it is worth pursuing.

    Keeping in touch with your customers is to build trust and
    rapport with them.

    I found this post shared on Kingged.com, the Internet marketing social networking site, and I “kingged” it and left this comment.

 

Get Our News, Everywhere!

Daily Email:

Follow Marketing Land on Twitter @marketingland Like Marketing Land on Facebook Follow Marketing Land on Google+ Subscribe to Our Feed! Join our LinkedIn Group Check out our Tumblr! See us on Pinterest

 
 

Click to watch SMX conference video

Join us at one of our SMX or MarTech events:

United States

Europe

Australia & China

Learn more about: SMX | MarTech


Free Daily Marketing News!

Marketing Day is a once-per-day newsletter update - sign up below and get the news delivered to you!