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An effective content marketing strategy is essential to a company’s digital marketing plans. It drives new visitors to a site, builds links and authority, converts visitors into customers, and stimulates organic growth.

Content marketing allows companies to expand their online footprint. It will enable a company to meet people where they are when they are there with the content they are looking for, resulting in confidence, trust, and profitable relationships.

Game-changing content marketing involves understanding content requirements as they relate to company objectives, finding content with opportunity that people will value and want to link to, and then scaling your content marketing with an effective distribution plan.

The creation of content and the marketing of it differ. Creating content is just the beginning; once completed, a content distribution plan must be executed. Without a content distribution plan, content becomes nothing more than an unknown island in an ocean of information. Whule many companies create excellent content, few have effective distribution plans. The difference is easily observed in analytics.

3 Keys to Successful Content Marketing

There are three keys to successful content marketing that apply to all types of content;

  1. Your content needs to be sticky
  2. Your content needs to create positive business results
  3. Your content must be seen

If your content isn’t sticky, it’s not going anywhere. If your content is sticky but doesn’t create a business impact, you spent money on nothing. Finally, if no one sees your content, it serves no real purpose, which social platforms understand, and why they make you pay to play.

Types of Content Marketing Campaigns

There are two types of content marketing campaigns that marketers may create;

    1. Tactical Content Campaigns – Content aimed at a specific purpose
        • Link Building
        • Conversions – Uses a CTA to drive people to the next step in the funnel
        • Authority, Credibility & Trust Building
        • Brand Building
        • Audience Building
    2. Holistic Viral Content Campaigns
        • Comprehensive campaigns aimed at driving substantial viral success
        • Campaigns are themed and span multiple channels that work in harmony
        • Campaigns usually involve the entire company when it comes to messaging
        • Require some creative out of the box thinking
        • Proof of concept is required before large-scale rollouts to keep costs down

Tactical Content Marketing

Tactical content supports other marketing initiatives required to build a company’s online footprint, such as link building, awareness, evaluation, conversions, and building authority. See the chart below for specifics;

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Holistic Viral Content Marketing

Holistic viral content marketing campaigns are large-scale initiatives designed for rapid growth. The campaigns combine channels and tactics into one strategy, complete with segments, distribution plans, KPIs, targets, and goals. If done correctly, these campaigns have a profound impact and stimulate rapid growth.

These campaigns are usually discovered through testing small ideas and then building on those that show promise. Below are examples of very successful campaigns that generated impressive growth for the companies.

West Jet’s Christmas Miracle

Before going all-in, West Jet tested out this idea on a smaller scale. A successful test led to the launch of this campaign. The campaign is heartwarming and a huge success.

Check out the case study here: West Jet Case Study!

The Purple Mattress Raw Egg Test

The Purple Mattress Raw Egg Test is another fantastic example of incredible holistic viral content marketing.

This campaign entertains and educates while at the same time implants the company’s UVP. Here’s The Raw Egg Test Case Study.

The Squatty Potty

Squatty Potty was another campaign that launched the company into the mainstream and is still bringing in revenue today. If you haven’t seen it, you might want to buy it after seeing it, it’s that good!

Here’s The Squatty Potty Case Study.

How to Create Sticky Content

The more sticky your content, the more success you’ll have. To help you create super sticky content, use the Sticky Content SUCCESS (SCS) framework and then test. You always want to test your ideas before getting crazy with building them out.

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Sticky Content SUCCESS (SCS) Framework;

    • S = Simple to Understand
    • U = Unexpected
    • C = Concrete
    • C = Credible
    • E = Emotional
    • S = Superior Quality
    • S = Story Based

How Do You Know If Your Content is Sticky?

You can determine the stickiness of your content by using these three metrics.

    1. Amplification Rate –  Shares
    2. Conversation Rate – Comments
    3. Applause Rate – Likes

What you are looking for is amplification and conversations. Likes are good but not as sticky as shares and comments.

How to Create Business Impact

You must grab and keep someone’s attention to get results, which is easier in some markets than in others. Attention is the key to creating a business impact. Likewise, even if a content piece is popular if you do not get results that benefit your business, you did not get results.

Business Impact Guides of Content Creation

    • Basic brands, the ones people don’t pay much attention to, can entertain for attention as Blendtec did with their Will it Blend Campaign
    • Functional brands have products that customers may have questions about, so creating content that answers these questions is a great way to grab and hold their attention
    • Exciting brands want to create content that gives people a chance to engage and show off
    • Vital brands are those that are for the greater good of humanity and should align their content with what people are  talking about

For example, why did Squady Potty create what they created? To grab people’s attention before educating, inspiring and convincing.

On the other hand, if the company has built-in excitement, people are already engaged and attentive and may be more interested in educational content.

You get the idea; it’s a balancing act. Just remember attention that creates business results is what you are after.

The Content Matrix

You can use the Content Matrix below to spark your creativity.

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Measuring Content Effectiveness

Measuring content marketing’s effectiveness starts with using the right metrics. You’ll accomplish this by;

  • Using KPIs that align with business objectives
  • Segmenting customers for better insights
  • Attributing value across the entire customer journey
  • Report on the incremental effects of your content

Let’s take a closer look.

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The Right Metrics

So, what are the right metrics? The right metrics are the ones that help Sr Management qualify and quantify your content marketing efforts. In other words, your content marketing efforts need to move to metrics that matter to those paying your salary.

Senior Management wants to know how your content marketing efforts contributed to the business, which seems to be missing much of the campaigns these days. If they don’t see the value, they won’t fund the work.

Here are some KPI pie charts to get you started.

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Understanding the Customer Journey

Finally it goes without saying that the better you understand the customer journey, the better you’ll understand how to approach your content marketing, and this used to be quite the challenge, and I do stress used to be. 

Luckily, Google released GA4, which has all new identify methods that will allow us to map out the customer journey in details we’ve never had before which will help with developing a content marketing strategy. 

Another approach is to do a share of voice analysis to discover where conversations are happening and how you might want to get into the game.   

Think with Google also released this book, The Path to Better Measurement: Analytics and Attribution.

In Summary

There is more to learn about content marketing, but what was provided above should help you improve your game.

Interested in becoming one of the best Content Marketers in the business? If so, check out this outstanding Certification in Content Marketing.

Thank you for reading, and please leave a comment and let me know what you think!