What Makes Content Marketing Successful?

Sydney Pearsall

by Sydney Pearsall

Senior Digital Analyst

Content marketing is truly a puzzle; each campaign can be made up of similar pieces, but the way those pieces fit together in a bigger picture can vary vastly. For example, some brands use social media to bring in new customers, while others use social media to make current customers feel more connected to the brand; some do both. With the right marketing strategy, companies can use content to further audience engagement and promote brand awareness, which can then boost sales. Once these critical components are in order, a campaign is on the road to success.

1. STRATEGY: All content must have a purpose. Throwing content out to see what sticks is never a good practice. Having a plan and a content calendar is imperative to success. A strategy ensures that all aspects of a campaign are working together and not cannibalizing one another, increasing efficacy and decreasing wasted resources. Also, with cohesive plans, marketers can look back to see what worked and what didn’t work, then make adjustments next time.

2. METRICS: Determine key performance indicators (KPIs) from the very beginning; marketers can’t determine success without knowing what they’ll use to measure it. Use KPIs as a rubric for each component of a strategic plan. If the campaign objective is to sell a product, a good KPI could be to measure coupon downloads or product locator searches. However, if a campaign objective is to increase engagement on social media, an appropriate KPI would be retweets, shares, link clicks, comments, etc. With these KPIs, marketers can drive traffic to the best landing pages on the site and share the content that gets the best response online. Without deliberate KPIs, results may be unfavorable.

3. VIRALITY: Every campaign isn’t meant to go viral and end up on Ellen, but it must be entertaining and attention grabbing for targeted customers. At the end of the day, that’s what gets customers to read what you have to say. Being popular may not always lead to conversions (see the next point), but it creates shareable content and gets customers talking about a brand and building awareness.

4. ENGAGEMENT: While similar to virality, engaging content not only gets customers’ attention, but also gives them something to come back for, be it a free coupon or just another look at that hilarious video. The more returning users a site has, the stronger the brand loyalty and the further they have moved down the sales funnel. An example of engaging content could be remarketing to users who have viewed a brand’s video, but haven’t taken desirable actions on its site. Ads would target users when they visit other sites and encourage them to purchase a product, which they would remember having seen previously.

5. CASE STUDIES: A campaign is successful if marketers can use executed strategies in the future. Even if there were a change in strategy midway, that is still an invaluable experience to use later.

Although what works for one company may not work for another, these are five crucial components of successful content marketing. The important thing with all content is to give it time and a pulse, like dating. It takes consistency to build a relationship, and the same goes for creating successful content.

It can be challenging to navigate the complex world of content marketing. If you want a fresh, insightful point of view on how to get more out of it, we’re happy to be your guide.

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