What does it take to run a successful content marketing campaign in Singapore?
Umm… a solid foundation of knowledge, some preparation, and a solid execution plan.
Not so many people get this right.
Without wasting words, content marketing is seriously hard work. Luckily for you, we’re here to offer you guidance.
What’s Content Marketing?
Going into 2020, and content marketing is no longer just another technical jargon or buzzword, but a powerful marketing strategy and an impactful way to generate leads and grow your brand.
Content marketing is a marketing approach that focuses on creating and distributing valuable, consistent, and relevant content to target and retain a well-defined audience and drive profitable customer action.
How Content Marketing Affects SEO
Google has been adamant that the only way to secure a prime ranking in the SERPs is to continue working on creating high-quality content.
Their latest algorithmic updates draw the final line regarding this – your SEO success hinges on a solid content marketing strategy.
Types of Content That Play Into Your Site Ranking in the SERPs
Optimising your site content to appear in Google’s Rich Result has now become an essential piece of any successful SEO content marketing strategy. Also referred to as position zero, the goal has shifted. These snippets have become the brass ring of SEO placement – by the dint of their visual elements and the amount of real estate that they occupy on the first page.
Alexa and Siri are set to be the next big thing in the world of marketing. The rise of voice-first technology is changing the search landscape, the result is that content marketing is becoming more conversational.
Types of Content That Can Go Into Your Content Marketing Strategy
There are tons of content options to go into your content stack. You don’t need to include all these content formats, but diversifying will surely help you reach more people at the various stages of their buying journey.
Contrary to what most people think, content marketing doesn’t start and end with blogging. It also includes other types of content, such as videos, Google actions, white papers, and podcasts.
This is the most obvious form of content, and where it all begins. You probably have a blog or have been thinking about setting up one. A blog allows you to supply your prospects and customers with regular content. The more consistent your blog, the more authority you gain in your space.
Email marketing allows you to stay in touch with your target audience. It’s what you use to maintain an open line of communication with your target audience. Usually, email marketing content is centred around news, product descriptions, or blog promotion.
We understand that words power the content marketing machine. However, we cannot deny the fact the human brain digests visual content better. It’s easy for the human brain to capture, besides making it easy for people to understand certain concepts better.
White papers are lengthy reports (from 5 to 15 pages) used for topics that require detailed explanations. These reports can range from technical briefs to research reports and are typically used to show your thought leadership or authority on a particular subject.
This is one of the most dynamic and useful pieces of content you can ever create. They’re flexible, with no limit as to what length of articles you should write. Articles also give you the leeway to exercise your creativity. Done right, and they’re an easy way to establish yourself as a thought leader.
the eBook covers topics in detail. They’re best suited for targeting users in the middle of your sales funnel. Essentially, they provide more information on a subject than the standard blog posts or articles that you’re likely to come across online. An eBook can come in whatever length – from 5 pages to 100 or even 200 pages depending on the scope of the topic being tackled.
Case studies provide a first-hand authority on a particular product or service. They have a story-like feel attached to them, and are usually inspired by real-life events, and are meant to inspire trust and boost confidence in your products, services, or brand.
Testimonials are the recommendation you get from customers or users of your products and services. They’re quite similar to case studies, only that they’re less detailed. Testimonials have great effects when they’re authentic and from a reliable source.
Webinars and Webcasts
These are the presentation that people put online for other people to see. A webinar consists of slides and audio, while a webcast will feature slides, audio, and video. They’re a bit more technological, but a good way to establish yourself as an industry expert or thought leader.
Online Learning Course
An online course is meant to teach or walk users through a particular topic and make them understand. One course can include multiple media – like slides, pdfs, videos, audio presentations, and so on. Any learning material that can be used online can come in handy.
Podcasts are becoming a popular trend. In fact, the number of people who listen to podcasts rose to 51% in 2019 from 21% in 2009. People listen to podcasts because they want to learn something new. So, if you have something to teach your prospects or customers, then a podcast might work for you.
Books may be all-fashioned and all that, but they’re still a good way to convey your message to the people you’re targeting. Writing and producing a book is no easy feat, but they’re a good way to establish authority in your field.
Infographics are a visual representation of data, one that’s becoming extremely popular nowadays. Usually, they’re used to explore the relation between two or more sets of data. They can be tailored for social media and made in such a way that they can be easily shared around.
How to Create an Effective Content Marketing Strategy
After going through the basics of what content marketing entails, let’s narrow down to the finer details of putting down a solid content marketing strategy.
Your Brand Personality
Before you even think about a content marketing strategy, you need to look into your brand and define everything – its look, tone, and value proposition.
This is supposed to inform your content marketing strategy and the channels to promote your content on. As a content marketer, you’re to create content in different formats and promote it in multiple places. It’s therefore crucial that you remain focused on delivering a more consistent experience, one geared towards building recognition and trust with your target audience.
It’s your responsibility to define what makes you different, unique, and more dedicated to solving your customers’ problems. It’s through content that you get to make a case for all this.
After defining your purpose, the next thing to define would be your goals. What do you wish to accomplish at the end of it all?
Examples of goals may include, but are not limited to:
- Increasing leads
- Increasing brand awareness
- Increasing the number of shares your pillar content is getting
- Improving search ranking
- Increase both macro and micro conversions
- Generating more site traffic
- Increase your number of subscribers
With each goal you set, you want to make there’s a numerical value attached to it.
Understanding Your Target Audience
After defining your brand personality and laying down your goals, you want to go ahead and flesh out your target audience.
Gather as much data as you possibly can on your target audience. You have to understand the buying journey of your target customers and figure out how to adjust your content marketing strategy to make sure you’re providing the right content at the right time.
Without making any effort to understand your target audience, you’re risking creating content for the wrong group of customers.
Find Out Where Your Audience Hangs Online
You have to be very analytical when choosing a platform to promote your content on. Depending on what industry you’re in or the type of business you do, some platforms might not be work for you.
For instance, if you’re trying to sell cosmetics to Gen Z or millennials, then sinking all your marketing effort into a channel such as LinkedIn might be the wrong move for you.
You also have to analyse the platform and get a feel of it to make sure you understand it and the type of content that lives there. For instance, mainstream product reviews or half-witted posts that you see on Facebook wouldn’t work on a site such as Reddit.
If you’re targeting YouTube, then you should be at least prepared to post product reviews, tutorials, how-to guidelines, and so on.
Where to Collect Information on Your Target Audience
Here are some of the places that you can collect information on your target audience:
- Demographic information
Google Analytics should be your friend in this. They have all the information you need on your audience demographic. All you have to do is log in and navigate to “Audience » Interests » Overview (where things like age, location, incomes, gender, etc. are broken down). Facebook and Twitter can also provide you with detailed information on your target audience.
- Behavioural information
Now go on social media and dig through posts that perform well and drive the most conversions and engagements. Do the same thing on your website. Find out which posts drove the most traffic, had the highest bounce rates, had the most conversations, enjoyed the highest number of shares, and so on. This should help you gauge which content performs best and which ones are blatantly horrible.
Use social media polls, on-site surveys, and emails to collect answers to pressing questions. You can combine this effort with social listening. Use social listening tools such as Mention, Hootsuite, and Keyhole. Find out what your customers are talking about or think about your brand. What industry challenges are they facing, or what do they wish would have been done differently?
At the same time, you want to use these questions to identify all the areas where you’re falling short. What needs aren’t you meeting or addressing?
Getting Started: Run a Content Audit
You have to start by evaluating the content you already have. Performing a content audit allows you to look into the content and see what content you already have and don’t have in your sales cycle.
It’s through the audit that you’ll also get to learn and understand your distribution channel and if you’ve all along been marketing on the wrong channel. It exposes all the gaps and flaws in your previous marketing strategy before pointing you in the right direction.
This Is How a Content Marketing Audit Looks Like
- Create Personas for Each Market Segment
You have to collect data from different sources, including Twitter, Facebook, Google Ads, and Google Analytics, and use it to inform each persona.
Example: Tom Chan, 47 old CFO with two kids. He has a very busy schedule but is always free during the weekends. He also enjoys yoga. Tom is seeking (your service) because (of the reasons you researched and found). You also need to determine the pain points and the main motivation for these customers.
- Find out which platform they use the most
Determine what type of content is most popular on those platforms (news, jokes, or social content)
- Create a content strategy that aligns with the type of content you identified
Identify the gaps in the content. What do you think is missing? What can be perfected? Is the content up to date? Is it interesting and easy to read? What can you do to make yours better and appealing to that type of audience? Does is it address or answer your customers’ problems?
- Create a distributional channel that allows the content to gain maximum exposure
Tips on How to Gain Maximum Exposure on Instagram and Facebook:
- Find a way to increase your number of followers
- Identify the key influencers in your space
- Allocate an advertisement budget for the post
- Decide how many posts you should make in a wee
- Work on your content strategy
- Analyse everything using tools such as FollowerWonk and Buzzsumo
Create a Content Marketing Strategy
There’s more to content marketing than the simple act of creating content and publishing it on your website. It’s also more than the misconstrued act of sharing content on different social media platforms.
The best way to understand content marketing is to look at it as a strategic approach that’s focused on attracting the right group of people and engaging them with the aim of turning them into your brand loyalists and advocates.
Content marketing can be broken down into four key components, according to SEMrush.
The Four Key Components of Content Marketing
Positioning: where you define your brand and all the experiences it brings
- What’s so unique about your brand personality?
- What makes it better than your competitors?
Value Proposition: This refers to all the things that your brand, content, and products bring to the table. What’s so unique about your brand?
- What value does your content bring to your target audience? How are they bound to benefit from it?
- What makes you unique from the other content creators?
Business Case: This refers to a list of all the things that you wish to accomplish with your content marketing plan.
- What goals do you have in mind?
- How do you intend to use content marketing to bring your business closer to these goals?
Strategic Plan: This refers to the means or how you plan to achieve your desired outcomes.
- Which group of people do you want to reach?
- How will you deliver your content to them?
- How do you plan to achieve and measure the results you get?
A Content Marketing Strategy You Can Adopt: The Hub and Spoke Model
This content marketing strategy is based on the idea that you have a central hub where all your content is stored and spokes that feed off this content.
Depending on your business structure and size, this content hub may be divided into layers, with the spoke model appearing all through your content strategy.
For many business owners, the content hub is usually a blog, which features their main content. The spokes, on the other hand, represent the content you repurpose to post on social media, emails, paid ads, slide shares, etc. In most cases, they’ll be promoting your main content.
The communities or networks that you create off the hub are to help you increase your content exposure, as well as the links, shares, and traffic your main content gets.
Set Up an Editorial or Content Calendar
One of the most important pieces of a successful content marketing campaign is the content calendar. It is what brands use to organise their content and make sure they’re covering all the bases. Remember: your company may have more than one content creators. An editorial calendar is what the company uses to effectively manage all the content pieces, content producers, and the publishing schedule.
Things to Include in Your Editorial Calendar:
- Content Type
- Content Topic
- Call to Action (CTA)
- Main Keyword
- Publish Date
If you’re a small organisation or business with only a few employees handling your content marketing, you don’t have to overcomplicate your editorial calendar. Just create a simple calendar visualisation of deadlines, deliverables, and distribution channels.
Examples of Content Calendars from Some of the World’s Leading Brands
We’ve identified a few brands that we’d like to reconstruct their publishing schedule.
Red Bull: We all recognise Red Bull as a company that sells energy drinks. But there’s more to this branding juggernaut that we know. They’re a powerful media powerhouse that just happens to be on the business of selling energy drinks.
- In a day, the company publishes 11 or 12 blog posts.
- They also post 9 to 11 times per day on their Facebook page, 7 to 8 times on their Instagram page, and once or twice on Twitter.
- Red Bull’s audience consists of 20 to 30 years old men. This audience group is most active on Instagram and Facebook. So, it’s only natural that they’d want to publish a large amount of their content on these two platforms.
- On Twitter, their posts are mostly photos and videos.
- They also make at least one LinkedIn post per week.
BMW: With more than 27 million followers and close to 7, 000 posts, BMW is hands down one of the most popular brands on Instagram. You must have also noted that their message is pretty much consistent – they’re all about promoting aspirational messages that push people to achieve.
- BMW uses their blog to show their behind-the-scenes. They use it to inform their customers about what they don’t see in their adverts.
- They use social media to reinforce their brand instead of using it to sell.
- They make their followers feel like they’re part of the bigger BMW community.
- They make about seven blog posts per day on their bmwblog.com blog.
- They post once or twice a day on their Facebook page.
- They make three posts per day on Instagram. Mostly, their Instagram posts are their behind-the-scenes or pictures that reinforce the luxury idea of their brand.
- They tweet two or three times a day. Usually, it’s a photo or a video showcasing one of their cars.
- They make about 23 LinkedIn posts per week. They’re all about making their audience feel like they’re part of their products. They’re all about including them in the products that they’re trying to sell to them. You’re not just buying a BMW car but becoming part of the larger BMW community.
Plan, Create, and Distribute
The most challenging part of running an effective content marketing campaign is creating the said content and pushing it to the digital world.
The easiest way to manage everything and make things easy on yourself is to tackle the content by topic. A topic allows you to cover all the bases and figure out the right angle to convey your message in the most consistent manner possible.
You can also break down the content into multiple subtopics, where each subtopic addresses a particular concern your users have.
Find Out What Your Competitors are Doing and How Can You Beat Them
You have to study your competitors. What content marketing approach are they using? Ask yourself the following questions to find out how they managed to solve their customers’ problems.
- What topics are they specialised in or write the most about?
- How thorough are their answers?
- How consistent are they?
- Is there something that they are missing or just not doing right?
Bear in mind that you’ll be speaking to different types of users, in different market segments and different stages of the sales funnel.
The content you create must cater to all these groups of customers and funnel stages – starting to those who have yet to realise their problem to those that are already looking up to your brand for a solution.
How to Measure Content Marketing Results
After you’ve created, planned, and executed your content marketing strategy, it’s only natural that you’d want to know how things are tagging along. You’d want to track your results and make sure that you aren’t doing anything wrong.
The question to answer is, ‘is this content marketing strategy making us enough money?”
Well, there are a few ways to track your results and find out if you’re on the right track.
Content Marketing Pyramid
This is an analytical tool that lets you visualise your content marketing strategy and measure results.
It’s a pyramid that’s segmented into three sections.
At the top, the apex top of the pyramid, is the first section, Primary indicators. It’s then followed by secondary indicators and lastly, user indicators.
This refers to the indicators that your C-level executives care about the most. In other words, these are the money-generating conversions, directly connected to the number of sales and money that your business makes. They include the number of leads that are converting and the cost per lead
This refers to things like email subscribers, blog subscribers. These ones feature a step below the money-generating conversions. They’re important to track because they influence sales, despite not being directly connected to them.
These are the indicators that don’t directly translate to sales. They might influence it in one way or another, but that comes with no guarantees. They include things like views, comments, keywords, likes, share, and so on.
Other Important Content Marketing Metrics
This refers to things like social conversations, video views, page views, etc. They’re all about giving you a clear view of how your video is performing.
This refers to things like social media likes, tweets, shares, pins, inbound links, forwards, etc. They’re to show you whether or not your content is performing.
Lead Generation Metrics
This refers to things like email subscriptions, downloads, conversion rate, and blog comments. They’re meant to show you how a piece of content can move someone from a prospect to a customer or brand loyalist.
This is the money-generating metric. Remember: you’re in all this for business. You want to make money at the end of it all. It refers to the sales you make both online and offline.
Tools to Help You Out with Content Marketing
These tools help you discover what content to produce. They include:
Buzzsumo is made up of so many content marketing tools, but it’s widely known as a content discovery tool. Most popularly, it features a content research tool that scours the internet for the most popular content. You can also use it to identify the topics, formats, and strategies that generate the best content marketing results.
Feedly is designed to help you collect all the blog posts you follow into a single place, so you can never run out of the materials to read.
Quora is a QA platform where users ask questions and get other members of the platform to answer them. It’s a great platform to find out what people already know about a particular subject. You can use the questions that people ask on the platform to build relevant blog posts.
Reddit is an online platform where people share thoughts, ideas, and ask relevant questions on different topics. It’s a great platform for uncovering topics and finding insights or what your audience already knows about a particular subject or topic.
Alltop indexes different articles and blogs and makes it all available on the platform for you to dig through.
Medium is an open blogging platform with so many high-quality blog posts. It’s a great platform for finding some perspective on a given topic and finding a pulse of what’s happening in the world of tech, cybersecurity, cryptocurrencies, and so forth.
Social Animal was recently introduced as a platform for finding best-performing articles on the internet. Other than that, the tool has some pretty useful information that might prove helpful in your content marketing campaign – keyword performance, posts that are trending on Facebook, and so on.
You can also use the tool to identify key influencers, domains that link to your competition, and so on. In other words, it doubles as a great tool for identifying the backlink opportunities around you and the influencers to work with.
Tools to Help You Out with Content Writing
Hemmingway is a free writing tool that serves to help you write without distractions. It’s also meant to help you cut on all the fluff and get straight to the point. It highlights the passive voice, overly complex language, and unnecessary adverbs just to make your content more readable.
You’ll agree no matter how perfect your writing is; some grammatical mistakes will escape your eyes. Grammarly is the leading grammar checking tool, and it goes beyond checking the basic grammar mistakes, such as spelling. The tool can also provide some useful insight into your article’s originality, tone, engagement, and even point out to all the instances of passive voice.
Contently is an all-inclusive content writing platform that seeks to link you up with freelance writers. Remember, the platform vets every single one of their writers. So, there’s no doubt that quality is guaranteed with them.
Tools to Help You Out with Content Distribution
Buffer is a social media marketing tool that lets you curate social media content and schedule your posts. It can also analyse results and even help you out with engagement.
MailChimp is the world’s leading email marketing tool. It’s designed to help you create email marketing campaigns from scratch, build your email list, and even schedule your email marketing campaigns.
Tools to Help you Out with Content Creation
Helps you with creating custom visuals – logos, banners, posters, and social media graphics. It’s a useful tool for repurposing your brand or product imagery, creating infographics, and making some tweaks to a stock photo, so they don’t have to look like, well, stock.
Google Keyword Planner
As the name suggests, the Google keyword planner is the tool you use to plan for each keyword that you get. You can also use it to find more information about a particular keyword, like the number of searches it gets in a month.
The best content marketing strategy is one that’s directly tied to your business growth. Your content marketing strategy should help your business become bigger. Otherwise, there’s no point in investing in it in the first place.
The most important takeaway to running an effective content marketing strategy is to approach it from the point of delivering value.
Forget about writing about how great your products are and instead focus on enhancing the lives of the people you’re targeting, and you’ll be halfway there.