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Author: Natalie Tarpinian

7 Steps to Creating a Content Marketing Plan That Maximizes Results

7 Steps to Creating a Content Marketing Plan That Maximizes Results

In recent years, content marketing has become the go-to strategy for generating a positive ROI. Why? It (usually) requires a modest budget, and yields significant results. But as the sheer volume of online content continues to blow up, businesses are looking for ways to find an edge with their content marketing strategies.

Don’t get us wrong: the demand for quality content remains high and the value of a lead primed for a sale insurmountable. But a robust content marketing strategy should make the most of every piece of content — heck, even every word. Check out seven steps, based on loads of my own successes and failures, to ensure you maximize results and keep readers eager to consume your output.

1. Research Your Audience

Researching your audience is a solid first step, no matter the type of marketing effort. Take a look at the type of people buying products from you. Who’s joining your email list? Reading your blog? Where do they live? How old are they? The most common way to go about this is to develop customer avatars or buyer personas. Using analytics and survey results, you can define  your typical customer — and then move onto how to attract more of them with your content.

2. Analyze What Is Working

It’s 2019. Data is everywhere. Rather than just relying on a gut feeling, look at what your competitors are currently doing. You can utilize a number of tools that will highlight the most popular content in a certain niche, for a particular keyword, or on a specific platform (this Moz, Google Trends, scraping tools, etc.). This research will often signal what content is working, while also indicating areas that don’t get high levels of engagement.

3. Build Your Content Plan

Planning ahead ensures you have a long-term schedule for content creation and distribution — and holds you accountable for hitting firm deadlines. Whether you’re working with a team or with freelancers, a content calendar will keep everyone working in sync.

4. Determine Your Primary Content Channels

With any well thought-out content plan, comes a well thought-out distribution plan. Different types of content will suit different platforms by nature, so some concepts may need to be tweaked and adapted for a particular site. You may, for example, have a concept that can be adapted for text or video and plan to distribute via YouTube and the blog. Your earlier research will also help you decide which platforms will get the best results, using factors like shares, comments, and likes to determine best practices.

5. Create the Content

While you may occasionally have a totally unique piece of content in mind, most niches have a number of broad concepts that are discussed. Thus, your approach is what will make you stand out. If you are trying to rank on Google, start by looking at the top results for your target search terms and brainstorm how to improve on the existing offerings. Search engines generally want to offer the best quality content to users, whether that involves more detail, an engaging point of view, a combination of media types, or an updated take based on current news.

6. Publish and Promote

Content marketing is most effective when you publish the right type of content, in the right place, at the right time. When you hit all three points, consumers should be easily primed to take the next step towards a sale. This requires you to develop a network for promotion, including a number of social media sites and a number of partners to promote your posts.

7. Assess Results and Optimize for Future Campaigns

Content marketing is an ongoing process, with each campaign helping to grow your data and knowledge. Have a number of goals in mind before you even start so you can consistently track results against them as you go. You may consider goals like social likes and shares, website visitors, and new leads or sales.

So why go to all the trouble to launch a content marketing strategy? Engaging potential customers with content gives them the chance to get to know your brand before purchasing, inevitably making them more likely to make that purchase. While many other forms of advertising are struggling, with online consumers reluctant to engage with ads, quality content continues to work. If you can develop a system to ensure your content is top-notch and distributed in places where people pay attention, you can expect a high ROI on your marketing spend.

Need help with your content marketing strategy? StackMedia is your solution. Find out more here.

How to Maximize Revenue with StackMedia

How to Maximize Revenue with StackMedia

You have the perfect piece of content that speaks passionately to your readers. You add some amazing eye candy: lifestyle shots, an infographic, and a can’t-miss CTA button. You post to your homepage. And…crickets. Even with an incredibly engaging article, you won’t generate a dollar in revenue if nobody sees it. These top tips and tricks, based on network-wide performance data, will help you maximize the success of your campaign using marketing tools already at your fingertips. Let’s make the best campaign yet.

Share Your Content Via Email

Chances are that you likely send an email newsletter to your readers on a pretty regular cadence. Try featuring your StackMedia article(s) in an email send, even after it’s cycled off your homepage. Matching the article stylistically to the other featured articles and including it amongst related topics is a great way to add value to the overall reader experience, while making sure you meet your revenue goals, too. 

Grow Your Email List

Of course, the more email subscribers, the more potential clicks you’ll garner. That’s basic human reasoning, right? Here are some quick tips for building your email list. -Add an email pop-up form to your homepage to capture more email addresses. -Feature your newsletter sign-up in the HelloBar (pinned to the top of each page). -Include a slide-in CTA that triggers as users scroll 50% down the page (there are easy plugins in WordPress).

Use Facebook Ads to Remarket

Paid Marketing is the most effective way to drive traffic to your sponsored content. If you’re not already doing it, you’ll want to focus in on the platforms where your target readers hang out — whether it be LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest or Facebook. Google Ads are also a fantastic way to drive readers to your content. Not sure where to start? Try Facebook Ads.

Tips for Using Paid Facebook Marketing:

-Launch your ads to a wide set of audiences starting with those closest to your brand. You can identify those audiences based on:
  • Page Likes
  • Friends Of Likes
  • FB Page Engagement
  • IG Page Engagement (if relevant)
  • 50%, 75%, Video Views (video is a great way to reach readers that know your brand, but may not actively ‘like’ it)
  • Lookalike Audiences — let Facebook do the heavy lifting 
  • Optimize on the “Traffic” conversion event at the campaign level. Facebook will find you the most traffic for the lowest cost.
  • A/B test your copy and creative to find what combinations drive the lowest CPC (Cost-Per-Click).
-Optimize your placement: if you see the majority and lowest cost traffic coming from a certain placement (newsfeed, audience network, or Instagram), you can deploy more budget to the highest performing placement. -Set up retargeting: you can create ‘follow up’ ads for audiences that have seen your previous content or advertisements. -Start small! Even running $25/day can provide a meaningful boost in your traffic!

Pin Your Content to Your Homepage and/or Article Recirculation Tool

Give your content the chance it deserves by pinning it to a highly-trafficked page like your homepage or within an article recirculation unit.

Share On Social Media

Use your social media profiles like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. to get fresh eyes on your content organically. After all, it’s free! Share across all platforms, and share often.

Make It Simple For Readers To Share Your Content

Here are some quick ways to make your content easily shareable: -Add “Tweetable” blurbs to your content for easy posting on Twitter with a tool like Click to Tweet. -Add “Pin It” buttons to visuals and infographics for easy sharing on Pinterest. -Use SumoMe’s website add-on to create a social share button overlay for your image.

Promote Your Content On The HelloBar

Grant permission to your Account Manager to easily change out HelloBar text/links or change out the text on your own.

Update Relevant Content Pages with Links to StackMedia Content

Take advantage of relevant high-ranking articles covering similar topics by adding links to your sponsored content within the article. This quick update can make a significant difference.

Submit to a Content Community

Submit your StackMedia content to a relevant community like those listed below: StackMedia connects marketers with targeted audiences across hundreds of publisher websites. Learn more about how our products can drive results here.