There is a proliferation of new content management tools being launched to assist digital marketers, large organizations and SMEs. The good news is that managing your content mix and scheduling the planned dispersion of your informatics through all channels is now accepted to be equally as important as the quality and quantity of your communications. But how much of an impact does content management have on the success of online campaigns and penetration? What benchmarks should be set to measure the promotional performance of your content? Let’s discuss content from a new angle and evaluate strategic elements to design and implement effective enterprise content.
For those not using a content management system it is important to understand that you are achieving only a fraction of the results than you could with a strategic approach. Long gone are the days where simply providing content assured traffic when daily numbers were enough. Metrics have changed and the value of content is no longer based on volume of visits alone, but strongly reliant on conversion of traffic to calls-to-action from the audience and readership. You are competing with millions of websites around the world providing a steady stream of information. So how do you grasp your audience and engage them? By creating a content strategy that addresses a variety of factors.
The first and perhaps easiest item to add to your content strategy plan is to acknowledge various seasons and holidays of importance. The dates that you acknowledge in your posts and supplemental social media feeds must always reflect your target market, but not be mutually exclusive and eliminate other opportunities to draw audience from additional social, religious or economic groups.
Geography plays a part in helping you decide which events to acknowledge in your content. If your business enterprise operates on a national level you may acknowledge the accepted holidays and important dates for the country in which you do business. However, if sales activities are worldwide you may choose to acknowledge a variety of dates, but avoid feeling compelled to note all of them. In fact, attempting to do so can compromise the integrity of your intention and communications from participation to pandering and have the opposite effect.
Do you watch the same television episode or movie more than once? For most people it is futile to revisit content that they have already endorsed by visiting your site to read it. Even if the enterprise is highly specialized, avoid creating excessive content on the same topic matter if you wish to retain and grow your audience. No one likes to read the same thing twice, and truthfully if your readers formulate the opinion that you are recycling content without putting a sincere effort into creating items of interest they will go somewhere else. They are not lacking for other options.
Large multinational entities know the value of creating interesting content that relates to their audience but which may not always directly link back to the product or brand they are promoting. In other words, your readers want to relate to your product or brand. Assuming a broadcast mentality (or one directional communication) is necessary to inform however fun and entertaining posts can also create loyalty and brand ambassadors for your product. The digital consumer (inundated with unlimited sensory and content options online) is a discerning one that is looking to make a connection. Include informal posts that address lifestyle, health and wellness, trends and other items of interest to keep your readers engaged and coming back for more.
A rule that many content strategists forget when developing their monthly or annual plans is to include elements of interactivity in their posts. Most children have a hard time sitting still and doing little, which is why parents are eager to keep them busy and entertained. Without condescension your readers are the same. Web 2.0 is interactive. People want to engage with their minds and their mouse when they visit your site, and there are many advantages to building in a variety of interactive opportunities.
Retention is a goal of your strategic plan. That is where the return on investment for digital marketing is born. Achieving visits to your website is only one small part of content management. Providing an element that requires thought and participation has the ability to formulate a lasting impression and recollection of your website, content and your brand. And that impression has the probability of creating a call-to-action, whether referring your website to friends and family for a centrifugal viral effect or a purchase decision regarding your product or service. These rewards create a memorable experience which translates into tangible measurements such as brand loyalty and sales.
Explore online promotional applications such as WildFire and integrate content with a contest. Engage your readers in opinion polls directly on the website and direct participation through social media channels. Drive coupon and other incentives to reward direct engagement, and most importantly converse with your audience, respond to questions and with gratitude for their interaction. Remember that if you do not take the time to appreciate their efforts your competitors definitely will. Comments, reactions, moderation and responses are all part of creating an environment of responsive interactivity with your audience.
Is This Thing Working?
Digital marketing professionals are frequently asked for evidence of the efficacy of their programs. While none of the measurements can round to the nearest dollar to valuate content and online engagement, there are a number of metrics that can be monitored to note what works for your audience and what does not.
Social media activity and content quality work synchronously. If your content mix is creating an impact with your target market you will note a surge in your social media metrics. Shares and ‘Likes” on Facebook will increase, Twitter metrics such as retweet and sharing of links will start to climb. Naturally other site related traffic statistics will bear an increase in readership including page views or website subscriptions to RSS feed.
Remember that it is important to utilize all reporting available and analyze your “hits and misses” and tailor your content strategically throughout the year based on what is meaningful to your readers. Position your content plan as a framework to guide your organized communication throughout the year, but revisit it on a monthly basis to modify based on overall performance and promotional objectives.
Digital marketers are in the business of encouraging people to visit, engage and purchase. If you write it qualitatively and intuitively they will come (and bring their friends and family) and be drawn to content that is intelligent, relevant and meaningful to their lives. Today, all marketing is relationship marketing. Remember to feed that relationship with high quality content through all channels of your communication for optimal results.
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Pratik Dholakiya is a Lead SEO Strategist at E2M Solutions, a full service internet marketing company specializing in ethical and advanced SEO services. Pratik has analyzed all the recent Google search algorithm updates very closely and seen success in defining and implementing SEO strategy that works in the current era to see sustainable results that stay last longer and produce high ROI.