Content marketing is everywhere nowadays. Even if consumers don’t recognize a sly CTA or the thousands of advertisements they see in a day, marketing is always present. Don’t believe me? Dozens of case studies and a multitude of research might convince you otherwise. For example, in Content Marketing Institute’s 2018 research, they revealed that 91% of B2B respondents use content marketing.
That said, in the same results, it was revealed that 25% of B2B marketers consider their strategies to be in the young phase. What this means is that they still struggle to develop a cohesive plan and run into several obstacles. Only 31% consider their strategies to be in the adolescent phase, while 9% classify their methods as being in its first steps.
So, what does all of this mean? It means that 34% of businesses need help with their content marketing. Whether it’s because they’re just starting or they haven’t developed a thorough strategy, content marketing is challenging.
An excellent way to get your foot in the door is to build a content marketing system. If you’re unfamiliar with the term (or skeptical of its benefits), stick with us because we’re going to break down all you need to know… in a condensed version.
What Is a Content Marketing System?
Simply put, a content marketing system is an action plan for your business. It details everything you plan to do with your content, where you want to publish it, and what goals you need it to achieve. For us specifically, we designed our system around three core pillars:
- Strategy (research, target audience, competition)
- Create (social media posts, blog content, visuals)
- Amplify (email drip campaigns, social engagement)
Content marketing systems vary from business to business. An entrepreneur, for example, may focus more on obtaining leads and generating revenue. On the other hand, a graphic design firm may want to ensure their content looks top-notch and is promoted across all channels. Regardless of where your starting point is, a content marketing system is your first step to success.
The Benefits of a Content Marketing System
You Keep up With Competition
Did you know that there are over 600 million blogs in the world right now?
Sure, not all of them will be in your niche, but that number is still panic-inducing. Not to mention, it’s not only the magnitude of content that businesses need to worry about. Competitors use a variety of methods to ensure their content stands out among the rest. You’ll also need to think about visuals, social media promotion, and the like.
Noam Judah, Founder of Digital Rescue Web Design Agency and TopRankings SEO Agency, has always closely monitored his competition to ensure he stays at the top. “If I see even an inch of movement on the competition’s website or content marketing, I always double down on my efforts to stay two steps ahead,” Judah says. “I do this because I know how quickly things can change for a small business that doesn’t stay on top of its marketing funnels.”
Keep in mind that content is also more about quality than quantity as well. Recent statistics prove this. According to Orbit Media, it takes the average blogger about four hours to create content, and the average word count was near 1200. So, if you want to keep up with competing for content, you need to put in the time and effort.
This is where a content marketing system comes in. When you sit down and map out which kinds of content you want to create and why you have a jumping point. Our first pillar, Strategy, goes into all the research required to keep on top of competitors. Before you start making any content, you’ll need to think about things like:
- attainable keywords to include in your content
- how competitors interact with clients via social media and their website
- how to make your content 10X better than the rest
An interesting point to keep in mind is that experts in the industry don’t necessarily believe your content needs to be “unique.” What it does need to be, however, is better than the rest. In an article for Moz, Rand Fishkin coined the term “10X Content”. What he means by that is your content should more so be aimed at offering more value to the reader, not consumed by trying to stand out.
You can organize all of your plans and goals with the first step of your content marketing system. From there, you can move onto the actual creation and marketing. Remember, if your competitors do something beneficial that you don’t do, you might be missing out on a huge opportunity.
You Build Relationships With Customers
Every business should aim to have a good give and take with customers. A content marketing system can help enterprises to better understand their clients, thereby bettering relationships with them. By addressing pain points, diving into communities, and posting in groups, businesses can attract attention and retain leads.
Don’t believe me? Research conducted by PWC revealed that customers are willing to shell out more money if their needs are met. The same study also concluded that 46% of all consumers say they would abandon a brand that isn’t knowledgeable. Even more frightening, only 38% of U.S consumers say that employees meet their needs.
These issues are only a few of the many that drive consumers away. Poor attitudes, inefficiency, and an untrusted brand are all significant components to a person’s distaste in a business. So, small businesses everywhere really have their work cut out for them.
A content marketing system can relieve some of the headaches associated with these obstacles. Through in-depth research, you can get to know your target audience, their pain points and offer them solutions. Part of your system should be building an ICP (ideal customer profile).
An ICP is a profile of who your ideal customer looks like. Their age, gender, location, language, frustrations, interests, and income are all factors. Piecing an ICP together helps you zero in on the right target audience and engage with people likelier to convert.
Content marketing systems also let you layout the content you want to create and how you share it. Remember, an untrusted brand tends to drive people away. Therefore, when you publish valuable, relevant content, you attract more readers. Marketing your content the right way also opens the door to engagement, which may lead to site visits and conversions. At the very least, you’ll increase brand awareness.
Inbound Lead Generation
Another massive benefit of a content marketing system is generating inbound leads. You have an abundance of strategies available for your content marketing, all of which come with their own set of benefits. Whichever path you choose to venture down first, a content marketing system outlines your methods and monitors which ones do the best for your business.
For us, inbound leads come mainly from the third pillar of our content marketing system, Amplify. This pillar refers to all the ways we promote our content. We monitor who our campaigns attract, which strategies work best, and how much engagement we experience.
Inbound leads are a direct result of your content marketing efforts, so you need to think about your strategies though. Your content marketing system can sort out which route you want to take when it comes to promotion. It also establishes brand awareness, helping you pave a path to creating your brand.
If you want a few quick ways to gather inbound leads, keep things practices in mind:
- Website design. Ensure that your site supports all devices, isn’t slow to load, and is easy to maneuver. Research shows that you only have 0.05 seconds to make an impression with your website. Great visuals, valuable content, and quick load times all help retain interest.
- Social media marketing. Promoting your work on social media is a huge part of content marketing. Be sure that you have an active presence online, across a multitude of platforms. If Instagram isn’t best for your business, look into Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn before giving up on social media altogether.
- Valuable content. Overall, one of the top things you can do for your site and business is to have outstanding content. Give your target audience something actionable that they can apply to their ventures. Hit on their struggles and offer solutions. Be consistent with your posts.
A content marketing system can have a lasting impact on your business. It takes work to gather all of the necessary research, but it also pays off for years to come. If you’re interested in retaining leads, building customer relationships, and surpassing the competition, you need a system in place. It’s not enough to wing it when it comes to content marketing; a proper system in place keeps your goals and strategies laid out in front of you. When you can keep track of everything, it’s harder to fall off course.
Content marketing notepad – DepositPhotos