Charli originally published this article at AgoraPulse, the leaders in social media management tools.
If, like me, you are tasked with managing your digital content strategy then I’m sure you have already been asked the question “What’s Your 2016 Content Marketing Strategy?“
So let’s talk about 5 essentials that need to make it into your 2016 content marketing strategy.
#1 EMBRACE VISUAL CONTENT
Our world is becoming more and more visual as Jeff Bullas emphasizes. If you have not yet embraced visual content it’s time to start in 2016. Think infographics, memes, videos, sharable images and engaging banners.
Factor compelling imagery into your blog, email marketing, social media marketing and even offline and you will certainly boost your results.
In fact, while you’re thinking visual … think Slideshare which is poised to make a huge comeback in 2016. With 60 million users and 159 million monthly page views, it’s time to utilize this awesome free (for most) content tool.
TAKEAWAY – Starting to introduce visuals to your marketing strategy has never been easier with the launch of sites like Canva which enables you to play graphic designer. Think about visuals which will draw attention to your content as opposed to dominating it whilst also complimenting your brand.
#2 PLAY WITH STORYTELLING
Who’s interesting in reading promotions these days? It’s all so 1990, isn’t it?
Potential customers are increasingly drawn to engaging content, thought leadership and valuable information as opposed to cheesy sales copy.
Now this can be a tough one, especially if you need to convince your shareholders to spend money on an ad that doesn’t overtly promote your product. Believe me: it’s a fight I’ve had many times! If in doubt, remember these statistics: 5,000 marketing messages are seen each day by the average person. The truth is that we are so bombarded with messages that we tune out the majority of them unless we find them interesting or useful.
Storytelling engages potential customers and its success has proved phenomenal in recent years. Take Charmin as an example because this brand saw a 585% increase in their Facebook engagement when they incorporated storytelling in their campaigns.
TAKEAWAY- Try looking at your product from a different angle. Instead of selling it; provide case studies, interviews with product designers and insightful thought leadership.
#3 FOCUS ON CONTENT DISTRIBUTION
Content distribution is woefully underutilized by most companies and yet it is one of the most powerful methods of obtaining excellent SEO (search engine optimization) and ROI (return on investment). I recently addressed this in my article 5 Tips For Awesome Guest Posts which discusses productivity guidelines for guest posts.
Of course it is necessary to keep your own blog updated (1-3 pieces per week) but if you are not utilizing other, possibly higher ranking sites, then your exposure is lower than it could be. The key for great content distribution is to find likeminded blogs and websites where your content can be published with backlinks to your own site or landing page. Factor in the storytelling tips we talked about above and you can be sure that you will pick up a dedicated following. Remember that other higher ranking blogs will also have a social media influence so you will also gain valuable exposure through their channels.
TAKEAWAY– Take the time to identify and leverage influencers in your industry, create strong relationships through consistent and timely blogging and monitor and analyze your results.
(You can identify influencers on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram with Agorapulse. Sign up for your free trial today!)
#4 FINE TUNE YOUR SOCIAL
Which social media channel should you focus on in 2016? It’s the killer question right?
The days when you had to be on every social media network are long gone. Shine your focus and budget on the ones which are performing well. If your Facebook page is producing 100 new leads per week and your Pinterest produces 0 then why are you spending the same amount of time on each network?
2016 will see a higher level of performance among the top brands which have identified their key social media channels and are now fine tuning their strategies. You’ll want to be a part of that.
TAKEAWAY- Still not sure which network to focus on? The awesome quiz over at Simply Measured might help you to decide.
#5 MODERNIZE YOUR EMAIL MARKETING
Social media might be the buzzword right now but email remains to be one of the most effective ways to reach your target audience and maintain customer loyalty. If smart, mobile optimized email marketing isn’t in your 2016 content marketing strategy, then it should be.
Advanced email marketers embrace a range of techniques to capture business including animated gifs, integrated video, combined social media, smart pop-ups and customized designs based on user history.
One such success story can be seen in Dell who lifted its revenue by 109% by using an animated gif in its email. In fact, in comparison to previous campaigns, Dell’s first GIF email produced the following results:
- 6% increase in open rate
- 42% increase in click through rate
- 103% increase in conversion rate
Of course, all this means that you should be analyzing your email marketing data. This includes running split tests to compare open rates, click through rates and conversion rates using tracked CTAs (Call to Actions).
TAKEAWAY- Your email marketing now requires input from your content writer, graphic designer and video editor. If in doubt, send fewer emails — but make them count.
Do you feel ready to tackle your 2016 content marketing strategy? Let us know know your thoughts!