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4 Content Marketing Best Practices Recommended By Top Brands

Examples of content that gets results on social media

Content still remains the strongest element of any marketing strategy. In fact, about 70 percent B2B marketers plan to create more content in 2017 compared to 2016. Whether you are a B2B or B2C brand, staying current with the content marketing best practices will ensure you achieve your goals quickly and efficiently. A good way to stay updated with the latest trends is to see how the top brands are leveraging content and how they have benefited from them.

If you are a seasoned content marketer, you can get clues about which adjustments need to be made to your content strategies to get better results. If you are new to content marketing, you can learn from the big shots and get started with your content marketing endeavors.

Now let us see what the top brands are doing to get the desired attention:

1. Content Inventory and Audits

Performing a content inventory and audit is important to ensure high performance of your website, which is the first point of contact between you and your end-users. In a layman’s term, a content inventory consists of all the content on your website (including text, images, videos, documents, etc.) and every piece of content across all the channels. Content audit helps you offer your users with a better experience and meet your business goals easily by getting rid of redundant and outdated content and identifies content that performs the best. Carrying out a content audit manually can be very tough, so you can make the task easy by using tools such as Screaming Frog, Online XML Sitemap Generator, Google Analytics Content Reports and others.

The Columbia College in Chicago worked with Gerry McGovern and performed a content audit that resulted in the omission of 35,000 web pages (original number of pages - 36,000; after omission – 944 pages). The effect - Student inquiries rose from 477 per month to 855, almost double. The Norwegian Cancer Society also performed a content audit and reduced the number of pages from 5,000 to 1,000 and saw a 70 percent increase in one-time donations, 164 percent increase in members registered and 88 percent increase in monthly donors registered.

Since the content becomes updated, relevant and much more organized your users can find them easily and have a better experience while navigating your website. In fact, it is a highly cost-effective option for enterprise-level companies to break through content creation barriers. You can even collaborate with key stakeholder by means of project management tools like Trello, Basecamp, WorkZone, Zoho Projects etc. and involve them in the content creation process. Getting your stakeholders support ensures that there is enough commitment to take your content marketing strategy through.

2. Know What Your Audience Want

Content marketers work towards improving brand awareness and equity, retaining customers and driving sales. Therefore, they need to reach out to their targeted audience in every possible way. The best way to do this is by creating content that resonates with the targeted audience. However, the content need not only be informational, it can be humorous, inspirational, or anything that appeals to your audience.

Whole Foods Market for example posts beautiful pictures of foods that inspire people to cook more. The brand taps into its customer’s emotions and indirectly persuades them to buy ingredients at their local Whole Foods shops.

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Another brand Denny’s knows its audience’s sense of humor and creates content accordingly. Moreover, content created by the brand is also appropriate for the platforms (Tumblr and Instagram) on which it engages its targeted audience.

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However, make sure your voice is consistent across all channels so that your audience can identify you wherever they see you. Keeping a consistent voice helps you build a brand identity.

3. Leverage Multiple Content Distribution Channels

Having a solid content distribution strategy is a must. Even if you are creating excellent content, it is of no use if your targeted audience fails to discover it. Distributing content across multiple channels is necessary since people engage in various platforms.

For instance, Four Seasons hotel brand exclusively offered their Four Seasons Magazine to the guests who stayed at their hotel. Gradually they understood that they can further leverage the content from their magazine to attract new guests as well as engage their existing customers. The hotel brand now has a website and offers newsletters and also promotes the content on social media.

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SoulCycle, an indoor cycling chain also identified the importance of diversifying content distribution. Apart from maintaining a blog that is full of personable contributions from the SoulCycle community, the brand also publishes Spotify playlists where the customers can find songs played in the classes.

By leveraging multiple channels, you can expand your reach and make sure you stay on top of the customer’s mind, always.

4. Avoid Hard Selling

While content marketers are not directly responsible for increasing the sales revenue, providing some discreet sales information to the users is not at all a bad idea. However, you must make sure the content does not look promotional.

Mr. Porters website publishes in-depth editorial including interviews with well-known celebrities such as Hayden Cox and others, along with beautiful photography. Each section is provided with expandable sections that include the details of the products featured in the photos.

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The customers can directly click and shop the products they wish for. Those who are not interested can just read the interviews and editorial without being interrupted. Net-a-Porter, a digital publication and luxury eCommerce retailer also capitalizes on the same theory.

A number of brands leverage user-generated content on social media to encourage users to make a purchase since user generated content on a website or in a campaign can increase the conversion by 29 percent. All Saints, for example, uses user generated content to help other customers make purchase decisions. The images posted by satisfied customer's act as product endorsements and the shoppable elements make purchasing easier.

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Conclusion

In order to get your content to the right people at the right time, you need to have a plan. However, planning your content marketing campaign might not be as easy as it sounds. By having a look at what the big brands are doing, you can create your own content strategy and achieve your goals quickly.

By using the above examples as your content marketing guide, you can create great content and make sure you keep your audience engaged for a long time.

 

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