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I can’t stress it enough – you cannot just press publish and hope your readers come to you. Especially in this digital day and age where more and more blogs are emerging on the web, you need to do more to make sure that your posts are read. One way to do this is by creating a content marketing strategy.

A content marketing strategy is what will help you properly plan, implement and execute your blogging strategies. It may change as you learn more about blogging but by having a solid plan in place, you will be in the right direction to actually get results from your content.

Actionable Tips on How to Develop a Content Marketing Strategy

1. What Is Your Goal?

By defining your goal, you can really help to identify the direction of your content marketing strategy. Do you want to increase traffic and conversions to your website? Do you want to position your business as the expert in your industry? Do you want to increase sign ups?

Related: SEO Dos and Don’ts: How to Drive Traffic to Your Website the Right Way

2. Understand Your Ideal Reader

The main thing to remember when knowing how to develop a content marketing strategy is that you are not writing for you, you are writing for your ideal reader.

To do this, profile who your target audience is. Get as much information on them as possible so you can really develop a strategy that will appeal to them.

Some information that you should gather include:

  • Are they female or male, or a mixture of both?
  • What age group are they from?
  • Where are they located?
  • What is their demographic?
  • What content length do they enjoy? Long form or short form?

For example, if your target customer is a busy mother who lives an on-the-go lifestyle, then maybe shorter posts would be more beneficial as they have limited time.

However, if you are targeting lawyers, then really in-depth, longer posts may be the best length.

By understanding your ideal reader, you can increase your posts’ appeal to them and make the most of your content.

3. What Is the Best Content Type?

The word “blog posts” tend to come up first when you talk about content. While blogging is an increasingly growing popular content type in the digital era, it is not the only one.

By knowing your goal and your ideal reader, you can determine what content type can generate the best results.

Some ideas include:

  • If you want to increase brand awareness and publish “how-to” tutorials on your product, then videos are well-suited for these topics.
  • If you want to drive more traffic to your website, then optimised blog posts is the way to go.
  • If you want to increase email subscription sign ups, then an ebook that requires an email to download is a great idea.

4. Create a Schedule

The next step on how to develop a content marketing strategy plan is by creating a schedule.

Use the information that you have gathered from your ideal reader.

For instance, if you are located in Australia but your main customer base is in the United States, then publishing your posts according to optimal American times is beneficial.

This is why doing your research and really getting into the mind of your customers is so crucial in creating an effective strategy.

Studies have shown that different days give you more comments while others give you more shares and views.

In the end, there is no one right answer that I can give you about the best posting times. Try out some different posting days and times to determine what gives you the best results for your business.

Your schedule should also cover not just publication times but also promotions. Once your content is published, how will you promote it? Which social media platforms will you use? How many tweets should you write for the one post? Should you even use Twitter at all?

5. Track Performance

A key factor to remember when knowing how to develop a content marketing strategy is that you need to measure the results. There are many business tools out there that can help track content performance. Google Analytics can help show you page views, bounce rate, time spent on page and more.

Related: 5 Free Business Tools That Save You Time and Money

If your goal is also to increase conversions via content, then you can also use Google Analytics to track this.

Other tools you may want to use include SE Ranking (tracks keyword rankings) or SEMrush (both are paid tools but offer free trials).

By measuring your performance, you can then adjust your content marketing strategy to then maximise results.

Knowing how to develop a content marketing strategy means that you can really optimise your content and get the results that you want.

What other tips do you have on how to develop a content marketing strategy? Leave me a comment below, I would love to know!

As a blogger, I read plenty of blogs myself. Not only do I read digital marketing blogs, but I am also an avid consumer of health and fitness articles, lifestyle, travel, and creative writing blogs. One thing that I really enjoy that some of my favourite bloggers do is a link round up.

This is where they round up a bunch of their favourite blog posts and articles that they have read to share with their own readers, and I decided to do that here.

There are so many great business and digital marketing posts out there so I thought I would share some of my favourite ones that I have read recently:

Digital Marketing Link Round Up: Content Marketing Strategy

How We Grew Our Organic Traffic by 43% Without Publishing a Single New Blog Post by Hubspot

I tried to keep away from the big names in the game because I believe that most of us would be reading them anyway. But I had to include this post because it is the favourite article that I have recently read. I really enjoyed reading about how Hubspot focused on one article that they had already published to improve their traffic.

Their case study and gamification of “Mission Week” was so interesting to read. It just proves that when it comes to blogging, quantity is not always the path to follow and that writing and publishing posts is only half the battle. Focusing on marketing and really promoting each post can really take you far and grow your traffic.

Read it here.

Getting More Uses Out of Existing Content by John Jantsch

This is another great article that explains great ideas for giving old blog posts new life in a clear and concise manner. I especially liked the point about repurposing old content such as turning blog posts into infographics, email series, or videos.

Not only will this help promote old blog posts but it will cater to your audience who learn in different ways, such as the visual learners.

Read it here.

Digital Marketing Link Round Up: Business & Entrepreneurship

2 Women Who Built a Business While at Goldman Sachs and Marc Jacobs Explain How Corporate Jobs Made Them Better Entrepreneurs by Libby Kane

9-5 has been getting a bad rap lately. As a health and fitness freelancer myself, I am not a fan of the routine corporate job life. However, that’s not to say that the 9-5 work life is completely bad. I am glad for the roles that I had before beginning freelancing because it taught me many skills that I still use today, especially in my first job as a content writer.

In this article, 2 women explain how they have used their experience in their corporate jobs to better themselves as entrepreneurs. I found this article really interesting, especially as I love reading about how people become entrepreneurs and their journey.

Read it here.

Taking the Plunge on Your Start Up by Benjamin Humphrey

Another article that I have recently read and enjoyed follows the journey of Benjamin Humphrey as he founded Dovetail and convinced his co-worker Brad to become a co-founder. He details the qualities you should be looking for in a co-founder to make sure that the person you choose is the right person.

This was an intriguing read because it was an honest, personal account from someone who left a full-time job to pursue both a financial and personal investment. I liked Benjamin’s straightforward approach to writing and that he is not only talking about his experiences but how others can learn from them as well.

Read it here.

Digital Marketing Link Round Up: Social Media

How Successful CEOs Kickstart Their Business with LinkedIn by Joe Escobedo

LinkedIn is not only a really great way for professionals to connect with other professionals and network but it can also drive sales and website traffic. When used properly, LinkedIn can be a powerful tool as these two CEOs featured in the article have discovered.

In this interview-style post, you can learn how to leverage LinkedIn in only 30-minutes a day with successful CEOs who are already proving that it can be done.

Read it here.

Digital Marketing Link Round Up: Work Culture

Why It’s Time We Paid Employees to Exercise at Work by Ryan Holmes

As you already may know, I am huge on health and fitness so any article that advocates for helping employees incorporate fitness into their work life is a big win for me.

In my first internship and job as a content writer, one of my work perks was having a free gym membership at the local gym just around the corner. I loved and really appreciated this and it showed how my work company understood how fitness can help employee wellbeing and concentration, the same way Hootsuite does.

In this article, Ryan, CEO of Hootsuite, talks about how promoting fitness on the job has actually helped his company, cultivated work culture and improved employee performance. It is a great read, and something I am definitely standing behind.

Read it here.

Did you enjoy this digital marketing link round up? Is this something you would like to see more often? What other articles have you read that you really enjoyed recently? Please let me know in the comments below, I would love to know!

Original featured image source: MAC Instagram’s repost (here) from @wendy_online

Celebrating #NationalLipstickDay

29 July 2017 was a special day for all lipstick lovers alike; it was #NationalLipstickDay. To celebrate, MAC Cosmetics Australia announced a lipstick giveaway marketing campaign. They were going to give away full-sized lipsticks that day at selected boutique stores, for free.

All participants had to do was follow the Mac Cosmetics Australia Instagram account, sign up in store and then show up at the specified locations so they could enjoy their shiny new lipstick.

They announced this on their Instagram, specifying, “Note: Strictly whilst stock lasts on selected shades only”.

MAC marketing campaign
MAC’s Instagram announcement of the giveaway

It had all the ingredients of a great promotional marketing campaign for MAC to increase Instagram followers and sign ups.

Except for the fact that stock ran out very, very early.

Despite hundreds of people lining up before 9 am, stores ran out of lipsticks within approximately 15-minutes of their doors opening.

Each store was given a different number of lipsticks. Some customers claimed that their local store only had 40 lipsticks while others had 100. Either way, customers were not happy with the limited amount of stock that was provided for what was promised to be a huge giveaway.

The aftermath saw hundreds of fuming customers. Some even promised to boycott the brand.

As one girl stated, she couldn’t “…believe I lined up for 2 hours only to find out only “100 lipsticks were available.

MAC has since had to issue an apology in response to the growing number of complaints from customers.

A MAC spokesperson gave this statement to news.com.au:

Thank you to everyone who visited M.A.C yesterday to celebrate National Lipstick Day and collect a free lipstick of select shades.

We experienced the most overwhelming response and due to popular demand, many of our locations ran out of stock early on in the day.

We gave away thousands of lipsticks across the day but know some consumers have missed out and we are really sorry to those left disappointed.”

Customers are reputing this claim, however, commenting, “It wasn’t due to popular demand that you ran out, it was a scam. My Myer had only 50 lipsticks to give away, that’s not a lipstick give away [sic].”

Some other comments left by upset customers who walked away empty handed included, “Such a poorly organised promotion to generate foot traffic without explaining how limited stock would be or that it would only be a couple of shades. Not impressed and not following MAC Cosmetics anymore.”

“Very disappointing promo. Didn’t realise there would be so few given out. Wouldn’t have wasted the journey. Why didn’t you just hand them out instead of making such a big announcement and then having such limited giveaways?”

“Southland ran out in less than 20 minutes and hundreds of people left disappointed. Social media FAIL. If you’re going to do a huge social media campaign, have the goods to back it up. #marketingfail

MAC Lipstick Marketing Campaign Mistakes

Let’s get the facts straight first. Of course, the limited stock was going to run out quickly. MAC is one of the biggest makeup brands and they were giving away one of their most popular products for free. It was going to be busy and some customers were inevitably going to leave empty-handed.

But did MAC mislead customers by giving the illusion that there was going to be much more stock than there was?

What Could Have Been Done Differently

Giveaways and promotions are a great marketing tool, as long as you can live up to the hype. While MAC stock was definitely not going to last all day, maybe there were some other ways to control the giveaway that would have helped minimise the disappointment and anger from the customers that missed out.

MAC could have approached the marketing campaign differently. For example, they could have stated that “the first x number of people will receive a new lipstick in each store”.

This way, customers would be aware of what “limited supply” actually means.

Doing this would reduce the disappointment and take away blame from MAC for not adequately living up to the supply-and-demand.

What You Can Learn from This Case Study

This case study highlights the importance of being transparent with your customers. While MAC did not outrightly say that everyone will be able to receive one, it did give the illusion that there was going to be much more stock than there actually was.

So if you want to run a marketing campaign for your company, make sure that you provide clear outlines and guidelines that take away confusion. Be open with your loyal customers, offer better communication and remember, transparency is key.

What do you think of MAC’s lipstick giveaway? Did they deserve the criticism or was it unfair? How would you run a marketing campaign differently? Leave me a comment below, I would love to know!