Thinking about launching a new content marketing campaign? That’s great! Content marketing is a great way to boost your website’s inbound traffic and brand recognition – that is, if it’s done correctly…
Unfortunately, running a successful content marketing campaign isn’t as simple as tossing up a few blog posts, publishing an infographic and adding new fans to your social profiles. Instead, you’ll want to make sure your content pieces meet the following criteria needed to run an effective marketing campaign before you ever pull the trigger on your content marketing launch!
Your Market Research
Good content marketing campaigns are created based on solid market research. After all, what’s the point of launching new content pieces if you aren’t sure there will be a receptive audience out there, waiting to receive them?
To maximize your chances of campaign success, make sure you’ve addressed all of the following market research elements on your launch checklist:
- Do your content pieces suit the demographics of your audience?
Before investing in the creation of content pieces for your campaigns, get to know who your target audience is and what types of content will best appeal to them as a result. As an example, if your target market is primarily middle-aged females, you’ll want to create marketing materials that appeal specifically to this group over others.
- Are your chosen content topics likely to interest your audience?
At the same time, use your market research to understand which topics your audience will find interesting, and which subjects have already been beaten into the ground by content marketers. To find this valuable information, take a close look at what’s being shared by the authority figures within your industry on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.
- Have you selected the right type of media for your audience?
Finally, make sure your media type selection is in-line with your audience’s interests. If, for example, your target audience prefers to spend more time watching videos than reading text-based articles, steer clear of publishing lengthy blog posts on your content marketing topics.
Once you know what types of content you want to produce and where you’ll release your marketing materials in order to best attract your target customers, you’ll want to carry out a few final checks before setting your content pieces free:
- Are your content pieces free from errors?
Before hitting the “Publish” button or submitting your content pieces to a social media website, make sure that they’re free from any spelling or grammatical errors. These mistakes can have a hugely negative impact on your brand’s public image, so be sure to nip them in the bud!
- Are you content pieces memorable, interesting or different?
Although it should go without saying, content marketing materials need to actually be interesting in order to be successful! Unfortunately, too many marketers publish content pieces based off of SEO keyword research alone, without stopping to consider whether or not they’re bringing anything new to the table. So before you release your newest marketing materials, ask yourself if the content you’ve created is something you’d actually enjoy yourself.
- Do your content pieces incorporate a call to action (when appropriate)?
Content marketing campaigns are rarely altruistic in nature. Instead, you’re likely running these promotional programs in order to bring about some specific end result (as in, greater traffic to your website, more sales or an increase in social followers). If this is the case for your company, don’t just publish content pieces – make sure these marketing materials include a call to action that lets viewers know exactly what you’d like them to do.
You wouldn’t host a dinner party without thoroughly cleaning your home. By the same logic, you shouldn’t be running a content marketing campaign if your web “home” isn’t ready to receive the new visitors these types of promotions can bring about. To make sure your website is ready for your content marketing campaign objectives, check the following items before launching your first content pieces:
- Can your website handle an influx of new visitors?
If your web hosting provider offers unlimited disk storage and bandwidth, you likely won’t need to worry about your website crashing due to server overloads. On the other hand, if there are any restrictions in place on the amount of traffic your website can receive, be sure you understand these limitations before launching your campaigns and monitor your traffic levels carefully to ensure your site remains live.
- Do you have systems in place to engage new content marketing visitors?
In addition to making sure your website can handle your new visitors, you should ensure that you have systems in place to capture these new readers once they arrive on your website. As an example, if you haven’t yet put an email newsletter into place, do so before launching your content marketing campaigns, as this will give you a way to engage with new visitors that encourages them to stick around and get to know your brand.
Your Social Profiles
Finally, be aware that – in large part – the success of your content marketing campaigns depends on the strength of your social following. If you have an active, highly-engaged social community, your content pieces are much more likely to gain traction and go viral than if you’ve got a handful of fans who haven’t heard from you since the day they followed your profile.
To be sure that your social profiles are ready for your content marketing campaigns, check out the following elements:
- Do you make a regular effort to engage your social followers?
Again, the proper performance of your content marketing pieces relies on the level of engagement you have with your audience. As such, it’s imperative that you make a regular effort to connect with your profile followers to ensure that these vital connections are there when you need them. For best results, try to spend at least ten minutes a day engaging your social followers with new posts, ongoing conversations and the promotion of content shared by others in your social sphere.
- Are your social profiles up-to-date in design and style?
Before launching your content marketing campaigns, you should also take the time to update the design of your social profiles (if necessary). When you run content marketing campaigns, you do so in part to be seen as an authority figure within your industry. And if your social profiles still feature stock designs (or worse, styles that are no longer compatible with current profile formats), there’s simply no way you’ll receive this type of recognition! If you find that your profile designs are out-of-date, take the time to have new templates created before releasing new content pieces.
Yes, I realize that following all the different steps here could result in a lot of extra effort on your part. But don’t let that discourage you from investing the time and effort needed into these various campaign elements. Making sure that you follow the above checklist will give your content marketing campaigns a leg up on the competition and substantially increase the odds that you’ll see good results from your promotional investments.