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Adjusting Your Content Marketing Strategy for 2016

Ken Bowden - Friday, January 15, 2016

 

Content marketing is a key component to your overall digital marketing strategy. According to one study, 67% of B2B companies say that content marketing is a top priority. Two-thirds report that content is fuel across all channels, including events, social, demand generation and more. Additionally, 44% of B2B marketers have a documented content strategy. It’s safe to say that content marketing is here to stay, at least in the short term.

 

As we move into 2016, it’s important that your content marketing strategy is built for the challenge. It needs to be well-thought-out, detailed and informative. It should be flexible so that it can make room for trending topics, but the main goals should be outlined in advance. For instance, what do you hope to get from your content? Increased brand awareness? Higher conversion rates? More sales?

 

Let’s discuss some of the ways that you can adjust your content marketing in the coming year for the better.

 

Think Beyond Blogging

 

Your company blog is probably your main source of content, and rightfully so. You can contribute relevant material several times a week or month, which is good for visibility, authority and SEO. But it’s important to think beyond traditional blog posts because they shouldn’t make up all of your content marketing efforts. Infographics, ebooks, videos, vlogs, webinars and podcasts are other forms of content that are equally engaging. In fact, experts say that we will be seeing more interactive content in 2016.

 

Quality Trumps Quantity

 

Quality content should be your focus. There’s no reason to publish content with low value. To stand out from the competition, produce longer, more well-researched articles and blog posts. They should be optimized for SEO and include original, engaging copy. It also helps to have credible resources and updated facts and figures to support your content.

 

Repurpose Your Content

 

Don’t think that you need to start every piece of content from scratch. Make use of your content by repurposing it, something that will come in handy as you may need to stretch your budget in 2016. For example, use existing content to create a SlideShare presentation that includes pertinent facts. Or, hire a designer to create a colorful infographic with bullet points. You can also generate a report or whitepaper that can be downloaded in exchange for an email address.

 

Stay on Top of SEO

 

SEO techniques are always changing, but that’s not an excuse to fall behind in the latest trends. Your website should be mobile friendly and include links and anchor text, fast load times and good keyword usage. Always write content naturally. It should speak to your audience rather than the search engines and include keywords that people commonly search for. Social signals are also important.

 

It’s almost impossible to know what trends will dominate content marketing in 2016. But, it never hurts to try. Consider what worked well for you last year and what didn’t, and make the proper adjustments. Armed with new changes and an awareness of the latest trends, your content marketing strategy is bound for success.   If you would like help developing your content marketing strategy or your content, give WSI New Media Marketing a call today!

 

Preparing for the Winter Marketing Slump

Ken Bowden - Wednesday, December 30, 2015

 

Preparing for the Winter Marketing Slump

The holiday season is over. It was over before it got here for many, since; we noticed Christmas displays coming down and Valentine’s displays going up before 12/25 even rolled around. Even worse? Once people have finished running around and making exchanges and using their holiday gift cards, things seem to slow down even more. January, for many, can be pretty sluggish. So what can you and your business do to survive and push through?

Maintain Your Momentum

Don’t let slow sales be an excuse for a lack of marketing. If anything, you need to step things up a notch so that you can stay visible and memorable. This is the time for a clever new ad, but not necessarily for a huge-ticket deal. People have just spent a ton of money on the holidays, so they’re not necessarily looking for new deals but might be enticed by something great or creative. Just don’t take the month off and go to sleep because you think people are “over” the holidays.

January is Boring

It’s sort of true. Think about it. You start with Halloween costumes, plan a gigantic Thanksgiving feast, and spend weeks choosing the perfect gifts and decorating your home. Once it’s all over and the lights come down, you’ve got… well… nothing but grey skies, cold, ice, and snow. There’s nothing to look forward to in January – unless, of course, you make something up. And that’s just what you need to do. Embrace the season, push the New Year, and keep your customers excited. It’s a tough job, but we know you can do it.

Your 2016 Marketing Plan

When designing your 2016 marketing plan, be sure to keep your holiday sale plans realistic. The more you undervalue yourself to give a great deal, the less people will want to buy from you in between great deals. Your brand has value and you need to treat it that way all year long. If you didn’t go over-board in December, you should be able to maintain decent momentum into January and beyond.

Debunk the Myths

Truth? Your business doesn’t have to suffer through a January or winter slump. It’s our motivation levels and efforts that usually take a toll after the holiday season and that can have a negative impact on the way our business runs. Analyze your statistics from years past, know how your customers see your business, and tailor what you have to offer to make it appealing for the winter.

Not sure how to do that? Give WSI New Media a call. We’ll help you analyze your marketing campaigns, create new strategies, and keep your customers interested throughout the entire year!

Reviewing Your 2015 Marketing Plan: Planning for 2016

Ken Bowden - Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Reviewing Your 2015 Marketing Plan: Planning for 2016

We’re about to exit 2015 and and transition into 2016. While we can never truly stop marketing our businesses, we do need to take some time to slow down, reflect on the past year, really study the statistics, and figure out what changes need to be made going forward. The yearly transition offers just that opportunity.

What Did You Learn?

Start by considering what you learned over the course of the past 12 months? What promotions or marketing campaigns did better than you thought they would? Can you improve upon them in 2016? Which didn’t perform as well as you’d hoped? Can they be revamped or should they be completely replaced?

Look at the statistics you’ve (hopefully) been gathering all year. Where were your greatest returns on investment? Did you meet the written goals you set for the year, both short and long term?

Set New Goals

What will your goals for 2016 be? Are you going to increase sales by a certain percentage? Will you have a certain number of new website visitors sign up for your mailing list? You need to know exactly what your goals will be before you can determine the methods you’ll use to achieve them.

Choosing Your Marketing Channels

What marketing methods have you been using and how long have you been using them? If you’ve been using the same methods for more than a couple of years you may need to really shake things up a bit to get better results. You may want to branch out more when it comes to social media, start video or content marketing, expand or create new PPC campaigns. You can delete the ones that are no longer working, too. Don’t be afraid. You really don’t need to pay for a full-color ad in the yellow pages any longer. That money is money you could be spending elsewhere for better results.

Focus on Mobile

Does your marketing campaign focus on mobile users? If not, you’ve ignored the issue long enough. Your 2016 campaign has to be mobile-friendly. There are no exceptions. Your competition is three steps ahead of you. Hire someone to make your website mobile friendly and find someone who can help you to alter your marketing campaign to include mobile components. You’re losing out on a huge segment of your audience.

So… truth? We know statistics and numbers and marketing plans aren’t what you like to work on. That’s why WSI New Media offers so many packages designed to help entrepreneurs like you. We’ll work on your marketing plan while you focus on what you love – your products and your clients. Give us a call to find out how we can help you in the New Year.

Does Your Business Have a True Content Marketing Strategy?

Ken Bowden - Tuesday, September 15, 2015

 

Does Your Business Have a True Content Marketing Strategy?

Content marketing. We’ve all heard of it, but not everyone has the same ideas when it comes to what the term actually means. Some people think it means making sure there is content, even new and revolving content on your website. Others think it means writing articles to drive links back to your website. Let’s take a closer look at what content marketing is and how to better utilize it in your business.

What is Content Marketing?

Content marketing is strategic. It means taking valuable information – information that is relevant, practical, and accurate – and finding ways to distribute it to the intended audience in order to drive profitable action. While in the past marketing meant mere text, it now extends to video, podcasts, infographics, social posts, ebooks, product reviews, lists of curated content, and so much more.

A good content marketing strategy is also developed by listening to what your potential customers are saying online.  Then develop content that meets the wants and needs of their enquiries.

Developing a Content Marketing Strategy

The trick to a good content marketing strategy is having a set, consistent plan. You need to know who your target audience is, the type of content they respond to most, where they generally look for it and determine how to use it to drive visitors to your landing pages for engagement.

Consistency is important because the longer you go between putting out new pieces of content, the more likely it is your audience will forget about you or be drawn towards another source with more frequent pieces of valuable information. You want to draw your audience’s attention and then keep it.

So how do you develop a strong strategy?

  1. Make sure you have someone within your organization who is the lead content manager. While everyone may be able to contribute, there should be one point person in charge of assigning, editing, and ultimately distributing your content.
  2. Decide what type of content you want to use and figure out who will create it. Will you need a social media manager or SEO consultant? Will you need a blogger? Will you need a graphic designer? Will you need someone with some basic YouTube skills? Is there someone within your office who can efficiently handle these tasks (without compromising his actual job role within your business), or should you outsource?
  3. If you’re going to handle the above in your office, do you have the tools and technology necessary to do so?
  4. Do you have a content calendar that outlines: a) the purpose for each piece of or that month’s content; b) the places you’d like to distribute content each month; c) the types of content you’ll put in each place; and d) deadlines for having each piece of content created?
  5. Once you’ve published your content, use your analytics reports to test and measure the effectiveness of your posts or campaign and revise accordingly.

Truth be told, content marketing can be a little overwhelming – especially if you run a busy business. Give WSI New Media Marketing a call if you’d like help with your content marketing strategy. We’ll take some of the burden off of your shoulders so you can focus on your clients.

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