How to Get Results from Content Marketing

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Do you want to see results from content marketing? Of course, you do. The most successful content marketers make sure to pay careful attention to every stage of the process; from ideation to execution to performance monitoring. With a well-organized plan and thorough content marketing strategy, you can see results from content marketing, too.

But you it takes discipline. Are you ready?

While are types of marketing have their own distinct roles and strategies, they all share one common purpose: results. I mean, no one creates content for content’s sake. Amiright?

That means always keeping the end goal in mind and trusting your data to lead you in the right direction.

Quick aside: We had a client in the insurance industry. They were adamant that every blog post we wrote for them be related to a specific type of insurance policy they sold. However, the data had a different story to tell. Engagement, both on social media and on the company’s website, was two to three times higher on non-insurance-related content. For example, a blog post on the dangers of texting and driving received 20 times more traffic and 50 times more social media engagement than blog posts about auto insurance.

The point of my story is that when it comes to seeing results from content marketing, it’s all about thinking outside the box.

Getting Results from Content Marketing

First things first: In order to see results from content marketing, you need to determine which metrics are the most important and how you will measure them. Businesses use content marketing for all sorts of purposes, from lead generation to brand awareness to thought leadership and beyond.

Understanding the purpose of your content marketing efforts is the first step.

Step 1: Prepare the Content

My father was fond of the popular adage, “Failing to plan is planning to fail.” He said it every time my brothers or I forgot our homework or showed up to baseball practice without our glove. They saying holds true with content marketing.

Take the time to get organized and make sure your content marketing plan aligns with your company goals and your customer desires. This is why the research phase is one of the most important aspects of content marketing. When conducting your content marketing research, be sure to:

  • Gather audience and user perceptions
  • Keep up to date on industry news and trends
  • Understand what content marketing tools are available to you
  • Explore different methods and platforms for content marketing.
  • Monitor what your competitors are doing

Not only will this research help you run your business, but it will help ensure you see results from content marketing. It’s important to note that the research phase never really ends. You should revisit and refresh your research from time to time to ensure you’re staying up to date.

Once you have a fair amount of research to go on, it’s time to set some goals. What do you want to achieve with your content marketing efforts? Write those goals down and make a plan for how you will monitor and track your content performance before starting any content marketing campaign. Like any goals in business, your content marketing goals should be SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic and Timely).

Once you know the purpose and goals of your content, you’re ready to set KPIs (Key Performance Indicators). KPIs can be anything from sales revenue to website traffic to social media reach and engagement. Your KPIs should align with your purpose and goals.

Step 2: Developing a Content Strategy

You’ll never see any real, verifiable results from content marketing without a clearly defined strategy. You strategy dictates everything from which content types you will create to which platforms you will use to distribute your content.

A successful strategy will tie back to your goals, purpose and audience needs. And, most importantly, your strategy will outline how you determine what a successful content marketing strategy looks like.

The first step to developing a content strategy is to conduct a content audit. What content assets do you currently have? What’s working, what’s not working? What web pages see the most traffic and why? What type of content does your social media audience respond to?

Once you’ve answered these questions, you’re ready to get started.

Keyword research

The keyword research phase is where you identify what words and phrases for which you want your website to rank. Build a list of words and phrases that you think highlight your brand, products and/or services. This is a good time to step out of your marketing role for a minute and step into your consumer role. How do you use Google and other search engines? If you’re a plumber, do you want your webpage to rank for “plumber” or do you want your webpage to rank for, “how much does it cost to unclog a toilet?”

The first keyword, “plumber,” tells you very little about the searcher’s intent. The latter, however, gives you lots of information. You know the searcher has a clogged toilet, and you know they are looking for prices to get said toilet repaired.

Keep this kind of thing in mind when conducting your keyword research.

Content calendar

Now that you know the type of content you need and have a good idea of your target audience and keywords, it’s time to create a content calendar. This is like a schedule that outlines when and where your content will be distributed.

Make sure to give yourself enough time to research and create the content. You may even want to consider a separate social media calendar.

Step 3: Create the Content

Content creation is perhaps the most difficult and time-consuming aspect of any content plan. Using the strategy you just worked so hard on as a guide, meet with your sales team or survey your customers to brainstorm topics.

Here are some content creation tips:

  • Consistency is key if you want to get results from content marketing, so be sure to create content that is realistic given your ability and resources.
  • Find your voice and stick to it. Your customers should be able to recognize your content over your competitors. This is how you build trust. The right voice can also help direct customers in the right direction, be it purchase or brand advocacy.
  • Tap into your creative juices. If you or an employee have a particular talent, such as writing or graphic design, makes sure to incorporate that into your content.

But you don’t have to manage the content creation on your own. The Lorem Ipsum Company has a team of content creators ready and willing to help you see your content plan come to life. Contact us today for a free consultation.

Step 4: Distribute the Content

Creating content is only half the battle. Now you have to figure out how to make sure the right people see your content at the right time.

business email marketing content connection on people

Develop a publishing cadence and stick to it. Your audience will get used to seeing your content on certain days and times and will eventually start to seek out your content. Have a detailed process on paper, whether it’s for publishing a blog post or creating a gated landing page for an ebook or white paper.

And DON’T forget paid promotion. Promoting your content on social media and other content syndication platforms is a must if you want to get results from content marketing. This is where understanding how SEO works can be a real benefit.

Step 5: Measure the Content

The last step to getting results from content marketing is to measure the content’s success. This means collecting and analyzing data about who, when and where users interact with your content. This is the only sure fire way to get proof that your content marketing efforts are paying off and see real ROI.

Tap into online tools, such as Google Analytics and Facebook Pixel, to make data collection a breeze. Set up regular reports so you can understand your content performance in real time and correct problems quickly. Think of content as a living, breathing asset. If it doesn’t seem to be working at first, don’t kill it, tweak it. Maybe it’s not the content, maybe it’s the delivery method or the topic.

Lastly, you want to make sure you’re acting on your data. What is your data telling you? Maybe you thought social media was going to be your best channel, but it turns out that’s not the case. Take your learnings and evolve your strategy.

Final Thoughts

Now rinse and repeat. Yup, it’s that easy.

But the work is far from over. Content marketing is a cyclical process and every step needs constant attention and planning.

If you need assistance with any aspect of your content marketing efforts or you still aren’t sure how to get results from content marketing, contact us today.

    Jeramy Gordon is the founder and Chief Content Officer at the Lorem Ipsum Company. He has been creating successful content strategies for almost two decades and believes in the power of high-quality content. He lives in Orange County, California, with his wife and two children.

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