Content marketing is a valuable tool for every stage of marketing, from lead generation to closing sales. There are no shortcuts, but these steps will help you devise a content marketing plan that actually drives action.

Its popularity is increasing by the day. Many marketers around the world are turning to content marketing. According to Demand Metric, 78% of CMOs think that custom content is the future of marketing.

Here are the most important ways for the business that can benefit from content creation and distribution:

Increase Awareness: Getting a valuable piece of content in front of someone who has never heard of the company before is an effective, non-invasive way to introduce themselves. If that potential customer likes what you have to say, they’re more likely to click around to learn about what goods and services you offer.

Build SEO: The more popular content, the more authority search engines give it, which will increase their visibility in results. This is also where consistency comes into play. Both the volume of content and the freshness of the content play a part in search results. Publish often, and you’ll see growth in search engine traffic.

Drive Traffic: One of the most important functions of content marketing in bringing people to the website. You want to strive for, not just quantity, but quality. You might publish an infographic that goes viral, but if the content is too broad, those visitors won’t stick around long enough to become customers.

Collect Data: The more users you have engaging with the content, the more opportunity they have to get to know them. And once you get to know who they are and what they’re interested in, the more targeted they can get with their content creation. Over time, they’ll be able to fine-tune their strategy to where you’re consistently publishing popular, effective content.

Increase Conversions: Users may gloss over a display ad for the products or services on another website, but if they land on a page on their website and see strong calls to action to check out the newest product or sign up for a free trial of their service, they’re more likely to click.

What better way exists to build brand loyalty within a community than with content marketing?

A content marketing strategy (not to be confused with a content strategy) analyzes the different ways content marketing can be used across the buyer’s journey, the customer life cycle and/or the different customer (experience) touchpoints but it goes beyond that. Essentially a content marketing strategy looks how content marketing (not content) can be used in a strategic way as such and for and with other marketing, customer, and sales strategies.

But the most frequent question that is asked is, if it is increasing in popularity why do many marketers not see immediate results?

The thing about content marketing is that – It takes time! Content marketing is not an immediate reward attaining process but a future investment. It is essentially focused on a thought leadership perspective to engage with customers – not to build brand exposure or sell products

When creating a content marketing strategy, it is necessary to have a documented one as opposed to something you just build in mind. This is where most content marketers go wrong. They do not document their strategy.

Before launching any content marketing campaign, defining strategy is a must. Unfortunately, many businesses skip this step or fail to do it thoroughly.

It’s time-consuming and often challenging, but this upfront work will help launch more-effective initiatives and even better understand the business.

For a few tips to help the organization or institution get started on effective content marketing, check out the following…

Connecting Content to Users with Digital Ads

Nonprofit organizations and higher education institutions are just beginning to understand the power of digital advertising. And it appears nothing is more powerful than Facebook advertising. Banner blindness and ad blocking software all diminish standard online advertising. Facebook Ads, however, are quite a bit different. With Facebook Ads (depending upon the campaign parameters) it’s a matter of finding receptive Facebook users for content and using the Facebook Ads platform to ensure that content appears in the Newsfeeds of those users. And that natural, subtler, highly personal, and targeted approach is one reason why Facebook Ads can drive 6x the clicks of all other forms of digital advertising.

Building Content Producing Capability

Content marketing is a full-time endeavor. It’s unlikely that can shift responsibilities and build a comprehensive content marketing strategy with existing staff. Especially starting from scratch.

But here is the good news – given the return on a smart, comprehensive content marketing strategy, this is one investment that can feel confident in making.

Whether hire new, full-time staff or work with an outside vendor, great content marketing will boost all key metrics including acquisition, retention, and major donor engagement. The key, as with many efforts, is not short-changing this tactic through inadequate staffing.

And consider staffing, don’t forget about volunteers. Online ambassadors can do more than boosting a giving day – applying ambassadors to year ’round content marketing strategy can boost stewardship and retention across all channels. Ambassadors are a gateway to new, unknown segments of supporters, provide authenticity in marketing efforts, and are proven to increase new donor acquisition. Work with them to realize the full potential of content marketing strategy.

Developing a good content marketing strategy can become really tedious, but eventually, all the efforts will pay off.

All that is left to do is: Get down to the plan. Get organized and time with the planning. Follow the steps in enhancing the strategy. Make vision become reality. Aim to influence!


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