Guest post written by: Ryan Gould, Vice President of Strategy and Marketing Services, Elevation B2B
For modern marketers, content marketing is the way of the future. Ascend2 research shows that 87% of marketing influencers plan to increase their content marketing budget. Why? Because it’s proven to be successful. A whopping 95% of marketers we surveyed reported that their content marketing strategy achieved its primary objective– at least to some extent. Still, there’s always room for improvement. Only about 39% of marketers consider themselves very successful. So, what’s the holdup?
Content marketing is largely less expensive than other traditional marketing methods, and it generates about three times as many leads. The most successful marketers know how to maximize the effectiveness of their marketing strategy (i.e. generate as many leads as possible) while minimizing the overall cost of content creation and distribution. It’s a whole lot simpler than you think, and you don’t have to spend big to get big results.
These tips can help you implement an affordable content marketing strategy effectively.
Choose Your Social Media Wisely
Social media is key when it comes to content distribution, but not all social networks are created equal. If you’re spending your content marketing budget on social media advertisements (think: a boosted Facebook post), you have to make sure that you’re actually reaching meaningful leads. For this reason, it’s important to fully understand the demographic of each social network.
For example, Facebook is the largest social media platform in the world and has around 2.13 billion users. A whopping 68% of adults in the United States use the service, which makes it a great platform to market to pretty much anyone, but beyond that, the majority of adults on Facebook make over $75,000 and have a track record of further education. Going even further, LinkedIn is renowned for its highly educated professional demographics. If your brand is targeting highly educated adults, you can maximize your marketing budget by focusing on those two platforms rather than, say, TikTok, which attracts a much younger, Gen Z audience.
Create Content You Can Reuse
You wouldn’t buy a sweater if you only planned to wear it once. The same can go for content. Reusing old content is a great way to reduce content marketing costs while still generating brand new leads. You can do this in a number of ways. For example, you can republish old blogs with new data. You can convert old research into infographics and then convert old infographics into a video. The more shareable, the better.
It’s important to note that fresh content is still important. Every piece of content published should be relevant to potential customers, whether it has to do with their interests and demographics or the buying process. Still, revamping some old work to give a fresh new perspective can serve the same purpose at a minimal cost.
Let Your Customers Do The Distribution Work
Do you know what’s free? Word of mouth. It may seem old school, but it’s still a powerful tool when it comes to generating leads through content marketing. One of the most inexpensive ways to minimize the cost of lead generation is to create a content strategy that encourages social sharing. This way, your potential consumers are doing the distribution for you.
Now, getting actual shares is easier said than done. Running a contest is often an inexpensive, quick way to solicit some engagement, but the focus should really be on quality, high-value content — things your consumer finds helpful or interesting. The type of content also matters. For example, video and infographics are generally more shareable than a text-filled blog. In fact, on Twitter, videos are six times more likely to be retweeted than tweets with GIFs.
Then, there’s the matter of trust. Consumers share content they believe is trustworthy, and not all content carries the same trust level. For example, our research has shown that research and case studies are twice as trustworthy as email and e-newsletters. Traditional and digital PR is generally considered the least trustworthy.
Personalize Your Emails
Even with social media, guest-posting on like-minded blogs, and free blogging platforms like Medium, the most direct way to reach potential leads is still through email. Email marketing is its own thing, but it does fall into the world of content marketing because it’s a vessel for your content that reaches the most interested customers.
In order to maximize leads, it’s important to send targeted, personalized emails. According to Hubspot, only about 2% of emails sent by businesses are personalized, but personalization can actually increase your ROI. Consumers generally open emails with personalized subject lines 50% more than emails than those without.
In addition, optimize your content distribution by simply splitting up your content and sending out more emails. Research has shown that a series of three emails perform better than a single email. Make sure to get extra oomph by segmenting down your audience to those who’d be most interested. According to Mailchimp, email segmentation increases click rates by just under 75%.
Always Analyze The Data
Your content marketing strategy is only as successful as you make it. This is why research and data are important. The best way to lower costs and generate more leads is to always keep an eye on the analytics. Watch your campaigns to find what works best, and decrease spending in areas that aren’t showing much engagement. Content marketing is an ongoing process, and you can learn what your customers prefer in real-time. Making changes to your campaign based on hard facts, like analytics or market research, will only increase ROI.
Vice President of Strategy and Marketing Services, Elevation B2B
From legacy Fortune 100 institutions to inventive start-ups, Ryan brings extensive experience with a wide range of B2B clients. He skillfully architects and manages the delivery of integrated marketing programs, and believes strongly in strategy, not just tactics, that effectively aligns sales and marketing teams within organizations.