According to 2017’s content marketing survey, a whopping 80% of content marketers reported a focus on building their audiences – an 18% increase over last year. We’ve known for years that audience building should be the main focus of a content marketing strategy, and now it’s clear that more and more marketers agree. In 2018, be a company that’s confident in the success of its marketing initiatives. Learn from the top performers of 2017, and try marketing strategies that have worked well in the last year. Let this post be a jumping-off point for increasing your audience this year.
Narrow the Focus of Your Blog
The B2B Content Marketing 2018 report revealed some positive statistics for content marketers in 2017. It indicated that nearly 65% of B2B marketers in the survey reported more success with their content marketing efforts than the previous year. The 18% of survey respondents that said their efforts were “much more successful” engaged in certain marketing practices well worth repeating as we head into the new year. One such practice involves sharpening the focus of the company’s blog.
Your blog is a major platform for content marketing and audience building. It can generate leads, increase site traffic, and boost conversion rates – but only if it’s performing well. One way to drive meaningful results with your blog is to narrow its focus. Search engines like Google use algorithms to provide users with highly focused, relevant pages for searches. The narrower your blog’s focus, the more likely your site will pop up on the first page of search results. Publish more posts that are very specific to your niche to give your audience the info they seek.
Add More Instructional and How-To Posts
The popularity of “How-To” and other instructional posts isn’t fading away with 2017. In fact, one of the reasons AARP The Magazine was a finalist for Project of the Year this year, is because of its articles featuring tips for staying “healthy, fashion-forward, and financially secure” as readers get older. Readers respond well to instructional posts because they provide clear use and value. They serve to give the audience the information they seek – pure and simple.
Expertise in building instructional blog content can make all the difference in your readership in 2018. Instructional posts establish your brand as one with authority in your industry, and a go-to source of helpful information, tips, and tricks. Ramp up your instructional posts by answering questions your audience has. Answer common questions based on keyword search data, and watch your visibility and audience build organically. Readers in every niche love relevant, helpful, and informative posts. Capture their attention with more instructional blogs.
Let Your Audience in on Insider News and Updates
In 2018, millennials will continue to make up the largest consumer group. Marketing to millennials is different from marketing to older demographics. According to the FIT 2017 Millennial Consumer Survey, 48% of millennials are more likely to support a brand if they know the people behind it. Millennial shoppers want an emotional connection with a company, not just a great deal. Use this to your advantage by including more blog posts and content about your business.
Increase the number of posts you publish that have to do with your brand, its mission, and its team. If something new or exciting happens at your company, turn it into a blog post. Keep your audience informed about what’s going on behind the scenes. Be transparent in your content, always keeping it honest and sincere. Millennials don’t want smoke and mirrors – they want to really get to know your brand, and support the real people behind it. The more you can reveal about your company through your blog, the better for building long-lasting relationships.
Sprinkle in More Statistics
Frontline Education took home the 2017 award for Best Content Marketing Program out of 1,100 entries in the annual Content Marketing Awards. What did Frontline Education do differently than it has for the last 20 years? It transformed its content strategy, transitioning from direct mail to digital marketing and focused on informing and educating its audience. The company saw an immense jump in its content marketing success, with a 195% increase in click-to-open rates and a 32% increase in new business from marketing.
One of the things Frontline did right was include more data and statistics in its content. The company drove relevant topics by leveraging original industry data from the Frontline Research & Learning Institute. Its original data generated a larger audience that was hungry for the information the company provided. Sprinkle in more research, statistics, and data wherever possible to drum up interest in your content, establish yourself as an authority, and add greater value to your blog posts.
Deliver Content Frequently and Consistently
Consistency is key as we head into 2018. In a world fraught with uncertainty, let your blog be a touchpoint in your audience’s lives – something readers can rely on to always arrive on time, as promised, and with new valuable information. Be a consistent content creator that generates excitement and buzz around each new post. Achieve this level of audience interest by constantly producing new information and relevant content.
While 62% of the most successful B2B organizations use strategic content marketing, only 37% of all B2Bs report having a documented content strategy. It’s clear that having a strategy lends itself to greater content marketing success on the whole. This is because a strategy helps a brand stay consistent in its approach, and publish new, original content according to a schedule. Establish a content strategy for 2018 and stick to it. If you have to outsource content writing services to publish as regularly as you need to, do so. Readers will reward your investment with blog and brand loyalty.
Make 2018 Your Year With Stellar Content Marketing
Growing your audience is about more than just banner advertisements and social media profiles. It’s about the quality and quantity of your brand’s content. Content marketing has the power to bring your company to the very top of your niche – if done correctly. Make 2018 your year to shine with a content blueprint that includes the proven strategies listed above.
This article originally appeared in Content Equals Money.