The Content Loop – Your Guide to Digital Marketing
The content loop is a multi-step digital marketing strategy that involves planning, creating, promoting, and measuring content to engage with your target audience. Regular evaluation of your content can help you create a successful digital marketing campaign.
Content marketing is a commitment, not a campaign. It’s important to remember that when you’re ramping up your marketing efforts, specifically for social media. A campaign is like a pre-packaged product that you launch and then monitor the results. Content marketing is something you must commit to doing consistently, across all appropriate channels, and you don’t stop. Unlike campaigns, which stop before the next separate campaign begins, content marketing doesn’t. It evolves and grows over time, be that new content or repurposing existing content. Furthermore, it’s not always the same content even when it’s published at the same time. It should vary slightly depending on which platform it’s posted to, keeping in mind that particular audience. It’s complex, but it’s not complicated.
“Content Marketing is a commitment, not a campaign.” ~ Jon Buscall, Head of Moondog Marketing
The Formula for Successful ROI
Good content marketing builds relationships, and relationships are built on trust. And trust drives revenue. Producing consistently great content = greater trust = greater ROI. The formula is that simple, but the practice of doing so isn’t always. That’s why we’re taking the time in this article to share our guidelines for effective content marketing. For example, did you know that not all of your content should be an attempt to sell your product/service? That’s right; you don’t like being constantly sold to, and no one else does either. No matter how great your product is. “Content marketing is really like a first date. If all you do is talk about yourself, there won’t be a second date.” Words of wisdom from David Beebe, former head of content at Marriott. As a provider of virtual assistants with broad professional expertise, including marketing, we’re happy to share the knowledge. Read on for helpful tips, best practices, and a valuable infographic to save for your own future reference.
Why Content Marketing is Important
- Educate your audience, prospects, and leads about the product and/or service you offer.
- Build healthy relationships between your customers and business, which result in increased brand loyalty.
- Demonstrate to your audience how your product/service solves their problem or challenges.
- Create a sense of community and authenticity around your brand.
- Boost your conversions.
Types of Content Marketing
Social Media Marketing
There are over 3.6 million global social media users. It’s a no-brainer nowadays, that social media is where any reputable business should be very active. But it’s important to remember that each platform has different user demographics. So while your message should always be consistent, your voice should adjust accordingly across platforms.
Infographics are awesome because they display content, information, and data in an easy-to-understand visual format. They are the perfect method of distilling an educational or complex topic down so all audiences can understand it.
Blogs are powerful inbound content. You shouldn’t expect strong ROI on blogs though, as they tend to be better used as a means of supporting your other content. They are great opportunities to be more creative and experimental in their purpose and chosen topics. Having guest writers(or guests writing yourself on someone else’s blog) is a great way to increase exposure.
A 2020 survey found that 49% of 12-32 year-olds in the US listened to a podcast within the past month of being surveyed, with an average of six listening hours per week. People like consuming content while they multitask, like driving, exercising or working. Podcasts are perfect for that, and also allow more creativity and guest opportunities, much like blogs.
According to this study, 69% of consumers prefer to learn about a product or service through videos. Like podcasts, they can be put on while someone multitasks, or can be short but sweet pieces of value on someone’s timeline. Use popular songs, feature experts, show off your culture, and highlight customer journeys.
The classic practice of paying for advertising is timeless for a reason. It helps you reach a broad audience and position yourself in all of the places you want to be seen. Paid ads can be especially beneficial when paired with inbound marketing efforts. Just make sure that what you pay to boost is proven content, sent to the right audience.
The Content Loop
Below you’ll see our own Content Loop infographic. Our marketing team uses this graphic as a visual aide for remembering the content process. If you’re following the correct content marketing path, it should lead you through all types of content marketing. Furthermore, it should lead you back to step one eventually. Remember; effective content marketing isn’t a single step; it’s a series of steps. Let’s walk those steps together, shall we?
Produce engaging content. The first step in this loop is to actually create the content, after deciding what it’ll be about. For example; a video interview with one of your happy clients. They talk about their customer journey that led to your product, what the onboarding process was like, and how satisfied they are with the experience so far. Maybe they even give you some stats as a testament to how your product/service has solved a problem or improved things for them. The video can then be used by your copywriter to craft a case study or blog post about this client. The audio from the video can be repurposed as a podcast, as well.
Craft social media posts. This is where you pull apart everything you produced in step one and prepare to spread it out across platforms. Cut snippets of the video out into bite-sized teasers, highlighting an interesting quote or stat the client gave. A snippet from the Podcast can be played over a graphic image. The case study/blog should be posted on places like LinkedIn and Facebook, and sometimes Twitter. So you’ll need to craft captions/messaging to accompany this content when it’s ready to be posted. It’s also nice to have a highlight pinned to your Instagram where you can post relevant images/clips accompanied by links to written content.
Upload the finished full piece of content. This is when you are ready to share with the world the finished product. Upload the full interview video to YouTube/Vimeo and then share a link to it on Facebook, LinkedIn, and your Google Business page. Then post the snippets to Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter. These teases should also include links to the full video, should viewers want to see more. The snippets can also become evergreen content that you can repurpose or re-post at will, in the future.
Craft emails around the content you created. Now that you’ve spread this content in various forms across all of your social media channels, you want to spread the word to those on your email lists. Have your copywriter create short but sweet emails about the topic from your previous content. Maybe include a screenshot or a gif, along with a link to said content and an enticing CTA. These emails should be tweaked to accommodate both cold and warm leads, providing enough value to tease and entice a clickthrough.
Lastly, compile this content into something downloadable. This could be an infographic/brochure of some kind, that presents the information from your video/blog in an easy-to-digest format for reading. Or if someone in the video outlined a strategy or guide of some kind, you can present that as its own value-add for easy downloading and sharing. And at the least, convert the video into an audio interview for users to download and listen to later. You can almost always find some form of value in your media content that can be turned into a downloadable freebie.
Attack of the Content Machine
That content loop guide is your plan of attack, in the social media content wars. With that infographic above you now know what to create, how to create it, and what to do with it. Then it’s just up to your social media managers, sales reps, and even internal employees to help spread that content like wildfire. Encourage employees to like and share your content. Give it all to your sales reps so that they can utilize it to hook leads. All the while your marketing team tracks the results and reports back accordingly. Because you cannot forget the analytical side of this. It’s imperative that you keep track of things like post engagement, shares, opens, and clickthroughs. Determining what content performs the best, and when/where it does so, will help you shape future content to be even more effective. Don’t just ship it and forget it.
Content is a hot word these days, as everyone from billionaire CEOs to TikTok entrepreneurs is capitalizing on the opportunity. You don’t have to be the first, you just have to be one of the best. And doing so is a full-time job in itself. That’s where an assistant becomes invaluable. We at MyOutDesk are always adding virtual professionals with marketing experience to our pool of available assistants. So if you ever need help producing content, or at least just utilizing and tracking it, you can’t do any better than a dedicated social media virtual assistant. Use the link below to request a demo. We’ll answer any questions you have, and make it perfectly clear how valuable we can be to you.