Recognizing that useful and compelling content is the best tool in today’s marketing landscape, we’ve advised our current and prospective clients to employ a content marketing strategy time after time. Our team recommends content creation as a sustainable, long-term investment that helps to build brand awareness, generate leads, boost SEO and position your brand as a thought leader. In fact, we’ve even asserted that every business needs a content marketing strategy—and that, to get the best results, you should be publishing new content as often as possible. To say the least, we’re big proponents of content marketing.
In October 2017, the Roop & Co. team took the time to prioritize our own content marketing strategy by ramping up our content creation efforts internally. With our focus first and foremost on achieving ambitious client goals, our team historically hasn’t had as much time to focus on our own business development. Though the blog featured compelling, original content, it lacked consistency, an overarching editorial strategy and dedicated content team.
With a newfound commitment to reviving the Roop & Co. blog and creating an inventory of digital resources, our team devised a content marketing strategy that has only reinforced our belief that it’s one of the most effective programs a company can take on.
How We Launched Our Content Marketing Strategy
So. how did we transform our internal marketing strategy from dormant to prolific? We approached it with the same level of commitment as we would for a client. Okay, maybe we cut ourselves a little slack and experimented more than we would have on a client account—but, for the most part, we followed the structure below:
1. Develop a Content Calendar
Three main concepts were considered when we put together our content calendar:
- Time – Client work will always be a priority over advancing our internal marketing efforts. Though we’d like to publish 3-4 blog posts per month, we chose a more attainable goal of two blog posts on a monthly basis.
- Topics – With the goal of educating visitors, we structured our content around our agency’s six core capabilities because we have legitimate expertise to share in those areas. Sticking to topics surrounding branding, content marketing, digital marketing, media relations, PR strategy and investor relations helped us find our niche, while still having plenty of variety on the blog.
- Audience – Our client base is mostly B2B manufacturers, professional services firms and public companies. Each piece of content was planned with the specific interests and needs of these target audiences in mind.
2. Ramp Up Content Creation
To stay on schedule and prevent things from slipping through the cracks in the scramble to crank out new content, our team follows this simple blogging checklist when creating and publishing new content. For a more in-depth understanding of the content creation process, download our free Content Marketing Guide e-book.
3. Track Our Data Analytics
Our team uses a marketing automation system, SharpSpring, that provides us with powerful insights into the performance of our content marketing efforts. Using this tool, we track how many people are visiting our site, how they found our site, and even on which page they entered the site. It also tracks lead conversions, stores their contact information and collects data on their customer journey, which we can segment for future marketing efforts. Without this tool, we wouldn’t be able to measure the success of our content marketing strategy.
One Year Later: How Our Content Marketing Performed
Prior to launching our content marketing strategy, Roop & Co. was averaging about 900 web visitors per month. As depicted in the graph below, our web traffic gradually grew once we started to regularly publish original content to our blog. By August 2018, we had hit an all-time high for web traffic—2,300 visitors in a single month. That’s a 256% increase from our average web traffic just one year ago!
But increased web traffic isn’t the only result we’ve gained from implementing a content marketing strategy. Roop & Co. has also leveraged our content to earn media placements in Crain’s Cleveland Business, American Express’s OPEN Forum and TKM’s newsletter. Our gated content has connected us with 57 qualified leads, and our followers engage with our brand on a more meaningful level.
Key Takeaways From Our Content Marketing Strategy
What works and what falls flat will vary depending on your strategy. Here’s a few key takeaways we gleaned from our own efforts after taking a close look at the data analytics of our content marketing strategy:
1. Content Continues to Provide Long-Term ROI
Content doesn’t quit generating leads once it’s been published. People will continue to find it on search engines and on your business’s website as long as it’s properly optimized. Furthermore, the blog can be re-posted across social media channels periodically, shared in newsletters and even syndicated by other publishers. As long as the content stays relevant, it can create an eternity of new web traffic and new business leads. Whereas other marketing programs rely on securing a budget each month to continue to be successful, creating evergreen content is an investment that offers even greater longevity.
For example, our top-performing blog post, Sponsored Content vs. Branded Content, served as the entrance page for 3.6% of our annual visitors. Even though it was published in November 2017, it still attracts new visitors to our website every month. In fact, only 21.7% of our annual visitors enter the site through the home page, while the other 80% enter via links to blog content, case studies or our About page. The more content you have on your site, the more opportunities there are for people to stumble across it on search engines.
2. Timely Topics Drive More Traffic
We found that content around timely industry/local news stirred more interest. Our blog posts about how the new GDPR legislation will impact marketing and the lack of a PR strategy around Bird scooters in Cleveland attracted 3x more clicks than a typical blog post.
3. Premium Content Pays Off
Our content marketing strategy included creating two free e-books this year—our Content Marketing Guide and our Crisis Communications Guide. Although these resources took significantly more time to develop, the e-books have differentiated our website’s content and provided countless visitors with an in-depth understanding of what we do. By requesting that visitors fill out a form before downloading our gated content, we’ve obtained the contact information of potential leads and can now keep in touch with them to provide additional helpful resources.
What’s Next for Our Content Marketing Plan?
Now that the fundamentals of our content marketing strategy are in place, we’re taking steps to scale it further. We’ve allocated a small budget for pay-per-click ads to reach new audiences, are in the process of designing a new website that will simplify the blog’s navigation, and have added lots of premium content to our calendar. We anticipate our strategy’s success will continue its upward trend with these new elements added in.
As a lean organization ourselves, we understand that it can be difficult to keep up with feeding the content beast. But the good news is that sticking to a consistent content schedule ultimately yields success. Having a structured strategy in place and a knowledgeable team to support it has kept us accountable for content creation, and we’ve found that even if priorities shift for a month or two and we aren’t able to publish new content, our existing content will still be there to continue to drive traffic.