Every so often, op-eds pop up trying to cast doubt on the necessity of content marketing: Isn’t content outdated? Can we stop writing blogs already?
The answer? No.
With the benefit of a couple of decades of marketing statistics to back us up, it’s more apparent than ever that in a fast-moving and ever-changing digital landscape, content is unusually effective at building authority, improving SEO, and generating leads.
The catch, of course, is that we have to use it well.
Content Marketing for Your Digital Marketing Strategy: Why It Works
In an increasingly diverse digital landscape, it’s tempting to think that technology—the multiple channels like text / SMS and geo-targeted ads through which we reach new and existing customers—can simply replace content. After all, writing effective content doesn’t just “happen.” It requires time and focus, and admittedly it’s a longer-term strategy than a one-day sale or digital ad campaign.
Your dispensary needs a story that customers can latch on to. We’ll be brutally honest: Wherever you do business, there is (or shortly will be) competition, and plenty of it. The quality and price of your wares will drive your success, up to a point. But the businesses that clients latch on to—and become high-value customers of—are those they connect with, whose style and vibe and aspirations match up with theirs. And for that seemingly magic (actually, fairly easy to quantify and replicate) connection to be made, you need the kind of story that only content marketing can provide.
Don’t just take it from us. From GE’s astonishing “brand lift” from their collaboration with BuzzFeed to the fact that over half of marketers admit that content creation is their top priority, there’s no escaping the takeaway: Content marketing needs to be a part of any digital marketing strategy. But how do you make it effective?
Content Marketing for Your Digital Strategy: Measuring Effectiveness
We’ve talked a little about why content marketing is so crucial. But the question “how do you make it effective?” demands a little more information. Specifically, what are your goals? Improving your website’s SEO ranking? Generating leads? Or building authority? Each is important, and each requires a slightly different approach to assessing its effectiveness. Here are some tips and tools, broken down by these common goals.
Measuring Your SEO Ranking
- Ranking Keywords: Among the most basic ways of getting your content in front of the right eyeballs, incorporating relevant keywords into your website copy and blogs is crucial. There are various site audit tools such as SEMrush you can use to self-assess, or you can reach out for an assist from some dispensary content creation experts.
- Measuring Organic Search Traffic: Who’s coming to your website, and why? Aside from the digital ad campaign we hope you’re running, keeping track of “organic” (i.e. non-ad generated) traffic to your site is a powerful way to assess the effectiveness of your content. Best of all, you can (and should) be doing this already using tools like Google Analytics.
- Measuring Conversions: All the site traffic in the world won’t help if your visitors aren’t sticking around to buy anything! Again, employing tools like Google Analytics will help you determine where in the lead generation funnel your potential customers are peeling away (and how to keep them engaged).
- Track Your Clickbacks: Where are your site visitors coming from? Knowing what kind of content brings consumers to your site can help you determine what they want to see more of!
- Dive Deep Into Analytics: As we hinted in some of the earlier examples, analytics can uncover an enormous amount of usable information on your content and approach. By delving into the worlds of finish rate, bounce rate, time on site, and other metrics, you can see—in more or less real-time!—what kind of content is attracting and creating high-quality leads. Speaking of which….
- Score Your Leads: How good are those leads, anyway? Content plays a major role not only in drawing consumers to your site but improving the quality/score of leads. There are many ways to crack this particular nut; here’s one to start with.
- Analytics Again!: The metrics we referenced earlier can help reveal important truths about how engaging your content actually is. If potential customers are spending only a few seconds on content meant to engage them for minutes, something’s missing. Time to take a cold hard look at what you’re sharing, and why.
- Share and Share Alike: Is your content so compelling that people are sharing it? Whether it’s valuable information and insights (or just incredible images and stories) chances are that others will want to spread the word on your behalf. Linkbacks and social mentions are two great ways to keep track of how far your content is being shared.
Content Marketing for Your Digital Marketing Strategy: How to Get Started
As we wrote earlier, content marketing isn’t a short-term strategy. It’s something that requires an input of time and effort for maximum results. But it works. As we’ve explained previously, calculating the ROI of content marketing isn’t even particularly mysterious.