• Susan Gaide

8 Steps to Quality Content Marketing




Let’s face it—there is just too much content out there. That’s why it’s hard to focus on the messages that bombard us every day. But for marketers, too much content means serious challenges. Generating organic traffic and grabbing consumer attention is akin to climbing Mount Everest.


How do you cut through the clutter with quality content that will stick? You can’t be ad hoc about it. Quality content that drives business outcomes is planned, deliberate and scalable. Read on for 8 steps to better content marketing.


Quality Content Marketing Step 1: Show Your Human Side


"Corporate speak" doesn’t cut it anymore. It just doesn’t resonate with B2C or B2B consumers. And if you’re using an AI content generator, stop. It’s just not human and it’s never going to be.


I’m not saying that simply because I’m a content strategist and writer. I’m saying it because it’s the truth. AI-generated content will give your website, blog and other marketing assets a cookie-cutter feel. And you will likely find your content (or something creepily similar) elsewhere on the internet, posted by other companies that have developed their content with the “help” of AI. It will do nothing to help you cut through the clutter—it will become the clutter.


Moreover, there is no one-size-fits-all marketing message. Focus on creating content that evidences your intimate knowledge of your niche audience. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What are their wants and needs?

  • What kind of content lights a fire under them?

  • What are they really looking for when they’re searching for a product or service like yours?

Make it obvious to your audience that you’ve taken the time to learn who they are, what they like and what motivates them to pay attention to content.


Finally, don’t talk at your target audience. Talk with them. Quality, engaging content is conversational and relatable—like a good friend who has come to tell you something that can help you or be useful to you.


Quality Content Marketing Step 2: Stay Current with the Pandemic


People are still concerned about the pandemic because every day, we hear about a new variant that might threaten to lock us down again. And businesses are still very much taking Covid-19 into consideration in their 2022 operational planning. Let your audience know what your company is doing to:

  1. Keep your company, its employees and its customers safe from Covid-19.

  2. Help sustain the surrounding community.

Quality Content Marketing Step 3: Focus on Storytelling and Experience


Great stories exude empathy, expertise, authority and trustworthiness. Tell your audience a story they’ll want to read—and share. Sharing puts the viral marketing machine in motion—that all-important but often missing word-of-mouth component (online and offline). Moreover, content that tells a great story and evokes emotion also provides an unforgettable content experience. And, ultimately, that will keep customers and prospective customers engaged with your brand and will make your brand more memorable.


Quality Content Marketing Step 4: Align Content with Business Goals


I get some strange looks sometimes when I ask marketers how the content they want to create ties back to strategic business goals. Somehow or another they end up telling me that strategic business goals have nothing to do with content creation—that only marketing goals matter.


No. And more no! All content roads must lead not only to business goals but also to the company’s mission/vision. Goals flow out of the mission and strategies flow out of the goals. Tactics flow out of the strategies, and content is one of them.


Quality Content Marketing Step 5: Pay Attention to CTR (Clickthrough Rate)


Clickthrough rate—otherwise known as CTRis the percentage of impressions that resulted in a click. In digital advertising, after seeing your ad, how many times did people click on it? If you’ve sent an email, how many people, after opening the email, clicked on the call to action (CTA)? I’ve seen zero clickthrough rates. It’s terrible because it means that not one single person was interested in what the company was offering.


It's time to rethink your content. And don’t think that just because your design team spends countless hours putting together a fancy-schmancy HTML email that recipients are going to pay attention to it. For the past few years, content best practices have been moving away from that due to the overwhelming preferences of the Millennial and Gen Z generations for emails that are conversational—like a friend has come to help them find what they need or answer their questions.


And those preferences don’t change when those generations of buyers are in B2B buying roles. As a result, content needs to answer questions rather than pitch products and services.


Quality Content Marketing Step 6: Build Your eBook and Video Content Libraries


According to Search Engine Journal, eBooks and Videos are two of the seven types of content that drive engagement. Now is the time to begin creating those two types of contents and to use them as lead generators and engagement drivers.


According to Statista, worldwide growth in eBooks will continue into 2022 and well beyond.

  • Revenue in the eBooks segment is projected to top $17 billion USD in 2022.

  • Revenue is expected to show an annual growth rate (CAGR 2022-2026) of 2.35%, resulting in a projected market volume of $18.693 billion USD by 2026.

  • The number of eBook readers is expected to amount to 11.828 billion users by 2026.

  • eBook User penetration will be 14.2% in 2022 and is expected to hit 15% by 2026.

  • The average revenue per eBook user (ARPU) is expected to amount to $15.75 USD.

  • In global comparison, most revenue will be generated in the United States ($6.397 billion in 2022).


Given the rise in online video consumption, video content is an essential part of any brand's marketing strategy. In fact, in 2020, 96% of consumers increased their online video consumption, and 9 out of 10 viewers said that they wanted to see more videos from brands and businesses. In 2022, an average person is predicted to spend 100 minutes per day watching online videos. And, according to Wordstream, marketers who use video grow revenue 49% faster than non-video users.


Just like eBooks and other forms of content, the goal in creating a video should be to provide value to your audience by answering questions, providing solutions, addressing pain points or otherwise providing relevant information.


Quality Content Marketing Step 7: Conduct Content Audits and Make Data-Driven Content Decisions


It’s not enough to just post content. You also need to regularly audit it. In fact, according to Marketing Insider Group, 65% of companies that succeed in content marketing conduct content audits. Most experts agree that an annual content audit is the bare minimum recommendation. Twice annually would be better. Yet, a surprising 37% of content marketers never perform a content audit. This represents a missed opportunity for companies to improve content that hasn’t performed as expected.


If your business regularly publishes content but isn’t seeing results, a content audit is a good place to start in remedying the problem. Even if you feel your content strategy is successful, a content audit will likely give it a boost and make your future tactics even more effective.


Content audits answer important questions like:

  • Which content is performing best, and can I optimize it even more?

  • Which content is underperforming and how can I fix it?

  • Is there content on my website that is no longer needed or relevant?

  • What topics are resonating most with my audience?

  • Where do gaps or new opportunities exist within my content?

Use content marketing tools to make informed, data-driven decisions about your content. Hubspot Marketing Hub and Google Search Console (which is free) are two of my favorites.


Quality Content Marketing Step 8: Use Content Automation Tools


42% of companies use content automation software to get more value from their content, according to Hubspot’s 2021 State of Marketing Report. Content automation is a set of technologies that automate manual processes in content marketing. Content automation works by identifying repetitive content-related tasks and using tools or applications to perform them.


Tasks that are often streamlined with content automation include search engine optimization (SEO), social media scheduling and tagging, target audience analytics and plagiarism checking. Content automation also helps automate content workflows, manage and store content assets for easy reuse, collaborate across roles and departments, and publish consistent content in a variety of formats and channels.


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