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PHOTO: Kelly Sikkema

Content marketing is one of the most valuable tools brands have to communicate with their audiences. Done strategically, brands can publish compelling messaging that draws the attention of their target consumers. Whether through images, infographics, webpages, videos, blogs or newsletters, marketers have an opportunity to deliver relevant information that resonates with the people they’re trying to reach.

Effective content marketing can also be a powerful way to meet strategic goals, such as boosting conversions, increasing brand awareness, building strong customer relationships and ultimately, improving the bottom line. No matter what type of content a marketer is creating, they should focus on four key characteristics today to drive compelling messaging that meets business goals.

1. Build Strong Credibility

Establishing credibility is pivotal to how your core audience views and trusts your content. As a content marketer, it’s important to build a trusted reputation by establishing yourself as an expert in the topic you’re writing about. The audience must see you as a thought leader in your specific field.

One way to build credibility is to leverage reliable data, either from the company’s own research or a respectable outside source, to reinforce what you're communicating. People find content with relevant sources and hard numbers supporting the message more credible. Of course, the data source must be reliable as well, coming from an original and respected survey or study that doesn’t have the audience questioning its validity.

Visually appealing content, including graphics, infographics, drawings and charts, can help make messaging clear and concise. This adds authenticity to a brand’s voice while drawing the consumer in, making the article easier to digest with strong visual cues to guide the reader. Content marketers know this well, with 74% of marketers stating that more than 70% of their content contained some form of a visual element according to Venngage.

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2. Improve Engagement With Resonating Content

Engagement is another area that can not only improve the authority of a webpage, but also determine the reach and effectiveness of the content being published. Content marketers should incorporate effective strategies that increase engagement, such as the use of interactive and informative Q&A. The content must also have a call to action to give the reader a natural next step to engage with the brand. 

Measuring key SEO and web traffic metrics can help determine the type of content that a targeted audience will respond to. Marketers should consistently evaluate the time a visitor spends on the content and how often they’re exploring other areas of the site, plus analytics like bounce rate and page authority to identify a high-performing content strategy.

Related Article: Get Your SEO House in Order in 2021

3. Boost Security Measures

There are several areas regarding security that marketers must pay attention to in order to publish safe and reliable content. One aspect has to do with whether the brand’s site is incorporating security best practices so a security breach cannot harm the business. Not only can this ruin a brand’s reputation, but it can also impact SEO performance and the inherent long-term value of the content. By consistently improving website cybersecurity and monitoring for any issues, brands can ensure they are maintaining a secure platform that supports the SEO strategy of published content.

Furthermore, if a brand’s content strategy involves user-generated content (UGC), it’s vital to have the right security measures in place to prevent malware, code injections, social engineering, and more. Though this is content published by the user, such as product reviews or submitted images and videos, that content still reflects on the brand and they need to do everything they can to ensure a secure infrastructure that is safe and trustworthy.  

Developers should also regularly check in via SSLTrust, WPScan or equivalent tools to identify potential site security issues. This will help make sure the team hasn’t unwittingly added new vulnerabilities to the site. Incorporating foolproof security measures and detecting early issues before it’s too late will protect a brand’s content and ensure good search ranking.

Related Article: How to Mitigate the Risk of User Generated Content

4. Focus on Localized and Personalized Content

Lastly, consumers want a brand experience that is catered to their personal tastes and preferences. According to Accenture, 91% of consumers are more likely to shop with brands who provide offers and recommendations. Brands can deliver on this by sharing specific content to segmented audiences that present a strong and compelling message.

Localized content is a personalization approach that considers the area in which certain segments of a brand’s audience live. Personalization on a local or regional level allows marketers to push out content that is optimized to each audience’s location. For example, an activewear brand can send localized email campaigns based on the weather and seasonality of a given location.

Whether through segmented email campaigns or industry-specific ebooks, there are plenty of ways to distribute personalized content that makes a positive impression on customers.

Related Article: Personalization Prep Work: Is Your Content Ready?

Road to Content Marketing Success

Content marketing is so important to reaching an online audience, which is why brands must incorporate the above strategies to increase conversions and win measurable results. By paying attention to these key essentials, content marketers can deliver profitable results that win over customers.