Content Marketing Strategy Best Practices

Part
01
of eight
Part
01

Audio-Specific Content Marketing Strategy Best Practices - Audience Targeting

Ensuring great content, knowing the target audience, and networking are some audio-specific content marketing strategy best practices for audience targeting, as per reports by the Content Marketing Institute, We Edit Podcasts, Podcast Motor, and others.

Ensuring Great Content

  • According to Podcast Motor, best practice for an audio-specific content marketing strategy is to have an excellent audio content program before going after an audience. The report observed that producing a great audio-specific content strategy revolved around making plans on becoming consistent at putting out content pieces that are not boring; else, a targeted audience would get frustrated and stop listening.
  • Castos' report highlighted that the number one rule for audience targeting in an audio-specific content strategy is to focus exclusively on providing value to content consumers.
  • This best practice helps a company to focus on creating value through quality content, as doing that is a predictable way to build a strong relationship with an audience, as per Castos' report.
  • According to the Content Marketing Institute, best practice for an audio-specific content strategy audience targeting is to entertain the listening audience. As per the report, doing this would not only make an audience consider the contents they consume to be great, it will create the ripple effect of them talking about it, helping the company that produces the content to reach people in their listeners' audience.

Knowing the Target Audience

  • A comprehensive report on audio-specific content marketing strategy by Heidi Cohen observed that knowing and understanding a target audience’s listening context and audio habits is one best practice for targeting them.
  • The report by Heidi Cohen noted that getting audience targeting right in an audio-specific content marketing strategy involved knowing how people's content habits are different from videos, texts, and visuals.
  • According to Podcast Monitor, knowing the target audience of an audio-specific content strategy enables a brand to save time targeting only the right groups of people. The report observed that things to check for when targeting an audience include how old they are, their income level, hobbies & passions, goals & challenges, and other demographic and psychographic data.
  • The Content Marketing Institute reported that knowing the targeted audience helps a brand to form connections with them, increasing brand perception, and eliminating buying objections should the company want listeners to take some actions.

Networking

Research Strategy:

To determine best practices in the area of audience targeting for audio-specific content marketing strategy, we researched relevant marketing directories, including Contently, Lemon Light, Castos, and others. This investigation produced reports, highlighting best practices in audience targeting for an audio-specific content marketing strategy, from where we selected those mentioned in two or reports. Then, we provided details of each best practice, as requested.
Part
02
of eight
Part
02

Audio-Specific Content Marketing Strategy Best Practices - Planning & Creating Content

When creating an audio-specific content marketing strategy, there are some best practices to keep in mind. It is best to create ads that are integrated rather than prerecorded. Listeners tend to prefer host-read ads. It is also the best practice to use both text and audio. This not only improves the SEO, it will help content to appeal to those who are hearing-impaired or prefer to read articles.

Audio/podcast

  • One best practice of audio-specific content marketing in the area of planning and creating content is to use both text and audio forms for content.
  • Publish a podcast but also write it down, as an article.
  • If you don’t want to do an article, simply create a transcript for podcast.
  • This will help content to appeal to those who are hearing-impaired or prefer to read articles.
  • The text version will also improve SEO (Search Engine Optimization).

Integrated ads

  • Another best practice of audio-specific content marketing strategy in the area of planning and creating content is to use host-read ads.
  • Listeners prefer host-read ads.
  • Traditional use of prerecorded material is not as well-received as host-read ads.
  • Listeners trust their podcast hosts highly.
  • Hosts can present ads as creative, informative, humorous and integrated podcast experiences.

Research Strategy

To conduct this research, first, an analysis was done of audio-specific content marketing strategies, through news articles, websites, and industry publications, to determine the best practices in the industry. These strategies were then narrowed down to identify best practices in the area of planning and creating content.
Part
03
of eight
Part
03

Audio-Specific Content Marketing Strategy Best Practices -Publishing & Promoting Content

We were able to provide 2 best practices in audio-specific content marketing strategy which are best practices in Podcast and Voice Search Optimization in the area of publishing and promoting content.

Podcast Best Practices

What Is It
  • Podcasts are one of the most popular audio content types. Podcasts have only been growing in popularity since they started in 2004 and are projected to almost double to 112 million listeners by 2021.
How Is It Used
  • Podcasts should be created for the industry your company operates in rather than for your specific business.
  • A podcast about a specific topic in or aspect of your industry that affects both your business and your industry, in general, is more likely to attract the attention of a wider audience than a podcast devoted to just your business is.
Why Is It Used
A Company Using This Practice
  • "At NPR, we’ve found that 80% of the NPR audience would rather listen to podcast sponsorship than pay for ad-free streaming, in part due to a carefully-honed messaging style for sponsors," said Bryan Moffett, Chief Operating Officer of NPR’s sponsorship subsidiary National Public Media.

Voice Search Optimization Best Practices

What Is It
  • Voice search optimization, or voice SEO, is the practice of tailoring ads to be searchable via voice search.
  • When searching for something on one of these devices, instead of typing words out, users speak commands into voice-automated devices, which recognizes their words and searches on their behalf.
  • The concept of voice search started with smartphones then quickly escalated to smart speakers and voice assistants worldwide. Today we are experiencing a voice search revolution with almost every generation welcoming voice search with open arms.
  • Online marketers now understand that voice searches matter, and they are taking the time to adapt their online business before they get passed by.
How Is It Used
  • Best practices to optimize your content for voice search strategies include optimizing for rich answers, re-imagine and restructure your content, use conversational language for content, target long-tail keyword phrases, improve loading time of your website, pay attention to mobile and leverage google my business listings.
Why Is It Used
  • Some reasons why most marketers are optimizing the usage of voice SEO includes 58% of consumers have used voice search to find local business information within the last year.
  • 46% of voice search users look for a local business daily, 27% visit the website of a local business after conducting a voice search.
  • E-Marketer predicts that over a third of the US population (111.8 million people) will use a voice assistant monthly in 2019, up 9.5% from 2018 and 30% of all browsing sessions will include voice search by 2020, according to a Gartner study prediction.

Your Research Team Applied The Following Strategy

In order to provide 2 audio-specific content marketing strategy best practices in the area of publishing and promoting content we looked for audio-specific channel and trends used by content marketer/marketing agency, which we identified as Podcast and Voice SEO best practices. This was the most mentioned by industry experts and expert blogs and cited by collaborative sources such as eMarketer, Media Village, The Drum, Lemon Light, Web FX, SEO Expert Brand and among others. We were able to provide the requested data points in our 3rd research criteria and our search strategy was straightforward.
Part
04
of eight
Part
04

Audio-Specific Content Marketing Strategy Best Practices -Measuring Performance

Audio marketing strategies best practices generally involve creating great, quality, easily accessible, and engaging content to the audience. It is being done in new and innovative ways.

Promoting Podcast on Social Media

  • A podcast is a digital audio that is available in a series of episodes or parts and is streamed or downloaded over the internet.
  • Promoting podcasts on social media to find the right platform for your content is very vital. This is because not every method works for all audiences. Hence, it is important to identify your target audience and reach out to them on the right platform.

Voice Search Optimization

  • Voice search is a speech recognition technology that allows users to search by speaking out loud instead of typing.
  • Voice Optimization is altering keywords and key phrases for searches using voice search. It is, therefore, mandatory for websites to have voice SEO to have effective results in searches conducted via voice assistants.

Creating a Podcast of Value, Relevant and Engaging

  • Creating content that is relevant, engaging, and valuable will attract audiences simply because it is worth their time. Also, it is essential for the content to answers questions from the audience because it will create a bond that makes the audience trust the content creator.
  • They should be created to answer questions related more to the industry rather than a specific business to attract a wider audience.

Research Strategy

To provide audio-specific content marketing strategy best practices in the area of measuring performance, we analyzed articles about audio and content marketing best practices from sources like Lyfe Marketing, Podcast Motor, and CMS Wire. These sources provided us with insights that helped us to determine the best practices in the audio-specific content marketing strategy.



Part
05
of eight
Part
05

General Content Marketing Strategy Best Practices -Audience Targeting

The In-Market audience technique and BEM approach are two general content marketing best practices strategy being used in Audience Targeting. Both methods have proven success rates and customized versions are provided by multiple players in the market.

Key Findings

Best Practice Name: In-Market Audiences approach

  • In-market audiences are primarily defined as those users who have shown prior intent in comparing and/or purchasing a specific category of product. This segment is essentially valuable for marketers who are looking for high-intent shoppers for a particular item and are easy targets to get converted.
  • This is known to be an advanced version of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) based on browsing and search history. Both Google and Bing have rolled out in-market audiences for their search platforms and are known to cover audiences that are in the market for products and services in industries ranging broadly from apparel to travel.

  • In-Market technique necessarily uses machine learning to analyze trillions of search queries and browsing activity to predict purchase intent. For example, when a user reads through camera reviews on websites and/or watches camera comparison videos, Google (or the Search Engine) may deem him to be a potential target interested in Cameras and thus put him in the relevant in-market audience.
  • Likewise, the content marketer, thus has access to audiences who are likely to be incredibly valuable to their businesses, as they are precisely curated to be in the market for specific products and services. Such audiences are expected to have a higher likelihood of converting compared to other audiences.

  • The primary reason of using the method is to be able to save time and reach more customers with minimal resources. Marketers use In-Market Audience approach due to proven success in:
    • Expansion of Audience — This method is conveniently able to increase the audience count with high-quality searchers, ready to buy. These audiences can further be utilized in combination with other audience targeting solutions like Remarketing in Paid Search and Custom Audiences.
    • Performance Boost — Audiences in this category are more likely to convert thus helping drive greater click-through rates and conversion ratios. Ads displayed to In-market Audiences have seen an increase of up to 28% click-through rate and 48% greater conversion rate than the same ads without In-market Audiences.
    • Conversion Uplift — In-market Audiences helps directly focus on the bottom of the funnel as these curated lists of people have been identified as in-market", who are ready to make a purchase in a particular category.
    • Easy Set-up Process — In-market Audiences can be set up in as few as five minutes and does not require a website tagging. Organizations like Microsoft or Google or Bing have created such audience lists that can be associated to any combination of ad groups.
  • Success Statistics: Ads displayed to In-market Audiences have seen an increase of up to 28% click-through rate and 48% greater conversion rate than the same ads without In-market Audiences. Organizations like vegas.com was able to tap into a larger audience and were excited to see nearly 27% increase in return on their ad spend.
  • Similarly, VONT used this method for a business banking supplies client and found that traffic from the in-market audiences to have driven a 21% higher ROAS compared to the non-in-market audience traffic.

Best Practice Name: The BEM approach

  • The BEM approach, also known as the BEHAVIORS, EMOTIONS AND MOMENTS method, is a productive middle ground approach between mass reach and segmentation targeting, where more productive audience models can be built based on the demographics of the audience. In the BEM approach, demographic data is used only to remove outliers. The approach helps us understand:
    • Behaviors: That indicates interest in a specific or related product area.
    • Emotions: Focuses on consumers posting emotional responses that suggest they would be receptive to certain brand messages?
    • Moments: Has a trigger like weather, transportation snarls, or other live events that can cause a product or service to become suddenly relevant.

  • The BEM model allows the planning and buying teams to improvise on targeted and tailored messaging. This is done by combining programmatic buying along with new data sources and triggers that include conversation scrapes, content emotion analysis and real-world factors.
  • Since BEM is positioned on top of the brand-building activity is can have a broader reach, thus enabling marketers to identify consumers moving into a consideration phase and speaking to them directly with relevant messages. The can result into dramatic increase in brand preference and purchase intent which can nearly double when compared to other traditional demographic targeting.


  • This approach is primarily used to analyze the conversion and audience intent by use of demographics. For example, a test run for a blue-chip client (with advertised product positioned around breaks and relaxation), BEM model was used to analyze the Facebook conversation data and understand consumers’ daily ‘stress’ moments.
  • The approach is also used because of its elevated accuracy in audience targeting model than demographics alone. It is far more efficient than blanket audience coverage and has been found to increase media effectiveness and media efficiencies by turning data from filter to facilitator.


  • Success Statistics: Air Asia has directly benefited from using the BEM model where instead of using demographics alone, the airline leveraged its own CRM database to define and value audiences based on travel frequency and brand advocacy on social media. The resultant was a 58x return on ad spend by the use of programmatic buying that was eventually used to serve individual consumers through custom messaging.
  • Another company, New Balance used emotional targeting to increase brand awareness levels by targeting video to consumers exhibiting preset emotional receptivity signals. The result was a 135% increase in awareness vs. control.

Research Strategy:

Though all information sourced in the request has been fetched from pre-compiled sources, the approach used in building the logic has been creative. The below section details the methodology followed along with the way the research was built.

Strategy and Approach

The research was initiated by first understanding the content marketing landscape along with the audience targeting concept. Multiple resources like Wordstream, Microsoft, Bing Adwords, SEJ, etc. were used to deep dive into the current challenges and progressive solutions in the market.

The next effort was dedicated to looking for Industry best practices which though were not available pre-compiled. For this, we waded through multiple sources like Mckinsey, Deloitte, KPMG, etc. that are known for their strategic consulting approach along with sites like IGW, Siege Media, ClickGiant that are known Content Marketing agencies. The idea was to generate a correlation between their suggested strategies for clients and the current market trends, which, however, did not succeed due to the dearth of publicly available information.

The next approach was thus focused on defining the way these Best Practices were developed. We focused on:
  • Gathering the latest and widely used concepts in the field.
  • Comparing them against multiple sources in terms of presence and usage.
  • Assessing the adoption rate of the practices by various players.
  • Providing success statistics to prove them to be one of the best strategies available.
  • Checking the endorsement levels of these practices by trusted marketers/companies.
Each of the chosen best practice was then researched thoroughly for other required details, along with authentic acceptance rates in the current market. Care was thus taken to include those practices that can be used with any form of media and by a marketer from any open industry.

Part
06
of eight
Part
06

General Content Marketing Strategy Best Practices - Planning & Creating Content

Creating content with target audiences in mind and optimizing your content for search engines are two best practices for general content marketing in the area of planning and creating content. Target audiences helps content-makers to focus on specific interests, pick a tone, and to decide which marketing channels to use. Search Engine Optimization makes content more visible; meaning more traffic and opportunities to win over customers from content once it is marketed. These best practices can be used with any form of media.

Target Audience

  • Create content with target audiences in mind.
  • This practice helps content-makers to focus on specific interests and pain points.
  • Creating content with target audiences in mind allows for more effective and efficient marketing.
  • Target Audiences help decide which marketing channels to use and the tone of content.
  • Content can be mapped to certain stages of the customer journey, for example.
  • This method helps create content that is customized to reader's needs.


Search Engine Optimization

  • When being created, content should be optimized for search engines.
  • Search Engine Optimization is a key aspect in driving customers to your content like blog posts or podcasts.
  • Search Engine Optimization makes content more visible; meaning more traffic and opportunities to win customers.
  • Using the right headers and subheadings, adding meta descriptions, and matching the URL to the title are 3 examples of SEO guidelines that should be followed.
  • This is also a great way to increase unpaid traffic to content.

Research Strategy

To provide the general content marketing strategy best practices in the area of planning and creating content, the team started by exploring information on the topic from credible articles that are written by business experts, marketing publications, professional blogs, and other relevant industry leaders. We then corroborated the information across multiple sources. Since the articles were written by experts, we were able to conclude that the practices that we have used for this research are the "best practices".
Part
07
of eight
Part
07

General Content Marketing Strategy Best Practices -Publishing & Promoting Content

The general content marketing strategy best practices in the areas of publishing and promoting content include evaluation of content distribution options, establishing primary distribution platforms, developing a posting schedule, creating a suitable content promotion system, content promotion optimization, and re-purposing performing content. A detailed description of each best practice is presented below.

Content Publishing Best Practices

Evaluating Content Distribution Options

  • Deciding the exact distribution channels that are most appropriate to the content goals is critical. This is done by evaluating whether the audience is receptive and whether the engagement will result to the desired business goals.
  • The ability to create and measure content success becomes complicated as more content is added, it is important to gauge the potential value of available platforms.
  • Content distribution options fall under three categories including shared, owned, and paid. Content on owned platforms is more dependable due to the higher level of control. Shared platforms can be unpredictable since the policies can change at any time.

Establishing the Primary Distribution Platform

  • In the long run, brands publish content on multiple channels to take advantage of growing opportunities and keep up with the competition. Nevertheless, it is rewarding to start an initiative or program on owned media and grow the audience. The primary distribution platform acts as the home of your content.
  • Since some distribution channels tend to be more suitable than others, it is best to understand the advantages and disadvantages of each and how they align with business goals, brand voice, and target audience.
  • When making the decision, it is imperative to consider several factors including audience characteristics, rules of engagement, communication style, and the available brand resources.

Developing a Succint Posting Schedule/Frequency

  • This entails creating a posting schedule and deciding the intervals between each post. This helps with better result by ensuring content is posted regularly.
  • The schedule should be manageable and easy to follow through. Unmanageable posting frequencies can result to substandard content in an attempt to keep up with the plan.
  • Depending on the available resources, posts can be published biweekly, weekly, fortnightly, monthly, and every two months.
  • The schedule should be created based on site traffic and posts should go live when there is high traffic on the site to maximize audience reach and effectiveness.

Content Promotion Best Practices

Creating a Suitable Content Promotion System

  • This is plan that helps in promoting the content as well as track growth. It ensures that every promotion task is completed on time and important metrics are monitored.
  • After establishing the appropriate promotion methods based on the target audience, tools like Spreadsheets can be used to manage the completed tasks. The tool used should be visual so that promotion tasks in progress are visible and easily monitored.
  • Consistency when implementing the promotion system is critical to realizing a brands goals while providing consistent value to the audience.
  • To measure success brands should track various metrics including shares, traffic, sales driven comments, and page views. Tracking the metrics helps in determining the most successful promotion methods.

Content Promotion Optimization

  • This entails having a clear plan of the desired action for the audience after engagement with content. Since the desired action for each content promoted may vary, it is best to plan for each piece independently.
  • The calls to action may include sharing, subscription, or make a purchase. This should be determined early enough before the content is heavily promoted to ensure a better ROI.
  • Having a content promotion copy increases the chances of conversions since it's the selling point to the audience convincing them to engage with the content.
  • The content promotion copy should be short and engaging but it should provide accurate insight of what lies beyond the link.
  • Using more content promotion channels increases the chances of higher audience engagement since traffic comes from different points.

Re-purpose High Performing Content to Create Evergreen Assets

  • Beyond organic and paid content promotion, brands can leverage on content that has shown outstanding results to drive further traffic. By amplifying and improving content that has already resonated with the audience, the brand's value increases as well as the chances of expanding the reach.
  • Republishing valuable content whose value has started to show a downward trend can restore audience engagement. However, any outdated part should be updated to make sure readers get the most current content.
  • Long form content can be deconstructed into smaller bits and combining with other relevant resources on the same topic will produce fresh but better content.
  • Content syndication works best with assets that are already performing on your platforms. Some trade media and news media are a good place to syndicate the content and generate additional viewership.
  • Re-purposed content is transformed into a different form that can be used on different platforms or serve a different purpose. While the message remains unchanged, each individual piece is used to create new conversations with the audience.

Research Strategy

In order to identify the general best content marketing strategy best practices with regard to content publishing and promotion, we consulted the web for articles, reports, and guides published on marketing publications and blogs. We then selected the content marketing strategy best practices that were referenced on multiple top publications and blogs in the marketing industry.
Part
08
of eight
Part
08

General Content Marketing Strategy Best Practices -Measuring Performance

Three best practices for measuring general content marketing strategy performance include deciding on what to track, content engagement & leads, and content marketing return on investments (ROI), as per reports by the Content Marketing Institute, SEMrush, BrightEdge, and others.

Deciding on What to Track

  • According to the Content Marketing Institute (CMI), general content marketing produces a plethora of metrics, which could become overwhelming to make sense of or keep track of all. CMI's report observed that the best practice for measuring general content marketing strategy performance is to decide from the onset on what metrics to measure.
  • This performance measurement best practice is used to concentrate more on tracking only metrics that are paramount to a business, by identifying the top priorities of content marketing, which are most important to a business situation, according to CMI.
  • According to BrightEdge's report, this best practice drives an organization to ask and determine the business goals for investing in content marketing; then, using the same for tracking its performance along those lines.
  • This best practice is used to establish relevant performance benchmarks for an organization's content strategy in a given industry, which enables easier analysis and comparisons across an implemented content strategy.

Content Engagement & Leads

  • One of the best practices for measuring content marketing strategy performance is to track how engaging the content pieces the strategy produces are, as well as the number of leads it generates for a company, according to Optin Monster's report.
  • According to SEMrush, this best practice is leveraged to measure things like the average time visitors spend on content pieces, page depth, pages per session, as well as other brand-building engagements such as the number of likes and shares from consuming content consumers.
  • BrightEdge's report observed that internet users generally have a short attention span, highlighting that it is best practice to measure how engaged they are with a company's overall content pieces produced by the overarching strategy. The report further observed that tracking engagements help to understand how well content consumers can advance into becoming leads and customers.
  • SEMrush, a website analytics software, measures how engaging the content its content strategy produces are, using what it calls "Wow-Score." The company uses this Wow-Score to measure how engaging a piece of content is, based on reading time and scroll speed.

Content Marketing Return on Investments (ROI)

Research Strategy:

To identify best practices in the area of measuring the performance content marketing strategy, we investigated relevant marketing directories like the Content Marketing Institute, SEMrush, Optin Monster, and others. This investigation produced reports, highlighting best practices for measuring content marketing strategy performance, from where we selected those mentioned in two or more reports. Then, we provided details of each best practice, as requested.
Sources
Sources

From Part 05
Quotes
  • "In-market audiences cover audiences that are in the market for products and services in industries ranging from apparel to travel, and Google and Bing are expected to release more audiences steadily over time."
  • "In-market audiences use machine learning to analyze trillions of search queries and browsing activity to predict purchase intent."
  • "In-market audiences may not sound too different from all the other audience targeting options offered by Google, but they represent a group of users who are truly low down in the purchase funnel."
  • "We’ve done some initial tests with clients in the retail sector, and an aggregated view showed that in-market audiences made up 15 percent of ad clicks and were, unsurprisingly, more likely to convert at a lower CPM."
Quotes
  • "In-market audiences aren’t new. They’ve been around since 2013 for display and YouTube ads. However, they gained quite a bit of attention just last year when Google announced that it was extending in-market audiences to search campaigns."
Quotes
  • "But now have the ability to layer in audience targeting and demographics to further refine those keyword campaigns. An audience is simply a list of users who are grouped together by interests or behavior online."
  • "Detailed Demographics: Marital status, parental status, home-ownership, education, household income. In-market and custom intent: Searches and online behavior signaling buying cues. Remarketing: Advertisers website visitors and YouTube"
Quotes
  • "Powered by consumer data, the BEM approach helps us understand: Behaviors: Have consumers demonstrated (or exhibited proxy behavior) that indicates interest in a specific or related product area? Have they actively sought out or mentioned a particular product or service? Emotions: Has a particular product or service suddenly become more relevant? Are consumers posting emotional responses that suggest they would be receptive to certain brand messages? Moments: Has a trigger like weather, transportation snarls, or other live events caused a product or service to become suddenly relevant? Has the consumer entered a specific location where helpful products are easily available?"
  • "The BEM model allows planning and buying teams to improve targeting and tailored messaging by combining programmatic buying with new data sources and triggers including conversation scrapes, content emotion analysis and real-world factors."
  • "One brand that has benefited from using the BEM model is Air Asia. Instead of using demographics alone, the airline leveraged its own CRM database to define and value audiences based on travel frequency and brand advocacy on social media. Programmatic buying was used to serve individual consumers with custom messaging. Its new approach led to a 58x return on ad spend."
  • "Meanwhile, New Balance used emotional targeting to increase brand awareness levels in Japan by targeting video to consumers exhibiting pre-set emotional receptivity signals. The result was a 135% increase in awareness vs. control."
Quotes
  • "In-market audiences are users who have shown intent to compare and purchase a specific category of product. This can be valuable for marketers looking for high-intent shoppers that are looking for a particular item."