Best Practices for Your Content Marketing

December 12, 2023

Table of Contents:

Has a piece of your content ever flopped? Chances are it wasn’t because of the medium, the algorithm, the execution, the writer, etc. Instead, it most likely was a result of poor topic selection. In our latest podcast, we spoke with inbound marketer, author, speaker and content marketing expert Marcus Sheridan about the best way to optimize content marketing. His piece of advice to create truly valuable pieces that break through the Context Saturation Index (CSI) and generate traffic for years to come revolves around topic selection that audiences truly care about. No matter the industry, here are the “Big Five” subjects to tackle in your content marketing strategy in 2024.

1. Cost/Price/Value

As buyers ourselves, we know that price is a key influence in buying decisions. When searching for products and services, this is one of the initial factors that people seek out: how much does this cost? Typically this is followed by price comparisons. This is where many businesses drop the ball. At a time when 56% of retail businesses say inflation has given them the ability to raise prices beyond what’s required to offset higher costs, it’s easy to understand why buyers may be on the defensive and why it’s even more important to explain costs to them. Providing price explanations and breakdowns builds trust with your audience and “teaches them how to shop, how to buy and how to research,” Sheridan says.

Examples of how to incorporate cost into your content marketing strategy:

2. Problems/Worries/Fears

What are the problems, worries or fears associated with purchasing your product or service? This question is one that we often have as buyers and shy away from as sellers. Sheridan recalls that during his time in the fiberglass pool industry, he heard this question for years and danced around the answer until he and his business partner, Jason, decided to address it in an article titled, “Top 4 Fiberglass Pool Problems and Solutions.” Why weren’t any of his competitors answering this question? “It comes down to a psychological issue that almost all businesses struggle with, and that’s the concept of addressing the elephant in the room… As a business, you have a choice: You can allow the consumer to discover your elephant(s) themselves and in turn lose trust in you. Or the minute they walk in the front door (or the virtual front door), you can say, “Here’s our elephant. Do you have a problem with it?”

Here are some examples of “addressing the elephant” or problems with your industry, product or service to incorporate in your content marketing strategy:

3. Reviews

Just how important are reviews to buyers? According to a March 2023 Survey of 8,153 US consumers ranging from Gen Z to Baby Boomers, 95% said they read reviews at least sometimes, 98%  said they consider reviews as being an “essential resource” when making purchase decisions and 45% said they won’t purchase a product if there are no reviews available. Clearly an integral part of the buyer’s journey and a running theme in this blog, buyers are savvy and can detect dishonesty quite easily. They would rather see 15 reviews that bring your business to an average 4.3 stars than 4 reviews that bring your business to a 5 star average. It’s not just about the number of reviews you have, but the number of quality reviews that are clearly written by people who have purchased your product or service, or worked with your company in some way. This is good to keep in mind when you get that less-than-perfect review. It all balances the playing field!

Examples of review-based material in your content marketing strategy:

4. Comparison

There are a variety of factors buyers consider when making a buying decision and comparison if definitely one of them. Think about how Apple positions their product pages. Knowing that they offer similar products, they allow buyers to compare different devices side by side, such as an iPhone Pro versus an iPhone Pro Max. This makes comparing devices simple and provides the tools buyers need to make the right decision for them. Tapping into comparison as part of your content strategy can look like comparing your own products or services and direct/indirect competitors. You want to consider what problems they are encountering that will lead them to your product or service.

Here are some examples on how to create content about comparisons in your marketing strategy.

5. Best

Best restaurants near me, best gifts for dad, best Boba places, best marketing agencies in Orange County… think of all the ways you search for what you’re looking for. Thinking like a buyer, the word “best” is a go-to for quick searches and in-depth brand research alike. One tactic that Sheridan provides to drive website traffic with this keyword is to compose a “Best Of” article that mentions the top competitors and companies in your field. (This article should, of course, be based on facts and not opinion to truly resonate). His reasoning? Customers will find your competitors, directly addressing this topic can open the door for them to find you and provide a higher chance of winning their business by being transparent, helpful and knowledgeable from the start.

When it comes to the “Big Five,” you can even tackle cost, problems, reviews, comparisons and best practices all in one series. This year, our client Greenwell Farms started a video series, posted in short-form video clips on social media and full videos on YouTube/their website, with their CEO. The series, known as “Coffee with Tom Greenwell,” gives its audience a chance to see a personal side of the farm and hear answers related to costs, problems, reviews, comparisons and best practices from the CEO himself. Adding to the personal touch, videos are filmed in various locations throughout the farm. Will you be tapping into the “Big Five” in your content marketing strategy? Contact us today to learn more about our content marketing services.

Written By: Ashley Ruiz

Recent blogs

Filter by

Get our content

The best two emails you receive each month – our 19-minute or less podcast and our marketing blog. If you love ‘em, let us know. If you don’t, easily unsubscribe! (And let us know, we love feedback.)