Everyone knows content marketing is where it’s at. Sure it takes a LOT more time and effort than other forms of traditional digital advertising, but it works! Its no secret that people tend to tune out the old school forms of advertising. So what makes content marketing work so well, and what tools and tips are needed to make it even more effective?
Whether you’re creating new content or revamping old articles, there are triggers that are guaranteed to make your content perform well on the web. In the online world, there are several million pieces of content added each day to the already billion pages of content that already exists on the web. In order for your content to stand out, it needs to have compelling elements that will allow it to break through the noise. Most web marketers struggle to execute this with their campaign.
Here’s a few key tidbits we’ve picked up from mashing up several articles in our heads:
1. Document Your Strategy – Seems pretty basic, right? It’s hard to know what’s working well if you’re constantly shooting from the hip. Make sure your efforts support your business goals, which can vary based on your industry, otherwise it’s all just a waste of time.
2. Measure and Track ROI – Of course this is not always cut and dry. Content marketing is not meant to have an immediate impact on sales, it’s more about building trust with customers. Metrics such as web traffic, social interactions, and other metrics are common forms of measurement, but are they really impacting your business over time? Although content marketing is a long term strategy, over time you should be able to see an uptick in qualified leads and sales. Your tactics ultimately need to make an impact, or it’s time to tweak your strategy.
3. Use Infographics – This just makes sense. Humans tend to digest information better in graphical form, even information that seems kinda dry on the surface. Need some inspiration? Check out this collection of the best infographics from Hubspot.
4. Distribution of Your Content – it can take some trial and error to determine what works best for you. LinkedIn is typically the most popular (and successful) option for B2B, while Facebook or Pinterest are best for B2C. And many ad paid search and sponsored posts to the mix as well. More the likely its gonna take a mix of free and paid methods to get your message out there.
5. Produce Quality Content that Aligns with Your Goals – the popularity of content marketing breeds the mediocrity of content. Focus your efforts more on quality than sticking to a strict rule of “must create one piece of content per day” rule.
6. Get Contributors With Multiple Perspectives – ok, so I get it that you’re not comfortable with everyone writing your next rad article. But chances are they either have ideas on what would generate interest, or they can give you a good draft to work with. So talk to product development, the sales team, your IT department and so on. Even if you need to sit down and conduct an informal interview, a different perspective can be very refreshing.
7. Deliver Content for a Specific Audience
By addressing a core topic for a specific audience, your content will have a much better chance of gaining traction on the web. Don’t try to develop a content piece that appeals to everybody. Instead, find out the needs, wants, desires, problems, frustrations and fantasies of a specific audience group. For example, WordPress developers that want to use plugins that will improve their website’s performance. Or basketball players that want to know how they can improve their vertical leap ability.
8. Use Compelling Headlines
Powerful headlines should be used to sell your content to the audience. They need to sell the worthiness of the content to be clicked, liked and shared on the web. Epic content will fall short if the headline fails to convince a potential viewer to engage with it. Upworthy content writers are required to write 25 headlines before publishing their content. As a result, they create unique and compelling headlines that allows their content to perform well across the web.
9. Use Compelling Images
People love to engage with image content. The featured image that you use for your content can double the amount of traffic to your website. When the content is supported by more compelling images, it will create more opportunities for your content to get liked and shared across the web. Spend time creating good quality images that have a high-resolution and that tell a compelling story to your audience.
10. Make Sure Your Content Delivers Value
No matter what type of content you publish, it must deliver value for your target audience. Take the time to support your content with value by providing:
- Quotes from credible sources.
- Statistics from primary sources such as surveys.
- Embedding valuable content such as infographics, videos or audio files.
- Linking to other credible websites that support your content.
11. Keep Your Content Interesting by Telling a Story
People love stories. So it is important that you find an angle that will allow you to develop a compelling story for your content. Consider telling a story that:
- Captures the human-interest angle.
- Highlights major announcements.
- Marks the passage of time (such as a 5, 10 or 25 year anniversary)
- Reacts to a current story, event or trend.
- Solves a problem.
- Is honest.
12. Promote Your Content on Platforms Where Your Target Audience Hangs Out
Implementing the right promotional strategy will allow your content to gain exposure, traffic and shares from your target audience. It is important that you identify where your audience hangs out online. Some methods for finding your audience online include:
- Searching for discussion threads on forums.
- Searching for question and answer websites like Quora for relevant discussion -topics.
- Searching for blog posts and adding to the commentary.
- Searching for topic groups on social media platforms.
- Searching for influencers on blogs, media or social media platforms and sharing -the content with them.
You can even use tools like BuzzSumo or Buzzstream to find people that have engaged with similar content and promote your content directly to them.
These are proven methods that will get your content likes and shares across the web. Amplify your website’s content by implementing these tactics today!
Nobody ever said content marketing is easy…but your customers like reading stories, or learning more about topics that help them become more educated on an important subject. It’s well worth the time and extra effort in the long run.
With all that in mind, we came up with a brilliant idea for blog promotion (coming soon on that, just be patient)! But first things first….we started a handy little newsletter to help ourselves and our own networks. So, checkout the free Content Weekly newsletter, a roundup of the best tips and tools for content marketing and the art of blog writing. New resources surface daily, so don’t miss the best ones by subscribing to Content Weekly.