It’s Friday the 13th and time to ask yourself the immortal question: do you feel lucky… punk? If the answer is a categorical NO because your content marketing strategy is floundering, sputtering and begging to be tossed back into the warm waves of success, you’ve come to the right place. I’ve put together 13 of our top content marketing tips that might just help you work out where you’re going wrong.
Don’t jump in without a strategy
Before you even think about creating content, you need a plan. Identify your goals, identify the influencers in your industry, map out the content your audience needs and wants, and analyse the sites, communities and platforms you plan to promote on. Without a robust strategy in place, you’re risking wasting valuable time and money.
The audience is always right
Every piece of content needs to be focused on your audience and not necessarily, as those starting out in content marketing often think, on your business. If I’m going to be totally frank, remember your audience doesn’t really give two hoots about your business, they care about their own needs – meet those needs and they’ll keep coming back for more.
Use your unique voice
Even if you’re in an industry where a certain amount of formality is expected, make sure your writers know how to inject a little personality into your content. First of all, this can help you avoid churning out content so dry your audience has to blow away the dust to make it out – it won’t do you any favours. Secondly, it pays to reveal the human side behind the brand when it comes to building trust and meaningful, long-term relationships. And finally, your brand’s unique voice is what makes your offering different from that of the competition. Utilise it.
Put your own spin on topical issues
It’s certainly a good tactic to discuss or inform your audience of trending topics within your industry, but do be sure to add your own spin. This is more likely to position you as a thought leader in your field and garner greater authority than just straight-up reporting which your audience could find from numerous other sources.
Strong visual communications are essential for content marketing in this day and age. So, it goes to follow that you need a quality designer on your books to bring those communications to life. As the Content Marketing Institute says: “While writers might be the most fundamental members of your content team, remember 65% of people are visual learners… Facebook posts with images generate 2.3 times more engagement than those without, while tweets with images generate 150% more retweets than those without”.
Quality trumps all
While it’s tempting to go for the quick fix of click-bait articles and churning out any sort of content to grab those likes and shares, quality must always take priority when looking at your long term strategy. As well as the fact that Google weeds out low quality, poor-performing content, it’s important to bear in mind your audience will equate the quality of the content you deliver to the quality of your business. When you hire writers, don’t get all starry eyed by fancy writing qualifications if the quality is not up to scratch.
Create two-way conversations
Spending time engaging with followers and other leading organisations within your field helps you connect on a human level, gain candid insight, show your brand’s personality and enter existing conversations. With 90% of marketers indicating that their social marketing efforts have generated more exposure for their business, according to a recent Hubspot article, those conversations are a canny investment of time.
Pick the right social networks
It’s all too tempting to post the same piece of content across all your social platforms in your eager beaver efforts to get it seen. But really you should ensure you conduct thorough research to identify which are the most suitable social networks for your business and, if you have several, take the time to tailor the content so it matches perfectly with the platform.
Avoid the hard sell
A common mistake but oh so costly. It’s tempting to simply try and structure your content around all the reasons why your audience should purchase your product or services – after all, you’d be wasting time talking about anything else, right? Wrong! People don’t want to be sold to, they want to buy – there’s a difference. By creating relevant, informative and educational content that hits the mark with your audience, you are placing your brand front and centre in their minds so that when they are ready to make a purchase, they are more likely to trust you and come a-calling. Being pushy with your content will make your potential buyers switch off.
While quality always takes top priority, a certain level of consistency is necessary to maintain the momentum you’ve built. An infographic by Digital Vidya revealed that 82% of marketers who blogged daily acquired at least one customer via their blog. Hard work, but it pays off.
Create a series of posts
Instead of creating a one-off piece of content to release into the wild, savvy content marketers design a series of posts in order to encourage repeat traffic. Focus on a key topic that interests your audience and really delve into the nitty gritty by dividing it into several posts using a variety of mediums and you’ll get more footfall than with a post that flies solo.
Track results via analytics
It’s essential to keep an eye on how well your content is performing so that you can continuously work to improve. Analytics can help keep you informed on bounce rate, time spent on site, page views, engagement, conversions and a whole host of other useful data that will help inform what content you should be writing, what can be scrapped and when to publish it.
Don’t be afraid of getting the experts in to help
Congratulations, you made it to lucky number 13! If you hadn’t already figured it out, content marketing takes time, blood, sweat and tears to get right. Sometimes it makes more sense to go to the experts and get help with your strategy, content creation and social media management, so that you can devote your time to what really matters to you – running your business.
We offer all these services and more at M2 Bespoke – drop us a line for more information.