Content marketing is an integral part of any business plan. But what do you do when you’re just starting out—or perhaps encountering some areas you’re not feeling like a “guru” in?
Don’t worry. I’m here to help!
20 Simple, Useful Content Marketing Tips That Often Go Overlooked (But Shouldn’t)
Go from content marketing schmo to content marketing pro in no time with these twenty simple-to-implement content marketing tips.
1) Look for Blog Topics Right in Your Email Inbox
You likely get a hefty stream of questions, comments, and inquiries about your business every day and, chances are, some of them keep popping up again and again. When you find yourself answering the same question from clients or buyers time after time, consider turning it into a blog post for your company’s site. In addition to acting as a one-stop-shop FAQ, this also makes your company more relatable, provides the consumer with valuable information and shows them you are thinking about their needs and concerns.
2) Embed Your Videos
Repeated studies have shown blogs with videos are more likely to get additional hits and shares than those without videos. That said, consider taking all of the promotional or educational videos your company has made over time and integrating them into blog posts.
In addition to providing customers with additional ways to consume your content, videos are also highly linkable, which means there’s a good chance your website will reach more people than just your existing customers.
3) If You Don’t Have Any Videos — Make Some
What does your company do better than any other company out there? What can you teach people? Is there a chance you could take that expertise and excitement and turn it into a video?
A company that sells fly fishing equipment could put out a series of videos on fly tying, whereas a content creation company could put together a few videos on publishing great blogs. There is a huge demand for knowledge in the world and when you share yours, people are likely to pass it around, driving more traffic and additional customers your way.
4) Compile a “Who-to-Follow” List
You’re an expert in your field and people know that, but people always want to learn more. Create a well thought-out “who to follow” list of other people who excel in your field to help them do just that. Doing this offers two distinct benefits: first, consumers will appreciate the fact that you’ve positioned yourself as a trusted source of information and, second, the people you link in the article will appreciate that you’ve directed traffic their way and are highly likely to return the favor.
A good portion of effective content marketing is developing a positive reputation. and there are few better ways to do this than by word-of-mouth and building relationships with other experts in the field.
5) Create a List of Facts that Supports Your Mission
People love learning new things and lists of facts are compelling and easily shared. To create a piece of content that has a high probability of being linked to, compile a list of facts that support your company’s main goal or mission statement and then publish it in a blog or infographic.
In addition to fulfilling the customer’s need for knowledge, this move also goes to show your company is thoughtful and has done its research.
6) Tell a Great Story
Anyone who has ever seen an Apple or a Subaru ad knows the power of those companies lies in their ability to tell a great story that moves their target audience. Take some time to consider what your company cares about and how that intersects with the company’s mission — be that sales or conversions — and then find a way to weave that into your content marketing.
If you’re selling a lifestyle product, tell a story about how the product provides happiness, comfort, or safety. By far the best way to gain customers is by tugging on their heartstrings and telling a compelling story.
7) Consider the Questions Your Customers Ask
When a buyer wants to purchase something, they almost always turn to the internet for advice and research purposes. When a person types a question into Google, they will be met with literally millions of answers and it matter whether or not your company’s answer is among those they see.
In today’s era of content, it is no longer enough to have a great product. People need to see it and rely upon it before they make a purchase and this requires a company to build authority right off the bat.
Consider what types of questions your customers are asking and answer them via your blog or website post. Doing this establishes you as an expert in the field and builds the consumer confidence needed to drive sales and conversions.
8) Make It a Date (Specifically)
While many companies offer ample opportunities for consumers to sign up for an email list or blog subscription, very few offer specific content at specific times. Author and lifestyle coach Tim Ferris often does this with astounding results.
By offering customers an invitation to tune into a podcast, webinar, or video conference in real-time, you build a more tangible connection than can be produced through an email list subscription. In addition to contributing to customer confidence, a move like this also helps build a community around your business or product and may well stem off into additional marketing opportunities, such as podcasts, down the road.
9) Put Promotion First
When a company goes to design a product, the first step is often making sure that there is a market demand for said product. If there is not, manufacturing the product has the potential to result in a huge loss of time and money. The same goes for content, believe it or not.
In order to employ great content marketing, think about how you will market your content before you develop it. If you can’t come up with a place to promote a given piece, it might not be worth the time and effort to produce.
10) Embed Yourself in the Community
Nowadays, there are hundreds of online forums and communities (Reddit being the best known) dedicated to discussing specific topics. Find a few of the communities that pertain to your businesses specialty and join in the discussion.
As you participate in the forum, mention that people can find more information back at your blog. In addition to further establishing yourself as an authority in the field, this approach also allows you to learn new things and gain a deeper understanding of your customers.
11) Upload Visual Content to SlideShare
SlideShare is a popular content-sharing platform that accommodates PowerPoint, PDF, KeyNote, and OpenDocument content presentations. Think of it as the YouTube or Instagram of slideshows.
The great thing about SlideShare is that once you’ve uploaded your content, the sky is the limit. Users can share, link and re-share your content to platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Google+, which means more traffic for you.
12) Join & Use Pinterest
Often thought of as the place where mason jar inspired DIY projects go, Pinterest is an often overlooked social media platform that holds great potential to boost your business to the next level, with millions of active users and growing.
Create some great articles, link them with infographics or visuals and then post them to boards related to your niche. Pinterest allows users to share and re-share content, which means anything you create that is interesting and visually pleasing stands a good chance of being plastered over dozens or even hundreds of Pinterest boards, putting you in touch with new customers and expanding your company’s reach.
13) Recycle Content
For most companies, having a large content creation team is out of reach. For this reason, it’s wise to learn to recycle great content for extended use. Ways to do this include putting the relevant statistics from a blog post into an infographic or tweeting a previously published blog post’s important points throughout the course of a week. By learning to recycle great content in new ways, you save yourself from the burden of having to create great new content constantly without sacrificing
14) Aim for Evergreen Content
If you’re familiar with content marketing, you’ve probably heard the term “evergreen content.” Evergreen content is an important marketing tool that remains relevant no matter when it is published. This means that an article published today can be shared in five years without having to be amended.
This obviously does not apply to content that changes often, such as medical data or sales statistics, but can easily apply to how-to guides or informative content. By aiming to create evergreen content, you set yourself up for highly sharable content and backlinks that persist far beyond when the article was written.
15) Optimize Social Media
Nowadays, social media rules the internet and accounts for an estimated 23% of the total time consumers spend online. By optimizing your content marketing pieces for social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, you increase your chances of being shared and passed around the Internet. Create an informative video to share on Facebook or create a killer infographic and send it out in Tweet form. No matter what you do, do not overlook the veritable content marketing gold mine that is social media.
16) Know Your Audience
Content marketing is a world in which you want to make things personal. If you don’t know who your target audience is, it’s nearly impossible to effectively customize content for them and even harder to get them to engage with your business or product. For this reason, it’s wise to spend some time with Google analytics or another similar tool to figure out who’s truly paying attention.
What do those people do? Where do they live? How old are they? What are their buying habits like? Chances are, you’re going to speak differently to an eighteen-year-old hipster than you would a 75-year-old retired nurse, and it’s important to tailor your content to fit the different sectors of your audience. One-size-fits-all content results in poor business performance and minimal customer connection.
17) Optimize Your Blog URL
This is a simple step, but it can be a big one in terms of accessibility. Before publishing a blog post, alter the generic URL to contain a keyword or relevant phrase rather than a string of letters and numbers. Always, always make sure your keyword is in this string. Your rankings will thank you later. In addition to giving new viewers an idea what the URL contains, this format also makes your URL’s easier and more attractive to share.
18) Opt for a 50/50 Split Between Text and Visuals
Content marketing research and the anecdotal evidence of those in the field has repeatedly proven that a combination of text and images is more effective than either text or images alone. This might explain why infographics are so wildly effective.
Instead of being too text- or visual-heavy in your content marketing material, aim to strike a balance between the two. Write a blog post that is broken up by relevant images or create an infographic that overlies a helpful chart or icon with brief text-based interpretations of the data. Doing this provides the most value for your customers and helps you consistently create high-quality content.
19) Utilize Active Reading
Active reading, or the process of actively picking apart a piece of content to discern things like the narrator’s perspective and unanswered questions allows you to build knowledge and fulfill the gaps in the market, further enhancing authority and content presence in the online world.
Although there is a lot of great content in the digital sphere, much of it fails to meet all of a consumer’s needs and, by actively reading what else is out there, you can learn to identify and then fill in the gaps.
20) Be Original
Ultimately, every company does content marketing a little differently and while there may be some value in taking a hint from the world’s most successful companies, there is no use in trying to imitate them. Dedicate some time to figuring out what makes your company special and unique and build on that. Your customers will appreciate it.
A thread that runs throughout nearly all my points is originality. I cannot stress enough how important it is to be original in all you do. Use storytelling and visual content. Think about who you’re talking to. Then secondarily, think about keywords so you can keep your ranking potential high when you publish your content.
For example: you read tip #1 and #20 and then go create a highly creative, original blog with a good title. Then you use #17 to place your SEO keyword as the main string of words in your blog’s URL. That’s being original and creative foremost, but using SEO knowledge as well. You have to do both with your content marketing.
So, in conclusion, find your content marketing style and balance consistency, SEO implementation, and engagement.