Plan an actionable content marketing strategy To start things off, you need to make sure you have a concrete content marketing strategy in place. If you’re just starting content marketing, you’re not going to have much success with search engine traffic at the beginning. Create different types of content When most people think of content marketing, they only consider blogs and articles. If you’re only writing short content, experiment with some long-form pieces and see how well they work for your goals. Instead, find out what works best and focus your efforts there before you experiment with a thousand techniques that don’t work so well. Write follow-up posts to your most popular topics I mentioned the hub-and-spoke method earlier for repurposing your content to other media, but you can also use it to create new pieces of content. This is a great way to find compelling topic ideas without the often-tedious customer research the process usually entails. Leverage these specific topics to see huge improvements in your content marketing strategy. By studying your customers, writing high-quality content, and focusing on distributing that content, you can create a massive increase in your content marketing effectiveness. What changes will you make to your content marketing?
Chances are, you’re looking to improve the results from your content marketing.
Maybe you want to get more visitors, convert more leads, or make more sales.
Whatever it is, your goal is to learn more about effective content marketing. And that’s a great goal.
According to IMPACT Branding and Design, 77 percent of marketers now use content marketing, but 66 percent of businesses rate that content as “basic.”
In fact, 62 percent of businesses want to create higher quality content. It seems like everyone’s using content marketing, but we all want better results.
I’ve been doing content marketing since the beginning.
Along the way, I’ve learned that just a few simple changes can completely revolutionize the results you’re seeing from your content marketing efforts.
In this article, I’ll show you 26 changes you need to make immediately with your content marketing.
Implementing these tips will increase your visitors, boost your conversions, and skyrocket your sales.
Let’s jump in.
1. Plan an actionable content marketing strategy
To start things off, you need to make sure you have a concrete content marketing strategy in place.
While this seems like common sense, it’s a surprisingly rare factor, and one that will make or break the effectiveness of your content marketing.
According to Contently, only 39 percent of companies have a documented content strategy. That’s a big mistake.
When creating your plan, you need to consider a few different pieces of information.
Of course, the most obvious is listing the goals you want to achieve.
Are you looking to sell more products, get more signups for a trial subscription, or just increase the visitors to your site?
Once you have clarity on this, understand how you’ll measure success. What key performance indicators (KPIs) will you use?
Sometimes these are the same as your goals, but they’re often different.
If you sell an expensive B2B product, you might measure success by leads, since it will take ongoing communication to convert that lead into a customer.
2. Implement the strategy on all your content
It’s not enough to simply create a strategy, however. In the same infographic, Contently goes on to explain the next step: implement the strategy you’ve created.
Since 72 percent of B2B marketers attribute their success in content marketing to strategy, this is a place you can’t miss out on.
Once you know your goals and KPIs, I recommend creating a content marketing checklist with the items you want to make sure to implement.
For example, this checklist could include the features that must be present in every piece of content, how you plan on sharing, or what you’ll use for promotion.
I’ll cover these techniques in depth in a minute, but remember: a plan is worthless unless you implement it with every new piece of content you write.
3. Commit for the long-term
It’s easy to start a content marketing plan, but it’s much harder to stick with it for the long term.
The problem is that content marketing isn’t a short-term fix. It’s a strategy that will only work if it’s done consistently for years.
When HubSpot looked at the success of their content marketing, they found that 92 percent of their leads and 76 percent of their views came from old posts.
If the benefits of your content marketing system are slow in coming, don’t get discouraged. Remember, the best results will come months or even years after you click publish.
4. Promote as much or more than you create
If you’re publishing content on a consistent basis, but not getting much traction, the problem might not be your content at all.
The issue at hand might be the strategies you’re using to promote that content.
If you’re just starting content marketing, you’re not going to have much success with search engine traffic at the beginning.
Instead, you need to focus your efforts on building social shares (which will drive traffic in the short term) and acquiring backlinks (which will help your efforts in the future).
CoSchedule uses Google Alerts to build backlinks. Whenever someone mentions them in an article, they reach out and ask for a backlink.
This is a simple way to promote your content to increase its ranking in Google and get your more results down the road.
If you focus on promotion, it isn’t hard to promote your content, even if you have no followers.
5. Understand exactly what your audience wants
When you create content, how do you decide on the topic?
If you’re like most marketers, you use an idea you’ve had for a while, or think of a topic you’re interested in.
While these can work very well, it’s the exception and not the rule.
For truly successful content, you need to write based on what your audience wants, not what you care about or think they should want.
One of the keys to writing this kind of magnetic content is creating and using a buyer persona for the pieces you produce.
A buyer persona is that “ideal audience member” that can help you craft what you write. Instead of writing to everyone, imagine your content as a conversation with this buyer.
Even better, think as that person. What would he or she want to know? What questions do they ask about the topic?
These are gold mines for powerful, compelling content.
6. Cover evergreen topics
While there’s nothing wrong with writing about common trends, your content marketing will never take off if you do this.
To keep up with what’s popular, you’d need to publish multiple times a week or even every day just to stay relevant.
This trend-chasing tactic works for huge news sites like The Huffington Post, who publish thousands of times per month, but it’s not a sustainable strategy for most businesses.
What’s the solution? Simple. You need to focus your efforts on writing evergreen content: the content that covers an enduring topic and stays useful for years to come.
When Drift reviewed its content in June, it found that less than 16 percent of traffic to its site came from content published then.
The remaining visits were from evergreen content they published earlier.
CoSchedule found the same thing. Their evergreen pieces from years ago have helped their SEO traffic increase 594 percent over two years.
By producing this kind of content, you can guarantee success for years to come.
7. Create different types of content
When most people think of content marketing, they only consider blogs and articles.
But the truth is that content marketing is just as diverse as the people creating and consuming it.
If you’re only writing articles on your blog, you’re missing out on huge opportunities. The Online Marketing Institute has listed 11 different types of content marketing.
Look to expand your horizons with new types of content, including audio, social media, and even in-person techniques.
8. Optimize your content for social sharing
Most marketers know they should be sharing their content on social media, but they often don’t know how to do this.
There is an infinite number of answers, but a few are easier to implement than others.
One of my favorite ways to expand reach on social media is to use the Splinter Technique explained by Digital Marketer.
To make this work, create bits of shareable snippets from the content you create. You can then schedule that to share across social media for weeks after you publish.
9. Include video in your content marketing strategy
It’s no secret that video is huge, but you might still be underestimating just how important video will be to your long-term success in content marketing.
Video is projected to be responsible for 79 percent of all consumer web traffic by 2018.
With more than three-quarters of web traffic based on this single type of content, are you prepared as much as you should be?
One of the easiest ways to make this work is by converting an existing piece of content into video.
With a few tweaks, you can turn a blog post, podcast, or even infographic into a script.
Using some basic equipment, you can easily convert your content into a video to make the best use of this burgeoning content channel.
10. Write high-quality content backed up by research
If you’re unsure of where to start with your content, I have a definitive answer for you: research.
To get the most benefit from your content, you need to be using up-to-date analysis and data to prove your points.
Include lots of graphs, charts, and statistics. It proves that you’re basing your claims on provable facts and not just something you thought of without any support.
It’s the only way to stand apart from the millions of opinion pieces flooding the Internet.
It’s true, this kind of writing takes more work. I spend hours researching and writing each post. But the results speak for themselves.
CoSchedule writes this kind of detailed, research-based content. It’s helped them build over 37,000 backlinks.
Put in the work, and you’ll start seeing the massive results that come from this strategy.
11. Find and leverage your best social platforms
You’ve probably heard that you should be…