Did you know that less than 40 percent of marketers have a content marketing strategy?
For the number of marketing pros out there, that stat shows that not a lot of people doing what works best for marketing. Having a content marketing strategy is how you can make sure people see your content.
But figuring out what to do might be hard to determine. Lucky for you, this article is going to break down the content marketing tips and tricks you need to know about.
Why do you Need a Content Marketing Strategy?
In 2013, Netplus and Finch Brands interviewed over 200 brand marketers to assess the state of digital marketing. The Digital Brand Survey reports that most marketers feel overwhelmed with their daily duties.
When we go into content marketing blind, it can feel like just another item on our endless daily to-do lists. eMarketer reports that 60% of digital marketers create at least one piece of content each day, however.
That’s because content marketing leaders report 7.8x as much traffic for content marketing leaders. Clearly, it’s in our best interests to investigate content marketing as part of our digital marketing toolkit.
When you create a streamlined, scalable content marketing plan and strategy, the process becomes automatic. It’s built into your marketing team’s daily routine.
When done correctly, a content marketing strategy saves you time and reduces work.
Content Marketing Tips and Tricks to Live By
Content marketing isn’t always the easiest process of your marketing campaign, but that doesn’t mean it has to be impossible.
When you’re starting, it can seem difficult at first, but with these content marketing tips and tricks, you’ll be an expert in no time.
Are you ready to get started? Let’s jump into it!
Tip #1: Always Use Visuals
How often do you use visuals in your content marketing?
No matter how much you said, it can always be more. Visuals are one of the content marketing techniques that are easy to do but still pack a big punch.
Blog posts, tweets, and more should have plenty of visuals. Some people think Instagram is a no-brainer, but many brands post text on their Instagram too! Avoid doing this.
Visuals aren’t limited to photos or videos though. This also includes infographics, which helps make sure that people see and learn from your content.
Infographics aren’t hard to make either. While you can use fancy programs like InDesign and Illustrator, there are plenty of online tools you can use to make them.
Keep in mind that you don’t have to be a professional photographer or videographer to make a video. Most cell phones have the same capability the pros have.
And if you’re just starting out, that’s your best bet. You wouldn’t want to invest too much unless you’re working with a professional digital marketer.
Tip #2: Leverage Influencers
When you’re first getting started with content marketing techniques, it can feel like it’s not working. That’s okay. Most people don’t start getting loads of traffic within a week.
So how do businesses and brands get people to hear about them?
They use influencers on social media, YouTube channels, and other platforms. This is a low-cost solution to make sure that you get people to hear about your content.
Your industry will determine what influencers you should use. If, for example, you make hiking boots, you should work with an influencer that posts a lot of hiking on their feed.
But if you’re marketing something like towels, chances are you don’t have an obvious influencer to use. In this case, find an influencer with a large and diverse audience.
If you have a specific brand tone, hire an influencer that has a similar tone. Selling beach towels specifically? Look for someone who lives at the beach!
Be fair when paying influencers, and decide if they want you to promote their social media pages or your product in general.
Tip #3: Follow Your Audience
Have you ever heard the phrase, “If you build it, they will come?”
It’s from the movie Field of Dreams, and while it might work for baseball fields, it’s just not true on social media. In fact, you might say it’s the exact opposite.
Why? When you’re on social media, you can’t expect people to somehow know that your business has an account. You have to come to them.
Think about when you started your business. Did your first clients come to you on their own?
Probably not. But after reaching out and making a few sales, people started referring to you or hearing about you elsewhere. The same goes for social media.
To make sure people know that your business exists, you have to follow your audience on social media. As they follow back, social sites will promote your page, and your new followers will retweet or share your content.
Don’t worry about your follower ratio. At first, you’ll follow more people than that follows you, but that’s okay. Over time, as you get more followers, you’ll balance out.
Tip #4: Always Post Content on Social
Speaking of social media, you have to make sure that you post on social media as often as you can. This content marketing technique sounds difficult but isn’t once you get the hang of it.
But before we get into that, let’s explain why posting is important. When you follow accounts, you want them to see that you post on a regular basis. Otherwise, they won’t see any reason to follow you.
Posting often also ensures that people remember that your brand exists. Whether you sell online or have a brick and mortar store, you’ll still be able to draw people this way.
Always posting doesn’t mean you need a marketing meeting each time you post. Comment on current events in your industry or share content from a non-competing influencer.
And when you post a blog, you have plenty of content to share through recycling. You can share the blog itself, a well-designed photo with a quote from the blog, any infographics from the blog, and more.
You can even share old blogs once they’re relevant again. And interacting with your followers should be a breeze.
Tip #5: Always Promote Your Content (not just on Social Media)
Once your content exists, the possibilities for promotion are nearly endless. This is why this makes the our list of content marketing tips and tricks. Social media marketing is one of the most popular – and powerful – ways to promote your content, but it is not the only medium.
It’s also a wonderful example of having a content marketing strategy in place. When you have the big picture in mind, your content creation and marketing work in unison. This greatly reduces the workload on your marketing department.
As you’re creating your branded content, keep a separate document with some of the main takeaways from that article. Pull out memorable quotes. Emphasize useful and interesting statistics.
Create high-quality branded images to help promote your content. Infographics are always a popular choice. Images that include text also get a lot of traction, especially on image-heavy social media networks like Instagram.
Once you’ve created your branded assets, it’s time to publish. Here’s where the marketing science comes in.
Don’t underestimate the power of email marketing, either. Social media is wonderful for gaining brand awareness. It’s never a good idea to let an outside agency control all of your assets, however.
You need to be building your email lists as you’re developing your brand. It’s important to be able to directly access your customers and audience, without the intercession of a third party.
Email marketing gives you a direct line to your audience’s inbox. It’s like them inviting you over for dinner. That’s a great time to tell them about your brand.
Make email updates and promotions a part of your content marketing strategy to remind your customers you exist. Roundup recaps and newsletters are always an easy and effective way to repurpose content for email marketing.
Assess, Rinse, and Repeat
This is a good overview of one iteration of the content marketing cycle. After you’ve completed the cycle, see what’s working and what isn’t. Let this guide your future content marketing tips and tricks.
Don’t rely solely on marketing metrics, either. Talk to your audience. See how they feel about your brand and what could be improved.
Content marketing is a wonderful example of what is so powerful about digital marketing. It gives small- and medium-sized business owners access to the same powerful tools that Fortune 500 companies have traditionally been able to access.
Content marketing also lets you continually innovate and update your brand, in real-time. That’s something that not even the largest corporations could’ve done even 50 years ago.
The business world is evolving at the speed of thought. Content marketing lets us evolve our brands at the same pace. Content marketing strategy lets you do so without feeling overwhelmed.
Tip #6: Develop Personas and Then Target Them
You’ve heard of a target audience, but do you know what a buyer persona is?
A buyer persona is like a target audience except more specific. You don’t say you want to target professionals aged 25-30. Instead, you say you want to target a female professional who is 26-years-old and recently married.
Your buyer persona should be more specific than that, but the idea is the same. Think of the quintessential customer you have and everything you know about them. This will determine content marketing for you.
Before you post anything, ask yourself about that buyer persona. Would they like this? Are they too busy to see this post right now?
Of course, you may have more than one buyer persona, and that’s okay! We have found the perfect number of personas to be 3. Make sure that everything you do targets one — if not all — of them!
To determine who your buyer persona is, it might help to send out a survey to your customers. If you say you’ll do a drawing or offer a coupon to survey takers, a lot of people will be willing to help your business.
Ask customers who they are and a little bit about their life without getting too personal. Most of the questions should be multiple choice! Using this data, create a buyer persona that fits most of your clientele.
Tip #7: Master Writing Headlines
Headlines aren’t easy, but headlines are everything. Think about your own social media use. How often do you read the headline and keep scrolling?
Almost all of us have done this at some point. Because there’s so much information online, it would be ridiculous to try to read everything we see each day.
That’s why an important content marketing technique is to become a master at writing headlines. Taking a few moments to do your research on a headline will make all the difference.
Remember that you should tell the audience what they’re getting into with your article. Before, you could just say something quippy or silly to get clicks.
But now, your headline is your only chance to show people why they should spend time on your article.
Of course, that doesn’t mean you should write bland headlines. The more interesting the headline is, the more clicks you’ll get. And don’t be afraid of longer headlines. A new study from Backlinko and BuzzSumo determined that longer headlines have a direct correlation to increase social shares.
Image Source: “We Analyzed 912 Million Blog Posts. Here’s What We Learned About Content Marketing” (Backlinko & BuzzSumo)
Tip #8: Consider Using a Publishing Platform
No matter what brand you are selling, you might want to consider using a publishing platform. Any creative marketer can use a publishing platform to help promote their brand.
Let’s say you start a blog, you publish a blog and you know you want to share it a total of three times over the course of the month. Using a publishing platform to schedule all three posts at once allows you to get the content shared your optimum number of times without having to remember to go back and post on several occasions.
If you don’t feel the need to use one yet, that’s okay. Just make sure to use these other content marketing tips and tricks for your brand.
Pro-Tip: Our two favorite publishing platforms are Buffer and Hootsuite.
Tip #9: Identify Your Brand Goals
Knowing what you hope to achieve will hold enormous sway over the type of content you create. The mechanics of selling a product or service on the Internet is much different from simply raising brand awareness, for instance.
Some common content marketing goals include:
- Raising brand awareness
- Increasing web traffic
- Engaging audience
- Generating leads
- Increasing marketing ROI
- Building customer loyalty
Let’s delve a bit into each category to see the similarities and differences between different types of content.
Whether you’re just starting out or have been around and established for a while, brand awareness is key. We’re only as powerful as our reach.
Brand awareness is a key component in earning customer trust, as well. This is one of the pillars of content marketing and why it’s so much more effective than other forms of advertising.
Content focused on building brand awareness should aim to increase your brand’s authority as a thought leader. Focus on creating branded content that can be widely shared and build your legitimacy as an expert in your industry.
Types Of Content That Emphasize Thought Leadership:
- Guest posts
- Studies and research
- Video posts
Branded content that increases thought leadership performs double duty, as well. Your audience will share your content and advertise your brand for you.
Creating content is always a good idea. It’s only effective if people actually make use of it, however. Customer engagement is also a metric of how useful your content is to your audience.
Some Methods Of Increasing Engagement Include:
- Stir up a controversy
- Ask for opinions
- Be surprising
- Get your audience involved
- Create multichannel content
- Offer incentives
It is incredibly important we remain ethical in our attempts to increase engagement. It’s tempting to create content around the latest controversy in an attempt to exploit the outrage cycle to raise brand awareness. It’s not only tacky to do so, it can have a serious negative backlash.
One of the reasons content marketing is so effective is it builds trust. Exploiting human suffering for self-promotion will accomplish the exact opposite.
Instead, focus on positive ways to encourage audience engagement. User-generated content campaigns are an excellent example. So are classic calls-to-action like asking for opinions or comments.
Increasing Web Traffic
Increasing web traffic is probably the most classic content marketing strategy. There are a million ways to drive traffic to your website with content marketing. Most of them will help delight your audience and keep them coming back for more.
Hosting a blog on your website is one of the most common ways to increase web traffic. Creating blog posts around your niche is a fast track to thought leadership. It’s also an essential component of gathering backlinks, which will raise your website’s SEO ranking.
Make sure all of your blog posts follow on-page SEO guidelines. This will help capture the long-tail search engine marketing (SEM) goals, while still giving you content to promote via social media.
Get Started with These Content Marketing Techniques
Now that you’ve read this article, you should be ready to get started with these content marketing tips and tricks. Remember that you should also develop your own content marketing techniques to see what is most effective for your brand.