Content marketing gets stale if you don’t find ways to keep your audience’s attention. Trying new types of content and increasing your existing content’s value can dramatically improve your return-on-investment. Try these nine slam-dunk strategies to boost your content marketing game.
Incorporate Social Media
Image via Flickr by mkhmarketing
Today, social media doesn’t exist in a bubble. You find it everywhere, from the comments section on blog posts to the share buttons on landing pages. Great digital content transcends platforms, bringing together your entire digital footprint under one umbrella. At least, that’s how you want to play the game.
When you create new content, find ways to tie it to social media. Post excerpts on Facebook, quick quotes on Twitter, and images on Instagram and Pinterest. Make sure your content continues to intersect as you create it.
Update That Blog
Blogging demands lots of energy. You have to choose a topic, outline a post, create a magnetic headline, and actually write the post. If your blog hasn’t seen any activity in the last few weeks, it’s time to update it. Stale blogs fade into extinction quickly.
Maybe you don’t have time to write new content. In that case, work with a third-party content creation service that can write fantastic content while you focus on other marketing goals. If you hire professional writers through a content agency, you benefit from their expertise and research skills. Plus, you don’t have to do the heavy lifting.
Use Mixed Media
Adding front infographics and interactive web pages to Instagram stories and Facebook Live means you don’t have to rely exclusively on text for your digital content marketing strategy. In fact, you shouldn’t. Xerox’s research showed that colored graphics made people 80 percent more likely to read a piece of content. You don’t have to use video, audio, images, and infographics in every piece you write, but use these tools when they’re right for the topic.
Try creating microsites as well. These small sections of your website offer information on one specific topic. Infographics and interactive graphics work particularly well for this purpose. They draw in visitors and keep them engaged, which means they stay on the page longer.
Educate Your Audience
People love to learn. We live in a do-it-yourself universe, and the internet revolves around educational content. That’s why companies continue to churn out blog posts, white papers, and articles as part of their content marketing strategies.
However, articles aren’t the only way to teach. Everyone learns differently, so why should you create the same content for each of your potential customers? Try starting a podcast to engage auditory learners, designing slides for visual learners, and conducting webinars for people who like to read and write but also learn through auditory stimulation.
Conduct A/B Testing
When you want to know whether a piece of content resonates with your readers, use A/B testing. For instance, you might write two versions of an email marketing campaign. You divide your list in half. The first group gets one email campaign and the other receives the second.
You can measure open rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates this way. You learn which emails do best in terms of return-on-investment so you can later replicate those results.
Establish a Style Guide
People have become increasingly perceptive, especially when it comes to brand awareness. Your customers can tell when your messaging conflicts with your professed values, goals, beliefs, and style. That’s why style guides prove essential for keeping up your content marketing game.
A style guide covers several factors related to your company and brand:
- Tone of voice
- Linking preferences
- Spelling and grammar specifics
- Logo styling and colors
- Font preferences
- Overall goals (e.g. to encourage, entertain, or educate)
- Image preferences
Your style guide evolves as your brand grows, but everyone who creates content for your team should read and abide by the style guide as it exists today. That way you’re always delivering consistent content.
Think about the last time you searched for information on a topic. If you’re like many internet users, you might have settled on Wikipedia. Why? Because Wikipedia offers detailed, long-form content on just about any topic you can imagine.
People would rather find one comprehensive resource than 10 different sources with brief snippets of information. At one time, content marketing experts recommended short copy, but that has changed. Consider lengthening your average blog post or article to 1,000 or more words. Cover each topic in more depth to attract new and existing readers.
Optimize Your Content
SEO optimization isn’t dead, despite what you might have heard. Just like other aspects of digital content marketing, SEO continues to evolve, and it remains relevant.
Instead of stuffing your content with keywords, use long-tail keywords sparingly. Choose specific actionable keywords that enjoy low competition and high search volume. They’re harder to find but more valuable for your content. However, don’t forget that people trump search engines. Write for your audience — not for Google.
Create Premium or Gated Assets
A gated asset is a piece of content that isn’t available to the public. Users have to give up something in exchange for the asset, most commonly their contact information. A premium asset is similarly kept from the public, but users have to pay for it.
Many different types of premium and gated assets exist:
- Hard-copy books
- Webinar recordings
- White papers
- Extensive research
While you give away your blog posts for free, you can use premium and gated assets to generate cash or gain access to potential customers. Permission marketing has exploded over the last few years; instead of buying email lists and hoping to connect with customers, ask people for their email addresses and watch your open rates increase.
If you’re not happy with your content marketing game, step it up. These tips and strategies will help you get better ROI in 2017, and you’ll stay well ahead of the competition as you fight for potential customers. Additionally, you’ll increase your presence on social media and in the search engines.