Over 4.4 million blog posts are published every day — how do you make sure you stand out?
Content marketing is a tricky business. It’s the most popular marketing strategy out there, and organizations are investing tons of money in improving their efforts in the area all the time.
So the game plan is simple — you either step up and strive to become even better at your job or you fail. But how do you get better?
Here are some tips and ideas to help you stay afloat in the highly competitive world of content marketing.
Create Customer-Centric Content
It’s easy to get carried away and forget who you’re creating content for in the first place. Always remember who your audience is and what they want to consume. After all, the primary purpose of content is to attract traffic and generate quality leads.
So a great content marketer is also a solid profiler. Once you establish who your target audience is, you can make small adjustments that can increase your content efficiency.
For example, you may be using the wrong tone of voice or treating your readership as novices in the field even though they’re professionals.
No matter how great your content is, if it doesn’t cater to the right customer, it’s useless.
Make Sure Your Content Is Highly Unique
Whatever topic you decide to research online, you’ll find dozens of articles that say the same thing in a slightly different way or state the obvious. It goes without saying that such content doesn’t provide much value to the reader.
While it often appears difficult to say something new when it seems like everything has already been said, it’s actually doable. Just think about how you can contribute to the topic in a unique way. Maybe you can adopt a different form, a new tone of voice, or add a tinge of opinion.
With local content, it’s even easier since you can comment on local news and events to target a specific audience.
Keep Your Content Fresh
In 2020, the second most common tactic used by content marketers, right after SEO, was updating and repurposing old content. This practice can improve your ranking like little else since it caters to both the search engine algorithm and your audience.
When an article stays on a website for a long time, it becomes stale in Google’s eyes. By updating it, you make it “fresh,” and your ranking goes up. It’s easier than adding brand-new content, and it produces the same results.
Likewise, keeping it fresh makes you a trustworthy source for your audience.
Another way to achieve freshness is to produce content that never goes stale, such as evergreen how-to articles.
Use Different Formats for Various Channels
As a marketer, you probably understand the importance of having a multi-channel online presence. The problem is, you can’t use the same type of content across all platforms.
For example, the differences between a blog post and an Instagram post are huge. The former platform requires lengthier, thoroughly researched and elaborate pieces, whereas fun visual content, such as short videos, works best for the latter.
Each channel has its limitations and strengths, and you can use them to your advantage. You just need to understand what your target audience wants to see on each platform. Your approach for LinkedIn will probably be entirely different than that for Instagram.
Track Your Performance
Of course, you can’t know how your content is performing if you don’t track the relevant metrics. However, many marketers fall into the trap of aiming for instant results instead of focusing on what will work best in the long run.
You want your content strategy to be fruitful in the long haul, and it may take some time to achieve this evergreen quality.
The important thing to do is settle on specific key performance indicators (KPIs) and track them over time. These can be lead generation, social sharing, or any other metrics depending on your goals.
Careful data analysis will show you the areas you can work on and how you can take your strategy to a new level.
Have a Monthly Plan
Only 37% B2B marketers have a documented marketing strategy. It’s safe to say they are the winning circle.
Creating content consistently is challenging if you don’t have a plan, and it can result in randomness that will hurt your marketing efforts.
By creating an editorial calendar, you can plan your content strategy in advance and never run out of ideas and topics. This way, you can also analyze the effectiveness of your approach from month to month and adjust it accordingly.
Likewise, you should also have a distribution plan for sharing your content on social media. This distribution shouldn’t be random as your audience likes a degree of predictability. Also, there are optimal times of the day to post on each social platform, and you can take advantage of that.
Give Them Plenty of Visuals
Pictures, videos, live streams, infographics — these are the most effective types of content as of lately. In fact, visual content gets 94% more views than content without any visual elements (Instagram, TikTok — we blame you!).
Internet users are bombarded with information on the daily, and visual info is just easier to process and takes less time. Considering the fact that our attention spans are shortening, adding a visual element in any content is a must.
You can use videos or infographics to break down or summarize your longer, more elaborate written pieces, for example.
Develop Your Skills Constantly
If you want to survive in the content marketing world, you need to develop your skills all the time. A content marketer isn’t all about content creation and SEO. You need to have an excellent understanding of sales funnels, superb planning skills, solid technical know-how, and much more.
There’s always room for improvement, and you may even consider finding an expert to coach you in an area you’re lacking in.
You may focus on a certain subskill, e.g., how to use a certain content planning platform.
You can also choose to dabble in some other areas that can help you grow as a content marketer, such as basic graphic design or video editing.