Content marketing has long played a crucial role in the best digital marketing strategies. Quality content not only entices new customers, it reminds current ones why they bought into your brand in the first place and works to make them advocates.
It certainly warrants some serious investment in 2017 - but you need to be sure you’re going the right way about it.
Quality content is not just a magic buzzword in digital marketing. It is the indispensable aspect of any successful campaign. As we venture boldly into a new year, it’s highly likely that you’ve made a number of ambitious business goals. And so you should - be bold! Digital marketing warrants constant improvement so if it’s not already up there for you, it should be.
Content is that priceless product that you need your digital customers to buy into. There is now such a wide array of digital marketplaces and social networks. This can something of a double-edged sword. While it might mean that companies have access to a variety of different options to reach their audience, the amount of them vying for attention is substantially more than it used to be. Competition is hot on any channel. To get anything out of it you need to stand out.
Kicking your content marketing into 2017
The content creators are getting better. Much better. That is great news for users but something of a complication for casual marketers who can’t be casual anymore. In order to compete in 2017 you need to be sure that your efforts stand up and that you aren’t wasting your time. Your investment needs to be the right investment.
Quality content marketing is crucial to success in 2017. Follow these steps and start doing yours the right way.
1. Revisit who your audience are
All content needs to serve a purpose. Everything which serves a purpose has an audience. Any content marketer worth their salt understands that content that isn’t targeted to a particular audience is next to worthless. As we move into this new year, take a moment to revisit exactly who your audience are. Already done that? Go deeper.
Specificity is key. Effective content is perpetual; by narrowing down to a specific segment of your wider audience you give it the best chance of being considered quality and evergreen. Catch-all content efforts neither work for search engine optimisation purposes or for social media promotion. Learn who your audience are and narrow in on every single facet of their interests. Niche it up!
2. Reflect your niche in your headline
If there is one thing that we all need to improve on this year it’s headlines. These few words are all you have to get users to stop scrolling and click on your content. They require just as much investment as the content itself. But that doesn’t mean you should over-promise. On the contrary, exaggerated headlines are nothing more than clickbait and will simply harm your brand in the long run.
Be sure that your headline identifies your niche audience and outlines the benefits that clicking will bring. Most content writers will start off writing witty or cutesy headlines because they sound clever, but soon enough they realise that above all being obvious is what matters. With a few bold power words thrown in for good measure.
3. Create better header graphics
You want users to start sharing your content. You want their peers to see that content, click and curate it themselves. So what you need is something visually stimulating. It really doesn’t take much to add a tiny aspect of graphic design to content creation. Header graphics shouldn’t be an afterthought, they should compliment your content. There’s nothing wrong with CC0 stock images - so long as you personalise them for your own purposes.
Your header graphic is an opportunity to reiterate the benefits of your article using different keywords to the headline. While these might not be readable by search engines, that certainly doesn't make them devoid of reason. They are an extra opportunity to entice clicks.
4. Get some consistency with your articles
Ideally you want a repeat audience who have certain expectations for your content. How can we expect that when one day we post a 1200 word analytical report and the next a 230 word company announcement that has little importance to your audience? Make 2017 your year for consistency. That doesn't just mean posting similar length articles, it means crafting your a structure or style of delivery unique to your feed.
Contributing guest posts to external sites often means you have to structure your posts by their rules. Just because they get a lot of hits doesn’t mean that their structure is some secret formula. On the contrary, some of these are downright awful to write and even worst to read. On your own blog and even some third party sites/professional networks, you have the freedom to create something more readable, skimmable and welcome to the reader’s eye.
5. It’s not enough to be useful - be unique.
It’s crucial for your content to be usable, that’s for certain. But if you really want to stand out from the crowd, you need to have a personality. This is something that should emanate all the way through your digital marketing strategy. Your online voice should be unique, fun and totally human. Content marketing is where your voice is forged.
6. Promote, optimise and distribute with all your might
The final step is crucial - promotion. If you want your content to be successful, you need to get it in front of that niche audience. Leave no stone unturned in doing so. Ensure every single one of your posts are optimised for search engines by using Yoast or a similar plugin. Include your article in your email marketing or newsletter. Continually promote them on social networking.
At this point in time it’s a no-brainer to put some paid promotion behind your articles on social media. Promoting posts of your content often results in the growth of a quality, engaged audience of advocates. This audience is likely to come back to read your consistently good articles, remembering your services and products for when they have need of them.
If you’re looking to invest in content marketing this year, our services might be right up your street. Interested in finding out more? Reach out to us here!