No more mediocrity.
If that isn’t your motto as a content marketer, it should be. Consumers today have more free content available online then they know what to do with. Between websites, social media, eBooks, whitepapers, and blogs, we’re all functioning in information overload. The time is now to make your content so incredibly outstanding that it’s beyond reproach, even in a highly saturated world.
Are you with me? Awesome, because these 11 tips are designed for content marketers who are committed to achieving excellence in the months to come:
1. Do Something Each Week that Scares You
If you adopt nothing else from this article, carry this tip with you. Whatever you’re most scared of is probably what your content marketing strategy needs. If you’re anything like me, you probably lay awake at nights thinking of all the ways you could - and should - become a better marketer.
For me, my weakness is video production and editing. You might feel downright uncomfortable when it comes to even thinking about sending out press releases, or learning technical SEO.
Whatever it is, you’ll feel a lot better if you begin to tackle it. Don’t feel that you need to master anything overnight. Dedicate time each week to learning the tools, tactics, and best practices you need to succeed. There’s no better way to infuse your content strategy with greatness than by drastically improving yourself.
2. Fact Check
Major media outlets have entire departments dedicated to checking the dates, names, and other key facts that star in their stories. It really only takes a few highly-publicized mistakes to ruin a reputation of being a reliable resource. In fact, HubSpot’s Corey Eridon believes that fact checking is a key step towards achieving thought leadership. Make a point of incorporating it into your organization’s editing process.
3. Back Up Your Points
Be honest here. Which of the following statements do you find more plausible and trustworthy?
- Social media analytics are becoming popular.
- 96% of marketers track at least one kind of social media metric.
If you’re anything like the majority of readers, you picked the second. Statistics, facts, and quotations lend an instant credibility to your content. Let your research and citations shine through in your writing, and if you’re outsourcing your content, ensure that your freelancers do the same.
4. Use Quality Outside Resources
Speaking of outsourcing, don’t be afraid of it 62% of brands are currently using freelancers, contractors, or agencies to meet at least some of their content needs. In the best scenario, the right outsourcing scenario is as nimble and easy-to-scale as you need it to be. Contractors can lift the weight of the world off your shoulders, allowing you to pull in the right kinds of expertise and free up your own time.
5. Use Examples at Every Possible Turn
The world’s best bloggers are expert curators. During their time online, whether they’re reading blogs, checking their email or online shopping, they’re looking for examples and inspiration to screen cap and share in their next piece of content. Content marketers are never really “off work,” but focusing on finding the right examples can drastically improve your content.
6. Don’t Try to Sound Smart
There’s a reason that so many people utterly loathe jargon. It’s because it’s annoying, alienating, and just plain off-putting. Imagine how you’d feel if you were a brand new prospect, researching brands, and you came across a website that was loaded with acronyms or terms like “leveraging synergy?” You wouldn’t feel a bit more educated, that’s for sure. Nix words without meaning and words that don’t mean something to everyone.
7. Be Multi-Faceted
Red Bull is often cited as a great content brand, and it’s true. While the undoubtedly star of their content marketing strategy is their YouTube channel, they do all kinds of content extraordinarily well. Just look at the 3,000+ shares the following Facebook post earned:
I don’t think that every brand needs to use every content platform available, from Tumblr to Snapchat and beyond. However, I do think that you need to use every platform your buyer personas also use, and dominate it.
8. Embrace SEO
In one of the best editorials I’ve read recently, expert Skip Besthoff effectively argued that “fighting for an audience on the web is a zero sum game.” Why? Studies have shown that sites ranked #1 on Google capture around 90% of all organic search traffic. If your content marketing strategy is pretty darn good but not getting the attention it deserves, your website’s ranking, performance, or authority could be at fault. You can do content marketing without SEO, but it’s not always highly effective.
9. Don’t Overlook the Small Stuff
It’s really easy to lose track of details during the continual push to publish, publish, and publish. It’s no secret why content marketing is often compared to a marathon. However, the small details you’re ignoring might be a big deal. If you’re skimping on titles, calls-to-action or other major components of your content, it’s almost definitely hurting you. Make a point of either slowing down, or finding someone on your team with an eye for detail.
Curious what constitutes a good CTA? Check out 15 Call to Action Samples for Rocking Blog Posts that Convert.
10. Have Gravitas
You know what my pet peeve is, not as a content marketer, but as a consumer? When it’s apparent that a brand is just phoning in their content strategy. Your content needs to have depth, a “wow” factor, and expertise behind it. Otherwise, it’s just going to be white noise.
11. Measure and Improve
The most important time you spend each week is going to be on measurement and improvement. This could mean developing formal reports of your content strategy’s progress, identifying areas that need improvement, or developing your content calendar for the week to come. Skip an extra blog article or Facebook post before you skip your weekly measurement session - this is how you improve!
Have you improved or revamped your content marketing strategy? Which tips and tactics did you find most successful?