Did you know that more than 90% of companies use content marketing techniques? Blogs are responsible for most of the successful content marketing online. In fact, having a dynamic, regularly updated blog can provide a company with up to 67% more leads per month compared to companies that just have a website.
Most businesses understand that content is an extremely important part of their online marketing strategy, but not all businesses know how to use their content properly for the best effect. The problem is further complicated by the fact that there's a lot of outdated or just bad advice circulating, and it isn't always easy to know which bits can be trusted. Luckily, we've sorted out the wheat from the chaff for you. Here are 7 things you must do if you plan to be successful with content marketing.
1 - Fit Your Content into a Cohesive Marketing Strategy
Great content scattered all over the place will have some effect. You'll likely have some sparkling successes, but you'll also have your fair share of mediocrity too. When you have a cohesive marketing strategy in place and you know exactly what you want to achieve, you will find it easy to align your content with your business goals. That way, everything will be working towards a common ideal, and you will have a much greater chance of achieving it.
2 - Write Killer Headlines
You have mere seconds to grab the attention of readers. Most readers will decide whether to continue reading an article based on the strength of the headline. For example, if your article was about dog training, a weak headline might be, Several Rather Nice Ways to Encourage Your Dog to do Things. It lacks the impact of a bold headline that gets straight to the point, such as, 10 Top Tips for Training Your Dog.
Effective headlines don't have fluff and filler; they cut through all the waffle in a crisp, clear and exciting way. They often contain simple, concise facts or statistics. For example, "9 out of 10 Drivers Prefer ...", "95% of All Women Agree That ...", or "7 Must-Do Things for ...".
When numbers or percentages are combined with a bold statement, it usually grabs the reader's attention, creating interest and curiosity. A well-crafted headline gets the content read. A mediocre article with a killer headline is likely to be more successful than a brilliantly written article with a weak, uninteresting and boring headline. According to David Ogilvy, the successful copywriter and marketer, five times more people will read the headline than will read the rest of the content.
3 - Be Conversational and Tell a Great Story
Speak to each reader in a likable, conversational way. Get them engaged through emotion, intrigue and interest. Curiosity makes readers desperate to know more. That's why TV soaps always end with a cliffhanger. It creates an engaged, hungry audience who can't get enough of what's on offer. When you tell a great story, you can create the same effect. You can entertain your readers while also getting your marketing message across. That way, everyone's a winner.
4 - Solve a Problem for Your Readers
The hard sell isn't a very effective content marketing strategy. Your readers will simply see it as an advert and be turned off. When you provide useful content that solves a problem your readers face, everything changes. They will be able to relate to the problem, and be interested in discovering the solution. Then, when you include a gentle call to action at the end of the piece, they will be much more likely to respond positively.
5 - Create Content for People, but for Search Engines too
Thankfully, the days of keyword stuffing are over. That was when articles were written to a certain keyword density where a particular keyword was expected to appear anything from 5% to 10% of the time. This created boring, mechanical and unreadable drivel. Fortunately, Google and the other search engines no longer accept that kind of garbage. This allows you to create great content for people that is also optimized for the search engines.
All you need to do is include your main keyword a few times, as well as an assortment of related terms. Use synonyms and alternative meanings, as well as all the words and phrases that are expected to appear about a particular subject. This provides the kind of content that readers can enjoy and search engines can understand. Your reward is a happy readership and well-ranked content in the search engine results.
6 - Use Different Kinds of Content
Written content, such as this article, is perhaps the most common type of content online, but it certainly is not the only kind. Content can include such items as an article or blog post, a video, an infographic, an image, or series of images, an audio podcast, a slideshare presentations, or user-generated content, such as comments at the end of a blog post, for example.
7 - Create Outstanding Content Every Time
It may seem obvious, but successful content marketing largely depends on you creating outstanding content that gets noticed. Mediocrity will get you nowhere. You have to push the envelope every time and come up with the kind of amazing content that hits an emotional trigger within the reader. That will give you the kind of spectacular results you want, and will also give the reader an unforgettable experience to entice them back for more, over and over again.
Are you engaged in content marketing? Is it an important part of your overall marketing strategy? Tell us about your experiences and what you think about content marketing in the comments section below. We’d love to hear from you!