This is a question that’s often on the minds of content marketers attempting to create great and useful content. While there is no secret sauce that can ensure that your content gets noticed, there are a few things that you can keep in mind to increase your chances at creating content that won’t just be a blip on the radar.
Here we bring you five such practical, workable ideas that you can easily incorporate in your content strategy to create content that speaks to your audience:
Write with your audiences’ interest in mind
This quote by Andy Crestodina puts the purpose of content into context. Most companies tend to get caught up in creating pieces of content that are superior in every way but forget the basic function they were set to serve- ‘is it useful’?
Write with your customer’s usage in mind and make it simple for a user to get to your content. This often means striking the right balance between having a title that’s witty but also sounds like something a user would actually search for.
As Chris Brogan so rightly puts it, “Write your posts with your customer’s usage in mind. Think about what they will want to know, and how you can be useful.”
Find out what to say and where to say it
There is such a thing as ‘spreading yourself too thin’ when it comes to content. With the barrage of social networks and content outlets out there, it’s easy to get ‘carried away’.
Which is why effective content distribution has become just as important as creating good content. A number of online tools allow marketers to rightly identify the networks that their audiences are most active on and the ones that guarantee maximum engagement. These tools also help understand the best formats that click when it comes to a specific audience so that marketers don’t end up utilising their resources to create content that viewers would ignore.
EpicBeat is one such tool that allows users to find content that’s working and where it’s making waves. For eg.: a search around the topic of ‘health & fitness’ shows that the maximum conversations around it happen on Facebook.
So if you’re opening a new gym or looking for some new subscribers to your healthy food blog, Facebook is where you should head to.
Reduce. Reuse. Recycle
A big part of being better at content marketing is about being smart about your content. This means not just being able to create epic pieces of content but knowing how to repurpose already created content, in new ways.
If there’s a video you created that’s working- get the main points out of it and turn it into a series of social media posts. If you have a audio only version- include it as a podcast.
If there’s one thing we’ve learned- it’s that it never hurts to put your content out where people can find it. As long as the topic you’re covering is still relevant and useful to your audience, it won’t hurt to find newer ways of packaging it so that it reaches them. Focus on finding better ways of marketing existing content instead of starting from scratch every time. You never know, you might be sitting on a goldmine of content that just hasn’t been discovered.
Build a content bank
If you’re a content marketer, chances are you’re always on the lookout for potential ideas that could turn into your next content piece. So you’re going through stories, following major trends and reading posts by your favorite authors to find your next story- or at least finding inspiration for it.
And if you’re anything like me, then it’s quite likely that you end up with more than one idea! But that’s when reality strikes and it hits you that you don’t have the time or the resources to carry out those ideas. Damn.
But wait, don’t scrap them just yet.
Maintain a content bank where you jot down the ideas that hold potential but just aren’t doable currently. You never know when you find another way of utilising the idea or better still, when you end up with the ammunition to actually carry out the big plan!
So, if your idea checks all the right boxes in those areas, then it might just make sense to hold on to it for when the time is right.
Understand that ‘it will take time’
If you’ve been sincerely following the content marketing landscape for more than a nanosecond, chances are you’ve heard of Joe Pulizzi.
This quote by him, really puts the whole idea of content marketing efforts by brands, into perspective. He says- “Content marketing doesn’t usually fail because of content quality. The main reason is because it’s inconsistent or it stops.”
Most brands that are doing content marketing, and doing it well- understand this fact. Which is why content publications driven by brands are focusing more on building a loyal customer base over the need to see immediate results.
Going by the CMI example again, Joe says in one of his many posts how the CMI content marketing blog, started in the year 2007, took 3 years to be successfully monetized. Which means a commitment to content today, means brands need to be patient and keep at it when it comes to putting out great content without expecting immediate returns.
So, there you have it. Five workable ideas that touch different aspects of content strategy- from creating content to measuring its effectiveness, that can help change the way you manage your content plan, for the better.