Content marketing has proven, over the last couple of years, to be
outpacing its more traditional media buy and advertising counterparts in
terms of engagement with audiences and, ultimately, conversions. That
said, not everyone gets it right, and some people have yet to start
actually creating a content marketing plan for their brand.
Today, we’re going to go over a few ways you can audit any content
marketing piece before you put it out in order to give it the best
chance of success.
Make sure your target audience really, truly cares.
One of the biggest mistakes that brands make with content marketing is
that they use their content as an extended ad for their product or
service. The content itself delivers little value to the reader and
doesn’t actually set them up to be any more knowledgeable on a topic or
in a better position to solve their problems than before they read it.
Content marketing is about giving, and as such you should always place
yourself in your target market’s shoes while writing. Ask yourself
– If I was in this market, would this content be useful to me, or
does it just sound like someone trying to convince me to buy something?
– Is this genuinely interesting?
– Is this written like it’s honest and coming from someone who is
knowledgeable on the topic?
Can it make it big?
Take into considerations the elements that make a piece of content go
viral or stand out from the rest in terms of how much it gets shared
around with others. In content marketing, learning to leverage your
existing audience to spread your work exponentially to their own
contacts and followers is key. In general, a few key items will help
you achieve this with a piece of content:
– A title that is intriguing and clicky, but stays true to the
content that’s on the other side.
– A piece that shows so much work, care, and time that it stands out
as a resource above all others. For example, this is why list articles
super high counts (i.e. “120 ways to share your content!”) often get
shared 1,000’s of times â€“ hard work shows.
– Have you designed imagery for promotion? Posts with images catch
attention and perform substantially better, so you’ll want to design
thumbnail images for social sharing even if your content itself is not
visual (a written piece, etc.).
Can you hustle?
Content marketing is a numbers game, and those numbers are, largely,
hours. Not only will you put in hours to create content that resonates
and delivers, you’ll need to think about your distribution strategy.
This means manually posting to Facebook groups, Google+, Twitter,
LinkedIn, Reddit, etc. Develop a distribution plan by starting broad
and then narrowing in on the channels that are delivering results after
a few releases. Most likely, this is a multiple month long process, but
content marketing in general is playing the long game. Good luck!