Content marketing is difficult. Guiding something from the very first inklings of an idea through to sales success and ongoing audience engagement is a tricky task—as is ensuring you get a good return on your investment of time, money, and effort.
However, there are a few things one can do in order to kick-start their content marketing strategy. Here are our top picks.
1. First and foremost, plan ahead
Without a clear idea of your future goals and strategies, your content marketing runs the risk of becoming a short-sighted jumble of mismatched blog posts, social media giveaways, and sporadic email send-outs. It’s important to lay out where you’re hoping to get to, how you’re planning to get there, and how you’ll measure your progress and success over time.
2. Diversify your content
Once you have an idea of your aims, it’s time to get creative. Creating and bringing together a diverse mix of content is key to capturing and keeping your audience’s attention. Different forms of content—infographics, quizzes, explainers and advice, mixed media, long-form and short-form, email copy, compilations of other useful sites, surveys—work well on different platforms, so for best results also consider when and where you’ll publish each piece.
3. Establish your personality and style guide
Why should someone frequent your business and website over a competitor’s? Much of this comes down to a mix of quality, innovation, timeliness, and personality. Publishing high-quality and creative content regularly is vital to establishing a strong online brand and following, but reaching the next rung of audience engagement is tied to who you are, what you stand for and value, and how you write—your digital “voice”. For this, it’s key to be consistent and ensure your style guide reflects not just who you are, but how you’d like to be perceived.
4. Use all the tools at your disposal
There are numerous tools available to help you on your journey to content marketing success. In fact, you can get help in most every area—from scoping for and identifying potential trends to help with idea generation to scheduling tweets to checking your grammar is up to scratch. Do some research to figure out which ones might work for you, and put them to work.
5. Most importantly, understand your audience
The best-laid plans of mice and content marketers often go awry when said marketers struggle to understand their audience. It’s important to research your key demographic(s) before you even begin planning your content, compare against your competitors, ask for engagement and feedback via comments, surveys, and social media, track your traffic via analytics, and periodically review how your content is being received.
These are just a few pieces of advice, but have we missed any tips you feel are crucial to content marketing success? Let us know in the comments!