In the last few years, content marketing has taken center stage and comprises the largest part of an inbound marketing strategy. Have you leveraged content marketing yet to generate leads or traffic?
If yes, this article will help you reevaluate your current efforts and change gears to get more out of your content marketing in 2016.
And if you’re among those that haven’t leveraged it yet or are just starting out with marketing your product or service, this article will help you start off on the right foot.
So let’s get right to it–the components that will help you stand out among your competitors, build a brand and gain far more traction in 2016.
Do Just One Thing And Do It Well
More number of blogs and articles don’t equate to more traffic and leads. There are just so many factors that contribute to driving traffic to your blog that success doesn’t come merely by putting out more articles.
Besides, every other brand or a company’s blog is reading the very many articles on how to do content marketing right–write 2,000 words+, write so many days a week, include images, etc–that they end up fitting their creative aspect of the content into these parameters.
Do just one thing and do it well. Ask yourself, are you building a publication or a brand? Don’t be somewhere in the middle.
Identify what your brand or startup stands for, what is the perception you want to drive and what value can you offer. In that, even if you were to do one article or video per week, albeit something that’s unique or offers a completely unique point of view, which is consistent week after week, that’s what your audience will remember you for. This consistency will help your audience build an association and connect with your brand.
Brian Dean of Backlinko says, “If you’re not a good storyteller, learn the skill or hire someone that does. If you don’t, you’re going to have a tough time getting anyone’s attention in 2016.”
Write Less And Promote More
Your content has to have great marketing for the audience to discover. You’re better off posting one fantastic blog a week and spending the remaining days marketing rather than writing 2-5 mediocre or average blogs and spending even less time promoting them.
Promotion is equally hard and in the initial phases, should take up most of your time to build a fan base that’s returning week after week. There are many channels that you can leverage to promote your content–social media, paid advertising (mostly Facebook), contributing to relevant forums, initiating discussions, reaching out to influencers and media, relevant newsletters, etc.
Try every possible outlet in the initial stages to identify the top 3 sources that generate the maximum traffic and conversion. Once you have that data, you can then channel all your focus and time on just those top 3 sources.
Content Has Many Formats
When creating your content marketing strategy, don’t be restricted to just one form of a straightjacket article. There are many content formats that are received well by the audience. Choose one that works best in your situation.
Some of the most popular formats are How-to’s, case studies, charts/graphs, eBooks, cartoons/illustrations, webinars, infographics, videos, podcasts, lists, interviews, Pinboards, etc.
Your ideal content format will and should emerge from your product or service value and the perception you want to drive among your audience for your brand.
If it isn’t already, video is touted to be the future of content marketing. We’ve seen tremendous response to our #BiteSize expert advice videos as opposed to other formats.
According to Cisco, by 2017, video will have accounted for 69% of all consumer Internet traffic. Video-on-demand traffic alone will have almost trebled. For smaller businesses or startups, video is far more cost effective in today’s times when the production costs have reduced considerably.
You can put up a video with great content easily for less than $100 today. And the reach of one is peerless. YouTube alone receives more than 1 billion unique visitors every month.
Even within video, there are many sub-formats you can tap into. For instance, How-to’s, explainers, interviews and live streaming, among others.
Dave Kerpen of Likeable Local says, “2016 will be the year in which live streaming goes to the masses, and smart marketers will take advantage by being present at noteworthy events to stream from, and partnering with live streaming talent.”
One thing that isn’t specific to 2016 or any other year is to add value to your audience with matter that hasn’t been shared before or ways that effectively and uniquely communicate to them.