Everyone is familiar with the adage ‘content is king’, which is more relevant than ever in today’s content-driven world.
Content marketing can have a significant influence on everything from the marketing output of a small business to a whole country’s presidential election result. It’s difficult to even comprehend how much content is produced on a daily basis – with two million blog posts written every day.
All over the world, brands are united by the same goal: to generate unique content that their customers can relate to, and thus, help them earn better business outcomes. They spend infinite time, money and resources on this objective, and develop complex buyer personas to help them achieve optimal results.
However, intangible questions remain, including what are the basic pillars of content marketing? How do brands create compelling content that can be used to attract customers and ultimately boost sales? What is the secret to a truly successful content marketing strategy?
These questions may be intangible but they are still ones that every content marketer today should ask and strive to find answers to.
Strap yourself in to learn my 12 simple rules for successful content marketing.
1. Make your content unique
As far as content is concerned, uniqueness is the main parameter that allows you to stay above in a competitive world. Rehashing content and taking inspiration from existing content is definitely a thing, but adding something extra to it is fundamental to your content marketing success.
Try using the following infographic to get fresh inspiration for your writing.
2. Make your content format-specific
Social media is an undeniably powerful tool, and companies who are utilizing its power are the ones who are surging ahead in the content marketing race.
Tailor your content according to the medium – short and graphic for microblogging sites such as Facebook, and detailed and in-depth for long-form sites such as Medium.
3. Make your content relevant
If you are a local brand which wants to tap into the local market, your focus should be on answering the key questions asked by your local target audience. Incorporate any customer concerns into your content, and you will experience a shift in engagement. You’ll also reap the rewards of greater user interest and a more personable reputation.
4. Create a content schedule
Spontaneity works in a theatre context, but not in content marketing. Creating and publishing content without a proper plan in place can affect your long-time goals and make your brand look feeble and unstable. In addition to creating a long-term plan, successful content marketers should have weekly and monthly content schedules.
Check out this marking plan calendar from Rebecca Vandenberg below and use it as inspiration to create your own.
5. Think beyond blogging
A lot of digital marketing campaigns rely on blogging as the sole focus for content and engagement. Diversify your content in the form of videos, infographics, presentations and images. Your audience interaction will automatically rise.
6. Look at the metrics
There is no point in pressing ‘Publish’ if you don’t know how your content is performing. Taking an occasional glance at its traffic from social media is not enough. Consider traffic from all avenues and adjust your content marketing strategy accordingly.
7. Optimize content for mobile
Simply focusing on desktop traffic can kill your content marketing’s chance of success. According to Makesbridge, mobile-friendly websites achieve significantly more in terms of conversions than their counterparts. For example, it’s a smart idea to create videos which can be viewed vertically rather than horizontally on a smartphone, as more than 85% of mobile users watch videos in the vertical mode.
8. Take creative risks
The courage to take risks will help you create unique content, as well as set your brand aside as one which innovates instead of depending on traditional methods.
Success is hard to find without taking a few risks so view risks as content enhancers. While a safe strategy may offer a relatively consistent return, a risky strategy can offer a less certain but significantly higher result.
9. Treat simplicity as a virtue
SEMRush suggests that content marketers should take inspiration from Apple, which is renowned for its use of simple, minimalistic content to drive a single point across. Look at its advertisements for its range of iMacs, iPhones, and even the new AirPods to see how well this strategy works, then consider how a minimalistic approach can help you make your content marketing appear more concise and iconic.
10. Stay true to your brand
It’s one of the biggest cliches of all time, but staying true to your brand identity is vital. An example of a big brand that does this well is Nike. Its marketing strategy concentrates all its content – videos, images and texts – around its world-famous tagline, “Just do it!” As a result, its customers connect automatically with the content and respond to it positively, regardless of its context.
11. Be responsive to feedback
Dealing with negative responses to your content can be challenging. Negativity is inevitable, but successfully circumnavigating it all depends on how well you handle criticism.
In a world where there is no shortage of trolls, businesses must learn how to deal with negativity. In this regard, taking notes from Domino’s can be helpful. The pizza delivery giant chooses not to delete any negative comments/reviews from any of its owned accounts. Instead, it keeps them and tries to solve the issues, giving additional reasons to the loyal, non-troll customers to love them even more.
12. Create standalone content
One of the biggest mistakes a brand can make when creating content is to market it solely as a conduit for their service/product, rather than something that is a standalone marketing asset. You should assign just as much importance to your content as you would to your main service/product. If you take it seriously, your audience will follow suit.
Following these simple rules will help you expand your horizons and the quality of your content marketing. They will not only boost your sales, but assist you in the aim of building and retaining a loyal customer base.
In today’s world, where sales are driven primarily by content that consumers are exposed to when online, tapping into their core areas of interest is a smart way to make your brand known.
If you have a unique idea that you think can help people solve problems, then remembering these 12 rules will help put you way ahead of your competitors in your content marketing objectives.
Guest Author: Bria Pierce is a freelance writer at 123writings.com. She has an unquenchable thirst for writing and believes in the necessity of personal development as well as having a passion for one’s work. You can follow her on Twitter.