SearchEngineWatch.com recently published a great article on how to “Crush Content Marketing in 2014.” The tips are spot-on and all but guaranteed to work.
But they’re not user-friendly. In fact, what they say about content marketing is downright scary.
Content marketing has become the biggest component of any search engine optimization and social media marketing strategy. The combination of smarter algorithms from Google and a social networking environment that’s saturated with material means that successful content marketing takes expert strategy and skill.
SearchEngineWatch’s tips are great – if you know marketing, design, and networking. If not, they’re just intimidating. Take a look.
We’ll start with this one … Be Funny, Be Shocking or Get Lost!
Sites like Buzzfeed, Cracked, and ViralNova publish content that goes viral on a regular basis. Imitating their headlines can be a great way to make your content eye-catching and shareable. Top 10 (or even 25) Lists, shocking comparisons, suspenseful titles – all of these make for articles that will catch your readers’ eyes and make them want to share your content with their friends or colleagues.
Of course, this is easier said than done. We can’t all employee teams of successful comedy writers to man our blogs. We might not even have content that seems funny or particularly shocking. That’s why you need a great storyteller behind your posts; someone who can find an exciting tidbit to head your next article. If you can spark your audience’s curiosity, the clicks will follow.
Next up … Long, In-Depth Posts are a Must!
A successful blog post used to be about 300 words long. Then the experts upped the recommendation to 500 words. In 2014? If you aren’t writing at least 1,500 words per post, you’re wasting your time.
When it comes to what the search engines see, they view longer content as more valuable and less spammy. And human beings agree – longer content is more likely to be shared because it represents more of an effort on the publisher’s behalf.
The best articles today provide a comprehensive look at one topic. Write the ultimate guide for people in your industry, and that content is bound to become a resource for others – one that gets shared socially and brings more traffic back to your site.
But guess what … Design Matters More than Content!
That’s right, despite the fact that people are clamoring for in-depth articles, design takes precedence over content when it comes to marketing success. Apparently the digital age has caused us all to forget that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. Articles with visual appeal are far more likely to achieve results.
Write a good piece, proofread for errors, and then bring in a designer to make it shine. A typo isn’t likely to cost you social shares, but a boring layout surely will.
And even then … You Need to Invest More Time!
You penned a catchy headline, wrote an elaborate piece, and added stunning graphics. You can call it a day now, right?
Don’t forget the outreach. If you don’t take the time to share your content socially, no one else will! In fact, you should go one step further and email others with a gentle message asking them to share your latest work.
And even more than time … Money!
Shocking headline: check. Definitive guide: check. Attractive design: check. Outreach: check. Is it bedtime yet?
Not quite! Even when you do everything right, you’re dealing with a market that’s simply saturated with content. With such stiff competition, you may need to invest more than just your time into a successful content marketing campaign. Sites like Outbrain and StumbleUpon Paid Discovery will put your content directly in front of interested users so that it doesn’t get lost in the shuffle.
Are you scared yet? As content marketing continues to rise in both importance and difficulty, more and more companies are turning to expert writers, designers, and marketers to make sure that their efforts aren’t in vain. In 2014, viral content is a team effort. Make sure you’re not working with a bunch of rookies.