Content marketing is an important element of any digital marketing campaign. Do your research. Write a plan. Be consistent. The following tips will help digital marketers develop a new content strategy – or fine-tune a current one.
Know your customers. Have you done the hard work to learn more about your customers? Do you know what your customers need from you? What can your product or service do to help your customers? Developing a deep understanding of your customer’s needs will help you develop content that will resonate with them.
Go above and beyond. Freely give away information and advice related to your industry. Become a valuable resource that your customers will turn to time and time again. Regularly providing potential customers with useful advice will help you gain their respect and loyalty.
Keep it real. The best content is original content that offers your customers a fresh perspective. Remember to remain authentic and write your content in a way that clearly illustrates your brand’s voice. Truly authentic content – written in a natural manner – will engage your customers and arouse their curiosity. Stay away from big fancy words and avoid using buzzwords too frequently.
Develop a strategy. This tip might seem like a no-brainer; however, at least half the people reading this article don’t currently have a content strategy written down. Develop a content strategy that is tied directly to your organization’s goals. Your content strategy should address your customer’s needs as well as your desired results. As you develop your content strategy, ask yourself the following questions: What does my customer need? Will this content give my customer what she needs? Will this content help me reach my desired outcome?
Develop and maintain a content calendar. A content calendar helps marketers plan content weeks in advance. Once you have determined your goals and researched your customer’s needs, you can begin to plan the content you will develop and promote. Download this sample content calendar template to help you start the content planning process.
Brainstorm with team members or colleagues. Two heads are better than one. Schedule regular brainstorming sessions with co-workers, team members and even other industry professionals. Make sure everyone understands your organization’s goal. Encourage the free flow of ideas and write every idea down. No idea is a bad idea if it leads you to another idea. If you work with a virtual team, a conference call will work just as well as a face-to-face meeting. Tools like Evernote and NotesPlus can help you document and share your meeting notes.
Use attention-grabbing headlines and subject lines. Avoid vague subject lines and headlines. Make sure your headline is compelling enough to grab the reader’s attention. Your content should deliver exactly what you promised your readers in the subject line. Additional tip: once you master the art of creating great subject lines, you can then test them as subject lines on Facebook Ads and Google Adwords.
Keep it simple. Make sure your audience can easily glance through your content and quickly determine the main points. Bullet lists and bold type will help readers decide if they want to read all of the content you have provided them.
Include a call-to-action. All of your content should have a purpose. Do you want your readers to download an eBook? Do you want your readers to opt-in to your email newsletter? Ask. Use a really short and simple call-to-action that makes it clear exactly what you want your readers to do.
If you have any content marketing tips to add, please post them in the comments section.