Content marketing is having a moment with major staying power. From SEO to social media, the impact of content on digital marketing is huge. Even if your brand doesn’t seem like it needs content marketing, making content work for you is imperative to a cohesive digital strategy. Here are 5 tips for how to make King Content work for you.

1. Follow the content experts

Imagine how far ahead your business would have been if you had taken Bill Gates’ statements made in 1996 about content being king and making most of the money for businesses online more seriously. So first and foremost, the ideal advice would be to follow the experts of inbound marketing, digital marketing, SEO and content marketing regularly so that you can plan and execute the right strategies at the right times for your business.

A few good content marketing experts to know are:

2. Executives are for writing bulleted lists and writers are for expanding them

Today in 2014, 73% of marketers have somebody to look for content and you wouldn’t be reading this article if you weren’t already doing the same or planning to do so soon. But too often even the best writers fail if they don’t have access to critical information about your industry, company, products, services and business model. This is why I suggest you make use of a smart content strategy employed by companies like ALRUG and TopTal.

Get your top decision makers to write so much as a bulleted list, and then let your content team to expand that list into an awesome piece of content. Works like a charm!

3. Know thy audience and bless their e-abodes with thy presence!

Many of our readers have probably read the 8 Rules of Marketing of Eugene Schwartz, the most important one of which is, “be the best listener you ever met”.

In today’s digital world this means, hanging around in relevant discussion forums like Reddit, Quora, Facebook Groups, LinkedIn groups of your niche so as to know what your audience says, what buzz words they use, and what their biggest problems are. This is the best way to not just come up with the right solutions but to write great content.

Example: Just this morning, one of our content team members at MQC was able to find a great topic for one of the clients within 1 minute of reaching on a relevant discussion forum. The reason we knew this particular topic would be great was because:

  1. It was relevant
  2. It discussed a major problem
  3. It had gotten over 100 follows and comments, and over 15,000 views

You can further streamline this process by using BuzzSumo to find topics which go viral and using Google Keyword Tool to find keywords which have lots of searches.

4. Use email outreach to get published on big content hubs easy-peasy

If all you do is write content and post it on your website (and on your Facebook account right after you have posted another ‘funny cat video’ post), that’s not going to do much unless you get very lucky. So reach out to major content sites of your niche and pitch them relevant topics that you can write on for them. Make sure that you do some A/B testing in your email outreach to ensure that you are sending the best subject and email body content.

You can manage such email outreach very efficiently with tools like Boomerang and Yesware, etc. Here is some benchmark data regarding emails for you: email open rate for BAU (Business as Usual) mails was 32.9% in Q1 in 2014; so keep that in mind when you plan an outreach campaign for Q1 in 2015.

5. Content “recycling turns things into other things which is like magic”

So your article on “Google’s Self Drive Cars” got 110 likes and 50 shares last month? That’s great! What would be even nicer is if you convert that article into a presentation or an infographic or a video or maybe even all of them. How about inviting someone who has a different (but reasonable) viewpoint about these cars to your podcast show? Here are some more creative ways to recycle old content from HubSpot.