There are some integral facets of content marketing that come together to make a solid, successful marketing strategy. These facets include blogging, guest posting, constructing press releases, and developing helpful infographics. This article will give you a roadmap to conquering the best strategies in all of these categories, and it will also warn you against what not to do if you want to keep your content marketing game plan effective. Here are the Do’s and Don’ts of Content Marketing:
• First and foremost: Do have a blog for your website: Blogging gives your website a personality so that you can enter into (and create) discourse with your audience and potential clients. Blogging is a way to tell them about the latest happenings in your company. It’s a way to explain and reinforce your products, services and overall mission.
• Do write quality content for your blog. Your blog is no help if the content in it is unreadable or stuffed with keywords. Write a blog that people WANT to read, and if you don’t have a great writer on staff, consider hiring a freelance writer, copywriter or content developer.
• Do maintain a schedule for your blog. Post around the same time each day so your readers know when to expect a new blog. Think about it this way: If a T.V. show you really like did not have a set time to air, you probably would be less likely to tune in or continue watching to see what happens next. Without predictability for new content, an audience quickly loses interest.
• Do target keywords in your blog. Make sure to do some keyword research and include a few target words or phrases in each blog post. Just don’t go overboard.
• Do encourage social sharing on your blog; this is great for rankings, and it gets your voice or company out into the wide world of social media.
• Don’t blog for quantity. The old adage stays true in the digital age: Quality over quantity. If you don’t have much to write about or you’re running out of topics for your blog, scale down the number of times you post so that you can maintain quality content.
• Don’t publish a badly written blog. Always find another set of eyes to look over your post and correct any grammar mistakes, spelling errors or odd sentences. Your blog loses credibility when it’s badly written.
• Don’t copy content, and Don’t duplicate your own content. Everyone copies an idea now and then, but write your own content in your own words. Think of it as a way to express your unique self.
• Don’t crowd your blog with spam and ads or you’ll turn readers off. Have a professional, streamlined look to your blog, and post ads somewhere where it doesn’t affect the reader.
• Don’t write lengthy paragraphs. Keep them short and easy to read. If you have a long paragraph, simply space it out more so your readers don’t lose focus. A good blog post should be anywhere from 750-1500 words.
Press releases are a good way to announce new developments within your company or industry. They also help with link building and creating valuable, rankable content in the eyes of Google.
• Do always have something “new” to say in your release. Try to make news rather than just news releases.
• Do take time to create a catchy headline so that your release grabs the attention of readers and reporters.
• Do write a press release with no mistakes or errors that is easy to read. Use concise, to-the-point sentences that are easy to skim through.
• Do use the correct format for a professional press release, also make sure to include the contact information of the person in your company that is most knowledgeable about the info stated in the release.
• Do cite sources of any stats or survey information you include in the release.
• Don’t include a bunch of links in your press release. Links should only be used to add relevancy to the products and services mentioned.
• Don’t turn the release into a sales pitch. It should be news, not an ad.
• Don’t keep repeating information in a press release.
• Don’t make up information (like stats) or use an unreliable source for reinforce your news. Have a credible release with credible sources and newsworthy facts.
• Don’t ignore PR guidelines: There is a PR system and a sort of underlying PR code. Don’t violate it, and try and follow the rules.
“Information graphics” are visual tools used to convey data or information in a clear way, often making it easier to comprehend a complicated notion. They are often color coordinated and can include graphics, pictures, tables, charts, words, symbols, arrows, etc. Have a look at this infographic about the Do’s and Dont’s of Content Marketing as an Example
• Do keep your infographics visually appealing. A bit obvious, but still important. A professional designer can help with the conceptualization of your more important infographics.
• Do insert numbers, stats, pie charts, bar graphs etc. for numbers-based infographics. Readers should be able to scan through numbers easily.
• Do promote your infographic on social media outlets, this gives it a greater chance of going viral.
• Do try to tell a story with your infographic. Engage your audience with an interesting graphic that has something to say. Don’t just create an irrelevant one for the sake of having an infographic.
• Do make your infographics embeddable. Have an easy to see/find button with a social sharing option.
• Don’t copy an existing infographic. Do your research and design your own.
• Don’t confuse readers with TMI (Too Much Information). Keep it to the point, using 5 points maximum, keeping your reader’s span of attention in mind.
• Don’t make an infographic using clip art or templates. All infographics should be originally designed.
• Don’t create offensive infographics that are NSFW (not safe for work). Some of the most content sharing occurs in the office.
• Don’t make a horizontal infographic. Web pages scroll down, so a vertically designed infographic is best.
Guest posting is a great way to connect with others in your industry and get your name or your company’s name out there.
• Do create a guest post that follows the submission guidelines of the site you’re guest posting on (word count, number of links, images, etc.).
• Do include only relevant links in the articles.
• Do write a nice author bio for the guest post, include a professional picture as well. Make sure to always link back to your own site in the author bio.
• Do include links to your social media profile in your author bio and promote the guest post on your social media outlets.
• Do check the domain authority and the reputation of the site before you guest post on it.
• Do respond to the comments users make on your guest posts. The whole point of a guest post is to start a conversation.
• Don’t just guest post for link building. It is a perk, but you should have some relevancy to your guest posts.
• Don’t just guest post anywhere. Especially not on a site that lets just anyone guest post about just any topic. Only select sites relevant to your industry.
• Don’t bother the editor after you have submitted your guest post for review. Have patience and respect the editors time. You’ll get your article posted soon enough.
• Don’t complain if your article is rejected. But do ask for feedback if it is.
• Don’t submit a post on a topic that has been written about thousands of times. Write a unique post with a nice title that is sure to interest readers.
If you keep in mind these important facets of content marketing and make note of what to do and what not to do, you’ll be on your way to content marketing success! Remember Content Marketing is the new SEO, and when done the right, it can be very effective.