If you provide goods or services and you have an online presence, you need to invest in content marketing. Content marketing includes different mediums: written word, video, audio, and images. Podcasts, white papers, email campaigns, vlogging, blogging, infographics, and social media — it’s all content marketing.
There are several ways that you can approach content creation, but there are best practices that apply to content marketing regardless of your field, industry, or goals.
These sayings capture the spirit of content marketing best practices, and they would look great on a coffee mug.
This is a good mantra for life, and it’s what you should always aim to do with your content marketing. Ultimately you want to create content that provides some sort of value for your target audience.
What’s the purpose of your content? Are you persuading, entertaining, informing, or inspiring? Maybe you’re blending in a little bit of everything.
If your content doesn’t provide value, there’s no point in creating that content in the first place.
Grab their attention and don’t let go.
Your headline and your meta descriptions deserve more time; they are far too important to be an afterthought. Headlines determine whether or not someone considers engaging with your content, and the meta description can mean the difference in a click and a scroll.
Once you have your audience there it’s up to the quality of your content to keep them there. With a blog this means a well-written and thought provoking intro. For a vlog, this can simply be a matter of lighting and the amount of charisma you can send through a screen.
You can’t just trick people into viewing your content; you’ve got to have the goods once they get there.
Be anything to anyone.
“Well you can’t be everything to everyone, so let me be anything to anyone.”
Your content must provide value for your audience — recognizing that is the easy part. The trick is knowing how to provide that value. Trying to cater to a general audience seems like a good idea, but it can backfire.
Don’t try to speak to everyone. Try to appeal to your specific target audience. Identify who you want to speak to — who the content is for. Create an imaginary character that embodies your target audience, and create content for that character.
What makes them tick? What do they eat for breakfast, how do they respond when someone cuts them off in traffic, and what are they typing into Google?
Get specific, and create your content for this person.
Consistency is key.
Consistency here doesn’t mean you crank out the same content day after day. Instead, you need to create a schedule that helps you produce a steady flow of new content.
You need to put new content out there on a regular basis — this is what helps you keep your audience and appear in search queries.
When you publish new content three times a week like clockwork, your audience keeps coming back to check out what’s new. If you usually come up with new content once a week, some visitors might remember to stop by to see if you’re still alive. Randomly post new content whenever you think of it, and you aren’t going to see a lot of return visitors.
Consistency keeps you alive and well with search and organic traffic, and it’s more likely to attract returning visitors.
Always leave them wanting more.
This doesn’t mean withhold information and stretch a single blog post worth of material into a five-blog cliff-hanger series. Instead, provide high-quality content and meaningful material that people want to revisit, and establish yourself as a valuable resource.
Track the number of returning visitors that you have, and work towards improving those numbers. People who visit your site on a regular basis are more likely to share and promote your content than those who never visit your site again.
Demonstrate your value to your audience, and give them a reason to come back to your site.
Hope is not a strategy.
Hopefulness and optimism are admirable qualities, but they won’t result in a successful content marketing strategy. Crafting an effective content marketing strategy requires research, planning, and constant effort.
Without a plan and clearly defined goals, your content marketing efforts are like sailing around the ocean without a map hoping to find an island of riches.
Let Haden Interactive help you get on course with an SEO strategy document.