Marketing with content is a subtle science. We’re constantly being bombarded with content marketing advice – whether that’s in expert podcasts, webinars, or blog posts. But if you’re pushed for time and can’t afford a full overhaul of your content strategy – what can you do today?
Thankfully, sometimes it’s enough to just make a few small changes in order to see an uplift in SEO and brand awareness. Try these six simple strategies for yourself – sometimes it pays off to go back to basics with content.
(Or maybe that should be write less, do more). Culling content from your domain or scaling back your editorial calendar may seem counterintuitive in our ‘content is king’ age, but sometimes having a bit of a breather is just what the content doctor ordered.
- Stop posting content just because you feel you have to – stop and think about what you are adding to the online conversation. (It works! Unbounce stopped publishing for 2 weeks and scored 700 new leads). A streamlined content and inbound strategy will serve you better than an erratic and scattergun approach.
- The best content doesn’t necessarily need to be long. There are a lot of arguments about what’s the content length ‘sweet spot’, but there’s no 100% accurate conclusion as it depends on the niche, platform, and subject matter. Instead of length, focus on content that carries a clear message and serves a unified purpose.
- Revisit buyer and customer personas instead of charging ahead with your next blog post. Are you still talking to your audience? Have you addressed all their concerns in content? Are your posts relatable enough?
- Find it hard to write impactful and meaningful content because you lack the knowledge? Be smarter with expert content. Talk to the people at the frontline to get new ideas and angles for your content. Think quality, not quantity.
- Recycle content and focus efforts around evergreen content, not stuff that’s dated almost as soon as it’s written. Keep promoting content on a continuous loop – you probably have loads of great content sitting on your blog that needs sharing again or updating.
Readers of Hubspot’s blog will notice that they often update published posts that have performed well in the past. It’s a foolproof strategy for anyone creating content – look at what your readers responded to, and what’s picking up keywords in Google – and then go and add to it and make it better.
This means that you can consolidate your content efforts around posts that are more likely to attract shares and backlinks thanks to their age and authority.
Be on social more
A lot of brands and businesses obsess over publishing content on their own domain, missing out on potential opportunities on social media. Invest heavily in social media as a place for content research, production, and research. Getting the most out of social media doesn’t mean spending loads of money on expensive advertising, it just means being consistent with content and engaged with users.
- Go to social media for quick roundup posts and quirky user-generated content ideas. Using social media is one of the fastest ways to get a fun post together – just look at the engagement that sites like Buzzfeed get thanks to social content curation. Explore platforms like tumblr and reddit for content that’s niche-relevant.
- Invest in native social content and publish content on LinkedIn Publisher and any other relevant content platforms like Medium, Quora etc. (You may need to tweak your content slightly to keep it platform-relevant). Social content networks are great for referral traffic and brand awareness.
- Share all blog posts across your social networks frequently (make sure you schedule at least 4-5 promotional posts per blog post and keep recycling old ones). Mix up featured images, calls-to-action, and headlines to avoid content fatigue.
Sync up and be smart about social posting – syndicate content across platforms to save time using tools like IFTTT.
Talk to others
Use the power of collective knowledge and creativity and stop struggling with a mediocre content plan. Talk to other people to get more feedback on your content before it’s even written, and keep going to your community for content ideas.
- Brainstorm with the people around you to get fresh content ideas. Be open to suggestions, and try to approach your content calendar with both an open and a critical mind. If you’re working on your own, forums, groups, and social media are a great place to go for content ideas and validation.
- Speak to others in your organization or close circle who don’t usually have a stake in content creation – what would they like to see?
- Interactive content is a great way to engage readers – it’s the perfect way to foster dialogue and reciprocity with your audience. Ask your audience what they want to hear and create the content that they’re literally asking for…
Invest in templates
Learn how to make the most of digital with clever repurposing and templates.
You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Invest in readymade templates and services, instead of going back to custom designs and formats every time. With a little customization and personality, you can make even a popular content template look like ‘yours’.
- For creating low-budget, but effective social content, tools like Canva are invaluable – their content templates and readymade quality imagery are lifesavers! Use Canva to create shareable quotes and imagery to promote your blog posts and content.
- You can download loads of marketing documents like a social media calendar, a buyer persona, and an editorial calendar for free. Use these content resources to help you plan out your own processes – they are invaluable tools that will help you scale and grow your content marketing efforts.
- Need great ecommerce content for your new venture but you haven’t got a huge budget? Don’t despair and go with readymade stores you just tweak and manage. Shopify is great for high-end looking stores, and WordPress also offers some awesome ecommerce functionalities. Use their templates and readymade themes to help your ecommerce content strategy get off the ground, leaving you time to develop a good brand story and editorial calendar.
Revisit your core keywords
By spending fifteen or twenty minutes with your keywords, you will be able to come up with some fresh, new content ideas.
- It’s easy to get caught up in the latest industry trends and your next listicle, and forget that you haven’t talked about what it is you actually do. Don’t be too clever and forget to actually address your core keywords. This can be done in blog posts, FAQs, and resource pages.
- Search engines are smart, but they’re not mindreaders. Conduct extensive keyword and rankings research across different SEO tools to make sure you have an accurate representation of user language. Can you spot any missed keyword opportunities? Should you be ranking higher for an important term? Start to build these keyword opportunities into your content calendar.
- Make sure that you address niche beginners, as well as experts. Simple content is often the best-performing kind, and it won’t take long to write and create. Beginner guides are also a great content resource to package up as a downloadable and can be easily used for lead-generation.
Xero create loads of awesome beginner accounting and business guides which are perfectly targeted at small business owners (their core target market). These guides help them rank for loads of longtail keywords related to business and accounts management.
Start using video
It’s not hard to shoot a good video these days – with a smartphone, everyone is a cameraman! Video is great because it’s cost-effective, popular, has a low barrier to entry, and it’s also supremely emotive.
- Go live on your social profiles in order to provide immediate and compelling content. The best videos are clear and have a clear narrative or journalistic angle. Practise a few times before you ‘go live’.
- Instead of the next blog post, why not shoot a minute video takeaway instead? Videos tend to up user engagement on websites, and are super easy to share on social channels. Videos are the perfect way to share small nuggets of useful information that others will want to then pass on.
- It can take awhile to get used to a new medium like video, so stick with it. Look for knowledge and help out there if you’re struggling.
GaryVee is an expert at shooting powerful and emotive live videos in the back of cars and pretty much anywhere he is! See what you can learn from his tone and his engagement strategies for your own videos:
- Powerful, simple message
- Focus on actionable advice
- Very little editing or ‘fancy’ video work.
Gary has worked tirelessly to refine his own message and advice to the world, so don’t expect to be able to emulate him successfully from day one! Focus on your own struggles and what you can share with the world. Videos like Gary’s’ show that content doesn’t need to be hard, complicated, and expensive in order to succeed.
The key to great content marketing is to remember to promote, promote, promote, and track your results. Keep revisiting your content metrics to see what’s working well for you. Do more of the stuff that works, and less of everything else. You don’t need to do everything on all channels – you’re better off streamlining and focusing your efforts where they will have the most impact. What small change can you make to your content strategy next month?
Note: The opinions expressed in this article are the views of the author, and not necessarily the views of Caphyon, its staff, or its partners.