Creating quality content is far from being a walk in the park. It takes a lot of effort, time, research, and creativity to curate quality articles, infographics, videos, and other forms of web content.
However, you may have the best content out there, but it will all be for nothing if it doesn’t reach your target audience. To make sure that your posts get the right exposure and touches the right people, you need to have a strong content marketing strategy. But today, achieving that is easier said than done.
At present, standing out in the web marketing arena is harder than ever. With Google’s ever-changing search engine algorithm, the fluctuating behaviors of Internet users, and emerging trends, it’s a tough battlefield to be in. That’s why Internet marketers need to be constantly on their toes in order to stay ahead of the game.
A comforting thought is that you can always stand out from the rest. If you want to step up your content marketing for 2016 and for years to come, here are eight tips to help you break through the clutter, reach your target audience, generate leads, and increase conversions.
1. Understand your target market.
Whether you’re targeting millennials or an older demographic, you need to understand their behavior and find out what compels them to check out content and what irks them to scroll past certain links.
Being familiar with your target market gives you a sense of direction of how you’re going to create content and how you’re going to deliver it to the people you’re trying to reach. It keeps you organized and focused, allowing you to pour your efforts on techniques that have higher chances of working to your advantage and paying off.
2. Have a Content Generation Plan
Meet with your team regularly and discuss ideas. Create some sort of idea database where you can put in concepts that you can build content from.
Tip: Use helpful tools during content planning such as Google Keyword Planner Google. This tool lets you know keywords and phrases that are highly searched in your niche, and you can build content around those terms.
It also pays to create a style guide. A style guide is not just about proper grammar it’s about establishing a unique voice in all your content. For instance, you can create a list of promotional jargons and words you should avoid in order to relate to your audience better and not sound too promotional or manipulative.
3. Always Prioritize Value.
People will always find value in content that provides solutions and essential information they can benefit from. Your content should do exactly that if you want it to go viral and deliver success to your business.
If you want to break through Web today, you need to provide people with what they need even if it means going way below or past the typical 500-word margin.
Sure, the phrase TL;DR (Too Long; Didn’t Read) was coined in the recent past to call out lengthy articles that are dragging to read and make people click on the close window button. However, content only becomes hard to digest when it’s only beating around the bush and doesn’t present any essential information.
Focus more on the meat of your content and worry less about length. People will stick with your post until the last word if you give them interesting insight that they haven’t seen anywhere else.
Meanwhile, short posts don’t necessarily equate to little value. There are content that don’t require lengthy explanation and only warrant short blurbs of text. For instance, if you post a video, you don’t necessarily need a 1000-word description for it because its value is packed within the clip.
TIP: Creating valuable content requires time. So don’t rush your research and idea development. What you can do is lessen the frequency of your posting so that you can devote more time with creating quality content. For instance, if you post a 500-word blog post three times a week, why not go for a 1,500-word in-depth article once a week?
4. Create Stunning Visuals.
Get your target audience’s attention with visuals like images, infographics, and videos. It is a good way to get your message across, relate to your audience, compel them to share your content, and encourage them to check the rest of the things that you have to offer.
Written articles are important, but adding variety to your content through pictures can boost engagement and ultimately lead to higher conversion. Images can also promote better readability for long articles.
5. Allow Participation from the Audience.
You don’t have to do the talking all the time. Let your audience participate in your content marketing campaign through polls, quizzes, Q&As, and Twitter chats. This allows you to build a relationship with your audience and make them feel valued. As a result, not only will you gain their trust, but you will also learn what they want and boost brand awareness.
6. Optimize your Website for all Platforms.
People should be able to enjoy your content regardless of whether they’re viewing it on their desktop computers or their mobile devices. When your website caters to all platforms, you have higher chances of delivering your content to a wider audience.
7. Stay Unique.
Possibly, the most foolproof way to stand out and break through the market is to stay unique and have an identity of your own. While there’s a wide pool of content in the Web today and you may have similarities with other brands, you will still be able to stand out if you build original content from your own ideas. Yes, you may need information from existing sources, but you need to develop those into unique and insightful content.
TIP: You can speak from experience. For instance, if you are a financial planner, you can share helpful tips and advice on money management that you learned while on the job.
8. Embrace Changes.
Whether your like it or not, trends will always come, Google’s algorithm will continue to evolve, and Web user’s behaviors will change. You should be willing to adapt with market shifts and adjust your strategy from time to time, so that you can stay on top of the competition.
As you try to penetrate your target market, keep these eight tips in mind as you carry out your strategy. Content marketing takes a lot of hard work, but you can be successful at it if you have a strong brand and know what to focus on.