Content marketing has gathered momentum over the last few years. Today consumers are surrounded by blogs, videos, infographics and more trying to attract their attention. Now your big challenge is to make your quality content stand out from the crowd.
To help you produce valuable content that gets read, here are 10 quick tips for content marketing to start 2018.
1. Create a style guide
Whether you’re the only one producing content or you’re part of a team, it’s a good idea to compile a style guide. This should cover things like grammar, punctuation, formatting, and keywords and phrases to use or avoid.
It’s worth taking the time to compile a style guide because consistency is important. When it comes to things like grammar and formatting, it’s important to acknowledge that, whatever your personal opinion, there’s usually more than one ‘right’ way of doing things. Putting together a style guide gives you the opportunity to make decisions about these key issues and stick to them.
2. Always add value
When you’re blogging, the chances are that most of the topics you write about will already have been covered by other people. That’s fine – it’s a sign that your chosen topics are things that your audience want to know about.
The key to producing original, successful content is to make sure that you’re always adding value. This could be by writing from a new perspective, adding original research, or presenting information in a more accessible, useful way. You need to give your audience a reason to read your content above anyone else’s.
3. Know your audience
How can you write useful, engaging content if you don’t know who you’re writing it for? Take the time to define who your audience is so you can adapt your content to suit them. You’ll certainly want to aim a lot of your content at your current customers but think about who else you want to target too.
4. Don’t forget about SEO
SEO is a big part of your content strategy. There’s no point creating valuable content if no one reads it because it doesn’t rank in the major search engines. Make sure you do keyword research before you start, and then target your keyword strategically when you’re writing. Yoast has some great SEO plugins if you need some help doing this.
5. Update and repurpose content
No piece of content lasts forever. But whenever any of your content does stop being accurate or relevant, update it and get it back out there asap! This will take less time than writing a whole new piece of content and makes sure that none of your hard work goes to waste.
Don’t forget repurposing is also a great way to get new content out there. Maybe you’ve got a blog article that you can turn into an infographic, or a poll that you can write a post about?
6. Focus on readability
Making your content readable is really important. Your blog post or infographic can be informative, relevant and SEO-optimised, but if it’s too dense or complicated no-one will read it.
Avoid long paragraphs, obscure vocabulary and complicated sentences. Even if your audience has the ability to read these, they won’t want to. Instead, make sure your content has short sentences, is clear and concise, and has plenty of white space. Your audience will be far more likely to engage with it and find it useful.
7. Go for evergreen content
Ideally, the majority of your content should be evergreen. This means that it will stay relevant and valuable for a long time and won’t need updating frequently. If you prioritise producing evergreen content then this will maximise the effect of your content and leave you more time for other tasks.
8. Do your research
All the best content has plenty of solid research behind it. You’re far more likely to able to produce something informative and useful if you’ve armed yourself with some specialised knowledge before you begin. Even if you know a lot about the subject you’re writing about, it’s worth finding out what other people think before you begin.
9. Learn from others
It’s important to remember that, no matter how good your industry knowledge is, there’s always more to learn. There’s some great content marketing out there – go take a look and see what ideas you could try for yourself.
10. Analyse and adapt
Remember that your job doesn’t end when you’ve published your content. Use a tool like Google Analytics to see how your content performs so you know what works and what doesn’t. Numbers aren’t everything, but analysing your content’s performance makes it much easier to carve out a successful content strategy.
Now you’re equipped with these tips, you should be ready to take your content marketing to the next level in 2018.
So what are you waiting for? It’s time to get writing.
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