Content marketing is a large part of how brands today attract the attention of and engage their consumers and audiences online.
As more and more brands take it up, it is becoming increasingly difficult to stand out amid the sea of videos, images, audio, documents, blogs and other content forms available on different platforms.
What’s worse, practically every business owner and/or marketer has ended up in a rut at one point or another while trying to churn enough content, derive the engagement they desire, and find innovative ways to keep consumers informed.
According to the Content Marketing Institute, about 70 percent of B2B marketers create more content today more than they did years before. While 54 percent are finding it a challenge to create and deliver content that engages audiences.
However, B2C and B2B marketings differ as each has its own unique challenges and constraints. But, you can still leverage on some practical content marketing tips to start delivering fresh and exciting content.
Here are 6 practical content marketing tips that work. I’m sure you like to include some of these in your brand’s content strategy.
1. Headlines are everything
Your headline is the first thing people see that attracts them and tells them what your post is about.
Most bloggers and content marketers tend to begin with the idea. Then they flesh it out as an article or blog post, and finally think up a headline that’ll make readers click.
However, that is the reverse of how it should be done because people read posts or articles because the title has caught their attention.
Similarly, it is headlines that go viral, not your blog posts or articles, because headlines get shared and talked about the most.
Your headline sets the readers’ expectations for the rest of your content. So putting the content first before the headline can lead to a misleading or crummy headline.
The secret here is to use the basic viral attention principles and copying headline structures that are known to work. Apply a healthy dose of mad libs and updated language and your headlines are good to go.
A great headline appearing in search results is a great means to generating traffic to your site.
2. Content marketing tips: add stories
Now that you have the perfect and powerful headline, what next?
Stories are used to set your content apart from the other 99 % of content marketers who are fighting to get the attention of and attract similar audiences amid the noise online.
Your writing style and personality also plays a huge role and can make all the difference when writing stories to spruce up your content marketing strategy.
For each step, reference specific examples and/or stories of brands that have done what you’re recommending, and how those strategies worked for them.
People love to tie ideas to practical and real stories – for social proof reasons. These are much more likely to go viral than would any ordinary information that you give out of theory.
If you can change one thing about your content, it should be adding stories. They not only justify your message, but people take you more seriously almost immediately.
3. Mix and match
Among the most powerful emotions that entice people is awe.
As much as it seems hard to inspire awe in your readers through content, it isn’t as hard as you think.
The main goal is to provide something that readers can ponder over that ordinarily wouldn’t come from themselves.
Add variety to your headlines and content by mixing and matching the subject matter.
Do something crazy – the type that people wonder who came up with it, because they normally wouldn’t give it much thought.
Create something pleasurably creative out of the normal things, and that will stand out in so many ways, allowing people to look at things in a new light.
Be willing to mix and match your ideas and embrace randomness until something awesome, profound, or amusing comes out of it.
That’s what will make your content entirely unique because its never been done before, at least not by the audience.
Landing page design is even critical. Not only content, the look and feel should be equally good.
4. Quote an authority or compile expert knowledge
Don’t just link to your own content. Have a few outbound links to other people’s content, especially authorities or experts on the subject matter for which you’re discussing.
When people take you seriously, they know you draw wisdom and information from other sources. And these matter to them, especially if the sources are experts.
While this may look like it sends away traffic and search engine value, it actually works in reverse for your content.
You can toss a few quotes or excerpts from an authority or expert in the topic you’re talking about, and watch how people find your content more valuable.
Additionally, you can argue from an authoritative point of view, because people love it.
Compile together articles or posts on subjects you don’t have information about. Quote and cite the authorities in that area, and people will consider you a ‘thought leader’.
What matters in the long run is your commanding personality, and how you create an interesting conversation around the subject matter.
5. Make your content conversational
This is one of the most common ways to get people’s attention, besides writing to inform. The purpose here is to make readers feel something.
The most common mistake novice content marketers make is overwriting – by using too much jargon, a formal way of outlining information, or using extravagant style.
While these are good, they don’t necessarily work with today’s reader. In fact, very few niches would benefit from those methods.
Let the reader feel like you’re addressing or talking to them directly, and not to a generic audience.
Create content for the audience of one, and once you have an impact on that one person. They’ll share it and over time, it goes viral.
6. Pay someone who already has what you want
Even the best of content marketers should do this at one point or another.
If you want social activity, attention, and an audience, this is one of the easiest ways to make it happen: pay someone who has all three.
Look at how some of the most popular content sites scoop high profile content creators, like vloggers, bloggers and writers. They’ve grown exponentially over time by using influencers.
You can pay a popular vlogger or blogger to do your videos or guest post respectively. You can also work with a good graphic designer or web comic artist, just to get the attention, audience and social activity you seek.
This may seem outside of your budget. But it probably isn’t because you can actually get a lot more working with an influencer than buying links or other ads separately.
In fact, you’re probably paying them better, considering some influencers don’t get tidy sums of money as it may be perceived.
Effective content marketing requires consistent learning, effort, and adjustments to deliver good results to your audiences.
Remember: publish stuff that is great. The frequency of publishing, while it is good, isn’t what makes your content successful. Take your time and deliver groundbreaking content to your audiences.
Are there practical content marketing tips that have worked for you? Share them with us by leaving a comment below.