The world of content marketing has changed immensely over the last couple of years. In the past, the radio, TV, and print media were the only ways to consume content. Now with social media and the introduction of smartphones people are consuming content of all kinds constantly whether they know it or not. Content marketing in the beginning of SEO and online marketing was just a sly term which meant link building which was affectionately named “Guest Posting” where many marketing companies didn’t focus on the content itself. Rather they tried to mask the link of a client they wanted in a post and put no effort into the content itself. Google cracked down on irrelevant content with links injected into it which gave rise to great content. This content comes in all forms and sizes but it can be difficult to stand out in a market saturated with content everywhere you look. Below are a few tips to help your content marketing stand out from the competition which in turn will lead to conversions which is the goal of all marketing when it comes down to it.
Take Advantage of All The Video Platforms
While written content definitely still has its place in the content marketing world, video is starting to become the most important medium. Things like Snapchat and Facebook Live have started to evolve with most people getting a Facebook Live or Snapchat notification hourly. This doesn’t mean that only live videos are booming but so is previously recorded content. Video content can even help those marketers who are doing publisher outreach. There have been studies conducted that show that adding a video in an email will increase the click through rate by 2 to 3 times.
The beautiful thing about video marketing is that it doesn’t take a professional videographer in order to get a great shot. Many consumers of content are beginning to enjoy less choreographed pieces of video content. This makes them feel less like a company is trying to sell them something and more like the company is trying to appeal to them personally. Most video marketing done by staff costs little to no money which makes any type of return worth its weight in gold.
What Influencer Marketing Can Do
The thought of influencer marketing has been around for years with old time celebrities being the first influencers. Celebrities used to be trusted figures but it can be hard to trust what a celebrity says about a product due to celebrity endorsements. For example, sponsored tweets and Instagram posts are looked at as spam to many with a trained eye. Most people are completely sure that most if not all of the products that are endorsed by celebrities via social media haven’t even been picked up by the star.
This distrust of larger names gave way to influencer marketing which has now been gearing itself to medium to low popularity influencers. These come in forms of bloggers and even smaller figures in certain industries. If a trusted mommy blogger endorses something to her readers that is complete garbage, the impacts can be huge. That person could lose a bulk of their readership and nearly all of their credibility. This helps hold the smaller influencers accountable for things that they put on their websites or social media. This is the accountability that many people have been wanting and needing for years. Let an influencer create a great piece of content for the brand then amplify it with the rest of the company’s influencer connections.
Other Types of Content
Written content for many is not the way they want to consume their content with all of the other mediums available. This has given rise to podcasts, interactive content, infographics, and everything in between. While infographics were the hottest thing a few years ago in content marketing, they have lost their edge as the market became saturated with them.
The only infographics that can make a splash in a company’s content marketing strategy is one that is extremely data heavy that visualizes data that would simply be boring otherwise.
Podcasts are great in theory but it can take quite a bit of material simply to fill up a twenty minute segment. For this reason many companies have a monthly podcast in addition to their other content creation. This can be effective as people can live tweet those in the podcast by using a custom hashtag. This interaction is more real than simply interacting on social media as you can physically hear the answer rather than have the answer be shortened by the 140 character rule.
Interactive content can be great but this will cost a bit as great designers know this content comes as a premium price. Airbnb and others have done a great job at this while others have failed at their first attempts. There are companies that rebrand time after time and have trouble naming their business so they shouldn’t be expected to be incredible at their content marketing when it comes to interactive content.
Educate Customers and Potential Customers
The education of customers used to come solely from them reading the blog on a consistent basis. For some industries, this works completely fine but for the more in-depth and more difficult to understand this left something to be desired. Educating customers makes workflow go much more smoothly as they understand what is going on and do not give any undue resistance. For this reasons webinars and training courses have become much more popular. Not only this but webinars that attract enough attention can also be profitable. The most valuable factor in this is that having informative enough webinars can turn a company into a thought leader. Having an industry hang on every word that a company publishes is the definitely of making content marketing stand out.
Do Proper Research Before Creating Any of This
The proper research needs to be done before any content creation is done. It is simply a waste of time and money to guess what content is popular during a certain season, month, or year. There are social monitoring tools like Buzzsumo that can help track what content is doing well. This is much like market research that companies do before they launch a new product. Allowing the marketing team of a company to have access to these tools will make them much more effective at their jobs. Don’t let the marketing team go into a campaign blind as this will just render the same old boring content being produced year after year.
Don’t Be Afraid To Tackle An Old Topic With Your Voice
Coming up with new content ideas on a daily basis can be extremely hard. There will come a time where content production team has covered nearly everything that they can. This is where it is important to leverage the voice of the brand to tackle an old topic with a new perspective. For example, if a person in the office tends to rant on industry topics, allow them to take over a weekly blog post. This can help educate people on old topics while entertaining them at the same time. In addition, finding a person who rants in today’s world couldn’t be easier as many people have become professional trolls.
Get Organized with an Editorial Calendar
An editorial calendar is essential for content marketing. Planning your content keeps you organized and more productive and, in turn, you deliver better content. An editorial calendar will also enable you to see whether you have content gaps or if you’re creating too much of one content type and should diversify your assets. By using a content marketing platform, which includes an editorial calendar such as Mintent, you can easily plan, produce, distribute, and measure your content in one place. You can sign up for a free account (up to 5 teammates) here.
Looking For Help
Running an efficient and effective content marketing campaign can be a full-time job in itself. Funding a full and comprehensive in-house marketing team doesn’t make sense financially for many companies. This is when they might look to a company for a variety of different services. Content creation is the first service to look at as quality content is becoming more affordable than ever. There are content creation services that also couple this with outreach to relevant blogs and websites. This would give a company the ability to source out their entire marketing effort. Instead of hiring a team of “gurus” in the marketing space, look what outsourcing this can do.
When you are looking to outsource your content marketing it is important to give the contractor direction. Trusting a company from the first project could be a mistake so listen to their suggestions but make the final decision up to your company. Doing research on these marketing firms is important as some might be fronts to steal money or information. For every great online marketing firm there seems like there are plenty that do not have the best interests of the client in mind. Violating Google’s guidelines for webspam can lead to the search engine deindexing a company’s website from their search. This is the death penalty for businesses that rely majorly on the search traffic that they get on a daily basis. The best case scenario is that a friend or colleague has a company they have used in the past. Personal referrals on this type of business couldn’t be more important. The online marketing companies that do not do great work still have the ability to bury the poor reviews via their marketing techniques.
“Content is King” is a phrase that has been around for quite a while but finally it is becoming true! Differentiating a company’s content marketing can cause business to boom. Even companies with mediocre products can succeed with the right marketing tactics. Hopefully your company delivers a great product which with the right marketing will take business to the next level!