How to Build Game-Changing Content Marketing Strategies for Your Brand
It’s that one thing that draws the line between growth and failure for your business.
One look at your content and your target audience can decide whether you’re worth their time or not. They can read the first few lines of a blog post and see if you truly are the expert you claim to be. They can view a few seconds of your video and dismiss it as boring stuff in a snap.
Yes, it’s not just about producing just any kind of content – it’s about making the kind of content that makes a huge decision-making impact on your audience.
Is Content Marketing Worth It?
The numbers don’t lie. Compared to other traditional marketing tactics, content marketing is 62% cheaper.
But that’s not all. It also has the power to bring in 3 times the usual number of leads that other approaches bring in.
It is sad, therefore, to see that only 37% of marketers take time to plan, document and implement a solid content marketing strategy.
So if content marketing is as good as the numbers claim it to be, why aren’t more people jumping in?
The answer is actually pretty simple.
The people behind the strategies are often overwhelmed with all the work they have to put in.
Can you blame them? An average blog post would take a content creator around 3 and a half hours to write.
3 AND A HALF HOURS! That’s a third of a normal workday!
But that’s not all. Content marketers have other tasks on top of that, most of them equally (or maybe more) demanding.
This is why, at the end of the day, you’re going to need the kind of strategy that will produce the best results. Not only will this make all the effort worth it, it will also lessen the burden of having to rescue failing content pieces left and right.
How Do the Content Marketing Gurus Do It?
Every master chef has a secret ingredient. For content marketing experts, the same thing is true. They use all the right elements and mix them the right way to come up with the best share-worthy content pieces that nobody could say no to.
Here are 8 secrets content marketing gurus never forget when strategizing and creating content:
1. Go for visuals.
What strikes you first the moment you land on a page?
More often than not, the visual elements on a screen are the first things the eyes would zoom into. Land on an all-text page and you’ll probably be hunting for something else.
You see, humans are highly visual creatures. Deliver information in text and people would remember around 10% of it. Pair that same group of words with a relevant image and you’ll find that 10% margin rising up to 65%.
Well, that’s the power of the brain for you. The human brain actually processes images 60,000 times faster than regular text.
Just how much imagery do you need?
Squeeze in an image every couple of hundred words if you can. This will help your readers’ eyes to take a breather between text. Just make sure you keep your images relevant. Add infographics here and there if you can. That would not only stimulate your audience’s eyes, it would also be an extra opportunity for you to highlight important data.
2. Aim for viral posts.
Let’s be realistic. Not every post will go viral. But that shouldn’t stop you from aiming for content that every person in the world can potentially see.
This is one stumbling block a lot of content marketers have. They stay on the safe side, delivering “just enough” to get through the day. They miss opportunities because they fail to take the necessary risks that can lead to viral content.
Speaking of risky content…
See that video? Because of it, Old Spice actually enjoyed a 107% sales increase in the next five months.
THAT’S what you should be aiming for.
3. Meet your audience where they are.
When you’re feeling sick, you don’t go to the cemetery. You go straight to the doctor’s clinic.
So if you’re hoping to connect and engage with your audiences, you don’t just stay where you are at the moment. You go right where they are and you plant your feet firmly there.
So what if it’s a new platform you’re not familiar with? That’s the challenge of modern marketing. Audiences shift so rapidly, that you’ll have to keep up with the changes. Remain stubborn and stick to your comfort zone, and you’ll find yourself unknown and unnoticed.
Look at your target audience’s background. What social media platforms are they using? What kind of content are they currently looking for? What pain points do they have and what solutions can you give them?
All this background research is worth it. In fact, 57% of audiences will easily give out personal information if they see content that they can relate to directly.
4. Go beyond your blog.
A lot of people think, “Oh, blogging,” the moment they hear “content marketing”. But that’s just one form of content. And while blogs are important, it needs the help and support of other content forms.
Just look at this blog post. See how I link back to other sources and websites? That’s one critical element in content marketing.
Video content is also a necessary component, knowing that four times as many people would rather watch videos instead of reading text. With people watching around 5 billion videos on YouTube each day, that should be enough clue for you to see that this is also worth your time.
SEO, social media, influencer marketing – these are just some of the other peripherals you can use to support your blog and create an effective content marketing strategy that will take you places.
5. Do occasional content curation.
Here’s a silver lining for content creators. You don’t necessarily have to wring your hair, forcing some creative juices to start flowing. Sometimes, using the content of industry experts can be a great idea.
Content curation is a time-tested practice. Probably its biggest benefit is allowing your own name or brand to be identified by industry experts and influencers. The moment you use curated content (with proper attribution to the original creator, of course), expect that the expert you got it from already has you on their radar.
Does it work?
Well, Curata says that the content of some of the best marketing minds in the world is actually composed of 25% curated work.
6. Build your buyer personas.
Yes, buyer personas are built, creatively and thoughtfully.
Buyer personas are more than just demographics or psychographics. They’re actual representations of your ideal audience’s beliefs, personalities and more. It allows you to predict how they’ll react to certain stimuli, and what decisions they’ll make when given a specific piece of information.
It’s not just about saying “I think this would have an impact.” It’s about saying, “I KNOW this would make an impact,” because you know for a fact that this is what your audience wants and needs.
Content Marketing Institute gives amazing insights on how to create effective personas here.
7. Manage your content.
Creating and posting a piece of content is not the entire story.
What time should it be posted? Through what channels?
And once posted, how much engagement did it have? How far was its reach? Is this something you can repurpose and reuse in the future?
It’s an entire process of managing content to ensure that you receive optimum results, grab any opportunities for improvement, and create future strategies. It basically helps you make sure none of your sweat, blood and tears will be wasted.
8. Create headlines that hook people.
No matter how much data you pour into your content, no matter how awestriking your visuals are, and no matter how widely you distribute them, if your headlines are plain, you’ll also get plain results.
Copyblogger says that although 80% of your audience will catch your headline, only 20% would click on it and read the rest of your content. This is why you need to structure your headlines in a way that would intrigue your audience enough.
Looking at the graph above, you’ll see that headlines starting with numbers rake in the best numbers. Of course, it would also depend on what works best for the rest of your content.
Know that content marketing should never be a hit-or-miss thing. Every step should be carefully planned, every tactic well thought out.
Of course, if your content marketing efforts were not exactly organized well before, it will be a tough transition into using a systematic approach. But trust me, it will be worth it. It’s always better to be overwhelmed with content work and get 6 times the results, than work 6 times as hard but end up with mediocre numbers.
Start strategizing today. That growth you’ve been dreaming of will soon follow.