5 Simple and Effective Ways to Improve Your Content Marketing

 In Digital Marketing, Marketing

Your content strategy. What you originally thought was something you could “set and forget” has become a daunting task for your growing business. How are you creating content? How are you distributing it? What will you post tomorrow, next week, or even next month? Setting a strategy and sticking to it can seem like a complex task, but with the right ideas, you can create shareable content that will drive users through your sales funnel.

Why Are Your Content Efforts Being Ignored?

There are two main approaches companies take in content marketing, and we like to think of these in the terms of the old Highlights Magazine cartoon Goofus and Gallant:

  • Goofus tries to build a content machine by throwing complete garbage against the wall and hoping that some of it sticks.
  • Gallant creates well thought-out content that connects with your audience and results in organic sharing as well as new customers.

It is important that you know what type of content your target audience will respond to. For example, if you are targeting business decision-makers, a creative video may draw in younger executives, while a detailed case study may work better for the older crowd.

What Content Marketing Media Should You Consider?

There isn’t one particular content format that will outperform the others in every situation. It requires testing to find the sweet spot. Here are five extremely effective content formats to consider.

1. Case Studies and Testimonials

If you want your audience to know why your product or service is the answer to their problems, then a case study is a great way to deliver that message. Not only can case studies help draw your target audience in, but they are also a great way to attract press, links and additional traffic from other credible websites.

Especially in the B2B Marketing arena, a Case study makes the best form of information sharing.  but how can you make your case studies more effective?  Here are 7 ways to improve your case study results.

  • Don’t Outsource the Interview
  • Prepare for the Case Study Interview
  • Record Your Call
  • Tell a Story
  • Highlight the Outcome-oriented and Quantifiable Benefits
  • At a minimum, get two strong quotes.
  • Hire someone to write a case study.

2. E-books, Studies, and Whitepapers

An e-book is a digital publication that is downloadable as a PDF (portable document format). If you create an e-book, make sure there is some meat to it.

Make sure that there is some substance to it, and don’t just throw it together quickly for the sake of offering an e-book. This is a good way to build early-stage business relationships. An e-book isn’t shared the same way a blog post or infographic is, but you can be certain readers will recommend it to others if they deem it informative.

Be sure that you promote this long form content by blogging out teasers and highlights.  The beauty behind your E-Book is that you know how to best repurpose it for additional promotion.  We further use Slideshare to promote our content, fully utilizing the Pro features to collect leads and measure impact.

3. Podcasts

This a very unique way to connect with your target audience. You can create an informational resource similar to an e-book, but record it and offer it as a digital audio download. You can also take it a step further and create a weekly or monthly podcast series.

The biggest benefit of podcasts is the convenience factor they offer your listeners. But why should you focus your efforts weekly on developing a podcast?  Thanks to the Content Marketing Institute, here are three reasons having a podcast makes content marketing easier.

  • A Podcast Makes it easy to generate guest content.
  • Editing Becomes easier and easier with each update.
  • Transcriptions of these podcasts make great blog posts.

4. Videos

It is no secret that consumers love videos, and this gives you a great opportunity to present your message in a way that consumers will identify as fun and unique, instead of the same thing every other company is putting in front of them. Companies such as The Dollar Shave Club and Poo-Pourri used clever viral shock-video marketing to create a huge social buzz for their brands.

Videos are quite easy to share. Take a look at your Facebook newsfeed and you will most likely see a video within the first few posts. Creating a clever, yet informative video is a great way to deliver a message.

Quick Tips: 6 Best Practices in Creating a Marketing Video for Your Website

Thanks to Business2Community, we give you 6 ways to get the most out of video marketing.

  • Invest in Quality Equipment
  • Write Out the Narrative Beforehand
  • Do a Few Dry Runs
  • Keep It Brief
  • Post Across All Marketing Channels
  • Don’t Forget the Call to Action

5. Infographics

An infographic is a great way to combine interesting facts and statistics along with a visually-appealing design to capture the attention of your audience. It is no secret that infographics generally receive a lot of social media love, and a successful infographic will introduce a wide range of consumers to your brand.

You can also use infographics as link bait. Reach out to major online publications within your industry when you publish a successful infographic and simply ask them if they would like to take a look at it. If they respond, send them a link and offer to write an introductory paragraph if they would like to publish it on their website. This is another great way to earn links and drive more traffic back to your site.

Our friends at Modern Marketing Partners have released a few great insights on how to improve your infographic marketing strategy and where to post your infographics for SEO.  We highly recommend checking these out.  For instance, here are 3 tips on creating an infographic from their blog:

  • Make it Unique: The key to creating a successful infographic is to first understand this fact: your infographic is not the first a consumer has seen and it is certainly not the last, but it can be the one they remember.
  • Keep it Simple, Stupid: Infographics open the door to endless opportunities to attract and engage a variety of consumers, but in your attempt to woo and impress them with elaborate graphics, you may in fact have caused them to move on.
  • Effective Use of Imagery: The design of your infographic should be so creative that the possibility of a consumer ignoring it becomes impossible. It takes a high degree of creativity to design such an effective infographic.

With these tips, we hope that you are well prepared to get started improving your content strategy and promoting it through social media.

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