Content marketing: The creation of written, video, audio, or other content by a brand with the goal of garnering an audience or attention and establishing authority within a market.
Content marketing has proven, over the last couple of years, to be outpacing its more traditional media buy and advertising counterparts in terms of engagement with audiences and, ultimately, conversions. That said, not everyone gets it right, and some people have yet to start actually creating a content marketing plan for their brand.
Today, we’re going to go over a few ways you can audit any content marketing piece before you put it out in order to give it the best chance of success.
Make sure your target audience really, truly cares.
One of the biggest mistakes that brands make with content marketing is that they use their content as an extended ad for their product or service. The content itself delivers little value to the reader and doesn’t actually set them up to be any more knowledgeable on a topic or in a better position to solve their problems than before they read it.
Content marketing is about giving, and as such you should always place yourself in your target market’s shoes while writing. Ask yourself questions like:
– If I was in this market, would this content be useful to me, or does it just sound like someone trying to convince me to buy something?
– Is this genuinely interesting?
– Is this written like it’s honest and coming from someone who is knowledgeable on the topic?
Can it make it big?
Take into considerations the elements that make a piece of content go viral or stand out from the rest in terms of how much it gets shared around with others. In content marketing, learning to leverage your existing audience to spread your work exponentially to their own contacts and followers is key. In general, a few key items will help you achieve this with a piece of content:
– A title that is intriguing and clicky, but stays true to the content that’s on the other side.
– A piece that shows so much work, care, and time that it stands out as a resource above all others. For example, this is why list articles super high counts (i.e. “120 ways to share your content!”) often get shared 1,000’s of times â€“ hard work shows.
– Have you designed imagery for promotion? Posts with images catch attention and perform substantially better, so you’ll want to design thumbnail images for social sharing even if your content itself is not visual (a written piece, etc.).
Can you hustle?
Content marketing is a numbers game, and those numbers are, largely, hours. Not only will you put in hours to create content that resonates and delivers, you’ll need to think about your distribution strategy.
This means manually posting to Facebook groups, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, Reddit, etc. Develop a distribution plan by starting broad and then narrowing in on the channels that are delivering results after a few releases. Most likely, this is a multiple month long process, but content marketing in general is playing the long game. Good luck!