Originally published on LeadUpMarketers.com on March 18, 2016 By Vladimir Nagin
Content marketing is hard, we all know it. But sometimes we make it harder by confusing our strategies. If you want to taste any form of content marketing success, organization is critical. You need to know what you want to achieve and map out a step by step plan to achieve those goals. More importantly, you must be disciplined enough and make every sacrifice to remain on course.
With 2016 already looking promising, let’s look at 7 things you can do today to ensure that your content marketing efforts are winning you as many sales as possible come the latter stages of the year.
- Start with a content audit
The very first step is to determine where you currently lie. A content audit will reveal – in hard data – what you are already doing right, what you could be doing wrong, and even possible mistakes that you might have made along the way.
Some of the metrics you need to pay keen attention to include; traffic, links, time/day of publication, length of posts, social engagements, and keywords used. For example, with keywords, you might want to know which ones are currently getting you the most traffic and for length of posts, you should look at what lengths promise the highest levels of social engagement.
With that covered, you are now ready to delve into the main task which is to improve your content campaign… starting with your headlines.
- Grab attention with breathtaking headlines
As a marketer, one thing you will have noticed in the mobile age is that headlines are everything. In fact, one study shows that the number of people who read your blog posts could be only a fifth of those who came across the headline. The other way to put is that for every five people who read a content headline, only one proceeds to read the main post.
Also, remember that when it comes to content going vial, the headline plays a critical role. Without an attention-grabbing title, forget about your posts going viral.
The good news is that you have all the power in your hands. There are two ways to approach this.The first is to copy those viral headlines that you see online and the second is to master the basic principles of viral attention. Practical, public, and socially current headlines that evoke emotion have proved to be the best.
- Tell stories
There couldn’t be a better way to win the hearts of your followers than to hook them with a story. Real life stories such a story about the rise of AirBNB and other startups are what people like to associate with. In such an uncertain economy where salaries are only slightly rising while taxes blow through the roof, consumers, both B2B and B2C, are looking for some sign of hope. These stories are exactly what you need to bring hope to their lives and businesses.
You can pick up ideas of stories from newspapers and magazines or you can pull them from social media. Otherwise you can also use our service and our experts will customize your social media marketing strategies to fit your brand and your target audience.
- Quote an expert
This year, don’t allow your content marketing to underperform just because you’re not HubSpot or Marketing Land. It’s true that readers are more drawn to content from reputable sources such as Forbes and the NY Times. But who said that you can’t forge your own dominance out of the credibility of these sources?
The idea is to get people to take you seriously. So, what do you do… quote and cite the experts. It’s nothing complicated. When writing on a certain topic, take a bit of time to search it Google. Then see some of the authority sources that have already written something on the same topic. You can then pick quotations from these pages and insert them in your post. You can also provide links to these sources so that your readers can head over there for more information. It might appear like losing your site traffic but it also shows your readers that you can actually back up what you say!
- Use images to drive deeper engagement
There is a trend among current consumers where they respond better to text + visual content compared to visual-only or text-only content.
You don’t need to look far to verify this claim. Simply take a look at social media. Launched in 2012, Pinterest peaked 70 million users within just two years and currently has about 200 million accounts with more than 100 million active monthly users. Why? It’s because Pinterest makes it easy to share photos and short videos and that’s what we humans like! Even Instagram, another image sharing social platform, is performing very well having passed the 300 million users mark in 2015 – all for the same reason.
- Remove the perceived barriers of conversion
Ultimately, you want your content to win you sales.You want people who read your blog posts and who follow you on social media to stop at your online store and make a purchase as well as to spread the word about your brand.
You can achieve this by removing common barriers to conversion. Start by understanding your customers and knowing what they are looking for. Then, help them with information search by providing valuable posts and even experts advice.
Prudential does this excellently. They let people choose their biggest challenges and then connect them with experts in the respective areas who can then provide advice. By choosing your words right, you can get these people to open up and there you have a big opportunity waiting!
- Pay someone awesome to do your content
Finally, if you’ve been doing content on your own and you think that it could be the reason you’re lagging behind, then perhaps you should let someone else do it for you. The likes of Forbes only pull one great post after another because they have a pool of some of the best content writers in the game. It will take a little more out of your pocket but rest assured that the money will be repaid multiple times when your content marketing finally shines through.
If others are doing it; you can do it too. Take the first steps today, shake up your content strategy and, soon, you’ll have so many reasons to smile.
Entrepreneur | CEO | Inbound Marketing Expert | B2B Marketing