Online marketing: Our top content marketing tips
The internet is a kingdom of knowledge, and by now we’ve all seen that its potential is limitless. If your clients are looking for something, odds are you want them coming to you first. According to research, more than 70% of B2B marketers are creating more content than they were in the previous year.
Creating a content strategy can be a long endeavour, and can be difficult to stick to if you’re a small business. If your business is not at the crucial point where it is employing a person for the job or outsourcing digital marketing services, there are small things you can do to keep your content in good shape, without adding complications and getting stuck in a rut.
Define your audience
This is slightly easier once you’ve already established exactly who your clientele are. You’ll have an idea of specific demographics, and will be able to establish exactly what they’ll need from you. However, you’re also writing for your industry, or for people with an interest in it.
This means that sometimes you have to generalise your content, and indulge in a variety of topics. As someone in your industry, what tips would you find interesting? Write about this, too.
Create a content calendar
Use a spreadsheet to help you figure out when to publish original content, when to send newsletters, and when to repurpose old work. It sounds elementary, but colour coding is essential in keeping things organised and revoking memory.
Think about creating a series to develop a repeated audience, it’s always a good thing to become known for something. Make something your “thing”, and be an expert on it. Think about content other than blogs, too. Video and visual dominated content (listicles, photo galleries and slideshows) are a great way to engage people without having them read a bulk of text.
Remember that you’re writing for your audience to build trust and relationships, and content is not just there to plug your own products and services. Most people will steer far away from anything with an obvious, roaring sales pitch.
Develop a style guide
Just like with your brand, you need to figure out what your online persona is going to be. How will you write? Are you authoritative, chatty, or humorous? If your brand was a voice, how would it sound? How do you talk to potential clients and contacts?
Make a list of words you associate with your brand, and remember them while writing. While we’re talking about words, make sure you develop simple writing rules and guidelines. For example, some people hate exclamation marks, and word ‘curate’. Create a simple guide so that if someone else needs to take the reins for a week or two, that they can mimic your voice.
Write for human beings
Always be mindful of Search Engine Optimisation and write with it in mind, but don’t let it dominate your copy. What started as a simple blog will result in unreadable text, and will lose its value. Google will also discipline anyone found guilty of keyword stuffing, so don’t overcomplicate your SEO efforts by using too much of it. In this case, less is more.
Consider your formatting while creating your content, and use subheadings and visuals to break up the text. The human eye will have an easier time reading your work, and you’ll hold the attention of your audience without frustrating them.
Don’t blog for the sake of it
WordPress advises a 300 word minimum to become SEO friendly, so make sure you have something to say. Anything shorter can be turned into visual tools and aids, and shared across social media. Don’t be afraid of long form content occasionally. Despite the impatience of internet audiences, people still value quality writing and educational content.
Write engaging content
Blogs are usually much more conversational in tone than your average web copy. You want to be informative, entertaining and readable. Avoid acting like a teacher, or over complicating your message. Always include a call to action at the end of your post, prompting readers to comment or get in touch.
Remember to share all of your content on social media, and that includes older posts. Always use a link shortener such as Google URL Shortner to look more professional, and some social media scheduling tools will do this for you (Buffer, Hootsuite).
If you find it difficult to write, change your surroundings. Figure out the best way to switch on your creativity, and don’t put too much pressure on yourself. That’s what editing is for.