It's time to focus on making your blogging, email marketing and social media efforts cut through the noise. That may sound difficult considering the competition and the massive amount of content flying around everyday, but if you think just a bit outside the box, you'll be on your way in improving your content marketing strategy in no time.
1. Follow the 80-20 Rule
Before you can begin rolling a content marketing strategy, you need to know exactly what kind of content to create and how to promote it. This idea phase is kind of a big deal too - apply the Pareto principle and you'll realize that an effective content marketing strategy relies on 80 percent of a successful idea, and 20 percent in the execution.
This means that you need to generate killer ideas from the get-go. Where do you get these ideas? Well, they're essentially everywhere. They're in books (like from Edward de Bono), over coffee with a colleague/mentor, in what's trending around the world and even from previous campaigns from other niches (here's an Old Spice parody from First Round).
2. Get Really Visual
You've probably heard that visual imagery and videos are the big thing right now. After all, who doesn't enjoy a pretty picture or hysterical video? But, there's just a little bit more to using visual imagery.
On top of compelling photos, have some fun and create memes, photobombs of employees having fun or even before and after images. Other unique images would be cartoons, comics and of course, infographics. If you want to include videos, then consider conducting interviews, capturing live events or streaming/posting a presentation/webinar.
Besides capitalizing on imagery, you're providing your audience with a variety of content that they can take something away from. Keep in mind that it was discovered by MarketingProfs / CMI that the brands who are effective at content marketing use 14 different ways in creating content. So offer a variety of content.
Believe it or not, there are multiple ways to recycle your content. For example, if you have popular YouTube video, you could simply convert that content into an infographic for people to share on Facebook. You could also share a timeless blog over and over again on Twitter by grabbing the Revive Old Posts plugin for WordPress. We do this a lot with our customers content to help their keep up their content strategy.
Another way to recycle content is by expanding on previous pieces of content that earned you a lot of traffic. For example, if you wrote a blog post about "10 Things You Didn't Know About Pepperoni," then you could write a follow-up like "10 More Things You Didn't Know About Pepperoni."
4. Don't Follow The Pack
If everyone in your industry are busy creating and sharing the same content, then how do you expect to stand apart from competitors? Take a look around and see what's going in your niche. If everyone is sharing pictures of kittens using their products, then make an informative infographic for your product. In other words, don't merely follow the pack. Do something different that makes you stand-out.
5. Tick Everyone Off
This doesn't mean calling your customers names or bad-mouthing competitors. What it means is being able to create content that gets under the skin of viewers. Why? Because it's an extremely powerful trigger. So, let's say you're in the financial industry. One idea would be to create an infographic or list that highlighted the worst financial scams within the last year.
Another way to do this is by creating a common enemy. Remember that iconic "1984" from Apple? It made PC's the enemy. Apple used the same tactic years later with the "I'm a PC" ads.
Just as you would in a bar, however, stay away from politics, race, and religion as they are topics which you will never win.
6. Hire a Copywriter
Just because you have a brilliant idea doesn't mean that you're going to be able to create incredible content. Copywriters do this for a living. They know how to write attention-grabbing headlines, press releases, ads, page descriptions, SEO and content that establishes you as an industry leader.
Until you've mastered the art of copywriting, it's probably in your best interest to hire a pro. In fact, check out HubSpot's list of "10 Companies That Totally Nail Copywriting" to give you a better understanding of how important this is for your content marketing strategy.
7. Have Plenty of Tools in the Shed
Throughout every stage of your content marketing strategy you'll need lots of tools to develop, execute, share and analyze your content. Here are some tools that may have gotten overlooked.
- Ubersuggest - Helps with keyword suggestions for blog posts, PPC campaigns.
- Toluna - Creates surveys or polls so that you data and feedback for future content.
- Trello - Helps keep you and your team organized.
- Followup.cc - This tool helps you to remember to follow-up with loyal customers.
- Followerwonk - Can assist you in finding influencers in your field.