There’s a lot of content marketing out there.
There is so much, in fact, that it can be really tricky to cut through the noise to make sure your own content is seen and shared.
Tricky, but not impossible.
As Part Three of our Kickstart Your Content Strategy series, this article will empower you with the third vital ingredient you need to have a successful content marketing strategy: producing original, punchy content that people love to consume.
Discover what people want to learn
If you’re stuck for ideas, there are plenty of ways to be inspired. Don’t just pull something from nowhere – though we’re sure you’ll have great ideas in there somewhere, it’s worth remembering that what you enjoy reading isn’t necessarily what your audience does.
Start by going back to your audience. Who are they? What are their biggest problems? What information can you give them that will help them out?
Write down a few different topic ideas – start with five.
Let’s say you’re a SaaS startup, and your blog educates business owners and marketers on the latest trends and techniques to use.
Let’s take ‘content marketing’ as your topic for this post (can you tell this is semi-autobiographical)?
Answer the Public
Head to Answerthepublic.com, type in your keyword, and hit ‘Get Questions’.
Answer the Public uses data from Google to give you a comprehensive, live overview of all the questions people are asking about your topic.
Here’s an in-depth look at how you can use it for search monitoring, keyword research, content planning and more.
We’ve focused on the ‘How’ section of Answer the Public’s results, and narrowed it down to this list:
- How content marketing drives sales
- How content marketing builds your business
- How to content marketing strategy
- How to content marketing 101
- How to measure content marketing
- How to measure content marketing success
- How to learn content marketing
- How to start content marketing
- How much does content marketing cost
We can see that people are interested in a few different aspects of content marketing that we’re qualified to help with: how to measure the success of content marketing, an essential guide to how to ‘do’ it effectively, and how much it costs.
You can see how easy it is to come up with an idea based on those results, whether that’s 10 separate pieces or one mammoth piece – it’s up to you.
Diversify your mediums
OK, so you’ve got your ideas now. Let’s say you’ve decided to create a piece of content with the working title, How to Drive Sales With Effective Content Marketing based on the results from Answer the Public.
Instead of defaulting to an article, consider some different mediums for your content. You could try:
- Slideshare presentation
- Shortform blog
- Longform blog
And while we’re on the subject – it’s worth stressing that video is one of the most important mediums you should be focusing on.
Marketing videos can take many forms:
- Customer testimonials
- Live streams
- Product videos
- Live video
By 2022, online videos will make up more than 82% of all consumer internet traffic — 15 times higher than it was in 2017.Cisco
Want to get started with video?
Animoto is an online video editor that helps you create professional-quality videos, no video editing experience required.
Does your brand have a documented tone of voice?
It’s worth revisiting it, or creating one, in order to ensure you’re writing consistently. Most important, it’s vital that you inject some personality into your writing.
Tone of voice represents the human behind the brand, and it’s absolutely key to know who that human is, how they speak, write and behave, and what they believe in.
Consumers buy from people they like, know, and trust, based on a relationship cultivated over time. The emotional connection is important.
According to a two-year study of 100,000 retail customers, “emotionally connected customers have a 306% higher lifetime value (LTV), stay with a brand for an average of 5.1 years vs. 3.4 years, and will recommend brands at a much higher rate (71% vs. 45%).”
Creating your tone of voice
You can use The Five Dimensions Framework, designed by behavioural psychologist and Stanford professor Jennifer Aaker, to determine your brand’s personality traits.
The theory is that there are five dimensions to a personality, each containing a set of facets. Within each facet is a set of traits.
To determine how they relate to your brand, you rank each trait on a scale of one to five, one being the least representative of your brand, and five being the most.
You can use this method for crafting a new brand personality or to document a brand’s existing state and future (desired) state.
The five core dimensions and their facets:
- Sincerity (down-to-earth, honest, wholesome, cheerful)
- Excitement (daring, spirited, imaginative, up-to-date)
- Competence (reliable, intelligent, successful)
- Sophistication (upper class, charming)
- Ruggedness (outdoorsy, tough)
This framework gives you an excellent way to pin down the personality of your brand in a simple and effective way.
Create an outline for your content before you start creating it
Once you’ve identified a topic to write/create video about, it’s so worth taking the time to properly plan out your content.
It can be easy to dive right in without a plan. But think about your KPIs and targets.
- What’s the goal of this piece of content?
- Who is going to be reading/watching it?
- How will you measure its success?
- What keywords do you need to include to rank for SEO?
Taking the time to outline a structure for your content before you start producing it will make it a lot easier to stay on track and meet your deadlines.
Don’t veer off-topic
As much as it’s important to have a personality, and personalities can be complicated (more on that below), it’s vital that you don’t meander off on tangents when you’re creating content for marketing purposes.
Stay focused, concise and clear – otherwise, your audience will lose interest, no matter how witty or engaging you’re being.
Proof your content before publishing it to ensure everything is essential and related to your title.
Create an impactful title, communicating the benefits
Speaking of titles, the first thing that will draw your audience in is a great headline. Think about how to really capture your audience’s attention.
Focus on the benefits they will get from consuming this content.
For example, let’s take these two title options:
- Email Marketing Best Practices
- Nine Clever Email Marketing Tactics to Boost Open Rates and Conversion
Which is the most appealing?
B works best as it has a tangible outcome: you’ll learn nine clever tactics, that will give you results (open rates and conversion).
For every piece of content you produce, write down at least five title options before settling – remembering to communicate the tangible benefits that your reader will get from investing their time in the content.
This is the first point of contact your reader will have with the content, so it’s arguably the most important line you’ll write.
Don’t rush it at the last minute! Think about how it’ll work on social media, email and Google search results.
Have these ideas sparked inspiration for your next piece of content marketing? We’d love to hear of any more tips or ideas for taking your content marketing to the next level.
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