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6 Content Marketing Secrets That No One Told You About

Content marketing has replaced most other methods as the most effective means to reach out to a target market. With a well-thought out content marketing plan, your business could connect to and build a rapport with the most important people to any given business, be it partners, potential hires or possible customers. Even so, few marketers actually experience the benefits of a successful content marketing strategy. It could be because the most important aspects of content marketing are often ignored and not practised.

The following is a list of six valuable content marketing secrets that no one talks about.

Summarized

1. It takes empathy, generosity and courage

2. You’re probably ignoring your most valuable assets

3. The first impression matters (Focus on titles and lead image)

4. ‘Marketing’ is just as important as ‘content’

5. Current and trending content is key

6. Original content needn’t be ‘created’

1. It takes empathy, generosity and courage

Is your potential customer looking at your content and furiously nodding his or her head in agreement?
If they aren’t, your content marketing is missing its most important ingredient: empathy.

People seek information about what matters. To them.

Brand centric content is irrelevant in today’s marketing scenario because your target audience has easy access to information and options. There’s always the possibility of losing a potential buyer to a competitor whose communication is entirely customer focused.

To get your social media audience to pay attention you should discuss things that concern them.

How well you know your audience will dictate how well your content is received.

Ask yourself

  • What they think about
  • Why it matters to them
  • How they regard their challenges
  • What their goals are

Successful content marketing requires giving away value without expecting an instant return.

Information comes without cost on the internet, but truly useful and actionable information is rare. People appreciate content that contains information with actual value.

Actual value  =  an impactful takeaway

Will your content help your audience achieve a goal? (Best if they can experience measurable results)
Will it help them overcome an obstacle or setback?

A consistent effort at making value available to your social media audience will earn you the results you desire over time.

Don’t create all of your content, curation works just as well. Be the first to share a brilliant piece by an industry leader with your audience. You know they’ll thank you for it.|

2. You’re probably ignoring your most valuable assets

People drive social media. Without their participation in terms of uploads, likes and shares, social media would cease to move and become static like any other website on the internet.

So it is people who can really drive your engagement numbers up on social media, and it is your people who are in fact, one of your biggest social media marketing assets.

An effective employee advocacy program can be a boon for your social media marketing efforts

1) Employee advocacy widens your reach by as much as 100-500X (Limited company account followers Vs total social connections of a 100 or so employees).

2) It also helps you build trust with your audience on social media (As per Nielsen reports, and understanding how your audience would trust a message when it comes from a person more than when it comes from a brand).

3) Leads generated as a result of employee advocacy are 7X as likely to convert as leads generated otherwise (as per research conducted by IMB).

Employee advocacy is super-effective when your geography matches that of your audience. If you were a local fashion brand for women, imagine what would happen by encouraging your employees to share photographs of clothing available on your website.

See what happened when BikiLuxe implemented an employee advocacy program.

BikiniLuxe

Initiating your own program could be hassle free, with the right employee advocacy platform.

Want more reasons why you could implement an employee advocacy program? You could look at this blog post or have us call you.

3. The first impression matters (Focus on titles and lead image)

Let’s survey your competition, content-wise.

2, 000,000 blogs posts are published each day (Disclaimer: This statistic is at least a year old, so we can safely assume that the number has only increased).

Facebook has over 4,000,000,000 posts published each day.

500 million tweets go out each day.

LinkedIn has over a million professional article publishers.

It is important to be aware of what you’re competing against.

How do you beat those numbers?

Inevitably, you post will have to be among the few noticed and clicked on by your social media audience. How do you ensure that it is?

When you scroll through your social media feed, what do you see? A title, the descriptive text and an image. This all the exposure your content gets on a social media feed, but the great news is that this is all you need.

Regard your title and lead image as advertorial copy for your content.

Of the entire set of people who read your title, only about 20% wind up reading your article. To stay on the higher side of that statistic, your title has got to be effective.

How to write an effective title

A good title is specific, interesting and intriguing.

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1) Craft the title after your article is written

For the purpose of defining your article and giving it a definite direction, you could use a working title. But reserve the creation of the actual title for after your writing is done, that way you are better positioned to title it with better material.

2) Add urgency, emotion and a reference to your audience

Now! Urgent words are compelling. Action oriented words like ‘start’ are also great for titles.

Words inciting emotion are just as compelling. Use both on your title in context and address your audience when you can (your audience is more likely to engage when they know you’re talking to them, and only them).

3) Optimize for search

An important factor is earning that click is discover-ability. Include the right search keys in your title.

The right search keys? Words that your audience is likely to enter into a search bar when seeking the content that you’re publishing.

Visuals are a social media imperative.

Interesting fact: Humans were made to be visual, text is in fact ‘unnatural’ to our brains.

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Include a great visual to go with your content. If you can’t create it, source an image under a ‘Creative Commons’ license (available for commercial use).

Also, always attribute it to where credit is due.

Alternatively, you could create your own image without hassle using one of these online tools.

You could attempt to create humor or intrigue with images.

Also, people connect well with images that have human faces expressing an emotion.

4. ‘Marketing’ is just as important as ‘content’

The critical element that separates content writing and marketing is the intent. Content written for marketing purposes should ideally align with the product you’re trying to sell. It should also have a Call To (preferably with a link) driving your audience to some conclusion that benefits both them and your brand. If you’re sharing your content on social media, the CTA should drive your audience back to your blog or website.

The hours you spend on distribution should ideally match the hours your spend on creation.

Most people achieve an average engagement rate of 0.5 to 1%. Considering that statistic, if your blog has 10,000 subscribers that could potentially give you 10 clicks, likes, comments, or engagement of any sort.

To up that number, you have to drive even more traffic to your blog.

How to drive more traffic to your blog

1) Optimize your content for SEO

Download a Word Press plug in for SEO. Add a short and sharp meta description for each of your blog posts. Type in your keywords and meticulously maintain your blog post categories so your visitors find it easy to navigate your blog.

2) Share blog posts on social media

Locate specific, relevant groups on Facebook and LinkedIn that discuss your industry. Share your posts on those groups and engage with everyone who responds. It is important to also make time to engage with other members’ content.

3) Include influential social media users and companies where possible

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Stakeholders share content they’re a part of. You’re giving them the stage where it matters and they’re helping you gain more visibility. Everybody wins. So do your readers who get to access to useful and valuable information.

5. Current and trending content is key

 

Following current happenings in your industry and expressing your take around it is an excellent way to develop your authority as a thought-leader.

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Think like your audience would. Website or blog traffic is a function of the relevant audience spending time on the internet, your visibility, timing, and how interested they are in the content you share.

People are always interested in the current trend.

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By identifying the wave early and riding it, you could drive extra traffic to your blog. The tactic follows logic similar to that of SEO. You’re attempting to pull your audience towards an online presence by leveraging a well searched or positioned term.

The simplest way to ride the trend wave is to curate content around it.

To curate current content that’s relevant to your field, you could use DrumUp. Unlike many content curation apps that source the most shared or popular posts, this app sources the most recent articles from high-authority sources in the industry you choose.

To create content that’s current, you first have to identify areas in your niche’ that are just beginning to rise in popularity.

Read the news and look around you. After you track developments in your industry for a while, you would be able to identify stories that may turn into something big.

How to forecast an industry trend before everyone else

1) Monitor developments on high authority industry journals
2) Pay attention to influencers in your industry
3) Listen to what your customers have to say
4) Touch base with peers regularly and discuss your industry
5) Watch your competitors – direct and indirect

Indirect competitors share your audience but sell non-competing products to them. If your indirect and industry leading competitors are beginning to talk about influencer marketing, they probably have research pushing them to do so.

You don’t always have to conduct your own research. Smart observations can save you the time and effort.

After you have identified a trend on the verge of taking off, you can focus your content efforts in that direction to make the best of the exposure it brings.

6. Original content needn’t be ‘created’

The most successful content marketer isn’t necessarily the most hard working, but certainly the most resourceful. As social media or content marketers, you have access to a plethora of resources that you could tap for excellent content that’s valuable social capital.

For instance, one of the best ways to gain traction on social media is by involving other social media users in creating your content.

That’s one valuable use-case for user generated content, employee generated content and customer generated content. The other is research. Any content sourced from outside your company is great material to draw insights from.

5 unique ways to source compelling content

1) Announce a photo of the day or video of the month contest, and giveaway something exciting

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This tactic works particularly well for businesses that have visually inclined products or services.

Go Pro for instance sells cameras and can easily expect their customers to send in stunning photographs that show the product in action.

2) Convert customer success stories or testimonials into social media shares

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Successes add credibility to your social media presence.

3) Interview a bunch of experts in your industry and compile a blog post

Expert interviews are not only great but are essential for any industry blog. An interview series helps gather fresh and reliable perspectives from leaders in your industry and with it valuable know-hows for your audience.

4) Encourage your social media fans to discuss something interesting and turn their comments into a blog post of perspectives

Creating a discussion on social media is a sure-shot way to driving more shares and visibility. This is true especially when your discussion is exciting enough for people to pull in their friends and social media contacts.

5) Refer to your comments section for content direction

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Several YouTubers employ this tactic to decide what to create for their channels. For it to work, the process has to initiated. You have to state your intent and request your audience to share what they’d like to read about.

Image: via 123rf.com