20 Content Marketing Secrets that You Should Know

  1. Fail to prepare, prepare to fail

An effective content marketing campaign is extremely dependent on your ability to plan well in advance. Spend as much time as required researching your target audience and developing a buyer persona.  Set clear goals and chalking out a strategy geared towards achieving them.

Jumping right in and learning on the go may work, but will lead to sub-optimal results in most cases.

  1. Content is king

At the end of the day, whatever advanced strategies you might employ will all amount to nothing if your content is not interesting enough to engage casual users. Not only should you aim to capture the attention of users, but also focus on creating a lasting impact so that a casual visitor can be turned into a potential customer.

  1. Scale Smartly

No one can produce enough content to satisfy every user’s needs. Therefore, in order to expand quickly, one must embrace the art of recycling content. Existing content can be repurposed instead of creating fresh content that lacks quality. Update older content or expand tangentially using it as a base.

Remember, the idea is to add value. Do not simply repost old content or worse, plagiarize other people’s content. Curating content or encouraging user generation is also a valid option.

  1. Go beyond the metrics

User analysis and statistics can go a long way in helping you understand your audience. But it is essential to go beyond mere numbers in order to produce relevant content. People react to different kinds of content in different ways. Understand what motivates a user to interact with your content the way do and attempt to correlate that with your targets. For example, memes get more shares whereas pictures of people or celebrities get more likes.

  1. Get the title right or go home

Users are fickle. A vast majority of them don’t make it past the headline. It is crucial to grab as maximum attention using minimum words. Keep it simple, conversational and engaging. Use sub-titles to provide additional information or a brief summary before the actual content. A lot more users are reading your title than all of your content. Conversion is the difference between success and failure.

  1. Make your content actionable

If you’ve managed to interest and engage a user with your content, you’ve accomplished the difficult part. Make sure to capitalize on your success by including a call to action. Encourage the user to comment or share or interact with the content in some other constructive manner. Or link to related content in order to get the user to consume more.

  1. Focus on your niche, not on yourself

Your content should not read like an advertisement. Focus on providing information to the reader about your niche. Help them broaden their understanding and gently guide them towards a better choice, possibly your product.

  1. Get people talking. About anything.

Engaging users is the basic requirement of content marketing. If you’re working on a boring brand that does not have much scope for conversation, try to generate discussion around related topics. Users who are interacting with or through you are more likely to listen to you.

  1. Influence the influencers

Identify the opinion leaders in the niche that you are targeting and engage with them. Interacting with influential people will drive traffic to you as long as your content is relevant and interesting. There’s nothing like a recommendation from a key user to boost your profile.

  1. Mix it up

Attempt to have a fair bit of variation in the type of our content. Images, videos and other rich multimedia content is a great way of attracting potential customers who might be vary of large walls of text. It also keeps the experience of repeat users fresh and entertaining.

  1. Don’t be afraid to go old-fashioned

In case you were wondering, email forwards still do work. Just remember to invest time and effort into crafting a proper message. Incorporate visual elements such as images and videos and make sure you include a call to action.

  1. Use SlideShare

SlideShare is a massively under-utilized platform for content marketing. It has an audience of mostly professional and business users that makes the perfect channel for a number of B2B campaigns. Effectively leveraging SlideShare’s unique user-base alone could drive a content strategy.

  1. Cross-promote. Cross-promote. Cross-promote.

It’s not enough to create great content. You need to keep it in front of the audience’s eyes for as long as possible. Use every possible opportunity to promote existing content through new posts and updates. Do not force it, only mention them if they are relevant. This tactic will drive traffic to existing content like never before.

  1. Surveys are great

Conducting surveys can lead to all kinds of positive outcomes. It is an easy and natural way to begin interacting with influencers in your niche and the data generated also becomes a prime target for being carried by bigger and more established publications.

  1. Use free tools

There’s a ton of great software and web applications being written these days to make the job of content marketing simpler, more streamlined and more intuitive. While the top-end of these solutions come with hefty price-tags, there are quite a few free alternatives that perform admirably. You can check out our own listing of the ten best free content marketing tools that can help you craft your content marketing campaign. (link to other article)

  1. Use LinkedIn to Tweet

While most people realize the importance of both LinkedIn and Twitter to content marketing, there’s a specific knack to getting the mix exactly right. Todd Wheatland has this great tip, which will allow you to rocket right to the top of the LinkedIn charts. Posting your updates to LinkedIn and sharing them to Twitter from there, will count every single re-tweet as a LinkedIn share as well, thus creating double traction.

  1. Write a book

A great new way to reach out to potential customers is to compile all your content into a single digital book that can be given away. You can harvest email ids in return or better yet, load the book with calls to action that will turn the readers into potential customers.

  1. Collaborate

Identify potential partners offering complementary services or products and craft a joint campaign. This approach helps to add more value to the content by putting the weight of two companies behind rather than one. A joint press release announcing a cross-promotional offer is a great example of the advantages of collaborating.

  1. Feel free to experiment

Content marketing is a fairly new approach to reaching out to customers and the best thing about it is that it does not come with a set of hard and fast rules. New techniques and methods are being worked out by enterprising marketers everyday. So feel free to color outside the lines and take risks.

  1. Put the customer first

This should be immediately obvious to every content marketer but doesn’t appear to be. The golden rule of content marketing is to provide value to the customer. The idea is that this will enable the customer to make an informed decision and thereby drive value to you. And this idea works perfectly in practice if implemented properly.

Merely paying lip service to the customer’s needs and attempting to push your own agenda is a recipe of surefire disaster.

Of course, these are just a few of the numerous and varied strategies to content marketing success. There are doubtless, a myriad other things that affect the effectiveness of a campaign. We would love to hear your opinion regarding what works and what doesn’t. So feel free to sound off in the comments section.

About Mohit Tater

Mohit is the co-founder and editor of Entrepreneurship Life, a place where entrepreneurs, start-ups, and business owners can find wide ranging information, advice, resources, and tools for starting, running, and growing their businesses.

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