Content marketing can be a tough gig. The content cycle doesn’t stop and social media platforms never sleep. It seems like there is a constant demand for ever more relevant and insightful content. At the same time, as a content marketer, there’s a need to keep it fresh and interesting. Oh, and it would be great if your content could go viral once in a while too if that’s not too much to ask.
It can be hard to find inspiration in the daily grind of the content marketing cycle but don’t despair. We’ve got you covered with these six actionable tips that will inject your content marketing strategy with the boost it so desperately needs.
Stop drowning in ideas
It’s the quintessential problem in content marketing. There are almost too many ideas out there. Not necessarily with respect to content in itself … that can often be hard to come by. But more so strategies, tips, and hacks … things you can try. In the content marketing world, things are always changing, and FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) abounds. It feels like you have to be everywhere … on the latest platform, embracing new technology, dancing at the cutting edge.
But you know what? Being everywhere is not just hard… it’s damn near impossible. When you are going around splintering your efforts into a thousand pieces and running yourself too thin with your content marketing, something happens. And that something isn’t good. You no longer have the time, energy or headspace to devote to making important things happen, or see things through from start to finish. Quality goes by the wayside.
Why not instead take a leaf out of Michelle Linn’s book? In a recent article for the Content Marketing Institute titled, ‘7 Ways to Stop Flailing with Your Content Marketing in 2017’, she suggests that we content marketers should consider dialing it down a notch, choosing a way forward and seeing it though. Think about the next step on this pathway rather than the five thousand other steps that will lead you down a different path. That’s how to get things done.
Reinvent and repurpose
One of the biggest challenges in content marketing is to come up with constant sources of new material. Not only that, but the content has to be both engaging and useful to your target audience. Well, here’s a concept that is about working smarter, not harder: consider repurposing some of your previously developed content in order to extend its useful life and lessen your workload.
Michael Peggs, of the Convince and Convert blog, has some strategies for those who are wondering how all this might work. He suggests you begin with reposting your evergreen content … you know, that material that will never go out of date. If your audience has changed at all over time, chances are that they missed it the first time and this will give them an opportunity to catch it the second or third time around.
There are a few more genius strategies that Michael discusses in depth… like revisiting an old but popular idea to extend it or put a completely new take on it, updating old blog posts with new information and promoting fan-made content from your user base. Check out his original article if you fancy a ‘deep dive’ into any of these ideas.
Live in the moment
This suggestion from Jay Baer is almost the opposite of the previous one, just to mix it up a little! Basically, the idea here is that you embrace disposable, live and real-time content in order to freshen up your content marketing offering. Joseph Donia has written on this topic extensively for the Huffington Post.
The idea of disposable content is exactly as it sounds … it is not intended to be around for very long. The whole disposable media trend has partly arisen in response to the carefully manicured perfection of some of the other social media sites … always representing a perfect world which is often as inauthentic as it is beautiful.
In contrast, why not try injecting some live authenticity into the mix? Along with your evergreen content, share some real-life behind-the-scenes snapshots from your business … and then let them fade into the ether.
Spend more quality time with your audience
The whole point of content marketing is to engage your target audience. Of course, you will no doubt have a whole lotta hope wrapped up in that exercise – hope that you will build relationships, hope that you will create something of value, maybe even hope that you will draw some new customers into your marketing sales funnel. But ultimately to do all of those things, you first need to engage … that is, to make a connection.
But to back it up a notch, ask yourself first: what do you need to know about your target audience in order to best engage them? Do you know enough about them to properly proceed? Or could you benefit from investing some more time in understanding their deepest needs, wants, and desires?
The pen is mightier than the sword
There’s still a place for an elegant turn of phrase, at least according to Eric Sansom, a contributor to business.com. So if you’ve got a way with words, you might consider putting them down on paper (or alternatively on your keyboard).
It’s tempting to just do what many are doing out there, and that is to churn out bland meaningless content that is devoid of value. But in a world where search engine algorithms are continually being refined towards higher quality results, it’s worth considering whether you can craft something that creates lasting value for your users.
The easiest way to stand out in the crowd is to stick your neck out, be authentic and create something truly unique. Let your true voice come through, and you will be heard by those who count.
Stay on top of search engine developments
In 2015, Google made an announcement that you may or may not have missed: it had introduced a new artificial intelligence system called RankBrain in order to deliver increasingly sophisticated search results. Sophisticated how? (you might well ask). Well, that’s a very good question, as to the naked eye, you may well not notice anything particularly different.
As Larry Alton, writing for Inc.com, explains, what RankBrain essentially does is to enable the Google search algorithm to use machine learning principles in order to become progressively smarter at delivering search results that are most appropriate to the search terms being entered by the searcher. And that’s what we’re all after at the end of the day, huh? To find what we are truly looking for.
According to Larry, content marketers that are keen to harness the power of RankBrain can follow a number of pathways, including running your own optimization experiments, better organizing your content and raising your organic click-through-rate. But at the end of the day, keeping a lazy eye out to see what Google’s up to might be the smartest strategy of them all.