12 content marketing secrets from the pros

Nov 20 by Russell Dean

As the mantra of the online marketing era says, content is king. And while the content marketing field is on a continuous path of change and development, there are some aspects within this domain that most experts agree upon.

Considering the fact that a Custom Content Council survey has shown that businesses have spent approximately $45 billion on custom content, it’s easy to see why everyone agrees that this is an element that will be a constant and vital part of the marketing industry.

Here are 12 of the content marketing aspects that the majority of experts agree upon:

<2>#1. Study the targeted audience.

Developing a content strategy that omits to consider the expectations and desires of the targeted audience is a move that will sabotage your entire marketing strategy. You have to study the audience and find out what are the best ways of approaching them, and what sort of content format are they more willing to consume and share.

You have to take your preferences out of the equation and focus on the people whom you want the message you’re delivering to reach. Analytics and customer-behavior observation will become your weapons of choice in this quest.

<2>#2. Turn blogging into a habit.

The blog section of your website has to become an integrated functional part of your marketing strategy. Apart from being excellent organic traffic driving tools, blog posts can help you create a brand reputation, consolidate an online presence, and reinforce your business’ message.

Blogging, when done continuously on a pre-set schedule, increases conversion rates and multiplies your communication channels. Giving your audience content that’s shareable will put you on the fast track to success.

<2>#3. Reduce the amount of sales copy.

The products/services you offer don’t have to be in the spotlight 24/7. The content you generate should be a valuable and worth-while addition to your audience’s news feed. Offering information that’s helpful, without having sales as a short-term goal, will create brand loyalty amongst your audience.

<2>#4. Use feedback to your advantage.

Reevaluate your content strategy as soon as you get feedback. Be sure to keep aspects such as traffic, leads, and conversion rates, in the spotlight of your attention at all times. If one factor isn’t up to your standards, make appropriate changes in your strategy.

<2>#5. Use the correct SEO dosage.

In the end, you’re creating content for people. Avoid getting engulfed in the process of achieving SEO-perfection by giving your creativity and passion the chance to overtrump keywords in your list of priorities once in a while.

<2>#6. Learn from the masters.

The art of learning & applying the new information in a personal way is easy to master. Learn tricks and tips by following the activity of those you consider to be the best online content generators. BuzzFeed is a great example, and apart from being an interesting read, you’ll also learn how to polish your own content-management skills.

<2>#7. Make sure your content has added value.

If you’re going to post, make sure that your readers will consider your content at least worth their while, if not more. Posting often but without essence will not give you the same results as offering well-written high-quality content on a regular basis.

<2>#8. Leave room for more content.

Although you could break down a concept into easy to digest content, try to leave small gateways for further analysis. Use other content formats to get your point across, and to present a topic from different perspectives. Video, audio, infographic, or slide-sharing formats will allow you to broaden the content’s reach.

<2>#9. Treat it like a long-term relationship.

A new content marketing strategy will most likely take time to develop and get noticed by your targeted audience. You’ll need to be consistent with publishing high-quality content before being able to reap the benefits, and before you get any feedback.

<2>#10. Stimulate visually.

As fascinating as your content might be, huge blocks of text are hard to scan through. Images can help your readers remain engaged to what they’re reading by giving the content another layer that spikes their interest. Be it stock-photos or photos directly connected to your content, they will help your content draw more attention.

<2>#11. Incorporate video content.

Video content has proven itself to be an efficient factor in any content marketing strategy, as it is more likely to increase conversion rates, when compared to other content formats. But for video content to help you grow, it has to be a high-quality 2 and a half minute entertaining video. It’s a challenge, but it pays off!

<2>#12. Use a responsive design.

Although it shouldn’t have to be said, many still neglect this important aspect. With over half of the user base now accessing the internet via mobile devices, you have to make sure that your content looks flawless on desktops, tablets and smart-phones.