This post was contributed by Kristen Matthews, Marketing and Community Manager for GroupHigh. Follow her on Twitter at @KristenWords.
Content marketing is so new that it’s hardly being taught in colleges, yet according to Content Marketing Institute’s research, 9 out of 10 marketers are using content marketing.
Marketers adopt and continue with strategies that work so if almost all of them are incorporating content marketing into their programs, we can assume that it’s working and it’s working well. With that in mind, it’s good to periodically check in with your content marketing strategy and make sure it’s fresh, inspired and innovative. Here are 8 ways to ensure that you are utilizing content marketing for your brand in the most effective way:
1. Create evergreen content
Don’t get me wrong, referencing buzz topics and the holidays get a lot of initial clicks. Just make sure that you are not posting a lot of content that expires quickly. Evergreen content stays relevant through the months and even years so that in the long run, you get a lot of hits and, when optimized, it will continue to rank well on search engines.
2. Don’t post “filler content”
Filler content is the result of feeling pressured to not let your blog look sparse. However, the goal is to create engaging and shareable content. It’s better to have four awesome posts per month than four mediocre pieces per week.
3. Experiment with style and format
Experiment with alternative story forms and visually appealing content. Remember, the goal here is to create something that others want to share. For example, infographics have proven to be one of the most sharable pieces of content a marketer can create. If your budget has room, contract out to a firm who specializes in infographics. If not, there are plenty of sites where you can create an infographic yourself for free:
4. Write for the people and the search engines
You don’t want your content to ever appear to be search engine optimized. Your first draft should be written for your audience. But, because you want the content to reach your audience, it definitely should also be optimized so that they can find it. In the second draft, go back and see where you can use keyword without ruining your piece of content. InboundWriter is a great resource for creating content that reads well to both humans and search engines.
5. Guest post on quality blogs
Guest posting has been getting some bad publicity after people started doing it for link juice and not for spreading quality content. It doesn’t help that Google has been cracking down on the low quality guest posts. But, as long as you are posting good content and you’re writing for reputable blogs, it’s very unlikely that guest posting will blow up in your face. In fact, it’s a great way to expose new eyeballs to your words and give them the opportunity to go check out your site.
6. Collaborate with bloggers
If you’re not reaching out to bloggers, stop everything and start now. Research has been pouring out telling us that bloggers are the most influential voices. You can use tools and services such as GroupHigh for finding bloggers in your niche and tracking your outreach. When you find relevant influencers, suggest some ideas for collaboration, such as a contributed blog post.
7. Collaborate with other marketers
Collaboration with other marketers will refresh your content ideas as well as expose someone else’s audience to your site. Reach out to marketers in your field and propose to swap guest posts; write a post together where you share different views on the same topics; or simply bounce ideas off each other. It all helps.
8. Actively engage on successful social media channels and track activity
Using tools like Bitly to track click backs and your Google Analytics account to check traffic to your site, you will be able to see which social media channels are bringing your site the most traffic. Try, at least for one month, giving the top three social media channels that work for you a lot of attention and see what happens.
Which tactics are you going to implement in to your content marketing strategy? We’d love some feedback on what works and doesn’t work for your company or brand. Post in the comments below or connect with us on social media — Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or Google+.