Content marketing, the buzzword of 2014, is all about creating and distributing share-worthy content. This content can be as small and simple as a tweet or as broad and detailed as your site content. Here are 8 tips to improve your content marketing strategy and effectively grow your audience.
- Keep Up with Trends
In order to be a great content curator and content creator, you need to stay on top of the trends in your industry. Outdated content is not share-worthy content. There are various free tools out there you can use in order to stay relevant and timely.
- Google Alerts: this can be set up through your free Google account. Specify the name of your company, your competitors, or targeted keywords in order to receive an alert whenever they’re mentioned on the web.
- TagBoard: this allows you to search specific hashtags across the web, not just on Twitter.
- Feedly: this is great way to organize all of your favorite news feeds and websites into one webpage. Try checking Feedly first thing each morning to see what is new in your industry.
- Stay in Research Mode
Always be ready for new content ideas, no matter where you are or what you’re doing. You could be out to dinner with family, listening to your radio in the car, or working out at the gym, and a content idea may present itself. Be prepared to take notes. Evernote is a free app that allows you to record conversations, take notes, and share the notes across multiple devices.
- Use Google’s Keyword Tool
Google’s Keyword Tool is available if you have a Google AdWords account. This tool allows you to search for new keyword ideas based on a certain topic, get monthly search volume for a list of keywords, and get traffic estimates for a list of keywords. This tool will help you determine what your keywords are (or should be) and you can use them in site content, blogs, social media, and much more.
- Review Your Analytics
Your stats package, or analytics, can tell you a variety of things about your website and the content on it. For example:
- What keywords are leading visitors to your site?
- Which landing pages are receiving the most traffic?
- What is your top exit page?
- Which pages have the highest bounce rate?
- What is your more popular blog of all time?
- Put Thought into Your Title
The titles of your blogs and press releases are just as important as the content itself. No viewer will click through to your content if they aren’t first enticed by the title. Start by thinking of what stands out to YOU. Most of us are intrigued by “Top 10” lists and “How To” articles. You can even try standing in line at your grocery store and reading the titles of stories on the covers of magazines. This is sure to get your creative juices flowing. If you run into writer’s block, try a blog title generator, such as the one from Hubspot or Portent. You won’t want to rely solely on these generators, but they can be used to fuel new ideas.
- Engage in Social Media Forums
We like to refer to social media sites as either ‘hunters’ or ‘gatherers’. Sites like Facebook and Twitter are considered gatherers because people are likely to come to your page and interact with it. However, sites like LinkedIn and Google+ are considered hunters, because you will need to go out and seek followers by interacting in groups and communities. In order to get your content in front of fresh eyes on social media, you will want to become a hunter and participate in Google+ communities and LinkedIn groups. Make sure the ones you join are relevant to your industry and that you read the rules of the group before participating.
- Create an Editorial Calendar
An editorial calendar is an absolute must when it comes to managing your content. You will want to keep track of future posts, create a bank of back-up topics or posts, in case you find yourself in a bind, and schedule blog topics out in advance to avoid writer’s block.
You should be making note of everything! There is no way of knowing how your content is performing over time if you do not record the analytics. There are many free and paid ways to gather insights on your content marketing.
- Facebook Insights
- Google+ Insights
- LinkedIn analytics
- Google Analytics
Content marketing should be a major focus in your online marketing strategy for 2014. Remember that content can be anything from social media and blogs to press releases and infographics. If you need help with content creation or content marketing, please feel free to contact Informatics.
"Pen" photo credit: Maria Reyes-McDavis via flickr cc.