Yes, this entire content marketing thing is great. It means that you’ve now got a much better chance to actually engage your audience. Heck, if done right the struggle for eyeballs might turn into a struggle for content, to satisfy the many readers you’ve got. That is a wonderful opportunity, to say the least. People might actually end up liking marketers if this continues. That said, the task of running content marketing can be a tough one – especially as it’s such a new thing and so many of us still have to learn the best practices.
To that end, I’ve put together a few of the great life hacks to streamline content production and the other activities associated with content marketing. Let me know if they help!
1. Share the content again
Whether you push content through social media or through emails, when you’ve spent time on creating a piece of content, don’t just send it out once. Share it again. With email, it’s now pretty easy to know when people haven’t opened their emails. Collect all the people on your mailing list who didn’t do so and send them a new copy with a new headline (after all, they didn’t see the body of the text). With social media, make certain you share your content several times over several days. That way you’ll get far more bang for your content marketing buck.
2. Test your headlines
Instead of simply selecting a headline that ‘feels good’ think about generating a bunch, then putting them in front of a crowd and seeing which work better. You can use something like Mechanical Turk to test them out (for next to nothing). Then use the title that works best and pulls far viewers. After all, even the best content in the world won’t get anywhere if it never gets read.
3. Guest Blogging
If you build it, they will come. Set up an easily accessible guest-blogging guideline for passing bloggers to find and make sure it is clearly written. If done well, this will save hundreds of hours of work down the line where you can just reply to a question with ‘read the guidelines’. Don’t know where to start? Look at what some of the bigger outlets have done. Just type in ‘Guest Blogging outline’ and your favorite blog and more often than not you’ll hit marketing gold.
4. Quality over quantity
You can’t compete with the internet. So don’t even try. Instead of going for lots of content, try going for less but make certain that the quality of these pieces is outstanding. This serves two purposes. The first one is that better pieces have longer legs and will keep getting shared and found by readers.
The other one is that when somebody does follow one of your pieces to your site, as they browse around they’ll be more likely to stick around due to the high quality of your material. So instead of trying to do three pieces a week, drop it down to two and give those pieces the extra love and care they need.
5. Make sharing easier
You’ve heard of impulse buying? That’s even easier done with sharing, provided you make a cinch for your viewers to share. So don’t just tuck that share button down at the bottom of the page. Instead have one at the top and even include them in the text, around interesting statistics or quotes using the new >>tweet this << widget (this one’s just a link, nothing will get tweeted). Done well this can significantly improve how widely your piece spreads.
6. Use engaging images
We love the imagery. Apparently, just having a good colored image can increase the likelihood somebody will read a piece of content by 80%. So don’t leave image curation till last. Instead, occasionally it might even be something to consider doing first, with the content than written to fit the image. This might require some creativity, but it can lead to some pieces you otherwise might never have thought of.
7. Re-use and recycle
When a piece of content does well, see if you can present it in other ways. This will save you time, as you don’t have to research or come up with a new topic and you already know there’s a market for it. So, was it part of an email? Then turn it into a blog post. Did it do well as a blog post? See if you can turn it into an Infographic. As long as you’re honest about what you’re doing your viewers won’t mind. They might even appreciate it as they’ll feel you’re responding to them. “Due to the great interest in X we’ve decided to create Y, for greater accessibility!”
8. Copy the competition
There is absolutely great content out there, so when you find it make certain that you bookmark it and store it. There’s a lot of good software and apps out there to help you track what you’ve seen, Evernote is a good example, but there are lots more. So use it whenever you find something interesting. In that way, you won’t have to spend twenty minutes finding back that page (if you can find it back at all). In this way when you’re getting ready to write up your piece everything will already be there for you and you can get straight to work
9. Interview experts
The great thing about experts is that you don’t have to work hard to give your piece value – the expert is already doing that just by being part of your piece. Add to this that the expert will doubtlessly have some fantastic nuggets of information that will make your piece far more interesting and it’s hard to see a downside. If you know anybody that you think your readers want to hear about, shoot them an email with a few questions every so often and then just copy-paste it into your text. Instant content and credibility!
10. Have a network
With content marketing being as new as it is, it is more of an art than a science right now. There are constantly new developments and insights coming out and you can’t keep track of them on your own. So build up a network of other like-minded content marketers and share your ideas with each other. Heck, try to get together every so often. It might be fun.
Whether you decide to meet in person or not, they can be great for ideas, for solutions as well as to discuss problems with. Not only will this keep you in the loop, it will make the entire experience more social and that is something we can all use. Heck, maybe instead of having to go onto the internet, they’ll be the source of your next 10 hacks for content marketing. Who knows? It’s certainly worth finding out, isn’t it?