Okay, let’s face it: You are reading this post because of its title.
It’s our human nature. People are lazy, so they crave for articles like this one to do less for more results. And that’s the first lifehack for content marketers: hook the audience by promise you’ll solve their problem.
But there’s a catch: No one cares about your promises and content ideas, no matter how cool they are. For your content marketing campaign to skyrocket, you need to design ideas properly and promote them with the help of your strategically built contacts.
This article will remind you:
- how to generate ideas using analytics
- how to develop ideas and create data-driven content
- what style and design tricks can make your content viral
- what tactics are best for building backlinks like crazy
- how to use content promotion tools to distribute your content on multiple channels
- how to win the support of top influencers for promoting your content
Your Content Idea: The Pitfalls
No matter how creative you are, the problem of burnouts is there still. That’s why it’s time to change the perspective and forget the words a la “creative,” “motivational,” and “inspiring” forever.
The favorite word of a savvy content marketer is “numbers.”
Have you ever noticed how many comments and other social signals come from analytical content? Check Moz, Content Marketing Institute, Social Media Examiner, or any other big dog in the niche: every researched and data-driven content asset is doomed to succeed; especially if it shares practical tips on what readers can do with that data.
Numbers give you an endless stock of ideas to structure them in mind maps and then turn into articles, publish at your blog, or contribute to top publications to drive social signals, backlinks, and awareness of your brand.
How to come up with a content idea that rocks?
1) Competitor analysis
Never compare yourself to those equal to you. Analyze competitors and their content strategy but take cues from top dogs in the niche when it comes to brainstorming ideas for your next content asset.
Tools to use: SimilarWeb and SEMrush
2) Make a list of their top content
Consider social signals, backlinks, and SERP, but anyway check if the content is viral indeed. It’s not a problem to get fake popularity today, and the content piece with 50,000 likes but 0-5 backlinks can hardly be great.
Tools to use: BuzzSumo, Serpstat, Ahrefs
Okay, what’s next?
Go to Excel, use VLOOKUP to gather results, and then filter them by social signals, referring domains, and traffic. The first 15-20 are what you need for designing a one-of-a-kind content idea. Create a kind of sequel, using new data, research, and analysis.
3) Check if it’s valid
The idea itself worth nothing. Its “what” matters, but its “how” (the way you design and perform the idea) is what determines the success of your future content asset. So, before you proceed with the idea, check its validity:
- ask the audience (clients, subscribers, followers)
- ask experts and influencers of your niche
Polls, surveys, field marketing, and focus groups are your instruments here.
Turning the idea into data-driven content
Where to take data for content assets:
- Reddit, Ask.com, Twitter Polls, Quora.
- Statista, Survata, Typeform, Google Consumer Survey.
- McKinsey, Deloitte, PwC Global, Pew Research Center, Gallup.
Once you’ve gathered the data, start creating your top-notch content by rules: meet your niche expectations, don’t go beyond the scope of your reputation, and follow your brand tone of voice. But also, consider the following detail:
If planning to outreach this content to a particular publication, create it with their editorial guidelines in mind. If they don’t have any, check this:
- The average length of their blog posts.
- How they structure the content: lists, graphics, subheads, paragraph length, etc.
- Titles they use: do they prefer “101 Ways to Promote Your Post…” or “How to Get 200 Links from Top Blogs in 2016?”
- Their writing style and tone of voice: if they need conversational, but you give them APA-style, they’ll hardly spend time on editing.
Once your compelling content is live, the most interesting (and difficult!) part comes:
You want it to bring hundreds of backlinks, thousands of social signals, dozens of guest posts, and tons of traffic. How to succeed here?
Promoting Content for Backlinks
Here’s one tiny problem with content promotion:
Unlike with idea generation and content creation, the results are unpredictable. It’s working with people, it’s building relationships, and networking. It’s about stellar outreaching your content, and that’s how to get the most out of it:
1) Be original
Source: Brian Dean’s article for Smart Blogger (How to Get Influencers to Promote Your Content for Free)
What to write in outreach letters? Learn from masters:
- Read “I Just Deleted Your Outreach Email Without Reading. And NO, I Don’t Feel Sorry” by Tim Soulo at Ahrefs.
- Check “How To Write A Perfect Guest Post Pitch” by Point Visible.
- Take a look at “Here’s Why Your Cold Outreach ROI Sucks” by Neil Patel.
The latest trend is video outreach! It’s when you take a short video telling about your content. Try it but make sure it’s appropriate in each separate case.
2) Be useful
Emailing a person, think about what you give them. Why should they share your content?
Blog hosts and columnists get 100+ emails daily, so make it easier for them to distinguish yours from others. Craft your cold email subject lines, start a pitch with a value, and only then tell what you want.
- Tell them you’ve found some broken links on their website.
- Tell you’ve noticed some bugs at the website.
And then, keep the ball rolling to the topic.
3) Be careful with pre-outreach
Brian Dean describes pre-outreach as an essential part of his Skyscraper Technique, and it makes sense. But don’t overplay! Otherwise, it can turn into nothing but starry-eyed blah-blah-blah with bloggers or columnists, which is time-consuming and gainless for you.
Help them (sincerely!), get their “thank you,” and then ask if they are interested in your offer.
4) Ask for feedback
Write letters to experts in your niche, asking for comments and advice concerning your content.
I have a post that took me ages to write. It seems I am at the final stage now: it’s about […].
So, if you could do me a favor and take a look to provide some feedback, it would be great!
Thanks in advance!
As a rule, they are happy to help. (We all are pleased and proud when someone calls us experts, aren’t we?)
Got the reply? Whoa! It’s high time to ask if this content could fit their blog and whether they want to share it.
It’s okay to send a follow-up email if you didn’t get any feedback for a week or two since outreach. We all are busy people, and a receiver could just forget to reply, or your email could just get buried in their inbox by mistake.
All experts, influencers, and brands in your niche are perfect sources for promoting your content and getting badass links to it. So, don’t ignore networking; what is more, make it your #1 strategy for promotion. A partnership with influencers will let you become a better writer and spread your content and build networks with others.
To create and promote content that gets both backlinks and social signals, you can’t just make a list of top bloggers and send them a cold outreach asking to share your articles.
And that’s what makes content marketing so exciting: you give something people like, solve their problem, inspire and motivate them. And when you hear a sincere “thank you,” there is no person happier and more proud in this world than you are at that moment.