After reading our previous articles on “How to Build a Successful Content Marketing Plan” and “8 Content Marketing Mistakes That Are Costing You Leads”, you’re already having a running start with your content marketing plan. And of course, you’ve got to because online ads are working less and less.
You’ve begun to see that by using good content you can start working on your company’s branding and brand awareness.
Even better, after working hard for some time, you manage to become an online authority and get that sought after expert status 😉
By using content marketing, people will start to see you as the expert in your domain. With you being perceived as the expert, your content will get more backlinks, shares, likes, retweets, etc. which in the end will result in more visitors to your website.
Visitors will start to notice you; they think you know what you’re talking about, that you’re always informed about the latest trends AND that you’re ready to share all these tips for free with them. All in all, this is resulting in you leaving a fantastic first impression.
The end goal for you? Trying to convert these visitors into a customer of course!
Consistent usage of relevant, engaging content will attract more visitors and more (relevant) visitors will in the end turn into more profit for your business. In this article, we will dive into six tips for content creation. Six tips to keep that content machine running.
Buyer personas are always the basis
At the basis of any good content marketing strategy is the identification of your buyer personas. By having a clear set of buyer personas, it also makes it easier for you to get inspiration about the types of content you could write.
As soon as you know what is relevant for your target audience, you can start formulating the right messages.
So how to start with valuable content?
Sadly there is no one-stop solution. In the beginning, it’s mostly important to look deeper into your target audience trying to figure out what it is is that resonates with your audience. Try to answer the following questions:
- Why do they buy certain products or services?
- Which problems are they trying to solve?
- Is there a particular emotion attached to a conversion?
- Is conversion linked to a precise moment in time?
- How is your product or service being used?
And remember, by deep diving into the world of your visitors it will be a lot easier to come up with valuable content for your audience!
Six tips for content creation
Before telling you six tips on how to start with different types of content, we want to give you one final remark: quality is always more important than quantity! It’s always better to lower the volume of your posting, but create more in-depth content than having a higher volume but more superficial content.
#1 Take a look at the content you’ve already got
A lot of times there is already content readily available at your company. You can think of stories about your organisation; you could give people a look behind the scenes.
- The story how you and the company got started;
- The (offline) publications where other are writing about you;
- Events or trade shows that you attended;
- Milestones for your company (for example your Xth anniversary, new employees, moving to a bigger or new office, the opening of a new branch, etc.);
- Collaborations that are worth mentioning;
- Client stories;
- The heritage of your company;
- Old marketing material;
Using one of these examples you can easily work on the branding of your business. People get to see more of the human side of your organisation. By giving your target audience a behind the scenes tour, they get to know the company better. This will result in it becoming easier to build a good relationship with your visitors. It gives them the impression that they know you.
#2 Use the questions from your visitors in a creative way
Questions from your visitors are an excellent source of inspiration! You could use the questions your visitors and customers are having as a basis for a new content piece.
Think of items like videos explaining how your products are working, an infographic or blog post in which you answer your most asked questions. Blendtec with their “Will it Blend” YouTube video series is a great example.
Will It Blend is a viral marketing campaign/infomercial series for a line of mixer/blenders starring Tom Dickson, the founder of Blendtec. Started in 2006 and still making episodes today, in each episode of the series, Dickson attempts to blend all sorts of items that can fit inside the container, from Chuck Norris action figures and Barbie dolls to iPads and camcorders. Very fun videos to watch!
#3 Keep following the latest trends in your market
When you’re actively following all the latest trends in the market you’re operating in; it will be a lot easier to find pieces for a new piece of content. You could easily give your vision on the latest news or new developments in your market.
Maybe you could create a monthly returning item in which you talk or write about these latest trends? This item could be featured on your blog but is also great content for a mailing, a column in an online magazine (as discussed in our article about different ways to get backlinks to boost your content?) or maybe even a video.
Example: a trend lookbook
Web shops with fashion related items (clothing/shoes/accessories) can easily create a lookbook (an overview of products from an individual collection that fits within a particular trend.
The same thing for lifestyle and furniture stores, using for example Pinterest boards to group items together and then combining the different looks to write an article about it. “These Top Design Trends Will Be Hot in 2017”! Another great way to reach an entirely different audience with your lookbook is by using Snapchat:
You can show a sneak peak of upcoming collections using Snapchat or Instagram Stories, inviting people to respond with their email addresses to win a unique ticket to be part of the release party.
Every market has got their trends, be sure to follow them!
#4 Follow the “regular” news
By following the “regular” news, you can easily find ways to do some newsjacking. Be aware of individual special events, seasonal activities or national holidays to create your content around.
If you’re lucky and you’re planning these things ahead of time, you can make sure to get in the spotlights. For example, look what Tide (one of Procter & Gamble’s washing detergent brands) did during a Daytona 500 car race:
#5 Using the hard work of others: content curation
Remember from our post about getting your five ways to get your Facebook posts seen by more people? Tip number two was talking about the fact that Facebook loves to see content from different sources.
Finding and sharing content of others is called content creation. Of course, you should not just blindly copy paste whatever someone else is posting; it’s always good to put your spin on something. Why do you think that article is worth sharing? Or maybe you can curate them throughout a month and combine them in one post “interesting links we found over the last month”.
By sharing content of others, you’re increasing your authority and popularity. It shows that you’re looking beyond just your products and services.
#6 Recycle your existing content
After some time you will have an extensive collection of created content. It would be ashamed only to share something once and never look back at it. Re-using your existing content can also be very helpful when you don’t have that much inspiration!
Never just try to do a quick repost, though, things might have changed over time. Or maybe you can repurpose particular content in a different way? Think of things like:
- The creation of a video of one of your most popular articles with a lot of reactions
- Look back at one of the trends you picked with number 3, where you correct in your predictions?
- Use existing content and bundle them together in one bigger new piece: “the then most romantic recipes/DIY-tips and tricks/gifts/for the summer/during the holidays/for valentines day” etc.
Be creative and get inspired by how people are using your products and services.
Some final thoughts
Before we close down, some final tips:
- Create an overview of all the content you’re creating;
- Measure the results and analyse the content on your blog using Google Analytics!
- By using Social Media, you can quickly check which content is working and which isn’t? Which type of subject is showing increased engagement?
- What are the items you see are working, and what kinds of content aren’t working? Always adapt your content marketing plan
And finally remember, content marketing is a long-term strategy. Don’t try to expect results in the first two weeks after starting. Don’t give up and good luck!
Which of the above tips are you already using in your organisation? Anything we missed? Let us know in the comments!