Content marketing is a great way to drive traffic to your site and build a following, especially if your business is hurting for a larger marketing budget. But content marketing has its own nuances, and it isn't as easy as it looks. There's a lot more to creating and sharing content than building a website, publishing a few posts, and then sharing them on Facebook.
Even if you create quality content and publish it in social media channels, you can still fail. One of the biggest problems is that Facebook has become overcrowded with sub par content, be it falsified journalistic endeavors, clickbait garbage, or opinionated rants.
Cutting through all the noise is tough work, but there are alternative methods you can use to reach your audience. If you want a competitive advantage, remember to keep the following non-obvious content marketing tips in the forefront of your mind.
Merely Trying to 'Keep Up' with an Industry
One thing I see a lot of businesses struggle with is being unique in an industry that's already overcrowded. It's tough work cutting through the noise, and some businesses don't take their eyes off the competition long enough to make unique content. The net effect is that the content loses originality, and you become more static noise.
Part of your content strategy shouldn't only be to inform your audience of current events and topical developments in your niche, but to do it better than the competition. Does that mean that you can't poach a good idea or two? Absolutely not - as long as you proceed with integrity and avoid plagiarism.
But instead of simply trying to fill 'content gaps' in your marketing strategy (especially those identified on competitors' sites) that you feel your audience would enjoy, as, yourself how you can make it better. Don't just try to keep up, but rather add value by making superior content. No, your competitors aren't perfect, and chances are you can spot ways to make superior content.
Content and Voice
All types of content, especially video content, demand a strong voice. Haven't you ever watched video content that was packed full of genuinely useful content, but it was a struggle getting to the end of the video because the presenter had a dull flat voice? Some say that with regards to effective communication, it's only 20% what you say, but 80% how you say it.
You don't necessarily need to try to develop an over-the-top and flashy voice. But you do want to write with a consistent voice. It's not easy, but I'd recommend checking out Writer's Digest if you want help finding your voice. Reading content with a consistent voice really helps me feel connected to the author of the content I'm reading, and it helps me understand where they're coming from.
I'd recommend finding ways to remain consistent, even if you produce content in an editorial capacity.
Mine Gems from BuzzSumo
You absolutely need to be plugged into your industry. Whether you're reinvigorating a stale content strategy or starting a new blog, keeping up to date is a must. But how on Earth can you see what's happening in your niche with so much content floating around the Internet? It would be a chaotic nightmare trying to digest the latest news from each individual media outlet, but there's one tool that can make life one heck of a lot easier for new businesses, marketers, and bloggers.
It's called BuzzSumo, and if you haven't used it yet, I recommend that you give it a shot. It's essentially a search engine that returns the most shared content based on keywords.
If you notice a topic or idea is trending, you should jump on the opportunity as quickly as possible. BuzzSumo may not be the answer to your entire content strategy, but you should definitely use it in the ever present hunt for new content ideas.
The search results even help gauge trending content's performance with metrics for all the top social media platforms as well as overall shares. Often I find that the top results are from top performing domains, but when you notice even the smaller sites getting lots of social media activity on a trending topic, it's a strong hint that the topic is picking up momentum.
Monetization Can Be Detrimental
A lot of folks think that monetization of a website is a must, but I vehemently disagree. It all depends what the point of your website is. If you're simply offering free resources to the public, then sure, you may want to monetize your size with advertising as a way to open up another revenue stream, but first hear a warning. You need insanely high levels of traffic to make any significant amount of money from ads, and it can make your website look trashy.
What's the point of your website? If it exists to ultimately draw in more customers or to make online sales via ecommerce, then you may want to avoid cheap monetization tactics to protect the integrity of your content and reputation. I know it sounds alluring to make a few bucks on the side, but whatever you do, stay true to your original mission and vision, because the last thing you want is to look like a cheap marketing website that blasts your audience with ads.
Reply to Tweets for Improved Visibility
Being active on social media is an obvious no-brainer to most marketers, but you especially want to engage with people who share your content on Twitter, but perhaps not for the reasons you think. Naturally, replying to Tweets shows that your available for your audience, but it also helps increase visibility.
After a user has shared your content on Twitter, it will eventually become buried under new posts, shares, and activity. But remembering to comment and engage with people who shared your content at a later date will help your post rise to the top of their social media queue, making it more visible to hopefully draw the attention of others in the user's social media circle.
Content marketing may not be rocket science, but there are a lot of things that small businesses just don't know. If you want to stay current with the latest content marketing tips and are serious about digital marketing, feel free to follow me online. Digital marketing is an exciting industry because it's always changing fast. You wouldn't want to miss out on the latest digital marketing trends, or you could lose business to your competitors!