If you write it, they will come, right? To hear some folks speak of it, that’s how content marketing works. Sadly, it’s a bit more complicated than that. At this point, there’s no question that content marketing is among the most effective ways to increase the visibility of your brand. Like many business owners, however, you may be hoping that posting a blog here and an article there will suffice.
If only it were that easy. For your content marketing efforts to be effective, you need to be realistic about them. With that in mind, here are a few cold, hard, potentially disheartening facts about content marketing. Learn them and live them to give your content marketing strategy the best odds of success.
Serious Effort is Required
On the face of things, producing content sounds simple and straightforward enough. These days, though, content must be truly on-point to generate any results. Compelling content is timely, engaging, informative, interesting, entertaining and so much more.
It’s crafted in a way that reflects your target audience’s values and pain points. It’s written in a tone and language that your ideal customer understands. If you plan to put the least effort possible into this pursuit, don’t even bother.
A Major Time Commitment is Mandatory
When kickstarting their content-marketing strategies, newbies often figure that they can safely devote a few hours to their efforts per week. In reality, effective content marketing takes a lot more time than that.
To come up with something precious for your audience, you have to brainstorm topics, do research, write the thing, edit it, publish it and promote it. This should be done multiple times per month, as it’s generally best to churn out decent amounts of content consistently. Whether you write it, someone on your team or someone you hire, you must be willing to devote decent amounts of time to the work for it to, well, work.
You Must Be in it for the Long Haul
Another common misstep in the world of content marketing is assuming that you can create and publish a huge amount of content and then sit back and relax for the foreseeable future. In actuality, effective content marketing must be a full-time, ongoing pursuit. There’s no finish line. What’s more, is that it can take quite a while for your efforts to bear fruit, so patience is a must too.
You Get What You Pay For
If you were convinced to try content marketing because you were told it’s “basically free,” you’ve been misinformed. Sure, producing many types of content is virtually free in the sense that writing words doesn’t cost actual money. The problem, though, is that it’s almost impossible to get anywhere with content marketing without spending decent amounts of money.
From hiring experienced, talented writers to paying to promote it, content creation is a worthwhile investment. It may not seem like it at first, of course, when crickets seemingly greet everything that you produce. Over time, though, you’ll realise amazing returns.
Creating Content is Just the First Step
Even first-rate content doesn’t magically attract relevant users. For that to happen, it must be appropriately promoted and to the right audience on the proper channels.
For best results, the best digital marketing agencies promote the same piece again and again from time to time, and that provides them opportunities for getting it in front of entirely new audiences. That’s something to emulate. While promoting content effectively can be pricey, promoting a piece of content once isn’t enough, either.
Content Must Be Optimized, and SEO is Always Changing
To increase the odds of your content getting in front of the right people, it must be optimized in a way that reflects SEO best practices. Unfortunately, those best practices are not set in stone.
Google is constantly tweaking its algorithms, and this affects how SEO should be handled. Therefore, you must either commit to keeping up-to-date about current SEO best practices, or you must hire writers who are in the know. Naturally, how you optimize your content will evolve right along with SEO standards.
An Organized Approach is Crucial
One of the biggest mistakes that brands make when engaging in content marketing is failing to have a clear, written strategy in place. Most of the time, this is because companies underestimate just how much is involved in executing an effective content marketing campaign. As eager as you probably are to start producing content, your first step should really be putting together a comprehensive content marketing strategy.
A truly successful campaign strategy will outline every aspect of how the campaign, including target audience and user personas, the types of content that work the best, the channels through which they will promote their content and more. Emulate that, and make sure actually to follow your strategy and to adjust it as needed.
The silver lining, however, is that when it’s done correctly, content marketing can take your business to incredible new heights of success. By entering into it with the cold, hard facts, you’ll have a much easier time.
Three Types of Posts for Your Company Blog
The majority of brands now realise they need a robust content marketing strategy, and a company blog is a critical component within that. The following article explores some different types of blog posts to use.
It’s crucial to vary content to keep your audience engaged, and this piece will show you how.
Industry news and reaction
As stated, your company blog should be varied with the different types of content you use. Getting the balance right is crucial here. Your audience wants to be informed, so you should focus some of your attention on providing the latest news from your industry.
Keep in mind the intense competition in the marketplace for this type of content. Remember your competitors may be sharing the same news as you. Therefore, you also want to include some of your own commentary.
It’s crucial to pinpoint what this piece of news means for your business or how you are taking advantage of the latest industry trend.
Share your news
Another way to make your blog stand out is to include content that only you can write. The obvious example of this is sharing your own news. There are various ways you can do this, such as publishing a case study of the work you have done for a particular client.
An approach like this works well for marketing agencies; it’s not a hard sell but it does provide an opportunity to show what you can do.
There are other options as well, such as a report from a recent event of yours – you can even include video highlights or an interview you did. Always think about what your audience is interested in and which type of content they will engage best with.
Sharing good news makes your brand more personable and encourages engagement with your audience. Be careful though to avoid writing promotional posts regularly, and always look to add value through your company blog.
List-style evergreen posts
Latest industry and company news should certainly be shared regularly to keep your audience informed. However, one of the problems with this type of content is it only typically gains short-term views over a day or two when it’s fresh.
It’s also crucial to publish content that doesn’t age in the same way.
The best approach for this is list-style evergreen posts. To put it simply, this is content that stays fresh for months or even years after it is published. Again, ensure you are providing value to your audience by covering the topics they are most interested in.
Remember blog posts like this are fun to write, easy to promote and can be shared over and over again.
Content marketing is a significant trend and something most brands need to be involved in.
If you’re serious about this type of marketing, you will want to have a company blog that you update regularly.
It’s necessary to find the right balance with the content you publish, so this article has explored the topic in greater detail.
Remember to provide commentary on industry news, share your own news and create list-style evergreen posts.
Three Keys to a Great Infographic
If your brand wants to master Pinterest, then it’s essential to create great infographics. It’s well worth doing this because Pinterest is an incredibly valuable social media site if you can get the hang of it. Therefore, this article focuses on some essential tips to create the best infographics.
Write an engaging title.
It’s easy to think that infographics are all about imagery. However, the words and language you use are also crucially important. Of course, this process all starts with the title you choose to use.
Therefore, spend some time on a descriptive title for your content while also keeping SEO in mind.
Remember, there are different ways you can create an engaging title, and these can include the use of numbers, which can draw attention. For example, you can focus on a particular year or several tips if that works for the rest of the content of your infographic.
Another thing you can do is ask a question in your title, which aims to educate as well as giving users a reason to read on.
Make your infographic visually appealing.
It may seem an obvious point as infographics are a type of imagery in themselves. However, the way you present your information can play a crucial part in the success of it. In general, you should be creative with your infographic to ensure it stands out.
Remember, it isn’t a restrictive type of content so you can add images, charts and text effects.
Keep it consistent though by following a plan and formula. For example, data is common in an infographic, but using data visualisation techniques can bring a lot more attention to your content.
Keep in mind you are presenting information and the more appealing you make it; the more likely others will want to share it.
Think about the use of colour.
It’s striking how much more appealing an infographic incorporating a range of different colours is compared to one that is black and white or using only one colour. Of course, it’s vital to strike the right balance though because too many colours could look messy and detract from your core message.
One concept that can be effective is to take advantage of different contrasts between colours.
Remember. you want to pick colours that complement each other; the right blend can make specific colours stand out.
In fact, this can be a very effective way of using bold colours to create the maximum effect.
Pinterest can be a tricky social media site for brands to master.
Of course, this is partly because it looks complicated at first. One type of content that performs particularly well is infographics.
Remember to write an engaging title, make your infographic visually appealing and think about the use of colour.
3 Social Media Tips for Writers
The work responsibilities of a freelance writer have certainly changed over the years. It is no longer the case that the job is limited to only the writing process. The best freelancers now need to invest a significant amount of time in social media efforts to promote themselves.
The following article explores this content in more detail by providing some social media tips for freelance writers.
Make use of Twitter and Facebook.
Twitter is a conversational platform and can be a great place for freelancers to be. The opportunities are vast. You can post links to your latest content, advertise that you are available to hire, and connect with other freelancers.
It’s certainly true that having a strong Twitter profile with regular updates will add to your credibility as a freelancer.
Facebook doesn’t tend to be such a good platform for web traffic, but it can still have significant advantages. First of all, you can set-up a Facebook page to market yourself where you can post some of your latest content.
Facebook groups also offer a significant opportunity where you can find out about job opportunities as well as getting exposure for your content if your allowed to post links.
Remember that visuals rule on social media.
It’s fair to say that you won’t get very far merely posting words on social media; it isn’t the sort of content that engages enough these days.
Of course, visual content is critical when promoting on the more image-led sites such as Pinterest and Instagram.
At the same time, when you get your visuals right, it can be hugely rewarding for web traffic and exposure. It’s a good idea to use various social media platforms to create your content for each social media site and play around with it to see what works.
If you have the time to invest in it, Pinterest can be hugely rewarding for web traffic, but your visuals have to look great.
Stay active on your core platforms.
It’s important to have a schedule for your social media activity; otherwise, you will not be as active as you should be. Social media platforms are different, and not all of them are right for everyone, it also depends on how much time you want to invest in it. Some sites require a bigger time commitment than others, and you want value for your time.
However, you will quickly understand which platforms are worth your time.
It’s also a good idea to have a clear strategy of what you want to achieve with each platform. You may also want to plan content in advance and schedule your posts.
Staying active though will be the way forward to getting the best results.
Being a freelance writer can be a complicated job as there are many more aspects to it than simply writing content. Social media though needs to be part of your work, especially if you write most of your content online.
Various platforms have much to offer freelance writers if you are willing to invest the time. Remember to make use of Facebook and Twitter, use key visuals and stay active on your core platforms.
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