Content marketing has become ubiquitous for marketers. 2014 has certainly been a strong year for it with reports this year indicating anywhere between 86% and 95% of B2B marketers using content marketing tactics to deliver their marketing messages. That's a heck of a lot of content marketing going down. And there is no sign of a tapering off anytime soon.
With so much content being created and published every day, it's a highly competitive space. How can we ensure our content stands out and grabs the attention of our target market?
I've shared five tips below that - when applied - can help!
Your headline is a critical element of your overall content. It is typically used to share out on social media and other channels and serves to pique interest and get people to click through to your content. A catchy title can very well be the difference between your content being read - or ignored.
There are several formulas you can apply to craft headlines that get the attention of your readers. These include:
Once you've settled on a headline, you may want to check out CoSchedule's Headline Analyser. It's a nifty little tool that grades your headline based on word balance, i.e. emotional vs. common words and offers suggestions on how to create a more compelling title if you're not quite there yet.
Writing content for the web is different to say, an academic paper, but as professionals we need to apply basic grammar and spelling rules. Know the difference between their and there, where and were, and have someone to check your work. If you're short on resources, you can use a programme like Grammarly that picks up errors and offers suggestions for stronger writing.
That’s not to say there aren’t some rules that are acceptable to bend or even break. I wrote a post some time ago about why my high school English teacher would cringe if she ever read my blog as I have discarded some sacred rules. I don’t have an issue with starting a sentence with a conjunction and allowing for some grammatical errors in favour of a more conversational style of writing. At the end of the day, it comes down to understanding your target audience and using language that resonates with them.
Speaking of your target audience and knowing them, this is probably one of the most vital aspects of content marketing. Your content should be created to solve their most pressing questions, challenges and issues.
Content that is product or company focused and does not address the needs or interests of the individual reader is going to lose out to that which makes the buyer persona the hero of their story. This also means a personal approach to writing that speaks directly to the reader, as if you were having a conversation, not delivering a University lecture.
While we have to create content first and foremost for our buyer persona, we should optimise for search engines too. People begin their hunt for information in search engines, and if your content does not appear in the results, it will sit gathering cyberweb dust, irrespective of how awesome it is. Be sure to apply the fundamental on-page SEO tactics to give your content a fighting chance in the search engine listings brawl.
Use your keywords in your page title, page heading (H1) and naturally throughout your copy. The days of keyword stuffing are over. With advances in search engine algorithms, they are far better equipped to pick up on semantics and understand the overall theme of your content if you are using natural language.
Much like not optimising for your content to be found in search engines, failing to get your content in front of the right eyes is going to doom your content to the Internet abyss. Make sure your content can be found by distributing on the right platforms. This point refers back to having deep insight about your buyer persona or ideal customer. Know where they turn for information and research, which sources they value and deem credible, which social media platforms they frequent and when, and then publish and distribute your content accordingly.
Over to you. What tactics do you use to create remarkable content that rocks? Share in the comments below.