According to a worldwide Content Marketing Trends survey, 89% of companies that use content marketing are confident that it is either “very successful” or “somewhat successful”.

These survey results are an overwhelming validation of content marketing in a climate where brands are clamouring for consumers’ attention.

So, how do you ensure your business is one of the 9/10 that find content marketing to be an effective form of promotion?

We can help you, with the following top ten tips:

 

  1. Set goals

If you set content marketing goals, you will increase your chances of success. After all, if you don’t know what you want to achieve, you can’t focus on getting there.

Set SMART goals and break them down into achievable components. Then, plan your content marketing so that it is designed to meet those aims.

 

  1. Don’t just publish and go

Looking at the success of each piece of content you produce can help you to understand your audience.

Do particular topics encourage high rates of social sharing? Are certain formats ignored by your audience, while others are consumed enthusiastically?

If you don’t look at your analytics and social sharing stats, you will never truly grasp what is working for your business. Complete a content audit to really get a feel of what content resonates with your readers.

 

OSEIdentifying top pages with Open Site Explorer

 

Use heat maps in-page analytics to find out how much of a post your audience really reads, and analytics to see which links are clicked and which content leads to conversions.

 

  1. Leverage staff specialisms

Within your small business, there are members of staff who each have specialist expertise in different areas.

Take advantage of this unique knowledge by tasking your employees with creating content based on their particular role or insights, or interview them to produce original content for your marketing.

 

  1. Re-purpose existing content

Not all content has to be brand new, but it does have to be fresh to keep consumers’ interest.

Existing content can be repurposed, as long as it becomes something that is genuinely valuable. Dry rewrites or a half-hearted audio recording of a blog post won’t fool anybody.

However, adding real value to existing content and presenting it in a truly new way can be a great way to present an updated viewpoint or useful information.

Check out our guide on how to repurpose your old content.

 

  1. Promotion, promotion, promotion

There is no point creating wonderful content if nobody ever sees it.

Make sure you have a system in place to share and promote both new and existing content to ensure it reaches the highest number of relevant consumers.

This ongoing social promotion should include:

 

  • Immediate sharing on social channels such as Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Instagram and Google+
  • Repeated shares on social channels to ensure that people who are not online when the content is first published can see it
  • Scheduling social shares for future weeks and months to really maximise the value of content created, over time. Tools like Buffer, TweetDeck and Hootsuite can help with scheduling social content
  • Sharing new content with an email marketing list
  • Internal linking to older, relevant posts in new content
  • Sharing content with influencers and brand ambassadors.

 

  1. Write for your audience, not for yourself

Don’t be self-indulgent with your content marketing. If you want an audience to consume your content, make it interesting, relevant, entertaining or useful to them.

What does your audience care about? What do your customers want to know? Answer these questions to create loyal content consumers.

 

  1. Variety is the spice of life

It’s easy to get into a rut and fall into lazy habits of producing dull, predictable blog posts or images just to fill a gap.

However, mixing up content types and formats keeps things interesting and has the potential to engage and recruit new fans.

 

  1. Don’t do it alone

Where possible, two heads are better than one. Even if one person within a small business has ultimate responsibility for content marketing, combining forces with other members of staff and outside experts can help to ensure that ideas are fresh and original.

 

  1. Be consistent

Commit to a content timetable and stick to it. Four blog posts one week, followed by radio silence for two months, will not attract readers or build up trust or a good reputation.

Schedules and routines may not seem compatible with the kind of creativity required for effective content marketing, but planning can trigger impressive results.

 

  1. Get inspired

It is always useful to keep an eye on other businesses’ content marketing. This can include following your competitors or businesses that are similar to yours, but any content can be inspiring, even if it is unrelated to your industry.

Find content marketers who produce the kind of blog posts, videos and infographics you admire.

Next, keep track of their work. Search Engine People has created a list of awesome content marketers to follow on Twitter, to give you somewhere to start.

 

Your Say!

Original, creative content is essential to a modern business’s marketing. With the tips above, you can fire up your content marketing plan and achieve the best possible results.

What are your favourite content marketing tips? Tell us in the comments!

Written by

Philippa Willitts

Philippa Willitts is a freelance writer specialising in writing about SEO, social media and internet marketing. She lives in the north of England and also enjoys podcasting, making videos and trying to change the world.