Remember your favorite Content Marketing 101 class back in college? Us either! That’s why we’re about to take you back to school and show you a few things that they aren’t teaching in content marketing classes yet.
Grab your notebook, a pencil and just call us Professor Rocket Post- here are 7 content marketing lessons they definitely didn’t teach you in school.
- Quality Over Quantity: Which would you rather have: a dozen stale donuts at closing time or one freshly baked donut when the shop opens? This may not be the best analogy since most would take the dozen donuts, but you get the point: quality over quantity. The age-old adage “quality is better than quantity” certainly applies in the world of content marketing. Publish countless blog posts with little to no value and readers will eventually stop reading. If they don’t get anything out of visiting a blog, why would they keep clicking? Instead of publishing everyday, take time with blog posts and really flesh them out. Use research and hard data in articles, cite others, present counterpoints and find images that fit well with your marketing approach. Put time into content and it will pay off! Evergreen content is a great example of high quality content that will stand the test of time.
- Know Your Audience: Let’s start this one with another question: how successful do you think you’d be at selling retirement packages to college graduates? Probably not very successful at all. Knowing the target audience is one of the first steps to any marketing plan, especially online. There are several ways you can get to know an audience. A good place to start is to just ask yourself “who finds the most use out of my brand or product?” This simple question will get you started down the right path to uncovering the target audience! From there, use tools like Google Analytics, social media metrics and careful observation to determine who is most attentive to the intended message. Over time, a content marketing strategy should evolve to include more of the target audience’s interests.
- Importance of Mobile: If you don’t know that optimizing for mobile is vitally important, well, now you do! It is critical to optimize a website for the smartphone-driven world. Now, the next mobile movement: creating content specifically for mobile. When creating content for audiences to view on mobile, think images. Large, high-resolution images match perfect with smartphone displays, especially when held landscape. Create content for mobile that features both pictures, to keep spectators’ attention, and to present the information in an easily digestible fashion. What do we mean? Lists are effortlessly readable. Use bullets to separate ideas, and bold or italic text to highlight main ideas so eyes can absorb your words quickly!
- Your Team: If a concrete content marketing strategy is the goal, don’t you want the team executing it to be as equally solid? Having a blog writer, social media guru and an SEO specialist is an ideal dream team. But don’t forget about adding a digital content manager. This position gives the team creative direction, schedules and assigns posts and generally keeps the content marketing strategy cohesive. Crafting quality content is a sizeable task and a fundamental aspect to a successful marketing plan, but managing that work to reach audiences is an entire job in itself and equally important.
- Timing: A person could give the most amazing speech about why their product is the best, but if there’s no one in the room listening, they won’t generate any kind of sales. Timing is imperative in a content marketing strategy because bad timing can mean that few people are receiving your message. Don’t let all that energy and craftiness go to waste- test various posting times and analyze which day and/or time target followers are most active. Maybe it’s when they first get to work on Mondays, or when they’re at home on Saturday afternoons surfing Mashable. Discover when those eyeballs are online, and schedule blog and social posts accordingly.
- Reassessing Successes and Failures: A thought-out marketing tactic always plans for the future. An out-of-this-world marketing tactic plans to change in the future. The online world is fast-paced and ever changing. So should your content marketing approach! Each post published online presents an opportunity to evaluate and improve. Did a tweet flop? Why did it flop? What could have been done better? Note successes and failures in a document that is shared between the content marketing team so that the same mistakes aren’t being repeated. Don’t you want to repeat those success stories over again anyway? Understanding why they succeeded will only help the strategy in the future!
- Acknowledge Your Sources: It is common practice to share other thought leaders’ points in your blogs, or share their content into the social sphere. But, it is essential to properly credit and acknowledge other brands or influencers when using their material. When tweeting someone’s article, give credit by tagging them, or if quoting them in a blog post, insert a link back to the original article. Bloggers, like any other creative person, dislike when others use their concepts without mentioning them. Gain some good Internet karma by always giving credit where credit is due! If all goes well, eventually your content will be getting shared similarly across the World Wide Web.
Pop Quiz! Just kidding.