Ever wonder how companies and individuals are able to churn out a ridiculous amount of content and then find the time to market all that content?
They must have a genie or deep, deep, pockets, right?
Not necessarily. What they likely have is an understanding of not only how to write killer content, but the know-how to market that content (stress-free) like a pro.
But this know-how and understanding isn’t something reserved for an elite few. It can be yours too, if you just follow these tips.
It all starts with your content
Before you can market your content, you have to produce it. But before you even produce it, you have to make a plan. So, let’s get planning, shall we?
Define the objective of your content
You’ve heard the adage “putting the cart before the horse,” right? That’s exactly what you’re doing if you start writing without even knowing why you’re writing.
When defining your content’s objective, consider the following:
- How will this content grow your business (leads, sales, community building)?
- What is the specific goal for this content once you know how it’ll be used?
- Develop the core message that will serve as the running theme throughout all of your content
- Scope out your competition and see what they’re producing
Crazy Egg founder Neil Patel suggests using a simple Excel spreadsheet to help organize your responses. You can create your own …
or turn to preexisting templates like the many that Hubspot offers:
Now it’s time to dress your content up!
When you’ve completed creating your own calendar and know the objective of your content, you can begin to figure out how to make each piece of content POP.
That’s when it’s time to turn to your headlines. Regardless of if it’s a video, article, podcast, or webinar, your enticing headline is the most important part of getting tons of clicks and shares.
Your headline is your first (and maybe last) chance at making an impression.
So, what makes a good headline? Newspapers like the NY Daily News have it mastered:
What we see many brands and marketers do is create boring and predictable headlines because they’re safe.
I completely understand this mindset: these days it’s extremely easy to offend prospects. And while you certainly don’t need to take the sensational NY Daily News route with your headlines, you also don’t want to be forgettable.
Stop writing for a stupid robot
I’m as guilty as the next person here: I’ve written endless pieces of content with the sole purpose of trying to rank high on search engines.
That’s not the way to go. It never really was, actually, but these days it’s the worst thing you can do.
If you followed our advice above, you’ll already know why you’re writing your content. A search engine has nothing to do with it.
Your audience does.
When you start remembering your readers, you’ll stop creating surface-level content that’s obviously designed to rank for long-tail keyphrases.
Whenever you put your name or your brand’s name on a piece of content, don’t you want it to represent you in the best light? That’s why before you hit publish, ask yourself:
Is this well researched, fact-checked, and something that my readers will actually value?
Get to the action
The folks at InboundMethod.com created a great actionable content pyramid that we suggest you use to help your readers take action with your content.
Whether you create an action step at the end of each article or create content that carries an actionable theme throughout, follow these steps to encourage your readers to make a move once they consume your content:
- Create value and fix pain – Address your readers’ pain points, and let them know that your content will help them through this pain.
- Build a relationship – Personalize the content. Let readers know how else they can learn more about you. A good tip is to poke fun of yourself (never others). People like humility.
- Earn trust – This one’s simple: refer back to my suggestion that you only create content that’s well researched and fact-checked.
- Take action – Either offer a CTA or, a more effective approach would be to mold your entire content piece around action pieces.
Don’t drown ‘em with words
The web has become a remarkably beautiful showcase of the world through a digital lens. Why, then, do I stumble upon content that’s overstuffed with endless paragraphs?
What a bore!
Whenever possible, include relevant images and videos throughout your piece. It helps break up the monotony and gives the readers’ brains a jolt to help them refocus.
Now it’s time to turn to marketing
You’ve finally crafted awesome content to share with the world; but no one’s going to see it if you don’t know how to push it into the public eye.
Here are some tried and true methods that go beyond just the simple #Hashtag approach I’m seeing:
- Get a quote from an industry leader to include in your article. This offers you social proof and might get that influencer to market your piece on their behalf. You’ll have to do some work to procure these leaders’ contact information, but writing a good ol’ outreach email could win you at least one quote.
- Reach out to likeminded content creators. Did you just write an article about the impact iPhone’s new headphone jack will have? Find others who have created similar content and see if they’d be willing to share your piece.
- Repurpose your content. At the start of the article I discussed how some people can churn out a ton of content. Truth is, most of them are just repurposing existing content in new forms. Your blog post, for example, can become a video or podcast to broaden its scope.
In the end, create content worth marketing
Yeah, I know that sounds a bit obvious, but you’d be surprised how few people subscribe to this strategy.
If your content is subpar, you’ll struggle to find ways to market it and, most likely, won’t be particularly excited to share it with the world.
When you put your blood, sweat, and tears into a published piece, you’ll be willing to go to bat for it to make sure a wider audience has access to it.
That’s just the nature of the best.
It’s the nature of good content marketing.