Anywhere you look on my blogs or websites, you’ll typically find one, cliche quote that I tend to (over)use a lot: Content is King!!!! While I say it a lot, it’s really only because I mean it.
It’s 2017, and everybody has websites. Everybody has products and/or services to sell. And everybody creates content because they’ve read that it helps attract visitors.
What does this mean for you? Well, it means that you do business in the most unique time in history; it’s never been easier to start a successful business (thanks to the internet), yet the landscape has also never been more competitive. You no longer compete with your neighbors on a local scale- you compete with people all around the world.
Enter Content Marketing.
Content is powerful for many reasons:
- Content builds credibility
- Content establishes trust
- Content helps SEO (and consequently, your website)
- Content builds audiences
- Content promotes your brand via social media
The most important benefit of content marketing, however, is that it really helps your visitors with whatever they may be looking for. It’s difficult to create consistent, quality content over the course of many months and years. Yet that’s often what it takes to rise the top of your industry. If your content isn’t entertaining or helpful to your audience, you may not be around long enough to rise to the top. Better start taking your content marketing efforts seriously.
I could go on and on about why I believe content should be the cornerstone of every online marketing program, but I don’t want to put you to sleep. Instead, I’ll discuss 7 tips to create amazing content that gets views, likes, and social shares, which will expand your brand’s reach and promote your business 24/7.
1. Harness the power of Social Media.
I don’t need to tell you (or anyone) how important social media is to all marketing activities on the Web. It’s amazing the phenomenon that it’s become, and it truly is helpful in promoting content.
A major focus for your brand should be building up your social media following. Doing so will ensure that more eyes see your content, resulting in more engagement, more shares, and more website visitors. If you have a strong website and/or a kick-ass product, your business will grow tremendously.
So how does one build up their social profiles? There are a few ways:
- Paid reach– algorithms on social platforms have made it difficult to get your posts in front of a large number of people, especially when you have minimal followership as you’re just starting out. Paying for ads and boosting your posts will guarantee that you get thousands of eyes on your content, expanding your reach and ensuring your content doesn’t go to waste.
- Create great content- I’ve been discussing this all article, but it’s true- helpful content will help your audience see you as an authority in your industry, and they’ll follow you to see what more you put out.
- Be active- It’s not enough to just post your content and leave everything else alone. You need to be active: commenting on industry news, sharing posts, contacting influencers- these are all great, organic ways to assert your expertise on social.
You can read more about building success and followership on social media here. One thing no one can argue: social media is an amazing promotional tool that can take your brand to new heights
2. Consistency is key.
Even though there are over 1.1 billion sites on the World Wide Web today, 75% of them are inactive. That’s a great thing for people like us, whose goal is to use content to increase website traffic: we only need to compete with about 250 million websites. Lucky us, right?
It’s going to take some time for your content marketing to produce results. If your desired result is subscriptions, website visitors, blog views, etc., you’ll get them, but not right away. If your ultimate goal is to use your content to increase sales, it’ll take even longer. But it’ll never come to fruition without consistent content creating and curating.
You can use content management systems (CMS) to help with the creating and managing your content efforts, and you can use Hootsuite or Buffer to manage your social media account promotion. The automation tools are there to make your life a bit easier, and if you can commit to being disciplined and consistent with your content marketing efforts, you will reap the benefits.
3. Document, don’t create!
It’s easy to get burnt out creating consistent content over a long period of time. “Alex, how can I possibly create great content? What if I run out of things to write about?” I can’t guarantee that won’t happen, but I always think about what Gary Vaynerchuk, social media influencer and marketing mogul, says: “DOCUMENT, don’t ‘create’!”
People like to see authenticity, and even vulnerability, in the content they see online. There’s something relatable there, making your brand not seem so disconnected like a lot of large companies are. A great way to tap into this authenticity is to document your brand’s story.
If you’re a plumber, not every post needs to be about pipes. You can record a video of your team celebrating a milestone, or post photos of a job where there was a funny accident. If you’re a life coach, post interviews of influencers. Your goal isn’t to just create content to sell- if it is, you’ll lose. Make it human, make it relatable, and you’ll win.
4. It’s all in the Details.
There are two schools of thought when it comes to creating content: there are those that churn out content on a daily (even hourly) basis, writing surface-level posts and sacrificing depth for reach. Then there are those that take their time and provide in-depth, high-quality information that is supremely helpful to their audience while going into great detail. If you want your content to truly help both you and your audience, it’s better to go with the latter.
When it comes to content marketing, quality is better than quantity. It’s better to produce one blog per week that is 2,500 words in length and includes images and infographics, than to produce one post per day that doesn’t do much but provide-surface-level jargon.
What I love about the internet is that it has begun to heed karma- if you focus on helping your audience as best you can, you will be rewarded. It will take some time, but there is so much average content on the internet these days, that high-quality content WILL rise to the top. Take the time and effort to invest heavily in your content production, and be sure that it’s alway quality over quantity.
5. Who doesn’t like a nice Infographic?
I have an awkward obsession with infographics. When done correctly, they do a great job of making complex information into easy-to-digest bits that are also visually appealing.
Another benefit of infographics is that they can help you dominate social media. Platforms such as Facebook give preference to content that’s either in image or video form, so you’re better off creating a helpful infographic than you are writing a long post about a topic.
I personally use Canva to create my infographics; it’s free and really offers some nice designs. You can view some of my infographics sprinkled throughout this blog. All you need to do is decide on a relevant topic, gather either statistical data or helpful tips/hints, and organize them nicely on the graphic! Share it to social media, get some eyes on it, and watch it work wonders.
6. Collect visitor emails.
One of the biggest mistakes I see brands make when I help edit their website is that they lack a lead-capture system. It can be as intricate as a landing page or as simple as a sidebar or pop-up, but the benefit is clear: capture the contact info for your site visitors and send them content to keep them engaged and increase the potential for them to become fans, and maybe even clients.
There are many tools you can use to create lead-captures, depending on your website platform. Start by testing a simple pop-up for a month to see how many opt-ins you get, then test forms and other lead-capture systems. After all, what’s the point in talking to the girl at the bar if you don’t get her number?
7. Focus on your headlines.
Last but not least, pay attention to the headlines you create- no matter if it’s video, infographics, blog posts, whatever it may be.
We typically try to talk to the hot girl at the bar- why is that? It’s because she’s attractive, and you want to get to know her better. The hot girl should be your content. Hopefully there’s some substance to her, but no matter how amazing she is on the inside, few people will know it if she isn’t attractive or put-together enough for you to approach.
Now, we’re not shallow here at Lexco, but you get the analogy. Take time to write good headlines and your followership will reward you.