What makes your digital content worth remembering?
If you can't answer that question immediately, you haven't got what it takes to build lasting engagement without breaking the bank.
Fortunately, there are a few content marketing hacks I’ve found for consistently creating great stuff without hiring expensive writers and designers.
Over the years, I've watched countless businesses sink into obscurity. Most simply couldn't optimize their content publication strategies no matter how much money they dump into marketing.
Here's how I've helped just as many brands avoid a similar fate without breaking the bank.
Related Article: 9 Awesome Ingredients for Content Marketing Success
Start With a Concrete Plan
In my experience, luck and intuition are very minor factors in content marketing success. To make lasting waves in a sea of competing content, you need to start with a viable strategy. Take the 2016 B2B report by the Content Marketing Institute, like most research, it reinforces my theory that the most effective content marketers document their strategies.
Your planning could simply mean emailing a loose set of guiding principles to your blog authors. Or maybe you'll create an evolving brand guide. In either case, you need to take the helm and point your digital presence in the right direction. If you're not prepared to do so, you're not ready for serious content marketing. A solid game plan also minimizes budget waste. Want my best advice? Connect your content marketing goals to general business performance indicators. Sales, social media likes, retweets, and other analytic benchmarks are great starting points.
Foster an Ongoing Dialogue
Readers, viewers, and other audiences should be able to pick up your content at any point without feeling confused. However, this doesn't mean continuity isn't important. Look at any popular programming or coding blog. You'll find that most split longer articles and tutorials into multiple parts. This encourages readers by turning complex information into digestible chunks. It also draws people back for more later. How do mavericks use this idea in real campaigns?
Here are some of my favorite ways to reuse and recycle information:
- Publish updates in real time with related newsworthy developments,
- Create follow-up or companion videos based on prior posts that you've published, or
- Repurpose content for different platforms, such as social media, Reddit posts, Pinterest boards or Quora Q&As
Content that follows a sensible progression and tells a story makes audiences feel more invested in your brand. It also helps you make the most of limited research time and fiscal resources.
Publish Content You're Passionate and Knowledgeable About
Focus on your area of expertise or passion for giving your content a voice of authenticity. I personally stick to what I know and demonstrate how well I know it. It's fine to expand your expertise and share what you've learned. On the other hand, relating your newfound knowledge back to your area of specialization dramatically reduces research time. Put yourself in someone else's shoes. Does your marketing material feel like advertising? If so, what are you even thinking? Stop.
A whopping 84 percent of Millennials don't like advertising. Many actively distrust marketing. This is why I always use my platform to share an honest perspective that humanizes my brand without sounding like a commercial.
Related Article: In Search of Eyeballs: How to Create Killer Content and Get It Seen
Understand Who You're Publishing For
Our audiences want more than just content that speaks to their interests. They also demand that we speak to them naturally. To choose an appropriate tone, you must know your audience. In a world of ubiquitous social media, it's vital to pick a voice that helps you fit in with your publishing platform. Some marketers outsource to authors who create content that engages audiences more naturally. It's smart to employ a manager or editor who can oversee the creation process and keep contributors on track.
Play Well With Others
Budget is a real concern, and you can't always afford dedicated content authors. Working with guest contributors like this brand does is an effective substitute that helps you maintain a fresh tone. True, social media influencers and expert contributors usually draw the biggest crowds. In reality, however, good guest bloggers don't have to be famous.
Want another awesome suggestion? Give a loyal customer the opportunity to write an occasional guest post. You'll save money and create a lasting commitment to your brand. You can thank me later.
Not everything we publish needs to be original, but it should definitely be appropriate. Instead of simply reposting something trendy because you want the hits, favor outside content that actually fits your ongoing narrative. Everyone may be talking about the latest viral video making the rounds, but should you? My rule is simple: if I can't relate the topic to my brand, products, or services and add something fresh, I don't need to participate.
Always Bring Something New to the Table
I never just research the facts. Instead, I make sure I understand what's being said about them before throwing my two cents in. I can almost guarantee that someone else has already approached any subject you want to talk about. You'll need to do more than research expert sources.
Check out Twitter, Reddit, Facebook, and even comments on your competitors' blogs to get a feel for where the conversation is headed. If you reach the logical conclusion first, you'll instantly gain authority status. How else do you think the influencers got there?
Related Article: Content Is King In 2016: The Year Evergreen Content Will Explode
Expert content marketers rely on planning, innovation, teamwork, and smart resource allocation. We often need to refine and optimize the process along the way, but when we start from solid initial strategies, nothing can stop us from improving. Perfect your content approach step by step before trying to conquer the rest of the world. Create a model that works on your chosen platforms, and adapt as you evolve. In the long run, you'll minimize costly mistakes and make a far larger impact.
What are your best strategies for keeping your content epic without breaking the bank?