Perhaps the question should be: How can I make the content I create more valuable to my customers. In that case it's about knowing your audience. Instead of focusing on what to create that fits into your goals....focus on creating educational, inspiring, valuable information and content your audience will love and will love to pass around without you needing to ask for it.
Still not sure? ask your audience directly? Would they care about specific topic or format over another: video over a blog post or is there any burning question they would love to get an answer for that you could help them with....
In addition...make sure you track what you do to then evaluate what worked best.
In respect to execution and what is lately the most effective form of marketing (reputation management):
- Case studies
- Product and service comparisons
- Case studies
This is a broad question. It would be helpful if you can share more details. But, from a high level, start with being clear on 1) who your target audience is and 2) what they care about. Understand where those people are and share content through those venues. Focus your content on things they really interested in hearing about. Test different topics and formats (such as articles, videos, slides) and see what is most popular. You might look at news sources where they are already visiting and see what people are sharing socially and commenting on to find popular topics. At mosaicHUB, a great way to see what is popular is looking at our Q&A and finding questions that have a lot of answers. Writing an article or producing a video around those topics would likely be popular.
It's all about connections, they may say that content is king but it really isn't (atleast not alone). Building relations and networking with infuential people in your industry is the real king both online and offline. So what you really need to make content marketing more effective is to connect with the right people in your industry and build relations with them.
This happens mostly via blogger outreach, so you need to follow on social media and interact with influential bloggers.
Then you should start guest blogging on their blogs and interact with their readers, if you do that regularly and you actually provide value via your content (on your's site blog and other blogs) you will see that people will start linking and sharing your content naturally, this will ultimately help boosting your authority in your industry which translates to more sales and revenue.
You just need to remember that content is the medium not the goal, people follow people and they need to trust you before they become your clients
As Mary touched upon, you need to know your audience before any content should be created. Once you know your audience you need to find out what they care about. As an example what are the newest trends in their industry? What new competition is entering the market? Most importantly ask your audience what they want to know and that is the best starting point - to be both effective and relevant.
Focus. Know who you are talking o in both demographic and psychographic terms.
Focus. Provide information that solves problems they have or points them to solutions (one size does not fit all).
Focus: Use the formats they prefer and add a little more to stretch their perceptions and your memorability.
Focus: Go for the answer you know will offend or put off some to build a stronger relationship with your core target.
Focus on being consistent, credible and trustworthy.
Networking Ninja, Marketing Rainmaker & Contact Relationship Magician
Get a Good Copywriter, one who knows how to make people buy or knows the industry. They are not cheap! We hired one for a project and the cost alone was very Steep, but not having it would have been costly. This is a Easy Answer. All the answers are correct. but i like to keep things simple!
Thought leadership. As mentioned in many of the comments below (and without knowing your specific industry), the content being create needs to have value to the end-user. What you may see as awesome is probably not resonating with the audience, typically int he technology industry we tend to focus on the bells and whistles and not listen to the customers WIIFM - whats in it for me, which is usually does it save me money/ make me money / both.
One approach we (MyPropHead) tend to take is to create content from fact and reposition it with client values. for example run a useful simple survey on things the clients are passionate about, create whitepaper/evaluation from it and then distribute to everyone that participated (for free), do a webinar etc..etc... This also gives you a base of material to work with and help you understand the audience better to improve the content overall (and sometimes impact product direction).
I think newsworthy and efficiency are two keywords to remember here. I like making sure the content I create is considered "newsworthy" to ensure its value to the audience. If something is newsworthy it will be timely, which will capture the audience's attention as well as make it worthwhile to take a look at. Find a way to make your content relevant to current culture. In addition, keep it efficient. Select content carefully and specifically in order to execute exactly what your goal is and what the audience needs to see. No one likes to waste their time on either end and efficient content will keep them coming back for more.
All great answers. With Hummingbird (the new algorithm) I would construct the content to give a straight answer to the question(s) that you want and CAN answer accurately. I think if a person finishes reading your content they should feel as if they learned something new, had a light bulb switch on in their head, had an "ah ha" moment, or feel a little more educated or wise. This develops trust in you and your expertise. And BTW, make sure the information reads well. I'm sick and tired of reading posts and such obviously written by someone not very familiar with English.
Two words: DIFFERENTIATE YOURSELF.
The number one thing EVERY legitimate potential buyer wants to know (and is rarely told!) is what makes your product or service different than the other guys, what makes it special.
Focus on that and you'll shine like a star. And you won't have to worry about using tricks or gimmick techniques to try to capture attention.
Distribute your content to more channels. Distribute to ezine owners and web masters in your niche.
Turn your content into a pdf, and distribute to document sharing sites. Turn into a power-point and distribute to sites like Slideshare, etc... If you have enough content you can turn it into an ebook and distribute to ebook sites or Amazon's kindle site.
There's so much you can do. You have to develop a strategy and work it.
Great answers from everyone. Basically, effective content marketing means having to build your network, to create quality content (articles, press releases, videos, infographics etc) focused to help your target market and to distribute them on relevant platforms.
Through the way that you write, the words that you use and the way that you put words together.