The marketing jungle is basically a war zone. The competition is fierce, and this means only one thing: quantity will simply not cut it anymore. The focus needs to be on quality, no matter the industry you are working in.
As the audience has become more educated over time, it tends to look for quality more than anything else. This means that you need to start delivering value and diversity when approaching it. That may be easier said than done, hence the ruthless competition in the marketing industry.
In this environment, there is only one thing that will prevail on top of everything else – a rock solid content plan. And here are the eleven crucial steps you need to keep in mind while working on your plan of action.
1. Set your goals
This part is all about the call to action. It starts with answering one fundamental question: “What do you want the customers to do?” This is not to do with informing them about what you’re selling. This is about making them act.
Whether you want them to subscribe to your newsletter, buy a particular product, download an app or even share some of your content, it’s the call to action that makes the difference.
2. The audience will tell you what it needs – listen to it
The best way to improve your content and optimize your marketing strategy is to listen to the audience. Your efforts will be in vain if you ignore the queries that the potential customers are pointing out through various search engines, forums or any other platform.
This is what will boost your reach, as well as the customer’s confidence that you provide quality content.
3. Balance your content properly
Most marketing rookies mainly focus on lower-funnel content, and it makes sense if you think about it. After all, this is where the bread-and-butter of marketing is. The lower-funnel content creates the most revenue, so it is reasonable to focus on that aspect in the long term.
However, the audience is mostly hooked by the content located at the top of the funnel. This means, that is the area where your focus should be in terms of quantity, compared to the lower-funnel section, where you can switch to more quality. The key is to find a balance in the content.
4. Create malleable content
The biggest issue is falling into the trap of click-bait publications no one takes seriously anymore. You need to avoid that at all costs, because it is the death of any online publication, no matter how big it started.
You can alternate the how-to types of articles with useful marketing tips or whatever type of content you think will draw the audience - just don’t bore or disappoint them. Keep your marketing content fresh and focus on utility, rather than on recycled useless information.
5. “Turkey slices” are a useful marketing strategy
This is a metaphor describing the blog posts that re-circulate the most compelling and appealing ideas of your original content. It is, if you will, a type of treat to delight the audience and inspire them to look for the entire article.
You can use these “Turkey slices” when promoting a larger type of content that can be easily broken down into smaller pieces - as long as you do not make it feel redundant.
6. Don’t be so stiff
As a professional content creator, you need to realize there is nothing more appealing to the readers than a good laugh. Creating fun and entertaining content is what lies at the foundation of good marketing.
Sure, you need to keep a balance between the loose content and the professional and down-to-business tone. However, that does not mean the readers will not appreciate some humor now and then. Use it wisely, and the benefits will be great.
7. Add in some interactive quizzes
Most content-making beginners tend to disregard the importance of alternating the display of informational marketing text with some interactive content from time to time. Bottom line - endless reading material, and users will quickly lose interest.
Using polls, surveys or professional quizzes every several articles works well, because it inspires the user to become involved and it gives the impression that their opinion matters. (And it should matter.)
8. Showcase your experts
This is a crucial aspect of any professional marketing guide. What this means is that the people responsible for your brand, as well as for your daily quality content, can play a significant role in providing your business with a whiff of authenticity.
Ask some of your experts to provide their genuine voice on some important matters, and use quotes to deliver their opinion. You can even showcase an interview, as long as that expert has become famous enough for the users to care about their voice.
9. Start building your alliances
If you want to boost your influence substantially, you need to begin building alliances with already famous figures in the online environment. Look for people who have been doing what you are doing, but for a lot longer than you.
They already have a fanbase in place, and you can use them to promote your business with greater ease. Find common ground and share the benefits. There is no need to know anything about them personally. You may simply share something they said, some ideas they have proposed or quote some of their content.
As long as you let them know and give them credit, the relationship can quickly grow to benefit both of you, by promoting each other’s content.
10. Get your audience involved
Getting your audience involved is one of the best ways to gain relevant feedback regarding your activity. Few things are more appealing than fame. You may lure your customers to share their opinion on your services, or even suggest some improvements, by rewarding them with more visibility.
Set some minor contests now and then and ask for the best review or the best client story, linked to the services you are delivering. A lot of them may get involved, and the attention they get will quickly draw in others, significantly expanding your audience.
11. Listen to your customers
In the end, nothing matters more than how the customers react to your content. Their feedback is what helps you improve, innovate and expand, so listening to their queries and suggestions is a must for any professional content creator.
Ask for genuine opinions, and they will deliver them to you. In most cases, you will not even need to ask, as they will put them out there unprompted. All you need to do is listen and improve.
Start small, but get big
The key to becoming a successful content creator in the marketing industry is not that hard, as long as you follow certain guidelines. One of the major problems is that most of those who embark on this journey tend to focus on flash-content, sacrificing quality over quantity. As a beginner, that will get you nowhere.
To sum it up, all you need to do is:
Is there any other method/tool you use to hook your audience? Feel free to share them with us, and we’ll quote your name in our next Freelancer Community Blog Post on “10 Tools to use on your Website to increase Audience Conversion.”