Last week, two of our top experts delivered an in-depth workshop session on search and content marketing at Smart Insights' Digital Impact 2014 conference. Big thanks to Dave Chaffey, ClickThrough's insights director and Smart Insights editor – not to mention all those who took part in the workshop!
In case you couldn't make it yourself, you can watch the whole presentation here. Take a look to discover how to ensure links are Google-compliant, how to use personas to drive your content strategy, and much more.
Here's a quick taster of one of the topics we covered: 5 Quick Tips to Boost Your Content Marketing Strategy.
1. Assess your existing content assets
Creating great content is only half the battle. To enjoy the fruits of content marketing success, you have to promote your content in a way that makes it easily accessible, and easily absorb-able by readers.
If you think this means churning new content out by the hour, think again. If you take this approach, you're only making things hard for yourself.
Whilst there is enormous value in producing fresh, unique content, you may already have reams of content that much of your customer base hasn't seen.
This could be a series of blog posts you can re-purpose for an eBook. Or an offline pamphlet you can turn into a series of blogs. Or it could be a pricing guide. Or some great reviews of your business. The list goes on.
By assessing the value of your existing content, and re-purposing it in a way that makes it visible to more users, you can make your life easier and add value to your users' experience.
2. Use the content brainstorm matrix
Think about your content production in a structured, analytical, goal-orientated way, and you can say goodbye to writers' block for good. (Or should that be “content creators' block”?)
- What is the goal of this content? Do I want to raise brand awareness, or increase sales?
- How will I achieve this goal? Will my content appeal to users' emotions, or present the facts in a straightforward way to assist rational decision making?
- What content types are most suitable for my aims? Quizzes? Competitions? eBooks? Webinars?
Smart Insights and First10 have put together this handy infographic to help you answer these questions and start creating awesome, goal-orientated content.
Here's an example of how it can work. Say you want to create content that promotes brand awareness by appealing to emotions. This puts you squarely in the 'entertain' category, with suggestions of content like competitions, games and branded videos.
Or if you want to create sales-focussed content with a rational bent, you're in the 'convince' category – here you're best off creating content like webinars, interactive demos and pricing guides.
Define your goals and use the tried-and-tested methods outlined in the content marketing matrix, and you'll find it much easier to focus on achieving great results.
3. Seek inspiration from others
OK, so the matrix will help you make strategic decisions in regard to the content you create. But it can't help you come up with those awesome, one-of-a-kind ideas that help your content rocket into viral land.
For this, you have to rely on good-old-fashioned inspiration. So to get you started, here are four great blog posts full of amazing content marketing examples:
- Econsultancy: 16 Content Marketing Examples That Hit the Sweet Spot
- Smart Insights: Ten Examples of Brilliant Inbound B2B Content Marketing
4. Think like a publisher and get a content calendar
Fact: If you don't have a content calendar, your strategy risks drifting off into unstructured, ad-hoc, unmeasurable messiness.
Think like a publisher and put together a robust content calendar. Honestly. It makes life so much easier. If you haven't created one already, here's what your missing out on:
- A clear view of upcoming content for the weeks ahead. Planning your content in advance makes it much easier for your content creators to manage their workload, and ensures a steady stream of new content.
- The ability to create content pro-actively, not reactively. Include key dates in your content calendar, and you can be first on the scene during high-traffic periods. Is there a big industry launch on a certain date? Write out your thoughts in advance and schedule a blog to go live when the news drops. Does your own company have some big news up its sleeve? Make sure you've got content going out to reflect the increased interest
- Efficient collaboration. Use a cloud-based service like Google Docs to manage your content calendar and you can share ideas and delegate tasks without wasting time with too-long meetings or inefficient strings of emails.
- Easier progress tracking. With a content calendar, you can see at a glance what content was published on a certain date. This makes it much easier to track and report progress, without the need to piece things together after the fact.
Which brings us on to...
5. Make sure you can efficiently review your content marketing success
There's little point in defining goals and putting a strategy together if you can't easily review its effectiveness.
Thankfully, with the right tools at your disposal, it's a doddle.
For this one, we'll pass the torch to our insights director Dr Dave Chaffey, who wrote a blog back in June on this very subject. Click through to discover four awesome tools you can use to optimise your content and discover gaps in your strategy.
Enjoyed this post? Remember to check out the full presentation here.
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