Some people think that all it takes to have an effective content marketing campaign is writing and publishing blog posts, telling their family about it and then going do other things.
If that’s your strategy, then boy are you missing out! Content marketing is so much more than that.
So how do you effectively content market when you’re a blogger? That’s what we’re going to explore today.
Know Your Target Audience
A good content marketing strategy takes many things into account. First and foremost, it starts with a specific target audience.
What do I mean with that statement? I mean that you’ve got to know who your audience is and what you want them to do. This will allow you to laser in on them far more effectively.
‘But,’ some of you may cry, ‘why shouldn’t I target everybody?’ The short answer is because you can’t.
Even the absolute best articles in the world will be ignored by the vast majority of people. That’s because they don’t align with the interests of the masses, only with that of the target audience.
The result? When you target everybody, you really end up targeting nobody.
People might be interested in one or two of your articles, but they will soon drift away as your posts stop engaging them. That’s a lot less likely to happen if you’re specifically catering to your target audience.
What’s more, what you really want to earn via effective content marketing is an engaged audience that is willing to share your material. When that happens, they act as multipliers, getting your content in front of far more people. Again, that’s more likely to happen the more engaged your audience is.
Market to Them
Once you know who your audience is, find out where they hang out and market to them on their terms.
How do you know where they hang out? That’s fortunately not very hard, particularly if you’re on Facebook and have a following there. All you need to do is go to your advert manager, click on your ‘audience insights’, define your audience (here you can click on who your audience is by defining them or simply click on who likes your page) and see what pops up.
Then, based on those results, you will know what other pages they like. This will give you a good idea of which way you want to adjust your own content marketing strategy to tailor it more toward what they want.
Note that you’ll need at least 1,000 likes on your Facebook page to get results. If you don’t have that volume of likes yet, just define your perfect audience and work toward sharing what they like.
The next step is to reach out to the sites they like. You can do this by guest blogging, commenting on their posts, or finding other ways to get picked up on their radar. Then, once they start talking with you and about you, you’ll suddenly have access to their audience as well. And that should mean, if your content is up to scratch, that your audience will grow quickly.
Vary Your Content
The next thing you’ve got to do is vary your content. For example, stop posting strictly all-text based content and status updates. Many people prefer other mediums nowadays.
For example, videos work well. Alternatively, you can put up infographics, podcasts or numerous other techniques.
Sure, that’s a lot of work, but you’ve got one nice advantage. When you start sharing content in different forms, you can start recycling concepts. This will enable you to bring back ideas that worked well in one particular form and reuse it in another. That makes for a far more effective strategy than simply trying to improve writing content.
Another good idea, while we’re on the topic of how to get more bang for your buck, is to plan frequent serials. Serials are where you’ve got an idea that is too big for one post but too small to turn into a book. Instead, you turn it into a series of articles, that all interlink to each other.
The great thing about this strategy is that you can build a returning audience, who want to see the next installation of your series. And once audiences start returning, you’re well on your way to building a routine. Then you’re well on your way!
The Expert Interview
There are a lot of different types of posts you can do. These include ‘how tos’, rants, (sorry, I meant opinions), listicles and more. They’re all great. None, however, are as good as a well done expert interview.
Why? It’s not because experts add weight to your blog. Though that also helps – after all, for many people, if you know important people then they will conclude you too must be important.
Don’t believe me? Just look at how many boyfriends and girlfriends of famous people ended up becoming famous themselves.
The real reason: if you do the expert interview well and the expert is impressed, then they’ll probably share it with their network. And if they’re actual experts, their networks are going to be big. That means you’ve immediately got a lot of potential readers whom you otherwise would not have reached.
What’s more, as you’re probably going to be interviewing experts in your field, their audience should be particularly interested in what you’re doing and are more likely to come back for more of your content.
Track Your Statistics
Finally, make sure that you know what’s actually going on with your website. There are plenty of tools out there that you can use to measure progress, but why not get it straight from the horse’s mouth by deploying Google Analytics?
This will allow you to track data about what content is popular, where people are coming into your website and where they’re leaving again. With that information can you decide what strategies are really working, as well as which posts aren’t actually attracting any attention. And only then will you be able to make educated decisions, rather than running around with a blindfold on.
If you think that great content in and of itself will get you noticed, you’re wrong. With so many people out there and a massive increase in the number of content items being shared online, it’s easy to get caught up in the “noise”. They need to more markers to know they should read your content, like the fact that a lot of people are liking and sharing it.
A lot of people believe they’re going to get noticed mainly through search engines. They believe that, if they write good content, Google will rank it well.
Unfortunately, that’s not how search engines work. They can’t assess how good your content is (yet). Instead, they base how you rank on how many sites (and which ones) link to your page, as well as a range of other key algorithmic SEO factors.
That means you’re in a catch-22, where you need to get popular before you get noticed. Fortunately, there is a way out. And that is to pay attention to the second word in ‘content marketing’.
Stop focusing on publishing. Instead, push hard (and keep pushing) the content you already have. Then you’ll be well on your way to a smart content marketing strategy.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions stated in this post are that of the author, and Return On Now may or may not agree with any or all of the commentary.