There are endless articles discussing content marketing and how to be better at it. The truth of the matter, most of these articles are simply repeating the same points over the other. You don’t need this.
That’s why we’ve put together our 10 Commandments to Content Marketing; 10 irrefutable rules to successful Content Marketing. These 10 commandments looks at content marketing at all angles, from spitballing ideas and concepts to completing your campaign and analysing your success.
Whether you’re a large business or a small company, following these 10 rules will give you that edge to stay ahead of the competition without having to read every new blog article published, so you can focus on creating your content and launching your campaign.
1. Set Goals
Before you can think about content writing or putting together a content marketing plan, you need to clearly layout your content’s goals? You wouldn’t start a campaign for no reason, find that reason or those goals you want to work towards.
Are you after a certain number of views for your site?
Do you want to attract so much new visitors?
Looking to generate so many sales or leads?
Set these downs as these key indicators are how you’re going to analysis how effective your content marketing was.
2. Find a Problem, Not a Sales Pitch
When considering what content you should produce, choose a subject or topic that provides value to your readers, that’s the most important part of content marketing. Providing value, something they don’t know and need to know, rather than a sales pitch.
The best way is to find a problem or pain point to solve. Straightaway, that is valuable information to your readers and, if you build a reputation of solving problems, you build a regular following of readers after answers.
Avoid a sales pitch, people naturally tune out or look elsewhere at the idea of a sales pitch.
3. Research the Competition
Suppose you’ve picked a topic you think is relevant or current but all of your competitors have written about it six months ago. It’s not current and it’s not valuable. Then you have to ask yourself, is there any point in pursuing a blog article about that topic? Can you make it relevant? Can you spin a new angle?
Look at tools like BuzzSumo, it’s a wonderful tool that allows you to search and look at other site’s content and its popularity.
4. The Title
The best type of titles are questions, such as “How to…”, as it is more likely to searched and it clearly presents your article as the solution to that problem. Again, refer to BuzzSumo and search that title.
Has it been done before? Well, change it. How can people find your content if other people have the same title? Don’t be afraid to get specific with your title, the more specific it gets, the more clearly you highlight a problem for you to solve.
Lists make good titles but consider odd numbers, rather than “Top 5…” or “10 Reasons…” as these are done to death. Also, it gives the impression that you have something more to offer. “13 Reason Why…” means you have 3 more reasons, pieces of information than 10 and you’re content stands out more.
Content with either of these types of titles are more successful in attracting readers or being searchable.
5. Your Tone or Voice
Look at the tone or your voice when you write or create your content. You want something to reflect your company’s own brand but also creates a connection or a relationship of trust with the reader. Look at how I am writing this article, look at the language I am using, how I set the tone and pacing.
I am writing this in a fairly authoritative tone while not as if I’m looking down on you but as someone with insight and someone you trust, trying to help you. The language is professional with technical and industry phrases but not completely formal or like a textbook. The pace, though broken with commas to slow it down, has an urgency to it with the aim to inject that urgency to you, my reader.
Essentially, I’m aiming the tone of this article to be between two professionals over a coffee or a drink. You’ve asked for my professional opinion or help on a problem and I’m trying to help you.
The tone you want to adopt must reflect your company’s brand or else, to your audience, the content could seem very foreign.
6. Know your Audience
A tool like Hubspot’s Make My Persona, is a great free tool which, by answering a series of simple questions helps you put together your target audience. As you build up this information, a clear picture comes through.
You’ll learn to how to reach your audience better. Whether it’s targeting certain publications or websites to the date and time you publish your content.
7. Support Content with More Content
Have you considered creating supporting content? This is a great way of making your articles or posts more accessible and, more importantly, make your content shareable.
For example, if you’re content is around a list article, could you create an infographic around that article? Though it can mean your content or information is quite condensed, it is more accessible and easier to share. This will be vital when it comes to developing the campaign and diversifying your content opens new avenues to outreaching.
8. Prepare your Outreach
Contact and nurture a relationship with bloggers and journalists prior before the campaign. Once you’ve broken the ice and built that relationship, it’s easier to outreach to them and means you spend less time waiting for a response.
Also you can use twitter to meet new bloggers to outreach to. Posts with hashtags like #bloggersrequest or #bloggerswanted, are a great way to introduce yourself to bloggers through Twitter and invite a conversation about your content.
Avoid paid or sponsored content if one of your objectives is to improve your site’s SEO and rankings.
9. Maximise your Sharing
Naturally, you’ll know to share your content through your company’s social media and might even invest in some paid Facebook posts or PPC advertising but where else can you share your content?
Forums are a great place to share content. No matter how niche of an industry or subject, you’ll find a forum of like minded individuals interested in your content. There are also online communities which allows you to share your content. For marketer’s, as an example, there’s Inbound or GrowthHackers, site’s where you can share your company’s content and insight. Whatever field your work or passion is, you will be able to find a site.
10. Review Everything
Whether your campaign was successful or not, it is important to know why. Never just leave it to luck or guess work on why you did or did not succeed because you’ll keep on making the same mistakes. This way, you can develop and refine your content marketing strategy.
Using tools like Google Analytics and putting tracking urls in your content to measure the reach, will help you get a better picture of how far it has been distributed as well as analysing who has read and engaged with it. Google Analytics can break down your reader’s gender, age and location, giving you a fuller picture to who are you engaging. Compare this to your Hubspot Personas, do they match up? Why is that?
Those are our 10 Commandments to Content Marketing, ten simple decisive points you need to consider when approaching content marketing, that we find works every time. You can read as many blog posts, articles or books as you please but it all comes down to these ten point and why is that? Because they work, they bring in the results and make the difference you want.