We all know that there’s an awful lot of content out there already, so how can you help yours to stand out from the crowd? It’s a sad fact that good quality content doesn’t get rewarded simply for being good quality, there are many other factors involved, and hoops that you must jump through as a content marketer to get the most out of the work that you produce. Here are our top tips to help your content reach the top of the pile:
Rely on research, not hope
Your content plan should be driven by cold hard data, not guess work. Consider the following questions:
- Who is your audience?
- Which topics do they find most engaging?
- What questions do they have?
- Which content formats perform best in your sector?
- Can you learn anything from your competitors?
- What are the current trends in your industry?
In order to find the answers to these questions, use tools such as Topsy and Buzzsumo to monitor trends and performance for particular topics and domains. You should also use Google Analytics to monitor which content has performed best on your site in the past.
Create a content plan but keep it flexible
Once you’ve identified what your audience is interested in, you can start to formulate some ideas using the best performing format. There are a number of ways to enhance your content including:
- Trending topics
- Social media optimisation
It’s important to remember that trends can change quickly, so don’t simply rely on data from a few months ago and assume it’s still correct. Your content plan should continually evolve in line with the times; if you don’t keep up, your competitors may take the upper hand.
Consider promotion before creation
Before you start churning out your content, you’ll need to formulate a plan of promotion. Unless you have an extremely well established distribution platform, you’ll need to invest some time, and probably some money, into making sure your content reaches the right audience. Your promotion plan is key, and it’s important to make sure your content fits around it, rather than vice versa.
Find your amplifiers
As well as publishing content on your own site and via your social media channels, you’ll need to find out who the “amplifiers” are in your sector. Amplifiers are people with authority who hold influence over their many followers. If an amplifier in your sector takes an interest in your piece of content and brings it to the attention of their audience, they’ll also be tapping into your audience, and driving traffic directly to your site.
So how do you find these amplifiers? Well, when you use BuzzSumo or Topsy to search for content in your sector, you will also have the option to view both “Sharers” and “Influencers”
These lists will provide you with a breakdown of the most powerful Twitter users who have shared this content, which gives you a great starting point for building up a list of influential people in your industry. Spend time building up a rapport with these amplifiers and send them pieces of your content which are directly relevant to them, in order to get ahead with your content marketing.
Pay for social media advertising
You may be reluctant to pay to promote your content, but social media advertising is low cost and very easy to tailor to your audience, so you’ll be missing a trick if you decide to avoid it altogether. You can also use Twitter and Facebook advertising to target specific people, such as amplifiers, as well as specific groups, so you can make sure that you hit the right targets.
Produce and monitor your content
This step will vary depending on what kind of content you are creating, but you can read our blog on how to write better content if you’d like some help with this. Once your content is published you can bring your promotion plan into action, and then, finally, analyse its performance. Again Google Analytics is vital for monitoring the number of visits to your content, and you can use the URL builder tool to add custom campaign parameters to your URLs, so that your reports are even easier to follow. You can also put your content’s link directly into BuzzSumo to see how many times it has been shared on social media. Compare your content’s performance to that of other pieces you and your competitors have produced, and try and learn lessons which you can put into play the next time around.
If you’d like some help with your content marketing, Ricemedia is able to offer tailored solutions for your company. We will spend time working with you to understand your sector and your audience in order to produce high performing content which delivers a return on your investment. If you’d like to find out more, please get in touch with us today.