Ever since I decided to finally go it alone in business, back in 2012, I have been involved in the world of creating and sharing content. Mostly this activity has been online and usually based around blog writing or posts placed on social media channels. I have had a fair share of time spent at face to face networking events as well as speaking at seminars and awards, I have also written content that has been published in the likes of magazines and books as well as speaking on both online radio and on national radio channels.
So, I type away on this article with a good degree of experience and knowledge and with a fair amount of success to share with you – I would not like to say I am an expert as I have come to dislike that word over the years, instead I would say that I am skilled at content marketing. Successful at it, yes I would say, so that I know what not to do following years of mistakes and learning.
So, over to the topic in question here and gaining success from Content Marketing:
For me, successful content marketing is measured by the results you have set in mind for it to achieve you, ie web traffic, likes on Twitter, new subscribers, competition entries and a whole host of other things that good content shared can give you.
Content Marketing noun: “a form of marketing focused on creating, publishing, and distributing content for a targeted audience online.” Wikipedia
We must remember that most forms of marketing will cost us either time or money and many times it will snatch both away from you so we must make sure that our investment gives us good returns. The following five tips are for me the most important to consider and follow if you are to get yourself the best results in content marketing:
- Plan. You must firstly decide why are you going to go down the road of content marketing. What are you expecting it to achieve, who are you looking to reach, when are you hoping to see results, how much time have you to spend on it and if you are outsourcing the work, how much can you afford to outlay. Clearly work out in your mind or on paper what results you are hoping that content marketing will achieve you, this will help you to decide the best place, style, time and format in which to release it.
- Quality Content. Be very thorough with the content you share as you are probably one of millions of others across the planet that have decided today to release some content online. With that in mind you must seek content that stands out so think about a catchy title and a lead image that will draw people in. Stick to content that is helpful / factual for people, it is current in theme and likely to not be seen as simply direct marketing.
- Where you share. Once you have decided the reason for creating content then you will have an idea as to where it needs to be shared. Of course, sometimes the more locations it is shared then better, though investigation work will always pay you dividends especially if you are trying to reach a target audience. Sometimes there are dedicated groups on social media that you can share content to where you will be in front of the people that matter to your business, you should also research individual online influencers who may hold big audiences on social media that you can look to request that they share your content (this is likely to cost) or you can place content on industry news websites that accept sponsored blogs.
- When is a good time? Getting content out is good, though it can quickly fade in to the background and unless you a very skilled at writing and placing your content then it will surely be lost in translation and appearing in months to come on a result page of Google that no one will ever search to. Sometimes it is good to release content at an optimum time, when it is likely to be read by your target audience and get the most engagement. Study current trends and be ready to react by releasing quality content when headlines strike that you can take advantage of the increased traffic, ie when bank of England release interest rate decision you could release content with a title of ‘What happens when interest rates start to rise‘ or ‘how will your mortgage be effected by a decrease in interest rates‘ etc.
- Stay tuned. Your job is not down once you have released your content. For me it was all about what happened next, how well did it engage, what comments did I get, was it shared / liked / retweeted, how poor did it perform against my previous content, where did it rank on Google? I would also research the URL on Google to see if it was ever referred to in other peoples content.
Author: Christopher Walkey
Founder of Estate Agent Networking and an internationally invited speaker on how to build online target audiences using Twitter and LinkedIn.