Creating a High-Impact Content Marketing Strategy: 2 of 5
At the outset, the process of generating a steady stream of quality content can seem like a daunting task. Especially when many articles on content marketing suggest you need the equivalent of a small army to pull this off.
At Neptune Web, we contend that a small to midsize company can run an effective, consistent and affordable program with a modest effort — using a well-thought-out content marketing strategy/calendar as the connective element. Here are some ideas to help you produce a consistent stream of shareworthy content to meet your needs and enhance your brand:
Strive for quality, not just quantity.
In the not-so-distant past, a prevalent mindset was about gaming the system in order to get favorable search engine rankings. Those days are officially over. For starters, today’s prospects are savvy enough to see through an article that is essentially just a string of keywords. Google search engines are now able to see through this as well, thanks to a series of recent updates to its algorithms. These algorithms now favor content quality and relevance, while identifying and weeding out content that uses excessive and/or deceptive keyword optimization.
Find ways to make yourself useful.
For each piece of content you create, ask yourself a simple question: “If a respected colleague sent you this, would you be grateful?” The idea of content marketing isn’t to inundate your followers with a torrent of information, with the hope that something will stick. The goal is to provide a steady stream of valuable content that your audience is thankful to receive, with the power to turn them into loyalists for your brand.
Write relevant and think visual.
Getting a solid sense for the kinds of information your audience will welcome, and will be inspired to engage with, is the most important foundation you can establish for a content management program. You also need to make your content as telegraphic as possible to help it cut through the clutter. For instance, a well-designed infographic can stop readers dead in their tracks, getting them to get engage with your content longer and at a deeper level.
The power of video is also a proven ally to quickly engage prospects in an arresting and memorable way. The good news is, you don’t need a Spielberg level of production to pull this off. Using a modest-priced camera in house, or by hiring a competent local videographer, companies like yours are tapping into the immediacy and engagement of video on a daily basis — while providing their audiences with timely and relevant content. A few possibilities include: Simple and straightforward instructional videos that highlight ways to use your products and services.
Video testimonials from customers that relate the benefits of your expertise, products and/or services from a powerful third-party perspective.
Video interviews with customers that demonstrate how they’ve solved a particular problem using your products/service — or helpful novel ideas they’ve developed on their own.
Use curation to augment creation.
For even the most expert and productive content marketing pros, maintaining a robust stream of content can be a challenge. For this reason, content curation has become a widely used method to augment the original content that is the foundation of an effective program.
The idea is to find and share content from other authors that is aligned with the needs and interests of your target audience. This can help fill out your content marketing calendar, while establishing you as a go-to curator for relevant handpicked information. If you do choose to become a content curator, here are few tips and ideas to consider:
- Look to add value. Add your own unique perspective in the messaging surrounding the content, as opposed to just passing it on. This will help further establish your company as a thoughtful and engaged industry leader.
- Give credit where credit is due. Properly identify the source of the content and the original author. This is a mandatory professional courtesy, and could lead to a fruitful reciprocal relationship going forward. Especially if the other author is a non-competitor.
- Consider co-creation of content. Think about eliciting and curating thoughts from a variety of people to create an ad-hoc panel discussion. Contributors could include current customers, key thought leaders from your industry, your own social-media followers, and even prospects who’ve chosen to engage with you.