Internet marketing can be an incredibly stressful business.
A lot of it’s numbers – conversion rates, traffic, bounce rates, how many people opened your email, and much more besides.
Which is why content marketing appeals to a huge number of people. It’s a more creative part of marketing and allows people to express themselves in ways that they can’t with PPC, social media marketing, and other channels.
But the balance between creativity and results is, in that sense, more important than ever. It can be easy for people with to get distracted with their content campaigns and neglect the parts of their site that are generating results.
The business of creativity
If you’re going to be investing in content marketing then you can’t really rely on the immediate ideas in your head and your ability to blog. Like everything in online marketing your content needs to provide results and a return on investment.
Future Publishing, for instance, publishes some of the best known magazines and websites in the United Kingdom but its online content model has seen it sell off a lot of its titles amounting to a quarter of its business.
If it’s so tough for people that have been in the publishing trade for decades, then how do you create an effective content strategy that consistently produces fresh, unique ideas?
Are you involved in producing content for content marketing purposes? What personal rules do you follow for your own success? Let me know in the comments section below.
Get a pair of content eyes
There’s always some good content over at the Moz blog, and recently they posted a video about how to ‘see’ content opportunities all around you by getting your own set of content eyes.
Presented by Mark Traphagen the video raises some fascinating point for would-be content creators. My favourite part of the video is where he mentions mashing up other overlapping pieces of content to see opportunities and stories that nobody else is currently writing about.
The overlying point to Mark’s video is to essentially question everything and follow it up, creating new angles and answering the right questions before people have the chance to ask them.
It’s something I’ve mentioned before – if you want to produce a stunning piece of content on a regular basis then you have to think like a journalist and consider the five W’s when creating a content strategy.
Mark mentions in his video that instead of watching videos and reading articles by influencers, don’t take everything literally. Question their reasons and ask why what they’ve written is seen as true or industry standard, and use those questions as your next piece of content.
However I’d like to go one better. Mark’s and my previous tips are great for people that want to take care of their own content in-house and raise the quality of what they want to produce. But what about going one step further?
Are you having success with your content marketing campaigns? What’s been your most successful piece of content so far? Let me know below!
Editorial tips for content management
Most magazine editors don’t get the time to write for the publications they’re in charge of. Rather they have to take a back seat, managing relationships, working with freelancers, and bringing in revenue.
However most websites don’t have to produce the content provision of most magazines, freeing up time for the more experienced content producers to think like editors.
But is it possible to think like a journalist as well as an editor alongside producing work for clients and maintaining your brand’s website?
Plan weeks in advance
Forward planning is essential when it comes to creating a content strategy, and people can often sit around struggling for ideas to write about a few months down the line.
First of all analyse your industry. Is there really a need to plan so far ahead? There are certain industries out there that are incredibly hard to produce content for, whether it’s because of the small readership or other factors.
But if you are looking to plan ahead then look at industry events, calendar events that always occur (Valentine’s, Christmas…), and consider anniversaries by looking back at events that happened on each day of the year (the Great War centenary happened recently, for example).
Get in the know with PR lists
Consider a music retailer; they’ll be stocking CDs and DVDs from Sony, EMI, Paramount, and many other labels and publishers. The sheer size of these companies means they’ll always be reaching out to press, retailers, and consumers with press releases, media alerts, product information and more. Visit their official sites and head to the press section to sign up to their mailing lists and get in on the action.
Better yet if you can get the details of the head of the press or marketing department and build a solid relationship with them then the potential to get exclusive content is always there, if you work well with the right representatives.
Get out there!
There’s only so much that can be achieved creating a content strategy at a desk. The best content is sourced first-hand and comes from meeting people, hearing their stories, and building relationships with them.
As a case study I was talking to a lady who owned a property website recently. She plucked up the courage and went to a local trade show. She made some new friends, met people in the industry and has started to plan some great content around it!
If you are going to do that though then be professional. If possible then invest in a Dictaphone, notepads, a camera, and other recording equipment. Or if your phone is good enough to take photos and record interviews then there’s nothing stopping you.
If you’d like to know more about how content marketing can help boost your online business contact Webpresence today!