Content marketing is at the heart of any digital marketing campaign. Whether that be social media, blogs, emails, videos, podcasts, or any other format, making your content stand out is key to success in the online space.
Content marketing is effective whether you’re looking to grow your brand awareness or increase your sales. With how essential it is to success, constant improvement is necessary to remain competitive. Here are a few small changes you can make today that will make a big difference in your content marketing efforts.
Batch Create Your Content
Creating content can be exhausting. You have to come up with new ideas, figure out the best way to implement them, and then create the content itself. By choosing one time to create your content and batching it all at once, you can save time and energy. Set aside some time to work on everything you’ll need for the next week or two, and you won’t have to worry about being creative every day.
The key to making this work for you is planning. By creating a content calendar, you have a guideline to show you exactly what to create. Once you get your creative juices flowing, you will have a much easier time designing several different pieces of content to fit your needs. The rest of the week, you can sit back and hit post.
An example would be writing all of your summer blogs in one day, and then you can post them throughout the summer rather than having to write a new one each week. You could also do this with promotional emails, or any other copy you have to write. Don’t forget about social media posts, which can also be planned in advance.
Be aware that flexibility is necessary in order to be successful with this technique. You should be ready to review your posts before they go out to ensure that it still follows your plan and is still relevant. In addition, if you are implementing trends, they will have to go out early in the schedule in order to stay relevant.
Idea Dump Throughout the Week
Sometimes, inspiration for your content comes when you least expect it. Rather than risk forgetting all your great ideas, you should find a place to write them down. That way, when you write your calendar, you will have a list of ideas already waiting for you to schedule them.
Your idea dump can be as simple as writing notes in bullet points, or you can save other pieces of content that you want to use as inspiration. If you have a fully fleshed-out idea, you can also make your notes as detailed as you want. Having a list of ideas at your fingertips will come in handy later, rather than having to come up with a large number of new ideas on the spot.
This is a tip that will make a big difference in your social media content particularly. It will take a bit of initial work, but in the long run, this will save you a lot of time. Sit down and come up with 5-10 templates for your content. These templates should strongly reflect your branding and represent your company. Keeping it simple is a good idea so that it is versatile and can be easily updated.
As you are batch-creating your content, you can plug in the new information and have it looking polished without having to reinvent the wheel. This can also help with branding, as all of your posts will have a similar look to them. Your audience will begin to notice you and recognize your posts in their feed, which can help you stand out and be more effective.
Another hack; there are also many places to buy templates or get them for free. If you go with this route, you don’t even have to spend time creating templates, you can skip straight to the plugging-in phase. Make sure to research the seller beforehand and see if their style fits with your brand before investing in templates.
Often, you already have all the hard work done for you and you don’t even know it yet. Let’s say that you had a blog post that performed well, and you were starting to write and plan your emails for the week. Rather than spend time coming up with an entirely new set of copy, you can use what you’ve already written for your blog post and rework it into an email format. That same blog can also be turned into a post for each respective social media platform.
It doesn’t just have to be format changes either. You can take old posts from a couple of months ago that performed well and change the look, then repost it. You are getting new followers all of the time who haven’t seen your content before, and your old followers might not have seen the first post either, or they forget. You can also try turning static posts into videos, or any other repurposing ideas you can come up with. You can make one piece of content go further with this technique.
Fix your Writing
Sometimes in an attempt to showcase our expertise, marketers tend to use big jargony words. This actually has the opposite effect on our audiences. Being able to explain things in a simple and concise way is key to converting sales. Speaking your audience’s language is also essential to building a connection. One way to do this is by writing about how you talk. Avoid overly formal language that isn’t conversational. Opt instead for a friendly tone that invites relationships.
One more thing to remember is that people like to hear stories. It grabs attention. Anything that you’re trying to say, you should try to format it with a beginning, a middle, and an end, but also include other elements like a hero of the story (usually the customer or your brand) and a problem that needs to be solved (what you can do for them/what you provide). Formatting your writing this way makes it more engaging and encourages your audience to read to the end.
Your copy is the substance of your content. Don’t be afraid to experiment with it and find what works for you and how your audience likes to hear your information.
Share Your Opinions
Another way to help you stand out is by sharing your opinion. Everyone can say the same thing over and over again, so to help your content be unique, you should share your opinions. That is something that you can share that no one else can, so it will be more valuable. Your opinion is also another way to encourage other people to share their opinion, which will boost your engagement and help you see more success in your content. It can also help you build personal connections with your audience.
Another benefit that sharing your opinion can bring is ironically encouraging your audience to share it with their audience. If your opinion is unique or insightful, people want to share it with others.
On the other hand, if your content is the same thing that they are seeing everyone post, it loses value and they won’t care to share it. By focusing on shares, your readers will do the heavy lifting for you.
More shares=more reach and that is how you can grow your business. Don’t forget to include a call to action asking them what they think and to share it with their friends.
Narrowing in on One Specific Target Audience
It’s easy to believe that a wider audience means more sales. However, when you try to speak to everyone, you end up speaking to no one. Narrowing your audience means that you can better address their needs. You can speak directly to them in the way that is the most effective.
Even if your business has multiple audience personas, each piece of content you create should be geared to one specifically.
Consider if you were a clothing store, and you sold 80s-inspired tee shirts to men, women, and children. Your content would be more effective if you focused each post on one of those audiences rather than trying to sell to all of them at once. So for women, you could advertise ways to create different looks and style the shirts.
When gearing towards children, you would use the content about the durability of the shirts, or how stain-proof the material is. Finally, when speaking to men, you might focus more on comfort and how long the shirt can last.
Even though you are gearing your content towards one particular segment of your audience, it won’t hurt your sales. Instead, your audience will connect with you and feel seen, which will lead to more success.
Making better content is a constant process Even if you consider yourself a content-creating expert, there is always room for improvement. As the trends of the day change and algorithms update to prioritize different forms of content, your strategy will have to adapt.