Content marketing: Some basic tips and advice

Content marketing: Some basic tips and advice
Lauren Smith is a Boston-area content strategist who has written hundreds of posts and reports on email marketing and design. Lauren currently heads content marketing at Litmus, a web-based email creation, testing, and analytics company, where she oversees the strategy, creation and execution of a variety of marketing content, including blog posts, infographics, landing pages, and press releases. In her spare time, she enjoys trying out new recipes, traveling, and debating the Oxford comma.

Content marketing opens an avenue for brands to reach and engage with their audiences. However, many marketers can get stuck in front of the same audience, which can create stagnant growth and inconsequential leads.

The good news is that expanding your audience isn’t as challenging as it may seem.

With a few simple steps, targeting and connecting with new audiences using insightful and valuable content will result in increased sharing and audience growth.

Create content people want to read and share

If you’re running out of new and interesting topics to explore, looking to resources such as Buzzsumo can help you get a better understanding of what’s being shared within your industry.

If you find that what you typically publish is off-base from what’s trending, this can be a good indicator of why your content isn’t going viral. Getting an idea of what people are interested in can help guide your content in the right direction.

Inspiration can also come from monitoring Q&A websites like Quora. Here, you can get a good idea of industry-wide questions and see what others in your industry want to learn more about.

Determining which format resonates best with your different personas can help amplify the impact of your content

Following conversations on social media is another way to obtain a deeper understanding of trends within your industry. Use these insights to craft content around questions people have and challenges they are facing.

If you’re creating helpful content that people are genuinely interested in, they are more likely to share it with others, expanding your reach.

Make it easy to share your content

If your followers can’t find a share button, it’s highly unlikely that they will go through much trouble to share your content with their networks.

Including social sharing links on your posts, as well as within eBooks, whitepapers, videos, and podcasts, will allow people to easily share your content, thereby increasing the reach of your brand.

Reach new audiences with influencer marketing

One of the best ways to get in front of a new, larger audience and get on the radar of key industry influencers is to quote and reference their work. Linking to well-known people within your industry validates and boosts your content quality.

In addition, your reference may increase the likelihood of a share from the influencer—increasing both your audience reach and content value. Every share can lead new people back to you.

Utilise partner marketing relationships 

Make the most of any partnerships you have with co-marketing initiatives, event sponsorships, or other collaborations. It’s likely that your partners will have an audience with similar interests to yours.

By linking content back to each other, and encouraging partners to share your content with their networks, your chances of getting in front of new eyes will increase.

Focus your content on specific personas

In order to expand your reach, avoid writing for for an all-encompassing audience. Get a good understanding of your existing audience and focus on different subsets, called personas, within it.

Since different personas have different needs, mapping out the interests of each one will not only help you target and narrow down the content you produce, but will also help to promote to those subsets as well.

Targeted, relevant content pieces are more likely to resonate with sub-audiences and engage them, helping to amplify the impact and effectiveness of the piece.

Utilise different content avenues

Content marketing doesn’t only mean blogging. Whether it’s an eBook, webinar, SlideShare presentation or podcast, people prefer to consume content in different ways.

Determining which format—or combination of formats—resonates best with your different personas can help amplify the impact of your content.

Different formats are also great for repurposing content in a variety of ways.

For example, if you’ve written a highly shared blog post, why not a host a webinar on the matter? This gives your audience a great new avenue to engage and share.

Content is king for a reason

Focus on building connections by providing content your audience cares about.

In order to continue growing, you need to reach new audiences. Content marketing will be a critical tool in any marketer’s toolbox to do so—not by busting out blog post after blog post, but by creating and tailoring relevant, helpful content of interest to your audience.

Make it so good, they can’t help but share it.

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