Content marketing is very important and must be implemented as part of any marketing strategy.
While it is one element of many that work towards building your brand, website and conversions, it is one that often requires a lot of time and effort.
However, if you know how to do it well, content can work hard across multiple platforms of your marketing, making vast improvements as it goes.
Trying to produce new content every month is hard enough, while also thinking about your organic traffic, your conversions and everything else that comes with running a business online.
This means the content is often left as one of the forgotten pieces of the puzzle. That’s why I’ve come up with 8 of the best ways to make your content work for you and get on top of what sounds like a daunting task.
Keep track of your content and organise it
Writing content is one thing, but having a way of organising it is something that you should definitely do.
Even if you set aside a few hours now, producing a calendar for future use, it will benefit you so much.
Whether you use an Excel sheet, put things as recurring annually or monthly in your Outlook Calendar or introduce a specific online project management tool, you will find that having something to organise your content helps keep you on track.
I use a tool called Trello. I have boards that relate to content I want to write, I have boards for every month of the year and content that sits on those boards.
Sometimes the content recurs (maybe it’s a national day or anniversary) and sometimes the content may never be relevant again (trending topics, pop culture references etc).
However, having it on my Trello calendar means I see it again and make the decision to use it in some of the ways I mention above.
It also helps me save time and prevents me from forgetting anything. It helps you to stop using content reactively or for the sake of it and encourages you to plan ahead and slot something in when it will be most effective.
2. Repurpose old content
Coming across old content can feel like digging up a rare ruby in the midst of an Indiana Jones-style mission.
You made this content and it should be there for you at the time you wrote it and for future use too.
If you are aware of your content you can potentially prepare to recycle the content at another time.
A good way to repurpose old content is to bring together all the “help” articles or “how-to” articles that you’ve written and provided an article that is full of links to your other pieces. For example, “Top 10 Tips to..” or “Our Guide to…”
Another way to bring content together like this is to do monthly roundups or theme-based roundups.
3. Update old posts
Perhaps you wrote something on the environment for Earth Day last year, which talks about your eco-friendly product.
This piece may seem like it is only ever going to be relevant to Earth Day a year ago, but actually, could you edit the post slightly to make it relevant some time else?
I’m not suggesting you crack the same old article out every time there’s a remotely “green” theme in the media, but this could be referred back to or adjusted for another day here and there.
Being sensible is obviously key when it comes to repurposing and editing old content – and data provided by Google Search Console is simply invaluable here.
The image below shows exactly the results this strategy can create – article’s performance skyrocketed hours after the content has been updated!
Listicles are articles that are in the form of a list, they’re easy to pull together and one of the most engaged forms of online written content.
In fact, right now you are reading a listicle – this has a lot of words but yours can be far simpler if you wish!
Some listicles take very little work and actually very little content writing, but without sacrificing quality.
For example, let’s say you’re a tech company selling your own brand of computer tablets, perhaps you could do a top 10 apps for (well a variety of subjects) – apps for binge-watching, apps for organising your affairs, apps for small business owners etc.
All you need to do is spend some time researching, check the app stores and speak briefly about each app. Maybe with a photo of each in use, on the screen of one of your tablets. This way you’re doing some subtle product placement too.
5. Demonstrate industry expertise
Stay on top of what is going on in your industry, this is an area you’re passionate about after all.
For example, if you’re a freelance SEO consultant, you should be able to report on the latest news from the SEO and digital marketing fields.
If there’s not enough going on, compile a list of summaries and sources (this can be helpful as it opens up the floor to relationships with other businesses and you may be able to negotiate backlinks which will help your SEO too).
This point helps on so many levels! SEO, content development and also proving you’re an industry leader which will give your customers trust and faith in you/your product.
6. Use your people
There are people behind all businesses – whether it’s the customers or the employees.
If you can create content that is about your people/references your people / has photos of your people (remember to have permission!) then it is more likely to get shared on social media and be engaged within general.
Top tip for this one: remember to tell the people you feature that you featured them, otherwise they might miss it!7. Breakdown big articles into individual smaller posts
You may have written a large listicle (a bit like this) or you may have a series of in-depth articles which you wrote to display your industry knowledge.
But have you thought about how you could break down these articles into smaller, easier to consume pieces?
You will save time because you’ve already done the research and it’s a topic you’re familiar with.
You don’t need to sacrifice your quality, the articles can just be smaller – don’t let this worry you.
Focus on answering one question and being clear and concise. You’ll see this improve your ranking fantastically.
8. Stay on top of the news that is relevant to you
We’ve discussed industry news, but what about hot topics and trends?
Let’s say you’re a bakery. It would be a shame to miss out on something that is bound to trend because you weren’t following the news.
For example, a royal wedding has just happened. As a bakery, you could speculate on the wedding cake. Or perhaps you have something in your content archives that you could dig out about wedding cakes in general? Posting it too late won’t have the same effect as if you post it when it’s most relevant.
You don’t have to read newspapers back to back to be good at this. Just check news home pages or have an app on your phone that gives you today’s headlines.
Hopefully, all 8 of these points are something you can begin to implement in your own content strategy.
Start with getting organised and you will reap the rewards with content that works for you on multiple platforms, improves your SEO and builds your brand.
I’m a UK based freelance SEO consultant and digital marketer and I provide results-driven online consulting and digital marketing services to SMEs. Are you ready to grow in 2020? Get in touch today!