Content marketing is a powerful marketing technique that can help your business succeed in the online space. It helps you establish your business as an authority on a topic, increases traffic to your website, helps your business reach new customers and much more!
If you intend on using content marketing in 2017, it is important to be aware that the strategies and techniques involved are continually evolving.
“The most awesome stage”
Last year, Facebook's VP of Design thought the TNW Conference main stage was the best she'd ever been on.
Marketers are constantly discovering new ways to create valuable content and use it effectively.
Here are five exciting techniques that will skyrocket your content marketing in 2017.
1. Combine the written word with visual content
Traditionally, content marketing has focussed on the written pieces only. Blog posts, eBooks, articles, white papers and so on. This is because it is very easy to create and share this type of content. It can be used on a website, emailed directly to customers or downloaded as a PDF.
In 2017, businesses will need to be more creative in the ways that they present content. They will have to use multiple types of content to make their material stand out in a crowded marketplace. That means combining text content with videos, audio, interactive components and visuals.
Some of the ways you can use visualisation to make your content marketing succeed include:
- Infographics that highlight key statistics mentioned in the article
- Short introductory videos that explain the purpose of the article
- Full-length videos that present the contents of the entire piece
- Interactive elements, such as maps and graphs that allow users to explore the information discussed in the article
- Interactive slideshows that make browsing the key points in your article simpler
Creating multiple forms of visual content gives your visitors the option to consume the content in the format they prefer — videos, images, infographics or interactive presentations. Having multiple forms of visual content also gives you the ability to share it on more platforms. You can upload your videos to Vimeo or Youtube, submit infographics to Visual.ly, post slide decks to Slideshare, or upload images to Snapchat, Instagram, and Pinterest. Users can share the other forms of visual content via social media, which can potentially increase the reach and engagement.
2. Make content that is highly targeted
As you might have noticed, there is a huge amount of content available online. There are billions of blog posts and articles covering nearly every topic known to a human being. For this reason, it is becoming increasingly important to avoid writing about generalised topics. Chances are there is already an article or blog post out there which tackles the same topic in great detail.
Instead, look for topics that are specialised to your audience or related to current affairs. Always carefully tailor your content to match the background and knowledge that your audience already has. If you focus on creating highly targeted content that your audience cannot get elsewhere, it will be considered highly valuable.
That being said, evergreen content still plays an integral role in any content marketing strategy. Hence, using a skyscraper technique, which mainly focuses on developing content that already ranks well by making it longer, more comprehensive and detailed can certainly level up your marketing game in 2017.
3. Focus on reader retention
Anyone running a business knows that it is much easier to retain a loyal customer than it is to find a new one! If you have built an audience that reads your emails or visits your website regularly, it is crucial that you spend some time thinking about reader retention.
Some of the best audience retention techniques include:
- Provide regular stream of quality, useful and relevant content
- Engage in a dialogue with your readers via the comments section or Twitter. This will help you build a relationship with your audience.
- Make it easy for your readers to obtain and subscribe to your content
- Create a seamless experience for readers to find your “best” content and related posts
- Offer incentives for readers to keep coming back, including competitions, giveaways, discounts on products, or access to special content.
- Use email marketing to reach your users directly
4. Embrace user-generated content
Internet marketers have discovered that users trust content made by other users. That includes comments on blog posts, discussions in forums, and shares via social media. When a user comments positively on your article, brand or product, it carries a lot of weight with other visitors.
Take advantage of user-generated content by encouraging your audience to engage with your work. Ask for feedback via Twitter, encourage comments on your blog, ask people to share your post via social media and so on.
5. Promote your content
Making fantastic content is a waste of time if it can’t be found by readers!
In 2017, most content marketers are concentrating on finding new ways to promote their most valuable pieces.
In addition to promoting your content through email marketing, social media and press releases — consider using paid promotion to highlight your phenomenal pieces. Consider investing into paid ads, such as Google Adwords, Facebook Ads and Stumble Upon.
You can also take advantage of paid content discovery networks like Outbrain and Taboola.
This post is part of our contributor series. It is written and published independently of TNW.