5 Content Marketing Tips From an Experienced Content Marketer

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I have been doing content marketing long before the term took on its modern meaning. And in that time I have learned a lot about what works, what doesn’t work, and the difference between what content people want vs. the content they need. I have also come across a few content marketing tips that have made my job a little easier.

If you’re reading this, you’re probably familiar with the terms “content marketing” and “content strategy.” As a business owner, you want to know what the best strategy is for your business and how can content drive new sales. Should you be dedicating more resources to your content marketing? And, what’s the best way to measure results?

After nearly two decades in the content business, I am here to show you how you can embrace the power of content to take your business to the next level. Here are five content marketing tips I have picked up over the years:

1.      It’s Important to Know Your Audience

A lot of businesses that spend a lot of money on content somehow manage to skip this vital step in their content strategy. Perhaps it is because it is thought of being too labor intensive or too costly. Here’s the bottom line: Not doing audience research or building audience personas is a mistake.

Here’s the bottom line: Not doing audience research or building audience personas is a mistake. Click To Tweet

But does that mean a company living its content strategy without proper research will fail? Not necessarily. There are literally thousands of businesses operating just fine without personas in place. However, that doesn’t mean they couldn’t be doing better. In fact, many content marketing agencies will refuse to work with a client who doesn’t have or isn’t willing to build client personas. This is because it is nearly impossible to market to someone if you don’t know who they are, what they want, or why they want it.

Knowing your audience can be the difference between delivering “fluff” leads to your sales team and delivering real “qualified” leads that are relatively easy to convert. When you take into consideration the sheer amount of content available to consumers today, it’s clear that segmenting your content by audience is the only path.

2.      You Must Promote Your Content

content promotion

I get push back on this one quite a bit. Companies expect every piece of content to promote itself and “go viral.” Well, I am only going to say this once: The chances of any one piece of content going viral are slim to none. But that doesn’t mean the content isn’t good or effective. Content creators need to take a rational approach to digital when creating their strategy.

While content promotion methods will vary greatly company to company, a good rule of thumb is to spend an equal amount of time or more sharing and promoting your content as you did building it. But you should know that you might not be able to do it all, especially if you’re a smaller operation. With the convergence of email, social and search, it’s important to have a realistic idea of your bandwidth. If you need help, consider outsourcing your content marketing.

How, when, and where you decide to promote your content depends on your audience. The more you know about your audience, the better idea you will have of where to promote. For example, if your research shows that your customers are not too active on Pinterest, it might be wise to spend your money elsewhere.

3.      Never Stop Innovating/Brainstorming

Your content marketing strategy is a living, breathing thing. If it is well-fed and properly cared for it can grow into the success we all know it can be. When it comes to blogging, I am always brainstorming new ideas and topics to write about. As I am going about my day-to-day business, I routinely get questions from clients. I see these questions as an excellent opportunity to educate others and myself.

If you are getting the same questions over and over again from clients, that is a great place to start planning content. Another key is putting on your journalist hat and having a nose for news. If it makes sense for your company, put yourself out there. Build up the courage to say what most people are merely thinking.

Ideas are everywhere. For example, just writing this blog post has given me several new ideas for future blog posts, videos, infographics and more. Whenever I feel the well of content ideas starting to run dry, I gather a small group of people for a brainstorming session. A quick, well-organized brainstorming session can produce enough ideas to last a year or more, depending on how frequently you publish.

Content Marketing Tips: Your sales team is often a wealth of content ideas as they interact with customers on daily basis.

It’s also important to keep a watchful eye on your competitors. If your competitors are actively engaged in content marketing, find out what they are producing, how often, and where it’s being promoted.

4.      If You Produce It, You Have to Measure It

social sharing

I am obsessed with analytics. I monitor my web traffic on a daily basis (sometimes multiple times a day), looking at which pages are performing and which are not. Your website metrics are a good indicator of your businesses overall health. For instance, an unusual spike in traffic can mean one of your pieces of content is getting extra attention on social media or has been syndicated. These metrics will also tell you the source from which the traffic comes.

It’s also important to follow the path your customers travel to convert into a sale. You can learn more than you ever imagined about customer wants and needs and what content you should continue to invest in by monitoring their behavior on your website. And, of course, there’s the greatest metric of them all: Leads.

There really isn’t a better measure of how well a piece of content is doing than lead generation. Click To Tweet

There really isn’t a better measure of how well a piece of content or a web page is doing than by the MQLs and SQLs it produces. When a prospect converts to a lead, it’s the only sure sign you have that that visitor may one day become a paying customer. If you aren’t looking at the bottom line when monitoring the ROI on your marketing activities, you’re playing the game all wrong. After all, you’re here for one reason and one reason only: to gain a sale.

Content Marketing Tips: Comments and likes on both your blog and social media channels are another important metric to determine whether your customers relate to the content you’re producing.

5.      Be Flexible and Ready and Able to Shift Directions

Like I mentioned about, your content marketing strategy should be dynamic. The business world is way too fast paced to be tied to any one specific plan. While you definitely want to try to maintain the strategy you developed, change can and should be embraced when necessary.

Viewing your content strategy as a living, breathing document that’s never truly finished will help ensure the content you create never gets too old or becomes stale. As your business grows and adds new audiences, so too should your content strategy. Take a close look at what works and what doesn’t work and adjust your content marketing strategy as needed.

For the most part, if you should be able to give your content strategy a full update once every 12 months or so with smaller check-ins every six months.

We want to hear about your content marketing successes and failures. What works and doesn’t work for you? Let us know if the comments below.

For more information on how the Lorem Ipsum Company can help with your content marketing strategy or for a free content analysis or more content marketing tips contact us today.

Jeramy Gordon is the founder and Chief Content Officer at the Lorem Ipsum Company. He has been creating successful content strategies for almost two decades and believes in the power of high-quality content. He lives in Orange County, California, with his wife and two children.

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