Did you know that 91% of B2B marketers use content marketing1 because it generates three times as many leads as outbound marketing and costs 62% less?2
So, we’re all producing content, sometimes multiple pieces of content per day. But how do you get your content noticed? How do you ensure it contributes to lead generation?
We spend more time getting noticed than actually producing content, so we thought it would be helpful to share what we have learned. Once we'd documented all of our ideas, we were surprised to see the extensive list of lessons we've learned as marketing consultants over the past 13 years. Here are 15 tips to help you get the most of the content you produce.
Prepare and Plan
1. Understand Your Audience
Is your audience your existing customers or prospective customers? Defining your ideal customer provides tremendous clarity for your content marketing strategy. What keeps your idea customers awake at night that your product or solution helps with? Answering that question will help you get interest in your content.
2. Make Sure Your Content Adds Value To Your Customers
Other than providing the answer(s) to what keeps them awake at night, other value-add content could be ROI calculators, handy checklists, case studies showing resolution and much more. Give something valuable away for free and you’ll get noticed.
3. Don’t Just Write About What YOU Want To Write About
What does this mean? Make sure your topic is something that is of interest to your audience. Check that your prospective clients are searching for this content. There are a few software tools like Moz and SEMRush that help you understand what people are searching for. If no one is searching for your content, it’s unlikely to get noticed, regardless of how you follow the other tips here.
4. Use Approved Search Engine Optimization Tactics
Now that you have an idea of what people are searching for, you can develop a keyword list. But, don’t just stuff those keywords or phrases into your article – use them naturally and thoughtfully in order to avoid getting penalized by the search engines you’re trying to attract.
Write the Content
5. It All Starts With The Title
Make sure your title is interesting! We know that people like lists, how to guides, negative titles like “Don’t Do X!” Use those. Stay away from long-winded academic titles with many words – unless that is your audience (see Tip #1).
6. Back It Up With Data
You can say anything you want, after all it's your marketing! However, you’ll increase your chances of attracting readers by backing up your claims with research. And if you go to the effort of doing research, remember to attribute your data with footnotes. Accusations of plagiarism won’t help your lead generation (although we couldn’t find a statistic to prove that).
7. Make It Readable
And by readable, we mean scanable. Organize your content in a list with headings. Very few people enjoy reading dozen and dozens of unbroken paragraphs. Lists and headings allow your reader to scan your content and focus on what is important to them, which helps get you noticed.
8. Use Analogies
Analogies help you communicate by using a concept that everyone already understands. This practice helps you avoid writing content that is not clear or concise.
9. Don’t Be Afraid of FOMO
Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) works, because negative messaging often works better than positive messaging. One A/B test saw a 47% increase in click-throughs when using a negative message.3 This is because we weigh negative information more carefully than positive. We pay attention more. Just don’t overdo this!
Make It Look Good
10. Get Your Art On
Design can improve the readability of your content. Use larger fonts and complimentary colours to highlight the points you want your readers to remember. Articles with images get 94% more total views4. Including a photo and a video in a press release increases views by over 45%4.
11. Emphasize Your Differences
Consider using the von Restorff effect, also known as the "isolation effect" which predicts that when multiple homogeneous stimuli are presented, the stimulus that differs from the rest is more likely to be remembered.5 So, similar to a spot the differences campaign, designing one element to help draw attention by making it very different. (This applies to content writing as well!)
Promote the Content
12. Don’t Keep It A Secret - Tell People Its There
This seems obvious. Except we often see content that isn’t properly promoted. Use all of your available internal and external communication channels. That includes email, your newsletter (if you have one), social media and your website. Then, start to pay and consider paid search, email syndication, paid placement and partnerships. You’ll want to use all channels when you have really great content and save budget when promoting blogs.
13. Don’t Use All Your Channels At Once
Use your channels over days or even weeks. It helps with repetition and helps the longevity of your content. You will get more views if you use more channels more often.
14. Don’t Be Shy!
Ask others to promote your content. This is a whole stand-alone strategy and often is a large part of a campaign but you can start small. That includes your employees as well. They have networks of their own that can help increase exposure. But, use this only if you’re willing to be a good citizen and promote other content as well.
15. Tell People Why Your Content Is Important
I know! You think this is obvious too. But, it’s part of the art of marketing. It shows that you understand your buyer, know what keeps them up at night, that you can articulate the benefits of what you are promoting and most importantly, that you can solve their problem.
Overwhelmed or confident? We hope you will notice a spike in engagement with your content. If not, contact us.
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