Coming up with relevant topics and creating original, high-quality content can be a pain in the butt — especially, if you don’t have a proven content marketing system in place. However, it doesn’t have to be that painful process you need to go through every time you sit down to write your new blog post or article. There are some strategies to generate content in a more productive and effective way.
In today’s blog post, I’m going to highlight four steps aka strategies that will help you get from random content creation to a systematized approach that consistently delivers results.
Content marketing isn’t a short-term thing. It’s a long game. And it will work best, if your content is useful, educational and inspiring. So, if you expect to write a couple of blog posts and boost your traffic — you might wake up pretty quickly and realize that this simply doesn’t work. Successful content marketing means developing and executing an effective content marketing plan.
Last year, 93% of B2B marketers used content marketing in their promotional campaigns. This number alone indicates that content marketing is no longer nice to have; it’s a requirement.
I started blogging four years ago. During this time I’ve been inspired by Business2Community, Quicksprout, HubSpot, Jeff Bullas and other popular online content websites, whose lessons have taught me amazing ways to improve my content marketing strategy and generate good content faster. And if I can do it, so can you.
So, let’s have a look at four techniques you can instantly apply to your own business.
1. Create and document your content marketing strategy.
Developing a content marketing strategy is one thing. Documenting it, another.
Actually, documenting your strategy is what makes you become more effective and productive. You want to KNOW what content works and what not; you don’t want to guess and hope. This is one of the major benefits of having a content marketing system and process in place.
Recent research from the Content Marketing Institute found that 83% of B2B marketers have a content strategy, but only 35% have it documented.
And than you wonder why so many marketers struggle to gain traction…
How do you expect to write relevant content and reach your ideal customer, if you don’t have a plan? Stop wasting your time by releasing content with broad appeal. Focus on the content and topics your audience wants to consume and needs. Keep an eye on the following elements:
- Determine objectives
- Define your strategy
- Create a content marketing plan (document) and layout the type of content that resonates with your target audience
- Implement the plan, monitor progress and review
Think content calendar. Nothing fancy; a simple excel spreadsheet can do the job.
2. Swipe it – Maximize the use of your filing cabinet.
One of the most challenging ingredients of content marketing is coming up with a new topic or idea; generating a new piece of content that will resonate with your audience. This was one of the challenges I had early on.
How did I overcome it?
I introduced swipe files in my daily routine…
Swipe files are super powerful when used strategically. Every time I read an article about a topic that I think would resonate with my target audience I put it into my idea filing cabinet. When I attend conferences, trade shows and live events I gather ideas and write them down into my notepad. Online webinars are another fantastic resource for coming up with new ideas for content.
Is this an efficient marketing system?
You bet it is.
Having a swipe file with a month’s worth of ideas, makes the entire process more fun. Instead of dragging yourself to your laptop thinking “what on earth am I going to write about this time?” you basically open your content calendar and pick a topic.
Do you have to stick to your editorial calender?
No, you can be flexible. You can always include hot new topics that affect your industry. However, having planned your content ahead of time will reduce the amount of time needed to write your next blog post or article.
This simple productivity tip will cut your content marketing prep time by at least 30%. We both know that time matters a lot.
3. Pick keywords and create multiple headlines.
Numbered headlines, “how to” headlines and negative headlines get clicked more often. Fact is, if your headline isn’t enticing, you won’t get the click.
Therefore setting aside time to brainstorm and generate click-worthy headlines is of great importance. To get the most out of your sessions, use the following free headline generators provided by BuzzFeed, Upworthy or Portent.
Furthermore, ensure that the content on your website is consistent with your keywords. Use the tools I mentioned above to create multiple headline variations that include the same keyword.
4. Repurpose your content.
There are two important pieces to the content marketing coin: creation and distribution.
A lot of marketers forget the latter. However, promoting your content is as important as creating it. In this last step I’d like to focus on the marketing part of the content creation process and that is: repurposing.
People like to consume different types of content (e.g. blog posts, videos, audios) and use a multitude of devices, as well as channels (e.g. Twitter, Facebook, word-of-mouth, live events) to access information. Obviously, this needs to be considered when developing your content marketing system.
Therefore, ensure you are very strategic with your content as well as your time. Increase productivity and gain more traction by repurposing your content.
Wrapping It Up
Random content creation might provide some sort of short-term gains. However, if you want to build a successful business that provides quality content your audience loves to consume and engage with, you better invest time into establishing sound content marketing systems and processes that are guaranteed to deliver the results you want.
Whether you’re creating content to increase the number of leads generated, improve organic search rankings, or connect with your target audience on a deeper level, having a proven content marketing strategy will help you accomplish more in less time.
How can documenting your content marketing strategy save you time and money?