Ah, end of the year. It’s always time for reflection and that’s what I’ve been doing during these dark, cold evenings. I’ve been thinking that content marketing just for the sake of it is like a warm bath. It’s ok but you want it hotter.
Being in business, it’s tough. Everyday demands leave little bandwidth to look ahead and work on where you’re going with the business. So what should you focus on, what should you do next with your content marketing?
Where you are now is a good a place any to get started. Think of it like a stock take. A stock take for your content marketing? Absolutely – it’s time to review what you have, what’s working, the content you need to create and where you need your marketing (and business) to go. Ask yourself these questions for your content marketing stock take and then use our matrix to know what to keep and what needs to be ditched!
- What do we have?
- What content do we want to create?
- Brainstorm content ideas
So now you know what you have. We’ve got a list of our essentials that you need in 2018 and if you’re missing any of the following, you might want to add them to your to-do list.
Content marketing musts for 2018
Whether you call it a blog or news section, we think every website should have one. And blogs should be posted regularly too. It shows that your business is active online and will help to attract visitors – blogs offer a great opportunity for search engine optimisation (SEO) so you can be found for specific keywords and long tail searches. For SEO we’d recommend blogs have a minimum of 300 words in length but you need to get to know your audience and what they like (humans first). Longer blogs, say 2000 words, will rank more easily but you have to figure out what works for your brand. I love on Medium how the site tells you this is an 8 minute read or a 14 minute read, helps me plan those coffee breaks.
If your blogs provide value and great information, your readers are likely to share on social media. Giving you even further reach online – and the traction you build from content is all yours and will be online forever.
If you still have any doubt that need quashing just remember this: it helps to build confidence, relationship and sales. Clients and potential clients will look to you as a reliable source of information for the industry you’re in and want to work with you. Like we said, they can help improve your website’s SEO, increase traffic to your website via inbound links and help you to show off your expertise. No brainer, right?
We love a good ebook and I’m not ashamed to say that I have several hundred in my downloads folder waiting for a rainy day to sit and read them all. Ebooks are so versatile, you can have them as downloads on your website, LinkedIn profile, you can email them to potential customers and even have them as a ‘leave behind’ after a sales meeting.
If you’re not sure what to write about, we’ve tended to use our blog and the popularity of certain types of content to develop that into something more in-depth and generate an ebook. We wrote a quirky little blog likening the content of a website to the layers of a pizza, it got quite a response so we took the concept and developed an ebook. Check it out if you like (but not if you’re hungry).
Personally if an ebook title interests me, I’ll download it even if I have to give away my email address. But I say let the people have their cake and eat it, don’t put a barrier in front of users – just give them the ebook! Yes your competitors may grab a copy and you won’t get that potential customer’s valuable email address… your brand is in their hands so that’s a win as far as I’m concerned.
As designers, of course we love a good infographic! These are a quick, eye-catching way to visualise information and share it with your audience. Not everyone likes to hang around and read blogs but if they’re scrolling through their news feeds and you shove something memorable under their nose, hey presto!
The human brain processes visual information 60,000 times faster than things we hear. And the retention rate is 65% higher too. We’re clever little clogs aren’t we! Use infographics and well branded imagery to your advantage. Not to mention you can optimise the graphics for those pesky little SEO keywords we talked about too.
Have a rummage through your old blogs and think about what you could repurpose into an infographic. It’s ok to repeat yourself online, you might hit a different target audience at a different time of day with a different medium.
By planning your content a few weeks (or months) in advance, it’ll help you to organise and think ahead so you can stay on track with your content marketing goals. There’s also an opportunity to tie that into holidays and awareness days etc so you can take advantage of social media and hashtags