Now that you have a better understanding of content marketing, it’s time to get your efforts organized. Half of the work in creating a successful content marketing push is making sure your efforts have direction and purpose. Most people handle blogs and social media as an afterthought or a last minute Band-Aid. In reality, if time is put in to creating valuable content that talks to your audience at the right time in their decision-making process, it can be a very effective marketing tool.
Here are our top 10 tips to help you get your content marketing efforts in order.
1) Know Thyself
It is important to define your overall content strategy. Without clear goals and a set tone and voice, your content efforts can get lost in the mix. What makes your blog unique? What can you offer your target audience that somebody else cannot? Finding your niche is important when trying to stand out. For education, we are a hotbed of fresh ideas, student voices and research.
2) Know Thy Audience
In the organic search game, knowing your audience is key. Your goal is to provide valuable content to your audience, and the only way to do this is to understand what they are looking for and how to connect to them. Do a little research to determine the types of content that attracts your desired audience and where they are receiving it. Never underestimate analytics when making decisions about your audience.
3) Be Consistent
When attempting to build a relationship with customers it is vital to create expectations. Through consistent valuable postings you are more likely to get happy return visitors. If you post once one month, then seven times the next, you are creating a confusing situation that reflects badly on your reputation. Think about some of the bigger online magazines and their post schedule.
4) Be Relevant and Original
The goal of content marketing is to provide valuable content to your customers. Value can be defined as knowledge (through tips, awareness, etc.), or as an emotional connection. Creating original content that provides these elements at the right time is pivotal in building trust that converts to action. While it’s great to post fun cat videos, make sure you are on point and relevant to your goals.
5) Create Quality Over Quantity
Content takes time to develop and time is money. When thinking of what to create, be aware that quality content gives you more lasting value over quantity. It’s better to have four strong posts a month than eight weak posts since the permanence of the internet allows people to discover your quality content over time. We are in the game of building trust, not clickbait.
This video explains this concept well »
6) Organize with Editorial Calendars
Organization and strategy are important for effective marketing (and your sanity). We all work around certain timelines (like the academic calendar) and planning relevant content to be released at relevant times is important. Editorial calendars also help organize a larger group of submitters. Here is an article from unbound.com that explains how to create a successful editorial calendar.
7) Share the Wealth of Responsibility
Creating content is daunting, but when you are working with a larger group like a university, you have access to an abundance of creators to ease the workload. Make sure you are utilizing all the resources your environment has to offer. Faculty, staff, students, and alumni are all valuable content creators and give you some unique perspectives.
8) Always Be Looking for Stories
Half of the stress of managing a content marketing strategy is producing the content. This stress is often heightened due to the fact that everyone waits until the last minute. If you have the mentality that there is story potential in all activities, you will be better prepared when the right moment happens. This will train you and colleagues to be aware when running an event or developing a program to get photos, take some video, or even interview some students.
9) Diversify Your Content
The best blogs mix it up—a list here, a heartfelt story there, maybe some how-to guides. It’s important not only to create diversity in the type of post you publish, but also in the subject matter. Always stay on target, but keep it interesting and valuable.
10) Keep the Momentum
The endgame is just as important as the content creation. Great content goes only as far as you push it. And for many this ends at their blog. As content strategist you must promote your content to the world. Get your content in front of people so they click through. Some tactics include:
- Share your content everywhere – Social media is a glorious gateway to the masses.
- Start conversations, ask questions – Get people interested in the conversation. Ask them to participate at the end of your post and on social media.
- Ask influencers to share – If it’s relevant, then important people will want to share and discuss. Pass your content along.
- Promote content through pay-per-click ads – Organic pushing not cutting it? Try jumpstarting your campaigns with a little supplemental pay-per-click promotion of your content.
Whether it’s finding your voice, organizing contributors and content or following through once you’ve posted, the more you prepare in the beginning and make part of the routine, the less you have to worry about when writing your story.
Have any interesting tidbits of knowledge you’d like to share on the topic? Let us know in the comments.