How can bloggers, writers, and marketers who are vying for the audience’s attention get their content noticed? As more and more content gets added to blogs and content destinations across the globe, how do you ensure that your content is the one that gets noticed, liked and shared?
A Google search on the phrase “content marketing” throws up over 6.2 billion results. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that the blogosphere is more than cluttered when it comes to content marketing. In fact, a search on the phrase on a content discovery engine, shows that 273 pieces of content were added in the last three days alone.
Making content that is useful and interesting is not good enough. While, that is a prerequisite for grabbing attention, breaking through clutter requires your content to be smart. Here are five ways to ensure that your content is smarter than the rest out there.
1. Make it well-researched
In order to make your content authentic and useful, ensure that it is well-researched and takes inspiration from a number of sources.
Your credibility as a writer and as a blogger comes from ensuring that your content adds real value to your audience with verified facts. This is all the more relevant in the current scenario where the power of social sharing has shown us how fake news can spread in a matter of hours. While responsible sharing is an important aspect of the conversation (59% of all links shared on social networks are simply shared without being clicked on), the onus to carry accurate information lies foremost on the author.
One of the best ways to ensure credibility content is to go beyond Google while researching content. There is just way too much to sift through to figure out which content sources are legitimate and which aren’t. A more worthwhile approach is to use content discovery engines that categorize content on the basis of engagement and other performance indicators. Here is a great list of tools that you can use.
2. Know when to post content
A constant recurring theme on social media promotion is whether brands should focus on being present on all channels or whether their distribution strategy should be focused on a few chosen platforms.
While a definitive answer to this question depends on a number of factors like the industry you’re operating in as well as your content objectives, one of the aspects that cannot be ignored is deciding when to post.
Here’s a great Hubspot infographic that shows you ideal times to post for the top five social platforms.
3. Be generous with links
Including links to relevant content in your own pieces has more than a few benefits. Rand Fishkin mentions some great points in his post on why this is a great practice to adopt.
A reader on your blog, website, or landing page is there because he believes that your page can give him some answers or solve some problem he’s facing. However, there is a limit to the amount of information you can include in your content without losing the plot altogether. On the other hand, if your content is peppered with the right links that lead to useful information on other sites, it increases the utility of your page a hundred-fold.
Imagine you’re writing an in-depth article on healthy foods that aid weight-loss. Your research would have lead to some great content sources on the topic. Include them in your own article so you pass on some of the goodness to your reader. Instead of considering yourself a know-it-all with all the answers, be generous in spreading good content further and be useful in the real sense!
4. Know who you are writing for
A lot has been written about the need to identify the persona you are selling to. It’s just as important, or more, to really know the person you are writing for. The content you create exists to either solve a problem or entertain or both. If you’re writing something that doesn’t check either one of these boxes, it’s unlikely to get noticed.
But more importantly, write something that you would like to read. Your content can be educational and informative without sounding boring. As David Ogilvy rightly said,
The best ideas come as jokes. Make your thinking as funny as possible.
Sungard’s Zombie Apocalypse Survival Plan campaign is a great B2B example of marketing campaigns that make the cut for being informative, fun, and hugely relevant to the product.
5. Be more visual
There are many factors that indicate that today’s world is more visual than ever before. Sites like Instagram, Pinterest, and Snapchat have overtaken Facebook and Twitter in their growth and adoption rates.
Research shows that the brain processes visuals 60,000X faster than text. The rise in use of infographics as a legitimate use of content is further evidence that visuals are here to stay. In fact, 37% of marketers state that visual marketing is an integral part of their overall strategy, second only to blogging (at 38%).
While executing design-intensive infographics require a certain level of proficiency that is not easy to come by, there are a lot of free sites that can help. Here’s a great list of free online design tools that can help you create great visually-rich and attractive content.
6. Send it out
One of the biggest errors made by bloggers is that they create content, promote it on a few social networking sites for a while and then forget about it.
Email and social media outreach is a great way of getting noticed by people who can benefit from your content. Such targeted content promotion will increase your chances of discoverability. While emails might not be as easy to come by, social media outreach is a great option too. Tools like Hootsuite help in finding people who post content around a particular topic. Find them and drop them a line or two with a link to your content. Even Twitter search is a pretty powerful and free alternative for content discovery, especially if you have a Twitter-heavy user base.
7. Network with the right influencers
Outreach can help get your content noticed by a lot more people. But taking it one step further involves identifying key influencers in the industry who can promote and endorse your content. Social media have increased the boundaries of influence and made it possible for anyone to become a thought-leader in their space. In fact, 92% of people trust recommendations from individuals over those made by brands.
Identify the influencers in your space and establish partnerships that encourage them to promote your content. Something as simple as a tweet from an influencer in your space can go a long way in getting more traffic back to your original content. Here’s a really cool infographic by Twitter that illustrates the value of influencers on the social networking site.
So, if you’re creating content for your audience and wondering if this will make the cut and grab their attention, just ensure it checks these boxes:
- Make it well-researched
- Know when to post
- Be generous with links
- Know who you are writing for
- Be more visual
- Send it out
- Network with the right influencers
Go forth, and conquer!