Worried you’re making boring content?
Struggling to engage people with your blog posts and videos?
Can’t figure out why no one likes, comments or shares what you’ve created? Changing your content from blah to bling might be easier than you think. We’ve got 5 essential content marketing tips you shouldn’t miss.
In this article, we’ll share our secrets by giving you the following top five content marketing tips:
- Planning stuff properly
- Making sure your content stays relevant
- Staying ahead of the curve
- Great storytelling
- Getting the right flow
Let’s dig in!
1. Figure Out What You Want People To Think, Feel & Do
The only thing worse than staring at a blank page wondering what on earth to write is bashing out whatever comes to mind and totally wasting your readers’ time! Everything you create must have a point to it.
Your three key starting points should be: what am I trying to persuade people to think here? What do I want them to feel when they read / watch / listen to this? And ( most importantly) what do I want them to do when they get to the end?
For example, let’s say you’re organising a conference on entrepreneurship and you’re writing a blog post as part of your marketing. You want readers to think: these guys are a smart, well-connected bunch who really understand my startup’s challenges. You want them to feel: excited and fired up for what they can achieve with the right advice. And do? Well, you want them to sign up for your conference, of course.
Once you’re clear on this stuff, you can start to figure out a logical way to achieve this. Even if it’s a super short piece, be sure to plan it out carefully before you start writing, focusing on your three goals the whole time.
So, in the example above, you could ask your headline speakers to each give you a quote about the best piece of advice they got when they were starting out, how that helped them reach mega-success, and what they’ll be talking about in their own presentations at the conference – ending with a call-to-action that links to your ticketing page.
2. Create Evergreen Content
If you’re putting all this effort and energy into creating a sparkling copy and engaging content, you want this to be useful and relevant for as long as possible. Unless you’re tying into a specific event, try to think of topics that will still be interesting and useful to your readers in a year’s time.
Tips, advice and guides are always a good shout. They do well in Google searches and tend to get lots of shares. What’s more, you can re-post or update them in the future without it seeming weird, helping you to squeeze as much value as possible from a single piece of content.
3. … But Also Be Current!
While you want as much of your content as possible to be timeless, it’s also crucial to be totally up-to-date. If you haven’t caught up on all the latest developments in your industry, readers or viewers will be hesitant to trust you with their business.
For example, let’s say you’re an accounting firm, creating a video that gives advice on submitting your end of year accounts. Great idea! Unless, of course, you fail to mention a vital piece of new legislation, forget that a submission date has changed, or keep referring to software that most of your clients moved on from donkey’s years ago.
In some industries, like marketing, things are so competitive and so fast-moving that any advice (or content marketing tips) that sounds a bit outdated is very bad news for your reputation. Remember that your audience is looking to learn something they don’t already know. Don’t just rehash old news and try to pass it off as valuable content.
4. Tell a Story
Yesterday I was talking to a buddy of mine who spent the last twenty years as a paramedic in New York. Man, that guy has seen some scary stuff. He told me something that really stuck with me, and that made me think in a whole new way about the way smartphones and social media have changed the way we act.
Okay, that’s a lie. I don’t know any New York paramedics. But I bet you were riveted, weren’t you? We’re hardwired to love storytelling. We can’t help being drawn into an anecdote and we respond better to one real-world example than a thousand words of theory. Use that to your advantage. It’s powerful stuff.
5. Read It Aloud
Don’t just proofread your work for mistakes. Read it aloud, too. How does it sound? Does it flow? Is it conversational? Were there any bits that sounded a bit awkward, or where you kind of lost track of the argument? Go back and rework them.
This is especially important if you’re writing a video script because you need to write these for the ear and not for the eye. Even if you’re writing a blog post, though, keep sentences short, clear and easily digestible.
You want your reader to fly through the article, taking everything in, without getting bored or confused half way through. As a rule of thumb, it should sound like a smart friend explaining something they’re passionate about over dinner: engaging, eloquent and jargon-free.
Armed with these content marketing tips, you should be ready to translate your expertise into awesome content! I’ll leave you with this: always ask yourself, when you look back over what you’ve written: If I hadn’t made this, would I genuinely be impressed by it? Would I find it interesting and insightful? Would I feel compelled to forward it to a colleague or friend? If so, you’ve nailed it. If not, your work is not yet done.
Ah, if you want more content marketing tips, SEO tricks, business growth advice and, of course, email marketing tips and best practices check out our blog.