If you write content, you’ll know how long it takes. It’s not just about the time and the money, but as a content creator, you put your heart and soul into everything you write.
This is where the 4 Rs of content marketing comes in. It puts the oomph back into what you’ve written before and gives it a whole new lease of life.
So, let’s take a look at those 4 Rs of content marketing:
As a content creator, you’ll have written hundreds of blog posts or articles and, in order to reorganise that content, you need to take a long, hard look at that older content. How can you repurpose some of your content and make it into something else?
You could tie some blog posts together and make an eBook that you can sell, or give away as part of a lead magnet. You could make an infographic, or break down a post into several parts and make social media posts. And the great bit about that is that you’ve already done all the hard work to produce the content in the first place – it’s just about repurposing it into something new and fresh for your audience.
Sometimes you will come across an old piece of content that is just past its sell-by date! It might be that things have moved on and it is no longer relevant, or it could be that it just wasn’t something that performed well and probably still wouldn’t.
The other thing to look at is, ‘is this still relevant to my target audience?’ If it isn’t something that they would care about, it’s time to retire that content.
I’ve talked about retiring old content that is out of date and no longer relevant to your target audience. However, you don’t want to simply delete or archive that content, as it may have good links attached to it or great SEO (search engine optimisation). Have a look at ways that you may be able to replace it with something more vibrant and current…revamp it!
It could be that you can rewrite some of it – has technology moved on, so you can update some of the information that is out of date? Can you add new statistics? Don’t forget to also add new images and bring your design up to date, so it’s more in keeping with how you do things now.
Everything you write, or have written in the past, has its value, so updating is a very worthwhile exercise. Simply put a note at the top of the article, blog or whatever, saying when the article was first published and noting that it’s been updated with new information.
Do you read other peoples’ content? I’m sure you do, but most of us only remain focused on something for a few minutes, unless it is something we are personally interested in. The internet has so much information, with loads of articles on similar subjects, that choice for your reader is vast.
So, ensure that your readers stay on your page. But how?
Make your content easy to read and easy to scan for information. Use bullet points, small paragraphs, headings and sub-headings and numbered lists. This breaks up the text and makes it easier to read.
Don’t forget to put a CTA (call to action) at the end so they know what to do next and you could offer an incentive to go somewhere else on your website, such as a freebie that takes them to an opt-in to your newsletter. For more useful articles on marketing, please visit my blog.If you need some help with writing creative content for your blog, website or social media posts…or if you’d like help creating your lead magnet, please feel free to email me – firstname.lastname@example.org
According to the Content Marketing Institute, “Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”
Content marketing isn’t anything new, but it is a term bandied about a lot in marketing circles. Those who have always got involved in the traditional kind of marketing would argue that they use content to advertise. But this is the crux of the matter and where the differences lie.
Traditional marketing vs Content marketing
Larger businesses will typically use traditional marketing as it is the kind of content that is pushed into the view of the public. For example, TV commercials, radio ads, print ads, brochures etc. You will see traditional marketing everywhere; on billboards, sides of buses, the ad breaks in the cinema, but they are all high end marketing which require a big budget to reach that large audience.
For the small business, content marketing is the way to go; it involves having a content marketing strategy, which comprises of all types of content being created and then published online in multiple locations. Instead of forcing your content on the public, your content will sit online forever, with the end goal of attracting your ideal audience or customer.
Content marketing is also different in that it doesn’t concentrate on just advertising your products or services, it’s about drawing your audience in by providing useful information that is helpful and solves problems. Your readers can follow you on social media to read more of your content, or follow your blog, in order to find out more. This helps you gain a loyal audience who trust you…and ultimately, will sign up to your email list in return for some kind of offer…be that a newsletter or a freebie checklist or e-book.
What kind of content can I share online?
When your audience find your content useful, their connection to you and your brand is strengthened. They will share your content, so that your audience widens further. So, what kind of content can you share?
Your website copy (this is everything you write about on your business website)
Social Media posts (status updates, tweets etc.)
Guest posts on other websites
To make your content work, it needs to be optimised for your target audience and it needs to be relevant to the niche you are in.
How do you market your valuable content?
Now you have your content online, what do you need to do to market it?
If you have a website for your business, you can add a blog to it, so you are creating content that people will see when they visit your website.
Do you have a ‘subscribe to email’ button on your website? If not, do it! When you have subscribers, you can send them a monthly email as a newsletter. You can include:
Links to any blogs you’ve written
Details of new products or services
Send links to videos you’ve produced on YouTube
Links to any podcasts your record
Links to any articles, news or videos you think they might be interested in (not ones that you’ve done)
Generally talk about new trends in the marketplace, a little bit about you and what you’ve been up to, ask questions make them feel like part of an exclusive ‘club’.
You can also enable buttons so that your audience can follow you on your social media channels
Share your content to all your social media pages. You will have different audiences on Facebook to those you have on LinkedIn for example, and again different to those you connect to on Instagram.
You can schedule your posts, so you’re not constantly on social media (and therefore getting distracted by other things!).
Share the link to your blog in your profiles on social media.
Ask questions linked to your content and respond to anyone who makes a comment. In fact, respond to any comment you get and thank people through messenger or private DM for following you.
Share you blog posts as soon as you publish them. The more immediate responses, likes and shares you get, the more credibility your post gets.
Share your blog posts more than once…share again the next day, with a different caption and image. And again a week later. This way, you will pick up people you have missed, or who didn’t see your original post.
If you notice that an old blog post went well and got lots of engagement, then share that again…not all of your posts, just the ones that had great stats.
Posts with images get better engagement, so really think about the images you use to entice your audience in. There are lots of free image sites out there (such as Pixabay, Pexel, Unsplash and Canva) that you can download licensed images for commercial use. DON’T just google images and use one as you could be fined for copyright.
Join groups on social media and participate in group discussions, giving advice, answering questions etc. This helps get your name known and helps you get seen as an expert in your niche. They also have ‘share your blog post/business page’ type events, which help get your content in front of a different audience.
Use hashtags, which categorise your content for your audience.
You can also pay to boost your reach on social media.
Write a guest post for someone else’s website or blog – you then tap into their audience.
Make sure your blog/website has social media sharing buttons, so your audience can click to go look at your social media sites.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
Choosing the right keywords will help your content get seen.
Google’s keyword planner will help you pick the right keywords and help you brainstorm ideas. Log into the Google Ads platform with your account, then choose ‘Tools and Settings’, ‘Schedule’ and then ‘Keyword Scheduler Tool’.
Write a long, compelling blog post and use your keyword(s) and variations of it throughout the blog.
Optimise your whole post for the keyword you decide on. Include your keyword in… – your title – your Meta description – your main headline (H1) – use the keyword frequently throughout your blog post, without stuffing it anywhere – it has to make sense! And you don’t want Google to think you are being spammy! – Use related keywords in subheadings and in the first 100 words of your main body of text. – use your keyword in your URL slug – use keyword and related keywords in your tags and categories
Internal links: A good way to get your content noticed is to build internal links into your blog post. This simply means that you link to previous posts you’ve written. For example, in this article, you will see highlighted phrases or words – these are links to articles I’ve written about that subject before, so my audience can take a look at those.
Revisit your older blogs from time to time and add internal links to newer blogs that you’ve written.
External links: where other people link to your blog post.
If you send out a newsletter email, ask your customers to share a link to your blog posts.
When you publish your blog on social media pages, ask your audience to share.
If you publish entertaining or educating blogs that capture your audience’s attention, they are more likely to share.
A headline really matters – the ones that seem to get the most traffic are lists, how to, or a question. Also, headlines that contain numbers, e.g. 101 ways to …….
Emotional headlines also seem to hit the mark too, as well as a bit controversial headlines!
Using great images can help market your content. Images don’t just have to be photos; it can be GIFs, infographics, graphics or video. These help capture and keep the attention of your audience.
If you have a Pinterest account, make sure your images can be pinned (shared) by other Pinterest users.
If appropriate, also put a caption on any image as this helps with search engines – images alone won’t necessarily be picked up by search engines, but if there is text, they will be.
Revisit and repurpose your content
Revisit your old posts and content regularly. Revisiting content means you can update it with new information, add new images/infographics and maybe add a short video you’ve made on the subject.
You can also repurpose posts into e-books, video or a podcast. You can also use ideas from them to make social media posts.
I’ve shared loads of different ways to market your content. But the most important thing to keep in mind when marketing is to always have your customer/target audience at the heart of everything you do. Do it for them, aim it at them, and make sure it’s something you know that they will be interested in.
Keep your brand in mind and write in your own particular style – don’t try and copy anyone else. Keep your content original and engaging. Remember, content should always entertain, educate and engage your audience.
If you found this post valuable, please share on your social media site. And if you have any further ideas as to how to market content, please leave a note in the comments box.
Happy content writing and please get in touch if you need help with your content!
Do you dream of being able to write creative content that is persuasive and that inspires your readers? It’s all about structuring your content so that your article is appealing and irresistible!
There are four forms of content…
No matter which medium you’re working on, it’s crucial that your content is valuable and useful to your reader…or they simply won’t read it and it won’t resonate with them. Your articles need to help solve a problem or improve their life in some way. This will also help set you up as an expert in your field.
Create a content strategy
Your content strategy is your why, who and how. Why you are creating it, who is it aimed at and how are you going to get it out there. Businesses use content marketing to build an audience and to either increase their revenue, lower their costs or to get better customers. For me, it’s about engaging with my audience and, almost as a proof point to illustrate that I know what I’m talking about and am experienced in this field.
Publishing content is great, but it also needs to be published consistently. It needs to educate, entertain or inspire your audience. This way you can turn total strangers into followers and then those followers into customers. You do this by building relationships and solving problems.
Know your audience
Once you know what your strategy is, you need to build the content around your audience. What makes them tick? What problems do they have? What do they look like? If you know your audience well and know what they want, you can really deliver.
Now you’re ready to choose which form of content to use. Try and utilise a mixture as this will help keep your audience’s attention.
This is the most popular and most used way to communicate with your audience. There are lots of different ways to communicate using the written word…
Blogging – Blogging is about writing relevant, useful, informative and entertaining copy. A blog is a regular, consistent post. Your audience can follow your blog, and so get informed automatically every time you publish a new one. Anyone can start up a blog about absolutely any subject you can think of! There are cookery blogs, health and fitness, nutrition, fashion, travel, crafting…you name it, and I can guarantee it’s out there.
A blog post can be as long or as short as you like – you will soon get to know what your audience likes. Use SEO (search engine optimisation) to get ranked higher in search engine results and use categories and tags to make your blog easier to find.
Email – A direct way to communicate with your followers. If you have a ‘subscribe to email’ button on your website, you can regularly keep in touch with your customers and followers. Just be aware not to overdo it and bombard people with emails every day, or use them solely to sell or push your products/services, or you will find lots of ‘unsubscribes’.
Newsletters – These used to be hard copy, but most businesses send these out via email nowadays. It is, in effect, an email as in the last point, but this is specifically your newsletter. Again, don’t go mad with the frequency – once a month is great and also more manageable for you too. You can give news on what you’re doing in your business, any new products or services on the horizon or any freebies you might have created. Or, it might be just some interesting information you want to share, or hints and tips. And of course, you can use it to share links to your blog post.
Podcasts are very popular and are growing in numbers every day. There are less podcasts out there, than there are blogs, so it is a good one to try for your business. Like blogs, they can be about absolutely anything…someone out there will be interested in what you have to say. It’s also a great way to reach your audience as they can listen to your podcast whilst driving to work, or working out. Your audience don’t necessarily have to set aside a certain amount of time to catch up with your latest message.
This has been around for a long time now, but it is fast becoming the norm for all sorts of small businesses, as well as the larger corporates. You can ‘go live’ on social media, or record a short message to your customers/followers. It’s versatile, you can say what you like and most importantly, you will reach your audience more quickly. In a few seconds, you can convey a mood, a setting and your message can be received shortly and succinctly in less than a minute. There are lots of ways to use video in your marketing…
Live stream – in real time on social media accounts. As it’s recorded ‘live’, it will be a ‘warts and all’ recording, so you won’t be able to edit out any mistakes – but this does add to the excitement and appeal. People see you as you are!
Recorded stream – the same as the ‘live’ stream, but you’ve pre-recorded it before you put it out, so you can edit out anything you don’t like and add in anything that might have forgotten with the ‘live’ version.
Vlogging – the same as blogging, but using video. This can be longer that the ‘live’ or pre-recorded videos. Your audience love these as they feel they are getting to know you as a person – if you Vlog regularly, they will get used to seeing you and this helps build a relationship and trust.
Whiteboard videos – these are animated or sketched videos, so the subject matter and scenery is not real.
Using images is also a great form of content marketing. They are usually on your website, on social media or within a blog. Images can be very powerful to help you convey a message and help you create more impact. They say that a picture paints a thousand words, and whilst this can be true, I tend to use them more to enhance my messaging.
The only downside is that search engines don’t necessarily recognise images, so a good tip is to make sure you add a caption to your images, wherever it is relevant. If using in a blog, use keywords to help the search engines find the images.
AND SO, ONTO YOUR ACTUAL CONTENT
Writing your content
Here are a few tips to help you write your content to help make it more persuasive.
Write the headline first. Make sure it is compelling and sparks the curiosity of your reader to want to read on.
Write your subheadings next. This will help you plan your content and split it into readable chunks for your reader.
Add a few captions. Captions catch the readers’ eye, so add a few in for good measure!
Opening paragraph – this is what will draw the reader in and help them decide whether they want to, or can be bothered to, read the rest. People spend seconds scanning an article and, if the opening paragraph and headline doesn’t draw them in, you’ll have lost that reader.
Closing paragraph – Depending on what you’re writing about, this is the end of your article/blog or whatever. Use it well; maybe reiterate the most important take-away from your article and have a CTA (call to action) so they know what to do next.
Bullet points – these are easier to remember and, if someone is just scanning your article, these are likely to be read. So, make them stand out, make them full of good hints or tips and great advice. Make them totally fascinating!
Now we know what to include, let’s dig a bit deeper…
Why is a headline so important?
On average, only 20% of people read an article beyond the headline. If your headline doesn’t grab attention then of those 20%, even fewer people will read your content. So what can you do?
Give a benefit in your headline. Give your readers an incentive…’how to’ do something or a recipe. Use numbers…’20 ways to …..’ Let them know that there is something in it for them.
Absolutely command attention. Not always easy, but remember you only have a few seconds to hook someone in. Use power words or positive words, such as ‘inspiration’, ‘revelation’ or even things like ‘is your business doomed because…..’
Be specific. Make your headline specific to the article – don’t use a generic headline. For example, if you were writing an article about Mental Health, just having the title ‘Mental Health’ isn’t very inspiring and won’t necessarily pull in your audience, but if you have ‘Mental Health – what does this mean?’ or ‘Mental Health – 10 ways to help yourself’, you’re giving specifics and are more likely to get readers.
Don’t get cocky. Don’t try to be too clever with a headline, as these are notoriously hard to come up with. And, they can spectacularly fail!
Use a proven structure…as talked about in previous points. Being original is great, but you can try too hard!
Keep on, keeping on – practice, practice, practice…makes perfect! Take notice of headlines when you’re reading a newspaper or magazine. Look at headlines on billboards and understand how they capture your attention.
Action – Know what action you want your readers to take and make sure that is incorporated throughout your article and in your headline.
Write content your readers will remember
Here are a few tricks to help make your content unforgettable.
Emotion – appeal to your reader’s emotions – this makes them care about something and if they care, they will remember.
People have short attention spans – use sound bites to grab attention. I’ve heard the term ’60 is the new 40’, referring to the fact that people now live longer…this is a sound bite.
Surprise your reader – Say something unexpected – the element of surprise always makes people remember
Use solid details. As well as all the trivial stuff, make sure your content has some real concrete solid details and information that help your readers understand your content.
Use stories. It could be a case study, or just a little ‘aside’ piece from your personal memory. People love stories, so be a good storyteller.
Using persuasive writing
If you want your readers to buy something, subscribe to your course or newsletter, you need to be persuasive. Here are some of the reasons you can give your readers…
Tell them why…why they should buy your product. Keep it simple – use the word ‘because’ – that tells them all they need to know.
Expect objections. If you’re on social media, you’ll know that no matter what you post, there is always someone who objects or who doesn’t agree with you. So, when writing copy, anticipate those objections up front and address them!
Give an incentive. Most people have endless curiosity. So give incentives to read to the end of your content…. ‘As well as this, you’re going to love…..’, ‘Here is the best bit’…’Here’s the most awesome part…’. You get the picture!
Use stats – these give credibility to your content. And quote your source if there are lots of specific stats.
Be passionate about what you do. If you love what you do, it will shine through your work.
Give the benefits of what you are offering. You might have told readers why to buy your product/service, but also list the benefits – what can it do for them? How can it make their lives easier? How can it save them time and money?
Write about a subject you know about. It will be obvious if you are just spewing out information. KNOW what you’re writing about as it will be easier to be more persuasive about it. And bear in mind that the person reading might not know anything about the subject you’re writing about, so keep the ‘beginner’ in mind.
Have a clear call to action.Once they’ve read the article, tell them what to do next and remind them why it’s good, and why they should click or subscribe or buy!
At the end of the day, you know your customers and you know who your ideal customer is. Write for those people. Write as if you’re talking to a friend in a pub over a drink. Use easy to understand language and not jargon.
Entertain your audience, educate them and ultimately you will sell to them. But as with most marketing tactics, it’s important to have that all important engagement first.
If you have any other ideas, please feel free to let me know in the comments.
The Content Marketing Institute, which is an online resource for information on everything marketing related, defines content marketing as…
“Content marketing is a marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action”
The key word here is ‘valuable’ content; content that will speak to your customers, content that they want and need, maybe information that solves a problem they have. In order to do this, you need to know your existing customers and research and get to know your prospective customers, so you can deliver that all important content. It may take some time to get it right, but when you do, you will have the opportunity to expand your business, build your reputation and ultimately be known as an expert in your field.
Once you can provide the right kind of content, it brings much more to your ‘table’.
More traffic to your website
If you can solve a problem that your customers have and write about it on your website, when potential customers search online for a solution, they will visit your site. Depending on what you do, that could lead to a sale or a request for your services…and they are likely to return to your site in future.
If you can find a way to tailor your content to your target customer’s needs and wants, they will trust you and you will get repeat business.
When a person finds a site they like, that speaks to them personally, or they feel that it speaks to them personally, they will return again and again. And if they are returning, they are more likely to turn into customers. As everything is online these days, we all turn to the internet if we want to buy something; I like to read about what I want to buy first and find out as much as I can about that product before I buy it. I am more likely to buy from a business that knows what they’re talking about and one that seems to know my needs.
Enhances your brand
It sounds a bit rude to say this, but it is fundamentally true – people are generally interested in themselves, in their likes and needs. This isn’t about being selfish, it’s human nature. When someone first looks at your website or interacts with your business, they are not in the least bit interested in your brand, no matter how hard you’ve worked on it. They are more interested in what you can do for them. If you provide something that makes their life easier, less stressful, and cost-effective and generally entertain them, they will then become interested in your brand as they will see it as something they relate to.
If you are consistently publishing new, unique content on your blog or website and then promoting it on social media, more people will get to see your name and start to relate to the things you write about. If they like what they see, they’re more likely to tell their friends and so your audience starts to grow and they become more aware of your brand.
Content marketing is cheaper than other forms of marketing
The title of this last section basically says it all. If you can research and write your content yourself, it is more economical as you’re not spending money on getting someone else to do it for you. You’ll also learn so much from the research you do, that you’ll find more content as you go.
When you publish your content on your blog or website, make sure that you promote it on every social media site that you have…with maybe a jig around of the title or introduction. You can also contribute to larger sites to get your name out there.
Finally, with content marketing, you are attracting customers to you because they’re interested in what you have to say…and ultimately they will come back again and again.
If you want to influence your audience to your way of thinking and to look at your products or services, you must provide them with something they want or need, be their solution, show them that you provide valuable content and that you value their custom.
Images courtesy of 1-3 ) Stuart Miles, 4) David Castillo Dominici 4) Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net