These days, you’ll read a plethora of content marketing tips and tactics across the web -- all telling you to create a blog, where to share it, and watered-down tactics for getting traffic to your products and services. The problem is not all of these tactics are backed by data or real-life experience. In the decade that I’ve been working in this industry, I’ve implemented and seen others succeed with a handful of methods that stand out from the rest. I’ll share them with you here:
Tip #1: Use More Infographics
In the content marketing conversation, there’s a lot of hype surrounding video and interactive content (which are both great, and you should definitely leverage both. But, when you’re ready to steer your content marketing efforts beyond the mundane world of 5 new articles each week infographics are your best option (in my opinion). Here’s why:
Infographics aren’t as involved as creating videos and interactive content, yet they present your information in a visually stunning medium. So, they’re easier than the alternatives.
The average costs of video creation, according to Lean Labs, are between $1,200 and $50K, which is quite steep.There’s no cap on the cost of interactive content, depending on how many features you need. However, on the highest end of the cost spectrum, an infographic only costs upwards of $10K. Infographics, in all their glory, cost less than their visual content cousins.
There are a plethora of infographic creation platforms out there that allow you to make one yourself in an afternoon for less than $50. Just figure out what type of infographic template you need and start shopping around for the best platform.
You can get other bloggers to share infographics with a link back to your website as the original source without a ton of effort. Infographics provide brands with an easy-to-create, inexpensive content option that can help generate more links and improve the overall search health of your website.
Tip #2: Keep Your Branding Consistent
All marketing requires a brand image. This is just as important with Instagram influencer accounts as it is for an online store or service website. Your business needs a branding package for your to align your content across all channels.
What’s Included in a Conventional Corporate Branding Package?
Traditionally, there are four key components to a branding package:
- Logo: A symbol or design will be used to represent your company across all channels, both on and offline. All major brands have them because they symbolize what the company is all about and make your marketing materials and products easily recognizable. Check out Creative Blog’s list of the 10 best logos of all time for inspiration.
- Business cards: We all know what these are. Today, you might replace this with a digital version like social media bios, depending on your overall marketing strategy. Look at some creative business card design ideas to get your wheels turning.
- Letterhead: Most companies just use their logo in the header of a digital PDF file these days, but traditional letterhead can still come in handy. And, you don’t have to be boring -- you can use clever letterhead designs to make sure you stand out from the crowd.
- Branding standards document: Your brand style guidelines will include what fonts to use, how to format blog posts (subheadings, link anchor text, bulleted lists, etc.), what colors and photo filters to use, and the style of photography that is acceptable.
The great thing about technology is that you can now use a free logo creator to launch your branding package in a matter of minutes from your phone.
Image source: Hatchful
Branding Tips for Content Marketing
Maintaining brand-centric content across all platforms will make it easy for prospects to recognize you.
Here’s what you need to do:
- Align each piece of content with your brand values and standardize your voice with language that appeals to specific emotions. After all, you must use feelings to motivate customers to make a purchase.
- Promote user-generated content with contests and by sharing social media posts, etc. that mention your brand.
- Keep the design, image filters, colors used, and logo consistent across all channels.
- When you rebrand (some companies do this as often as every 12-18 months) make sure to maintain consistency across your website, blog, social media channels, and any other places where your content appears.
Tip #3: Optimize Everything for Social Media Sharing
Posting and sharing content on your blog or website is a fairly manual process. You can’t completely automate topic ideas or high-quality content creation. But, you can optimize your content for social sharing. Your blog should be ready for shares on any social channel that you plan to promote on.
Check Out These Social Optimization Tools
Your marketing strategy will determine the best social optimization tools to use, and there are too many great ones to list them all here. But, I want to share some of my favorites and how they help brands succeed with content marketing.
Social Media Post Scheduling: Buffer
Most people have heard of Buffer and understand it’s a tool for social media scheduling. But, one feature I find ultra appealing is the “Re-buffer” feature, which allows you to re-share your top content.
Tip: Twitter and other social media sites are starting to prohibit sharing the same post more than once, so you should re-word your Rebuffered posts and add new images each time you share them.
Embedded Social Media Posts: Social Feed
This is a standalone tool that allows you to share your social feed on your website. It’s a streaming tool compatible with any site or platform including: Wix, Weebly, Shopify, Wordpress, Squarespace, and more.
Social Media Monitoring: Tagboard
Do you ever wonder what other people are saying about you or your competitors on social media? Well, look no further. Simply plugin a term, topic, or hashtag to find out what’s being discussed.
Next, Don’t Forget About Stumbleupon!
While Stumbleupon isn’t the most talked about social media platform. It is definitely a great source of new traffic. So, while there’s not a lot you can do to ensure Stumblers are going to like your posts, you definitely want to include the Stumble button along with your other social sharing icons somewhere on your content pages. This way, if your content is a hit, you can get thousands of new viewers in a short period.
Tip #4: Aggressively Build Links to Your Content
The top three search results in Google get the bulk of the traffic. So, you need your content to rank well if you’re going to generate organic traffic. And, if you look at pages ranked 3 or higher, you almost always see a direct correlation with a high number of backlinks. I’ve rarely (if ever) seen a web page with zero backlinks at the top of search results. So, getting links to your content should be a high priority.
Screenshot source: Ahrefs Dashboard
The reasons backlinks are important ranking factors for search engines are as follows:
- The more websites pointing to a page, the more trustworthy it is.
- Relevant anchor text helps search engines make sense of what your pages are all about.
The last thing I have to say about content marketing is that you always need to ask for what you want. The tips above will ensure your readiness for viral success, but you’ll never get there if you don’t ask for it. So, always include a call to action in your articles and social media posts. Try it now: Go tweet one of your articles and tell followers what to do (“read this” or “please share”). Pay attention to how much more engagement you get when you ask readers to help you reach your goals.
Now, go share this post with someone that you know could benefit from the info!
Ashley Kimler is part of the superhero team at Heroic Search in Tulsa. She's been working in the digital marketing industry for over a decade. Follow @ashleykimler and @heroicsearch on Twitter to see what she and her team share next.