It’s easy for me to dole out content marketing tips. After all, I write content for a living. But, I understand that you, like many of my loyal readers, are likely not a professional writer, and for you, I write this post.
These tips are simple enough to implement, even if the thought of writing is like fingers shrieking down a chalkboard for you. Start using them, and you’ll see an improvement in the content you create for your brand.
#1. Find Your Strength
There are certainly different types of content, as well as various lengths for different needs. If you find you can easily churn out short, action-driven blog posts, then these should be what you focus your content creation time on. But don’t just look at what you like producing; look at results as well. Of the content that you’ve created, which generated a significant (or even decent) amount of traffic to your site? These are topics and content types to focus your attention on moving forward.
#2. Outsource Your Weakness
If you have strengths, that means that you’ve got weaknesses as well, right? You may wish you had more long-form content like ebooks as marketing tools, but can’t seem to find time to create them. Or maybe video isn’t your strong suit. That doesn’t mean your brand shouldn’t be using these forms of content to reach your audience. It means you need help, so outsource this work to a content marketing agency or freelancer who is adept at this particular type of content.
#3. Use Tried-and-True Copywriting Tactics
You don’t have to come up with some new style of writing to attract readers. There are plenty of techniques that other writers are using that you can apply to your own content. Here are a couple to get you started.
The Bucket Brigade technique uses transition words or phrases to leave people hanging and wanting more. They’re usually followed by a colon or ellipsis, which indicates more great information is ahead. Here are some examples:
- But wait, there’s more:
- Let me explain …
And the APP Method is also useful. You start off by stating something that your readers can agree with. Then you make a promise of what they’ll get if they keep reading. Finally, you offer a preview of what’s in store. This is a great strategy for grabbing people and showing them that you can solve a problem for them.
#4. Spend Time on the Title
The title of your blog post, email, or ebook is going to determine how many people click to read it. There’s tons of advice out there about what makes for an engaging title, but keep a few rules in mind:
- Keep it succinct. You want the entire thing to fit in search results.
- Use numbers or statistics if you’ve got them.
- Ask a question.
- Promise results.
- Pique interest.
- Use your keyword.
If you need title ideas, check out Tweak Your Biz’ Title Generator. You’ll get tons of variations you can test out. Whichever type of title gets you more clicks, that’s the type to use more of. Just don’t make all your titles the same style, like “10 Things to Know About X.”
#5. Do a Tiny Bit of Keyword Research
Before you get scared off at the word “keyword” combined with “research,” let me assure you that it’s super simple, and can help you hugely. Using Google’s Keyword Planner, you can come up with new keyword ideas to use in your content or check the popularity of a given keyword you’re thinking about using. If the number of average monthly searches is low for a word that you’re researching search volume data for, it’s probably not worth using.
On the other hand, some keywords are so generic that you’ll have trouble standing out against the competition. For example, the phrase “content marketing” is searched for between 10,000 and 100,000 times a month. It would be hard to rise to the top of those search results. However, “content marketing tips” is searched 100 to 1,000 times a month, and “content marketing strategy” 1,000 to 10,000 times monthly. These may be easier to rank for, simply because there is less competition, so use these more precise keywords in your content.
Professional writers spend almost as much time promoting their content as they do writing it, and you can, too. Start by automating the process with a tool like dlvr.it to automate social shares of each new post you publish on your blog.
But, don’t rely on that one automated share alone. Add in handcrafted shares and schedule them one a day for Twitter, and maybe twice a week for other social channels, to maximize the chance that more of your followers will see your update and click to read your content. Change up the verbiage so you’re not saying the same thing each time. You can:
- Include a quote from the post.
- Cite a mind-blowing statistic from it.
- Ask a question.
- Pull one of the points from it.
Pay attention to your analytics to see which versions of your shares get the most clicks, and use those strategies moving forward.
#7. Make Your Subheaders Beneficial-icious
We know that most people skim the subheaders when looking at an article. They’re looking for some reason to stop scrolling through your content. So give them one (or many). When you write content, make sure those subheaders are not only descriptive of what you cover in that particular section, but that they also provide incentive to make a reader actually read it. You don’t want to give away what you’ll cover in subsequent paragraphs, but you do want to provide enough of a teaser that people spend time reading at least a portion, if not the entire article.
See? I told you these tips would be painless and easy to implement. You don’t have to be a professional writer to make your writing seem more professional. It’s just a matter of catering to your audience and giving them ample reason to read your content.