Content marketing is relatively new and chances are that half the time people don’t get what is it that you do for a living. Being a content marketer means that your content fuels every activity from social media, e-mail marketing, lead nurturing and more. So what does it take to be a good content marketer? We have tried to list down 7 things that every content marketer should know to build awesome content that helps them to build brands with a larger readership.
1# Generating Content Ideas
As a content marketer, you could be wearing different hats from creating thought leadership pieces, blog management & curation, webinar management & production, copy editing and more. As a content marketer, you are always looking out for content ideas that can go viral.
Before you start creating content do your homework to understand the target audience and what’s the kind of content that they currently consume using different platforms. For example, if you are a company that deals with software-as-a-service for education then there is good chance that your audience could be reading about educational technology. You can use tools like Buzzsumo to research the content that your audience is currently consuming. Buzzsumo also allows you to search content type as seen in the screenshot below.
Besides Buzzsumo, you can also check RightRelevance which essentially does the same but only shows articles currently. Content marketers also check sites Quora, Reddit and AllTop which should help you to understand what your audience is looking for in terms of content.
Don’t forget to check Google Trends as it will provide you insights into audience interest in a topic over the years. As you see in the below image audience interest in ‘Educational Technology’ has dropped over the years but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t write about it as the same are worldwide statistics.
2# Writing Tools
Nothing can replace human intelligence when it comes to proofreading but using technology certainly helps in spotting the most common errors. For Digital Uncovered, we completely rely on Grammarly but over the years, we have also used other tools like Ginger, Hemingway & After the deadline.
Grammarly helps in refining you writing, spotting grammatical errors and also detecting plagiarised content which could be really important if you are building it for a brand. Both Grammarly and Ginger come with free and paid versions.
3# Getting headlines right
Nothing matters more than your headline. While there is no shortcut for writing the perfect headline research over the years indicates that using numbers, adjectives, listicles (using unique rationale for example; facts, ways, reasons etc) and using why, what, how, or when has helped many publishers.
As a content marketer, you need to observe the brands that get headlines right we usually like headlines used by Buzzfeed, Vox, Buffer and the likes. A/B split testing of headline also helps to identify which headline works with the target audience.
“On average, five times as many people read headlines a read the body copy” – Ogilvy
4# Understanding Search
Search Engine Marketing blends in with your content marketing efforts to deliver the expected results for your campaign. High-quality content is valuable to search engines which in turn leads into better search rankings. SEO focuses on getting the title, meta tags, alt tags and snippets right while content marketing is the content itself with a focus on keywords.
Playing by the rule book of SEO doesn’t always work for example Buffer found that its articles with 1,600 words or more got more shares on social media similarly BuzzSumo found that its most shared posts range between 3,000 – 10,000 words.
Google only loves you when everyone else loves you first – Wendy Piersall
5# Content Dissemination
Content marketers essentially use three channels for distribution of content: Owned, Earned & Paid Media. Most start with earned & owned media and then gradually adopt earned paid media to reach a larger audience base.
For scheduling posts/tweets on social media, we rely on Buffer and for designing content we also use Canva & Pablo from Buffer. Also, check other tools like Hootsuite, Sprinklr, Socialoomph, Edgar etc.
6# Feedback loop
Being a great content marketer is about connecting with the audience and helping your community to make the best decisions based on insights and common wisdom. Listen to what your readers needs are and write for them. Building a feedback loop ensures that you have a stable base of readers who will refer you to others in their own community.
“Build your audience before you need them.” – Jeff Bullas
7# Repurpose the content
From our experience, a single white paper can give you content for three weeks. We repurpose the content from the white paper for social media, infographics, e-mailers, SlideShare presentation etc. Your content can have a larger shelf life when repurposed into different formats.