No, not the face-painted, tongue-wielding, head-banging metal band from the 70s. And no, not the lip-locking act.
I’m referring to this:
Often times, in our content creation journey, we get too bogged down by details, facts, and numbers that we overlook where the spotlight must be: on the customers. Not on the content, not on your brand. But the customers.
Your role is to sell, don’t let anything distract you from this.
I believe it was David Ogilvy (a personal hero of mine) that said this best:
The goal of creating ads is not to prove who’s more clever or witty. Nor to prove who can come up with the phrase with the best play on words.
He hated when his employees referred to themselves as “creative.”
“Your role is to sell, don’t let anything distract you from the sole purpose of advertising.”
Although this might be hard to swallow for us content creators, a lot of what David is saying makes sense.
However, I’m not here to lecture you on what you must do. I’m here to offer you some quick and easy tips to improve your content marketing strategy: with little tweaks and adjustments. Perhaps too simple for you that they might’ve went over your head.
Let’s face it: content marketing isn’t exactly an exact science. Because of this, we’re always on the lookout for practices that will help us get better results out of our strategies. We do our research; look at trends & patterns, and read expert blogs (like what you’re doing right now) for advice.
With this in mind, let me share with you some KISS-able content marketing tactics that you can use in your content marketing strategy.
Other marketers with email marketing campaigns have been doing this for quite some time now. However, the practice still hasn’t caught on with the rest of us. It’s quite simple, actually:
1. Send an email to your list.
2. After a week, put together a sending list of anyone who didn’t open that email. (We hope you’re tracking your emails)
3. Change the subject line
4. Resend the email to that list.
There are a lot of reasons why your email wasn’t read during the initial blast, but resending it doubles its chances of being read by those who missed it.
If your blog is part of your lead-generation strategy, you have to make your subscription forms more visually prominent so your customers can easily subscribe to you.
One thing you have to consider is making very solid and catchy call-to-actions. You can learn how to make these by reading our previous blog entry: Making Powerful CTAs in 17 Steps, plus a FREE Cheatsheet.
Upworthy, the viral content website has a rather tedious way to make writers come up with headlines. For every content, they require them to make 25 headlines. Each.
Then, they test which title draws in the most readers. They’re able to monitor the testing process by automation. You can do this by creating a couple of tracking links for your titles, then set a time limit. By the time’s end, you can see which tracking URL performed better. Those are the one that you need to push and promote.
Normally, thank you’s are like closing remarks—they end conversations on a good note. And we use this to give a good impression to our customers. But are you taking advantage of “Thank You” pages?
You can tweak this by turning “Thank You” pages into transition pages, where the customers can be lead to another step of the buyer’s journey. Use the opportunity to engage with them further.
Here are some ideas:
– Build authority with trust badges, awards, and testimonials.
– Become a trusted source of information by providing relevant and related content.
– Move the prospect down the funnel with a limited-time sales offer.
– Stay top-of-mind and give them an opportunity to connect with you on social.
Another smart little change you can introduce to your hackneyed email campaigns is to change the name of the sender. For instance, you can send emails using your VP of Marketing’s name, CEO, or whoever. And then test that against sending with your brand/company name.
6. Resurface some of your content
If you already have a lot of content in your archives, you might want to bring some of the great ones back to life. All you need to do is to bring a fresh angle or update the content.
– That old whitepaper can be split up and rewritten into a series of blog posts.
– That long-ago video can be transcribed and reposted as an article.
– That webinar can be split up into segments and repurposed as a tutorial.
– That infographic can be turned into a more in-depth data visualization piece.
Use social snippets from Schema markup. These are coding elements that should be integrated in your whole website so your content will display the title, preview image, and description correctly on social sites. Test your stuff on Facebook Debugger or Twitter Validator to see how it will display on these two major social media networks.
By looking into your audience’s behavior in your website, you’ll be able to know if your customers are moving according to how you want them to interact with your website. If you’re a blog, are they subscribing to you, or sharing your content? If you’re an e-tailer, are they buying from you? By simply optimizing your website and taking down obstructions on their road to conversion, you will receive a huge bump up on your conversion rates.
One way of doing this is to utilize a heat map tool like CrazyEgg to see exactly where and how people are interacting with your site.
You might have heard of this. As a matter of fact, you might be even doing this. But no matter how many people proclaim that link building is dead, you must still continue doing this. But what has to change?
Your audience and search engines are content-centric now. So churn and provide high-quality content on a regular basis and soon, you’ll get noticed. One way to do this is to be active on forums and discussion portals like Quora and inbound.org, or on social media, where you get to solve and provide answers to clients and potential clients.
Take the guesswork out of your system. Test everything. Test every little change in detail you’re going to implement. Most of our guesses, if not backed up by data, will be missing some points, because no matter how wide our view is, it’s not enough to see the whole picture.
How many times has this happened? A title you thought was going to be a hit fell flat. An image you thought would garner tons of likes and shares didn’t receive as much love as you expected.
Don’t guess, test!