Most times in life, it pays to have a plan. Content marketing is a technique that works best when you look before you leap, and having a strategy can help make your content dollars stretch further. However, the act of developing a smart strategy is another game on its own.
There is no doubt that content marketing will be big in 2015. To get started on implementing your own routine, here are several content marketing strategies that will help take your content marketing to new levels.
Start Your Content Marketing Strategies With an Audit
So, no one really likes an audit — completely understandable. Although audits aren’t the most pleasant way to launch a content marketing strategy, they serve as the perfect kick-starter for several reasons:
- Content audits help you find missing information within your website
- They help you discover thin content
- You can analyze keyword density
- They highlight what’s working for you
Overall, you must consider the value that your content brings to the table. As you analyze your current content, ask yourself if your content is educational, relevant, entertaining, or engaging in some way. If your content does not meet at least one standard in those criteria, it might be time for an overhaul.
Bring in Content Curation
Now that your content audit is out of the way, it’s time to start having a little bit of fun. Curating content is bound to go big in 2015, and it’s easy to see why. To relieve the expectations of churning out high quality content week after week, curating content is a breath of fresh air.
The advantages of curating content are many, and if you have yet to include this strategy, you don’t know what you missing. Curating content helps you accomplish:
- Brand establishment
- Authority in your niche
- Relationship building
- Increased engagement
- Steady stream of fresh content
There are several ways to curate content — by hand or by curating tools like Scoop.it. Even though content appears right before your eyes when you take the route of automation, a human eye is still required to get your curation just right.
Discovering What They Want
To continue the curating theme, the next step is to determine what your audience wants. You can blog about anything under the sun, but what matters most is to understand the needs of your audience. If you aren’t meeting their needs in one way or another, your content will fall flat every time.
So, how exactly do you know what your readers want? To take the mystery out of the equation, you can resort to several sources.
- Quora is a community-based Q&A website that brings real-life customer questions to light. There are topics on nearly every industry and niche you can think of. Simply searching for your keywords in the search bar can reveal dozens of topic ideas right before your eyes.
- It might seem like an unlikely source, but Reddit contains a variety of topics in an assortment of industries. One of the advantages of Reddit is that, like Quora, you can browse real conversations from people who are considering your services or products.
- Not to sound super obvious, but a third option is to ask your audience what they want from you. This is where you can use the power of social media to engage your audience and ask direct questions. You can even start a live Q&A session on Facebook or Twitter to get those ideas flowing.
Top-Notch Topics That Get Them Talking
Generating new topic ideas can be one of the most challenging aspects of content marketing strategies. The goods news is that ideas aren’t as hard to come by as you think, and there are plenty of sources for inspiration if you know where to look.
The first step to finding engaging content ideas is discovering what’s hot and trending in your industry. Check into Google news, industry news websites and magazines, and even network with likeminded people in your niche.
Another unique topic technique is to create a topic web; think back to those days in high school when you drew story webs for English class. The trick to this is taking content that already exists on your website, and using the web to branch out into other relevant areas. A little bit of brainstorming can go a long way for getting that light bulb moment.
Finally, Hubspot’s blog topic generator is perfect for creating fun blogging ideas. By simply entering three nouns into the generator, Hubspot’s helpful tool can give you several ideas for your blog right on the spot.
The 2015 Outlook: Your Content Calendar
So, you know what your audience wants. You also know how to generate awesome topic ideas time and time again. The final part to nailing your content strategy for 2015 is by bringing in the almighty content calendar.
Content calendars are like your little black book of topic ideas, along with your days to schedule your posts. You can also include precise days and times to post to social media. Sure, you can wing your strategy without a content calendar, but there are so many reasons why having one helps immensely:
- Content calendars help keep you focused. If you are easily sidetracked or even forgetful, your content calendar can save the day
- Content calendars can be as detailed or thorough as you want.
- Using a content calendar can align your core business goals with your content
- Content calendars can keep you focused on your audience, which helps them stay engaged
- Content calendars take the guesswork out of your content marketing strategy
Believe it or not, 2015 is already in full swing. Getting your content marketing strategies in order can make things for your routine smooth sailing for the rest of the year.
Whether you take pieces of these strategies or you dive in head first with all 5, you will be further ahead with your content marketing this year. From content auditing to curating, these simple yet effective strategies will prove their value time and time again.
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