Whether you’re talking New Year’s Resolutions or best practices, there are plenty of small tweaks that will not cause you pain but will definitely improve your content marketing efforts. Make this year your most productive, effective, and social year yet with these five easy-to-keep – yet critical – resolutions.
1. Plan Out Your Content Marketing Efforts
It never ceases to amaze me that people just throw content up on social media without any kind of long-term plan. The result is a scattered stream of information that lacks any logical flow and doesn’t entice your prospects to click through to check out your content.
It’s time to bite the bullet and plan ahead.
Your content marketing plan doesn’t have to encompass your entire year. It doesn’t even have to be set in stone. In fact, you’re best off if you can be flexible enough to tweak your plan as the year progresses, in order to fit your company’s changing goals, your audience’s changing questions and needs, and the world’s changing news and concerns.
At the same time, you need to build a framework around which you can base the content you develop and share. Give your business a coherent voice that takes into account a broad variety of customer-developed or contributed content, product or service offerings, company news, and more.
Looking for further details on how to create a solid plan? Check out 5 Ways to Develop Your Content Marketing Calendar.
2. Value Your Fellow Human Beings
Have you ever been to one of those holiday parties where you meet someone who talks incessantly about him- or herself? It makes you want to duck out of the conversation and never, but never, talk to that person again.
The same holds true for social media conversations. Some self-promotion is necessary in your content marketing efforts. However, you should keep the majority of your social media posts focused on valuable information that your prospects and customers are interested in discovering.
Looking for ideas? Try providing:
- Thought leadership – Offer pieces that will help your audience make decisions. In fact, according to Justice Mitchell, Content Marketing Is the Core of Thought Leadership.
- Answers – Answer the questions that you’re asked by your customers and prospects. Turn them into eBooks, papers, infographics, slides, and so forth. As one of my favorite speakers, The Sales Lion, says, “They ask, you answer.”
- Cheat sheets – Quick tips and tricks to help your audience be more productive and effective.
Remember to not only look at the world from your own point of view. People come from different companies, backgrounds, and countries. Be sensitive to what stage they are in the customer journey, as well as the cultures from which your audience comes.
3. Create Glorious Art
Words are powerful. When you supplement them with visuals, your impact will grow exponentially.
Well-made graphics really stand out in social media posts and can help you get across a lot of information in a short amount of time. Not to mention the fact that they’re fun to create and oh so shareable.
There are tons of ways you can add fantastic visuals to your content marketing efforts. From slides to personalized photos to slick animations, you have so many options to choose from.
Infographics are my favorite visual tools. Here’s why:
- You can easily get across a lot of information in a small space.
- They are informative.
- They provide an opportunity to use a bit of humor or creativity to hook your audience.
- You can piece them up to provide teaser stats in your social media posts.
It doesn’t have to cost you anything to create an infographic either. There are tons of free tools out there. Many of them even provide templates you can use to get started.
Want more information on how to get started adding fabulous visuals to your content marketing efforts? Check out Rebekah Radice’s easy to follow and super informative article, 3 Step Visual Marketing Plan You Can Use Today.
4. Make Social Media Interactions Personal
Marketing activities of any kinds shouldn’t be simply a numbers game. You want to attract the right audience for your business. It’s more important that you get a smaller number of exactly the kind of leads you want than that you attract huge amounts of useless clicks.
The best way to accomplish that goal when it comes to content marketing is to personalize your campaigns.
Here are some ways you can target the right audience to get you the leads and conversations you want:
- Personalize ads and promoted posts – Create content that is directly suited to the audience you want to attract. For example, aim your text and material at a particular company that you want to sell into. Then create unique content directly for that company.
- Listen before you talk – Use social listening tools to find people who are talking about your area of expertise (for example, customer service). Then monitor their conversations and posts before jumping into the conversation. It’s appropriate to offer content if you can do it within the context of the conversation. But don’t simply throw links at people and hope they click. Become a valued part of the conversation.
- Provide the right tone across each channel – If you’re posting the same things with the same language across Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and other social media channels, you’re doing it wrong. It’s like wearing your bathing suit to a formal dinner party – it makes no sense and confuses the heck out of everyone else. Take on the right tone, messaging, and style as necessary, personalizing your message for each channel.
4. Share the Joy
Content curation is an excellent way to lessen the burden on yourself for constantly creating new content. It also shows your audience that you think beyond your own boundaries.
Need more evidence that curation is a great tactic? Content curation allows you to:
- Show your appreciation for others (think influencers, prospects, customers, and partners)
- Demonstrate your expertise in a particular area
- Thank others for sharing your posts
- Let folks know that you keep up to date on the latest relevant trends
Curation doesn’t have to take up much of your time. You can easily retweet or repost what other people have put up on their social media channels. There are also a number of spectacular free curation tools that can save you time and help you grow your reputation.
Do you have other content marketing resolutions that you’d put at the top of your list? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below. You can also Tweet me up any time: @HollyChessman.