10 Easy Content Marketing Tips That Will Always Be Helpful19 min read
If you’re new to content marketing, we get it. There’s a lot to take in.
Heck, even if you’re not new, the amount of tips and advice can still be overwhelming.
Content marketing covers creation to the promotion of a piece of content and everything in between (including the dreaded SEO writing!)
User intent? Keyword research?
Don’t be put off by some of the complex-sounding terms of an effective strategy. We can break it down to make it easy.
As technology progresses and trends come and go, some things will always change. However, these ten content marketing tips will always be helpful.
Table of Contents
- Make It Immersive
- Published Content Should Be Your Highlight Reel
- Get To Know Your Target Audience
- Plan With a Content Calendar and Measure Results
- Keyword Research Is the Backbone of SEO
- Mix Trending and Evergreen Content in Your Content Marketing Strategy
- Use Conversational, Simple Language
- Increase ‘Content Relevance’ and Nail ‘User Intent’ for SEO
- Use Social Media for Awareness and Promotion of Your Content
- Keep Your Content Marketing Strategy Updated
1. Make It Immersive
There’s a popular myth that the human attention span is only eight seconds.
If you binge-watch Netflix or the Joe Rogan Experience, you’ll know this isn’t true.
There are actually four types of attention:
- Sustained – focusing on one activity for a long time
- Selective – concentrating on one thing with other distractions around
- Alternating – switching from one focused task to another
- Divided – multi-tasking
Source: The OT Toolbox
Ok, so the goldfish stat might be a lie. But, social media posts, notifications and news updates are all competing for limited attention.
This study showed our sustained and selective attention spans are decreasing. We’re relying on our divided attention, and it’s not going well.
So, what does that mean for content creation?
To hold people’s attention, you need a captivating, immersive experience.
Your marketing campaigns need high-quality content that includes:
- Marketing tools (e.g. Hubspot’s Website Grader or CoSchedule’s Headline Analyser)
- Plenty of visual stimuli when blogging
Source: Il Makiage
Shorter attention spans don’t mean audiences aren’t interested in long-form content anymore.
You just have to work harder to keep them on board.
2. Published Content Should Be Your Highlight Reel
A good content marketing strategy should include a mix of:
- Original content
- Curated content
- Social media engagement (we’ll get to that later)
However, each element should focus on helping, not selling.
Whether it’s original, curated, or commented, your published content should be your highlight reel.
Think NBA’s ‘Greatest Dunks’ instead of the Home Shopping Network.
If you’ve done any research into content marketing or SEO, you’ll know about the focus on quality. But for a strategy to be successful, you also have to post regularly.
It can be hard to find a balance.
Many bloggers make the mistake of trying to plug their product or service into everything they write.
Our team reviews hundreds of content marketing efforts daily. Honesty, the best to read are those which are purely focused on educating or entertaining.
“But how is that going to help my conversion rate?”
Yes, brand awareness is important. However, people hate ads. They’re everywhere.
People see between 6,000 and 10,000 ads per day. If you’re going to cut through the noise, you don’t want to be another one.
You can still fit your product or service into blogging. But you want to be a source of expert, reliable knowledge for your niche. So, make sure it’s relevant.
Don’t just write something for the sake of it. Content marketing tip #2 is to only publish things that make you proud.
If you’re struggling with content ideas, don’t worry (this is where curation comes in!)
Rather than posting something rushed, why not take your best content and repurpose it?
Here are some ideas to transform older posts:
- Blog post > podcast
- Report > infographic
- Internal data > case study
- Webinar > video tutorial
- Statistics > tweets
Even if you’re creating original content regularly, it’s essential to mix up your sources.
Enter: content curation.
Curating involves finding, selecting and sharing content that’s relevant to your niche.
Again, we’re suggesting you’re very selective here, too, only post great content.
Here’s how to do it well:
- You must be highly selective in what you post.
- Choose only entertaining, educational or inspirational content.
- Mix things up with a variety of content types (podcasts, videos, articles, reports).
- Don’t stick to the same template when posting (it’ll soon get boring!)
- Optimise for all social networks (e.g. take into account tweet character limits).
- Post at a time of optimal engagement for each algorithm.
Just remember to always credit the source when curating and add unique insight for a personal twist.
3. Get To Know Your Target Audience
This leads nicely into our next content marketing tip: the power of being genuine.
Your audience may be ‘customers’ or ‘users’ on paper, but they’re still people.
The main goal of content marketing is to cater to them.
Start by creating a buyer persona – a detailed description of someone who represents your target audience.
By defining and understanding them, you can remember to put their needs in front of your own.
You’ll name this ‘customer’, include demographics, interests, and behavioural traits. You’ll understand their wants, goals, buying journey, and pain points.
Source: Amy Wright
Assess your sales funnel, testimonials, and general user experience to gather information and see how you can do better.
(This all has to be based on data, by the way.)
You can find this data using tools like:
- Google Analytics
- Social media analytics
- Your CRM or customer database
By creating this persona and digging into audience insight, you’ll have a better shot at creating content that resonates with them.
If you need some more inspiration, here are MarTech’s seven ways to get to know your audience better:
- Do your research
- Look at your competition
- Create a buyer persona
- Get to know clients personally
- Monitor your mentions and comments (social listening)
- Witness external social habits (that don’t concern your brand directly)
- Send a survey directly via email marketing
Tip four is an important one, but we want you to take it a step further than just clients.
Engaging with other users (outside of your current audience, too) is how you’ll build relationships and show some personality.
Don’t worry; we’ll cover that too.
4. Plan With a Content Calendar and Measure Results
You’ve probably been told throughout your life to stay organised. Well, our parents and teachers weren’t lying about the benefits.
It’s important to set goals and measure success using content marketing data and analytics. Otherwise, how do you know what’s working?
A content calendar is a visual way of making sure you stay on track. It can be as simple or complex as you need it to be.
For example, each entry in your editorial calendar could include a combination of:
- The exact date and time to publish a post
- Which social network and account will post it
- Any copy and creative additions (e.g. photos or videos)
- Links and tags to be included
- Any additional relevant information (e.g. Instagram feed or a Story?)
To measure the results of these posts, you need to track metrics. Again, this can be as simple or in-depth as your business needs.
Here’s an example from Jay Baer, detailing four types of marketing metric:
|Type of Content Marketing Metric||Examples|
|Consumption||Google Analytics, traffic, open rates|
|Sharing||Retweets, likes, shares|
Or this content measurement framework from Curata.
It maps metrics out in the order they appear in the sales cycle and marketing funnel:
These are just examples to give you an idea as every business is different.
Success to you could be increased email subscribers, landing page click-throughs, or new customers.
A timeless content marketing tip – work out your goals, plan your strategy, and track progress.
5. Keyword Research Is the Backbone of SEO
Ok, this might sound complicated, but it’s a straightforward process. Any successful content marketing strategy starts with it.
Basically, you want to figure out which search terms you want your content to rank for.
According to Ahrefs:
“If nobody is searching for what you’re writing about, you won’t get traffic from Google—no matter how hard you try.”
They’re not kidding. Over 90% of content gets no search traffic. Don’t let that include yours!
Keywords are the basis of your creation process.
Two other factors to consider are:
- The importance of headlines
- The length of your content (longer content performs better, roughly 2,500 words)
Mastering keyword research is the first stage of link-building (having others link to your content in theirs). These are called ‘backlinks’.
Bonus content marketing tip: search engines love backlinks.
Writing guest posts for other sites is another excellent way of link-building – as long as you’re still providing quality.
Use these simple steps to form a keyword research strategy:
- Create a list of words and phrases you want to rank for (don’t forget about long-tail keywords)
- Use keyword research tools (such as Google Trends or Moz’s Keyword Explorer) to generate alternatives and tell you how likely you are to rank for them
- Narrow down your top choices (dependent on team size/time)
- Assess the numbers of value and cost in a spreadsheet
- Pick your top-rated keywords and move on to tip #8
By planning, you’re giving yourself the best chance of creating the right content.
6. Mix Trending and Evergreen Content in Your Content Marketing Strategy
This section is a quick one.
Content comes in three forms:
- Somewhere in the middle
Trending content relates to current events that will soon be outdated. Think of a video rundown of this year’s Superbowl best passes.
Evergreen content is timeless and sustainable – hence the name! For example, a blog post on ‘how to tie your shoes’.
The majority of content is somewhere in the middle of the two. Most topics and industries change, so content needs to be updated to stay relevant.
Content marketing tip #6: successful content strategies should include a mix.
Just try and find a unique angle for each type of content. You’re sure to stand out.
7. Use Conversational, Simple Language
Did you know that mobile devices make up around half of web traffic worldwide?
Why is this important for content marketing?
Well, your 5000-word article or 30-page report may look great on a 16-inch desktop screen, but chances are, this won’t be easy reading on an iPhone.
Here’s where clear, structured formatting comes into play (with plenty of visuals) to give the reader’s eyes a break.
While you may have been taught to use long words and drawn-out sentences, we’re suggesting the opposite.
Shorter sentences are “clearer, sharper and more compelling”.
Source: Marketing Examples
Copy should feel like a letter from a friend. So, how do you achieve this?
- Fuse words (that is = that’s)
- Don’t try to sell
- Remove jargon
- Include the reader
- Write how you talk
- Cater to what the reader wants (next section explains how)
It’s a simple concept, but it can be hard to get used to at first, and it’ll take time.
But conversational copy will never go out of style.
8. Increase ‘Content Relevance’ and Nail ‘Search Intent’ for SEO
These two are (arguably) the most important things to Google. Now, and in the future.
This makes them two very important content marketing tips in one.
The ultimate goal is for users to find the answer to exactly what they’re looking for the first time they click.
As we’ve learned above, keyword research relates to whatever users type into Google.
What makes users click and stay on a page is how relevant the content is to their search term.
When lots of people do the above, Google decides these links must answer ‘search intent’.
Content marketers that do this well will see their links rising through the SERPs (Search Engine Ranking Pages).
It really is that simple.
So, how do you keep search engines happy and nail it?
When you’re planning content, check out the first SERP and take notes about highly ranking content.
Can you see a trend?
Are the top-rated links:
- How-to blog posts?
- Lists of tips?
- Video walkthroughs?
- Login pages?
- Ecommerce pages?
- Product reviews?
Let’s take ‘content relevance’ as an example.
Here, you can see the first page SERP is mostly guides and tips.
This is the first thing to note.
Search intent is usually broken down into four categories:
Once you see a pattern, you can make sure whatever you create will fit in.
However, your content writing process will differ depending on the category.
It’s pretty detailed, so save this guide from Cognitive SEO to read later.
To ensure content relevance:
- Always aim to solve a problem with your content
- Start with keyword research
- Mix trending and evergreen
- Longer content performs better
- Update and repurpose older pieces
You’ll see a lot of content marketing tips repeated in guides. These are the ones to prioritise.
At the end of the day, though, don’t get too caught up in SEO.
Focus on the quality of your work, and it’ll all come together.
9. Use Social Media for Awareness and Promotion of Your Content
The path to more engagement and backlinks starts with visibility.
For people to share your content, they need to know you exist.
So, how can you do this?
Source: Sprout Social
Social Media Engagement
Your social media presence is what will set you apart from other people/brands.
Aside from curating and publishing content, this is about how you engage.
Engagement on social media platforms is super important for content marketing.
Influencers (especially micro-influencers) know how to use it to their advantage to build an audience.
Forget vanity metrics. If you want real subscribers and eyes on your content, you need to give more than you get.
We’ve written a whole blog on social media engagement, but to summarise:
“There’s a synergy in engaging and increasing engagement. You can’t have one without the other.”
To save money in any content marketing campaign, you’ll have to spend some time instead.
This means providing valuable feedback.
Don’t copy and paste the same comment to multiple users. Take some time to fully read their article or listen to their podcast.
You may find this effort will result in others doing the same for you.
On the other hand, what’s your current strategy for promoting pieces of content?
- Send them out to your email list?
- Try influencer outreach?
- Use a content promotion tool?
- Pray for organic traffic?
Whichever it is, you can probably do better.
The power of social shares could be the missing link.
We’ve written a detailed article on social shares, but basically:
“Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn; if you create high-quality content that’s shared by many on social media, you’re more likely to get backlinks and increase your SEO as a result.”
This ties into engagement, too.
If you’re active and genuine on social media, people are more likely to read and share your new content off their own back.
10. Keep Your Content Marketing Strategy Updated
It seems obvious, but it’s a step that’s often forgotten.
As mentioned, most industries are constantly changing, especially with the rate of new technology.
In terms of digital marketing, this is constant (thanks, Google!)
As Inc. put it:
“Content marketing is always changing because the way we interact online is always changing.”
While you may have a strategy that works for you now, don’t expect the same results next year.
Move with the market, read guides, and keep up with trends.
Source: Crystal Clear Communications
There are many predictions, but one thing is guaranteed.
Content marketing will continue to become more personalised and customer-focused.
If you’re keeping your audience happy, you’ll grow with them.
Whatever happens, these ten content marketing tips will be here.
Things will change. Immersive content in 2030 will look a lot different, but the main message stays the same.
- Make it immersive
- Anything published should be your highlight reel
- Really get to know your target audience
- Plan and measure success
- Always use keyword research
- Create both trending and evergreen content
- Simplify your copy
- Nail content relevance and search intent for future success
- Use social media to engage and promote
- Keep your strategy updated
Create and curate with your audience in mind. If you’ve got their attention, you’re doing it right.
How do you think content marketing will change in the future? Let us know in the comments.