It's time to switch up your content marketing strategy
4 Feb 2021 16:00
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Is all your content starting to sound the same? To break the mould, media update’s Talisa Jansen van Rensburg takes a look at where to tighten up your content strategy game to stay a cut above the rest.
Having a content strategy is important to ensure your brand has an impact and continues growing and expanding. Having a well thought-out strategy also allows you to better understand why some content performs better than others.
Before we get into it, let’s look at what a content strategy is. Well, this is known as “ the ongoing process of transforming business objectives and goals into a plan that uses content as a primary means of achieving those goals”.
The key to making this plan excel is to ensure you have goals in place that will make your work stand out. Now, standing out doesn’t mean you have to hop onto the latest TikTok trends; it can be as simple as tweaking various aspects of your current strategy that will allow you to achieve and reach your goals.
Here’s how to up your content game:
1. Create unique content
There is absolutely no point in creating content that already exists on your blog, social media or in your advertising efforts. Consumers are eager to see new and exciting things, especially considering that they’re already thrown among all kinds of topics in their day-to-day lives. They need something new and original to keep them hooked.
This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t repurpose content; obviously, if something has been doing well over the past year, that message should be shared again.
But, when you do repurpose content, ensure that you bring a new and interesting angle to it. For example, if you have written an article about digital marketing unicorns , you can repurpose this by turning it into an infographic , making it a ‘new’ article as it’s done in an entirely different format.
Remember, consumers see countless content on a daily basis which risks brand fatigue; “ it exists, especially when brands just copy and paste the above-the-line marketing campaign into the social sphere and expect it to resonate,” says Sam Thomson, UK brand and values director at The Body Shop.
If you want to create entirely never-seen-before content, “ you need to share life experiences . Your life is unique. If you can tie your personal experiences into your content, you’ll do much better,” says Neil Patel, co-founder of NP Digital.
2. Write magnetic headlines
According to Copyblogger, “eight out of 10 searchers will read headline copy before clicking a post, but only two out of [the] 10 will actually read the post .” This proves how hard it is to encourage people to click on your stories. So how do you get more people clicking? It’s simple: Write a magnetic headline.
Use emotive language: Write a strong one-liner or emotionally moving description of the hardship your article’s subject has had to endure.
Keep it short: The headline sets the tone for the article so keeping it short and sweet will give readers the right impression. Long headlines make them feel as if the article will be long and tedious to read.
Have a humorous element: Make use of puns, for example, to give your headline a kick.
Allude to debunking myths: Who you gonna call? Mythbusters! Make it sound like you’re about to go on an adventure. Your headline has got to be convincing enough to get your reader on board.
Pose a question: Nothing piques curiosity like a thought-provoking question.
3. Add images
Include visual elements to add context to the story or message you’re trying to portray. Including visuals also helps to catch your reader’s attention.
A brand that does this well is Aviation American Gin :
Adding images also breaks up the wall of text in long-form content, preventing your readers from hitting that mental ‘snooze’ button.
As a bonus, adding images also strengthens your search engine optimisation (SEO). If you name your visuals with proper keywords, it will help your content be picked up by search engines. So, if you do include images in your content (which you definitely should), you can rename them to ensure Google knows what your content is all about .
4. Plan out your content strategy
If you want to keep your strategy in tip-top shape, then it is time you start using that calendar in your drawer or the one conveniently added to your laptop. Planning content is vital for your brand’s success. The moment you start planning ahead and using a calendar, you’ll be able to see if you are hitting the trends, or if you’re just repeating what your brand has already said before.
Planning can be as simple as meeting with your team once a week and having an hour brainstorm session. This is where you’ll discuss hot topics and trends that your brand should be talking about.
Once you’ve met with all the relevant people in your department, you can start taking those ideas to the drawing board.
Tools that will help make this process easier include:
Asana — A free web application designed to help teams organise, track and manage their work on a calendar. It’s perfect for a small team needing to manage their content.
Trello — A web-based, Kanban-style, list-making application that allows teams to communicate and plan their content (also free).
CoSchedule — A calendar that helps you plan, schedule and share your marketing messages. This platform gives you a 14-day free trial period, but after that, you’ll need to pay.
5. Use analytics and media analysis
Making use of analytics can really help a brand understand which content is performing well. Media intelligence agencies such as Focal Points can also help explain the narrative behind the data , which leads to a deeper understanding of why this content performs well. This is an essential step if you want to be able to up your content strategy game because you’ll understand why some content outperforms others.
After this you can adjust your strategy to perform better and create content that you know your audience actually wants to see. Living in a world that is constantly driven by data , it is time to take advantage of what data can tell you about your consumers, brand and content.
What are some other ways marketers can amp up their content strategy? Be sure to let us know in the comment section.
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Want to learn more about what images your brand needs to use? Then be sure to read up on these Five visual trends to follow in 2021 .
*Image courtesy of Vecteezy
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