Can you truly boost online sales by 73%?
Of course you can. I share some actionable tips to guide you along the way.
Content marketing isn’t a buzzword, but a powerful tool to transform an average business into a world class brand.
The ultimate objective of every business is to make sales and increase revenue. The majority of B2B and B2C companies have switched from traditional marketing to embrace content marketing.
A case study report by Content Marketing Institute shows that only 9% of marketers don’t make use of it, yet, and $44 billion is being thrown into content marketing.
Big brands like American Express, Virgin mobile live, and lots of others, are winning more customers through the rich and useful content they produce and share for free.
And that’s the beauty of content marketing. The focus is to research your market, identify your audience’s pain points, and to consistently create engaging content – aimed at generating traffic and eventually, sales.
There is no specific format for content marketing, because it comes in a variety of formats: videos, SlideShare presentations, infographics, podcasts, photos, memes, articles, blog posts, ebooks, whitepapers, and so forth.
However, don’t start out creating all content formats.
Take baby steps at the initial stage of your online business, and use the format (e.g., blog post) that best suits your kind of business & audience.
I’ve been using content marketing for more than 6 years to generate targeted leads.
Though, I can boast of real success now, but I’ve had my own fair share of frustrations, too.
Frustrations that come after you’ve poured your heart into a particular content, did all you could to convince people to read it – but only your mom and girlfriend actually read it.
Moving on, you need to know that content marketing is not for every business.
Yes I said it. And I’m here to represent it.
This means that you don’t have to beat your head over it. If it’s not working for you, you might just use a different marketing method. Better yet, learn how to create more persuasive content.
But don’t give up.
“Success is not final, failure is not fatal. It’s the courage to continue that matters” – Winston Churchill
Okay, I’m ready to share my 39 content marketing tips that will turbo charge your online sales. If you’re ready, let’s do it.
1. Integrate Neuroscience & Sales Psychology Into Your Content
Do you want to know why people don’t buy from you?
The answer is simple: You’re not creative. Hey, don’t fly off, I’ll explain….
Yes, you need to be creative to persuade people, and get them to buy your product.
However, a deep understanding of how the human brain works can help you create irresistible content.
You’ve got to understand that successful digital marketers don’t follow shortcuts.
Most of them have mastered the art of speaking directly to the customers.
That’s what copywriting is all about.
It’s high time you start integrating neuroscience processes and sales psychology into your content creation.
First, a quick definition…
Neuroscience is the study of the nervous system, to coordinate its unconscious and conscious actions, and transfers signal within the body.
When you’re creating any form of content, your ultimate goal is to get people to read it. Engagement, opt-ins, sales, and repeat sales are achievable only when people read your content.
That’s where science comes in. Because at the end of day, a person’s decision to read your content is driven by their dominant thoughts.
And these thoughts can be transferred from one person to another. For example, when a colleague or friend smiles at you, you tend to respond with a smile.
More so, a study by New York Times found that social media sharing is highly motivated when people are happy. You know, insights from neuroscience is now used to improve education (through teaching, content marketing, etc).
Do you ever wonder what happens within you when you see a funny picture or write up on Facebook?
The last time I did, I couldn’t hold myself from laughing. But beyond that, I also left a comment, and even shared the funny picture. Here’s one of such funny pictures:
You can see the 140 likes and 126 shares respectively. This simply means that 126 people shared this picture out of 140 that liked it.
That’s the effect of neuroscience, and how it takes a grip on people.
One quick way to persuade people to read your content, share it, tweet it, and even link to it from their sites, is to include multimedia. In other words, add videos, images, data.
Several studies show that:
- 90% of visual information is transmitted to the brain.
- Photos are liked 2x more than text updates.
- Videos are shared 12x more than links and text posts combined.
No doubt, using visuals to upgrade your content opens up new doors to get more sales.
If you’re looking to get more clients through content marketing, then as much as you can, use infographics and videos to showcase a sneak peak of your service.
2. Reply To Tweets Sharing Your Content/Audience
Using Twitter has always been one of the most effective content marketing tactics to create awareness, and add more people to your sales funnel.
Do you want to achieve more from your content?
If yes, then replying to tweets, especially when they’re relevant to you can increase your referral traffic.
For example, in April 2015, BufferApp generated the highest referral traffic from twitter.
Here’s the .csv of exported social analytics:
In summary, here are the benefits of using Twitter to drive your content marketing efforts:
i). Achieve a better customer service: Without a doubt, I know that your existing customers and prospects are on Twitter. In fact, majority of them are following you already.
Delivering a better customer experience isn’t complicated.
You can start from where you are. Keep your followers informed, answer their questions, and refer them to helpful resources (preferably on your blog).
Tweet relevant content from credible websites, and respond to your customer’s comment.
This gives you an edge, especially over competitors who don’t care about their Twitter followers.
By communicating regularly with your audience via Twitter, you’ll deliver satisfaction and nurture a loyal customer base.
ii). Acquire potential leads: Twitter is a micro-blogging platform, which attracts the most focused group of people in every industry.
A word of caution: Avoid asking people to buy your product from Twitter. But rather, send the leads to your sales funnel and build relationship with them.
iii). It serves as a discussion platform: Communication is the key to generating more leads and sales online.
Twitter gives you the platform to hone the benefits of your product, answer bugging questions, and giveaway plenty of value in your content.
3. Remove Unnecessary Social Sharing Buttons From Your Blog
Which reasonable customer reads an article, and decides to share it on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+, and StumbleUpon, all at the same time?
Hold on, have you ever done it?
Of course, it’s not possible.
But that’s the mistake I see a lot of people make when they publish new content. They add too many social sharing buttons – with the hope of getting more people to click on them.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way.
Successful bloggers and digital marketers use fewer social sharing buttons on their single blog posts. Here’s an example of Neil Patel: He activated Facebook and Twitter buttons only.
In like manner, Jon Loomer, one of the social media influencers on digital marketing uses only 3 social buttons. And his latest post typically generate more than 300 shares. Take a look:
Less is more.
If you use too many social buttons, you’ll create a situation known as “Paradox of choice.”
Truth be told, social platforms have provided a good means of sending visitors into the funnel, especially now that we have lots of them.
You don’t want to confuse people with too many social buttons. Therefore, stick to 2 or 3 at most. Don’t exceed this number, else, you’ll discourage people from sharing your content.
Displaying lots of social buttons on your blog can actually send your customers away. According to Doug Antkowiak, “too many options can cripple decision making.”
In fact, removing unnecessary social sharing buttons can increase conversions.
It’s always good to check analytics to know which of the social sites are sending more traffic to your site. Stick to your best performers, even if it’s just Facebook.
For example, if you’re generating 95% traffic from Twitter, there’s no need adding LinkedIn or Google+. Isn’t it obvious that your target audience hangs out more on Twitter than other social networks?
Rather than dividing the attention, you should optimize your content and focus on one social site. This way, you’ll maximize your traffic generation, and boost online sales.
Social media isn’t a one-edged tool. The same way social media can build your business is equally the way it can mar it.
Content marketing doesn’t stop at content creation.
You also need to promote it. Which is way more important.
But while at it, stick to the social media platforms that will deliver the best traffic, leads, and sales to your business.
4. Promote Your Content On Reddit By Getting Into The Conversation
Are you getting into the conversation?
Your target audience are already hanging out on reddit – a social media discussion board. The more active you get on this platform, the more traction your content will gain.
Trust me, Reddit is huge. As of 2014 reddit recorded a staggering traffic.
With millions of people joining reddit since 2006, you can’t ignore it. Don’t you think it’s a great platform to promote your content and create more brand awareness?
If you ask me, I think it is.
Redditors (the fancy name for reddit users) are always looking for useful and interesting content – especially the ones with visuals.
Smart content marketers are leveraging reddit already to grow their business. For example, Ryan Stewart generated 1,691 visits to his website from reddit in 27 days (without spending a penny).
Since redditors are not after brands per se, but free information – this gives you the opportunity to create high-value content, while integrating humor and visuals into it.
On a daily basis, lots of brands are leveraging Reddit’s robust platform to reach a larger audience. Brands like Nissan, Glamour Magazine, Ikea, Adam and Eve, et al.
It’s high time you give reddit a short. If you’ve created an interesting and helpful content on any topic, go on, share it with the redditors.
You can also communicate with your customers via Reddit. You can answer questions, and keep your customers abreast of new products (Although, you don’t have to be pushy).
In 2012, the POTUS used reddit to host a half hour virtual Q&A, where President Obama responded to questions. According to The Washington Post, the traffic was so heavy that reddit had to shut down temporarily.
As a web 2.0 site that’s influenced by users, building a strong rapport with your customers is attainable. Because the platform is more interactive and user friendly.
5. Hack Buzzsumo’s Most Shared Content In Your Niche
Can I be honest with you?
Oh, I appreciate your permission. Here’s the harsh truth:
Start a business is easy, growing it is difficult.
Even creating a website won’t get you the success. But it’ll only serve as a foundation to help achieve your goal.
Already, over 2 million blog posts are published per day.
How do you get people to read your content, share it, and trust you enough to purchase your product?
Honestly, it’s difficult!
But it can be done.
Buzzsumo is a vital search tool that keeps track of all content and the number of shares they generated on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and Pinterest.
Trust me, this is a game changer.
Now, you don’t have to guess or assume that people will read and share your content. You can be 98% sure.
All you have to do is enter your keyword (topic you want to write about) into the search box, and click on the “Go!” button.
Let’s enter “landing pages” into the search box and see the most shared content on that topic.
Next, here’s the screenshot of the most shared content all over the world, for the keyword landing pages:
Apart from hacking your Buzzsumo’s most shared post, it also gives you insights as a marketer.
For example, you can model the most shared headlines and create yours. Let’s do it:
Most shared headline:
My Awesome Show Tips Landing Page
My Awesome Link Building Strategies You Should Know
Study viral content and use your findings to create better content.
6. Stand Out: Create Videos For Your Influencer Outreach
The term “stand out” has become a cliché.
But the truth is, how many B2B and B2C businesses are taking the bold step to make a true impact?
Building your brand through influencer marketing is a sure way to boost your online sales. However, delivering enormous value to your customers is what makes the difference.
Influencers are people who have build a large network of loyal followers on social media, blogs, and offline. With the respect they command, your audience will respond to them.
According to Nielsen, “92% of people trust recommendations from people they know over brands.”
This is why most competitors are striving hard to outshine their competitors.
There are basically 3 ways to get started with influencer marketing. But content is the center of them all.
When it comes to influencer marketing, how your reach out matters. Generally, 8 out of 10 marketers reach out through written emails, while some others retweets, comments, or helps an influencer in any way.
But the best way to stand out when you send outreach emails is by sending out an a short instructional video.
For example, the University of Wisconsin EDU-TAINS with Powtoon video – and this positioned them in the educational industry.
Although email has contributed immensely to the achievement of content marketing goals, but you can power your content campaigns and create more engagement with visuals – since they’re more appealing and interesting to work with.
Though, a single tweet from an influencer has the potential to grow your leads and sales, but the type of content you use to reach out to them is a determinant factor.
Several studies have shown that humans respond more to visual content. Therefore, it’s better to use visuals (e.g., Videos) to add flavor to your content.
How you share your videos also matters.
Ideally, before and after your influencer outreach, you should maximize the impact of your videos by publishing it on YouTube.
Influencer marketing creates a mutual relationship. When you first make the video or content about them, they’ll be glad to let the word out. And that’s exactly why you reached out in the first place.
7. Create Long-Form Articles With Rich Media
To some, writing long-form articles is a waste of time.
What do you think?
Here’s what Neil Patel discovered:
In my personal experience, long-form articles have generated high paying clients for my business, than short-form content.
Let’s be clear on what this means:
- Long-form article is usually in-depth, rich, and useful, with 1,000+ words.
- Short-form article is short, powerful, and contains 300 – 700 words.
Truth is, if you want to get better results with content marketing, pay more attention to long-form content.
Interestingly, long-form content gets more social shares and inbound links. It makes the audience to trust you more, because you’ve proven your expertise in a given topic.
With long-form articles, you‘ll definitely get more leads, and Google will choose to rank your pages higher – if users are spending more time on page.
In reality, Google algorithm tends to regard long-form content to be more relevant and useful.
According to a research by Time, 55% of visitors that click through to a page will spend less than 15 seconds if the post isn’t useful.
Furthermore, if you were able to hold a visitor’s attention for a minute, that visitor will likely visit your website again. This is what Google wants.
On the flip side, the average shares of long-form content is huge. Here’s a chart from Okdork and Buzzsumo that justifies it.
Grantland after he left ESPN to start his own business testified to the great success he’s achieved with long-form articles.
8. Spend 20% Of Your Time Blogging, 80% Promoting Your Posts
Don’t act as though content marketing is all about content creation. There’s more. Way more!
“You need to strike a good balance between creating content and promoting them,” says Michael Chibuzor
Where do you spend more time on: creating or promoting content?
Most content digital marketers believe that publishing new content regularly is the deal.
But Derek Halpern proved them wrong. And recommended the 80/20 rule (insights from the Pareto Principle).
Don’t get caught up in the noise.
Content marketing refers to creating and promoting your content to attract customers.
Content + Promotion = Results (e.g., traffic, leads, sales)
Why waste time creating content that you’ve no concrete plan of promoting, unless you have built enough audience.
Laura Roeder of LKR Social Media increased their traffic in 2013, by promoting content across social, search, and industry blogs.
This is the way to go…
Music industry is a good example of 80/20 practice. Because as an upcoming artiste, they spend lots of money promoting their songs on Radio, Newspapers, TV, and via the internet.
The smart artistes often go the extra mile to organize concerts – and give away free tickets. They want attention. With attention comes opportunities. And opportunities generate money.
9. Ensure Your Content Reflects Your Brand’s Voice
Your brand is your identity.
If it’s not unique, then you would likely struggle to win more customers.
If your content is featured on another blog, do you think that potential customers will be able to relate with your brand?
Superior branding is a very important aspect of business. It strengthens the business from the inside – and reflects on the outside for the world to see.
But it involves long-term work.
That being said, though, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel, but you should strive to create content that reflects your brand’s voice: ideology, culture, belief system, and the like.
Every brand has a voice. Your brand voice is what differentiates you from others. It’s unique to you. It keeps customers coming back for more, because they can’t get enough of it.
Statistic by Forbes shows the impact that your brand voice can make on your content. As you can see, the trend keeps increasing.
Don’t be confused. Your brand voice could be your tone, enthusiasm, approach, etc. You just need to find out your unique value proposition – and make sure that your content revolves around it.
10. Start Content Remarketing
Remarketing allows people that visited your website previously, but didn’t convert to continuously see your ad when they visit other sites.
It’s a fact that only a measly 5 – 8% of your first time visitors will convert.
But here’s the good news, with remarketing, you can recover 95% of leads you thought were lost forever.
You’ll definitely increase ad impressions through remarketing. Data from Search Engine Land found that conversion rates increase with more ad impressions.
A live example is Ben Lloyd’s client. They launched a retargeting campaign, increase and increased their conversions by 218% in a 6-month time frame.
Content marketing is all about locating the right audience where they are, and giving them compelling content that will better their lives.
Remarketing (or retargeting) evokes emotion – when the same set of people see the same ads they ignored the previously.
To them, “this might be worth checking out.”
A popular quote by liz Wendling says that “people buy emotionally and justifies logically”
Knowing the exact stage the visitor is in your funnel is important.
Basically, the marketing funnel is made up of stages that cater to ideal customers who want:
Personalizing your ads will likely get you better results. This way, you can re-engage 70% of people who left the shopping carts without completing a purchase.
Most people visit a website or landing page and leave without taking the appropriate action.
But all hope isn’t lost yet. With remarketing, you still stand a chance of bringing them back to your page and converting them.
11. Captivate Your Audience Through Story Telling
Another way to increase sales is compelling content. I mean content that provokes people to action. Content that holds attention till the end.
Use storytelling to give your content a life.
Here’s an example of a perfect storytelling example from Derek Halpern:
See, you can’t resist content (e.g., blog post, article, video, podcast) that started out with an interesting story.
Hey, didn’t you know that using storytelling to spice your content makes it engaging?
Sure, it does.
A good story nudges people into action. It compels them to change.
Jeremy Hsu, an American Scientist said that 65% of our conversations are made up of gossip and story.
How does storytelling relate to your specific product or service?
Stop communicating in a boring manner. Even if your topic is boring, that doesn’t mean you’re doomed.
Starting content by projecting how awesome your product/service can transform lives is boring. Period!
But spicing up your content with a memorable story will paint you red in the midst of green colors.
The best way to succeed is to look into the success story of brands and marketers who have succeeded.
Through storytelling, and delivering immense content value, Joe Pulizzi, founder of Content Marketing Institute has literally dominated the major social media platforms.
Before you create your content, ask yourself this question: “How do I engage people, especially at the beginning?”
Hey, there’s no better way than to tell a captivating story. Humans are offsprings of stories. From the inception of life, stories have held us together.
This is why you can’t fail when you use storytelling to introduce your content, build strong desire, and call to action.
12. Be Bold: Write About A Controversial Topic (Back It Up Though)
Who dares to talk about it?
Well, you should.
Truth is, if you want to be heard in today’s noisy web, you need to sound different from others. Find a way to disagree, but back up your points, nonetheless.
Do you believe that content is king?
If yes, then I’ll surprise you. Derek Halpern disagreed and presented a more viable pointer on why content isn’t king – but DESIGN.
Don’t fall for the crap. And don’t be controlled by what people think or say. Find out the truth and create content that grabs people’s attention.
You can’t publish content that’s same everywhere and expect results. It doesn’t work that way.
Therefore, you need to improve your writing.
For example, since WordStream started sounding differently in its content, the traffic had doubled by more than 30%.
Isn’t it wonderful?
They modified overused topics and made them valuable. Being unique doesn’t imply telling a lie. If you tour that path, of course, you’ll lose customers and ruin your business.
The purpose of approaching controversial topics is to make a point. Actually, it can help you gain more traction online.
Listen up: Customers like marketers who can speak up without any form of fear.
Isn’t it controversial to say that Snakes and Rats are playing together? We all know that rats are prey to snakes. But there must be a reason for such a statement.
It’s controversial. But with a strong ideology, good analysis and points, you can prove and convince your audience.
You know, the public is hungry for exceptional content. Using your mental power to satisfy them through a controversial topic is a good idea. Don’t you think so?
But don’t go extreme in your controversy. Don’t handle topics you can’t defend, else, it will boomerang.
13. Integrate Millennials Into Your Content Strategy
Millennials are group of people that were born between 1980 – 2000. They’re young people between age 18 – 30. To a large extent, they control the world and its economy right now.
And they’re addicted to mobile phones.
They view the world differently.
How can you reach these people with your content?
Accenture forecasts that by the year 2020, Millennials will be spending $1.4 trillion annually or 30% of all retail sales in the US alone.
In the US, the millennials are the largest. They even surpass the X generation, and Baby boomers.
Read this quote about the Millennials:
The X generation talk about long content, these millennials hate long boring content – especially when the content doesn’t meet their specific needs and lifestyle.
So how will you create content that interests them?
Start with an extensive research to understand your how the millennials behave.
Basically, they like funny and provoking content.
They’re technologically inclined. They like controversy. They like to follow brands with a strong culture, and they like interaction on social media (e.g., chatting, commenting, tweeting).
14. Keep Your Brand In The Spotlight
As you know, building your brand takes a lot of effort, investment, and time.
It’s a battle for attention. Everybody is clamoring for attention. Content marketing helps you keep your brand in the spotlight.
When you’re in the spotlight, the competition becomes an advantage to your brand. In the heat of competition, the light shines on you and the audience sees you first.
Here are simple tips to get your brand to the spotlight:
- Know your audience, their problems, and what interests them.
- Know your core competitors and learn from them.
- Write content that helps you build relationship with the audience.
- Encourage interaction with your audience on social media networks.
- Create fresh content consistently.
- Design and use high-converting landing pages.
- Avoid ambiguity. Create content using simple terms. Your customers don’t need to get a dictionary before they read your content.
- Focus on building your audience. Give away plenty of value.
- Link to other related sites and they will in turn send traffic your way.
- Solve a specific problem with your content. You’ll fail if you focus on too many problems at once.
15. Ask Questions & Get People To Participate In Your Content
Do you want to start a discussion with your audience, asking questions is a great idea. The right questions will often yield the right answers.
You can use questions like this to draw response:
In a recent post at Shopify, Kevin Donnelly introduced it with a question:
Asking questions in your content makes it conversational. It’d seem as though you’re talking to one person. And you should…
When you ask questions and get feedback, it tells you what the audience feel about your content, product, and brand.
On the other hand, when you respond to customers’ questions, they’ll feel honored.
A simple question from Skittles to his fan generated 5,000 responses. That’s impressive!
On social media, question posts are usually the best performers.
16. Use Visuals To Improve Your Written Content
The impact of visuals can never be overemphasized.
Typically, visual content are images, pictures, infographics, slides, videos, and other forms of multimedia content that can be seen.
A recent research by HubSpot showed that people remember 10% of text information after 3 days, but 65% retention after 3 days, if it’s an image. The demand is huge.
Ideally, when writing your content, use visuals to improved its value.
Content Marketing Institute recommends that for every 350 words, you should add an image, video, chart, slides, and so on, to your content.
Here’s a template that you can model.
17. Respect Your Customers: Listen To Them
Your customers are your assets. So, treat them like Kings.
Poor performance and bad customer experience made 89% of customers switch to another brand.
Truth is, listening ability is a great virtue for marketers. Start by listening to customers complaints, feedback, and questions. Use this feedback to create branded content that’s helpful.
Do you care to know whether your customers are happy, satisfied or unhappy?
Don’t grow weary because of customers complaints, they just want to hear from you more and be a part of what your business represents.
If you can develop this mindset and receive customer feedback wholeheartedly, you’ll see a leap in your conversion rate.
18. Keep An Ideas Diary: Don’t Be Stranded
You need to keep an idea diary closeby. When you attend conferences, read blogs, or listen to podcast, take notes.
These are your idea sources, when you’re ready to create new content.
Even an ocean has a source. Ocean sources are the small rivers and water bodies flowing to it.
Any ocean that blocks its source will dry up – irrespective of how mighty the ocean may seem right now.
You’re a professional, that I know. But one day, you’ll run out of ideas and not know what to write about.
The ultimate question is, “what will you do?”
To stay at the top of your game:
- Document your ideas: Go to seminars, conferences, travel out, document new ideas in your diary. Read books and blogs, watch videos, buy materials online and improve your knowledge.
- Know your competitors and study their strategy: You can’t win a war when you don’t know your enemy. Competitors are not enemies though, but you need to know them.
Discover their weak points and leverage on that.
- Create a strategy to spotlight your business: After analyzing your competitors, and with the documented ideas, you need to form a team that’ll brainstorm and come up with useful content ideas.
19. Use Strong Call-To-Actions To Get More Subscribers
Don’t chase people away with a weak or boring call to action. Get creative, and nudge people to take action right now. BUT don’t be pushy.
For example, the CTA copy, “Click to buy for $100” can be restructured to ‘Get free Access’, ‘Download Now’, ‘Send me a copy’, ‘Add to cart’, ‘Start a free trial’. You should be rather persuasive than agitating for sales.
Here’s an example of a strong, yet non-pushy CTA, from David Siteman Garland:
If a little adjustment can cause 68% increase as seen in the image below, then it means that customers are affected by your CTA Design and copy.
20. Create Customer Persona
A customer persona is a powerful tool for automating your content marketing business. It’s your responsibility to create one. Why?
Because there’s no wrong way to go about reaching your customers, provided you know who these customers really are.
I mean, you can describe your ideal customer, what they look like, what they need/want, and the best way they go about looking for solutions.
That’s what a buyer persona reveals to you. According to Xtensio, “Every decision you make, from product features to the tone of your taglines, needs to answer to your customers.”
Here’s Clark Andrew’s persona:
While many marketers believe that using videos will convert more leads into customers, I’ve seen several other marketers who stick to written content – and they’re growing their business at every level.
What, are you serious?
I already know my target audience and I know everything about them, why should I have to create a persona?
A customer persona is more than their demographics. It’s a document that sketches the ideal customers of your business. You don’t want to be like those businesses that publish content every week without having any clue of whether it helps their buyers.
A customer persona is a fictional sketch of your ideal customer. It helps you produce compelling content that your ideal customers actually crave for.
When you understand your customers and have a clear understanding of who they are – and these personas are shared with the entire content marketing team – it results in a revenue increase and better customer engagement.
Data from Mad Marketer found that 71% of businesses that meet their objectives and generate expected revenue have developed buyer personas. In another research, 90% of businesses reported that they better understand their buyers after creating personas.
Buyer personas don’t just help with content marketing but they help with all types of marketing.
How to create content marketing persona
Here is a brief overview of how to create strong personas to boost content marketing.
- Sketch your ideal customer (Age, job, income, gender, etc.)
- What challenges customers face that are related to your products and content.
- How your customer access information (images, videos, infographics, text, or a mix of all of them).
- What influences the content consumption of the customer (a celebrity, friends, social media, etc.)
- What your buyer cares about (job, family, status, etc.)
Yes, it has to be like this and you have to collect all the relevant information from your potential buyers and existing customers through various mediums.
Create multiple buyer personas.
At the end, every persona will have its own unique sketch, a personality.
Every piece of content that you publish will generate leads and sales and will not just stay out there doing nothing.
21. Use Facebook Ads to Promote Your Content
Writing content is important but what’s more important is promoting it. You should spend 20% of your time creating content while remaining 80% should be spent on promoting the content.
There couldn’t be any better place to promote content than Facebook, because Facebook is the most used social network throughout the world with massive reach.
It’s used in 129 out of 137 countries that were analyzed with over 1.6 billion active monthly users.
If you have to find most of your target audience on a single platform, it is none other than Facebook. Whatever you write, promote it through Facebook ads.
With Facebook ads, you can target the right people based on their interest and demographics. Facebook knows everything about your customers and it lets you show ads to the most appropriate people.
You can select target audience based on their interest, education, work experience, job, income level, religion, and much more.
Due to its massive reach, Facebook is the most famous advertising platform among marketers. More than 92% of marketers prefer advertising on Facebook due to its targeting and reach.
Facebook allows several types of ads ranging from lead generation to page likes to website clicks to app installs to post engagement and more. Though you can send traffic directly to your website from Facebook but that is not considered a great idea.
Website clicks are way too expensive because Facebook doesn’t like sending its visitors off Facebook. Besides, people aren’t in a buying mode when they are on Facebook since it’s a social network.
If a person is busy chatting with his friend, he’s least likely to click on an ad no matter how relevant the ad is.
The best approach is to keep traffic on Facebook, engage with them on Facebook, and later send them to your website through the Facebook page.
22. Learn to Listen to Your Customers
Not listening to your customers is the biggest mistake a business can ever make. We have seen time and again how business suffer if they ignore their customers.
Netflix ignored its customers by not listening to them and lost 800K subscribers when it increased prices by 40% and separated its DVD business line from streaming.
When Netflix announced the changes on its blog, it received more than 11K negative comments. But the brand ignored them.
Later, a study analyzed the impact of Netflix’s decision on its customers. There were some 139,784 different customer reviews and opinions all over the internet after 14 hours of the announcement. Some 26% of the customers clearly indicated they will stop using Netflix if price increases.
Netflix ignored these (and many other) customers and ended up losing more than 800,000 subscribers and the stock price dipped from $300 to $100.
“Listen to your customers.”
They will tell you what type of content they like and how they want it to be delivered. You can finally create content that your customers love to read and share.
There are several ways to listen to your customers.
- Monitor social media with the help of tools like Social Mention. More than 56% of millennials use Twitter to share their stories. See what your customers are saying about your brand.
- Read comments posted on the blog. Not just your blog but on other blogs where you post regularly.
- Use Google Alerts to get instant alerts of brand mentions and customer reviews.
- Use online communities such as Quora, Reddit, and related discussion boards to get in touch with your customers.
- Conduct surveys to get feedback from customers and target audience instantly. This is perhaps the best technique to listen to them.
Your customers expect you to be everywhere. If a customer is posting a bad review of your brand on a forum, he is expecting that it will be read by the brand or one of its representative.
Do not disappoint them by not listening to them.
23. Repurpose Your Written Content Into Videos & Podcasts to Reach New Audience
Why repurpose your written content?
Niti Shah shares a simple yet effective purpose of doing this. You can target different leads at different stages of the sales funnel.
Repurposing content helps reach a new audience by reaching people that are interested in videos and/or podcasts. Not all of your potential buyers read your blog, those who visit your blog prefer videos, instead of blog posts.
Your target audience has different needs and a good content marketer ensures that every individual in the target market is reached.
How to convert blog posts into podcasts
Around 13% of the US internet users listen to podcasts. If you are not creating podcasts, you are not reaching 13% of your target audience that resides in the US and is probably searching (or waiting) for your podcasts.
To get started, you have to record an audio version of your blog post. Use any recording software (like Audacity). Host the audio file on Feedburner and submit it on your blog, iTunes, and on podcast directories.
If you can’t record it yourself, you can hire a professional.
How to convert blog posts into videos
According to a report by Cisco, 82% of traffic on the internet will come from videos by 2020. Let’s prepare your brand for the future.
Converting a blog post into a video is dead simple:
- Copy blog post in a Word file.
- Import the Word file into a PowerPoint file and create a slide show. At this stage, you might have to remove content and reformat it to make it suitable for slides.
- Add relevant images.
- Record presentation as video using ScreenFlow or any other tool of your choice.
- Publish video on the blog, YouTube, and on social networks.
Creating and publishing podcasts and videos will not help much if you do not promote them.
24. Answer Questions on Quora & Link to Your Post
Quora is a powerful source of traffic and backlinks. You can make your content shine with the help of Quora by answering people’s questions and linking back to a relevant blog post.
Cara Tarbaj generated more than 23K views on Quora in a single month. Not just views but she receives traffic from Quora. It is the second highest traffic source for her.
Before you start using Quora, make sure that it is not a platform for selling. It is, in fact, the last place where you should sell or promote your products. It should be purely used for sharing knowledge.
Before you answer your first question on Quora, make sure:
- Your profile is updated.
- You have added detailed bio and have connected your social accounts with the Quora profile.
- You have selected the most appropriate topics of your interest on Quora.
Now, here is how to spread knowledge and build authority with Quora:
- Choose a blog post that you wish to promote. Not necessarily a blog post but you can choose a video, podcast, a guide, or anything that you want to.
- Visit Quora and find relevant questions that are related to the content you wish to promote. This is crucial because linking to an irrelevant post will not help much.
- Answer questions with an intention to ‘help’ and somewhere in the answer link to the content you are promoting. Do it naturally with a call-to-action.
- Add images and videos in the answers to make them appealing.
Do it regularly – preferably daily.
Quora is not a one-time show. You have to test and tweak your answers to come up with the type of answers that readers upvote and share. Monitor traffic to see what works and what doesn’t.
25. Create an Infographic & Share With Fellow Bloggers
Infographics can fit perfectly into several customer acquisition channels. Infographics have the power to drive traffic, generate backlinks, and go viral. This is the single best content marketing strategy that can take your traffic numbers to another level.
For example, KISSmetrics published 47 infographics in two years and they generated 41,142 backlinks and 2,512,596 visitors. Not to mention the thousands of shares and likes on Facebook and Twitter.
But why infographics?
Simply because people love reading visual content. Research shows that the willingness to read content increases by 80% if the content is visually appealing.
Creating an infographic isn’t just enough.
It should be engaging and must be for your target audience. One of the top priorities of content marketers for 2016 is to create engaging content.
If it isn’t engaging, it will not be shared.
Once an infographic is created, it must be shared with the target audience as well as with fellow bloggers. Every blogger that shares your infographic will link back to your website and this will generate hundreds of backlinks.
- Make it easier for the bloggers to share the infographic on their website.
- Contact bloggers to share your infographic with their audience.
- Don’t hesitate to ask for a link. After all, it is your infographic.
26. Post Your Content to Medium.com
Medium is a social publishing platform which is all about posting content. It is all about what you have to say.
Medium is one powerful channel to promote content and to repost your content. It just puts your content in front of the right eyeballs at the right time.
What else a content marketer need?
Simon Owens is a consultant and writer who is using Medium as its primary source of getting new clients. He puts a strong CTA at the end of every article that he posts and it drives traffic to his website. He says:
“I’m full right now and can’t take on more clients, but the call-to-actions I used to include in my (Medium) articles went something like, ‘Do you want me to write for you? Click here to learn more.”
Put yourself in Simon shoes for a moment where you are full and cannot take more clients.
Isn’t it an insane idea?
Just in case if you are worried about the duplicate content, Medium has the answer:
“The official tools for cross-posting (including the Migration tool, Import tool, WordPress plugin, and IFTTT) add the source it is importing from as the canonical link automatically.”
All you have to do is post content on Medium using the official tools that will generate the canonical link automatically. You will reach more audience without doing any extra work.
The only requirement is to link back to your blog so that you get the credit and traffic. The idea is to drive traffic and to get exposure.
27. Build a Daily Email Series or Course to Engage Your Subscribers
As much as 93% of marketers use email marketing to engage with their subscribers. It is the most used marketing channel by B2B marketers.
Creating an email course from the existing blog posts is one of the easiest ways to keep your subscribers busy.
You have the content already. It doesn’t cost a cent to collect related blog posts on the same topic, merge them, do minor editing, and the course is ready to be scheduled.
For instance, you write regularly on the benefits of large electric heaters. You have, let’s say, 55 posts on the subject published on your blog including guides, how-to articles, DIY blog posts, and more. Selecting a sub-topic (say how-to articles) and then creating a course is easy.
You can do it, right?
Choosing the right topic is important. You do not want your subscribers to mark your emails as spam. Therefore, create something that they love.
- Use Google Analytics to see what type of blog posts are most liked by your readers?
- Monitor social media for post engagement numbers.
- Or, simply send a short survey to your email subscribers. Ask them what type of course they need.
This type of daily email series will keep your subscribers engaged. You are not selling them anything. You just want to show your existence.
Note: Do not create an email course for the sake of a course. Subscribers hate spam. Do not send anything that’s mediocre in their inboxes. A poor email course can backfire.
28. Share Your Content as a PDF
The number of people who have at least one digital reading device (such as Kindle) increased from 18% to 29% in just a month. In another research, 41% of readers use eBook readers, while 83% of people read e-books regularly.
E-reading is on the rise and this means business for content marketers.
A good chunk of your target audience is interested in reading PDFs and eBooks. Better start providing them with what they need.
Converting your existing content into PDF will help drive traffic, increase brand awareness, generate links, and will generate a new channel for potential buyers to find you.
Here is a screenshot from one of the PDFs of Ana Hoffman. It has generated 2071 views and it has some nice links.
Converting existing content (blog posts and articles) into a PDF is super-easy. There are multiple ways to do it.
- Use a tool like PrintFriendly that will generate a print-friendly PDF version of any web page. Copy and paste the URL, and consider it done.
- You can manually convert the Word document into PDF. Click Save As and select PDF. This gives you more flexibility in terms of editing and adding header and footer.
- A more professional approach is to create a PDF template for your brand and use to share all the PDFs. Hire a freelancer for creating a PDF template.
The next step is sharing PDF on multiple PDF sharing websites such as Docstoc, DocDroid, SlideShare, Scribd, and many others.
Do not forget to add a strong CTA with the PDF so as to entice readers to click on the link and find your website.
29. Create Content Ads on Outbrain
Outbrain is a content discovery network. It is used by advertisers and content marketers to promote content on their massive publisher network which includes sites such as CNN.
You must have seen 5 to 10 recommended articles at the end of a blog post that are not specifically on the same blog. These are the content ads that marketers use to generate traffic.
As a content marketer, you should use Outbrain to drive traffic and to boost brand awareness with content ads.
Sharing your latest post with a killer headline as recommended post on other blogs is not a bad idea especially when you are paying cents for a click.
There are certain basic rules that must be followed to get most from your content ads.
Use your best article to promote on the network. The headline and the image must connect emotionally with the readers. Your target audience will only see a tiny image and the headline. You only these two weapons to win the war.
Entertainment, fun, and visual content perform better on Outbrain. Convert your dull and boring articles into visually appealing and attractive articles so they get attention.
30. Reach Out to Influencers in Your Field
An influencer is someone who is active on social media and the internet , is famous, and has a massive following. Influencers have the potential to impact niches.
Think of Donald Trump, Jack Ma, Tom Cruise, and Neil Patel. These are influencers in different fields.
As much as 81% of the US consumers trust advice from blogs while 90% trust peer recommendation.
The right influencer has the power to do wonders for your brand.
But it is not easy to convince an influencer to talk about your product, recommend it, or even tweet about it. Why should Justin Bieber care about your new music app?
Reaching out to influencers in your industry is the biggest challenge.
It is a three-step process, according to Margaret Olatunbosun.
- Find the influencers in your industry. This is rather easy because you can identify them easily. There are always a few heroes in every niche. Find them and choose a few of them preferably no more than a couple.
- Hangout and connect with them on their preferred places. If they are most active on Twitter, be on Twitter. Follow them, mention, and be there. The idea is to make the influencer realize of your existence.
- Pitch your most relevant content. It should help the influencer. If it really does, it will most likely be shared by the influencer. Do it again.
31. Create an Editorial Calendar
Wikipedia defines editorial calendar as the process of defining and controlling content creation. It tells you what to post, when to post, and how to post. It gives your content marketing a clear direction.
It has several benefits ranging from consistency in content publishing to content diversification to better team collaboration and many others.
How to create an editorial calendar
Content marketing strategy: It begins with having a clear understanding of what your content marketing strategy is.
What are the goals of your content marketing? What type of content your brand needs? What type of content your readers expect from the brand?
Answers to these questions will help figure out the basics of the content calendar.
Generate ideas: Generate content ideas. Brainstorm, research, and start preparing a list of content ideas for probably next month or maybe for a full year.
Also, decide what type of content you will generate and how often. This is linked to your marketing strategy. For instance, how many infographics to publish a month?
Allocate resources: This is where you get into the nitty gritty. Writers, editors, links, content research, deadlines, posting frequency, scheduling limits, etc.
Create the editorial calendar: Finally, create the content calendar. It can be as simple as an Excel sheet or it can be created with a sophisticated tool like CoSchedule or Trello.
Hubspot has a free editorial calendar template that is worth a try.
32. Develop a Social Media-Sharing Schedule
Just like an editorial calendar, a social media sharing schedule (or a social media editorial calendar) will help build better connections with the audience, customers, and fellow bloggers.
Posting regularly on social networks and at the right time will improve user engagement to a decent extent. The first step is to understand the posting frequency.
Understanding the posting frequency, time to post, and what to post will solve your biggest dilemma, and if done right can actually double your traffic.
So how to create a social media sharing schedule that keeps your social accounts busy 24/7?
The easiest way is to use Buffer’s social media calendar. It can be replicated, modified, and used in any way you like.
Alternately, you can use an Excel sheet to prepare your own schedule from scratch.
33. Mention Your Expert Sources When Sharing on Twitter
Building trust is not easy. It might take years for a brand to build a reputation and it can lose everything with a single tweet.
Do you want to publish plagiarized and uncited content on Twitter?
Unfortunately, businesses do it unintentionally and in the process, they lose customers.
For example, you can post a tweet claiming xx percentage of people do xx things without a source. The immediate response from your followers will be to share the source.
Similarly, not mentioning ‘@username’ in the tweet when retweeting or citing someone.
Always mention your sources when sharing on Twitter and on other social networks. Do not own content that you actually do not own.
For instance, if you have to tweet the following lines from an article, it wouldn’t be justified not to cite the author.
Mentioning the source is also helpful in building connections and relationships with other businesses and influencers.
It doesn’t hurt to mention your Prime Minister in a tweet if it is related to him. You might end up driving massive traffic to your website by mentioning an influencer.
Whatever you post on Twitter, make sure you either own it or mention the source.
34. Notify Your Sources so They Read, Share & Link to Your Content
You can’t write content in isolation. No one can.
If you take inspiration from someone, use statistics, figures, ideas, or thoughts, why not notify the sources.
For example, you created a masterpiece article after spending a couple weeks. The article has hundreds of links to other sites and you’re sure that it’s something worth reading and sharing.
You can drive instant traffic and can get instant engagement by notifying the sources (the bloggers and marketers that you linked to) about your new article.
All it takes is to send an email to people and sources you have cited. Here’s a sample template that you can use:
I just wanted to reach out and say “thanks” for the nice (mention the actual source you have used in the post).
I really, really appreciate it.
I have used the source in one of my latest blog posts (insert link here). I have linked to your (website/blog/resource) from the article.
Please feel free to share the post with your audience.
Once again, thank you very much for posting linkable content.
Something along these lines will entice the receiver to read the content and if it is worth sharing (it should be), expect social engagement.
There is one requirement for this technique to work, which is, the content must be of superior quality otherwise, not just your email but the blog post will be discarded.
35. Contact People Who Have Shared Similar Content as Yours
This is a pretty famous technique that is used by some big guns like Brian Dean. In his famous Skyscraper Technique, Brian, shares the simple formula to increase search traffic by 110% in 14 days.
The third stage of the formula is to reach out to the right people who have shared similar content that you just created.
So this is one strategy that is sure to blow you away – if done right.
- Find the best performing content on the internet related to your niche.
- Create something better than what is already published.
Once you have a linkable asset created, then is the right time to contact people who have shared similar content or have shown interest in the similar content.
Here’s a brief overview of how to contact right people.
Use a competitor analysis tool such as Ahrefs, Spyfu, Majestic, or any other. Run a query for your competitor’s content. Export all the links. Screen links. Remove all the links from blog comments, forums, etc.
Now is the time to send an email to the blogs and websites asking for a backlink. Use the following template.
Hope this finds you well.
I just noticed that you have linked to […..] which is one of my favorite articles. Recently I tried to find out more about the topic, did research, read a lot of content and generated a better piece.
Here is a link to my findings [……].
If you like it, I hope you will, please feel free to share it with your audience.
Keep doing the great work.
Brian Dean used a similar template. He contacted 160 webmasters and earned 17 links.
You can use the same technique to reach out to influencers in your industry.
36. Use The A.I.D.A. Formula When Creating Your Content
A.I.D.A. is a marketing term that describes the stages an individual buyer goes through. In marketing, it is the funnel. It stands for Awareness/Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action.
When used in content creation, it can increase conversions up to 300%.
When you will understand how easy it is to use AIDA for content creation, you will laugh – literally.
i). Awareness/Attention: Grab the attention of the reader. Write extremely relevant and timely content. Here are a few questions to ask yourself when crafting an attention-grabbing article:
- What is the biggest challenge that the reader is facing?
- How your article solves it?
- What are the most common words, phrases, and key terms the potential readers use to denote their problem?
ii). Interest: This is where you tell the readers that you understand their problem and you are here to help. The idea is to develop the interest of the reader.
For example, someone is suffering from a disease, and tell him that you know how painful this disease is, and you have the solution to it.
The reader now has a solid reason to keep reading. He has his interest developed in the content.
iii). Desire: Develop a desire in the readers. There are several ways to do it.
- Link features to benefits.
- Talk about the actual benefits of the product.
- Use social proof.
- Use case studies.
iv). Action: The final stage is where you have to guide the reader what action he must take to fulfill his desire.
Looks complicated. Practice it regularly and it won’t take any more than a month to master the technique.
37. Create Powerful SlideShare Presentations & Embed on Your Post
SlideShare should be your number one resource. Why?
If you are still not using SlideShare for content marketing, you are already left behind because 41% of B2B marketers are already using it to distribute content.
SlideShare can do a lot of things for your content such as:
- Improve search engine ranking
- Increase traffic
- Build authority and trust
- Increase leads
- Increase ROI
- Gain followers
Frost & Sullivan gained thousands of leads from SlideShare in a year and it helped increase ROI 50x.
The best technique is to repurpose your blog posts and convert it into a powerful presentation. Upload it to SlideShare and embed on your post.
You don’t necessarily have to use your own content to create slides, you can use other people’s content too. Use tools like Canva, ChartBlocks, Haiku Deck, and others to create engaging and visually appealing slides.
Anything boring will not work as good.
38. Give Away Valuable Materials on Your Resources Page
Free is the best marketing approach.
Instead of selling affiliate products through the ‘resource’ page on your website, why not offer free valuable products to the visitors?
Unbounce follows this strategy. It offers free guides, webinar recordings, and video courses on its resource page.
What’s the take?
Build your list. Get visitors on your email list by offering them free resources. It’s better than selling affiliate products for two reasons.
- Your subscribers will trust you. Nobody likes to buy a product just because it’s mentioned on a resource page on some random website.
- You will build a list of potential buyers. Build a relationship with them and convert them into lifetime loyal customers.
Why not send these subscribers the email course that we talked about. They will love receiving value from you.
39. Turn Your Content Into an Irresistible Magazine on Flipboard
Flipboard is an aggregation platform. Users can create magazines, share, and interact with fellow users.
Flipboard can be a great source of traffic and engagement for your website. The good part, you can use existing content to create awesome magazines on Flipboard that will keep sending traffic for the years to come.
Harsh Agrawal generated 3862 visitors in a single day from Flipboard. All he did was converted his blog posts into Flipboard magazines and BOOM.
Just like SlideShare, you do not have to promote your magazines. Flipboard will keep sending traffic your way.
Your job is to create a sweet and clean magazine, post relevant content, add visuals, and engage with the community.
Content marketing has come to stay.
It’s your responsibility to study and understand your market, listen to your customers, collect user behavior data, and create compelling content that engages them.
Until you do that, content marketing might seem like one of the hottest terms right now. But it’ll work for your business, if you embrace it with all that you’ve got.
Did I miss out on any content marketing tips? Share your thoughts and questions in the comment box.