Strong writing may be the core of successful content marketing, but it’s just the beginning. The real secret sauce is in your content marketing strategy. Strategy brings your writing to life in a way that’s meaningful to your audience. Without content marketing strategy to fuel it, even the best writing is just words on a page or screen. Without purpose, words fall flat.
Marketers today face a world of new options to communicate a message through seemingly endless channels. From increasing awareness, educating others, and building a relationship with your target, content can serve many purposes and do more for us, far beyond a traditional advertisement. To be successful requires an intentional approach and a refocus on the fundamentals.
If your goal is to develop an effective content marketing strategy that works for your business, start by checking out these 9 secrets to successful content marketing.
9 Secrets to Successful Content Marketing
- Focus on Clear Goals
If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there. To create content that delivers results, it’s imperative that you’re clear on what it is you’re trying to achieve. Otherwise, what’s the point? The more specific the goals, the better you can customize content to reach—and hopefully, exceed—those goals.
- Know Your Audience
Never forget who you’re seeking and to whom you’re speaking. What are your audience’s pain points, preferences, priorities? Where and when are you likely to find them? Knowing your audience will help you tailor your content marketing strategy and nail your execution.
- Keep an Eye on the Competition
Are you keeping up with the Joneses? Stay up to date with your competitors’ content activities as well as with what leaders in your industry—and outside it—are doing. Use what you learn to guide, shape, and inspire your own strategy. It’s not permission to be a copycat. It’s a green light to stay informed.
- Leverage Key Messaging and Brand Voice
Who are you and what’s important? If you don’t know, neither will your audience. Spend time to define your brand voice, balancing your company culture and values with the best way to reach your audience in a way that speaks to them. Leverage that voice in all of your content conversations—consistently—while weaving in your strategic key messages. The result? Your purpose and personality will come through loud and clear.
- Diversify Your Content
Successful content marketing is a carefully constructed web weaving together multiple ways to reach and engage your audience. It’s an integrated multi-tactic, multi-product, multi-channel, multi-medium approach. It’s online and offline. It’s words and pictures. It’s video and audio. Simply stated: Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket.
- Don’t Re-Create the Wheel
Go ahead, repurpose your best original content. It’s OK! In fact, it’s more than OK—it’s the smart thing to do. Stitch together smaller pieces of content into one big one. Break down a big piece of content into snackable bites. Turn a written piece into a visual. Or simply repackage and reshare. You’ve invested a lot in your content, don’t let it be just a one-hit wonder.
- Explore Paid Tactics to Complement Organic Results
Strategically flex your content muscles with paid tactics to complement—and boost—your organic results. Expand your reach. Grow your audience. Reach new prospects. Paid tactics can help you move the needle faster than organic alone.
- Prioritize Quality over Quantity
Don’t be trapped by the idea that you have to churn out tons of content to be successful. In fact, the opposite is true. A content marketing strategy that prioritizes quality over quantity will produce superior results. Audiences will tune in to content that resonates with them. If it doesn’t, it’s just noise they’ll tune out. That being said, if you need frequency to achieve your goals, then, by all means, go for it—just don’t lose focus on the quality, too.
- Play the Long Game
Successful content marketing is a marathon, not a sprint. It’s also not a set-it-and-forget-it plan, it’s a long-term strategy that requires attention and commitment to thrive. If you’re in it to win it, focus on playing the long game.
Have questions? I’d love to tell you more. Connect with me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A Content Strategist and Copywriter with Dotted Line, Amy Gerhart Favreau is a strategic thinker, word nerd, and communication engineer. A unique blend of writer, journalist, and marketer—a writer with purpose!—she has more than 25 years of experience, including publishing, agency, corporate, and nonprofit. When not at the keyboard or meeting with clients, you can find her at the baseball field or wandering the stacks at the library.