Whether you’re an old hand or a greenhorn in content marketing, you know you have to be a stand-out marketer to succeed in this competitive field.
To create content that converts, you must understand your target audience inside out and tailor content that speaks to their pain points.
This calls for exceptional content marketing, research, and writing skills. Good thing you can learn these skills and polish them on the job.
To start you off, here are 10 top content marketing tips to help you create content that’ll wow your audience and increase traffic and sales.
Let’s dig in.
1. Understand Your Content Marketing Goals
Any excellent content marketing strategy is focused on specific and measurable goals.
On the whole, your content marketing goals should align with your overall business goals and advocate for your company’s products and services. However, to get a more profitable outcome from your content, you must categorize goals and design content that advances each goal. This way, you’ll avoid the spray and pray marketing approach that falls short for many marketers.
For instance, if you’re marketing a well-known product or an established business, your top five marketing goals may include:
- Building loyalty with current customers
- Increasing sales and revenue
- Educating your audience
- Increasing your subscribed audience
- Boosting your brand authority
Conversely, if you’re marketing a new product or a new company, your marketing goals may look like this:
- Building brand awareness
- Generating demand and new leads
- Disseminating product knowledge
- Generating sales and revenue
- Establishing credibility and trust
When you break down your marketing goals into separate niches, you’ll have a clear content creation roadmap that’ll help you achieve your goals faster and more efficiently.
A Coscedule study found that 74% of marketers set marketing goals, but only 3% say they consistently achieve them. Hence, if you want to be among the top 3% of marketers that achieve their goals routinely, you must first understand your content marketing goals by defining and classifying them.
2. Understand Your Target Audience and Buyer Persona
When you break down your target audience’s demographic and psychographic traits into smaller bits, you create a customer profile that portrays what your ideal customer looks like. This is called a buyer persona, and it comes in handy when creating content.
A well-researched buyer persona guides you to develop blog posts and content marketing relevant to your prospective audience. And because you can create multiple buyer personas, you’ll have a clear-cut strategy for creating targeted content.
To create a powerful buyer persona, you must invest time and resources to do in-depth audience research, establish customer goals and challenges, and outline how your company can help.
Take, for instance, this buyer persona profile:
Name: CEO Matt
Background: Matt is a successful New York entrepreneur with a good deal of disposable income to spend on designer watches.
Goals: Matt has a rich collection of modern watches, and he wants to add antique watches — the classic oldies — to his collection.
Challenges: Matt can’t find a genuine seller close to his location. He’s looking for a local seller before he thinks of importing.
How we help: Our watch store stocks plenty of antique watches from all over the world, and we can supply Matt with his favorite watches without delay.
Following this customer persona for the above watch store, you can craft relevant content that speaks to Matt and similar customers directly.
You can bet Matt will find such an article extraordinarily relevant and valuable because it addresses his sphere of interest. Hence, Matt will be more inclined to read the entire article and buy from the watch store in the long end.
Is a Buyer Persona Different From a Target Audience?
Most marketers view buyer personas and target audiences in the same light and use the two phrases interchangeably.
In practice, a buyer persona and a target audience work together. However, there’s a slight difference — specificity.
A target audience represents a larger group of your ideal customer base, while a buyer persona represents one customer within that customer base.
Hence, a buyer persona is a more detailed profile of specific persons in your customer base, while a target audience is a general overview of your overall audience base.
This means you derive buyer personas from target audiences. Both are essential for your content marketing and should collaborate to make your strategy more successful.
3. Write Content That Reflects Your Brand’s Voice
Every successful brand has a unique personality that distinguishes them from the competition.
This personality is blended into a company’s communication, content, and marketing strategies to evoke certain audience emotions. We call this the brand voice.
Take, for instance, Bud Light’s brand voice.
Whenever we come across a Bud Light ad, we’re prepared for a good laugh. Why? Because over the years, Bud Light’s brand voice has consistently followed an off-beat and slapstick approach that makes their ads humorous and relatable. Because of this, most people anticipate a hilarious twist in a Bud Light ad and feel attached to Bud Light’s comical brand voice.
Just like Bud Light, your content should be your brand’s first ambassador across all your marketing channels.
Conversely, if your brand’s voice is friendly and conversational, you should include funny and intriguing anecdotes in your content to keep your audience base engrossed.
With a good and consistent brand voice, you’ll enjoy the following benefits:
- Create strong and lasting first impressions
- Build brand loyalty
- Increase brand recognition
- Stand out from the competition
- Attract new prospects at a lower customer acquisition cost
As such, infusing your brand’s voice into all your content should be one of the content marketing best practices you follow devoutly. But even before you blend your brand voice into your content writing, you must first craft a befitting brand voice.
When creating your brand voice, consider these handy tips:
- Ensure your brand voice aligns with your company’s overall mission and value proposition.
- Research your target audience to ensure they resonate with your brand’s tone of voice.
- Analyze your past and current top-performing content pieces to get a feel of the style and tone your audience loves.
- Define clearly what your brand’s tone of voice shouldn’t feel like.
Thankfully, once you get the right tone of voice for your brand, integrating it into your content is much easier.
However, remember that you’ll need to summarize your brand’s voice in one document for all your company employees and outsourced staff to reference when creating any marketing or communication material.
This way, all your content will reflect your brand’s voice across all channels.
4. Perform Keyword Research
Doing proper keyword research is one of the best content marketing tips that will remain evergreen because keyword research is the foundation of every successful SEO and content marketing campaign.
And it comes down to selecting the right keywords.
It’s true you’ll have your work cut out for you, but we’ll break down the nitty-gritty of performing keyword research to make it a breeze for you.
Let’s jump in.
Step 1: Know What Makes a Keyword Good or Bad
Every company’s ultimate keywords are high volume low competition keywords. But getting such keywords is a long shot, and you would, for the most part, need to hire SEO services to help you get the most competitive keywords.
Even so, you should know what keywords to avoid and which ones you should optimize.
Preferably, you want to prioritize long-tail keywords overhead keywords because long-tail keywords are less competitive, more accurate, and yield a higher conversion rate.
For instance, if you sell vintage watches locally, optimizing for the head keyword — watches — is way more complicated than optimizing for a long-tail keyword like — vintage watches for men over 40.
Step 2: Select a Keyword Research Tool
You’ll find many keyword research tools that’ll help you find the most relevant keywords for your niche show you the search volume, cost per click, associated keywords, competitor keyword analysis, and other essential metrics.
These tools are remarkably convenient and have become a must-have when performing keyword research.
They include SEMrush, Ahrefs Keyword Explorer, KWFinder, Majestic, AnswerThePublic, KeyWord Surfer, UberSuggest, Google Keyword Planner, and many more.
Most of these tools are subscription-based, but a few, like Google Keyword Planner, are free.
However, to perform detailed keyword research and enjoy all the features, you’ll want to pay for a subscription-based tool like SEMrush or Ahref. Alternatively, you can use Google Search to find keywords, as we will explore below.
Step 2a: Use Google to Search for Keyword Ideas
Google is a fantastic source for keyword research, which makes sense considering Google is credited as the most visited multi-platform web property in the U.S. Therefore, it makes sense that every business and content marketer wants to rank on Google.
But how do you get started?
Start by searching your head keyword.
In this case, let’s use our head keyword — vintage watches — mentioned in step 1 above. Search vintage watches on Google:
As you can see, the search results for the head keyword “vintage watches” give you lots of keyword ideas.
These are high-volume keywords with high competition, meaning you’ll have a lower chance of ranking if you optimize for these keywords, such as vintage watches for sale or vintage watches in Los Angeles.
Therefore, the logical thing to do is narrow down your search to get long-tail keywords with lower competition.
You could search:
Each of these searches gives you a list of long-tail keyword ideas, which you can then create content around.
But before you create content, you want to ensure you select the keywords your competitors have not already created much content around.
This brings us to our third step.
Step 3: Analyze Your Competitors’ Keywords
Studying your competitors’ keywords helps you determine the content your customers have already consumed.
For instance, if you find all your competitors have created content around the keyword — do vintage watches appreciate in value — you may want to avoid that exact keyword phrase and use a different variation like — how to preserve the value of your vintage watch, or, what makes vintage watches lose value?
This way, you’ll create original content that adds value to your customers and still answers the common questions and challenges your customers experience.
Step 4: Curate Content
Once you have selected the long-tail keywords you want to optimize for, it’s time to incorporate them into your content.
Having narrowed down your keywords and ascertained they address your customers’ pain points, you can confidently create long-form content around the keywords.
Performing thorough keyword research is one of the content marketing tips that can make or break your content marketing strategy. That’s why you should double down on keyword research from the onset of your content marketing campaign.
5. Create & Use a Content Calendar
Besides listing all your upcoming content marketing tasks, an editorial calendar eases collaboration amongst your team members and third parties contributing to your content, such as guest bloggers and outsourced writers.
Luckily, there are many content calendar software you can choose from including, CoScedule, WordPress, Buffer, and Trello.
These are the best choice if you have a team doing your content marketing, but if you’re a solo content marketer, you’ll find Google Sheets, Google Calendar, and Microsoft Excel sufficient.
6. Write Content Your Audience Can Put Into Immediate Action
Nobody has time for shaggy dog stories or cliched content they can find on any other random website. Your audience craves actionable content that gives them practical insights and solutions they can put to use right away.
The measure of how actionable your content is depends on your target audience.
For instance, if your prospective audience is mostly B2B decision-makers, you must create high-level content, dissecting complex topics B2B businesses grapple with.
And if your audience is B2C, friendly, and easy to follow, the content will do you good.
Even so, these are the typical traits of actionable content you should always integrate into your content:
- Use lots of visuals (infographics, pictures, videos, graphics, memes, screenshots) to explain complex points or processes
- Humanize your content so it doesn’t read robotic
- Utilize real-world illustrations to build credibility
- Reference authoritative sites and stats or quote influential figures within your niche
- Address FAQs exhaustively
At the bare minimum, all your content should reflect some or all of the above qualities, so your audience finds it valuable and relatable. With the ever-declining human attention spans, content marketers must go to more extraordinary lengths to capture and keep their audiences’ attention. Creating actionable content is a sure-fire way to draw your reader’s attention and increase the average time users spend on your website.
7. Continually Improve Your Writing Skills
You could read as many content writing tips blogs as you can find, but if you don’t invest time to elevate your writing skills, your content may not resonate with your audience.
You must have perfect grammar and a captivating writing style that sucks in your prospects at the primary level.
This means avoiding commonplace mistakes such as spelling errors, capitalization and punctuation issues, dangling modifiers, and passive voice.
Luckily, you have a reliable sidekick to help you with this.
Grammarly & Peer Editing
Grammarly is a writer’s best friend.
This online writing assistant tool proofreads your content and corrects grammatical errors, spelling and punctuation mistakes, and sentence structure issues.
Grammarly helps you identify mistakes you would likely miss even in your third or fourth edit.
On top of Grammarly, you may also want to utilize peer editing. This means having a fellow writer read through your content to highlight errors and offer suggestions for improvement.
While Grammarly and peer editing will help you write mistake-free content, you’ll need more than perfect grammar to create next-level content.
These content writing tips will help you spice up your content:
- Write powerful and engaging headlines to attract readers
- Craft a killer introduction to hook readers and keep them scrolling
- Speak to your audience. Don’t shout to everybody
- Niche down your content
- Maintain your brand voice in all your content
- Use headings and subheadings to section your content
- Write a telling conclusion with a solid call to action
For more SEO content writing tips, check out this blog, “Beginner SEO Content Writing Tips for Blogs that Rank.”
Always aim to improve your writing skills to keep creating quality content. That way, you’ll build and maintain a loyal audience that’s always excited to read your content.
8. Provide Easy Social Sharing Options to Your Audience
Use a Highlight and Share Tool
Often readers may like your entire content but find one sentence, quote, or insight especially attractive.
Add a Floating Social Media Share Button
9. Write Strong Call-to-Actions (CTAs)
Let’s face it, we all want our content marketing strategies to increase our sales.
However, writing content marketing that is too heavy on sales is such a huge turn-off, and it can increase your churn rate significantly.
So, how do you achieve a profitable customer action without sounding like a hard sell?
Easy. You leverage call-to-actions (CTAs).
What is a Call-to-action (CTA)?
Ideally, you should have CTAs at the end of your content after satisfying your reader’s informational needs. However, you can find some creative ways to add CTAs naturally in your content, like adding a CTA in an infographic within your content.
The rule of thumb when writing CTAs is not to come off too pushy. A good CTA will help you sell without selling, while a bad CTA will turn off prospects.
To write a strong CTA, follow these tips:
- Use action verbs to be concise. Use verbs like subscribe, download, click, and view.
- Make your CTA nonobligatory so your readers don’t feel pressured to commit.
- Use persuasive language to incentivize your audience. Attach a more-for-less value proposition to your CTA.
- Utilize FOMO (fear of missing out) marketing techniques. Your CTA should trigger a sense of urgency in your audience.
- Design your CTA button aesthetically, so it’s visually appealing.
When crafting your CTAs, keep your target audience in mind.
Envision your CTA like a closing handshake that helps you seal a deal — make it short, catchy, impactful, and memorable.
10. Measure the Success of Your Content
All the writing and content marketing tips we have highlighted in this guide are top-notch, but if they don’t yield a profitable outcome for your business, then they’re not beneficial.
Results justify the effort, right?
To know if your strategies are working, you must measure success along the way by tracking and measuring essential content metrics such as:
- Visitors’ website behavior: this involves tracking metrics such as page per session, page views, bounce rate, average time on page, traffic sources, and proportion of new and returning visitors.
- Reader engagement: this means tracking content metrics such as comments, re-publications, mentions, incoming content requests, shares, likes, and upvotes.
- SEO results: this encompasses keyword rankings, backlink authority score, average dwell time, and percentage of organic traffic.
- Business revenue: this entails tracking and analyzing content metrics such as CTA performance, conversion rate, lead generation, and cost per acquisition.
Tracking and measuring content metrics may seem overwhelming because you also have to create content concurrently.
Luckily, you can leverage content marketing analytic tools like Google Analytics to analyze and measure essential content metrics.
Here’s a list of more content analytical tools at your disposal:
- Demand Sage
You can customize most of these tools to measure specific content metrics. These metrics should be determined by the content marketing goals that you should set at the inception of your digital marketing campaign.
11. Bonus Tip: Update Old Content
As much as we content marketers take pride in creating evergreen content, the truth is that no piece will remain 100% fresh after publishing.
Given the fast-changing nature of digital marketing, you’ll need to update old content constantly, especially your pillar content.
Freshening up old content saves you time and increases your content marketing ROI.
But, where should you start?
Let’s highlight tips to revitalize old content:
- Convert old blogs into videos and infographics.
- Refresh stats, internal links, and backlinks.
- Update seasonal content.
- Capitalize on the hub-and-spoke content model.
- Zoom in on your listicle articles and turn single points into blog posts.
Repurposing old content is a convenient strategy, particularly when you don’t have time to create new content consistently.
If you update your old content expertly, you can earn nearly as much SEO juice as you get when you create fresh content.
Content Marketing Tips: It’s Your Turn
These ten content marketing strategy tips should enable you to create unique content that converts.
However, we understand that creating a content marketing strategy for your company can be challenging. That’s where we come in!
Trusted Search Marketing is a content marketing agency that can take your brand to the next level.
Let’s chat today!