by Simon Kingsnorth
Content marketing remains central to any successful strategy and so below are 5 tips to help you optimise your content strategy.
1. Plan, plan and plan.
Good content resonates with the reader. For your content to fall into this category you need to know who your reader is, where they are and what they like to read. You want to know what format they like and what devices they use. You want to understand their passions and behaviours. For this you need user, customer and consumer insight. There are many social listening and content analytics platforms that can help you with this. You should look to ride the trends to ensure timely relevance. I’d recommend using my Content Bubble model as a guide for ensuring your content planning and content calendar are as broad but relevant as possible.
The Content Bubble
The Content Bubble model demonstrates 3 views of what your content plans should consist of.
The company bubble includes content such as senior appointments, awards, annual results. This is easy to write about and highly relevant to your company but often of less interest to your consumers.
The industry bubble is where most content plans settle. If you are in the entertainment industry you might talk about the Oscars of it you are in football you might talk about the World Cup. Highly relevant. Engaging for you audience. Lots more to write about so a larger bubble. However there is one issue here – everyone is doing the same thing. Cut through can be difficult to achieve as can finding an original angle.
The world bubble is the largest and where the biggest opportunity lies. Here you should consider riding the major global trends. They may have nothing to do with your company or industry but you can get enormous exposure from them. The secret here is to be clever about your content. You must have an authentic and genuine reason to be able to talk about the subject. Find one and your content plans open up enormously.
2. Tell stories.
Storytelling is a major trend at the moment in marketing. It is one of the oldest skills in the world. Our history books, or the ones that became popular enough to be remembered, are most often written by the best storytellers rather the most knowledgeable. We must follow these principles.
Make sure your content is engaging and emotive. It doesn’t have to be funky or exciting but it should grab you. Also it should, as any good story does, have a beginning, a middle and an end.
There are some fantastic books on storytelling that we can all learn from. Go get one.
3. Backup your story.
Trust is at an all time low. Global recessions, political issues and misuse of data have all contributed to this. As a result you need to convince people to believe you. Saying it simply isn’t enough any more. You must include reasons to believe.
Use data points, facts and research, ideally independent pieces. Combine your work with that of partners to ensure you both benefit from the others expertise. The success of Infographics in the last decade has been a testament to how much data stories can add to a message.
4. Keep it short and to the point. Don’t waffle.
People are time poor. More so than ever. Keeping content short and letting the reader or viewer see how short it is before they start reading can make a huge difference in engagement rates.
The warning here? Watch out for thin content from an SEO perspective. Do not let your short content run at under 4-500 words per blog or article or you risk Google seeing you as adding very little value.
5. Finish with a flourish.
As I said above, a story needs a finish. Make sure yours is compelling and conclusive. Make a statement, give an opinion, suggest an action. Whatever you don’t don’t finish with a flat nothing. Also consider your call to action. What do you want people to do next?
So I hope these 5 topics help you with you content plans. If you want to read more you can download my Content Strategy Implementation Guide or for more detail grab a copy of my international best seller, Digital Marketing Strategy.
Simon Kingsnorth is a digital marketing expert with 20 years experience across all areas of digital and most offline channels. He is the author of the international best-seller Digital Marketing Strategy, now in its second edition. He is also a strategy expert and experienced consultant who has helped many leading brands develop and implement winning strategies across digital transformation, growth, branding, proposition development, campaign management, marketing communications, loyalty and much more. Simon is also a regular speaker and a contributing author to other books and publications in the field.