7 ideas to give your content marketing a boost

We all know that content marketing isn't going away, and it's the backbone to your search engine optimization strategy. But how can companies create content that truly blows their customers away?

Make it visual
Visual content performs well on social media channels. According to Digital Sherpa, posts with infographics grow traffic an average of 12 percent over those that don't. In addition, posts with videos attract three times more inbound links than those without. These visual elements also increase dwell time on a page, likely because people process visual information 60,000 times faster than text. Visual content is a vital part of the overall content marketing mix.

Tell a story
Take a look at a list of bullet points and then read a story that conveys the same information and you're almost guaranteed to remember more of the latter. People think in terms of stories. Much of our day is spent relaying anecdotes to one another, not citing data points. Try writing content that tells a compelling story. Look to your customers for inspiration. Customer successes are one of the best resources for stories.

Use the pillar approach
Anyone with a content marketing strategy understands that it's sometimes hard to keep it going. Content that is too infrequent can be a kiss of death to an effective campaign, but many organizations lack the manpower to create as much as they want. Rather than come up with a million different ideas, use your bigger content resources as a basis for smaller pieces. If you just put a lot of effort into a new white paper, spin this bigger resource into a series of smaller blog posts. This way your content strategy remains cohesive, but it's easier to carry out.

Nurture leads
The buying cycle is changing quickly. Buyers have often done a significant amount of research before they even get in touch with a business. In addition, many prospects who could turn into customers are far from ready to buy the first time they make contact. Use content in your nurturing campaign to develop a relationship with these prospects over time. This is where those white papers, infographics and other collateral will come in handy.

Leverage paid postings
Social platforms are increasingly encouraging businesses to use paid posts rather than spreading promotional messages through organic channels. Facebook will penalize companies that use free posts for overly promotional messages. Twitter also recently announced that its paid posts would have a wider reach, Ad Age reported. Business that opt for paid posting will be able to post messages on Flipboard and Yahoo Japan. Start working on a strategy for promoted content now to stay ahead of the curve.

Let your customers help
Another strategy to keep your content pipeline in motion is to utilize user-generated content. MarketingProfs recommends turning your customers into brand advocates and allowing them to spread some of the message for you. Traditionally, this is done with social media, but as the website points out, social messages can be impermanent. Instead, encourage customers to leave reviews. You can also consider asking customers for testimonials that you can feature on your website or in other communications.

SEO and content go hand in hand. Google rewards awesome content, which generally means quality over quantity whenever possible. But that doesn't mean that creating the content becomes any easier. Use these strategies to create content and campaigns that help you develop an audience and lead prospects into your sales funnel.

Sheila Kloefkorn (1029 Posts)

With more than 20 years of hands on marketing strategy and operations experience, Sheila Kloefkorn is dedicated to developing marketing strategies and plans that help clients succeed. Some of the world's largest brands have depended on Sheila for marketing programs that delivered tangible and substantial results. Specialties: B2B marketing, lead generation, lead nurturing, sales strategy, marketing strategy, competitive marketing strategy, social media, search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), mobile marketing,, email marketing, website design, marketing plans.