Content marketing has gone beyond being king to become the mighty ruler of the internet. Content is everywhere. There are over 1 million websites and a hyper competitive drive to grab and hold people’s attention. It’s no wonder that 90% of marketers are using content marketing as part of their overall strategy.
It’s becoming harder and harder to differentiate your content from that of your competitors so that your target audience decides to experience your content as a “preferred destination”. It’s even harder to avoid falling into a content rut. So how can you stand out?
Content marketing is not advertising
Content marketing is how your content is delivered to engage your audience. As a part of your content strategy, it’s your soft-sales approach to attracting and retaining your target audience through relevant, meaningful, attractive content that shapes behavior and “converts” individual members of that audience into customers.
People in general – an estimated 70% of your customers – would rather learn about you and your business by reading an article or a blog than through an advertisement. Plus the fact that 86% of people ignore adverts and millions install ad-blocking software. That means you need to not only write engaging content, or hire someone to do so, you also need to create content that is different from that of your competitors and different over time.
What’s makes content good?
Good content is something your audience wants to interact with. Compelling, valuable, relevant content is what gets to their heart and generates the most traffic. But the key to developing your online presence is not just good content: it’s good content diversification.
It’s easy to get trapped in a repeating-content trap. You just can’t keep posting your most popular content. It’s important to vary the depth and breadth of your topics and information. There are eight basic content diversification strategies that can help you separate yourself from the pack and keep your audience hooked:
- Use different formats. Not everyone absorbs content in the same way. So you need to deliver your content in different formats: articles, blogs, tweets, surveys, e-newsletters, quizzes, videos, infographics, webinars, web pages, e-books. You need to experiment and determine what formats your audience engage with the most.
- Reinvent old content. You can turn a video into a blog, summarize a presentation into an article, turn an old blog into an infographic, or make a list of suggestions and tips.
- Set up an interview with an expert and feature the transcript. Add a few images or a video. Then turn it into an article.
- Jump into the fray of the debate. Everyone’s a critic, so weigh in on a debate on a current event by tailoring your analysis to fit your brand or audience. Hitting on a hot current event can make your post instantly newsworthy and noteworthy, especially if it’s creative and/or provocative. Just make sure you get your facts right.
- Expose your readers to new voices by inviting a guest blogger or author. This can bring in new readers and backlinks and provide opportunities to leverage new relationships.
- Leverage reviews to discuss a new product or service and motivate debate and discussion. It’s a great way to build yourself into an influencer.
- Look for inspiration from your competitors. Find out what they’re doing, what’s working and not working for them, and write about it.
- If your passion isn’t writing, find someone who does have that passion and hire them to help you. It can improve your content significantly.
Diverse content is a powerful way to get your content strategy out of the rut and back on track. Here’s the skinny on building your content kingdom: understand your audience; identify market gaps that you can turn into assets for your content marketing; identify key messages and repurpose content whenever possible; select the channels that are right for you and your business; vary your content format; and facilitate social sharing.
Don’t let your content stagnate! Make your business flourish by expanding your content. Start diversifying your content today or you’ll be left behind by your competition.