When everything is going right, and your content marketing strategy is working as intended, delivering the volumes and types of leads you were hoping for, it’s easy to get stuck in a creative rut.
No one will blame you if you’ve become a bit complacent with your satisfying results and stopped looking for a way to elevate your content creation and production strategy.
However, if you’re on the lookout for something new to try and perhaps want to step out of your comfort zone, take a look at our top six ways to step up your content marketing game.
Publish Evergreen “Reference” Posts
In order to convert a lead, you either need several touchpoints or a great content marketing funnel. The latter will require an immense amount of insight and data. The former happens to be more easily attainable.
The more times you can get a lead to return to your website, the higher the chance they will ultimately convert. You can do this by publishing high-quality content that will, over time, rank at the top of search engine results. That’s how you’ll also ensure that you are the top resource in a certain niche or topic cluster.
Or, you can create an evergreen reference post that your audience is likely to bookmark and keep coming back to.
An evergreen post needs to target a keyword that sees large search volumes all year round and that will remain relevant in years to come. There may be some ebbs and flows in the search trend, but posts on the subject should be seeing consistent traffic.
When composing this post, eliminate all potentially short-lived stats and references. Aim to create something that will be relevant in a year’s time. However, don’t worry if you say something that won’t necessarily remain true next year. Regularly updating your evergreen posts is a vital part of this content strategy, so you’ll be sure to come back to it and make any necessary adjustments.
A great example of evergreen content is the Career Sidekick Essential Interview Questions and Answers article.
A long-form post that comes in at a staggering 6300 words, this mammoth reference post is the epitome of evergreen content.
These questions will always be relevant, and so will their answers. Jobseekers are also very likely to return to this post as they prepare for a series of interviews. If you intend to make your brand “stick” in the brain of your audience, there’s no better way to do it than to deliver a post exactly like this one.
Supplement Your Written Content with Video
Video is often hailed as the next king of content. And while it’s certainly the most popular content format on the internet, this stat has more to do with entertainment than business.
Adding video to your blog posts does, however, come with some very notable benefits:
- The video makes information more digestible and easier to understand. That’s especially true if it’s a demonstration of an action that has to be executed.
- Video is highly rankable and can help your posts climb much higher in search results.
- Video boosts engagement, reduces bounce rates, and increases time on the page. These are all important ranking factors.
- Video is easy to share, has the chance of going viral, and can be promoted via email and social media.
- Video can make you more relatable and trustworthy. It’s especially effective at building trust if a human is at the center of it.
- Video is simply easier to consume than written content. therefore, content creators increasingly leverage the power of text-to-video conversion to deliver messages more effectively, and stay ahead in the dynamic landscape of digital communication.
To give your blog posts the best chance of ranking well, add videos to them whenever it makes sense. Don’t choose one or the other, as it’s the synergy of the two that creates the exceptional results you’re looking for.
The Gili Sports guide on paddle boarding has done a great job of balancing well-optimized written content with helpful videos. They open with a five-minute clip that you can watch immediately or after you’ve read up on the basics.
Near the end of the article, there are two more helpful videos that teach you how to execute different strokes. No matter how well the post is written, it’s much easier to follow its advice after you watch the videos. Plus, it’s nice to be able to watch what you’ve just read about to solidify your new knowledge. Instant added value!
Deliver Dynamic Information with Interactive Content
Interactive content is another format that boasts significant benefits, as it:
- Boosts engagement
- Boosts time on page and reduces bounce rate
- Increases the amount and quality of captured data
- Sharable and easy to promote
- Provides real value to your audience and teaches them something
Interactive content can also come in various formats: quizzes, questionnaires, calculators, infographics, and so on. The key to making them work is to tie them in with your products or services and to ensure they provide some personalized value.
Let’s look at an example straight away. The dividend calculator from MarketBeat is an incredibly handy tool for anyone involved in the investment game. The data comes from a real-time source, so the users know that it’s always 100% accurate.
On top of that, the large number of filters means that readers can personalize the data for their very specific needs.
The site goes even further when showing their readers how much they care about content quality by displaying the outcomes in two different visualizations.
The calculator is completely tailored to an individual user. It provides relevant information a person can use to adjust their protein intake to their specific training and nutrition regime. Moreover, it is directly tied to the brand’s products. You can find a protein supplement that will meet your requirements right after you calculate them.
The only semi-questionable aspect of this piece of content is the fact that it’s gated, which might dissuade some leads from using it. However, this is a risk that could pay off and provide the brand with valuable access to highly useful and laser-precise information about their leads.
Prioritize Value over Making a Sale
Sure, the main goal of blogging for business is promoting your products or services and converting your audience. But finding the fine line between pushing a sale and providing quality and relevant information can be difficult.
When choosing a topic for your articles, you always want to tie them to your offer. If you fail to do so, you will end up with unqualified, irrelevant traffic that serves no purpose.
When composing your content, you need to add relevant internal links to spread link equity and direct traffic where you want to see it go. However, you don’t want to push a sale first and foremost. You don’t need a conversion-oriented CTA on every blog post.
Here’s a hypothetical scenario. Instead of adding a sales CTA to a blog post that ranks in the top 3 that targets top-of-the-funnel audiences, add an informational CTA. Link to another piece of content that will add more value to readers and build even more trust.
You can provide several of these touchpoints before you actually ask users to convert. Since the relationship will no longer be as new, they are more likely to give it a go, especially if it’s a low-effort, low-risk ask.
You can also create the kind of post that puts sales in the back seat completely. Check out this list of the best time-tracking apps by Clockify (a time tracking app). They have taken the time to be completely honest about their competitors and present their readers with seven different options, classified according to their needs and purposes.
Clockify never tells you their solution is the best. They never push a conversion, even though the tool is actually free. All the post does is provide a realistic and relevant comparison of the most popular time trackers available. They let the quality of their product speak for itself.
Focus on the E in E-E-A-T
E-A-T (aka Expertise-Authoritativeness-Trustworthiness) was once what set quality content apart. But search engines have recently started focusing on adding another E to the mix. Experience is now a part of what we are fondly referring to as the “double EAT,” and it matters most in the product review cluster.
However, every single article can benefit (and consequently be ranked higher) if the author is able to demonstrate they have first-hand knowledge of whatever it is they are writing about.
For example, a post that was written by a person who has actually been to the Maldives and can recommend hotels and restaurants based on personal experience, filled with that same person’s photos, has a much higher chance of ranking well than a post written by a content writer who has never visited the islands.
What can you do? Prove that you know what you are talking about! Where you may have previously chosen to leave out personal stories or examples, now make sure they make it into your pieces.
You don’t have to go off on a tangent, though. Make sure you stick to the point, but lace your examples with personal experiences. Explain how you solved an issue or how you use a certain product.
Here is a nice example of adding experience to expertise and authority. This kitchen scales review is clearly written by someone who is invested in what they are reviewing. True, the introduction is a bit long-winded and could have been much shorter, but it adds that important personal touch.
The reviews of each product are also filled with references to the product’s use and what the writer has liked and has not liked about each. There’s also a very neat list of things to look for in a set of kitchen scales that can help readers make a decision even if they don’t end up choosing any of the products on this list.
Ask AI to Help
Let’s finally touch upon the trend that seems to be on everyone’s mind today: AI-assisted or AI-based content writing tools.
What can AI do to help you raise your content marketing game?
Well, for one, it can write your posts for you. If you are up for a laugh, check out this post that has been written by an AI and carefully redacted by a very talented human writer. As you’ll notice, while the machine does a good job at stringing sentences together, it is still lacking that human touch that makes writing creative, engaging, and entertaining.
However, AI can write very readable, informative, and even valuable posts. CNET has recently demonstrated this, as they’ve been using ChatGPT to create their posts for longer than they cared to admit.
The fact remains that CNET’s audience was a bit outraged, so one of their authors had to explain how they use AI to write content.
Their explanation sums up the ways in which you can utilize AI to take your content to the next level: as an assistant.
Choose to treat AI (specifically ChatGPT) as a search engine. It’s more than capable of summing up the results you would have to manually go through to learn more about the topic you are writing about.
Use it to help you write outlines and to pinpoint keywords that would be nice to include in your content. Don’t use it to compose actual sentences, as you need that double E, and you need to keep writing in your own (and your brand’s) voice.
You can also use AI to create unique images for your posts. The level of creativity you can unleash is literally unlimited, as you can add a touch of humor and originality to your content. DALL-E 2, for example, has created some marvelous artwork that is more fun than anything else, but you can certainly get it to conform more to your own needs.
Take a look at these AI-generated images of dogs. They can be a great addition to any dog-related post, earning the authors valuable backlinks and social media shares. They are also a great way to reach new audiences — people who are interested in AI and its creativity and who may also happen to be dog lovers.
Use AI as a tool to enhance your own creativity and knowledge. Don’t rely on it to do all the work while you play your favorite video game on another screen.
Consider these content marketing tactics and whether they have a place in your strategy. Don’t forget to also tailor them to your particular audience and content production needs and style. You may find that video doesn’t work for your text-oriented audience but that bumping up your E-E-A-T works wonders.
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