Here’s what you need to know and do regarding Content Marketing in 2017:
Good content doesn’t only need to be written. In 2016 we saw Facebook Live Streaming Video take off and Facebook also admitted that Native Videos (videos uploaded directly into Facebook) get more exposure than plain posts.
To give videos an extra lift, embed them into your blog posts. The text of your blog post can be your video’s transcript, like I do with my Q&A posts.
“I think video is a megatrend, almost as big as mobile.” ~Mark Zuckerburg
What You Need to Do: Figure out how you can incorporate video into your marketing mix.
- You don’t have do one every day. Once a month or even a couple of times a month.
- Use your smartphone to create short how-to videos
- Get on Facebook and do a live video from anywhere — as long as you have wifi!
- Do a voice-over recordings of PowerPoint presentations
- Determine which format works for you — in ease of creation and amount of views they get
- Try Twitter live videos
- Coming soon – Instagram live videos
- Video Converts
In fact, when video is prominently featured on a landing page, conversion rates can go up by a whopping 80%. ~ Convince and Convert
2. Unique, High-Quality Content will be Key
- No fuzzy graphics — there is no excuse! You can create high-quality pictures with free online, easy-to-use graphics programs like Canva. Download free, license free, online pictures and graphics from sites that I list in this blog post. And don’t steal!
- Proofread before you publish or post — read your blog post aloud to yourself. Even your social media posts!
- Preview your blog posts before publishing — Do the graphics look good? Does the eye of reader make a natural progression down the page to your Call-to-Action?
What about unique?
“Most Americans are exposed to 4,000 to 10,000 advertising messages a day!” ~ Convince and Convert
What makes what you have to say or show unique? What makes you different? How is your content different from what your competition shares?
What You Need to Do: Plan out what content you’re going to create.
3. Reshare Your Content on Social Media
Resharing content can increase engagement by over 600%!
So you publish your blog post at 9 am and share it on all your social media networks at the time. Someone that logs on at 3 pm or in the evening probably won’t see it unless they have you in a Twitter list or Google+ circle; or have your posts showing first (a Facebook feature). You can manually schedule it to republish on your social networks using tools like HootSuite (ad link), Buffer or TweetDeck.
Another way to give your content extra exposure and traction is to publish it on LinkedIn’s Pulse. At the end of the post, add the line, “This post originally appeared on______” with a link to the original article on your blog. Your site still maintains the authority because there is where the post originated. Yet, on LinkedIn, you validate your expertise by showcasing what you know and how you can help people.
There’s a plugin I use called Revive Old Posts. For free, you can reshare to Twitter. With the upgraded version ($75/yr.), you can also reshare to LinkedIn and Facebook. I think it’s worth it just to save the time of manually scheduling. You pick the time frame and you can exclude posts that are not “evergreen” or are time-sensitive.
Think of it this way, your perfect potential customer could have missed it the first time it went out!
What You Need to Do: Don’t be afraid to reshare your content.
4. Blogging – a CORE part of your Content Strategy
Blogs are rated 1 out of 5 the most trusted sources of information online.
People ignore the paid ads in Google search and go for the organic content because they know that that’s where they’re going to find the authentic answers to their questions or problems.
What You Need to Do: Read some of my articles on blogging:
- How often should you blog?
- Blogging 3x a Week is the Charm
- What’s Your Story? Blogging for Business
- The Secret to Great SEO
“Content builds Relationships, Relationships are built on Trust. Trust delivers Revenue.” ~ Andrew Davis
And this applies not to just blogs, but what you post on social media and the videos and podcasts you produce. The more you post about what you know, the more you solidify and build credibility and trust.
Even if you use direct mail, people are going to check you out online, before they hire you or buy your products. People will…
- Google your company or brand name
- Look at reviews not just on Google, but on Facebook and Yelp
- Compare prices and check out your competition
- Read more information until they are satisfied that they can trust you
People buy from whom they know and trust.
What You Need to Do: Produce good, quality content, build your following and build your email list.
6. Visual Content
B2B or B2C, you can use these two social networks to share eye-catching visuals….
Here are some recent Instagram stats:
- 68% of Instagram users engage with brands regularly
- Instagram has 58 times more engagement per follower than Facebook
- 50% of users follow a business
- 60% of Instagrammers say that they learn about a product or service on the platform
- 75% of Instagrammers take action after being inspired by a post, like visiting a website, searching, shopping or telling a friend
Pinterest: “The World’s Catalog of Ideas.”
Here are some recent Pinterest stats:
- 150 Million monthly active users
- 67% of pinners are under 40-years old
- Male users have grown by 150% in the past year
- 87% of pinners have purchased a product because of Pinterest
- 72% of pinners use Pinterest to decide what to buy offline
What You Need to Do: Go visual – figure out what will work for your business.
For content to be Effective, it must have IMPACT. In order to be impactful, your content must be MEMORABLE. To be memorable, requires that you truly Understand Your Audience (target market).
Yes, we’re back to that again. What does it mean to Understand Your Target Market?
Knowing the answers to these questions as it applies to your perfect customer…
- What makes them happy?
- Who do they trust for information?
- Where are they hanging out online? In other words, which networks do they prefer?
- What angers them?
- What are their pain points and problems that you can solve?
- Who influences them?
- What are their wants, desires and dreams?
- How is your content going to impact their lives?
Is your content going to try to sell them something right away even if they’re not ready to buy? Or is it going to provide useful information that they can use right away hence building trust?
People Buy from whom the Know and Trust
You need to map where the customer is in their buying journey.
- Do they need more information?
- Have they developed trust towards your company?
- Can they make a decision to buy right away, or do they have more questions?
What You Need to Do: Download my free Define Your Target Market Workbook
- Answer all the questions as it pertains to your business whether B2B or B2C. You can have more than one target market.
- Create buyer personas for your defined targets.
- Research your target and your industry so you can understand their buying habits as well as their online media usage.
8. Create Memorable and Evergreen Content
Your content can, of course, be in the form of a blog or static pages on your website, but they can also be….
- Social Media Posts
The objective is to build trust and credibility. You need to us Truth as a Service.
Evergreen content is anything that’s not time-sensitive, seasonal, or talking about an event or specific day. It stands the test of time. You can share it over and over again and it still is applicable. Its information is useful and solves problems that people keep having.
Give them best practices to tackle their problems. Think emotion and functionality. The folks at Copyblogger define it this way….
These special resources are in-depth examinations of a problem, solution, trend, or topic. They can help your audience find tons of information on a subject that interests them, which adds value to your blog.
Evergreen content is timeless.
What You Need to Do: Plan out your content marketing strategy.
It’s up to you to provide the answers to the questions Your Target Market Personas are asking. Are you getting it yet? You can’t answer the questions if you don’t know what they are!
I like Q&A sites like Mosaic Hub and Quora. I’m signed up to get an email every time someone asks a question in my fields of expertise. The idea is to try and be the first one to answer the question — providing the best answer. If you see that someone beat you to it and their answer is the same as yours, I give them a thumbs up and don’t bother writing the same thing. HOWEVER, this just gave you material for a blog post or a video. If people are asking it on those Q&A sites, they’re asking it also on Google and YouTube. [Related: SEO in 2017] YouTube is the 2nd largest search engine next to its parent, Google. The most searched-for phrase on YouTube is “How to”.
What You Need to Do: Get on those Q&A sites and search for the questions pertaining to your field of expertise.
10. Make sure EVERYTHING is Optimized for Mobile!
I cover mobile as it relates to SEO in the previous article of this 2017 planning series.
Here are some tips to make sure you’re content can be seen on mobile devices:
- Large enough type. No smaller that 14 pt, 16 pt is considered the best size.
- Pictures not too large and they should be responsive – that is, they move over when viewed on a small screen so you can see the text.
- External links (links to sites outside yours) should open to a new tab in the browsers.
- Your mobile website should have the same content as your desktop site. What that means is that it contains all your static pages and your blog posts.
- Make sure there are NO POPUPS in your mobile site. Starting Jan. 10, 2017, Google will block sites with popups in mobile!
What You Need to Do: Visit your site on a mobile device. If it’s not optimized, do something about it.