Marketing is a game and its rules are changing every year. Online display ads aren’t as effective anymore as consumers have more control over how much, when, and where they see them. What’s more, they don’t see this type of content as trustworthy and prefer to learn more about a product or brand from their peers or read about it in an informational piece.
The good news is, content marketing is now more powerful than ever. It allows people with a great deal of knowledge in their niche, but a small budget, to launch successful online marketing campaigns.
Why Content Marketing Works
Whatever your industry or business goals are, you must be producing content around the main topics your customers are interested in, as well as the problems they want solutions for. The content should be easily accessible on your website and come at no cost.
But, many entrepreneurs and marketers are eager to take this to the next level by publishing different types of content on a regular basis, repurposing it, getting in touch with the potential customer, and tapping into what they want to know about and then giving them exactly that. If you haven’t taken the time to create a content marketing strategy for your business, or to rethink your existing one, now is the time.
Content marketing is one of the most genuine ways to build brand awareness
People have a tendency trust more if given useful information for free. With every next interaction, they are forming a connection with your brand until one day they become your customers and start recommending to friends.
Content marketing has the potential to become your most profitable channel
You can double your traffic. It makes sense that the more content you put out there and the more pages on your website Google has the chance to crawl, the bigger the chance to grab the attention of new site visitors and keep them on your platform. Hubspot found out that business blogging can increase visitors on your site with 55%.
You’re giving people what they want
After all, 68% of people spend time online reading about brands, and 80% learn about a company through custom content. (source)
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that 53% of marketers consider content creation their top inbound marketing strategy.
Because many individuals and small businesses, as well as big brands and corporations, are slowly realizing the importance of creating valuable content that stands out. However, content marketing is so powerful that you can always reap the benefits once you have a solid strategy in place and invest the time to create, publish and distribute content on a regular basis.
How to Create Content That Stands Out
1. Go long-form
The very first thing you should start doing to set your content apart is creating long-form content. 500-word blog posts don’t work anymore, even if you publish them a few times a day.
A short post simply can’t contain enough valuable information to make an impression on people. While it’s true that our attention span is getting shorter with the boom of social media and information overload, people still want to have all the facts before they take any next step on making the decision to buy.
Marketers like Neil Patel are best known in their crowded niche for writing content that is 3000+ words long a few times a week. He employs this tactic on his blog QuickSprout, for example, and invests many hours in each piece to make sure it’s the most extensive one on the topic. Whenever you have a subject you want to cover, gather all the resources you can, take your time, and produce the most valuable article.
Add images, link to sources, statistics, and make sure you leave the reader with a ton of information that can’t be found anywhere else. That’s a great way to stand out. Google the top 10 results for the title you want to write an article on and make your piece longer than the rest. It will eventually rank much higher if you include as many keywords and related terms as possible.
As Hubspot shared back in 2016, 1 in 10 blog posts are compounding. That means their traffic increases over time thanks to organic search algorithms. What you write and publish today can bring website visitors and profits for decades to come.
2. Create 10x content.
The second step to take when looking to deliver more value than the others in your niche, by creating the so-called “10x content”. That means writing and publishing something 10 times better than anything else out there.
Making the piece thousands of words long is one part of the equation, but next comes the chance to make it valuable so that it’s easy to understand and absorb. Make sure the page loads quickly and doesn’t distract the reader with ads or other unnecessary elements.
Don’t forget to do your research in the beginning and clearly define the problem this article will solve. Use the language of your audience but also add a personal touch to entertain, educate and create an emotional response. Here’s an infographic sharing more about creating 10x content.
3. Find the hidden benefit.
An interesting concept in content marketing is the hidden benefit. According to it, there’s always something beneath the surface motivating your readers to consume your content.
It’s the creator’s and marketer’s job to find it through interaction via comments on the blog, social media channels, surveys, and more.
4. Incorporate visual components
Adding unique, dynamic graphics throughout a post can improve reader experience by breaking up long-form content into sections. House-made graphics can also demonstrate another level of industry expertise, especially for companies that offer products or services with an artistic component. Infographics have become a popular way to add visuals, but the large size can sometimes distract from an excellently worded content piece. A way to avoid this is by inserting multiple, coordinating banner graphics in between paragraphs to create a balanced flow of images and text.
5. Educate before you sell.
Something that will turn off readers quickly is being “salesy”. Brands tend to push selling too much and forget that content is about providing value and educating before promotion. You have readers long before you have customers. Take your time when forming a relationship and ensure that it’s strong enough (by giving people more value than expected through a free industry resource blog, a weekly informative email newsletter, downloadable files full of knowledge that help customers achieve a certain result, etc.) before you talk about your products or services.
Good content takes time to create, but evergreen content writing can work for you for years to come without any further marketing efforts. Focus on quality and set specific goals as you create your industry’s best content that helps you stand out from the competition.