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Successful Content Marketing: 12 Simple Rules

  • Post category:Marketing
  • Reading time:7 mins read

Content is King. If you’re not familiar with this phrase, then you’ve clearly lived under a rock for far too long. Well, it’s time to venture out from under your rock. Why? Well, content is more relevant than ever in our current content-driven world. Successful content marketing impacts just about every aspect of our daily lives. We’re talking about everything from the marketing impact of a small business to the results of a national election.

Furthermore, the amount of content produced on a daily basis is difficult to comprehend. In case you’re wondering, the figure is around 7 million posts per day. That’s a lot of blog posts in case you were wondering. This figure makes one wonder – how can you stand out from this massive crowd and rise above the noise? Well, the answer is actually pretty simple. All you need to do is develop a successful content marketing strategy.

Brands all around the world strive to achieve the same goal when it comes to successful content marketing. Everyone wants to draft unique content to which their customers can relate. If an organization achieves this goal, then better business outcomes will likely soon follow. Companies spend an infinite amount of time, money, and resources chasing down this goal. Furthermore, they also develop buyer personas in order to help them achieve the best possible results.

Successful Content Marketing

However, a series of intangible questions remain. A few of these questions include:

  • What are the basic pillars of content marketing?
  • How do brands create effective content that they can use to attract customers and boost sales?
  • What is the secret behind genuinely successful content marketing?

The above questions may be intangible. However, they’re still worth both asking and attempting to answer.

Enough of the rambling. Let’s dive into the twelve simple rules behind successful content marketing?

Unique Content: The Cornerstone of a Successful Content Marketing Strategy

When it comes to content, uniqueness is the primary factor that separates you from the rest of the crowd. This is extremely beneficial, especially in our hyper-competitive world. Spinning other people’s content and seeking inspiration from existing content is a common practice. However, you need to add something extra to your twice-baked content in order for it to work.

Format-Specific Content is Essential

Without question, social media is a powerful tool. This is why the companies that utilize social media have an edge in the content marketing race.

That being said, where you plan to publish your content dictates the form it should take. Short and graphic content tends to thrive on microblogging sites such as Facebook. Whereas detailed and in-depth pieces typically excel on long-form sites such as Medium.

Successful Content Marketing Hinges on Relevant Content

Let’s say you’re a local brand and you want to connect with the local market. In order to accomplish this goal, you should focus on answering key questions that your local target audience may ask. Incorporate potential customer concerns into your content and you will likely see an uptick in engagement. If you stay on topic, you will also benefit in the form of greater user interest and a more personable reputation.

Every Successful Content Marketing Strategy Follows a Content Schedule

Spontaneity is great in the context of stand-up comedy. However, the same doesn’t ring true when dealing with content marketing. Creating and publishing on a whim can impact your long-term goals and make your brand seem weak and less than stable. Content marketers develop both a weekly and monthly schedule in an ideal world, which they do their best to follow.

Extend Your Thinking Beyond Just Blogging

Many digital marketing campaigns rely on blogging as their primary focus for content and engagement. However, you should treat your digital marketing campaigns like you should your retirement portfolio and diversify. You can create videos, infographics, presentations, images, and a whole lot more. A diverse marketing campaign almost always yields more audience interaction than a plain blog-only approach.

Keep an Eye on the Metrics

There is literally no point in publishing anything if you don’t know how your content is performing. Social media provides a decent idea of how your content is performing. However, it isn’t the only means through which you can gauge the success of your content. You really should measure traffic from all avenues and adjust your content marketing strategy accordingly.

Always Optimize Your Content for Mobile

If you think your audience only engages with your content via their desktop, you’re wrong. If you only focus on desktop traffic, you will essentially squash any chance of developing a successful content marketing strategy. This is why it’s essential that your website is mobile-friendly. Mobile-friendly websites garner significantly more conversions than their counterparts.

Take a Creative Risk on Occasion

The courage to take risks will help you create unique content and set your brand aside as one that innovates instead of depending on traditional methods.

It is difficult to find success if you are risk-averse. This is why you need to see risks as content enhancers. A safe game plan will naturally produce a consistent return. However, a risky approach offers less certainty, but potentially far higher results.

Simplicity is a Virtue

We should all take a page out of Apple’s playbook when it comes to keeping things simple. Apple straight dominates the content marketing scene with its simple and minimalistic approach to content marketing. All you need to do is view its advertisements for its iMacs, iPhones, and AirPods to see how well a simple strategy can work when executed correctly. Take a moment to consider how a minimalist approach can help your content marketing appear more iconic and concise.

Staying True to Your Brand is Essential to Successful Content Marketing

It is without question a major cliche, but remaining true to your brand is critical. Let’s take a look at Nike. Nike’s marketing strategy focuses all its content around its timeless tagline – “Just Do It”. This results in customers automatically connecting with the content and positively responding to it no matter the context.

Respond to Feedback

Managing negative responses to your content isn’t easy and you’re bound to have to deal with it at some point. However, successfully navigating the choppy waters of negative feedback all depends on how you handle criticism.

Today’s world is full of trolls, so it is essential that you learn how to deal with negativity. Domino’s is a great example of a business that handles negativity in stride. They flat out refuse to delete negative comments and reviews from their owned accounts. Instead, they keep them posted and attempt to solve the issues. Doing so provides another reason for the loyal, non-troll customers to love them even more.

Develop Standalone Content

Many brands create content and market it solely as a conduit for their service/product. This is a major mistake.  Instead, brands should aim to create content that is a standalone marketing asset. You should place just as much value in your content as you would in your primary service/product. If you take your content seriously, so will your audience.

Closing Thoughts

Following these basic rules will help expand your horizons and improve the overall quality of your content marketing. These tips will not only lead to an increase in sales, but they will also assist in building and retaining a loyal customer base.

In our current age, consumer exposure to online content is a major factor that drives sales. Therefore, it is essential that you tap into their core areas of interest via your content.

If you have a unique idea that you think can help people solve their problems, then you best remember these twelve rules. They will help put you ahead of your competition in terms of chasing down your content marketing objectives.

Andrew Roche

Andrew Roche is a Digital Consultant at Shift Digital. He is also pursuing an MBA in Marketing & Finance through the Mike Ilitch School of Business at Wayne State University

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