The last decade has been a defining period in how big corporations, as well as small businesses, view content marketing. Today, all businesses, big and small, are allocating a part of their marketing spends on content marketing to enjoy better SEO rankings and gain more social media visibility. Content marketing is a huge deal, and it is all set to become even bigger this year. More to it, according to the latest print on demand eCommerce stats, the entire online business market is growing so fast that in order to outstand the competition, you simply have to provide the best content. While experts expect a growth of over 14% in marketing spends, most marketers are planning to increase their content marketing budget in the coming years.
But here’s the thing – every single content marketing professional out there claims to be an expert. The competition is immense. It is very easy to drown in the sea of millions of content marketing experts and very, very difficult to stand out in the crowd.
One quick Google search will let you know what I’m talking about. Content marketing professionals are more driven than ever to devise creative strategies to surpass their competition and make a mark in the overpopulated content marketing industry.
With a little help from the following guide to content marketing and a whole lot of ingenuity, you can stand out as a content marketing expert too. Here are a few ways you can stand out:
The first and foremost (also the most sensible) thing to do when setting out on your content marketing journey is to figure out a way to differentiate your services from the rest. Experiment with various content marketing types to understand where your strengths lie. Work on making that your niche.
Remember, anyone can deliver a content marketing strategy. But if you can deliver something your competitors cannot, you’ve struck gold. It could be anything from specific content marketing for start-ups or content marketing for small businesses to content marketing for B2B and beyond.
This, however, is easier said than done. It can be a while before you discover your niche and even longer to establish your credibility. But once you do find your differentiating factor, hold on to it and build your career around it.
Content marketing is a dynamic field, one that is constantly transforming. It is also filled to the brim. To stand out, you must tap into the pool of your ingenuity and come up with innovative, never-before-used solutions to hack business growth via content marketing.
Instead of using tried-and-tested content marketing techniques, give them a creative spin. Look for various angles to work on a topic and develop content that brings value to the readers.
3. Leverage social media platforms
If you are jumping to social media only when you want to promote new content on your website, you are not utilizing the full potential of content marketing for social media.
To remain active on your social media handles and drive engagement, you will have to develop strategies that are focused on creating specific content for social media. And since these platforms are heavily reliant on visual content, investing your time and resources in creating visually impactful content for social media can serve your interests well.
4. Be consistent
Phase-out the phrase ‘less is more’. When it comes to content marketing, less is not more, and consistency is the key. Be consistent in creating and publishing content. Diversify your portfolio and make your presence felt on various content marketing platforms.
But given how difficult it is to create high-quality pieces of content, being consistent can be quite the challenge. It will need you to be on your toes, constantly seeking out various resources and putting in those extra hours of hard work day after day. Trust us, in the end, when the results are out, and your strategies are proven to be effective, it will all be worth it.
5. Quality over quantity, always
When we say that you must create more content, we don’t mean that you do it at the cost of quality. If you want to make your mark as a content marketing expert, your mantra should always be ‘quality over quantity’.
For example, let’s say you manage to increase your content marketing budget, and now you can afford to create more content. The new content you are creating is, say, five times more than what your competitor produces in a week, but it is mediocre at best. Who do you think is going to enjoy better results? Well, it won’t be you.
While it is important to gain and maintain momentum to succeed in the content marketing space, it is also equally important to give people high-quality content that they enjoy. Prioritizing quality over quantity will ensure a loyal user base. Depending on the resources at your disposal, you can start by bringing better writers on board and spending more man-hours on performing thorough research on the given topics. You can also hire graphic designers and photographers to up the visual aspect of your content marketing game.
6. Optimize your content
As per Statista, smartphones are owned by at least 48.33% of the current world population, meaning there are roughly 3.8 billion smartphone users around the world! Given how important smartphones have become in our day-to-day lives, these statistics are likely to enjoy a sharp upward trajectory in the coming years.
As a content marketing expert, if you are overlooking the growing usage of smart handheld devices and not optimizing your content accordingly, you are missing out on a lot.
However, optimizing your content for mobile devices goes beyond making your web pages compatible with mobile devices. It is also important to establish an understanding of the kind of content that people are searching for on their phones. While these users majorly access social media on their mobiles, quick impulse Google searches are also mostly performed on these devices.
Your best bet, in this situation, is to segregate your content and create specific content for mobile users. Device a strategy that takes customer journeys into account and addresses the immediate needs and queries to maximize your ROI on mobile content marketing spend.
The content marketing platforms are constantly evolving. Every day there are new trends that you can benefit from, and new challenges that you are likely to face. The only way to ensure you don’t break is by becoming flexible and able to adapt to your new surroundings swiftly.
Yes, you spent a lot of time creating a fool-proof content marketing strategy, but if in the wake of an unexpected change, your strategy is rendered useless, don’t shy away from trying out new tactics.
Experiment with new methodologies, explore more ‘unconventional’ content types, expand and establish your presence on various content marketing platforms and do your best to address the shifts in content consumption. The only sure-shot way to hack enviable growth in the content marketing arena is a willingness to change with time. It will not only ensure exponential growth for your content marketing business but also for you as a budding content marketing professional.
8. Employ a targeted approach
As with everything else, to build a thriving career in content marketing and establish your expertise in this field, it is important to adopt a targeted approach. As you continue to operate in this dynamic space with new ideas and creative strategies, you must keep an eye on the bigger picture, on the goals that you wish to achieve. And if you are not committed to putting in the effort and making content marketing your priority, don’t bother getting into it at all.
9. In it to win it
Remain open to learning, unlearning, and relearning the concepts of content marketing as many times as you need to. You are in it for the long haul. Put in the hard work and strive to be better at creating content. Stay updated with the latest in the world of blogging and use this knowledge to improve your content marketing strategies. If the world has moved on to better blogging technologies while you are still using outdated blogging platforms, you will find yourself lagging before long.
Remember, if you are in it to win it, you should be willing to diversify your content-creation strategies and experiment with various content types that can complement your content marketing strategies.
There is no one perfect recipe for success in the world of content marketing. Every client is different, and content marketing benefits for every business are different. Everything is variable – right from buyer personas to targeted geographics. Moreover, even your definition of effective and successful may vary from that of your competition.
Therefore, you must have clarity of thought when creating specific strategies that are suitable for your business. And as long as you are prepared to put in the work to expand your reach and hold the dwindling attention span of your readers, you stand a chance to stand out from the crowd of content marketing experts of the world!