I’m sure that you’ve heard of the saying “content is king”, but I have come up with a modified and more practical version of it – “content can be king”. And it’s true. You can’t expect to just write words and become the king of search engines.
There’s basically two parts to content becoming king and that is it being of value to as many people as possible (becoming a “genetic” king) and then being promoted smartly and extensively so that it can become the king that it was meant to be.
So, to help you guys put your content on the throne, I decided to ask 27 marketing experts for their top notch content marketing tips for 2016. Here’s what they had to say.
You can check out the infographic (made by Becky from Penheel Marketing) for all the quotes gathered in a close space, or you can just read the quotes on text format right below it. Your call.
2016 Content Marketing Tip #1: Know What You Want To Happen Next
Cat Killfoil, the CEO of TBD Media, said that you can’t just hit the publish button and wait for things to fall into place by themselves:
Our clients are beyond calendars, methods, and executions. They are looking to 2016 as the year of what if – what if we try something no one has done yet, what if we tweak this success and put more spend behind it, what if we create a sharing culture of employee advocacy?
Hitting publish is not a content marketing strategy – the best tip is knowing what you want to happen next and making that process and that funnel lead to real conversions.
More than ever, marketing has a next step, whether that is salesforce integration or partner/referral platform sharing. TBD Media is seeing big results for clients that are brought into the journey of their consumer over the creation of meaningless copy.
2016 Content Marketing Tip #2: Tell Stories
Roger Wu, the Co-Founder of Cooperatize, said that if you want to make an impression, you need to tell a story:
The best type of content marketing tells a story. Stories are memorable and will lead to long-term brand recall.
2016 Content Marketing Tip #3: Help The Reader Envision
Russel Frazier, Founder & CEO of Visigility, said that you need to tingle the imagination of your readers:
Stories/case studies help the reader envision themselves experiencing success or overcoming obstacles. They also energize and lift up the person about whom the story was written, triggering built-in motivation to share.
2016 Content Marketing Tip #4: Retain Your Existing Audience
Richard Young, Director of Marketing at mindSHIFT Technologies, said that you need to think of your existing customers, not only about acquiring new ones:
Marketers are putting too much focus on using content to acquire net new customers and “build an audience”. That is a very expensive and slow proposition for your executives to stomach.
Use content to retain your existing audience – customers – and put more focus, strategy, and investment in “sell first” campaigns (i.e. advertising, quick conversion strategies) instead of “sell later” (i.e. firewalled content and nurturing).
2016 Content Marketing Tip #5: Leverage Webinars
Kenyon Meadows M.D. from Meadows Enterprises, said that if you aren’t doing webinars, you are not utilizing your efforts to the maximum:
Webinars for me have been by far the best content marketing tool from an engagement standpoint and getting people to take action.
2016 Content Marketing Tip #6: Put Yourself In The Shoes Of The Reader
Joey Montano, Sr. Strategist at RevUnit, said that you need to do this one thing:
The best tip I have for content marketing is to take a step back and put yourself in the shoes of a potential reader. Get inside their minds and you’ll be able to find great ways to engage with them and write compelling content.
2016 Content Marketing Tip #7: Promote Your Content Extensively
Mike Kawula, the CEO of Social Quant, said that you need to invest a lot of time not only in the creation of your content, but also in its promotion:
The best content marketing tip for 2016 is remember regardless of how good your content is, if people don’t see it, it does you no good.
Make sure that you spend just as much time sharing and promoting your content (if not more) as you do making it.
2016 Content Marketing Tip #8: Look For Innovative Ways To Promote Your Content
Alex Genadinik, Founder of Problemio, said that you need to go beyond the usual content marketing methods:
My best content marketing tip would be to look for promotion that is beyond Google SEO. First, everyone must recognize that Amazon, YouTube, Yelp, eBay, iTunes, App Store, Google Play Store, and many other large websites are also search engines where it is much easier to rank and get traffic than in Google search.
Next people must leverage not only SEO on all those sites, but also their recommendation algorithms. Usually SEO has a limit since you won’t get any more traffic than there are people searching. But if you leverage recommendation algorithms, there is almost no limit to how much traffic you can get as long as you get recommended next to other content.
2016 Content Marketing Tip #9: Be Yourself
Andre Spiteri, a Freelance Copywriter & Content Strategist at Maverick Words, said that you should be yourself when doing content marketing:
Don’t be afraid to be yourself and speak with your own voice. You’ll come off sounding much more sincere and relatable and it will be easier for customers to connect with your brand.
2016 Content Marketing Tip #10: If You Don’t Use Multimedia, You’re Doing It Wrong
Edward Sturm from edwardsturm.com, said that you need to combine plain text with multimedia for optimal results:
If you’re a content marketer, or have a website with an active blog, it’s crucial that you use multimedia in your posts. Specifically pictures and video.
Many content marketers neglect embedding video into their article and this is a mistake. Always try to make your user experience as fun and engaging as possible.
Content Marketing Tip #11: Establish An Exclusive Publisher
Brett Bastello, an SEO Manager at Inseev Interactive, said that you need an exclusive publisher before you get to promoting you content:
My best content marketing tip for 2016 is to establish an exclusive publisher for your content piece prior to promotion.
By establishing an exclusive publisher, you can greatly increase your chances of gaining coverage from a highly authoritative source, which also adds credibility to your outreach initiatives upon the content promotion stage.
2016 Content Marketing Tip #12: The 3 Fundamentals Of CM
Shari Medini from Push Pull Sales shared 3 tips with us and I think they are basically sitting at the core of a great content marketing strategy:
Know your audience and speak directly to them. It’s okay to ignore the general population if you understand your consumer.
Create less content, but make it more valuable and take more time to distribute it to those who want to consume it.
Collaboration and curation are both extremely valuable and underused tools in the world of content marketing.
2016 Content Marketing Tip #13: Create Dialogues
Molly Phillips, an Account Manager at GreenRoom, urged marketers to initiate dialogues:
Effective content marketing has to create a dialogue. You can’t just blast your messaging into the ether with no intention of creating intelligent responses.
One easy way to do this and save time and money on the creation side of your CM strategy is to collect content from your audiences. Ask them for it or give them a shout out by reposting content about your product/brand that they’ve already shared on social media.
It will create instant responses from them, and also demonstrate that you’re committed to creating a two-way street with your constituents.
2016 Content Marketing Tip #14: Generate Featured Answers For Google SERPs
Casey Markee, Founder of Media Wyse, said that you need to focus on featured answers on search engines:
For 2016, one of the biggest focuses in content marketing has been on how to generate Featured Answers in Google Search Results. These featured snippets exist at Position 0 at the top of the search results page and are a boon for sites in that they generate a large amount of direct traffic.
For example, a search for the query “How to Make Graphs in Excel” return a Hubspot featured snippet at the top of Google which is good for around 1,600 monthly queries.
Generating Featured Snippets comes down to optimizing content for all the questions and steps in a specific query. A great tool to find these related questions and steps for which to optimize is called AnswerThePublic.com.
This tool is like a Google Suggest on steroids and returns every Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How query tied to a search-for query. Using this data, content marketers can both research and write a complete resource around a specific topic that has the best chance of triggering a Featured Answer snippet in the future.
2016 Content Marketing Tip #15: Don’t Forget About SEO
Lauren Edvalson, the CEO of Edvalson Marketing, said that writing represents only half the picture of content marketing:
Producing great content is half the battle. A great content marketing strategy is so much more than the writing, it’s also the SEO strategy behind it.
Using well researched keywords, having a link strategy and optimizing the page are the other half. It’s a beautiful marriage when you can produce valuable, authentic content to the reader while optimizing the page for SEO at the same time.
2016 Content Marketing Tip #16: Keep An Eye On Your Competitors
Alex Rechmann, CEO of iTestCash, shared a content marketing trick of his:
A marketing trick I like to use is to analyze my online competitors’ top performing content and see how to make it better.
If your competition has a 300 word article, you can make a version with 500 words that includes more information and pictures. The main idea is to try and do even better than what your competition is doing in your industry.
2016 Content Marketing Tip #17: Be Everywhere
Ashley Culpepper, the Content Media Coordinator at Consolidated Shoe Company, said that you need to be like a content marketing enigma of sorts:
Be everywhere, active, intuitive, and ahead of the curve. It is absolutely vital to promote shareable and unique content.
Get past the ceaseless social chatter by becoming “friends” with your customers and connecting deeply to form loyal, substantial relationships. If you can earn the customers attention and allegiance, they will follow you.
2016 Content Marketing Tip #18: Make It Personal
Aaron Vaughan from Anne Vaughan Designs, said that his experience in the jewelry niche taught him that making it personal really counts:
One key marketing tip from a handcrafted jewelry company in the middle of rural America: make it personal. After ten years making jewelry we would not survive if our nationwide customers didn’t feel a personal connection to us.
Most know about our life in rural Floyd, Virginia, our 2 kids, 80 acres, 2 dogs, and 6 chickens through email campaigns, social media, and more. We stand out in a saturated market, and this is a big reason why.
2016 Content Marketing Tip #19: Target The Right Audience
Adam Binder, Founder of Creative Click Media, said that you need to really personalize your content marketing approach:
Combining great content with personalized UX will prove to be a recipe for success. Regardless of how informative your content is, it will be overlooked if it is not reaching the right audience.
Visitors to your website will be more likely to act on your call to action if they are given the option to only receive content that is relevant to them.
2016 Content Marketing Tip #20: Sell A Lifestyle
Candice Galek, CEO & Founder of Bikini Luxe, said that you need not see your product or service:
If you really want to capture the attention of the masses, forget the idea of selling your product or service, instead sell your customers a lifestyle.
Make them dream of what they can be or do. We have had fantastic success with this technique as it speaks to people on a completely different level.
2016 Content Marketing Tip #21: Create Engaging Headlines
Becky Livingston, President & CEO of Penheel Marketing, said that you should not take your headlines lightly:
When it comes to social media engagement, think of your post headline like a newspaper headline. If you cannot grab readers with the headline, you’ve already lost them.
2016 Content Marketing Tip #22: Don’t Be Afraid To Repost
Nick Brennan, Founder & CEO of Watch Social Media, said that you should always consider reposting appropriate content:
If your content is evergreen, don’t be afraid to repost it. Old tweets get lost in the ether, so if the content is still relevant, tweet it again.
2016 Content Marketing Tip #23: Consider Content Upgrades
Chris Pontine from Creating A Website Today, said that you should add content upgrades to your posts:
One of my favorite content marketing tips is adding actionable steps for my readers plus a great content upgrade worksheet within the article on topic.
So, my readers are happy plus I have a high chance of gaining their email address because the content upgrade is laser focused withing that article.
2016 Content Marketing Tip #24: Remain Consistent
Tammy Cannon from Cannon Social Media, said that you need to “keep walking”:
The best tip for content marketing in 2016 is to remain consistent. It doesn’t matter if you produce content for 10 different social channels if you’re not doing it on a consistent basis.
Just like with anything in life, like losing weight or training for a marathon, consistency is the key ingredient that will get you an your business where you want to be.
2016 Content Marketing Tip #25: Live In The Moment
Cain Richards, a Digital Analyst at digitaladvertisingWorks, said that you should be present:
It isn’t hard to find what is trending, in fact Twitter’s new moments feature does all the leg work for you. If you can anticipate trends then you can create content that is topical and relevant to what you potential customers are searching for.
So whether it’s the Election race, a new series of a hit TV show or a major news story, tie this into your content ideas and drive up your user engagement.
2016 Content Marketing Tip #26: Acknowledge User Generated Content
Henry McIntosh, the Director of Twenty One Twelve Marketing, said that you need to recognize the power of user generated content:
Expect to see more user generated content. It’s nothing new, but brands will start to recognize it as an incredibly useful and cost-effective way to generate widespread exposure.
Whether it’s a photo, video or blog from a user, UGC is a great way for brands to build trust with their fans.
2016 Content Marketing Tip #27: Push For Long-Form Content
Erika Montgomery, the Founder & CEO of Three Girls Media, said that you need to play a little bit more with your words:
Google is putting much greater weight behind long-form content these days. Long-form posts should be between 1,500 – 2,000 words [I actually recommend 5,000+] and still include keywords, links, and images. Ideally you should post a minimum of once per week, the same day of the week and the same time of the day.
So there you have it guys. Now you know how you can make a king out of your content and it’s not that hard at all. All you need to do is write long-form, valuable content and then promote it to the right people via the right channels. A piece of cake right?