According to Content Marketing Institute (2016), 38% of marketers claim that blogging is the most important type of content. Notably, almost 37% of them expressed that visual elements are the best content for marketing, while live video and podcasting were ranked last.
Finding your audience and creating valuable content for them, are, undoubtedly, the most crucial steps towards successful content marketing.
So, before creating valuable content, it is important to review all the facts, and figure out the answers to the following questions:
- What type of content is the most beneficial for your audience?
- What type of content do people want to share?
- What are the latest statistics and trends that could benefit your content?
Content & Promotion Still Matters
It’s a well-known fact that blogging brings a definite increase in traffic generated to your website. Hence, it comes as no surprise that blogging is a vital element for 49% of B2B marketers compared to 33% of B2C marketers.
The more frequently you blog, the more productive you become, some “SEO Consultants” would say. Therefore, the time you invest should pay off, right? As an example, data from Traffic Generation Cafe (2015) reveals that 21–54 new blog posts in a year can lead to a traffic increase of up to 30%.
However, this was not the case for the well-known Backlinko founder, Brian Dean. Brian Attracts 119k unique visitors per month to his site and writes no more than 8-10 articles per year, proving there is no single recipe for success.
In fact, Brian’s new lessons reveal is that promotion is the second most important element. Hence, publishing valuable content is not enough if people are not able to find it. So, you need to find people that will love to share your content with their readers and network with them to become influential.
Content Strategies That Actually Work
What type of content the most popular for grabbing the attention of your readers these days?
There are various content marketing strategies to choose from. Though, visual elements are scientifically proved to be more efficient to convey a message, according to Social Media Examiner, only 34% of marketers prefer to use static visuals for their blogs, and only 19% of marketers choose to use video content. This means that now it is your chance to be a ninja blogger.
Here are five favourite content strategies for 2016 that can help you boost your blog posts.
#1: Among the highly popular types of content are Infographics.
The price for this type of content varies, depending on how you go about it. Whether you choose to do it yourself (by using online tools such as Canva or Piktochart), or to hire a professional graphic designer to do it for you, the decision directly depends on your budget and technical skills.
Regardless of the price, infographics are a perfect choice if you want to communicate complex data, research, and statistics in a visually simplified way. Not only complex information, but also interesting stories can be visualised using infographics. The purpose of an infographic is clearly identified by its name: info + graphic.
Researchers have found that vivid images influence people more, and people are more likely (by 80%) to open, read, and remember the information being communicated in your content. Therefore, infographics are the best solution for engaging your audience and improving the user experience on your website.
Because infographics are so popular, it can be difficult to receive a lot of attention; as a result, a significant amount of infographics being created each day. It’s always important to choose a topic that has not yet been covered, or, if it has been covered already, make sure you can make it better. Once you choose an interesting and catchy topic that people care about, you can start.
If you want to stand out from the crowd, you can try to create gifographic. Gifographic is based on the same idea as infographic but instead of static images/flat icons, etc., it uses animated gifts.
Creating a list of your favourite beverages can be done in just few minutes, and costs nothing. However, if you want to produce a more in-depth list taken from research or various reports, it might better to pay a professional to conduct the research.
Lists are a classic method for marketers and magazines to attract the attention of readers. It has also become an effective method for sharing content.
The method of creating the list is easy. You only need to choose a relevant topic, find a bunch of trustworthy sources, and gather the data into one place. One of the most efficient ways to create shareable content is by collecting impressive figures and presenting them in an easy-to-read way. The more detailed and informative, the better.
If you are not sure what to try, start by creating ‘Top 10’ lists of your niche interests. A ‘bucket’ list or ‘how to do’ list is a good place to start. In this way, you will start to notice the advantages this method can bring.
Interviews should not be charged, as it is an excellent means of promotion for both parties involved. Although, if you want to conduct an interview with a famous person in your niche, it might take some time and effort for you to get to that person.
If you have the chance to interview a well-known and respected leader in your industry, you will gain not only a lot of insights from the influencers of your field, but also the respect from your readers, as well. It is important to highlight that you are the one creating the questions and gathering the information, so your content, thus, represents a unique source of information.
In fact, interviews can also boost the traffic to your site. Once the interviewee shares the story with their audience and links to your site, new followers will be directed to you.
First, you need to choose the person you want to interview. After, you need to decide about the format of the meeting. Do you want to make a video interview, a recording, or just an email interview with questions? It is up to you, but, remember, to always ask for permission to publish the information being conveyed.
If you decide on a video interview and share it on social media, you might be pleasantly surprised by its popularity. In fact, the volume of videos being shared on Facebook has been increasing yearly by 3.6 times.
Interviewing a respected leader in your industry via phone or via are a few ways you can go about it. Though, the advantages of videos interviews are endless. Another option is to become an interviewee, yourself. If any opportunity presents itself, don’t miss it, seize it to the best of your ability. This way, you can reveal interesting facts to your viewers about yourself.
Another way is to do it in a podcast format. Podcasts are like being on a radio show where you can share your message.
Creating a guide is free of charge. It depends on the type of data you collect and your writing skills.
A guide is a detailed piece of informative content. You can imagine it as an extended blog post. It should help your readers to do something in an easier or better way.
Some bloggers who write guides use the skyscraper technique as a form of inspiration. It means that they find an attractive topic that someone else has covered, and turn it into a robust source of information.
For the guide to become successful, you will need to research topics that people are interested in and want to learn more about. Once, you have found your topic, make sure you have a structure for your guide, so it is easy to follow. Do not forget; each step should make sense for the reader.
Guides can also be written in the form of tutorials, template, checklist, organiser, planner, Q&A, or instructions. The principle behind this is the same as a detailed guide with useful information for your readers to follow.
Writing a metaphor is completely free of charge, it only depends on your creative skills.
An average reader will lose their attention on your text in less than 8 seconds. There are a few techniques to overcome this challenge. Beginning an article or a headline of a story with a metaphor is an excellent way to grab someone’s attention. You might have noticed titles phrased: “how to generate traffic.”
But, what do you think your readers would do if they read something more like: “what my stubborn and naggy grandma could teach you about generating traffic to your blog?” Just think about it.
This technique is easy. You just need to come up with something creative without being offensive. It can be a headline of your article, or it can be an opening paragraph of the story you are writing. Whatever you choose, do not limit your imagination.
If you cannot think of any metaphors, another way is to use famous quotes by well-known people. You just need to be careful to connect the story to the quote. You can also ask your readers to pick their favourite quotes. As well as, you can let them create their quotes, and, that way, engage with them in a broader sense.
Create Types of Content People Love to Share
Now, with these tips you have an idea how to make your blog posts more interesting for your readers. But, what to do if you want to keep up with other bloggers in your industry? What are the trends for the upcoming year?
Content Marketing Institute showed that 73% of marketers plan to use more videos, while 71% of them plan to increase their usage of visuals in general. Let’s take a look at videos and see how you can visually engage your readers.
It depends on your choice. For example, if you decide to use your smartphone to make a video tutorial of yourself in front of a whiteboard, then it is entirely free. Do not forget; Youtube is not the only channel to share the videos. Create an account on Vimeo – a professional video platform.
But, if you want to deliver more professional and engaging visual messages, then investing in a professional camera or hiring someone to do it, is a good idea.
To engage your readers. Videos are super popular, first and foremost, because they can deliver a message fast and peerlessly in a more interactive and engaging way.
According to DigiDay, there are almost 8 billion views on Facebook, each day, and surprisingly, 85% of them happen in silence, with the sound muted. So, it means that you can even create animated video with the sound off, and still attract users.
Take a camera and start shooting! The length should not go over 2-3 minutes if you want to keep your readers’ attention. You can also just make the video using Snapchat; it can be up to 10 seconds long, and you can add various effects right from your phone.
After recording, post it to your blog and let your readers view it. According to Bloomberg, Snapchat generates 10 billion views a day, while Facebook generates only 8 billion views.
Making ‘behind the scenes’ videos are great tools for engaging your followers. You can show them how you create your content, and where you find your inspiration, or just reveal your favourite place to do your writing.
Other tips include: slideshows, tutorials, screencasts, Q&A, “ted” style talks, trailer or previews, live event recording, about us page in a video format, GIFs, hangout recording, and this is only a beginning.
Be Trendy in 2017
As your followers demand to see more videos, the one thing you can do is to delight them with every opportunity you get.
So, what are you waiting for? And, what else should you do in 2017 to stay on top?
A survey by Content Marketing Institute has shown which direction your content marketing should take.
One fundamental element of your blog is to make it mobile friendly. As the trend in searching online via mobile phones is increasing, it is also important to have it optimised for mobile readers.
Compared to last year (50%), only 4% more of blogs have started to use a mobile-optimised platform in 2016. So, if you do not have your blog optimised yet, yesterday is the right time.
Summary or That’s All Folks
Remember, creating valuable content is still relevant to your readers. You should understand that high-quality story-based content is in demand. Find your voice, rebrand if needed, and follow it. Show your readers your true colours, and engage with them more.
I hope you enjoyed the article, learned a lot of new information, or refreshed your previous knowledge.