Do you use content to drive traffic and generate leads? Content marketing has become the preferred means of marketing for many businesses. It’s a great strategy for attracting leads to your business. Blogs, whitepapers, online videos, podcasts and other content forms are there to show us the truth behind content marketing.

If your content is not getting you the results you want or even if you are new to content marketing, there is good news. It’s possible to change.

With that setting the stage, here are 11 tips to help you in your content marketing.

1. Have a goal: When you’re planning your content, set a goal for it. What do you want to achieve with your content? Perhaps, you want it to get you more newsletter signups or more sales for your products. The best way to set goals for your content is to categorize them. For example, you can categorize your content like this: drive traffic, generate leads, generate sales, etc. Delving further:

  • List posts: Drive traffic. Traffic may convert to leads
  • Downloadable Documents: Increase traffic conversions to leads
  • Customer reviews/ testimonials/ case studies: Convert traffic and leads to sales

Categorizing and setting goals like this helps you choose the right words to use to achieve your content marketing goals.

2. Produce enlightening content frequently: The two keywords here are “enlightening” and “frequently”. When you produce great content, people will want to share it and subscribe to your RSS feed or newsletter. Teach people in your industry new ways to do things. If you disagree with an accepted norm in your industry, produce content to debunk it and share it with top players in your industry.

When you produce great content, people talk about you on their blogs. When you produce great content, your business grows. When you produce great content… the goodies goes on and on and on.

3. Analyze and Proofread: After planning and producing your content, take your time and double check for errors. If you’re unsure of any mistakes, work with someone who is better at spelling and grammar to help you out. Also make sure your content is easy to understand and is convincing enough especially when you are using it as a sales tool or to debunk a theory.

 4. Stack up content ideas: Plan your content ahead of time. This reduces the probability of not having any content to share when you want to produce content. I keep a word document with many content ideas so I’m not often faced with writers block. Stacking up content ideas also helps you write great content because you have a mental picture of what you’ll be writing about.

5. Use different content formats: Don’t only rely on text to promote your business. Use graphics, PDFs, audio, and video. People want to be spoiled with choice when it comes to giving them content. They want to watch screen casts of what you are talking about. They want to listen to your content on their mp3 players. They also want your content on their desktops in document format.

6. Stay informed: Be attentive online. Subscribe to blogs in your niche. Set up alerts on Social Mention and Google to track news and articles with keywords you’ll be interested in. Learn about new marketing opportunities. Learn about new trends. Use the information you collect to keep your content and strategies up to date.

7. Manage your time: Having a time-table or to-do list is a great way to manage your time as a content marketer. Producing great content can take some time so you need to give yourself enough time when you are producing content. Learn how to manage your time so that you’re ready when you feel the urge to create content.

8. Network Effectively: Do you want influential bloggers to link to you or talk about your product? Then don’t just follow and friend them on social networking sites. Most of them won’t follow or friend you back anyway. You’ll have to prove yourself worthy to be talked about by networking properly with them.

Start by commenting on their blogs and joining in their conversations on social media and networking sites. Leave insightful comments on their status updates. If you don’t have anything to say, don’t say anything. You can also contribute an article to their blog.

Another great way to network is to use interviews. Interview opinion leaders about the latest industry trends or get yourself interviewed by bloggers.

Networking gets you noticed. When you get noticed, you’ll be talked about on these blogs and their readers will also notice you and talk about you on their blogs.

 9. Do your research: When you’re not sure of something, do some research online. Never add statements and quotes to your content without finding out whether they’re right or not. If you make a mistake with this, people will question the credibility of the rest of the information you’re giving them.

10. Identify and use content aggregators: Some websites are programmed to aggregate and show content from various sources. I call these sites content outlets. These sites will help you reach a larger audience with your content. Some examples are Social Media Today, The Daily Brainstorm, The Customer Collective, Alltop, etc.

11. Think SEO: If you publish text, audios and videos, you have to always think S.E.O. when producing your content. You’ll have to optimize your titles and use the right key words in your descriptions. It’s the only way you’ll reach more people.

Conclusion:

What strategies do you use in your content marketing? Share them with me.

Next week, I’ll start a series of articles that will show you how to reuse your blog and newsletter ideas to generate more leads. You’ll learn new things including video and audio SEO. Subscribe to the RSS feed in order not to miss this.