Everybody’s publishing marketing content these days - including your clients - and we’re all competing fiercely for the reader’s attention. It simply doesn’t pay to spend time and money producing content that your five loyal followers read; it isn’t economically viable. So how can you make sure your clients' content stands out from the rest, gets noticed and produces results? Here are 5 tips to help marketers to do that:
Review Your Intros
More than ever, readers are scanning marketing content to see if it holds anything of value for them. We all know about attention-grabbing headlines, but what’s the next thing a user reads after the headline? The introduction, or at least the first part of it. This needs to tell your reader clearly what you’re talking about in the post. Forget the background waffle leading into the topic, or put it somewhere else in the piece. Most people reading it already know something about your business, or they can do additional research to find out. Take this post for example – you know by the second sentence in the intro what we’re going to cover here, and we do.
Set up Google Authorship
With the oodles of marketing content available, we’re becoming particularly picky about what we take any notice of. Content written by recognized names fares better than that produced by unknown writers. By setting up Google authorship your avatar will appear alongside any search engine results that include your posts. It shows the number of circles you’re in and links to other information about you. This goes a long way towards helping to establish your online reputation, and the more readers you can attract the more credibility you will enjoy.
Focus Tightly on Your Niche
You’re almost never going to attract readers who aren’t already interested in your subject matter, so why do we all spend so much time trying? The more tightly you focus your marketing content on your niche, or even better, on a niche-within-a-niche, the more likely you are to appeal to people who are seriously interested. People who might actually buy!
Consider social media – every jack, john and harry these days is spouting about social media. Trouble is, I see so many “Social Media 101” -type articles that it’s rare to find something with in-depth information that speaks to those of us who already have a fair bit of knowledge. So when I find one of those gems, I read it, share it and save it. Which is pretty much what every writer of the 101 posts wants, but doesn’t get.
Forget generalism. Focus very specifically, and the people who want to read your stuff will do so. After all, those are the only people you really need to reach. Quality over quantity and all that.
Use a Variety of Media
Text is just soooo boring! And who has time to read extensively, anyway? Pepper your marketing content with images, video clips, podcasts, infographics, spreadsheets and checklists – anything and everything that can make the experience more interesting than facing a solid wall of text! And when you do publish text, break it up with new paragraphs, subheadings, bullet points and number lists so it’s easy for readers to skim to determine whether there’s value in the piece for them.
Give Readers a Reason to Share
Let’s revisit the whole quantity versus quality thing. To reach a tight niche or market segment, unless you’re sending them all an email the best way to distribute your marketing content is to get your readers to share it for you. But seriously, they aren’t going to share it because they like you – even if they do. Give them an incentive to do so, and you’ll realize quality shares that generate leads and conversions.
I remember attending a HubSpot webinar in 2012 with Dan Zarella, where the attendee who tweeted using the webinar hashtag the most times during the event won a free info session with him or a discounted course. Guess what? In an hour the hashtag reached 11,000 tweets! Motivation works wonders.
It’s challenging to find creative ways to present marketing content that reaches your clients' target audience, beats the competition and generates the sales leads you want. It’s not impossible, however, and given the level of competition for attention that all content marketers face, it’s absolutely vital that you do so if you want your efforts to succeed.