Did you know that content marketing generates 3x more leads as compared to paid advertising?

This is why 73% of marketers consider content marketing strategy their most effective brand building and lead generation tactic. They even plan to increase spending on it in the next 12 months.

But what is content marketing?

In simple words, content marketing is a strategy in which you give free value to your audience. Instead of bombarding them with direct sales pitches and advertisements, you can publish useful content that solves their problems! In turn, this establishes you as an authority on your subject.

Consequently, people are more likely to listen to your advice and buy your products and services because they trust you.

Here are some of the key content marketing best practices you should follow.

1. Plan Your Content Marketing Strategy With the End-User In Mind

A successful content marketing strategy is always based on the needs and wants of the target audience. Your content must solve the problems of your readers. This can then help you to establish yourself as the go-to source for everything related to your industry.

For this, you must first identify the actual problems of your audience by performing extensive research.

Here are a few quick pointers to help you:

  • Competitive Analysis: Don’t reinvent the wheel, see what’s working for your competitors and adjust your strategy. Look at their most popular articles, the topics they regularly cover, and the keywords they target.
  • Study Forum Discussions: Search sites like Quora, Reddit, and other industry-specific forums to find the most popular topics and problems of your audience
  • Google Search Suggestions: Look at the keywords that appear in the drop-down of Google Search or the related searches against a query. These are some of the most popular searches on your topic.

Before publishing a single article, make sure you clearly understand what your target audience is struggling with. Help them and become their hero.

2. Focus on Publishing High-Quality Actionable Content

Nearly 6 million new blog posts are published every day. Most of them never get any traffic because they’re low quality, copy/paste articles that are solely written for search engines.

To stand out from the crowd, you must focus on publishing high-quality content that’s better than your competitors.

What is high-quality content?

Content that,

  • Is written in an engaging tone and format
  • Solves problems and delivers value
  • Gives clear actionable guidelines to the readers instead of just giving them information.
  • Is in-depth and covers a topic in detail.

Publishing high-quality content requires time and resources. However, it gives you a huge advantage over your competitors who’re not investing in it.

3. Back Your Claims With Data and Case Studies

In the age of Fake News and propaganda, opinions carry little weight if they’re not backed by irrefutable proof. Moreover, using data references, case studies, and examples to back your claims makes your content much more powerful and credible.

To find relevant studies and data about your topic, simply use any of the following keywords on Google Search

“[Your Topic] + Stats”
“[Your Topic] + Case Study”
“[Your Topic] + Survey”

For example, here are the results for the keyword “Fitness Stats”

Sample keyword research for content marketing.

You can reference any of these stats in your content and add weight to your arguments. Just make sure that the stats you’re using are from a reputable source.

4. Use Visual Content Marketing to Your Advantage

Scientific research found that the human brain processes visuals almost 60,000 times faster than text content.

This is why 69% of marketers consider images and other forms of visual content very important for their marketing strategy.

The importance of visuals in marketing
Source: Venngage

There are several ways to use visuals in your content.

  • You can use screenshots to explain your content.
  • Create video content to embed in your blog posts (or embed YouTube videos from other publishers)
  • Use stock photos for every article.
  • Use clippings of infographics related to your topic (like we’ve done in this post)

Visuals make your content much more engaging for the readers and make them stay longer on your site. Just make sure you reference any third party images by linking to the original source.

5. Create Eye-Catching Headlines to Attract Visitors

Whatever kind of post you’ll be creating, you’ll have to create eye-catching headlines that make people stop and read it.

A study shows that only 20% of people actually read beyond an article’s headline.

How many people out of 10 reads a headline copy or reads the entire content.
Source: Neil Patel

So, how do you create powerful headlines?

  • Use numbers and lists since they’re proven to generate clicks.
  • Use emotional words and adjectives to engage readers.
  • Maintain suspense and don’t reveal everything in the headline
  • Keep headlines under 65 characters

Professional writers and marketers recommend spending as much time crafting a powerful headline as you spend writing a complete article.

Because if you don’t get the headline right, no one will read what’s inside.

6. Use Calls To Action (CTAs) To Build Your Subscribers Base

One of the primary objectives of content marketing is to turn readers into email subscribers and leads. That way, you can stay in touch with them and turn them into customers.

To do that, you should use different calls to action (CTAs) throughout your content and on the key places of your website.

A CTA is a button, a link, or a simple text that encourages readers to perform a certain action. For example “Share This Article”, “Subscribe to Our Email List”, “Claim Your Discount” etc.

It acts as a soft reminder or a simple nudge that makes readers perform the action that you want.

7. Systematically Promote Your Content To Attract Traffic

Content creation is just one part of content marketing. For a successful content marketing strategy, you need to have a systematic way to regularly share and promote your content. Ideally, you should do so on all the different platforms that your target audience uses.

SEO, social media marketing, and paid advertising are all different forms of promotional techniques marketers use to generate traffic.

Are You Ready To Use Content Marketing?

Content marketing is a vast field with lots of different methods and techniques that work for different industries and products.

What works for you depends entirely on the needs of your audience, the status of your brand, and your goals.

But one thing’s for sure. If you follow content marketing best practices, it is bound to give you a high ROI than any other marketing technique

Want to know how you can leverage content marketing for your brand? Just contact us, and we’ll take it from there.

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