Content is king. You know it. Your competitors know it. Your customers also know it, even if they’re not entirely aware of how it affects their lives.
The trouble is that there’s so much noise going on in the social stratosphere that it’s hard to stand out and find the “right” targeted kind of ears and eyes to read your blog posts, newsletters and videos, otherwise known as the people that will eventually turn into paying customers.
Following are tips you can use to up your content game with a new content distribution strategy:
1. Platform is Just as Important as What You’re Dishing Out
So many would-be marketers set up an account on every content sharing platform out there and mass “share” everything when a new article, podcast, video, etc., is released. This approach is very counter intuitive for a number of different reasons.
Mainly it doesn’t take into account whether the content being shared — being spread to the masses — is relevant to the audience who sees it. If you’re sending out a bunch of salesy “Add 10 pounds of muscle by next month” type of links to a LinkedIn marketing group, think of what the users would think about your brand.
2. Be Helpful and Reliable
Tossing a link to your sales page out to your Twitter followers every 20 minutes, even every day, is a sure fire way to lose customer loyalty and trust. Same goes for blog posts, vlogs and podcasts. Seek to always gain and maintain real trust before asking for the sale.
Your customer will be yours forever if you’re constantly teaching them something or providing entertainment, without regularly bombarding them to buy your product.
3. Make Content Easy to Digest
There are two venues you can choose from, depending on your audience: Long-form and short-form.
If you want to cater to an audience who is looking for in-depth coverage about a particular topic, you should opt for long-form content. Medium length, list formatted articles that are around 700 to 1200 words, are easy for customers to scan without too much strain on their eyes or time. Same thing with video: a quick and information-rich five minute video is going to get a lot more views and shares than one where you’re hmm-ing, ha-ing and pontificating for 10 minutes or longer.
If you are targeting an audience who enjoys entertaining, bite-sized talk about a topic, you should opt for short-form content. Short articles — with lots of photos, preferably — work wonders. With regard to video content, a 2 to 3 minute video can go a long way if you offer value.
There is no right or wrong in this — it’s all about your decision on how you will acquire traffic.
4. Always Evaluate Results
Yes, you need to bring customers in largely using freely-distributed information and entertainment. That’s the reality of the era we’re living in.
Still, you can’t keep blindly pushing out free stuff and never getting any results (ie., sales and/or leads that could lead to future sales). Determine if content that’s getting more “likes” or “shares” tends to drive more sales or not, then figure out what sets that content apart from the non-performing stuff and figure out a way to replicate the success in future distributions.
5. Create Future Leverage
Ask bloggers, vloggers and social butterflies in your niche if you can do guest posts on their blogs, or be an expert guest on their podcasts to increase your reach in the industry. Form friendships with people who have social media influence with the types of people you’re trying to attract to your content. Always reciprocate when the opportunity arises, no matter how busy you might be.
6. Map Your Strategy
Write or type out a formal creation/distribution plan for your content. Decide what days and times to post once and then never deviate from that plan. This will also help you to gain trust and be deemed as a reliable source in your niche area of expertise.
7. Link All Your Distribution Channels Together
This should go without saying. Make sure you have clickable social sharing buttons on your main and supporting sites. Make sure all your social profiles have a link to your main sites. Make them clickable links. Don’t expect people to copy and paste your URL … they probably won’t!
8. Be Better Than the Competition
Social media is “loud” and very cluttered. You need to stand out.
If your biggest competitor is delivering top-notch totally fresh content to his or her audience every day, how can you expect to compete with their influence on people by posting every other day, or even less?
If their vlog videos are studio quality 1080p with a sweet external Audio Technica mic, and you’re still using an old 480p cam with built-in mic, how can the customer view you as a successful authority?
Find a way to be better.
Take your own thought-provoking images to support your posts or to make people laugh. Do what they won’t!
9. Curation is King
Maybe not, entirely. It’s certainly not as good as original content. However, you can become an authority in your niche by delivering equal parts fresh content and the highest-quality content circulating on the Web currently.
The trick is to offer the content as a link or embedded video or audio file, then offer some short insights of your own to give context to your audience. If you want to quote written content, offer short paragraphs only, to avoid “aggregating” the content, which is just straight copying someone else, and does nothing to bolster your credibility.
As Matt Cutts has famously said: “Create, curate, don’t aggregate!”
10. Mobile Responsive is a Must.
Your site has to be mobile responsive to get any traction from mobile users. If they can’t read or watch your stuff from their smartphones, they’ll find a site they can use.
Most modern WordPress designs are very responsive as are other modern themes including Joomla and eCommerce platforms like Shopify and Magento.
Always try to test each post on a mobile device before sending it out to the cloud. Simple issues like a poorly-oriented image can completely destroy a mobile user’s ability to enjoy your content.
Newsstand Photo via Shutterstock
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