Ten Commandments of Content Marketing (Part 1)

…as previously shared on Instagram and Twitter by the author.

This is a topic I like to write about: content marketing. It’s a topic I am involved with every day, 24/7, for most than a decade. This fact only doesn’t make me an expert in the field by it gives me a perspective based on my personal experience and the issues i have to deal with on a constant basis.

Content marketing is effective. It’s not only my opinion, it’s a fact. Most of the content marketers have real faith in it.

Why?

If done correctly, it can produce great results and convert audience into customers quite effectively.

We see that 42% of the marketers are confident that content marketing can help their strategies.

While some of you might argue that this is a small number, it really isn’t.

Consider the fact the Facebook is the most popular social media platform and at the same time, the most popular content distribution channel for marketers. And still, only 37% of them think that Facebook marketing is effective.

Therefore, 42% is not a small number at all.

Furthermore, 33% of the marketers believe that advertising banners do not work, compared to only 16% who believe their content marketing strategies are not effective.

According to demandmetric.com, 90 percent of organizations market with content. Content marketing generates three times as many leads as outbound marketing but it costs more than sixty percent less, based on the same source.

This means that you can no longer ignore the importance of content and as a consequence, start planning ahead to include content creation and distribution into your overall marketing strategy.

So, what do you need for a successful content marketing campaign?

Well, in order to answer your questions and at the same time, help you with your own strategy, I managed to compile a list of ten commandments you should take into account before you start brainstorming for relevant topics and ideas.

Let’s take a look at mi picks:

#1 The Topic

Regardless of the industry you write about, there are valuable topics and not-so-valuable topics. Find out which is what before you start to write about something.

It’s obvious that you cannot just pick a random topic and write about it.

First, you need to conduct a quick market research and see what is valuable and what is not.

You need a topic that is related to your industry, a topic that your brand can relate to. At the same time, you need something original, something of value that you can share with your audience. This is important because you need to expand your pool of customers/readers/fans and at the same time, keep your existing ones engaged.

#2 The visuals

Visual content counts for more than aesthetics. It allows you to tell your stories more effective and keep your readers engaged.

Before asking me why I chose visual content as the second most important item on this list, take a look at the following chart published by CMI:

Then, consider the fact that people tend to forget what they read and hear more quickly than they forget what they see.

In fact, three days later, they only remember ten percent of what they hear, as opposed to visual information, which is retained by a factor of 65% after the same period of time.

Not yet convinced?

Well, consider that almost forty percent of the marketers admit that visuals are the most important form of content for their business.

Type of visuals you can use:

  • Infographics
  • Featured images on blog posts
  • Graphs and charts
  • Screenshots
  • Explanatory videos
  • Video tutorials
  • Testimonials
  • Doodles
  • Banners

#3 Grab your audience’s attention

The people of today have the lowest attention span in human history. Greet your visitors with great visuals and great titles because otherwise they will lose their interest.

I guess i have already covered this topic during the first paragraphs. Also, I have published an extensive guide on how to create the perfect posts for your content marketing campaigns.

However, before going further to the next item on the list, I will once again mention the importance of the title, when it comes to content marketing.

As you may already know, people have a limited attention span. According to a study released by Microsoft and cited by Time.com, people lose focus after only 8 seconds. In fact, this is the average attention span of a modern human, based on the aforementioned study.

Average human attention span

What does this mean?

Well, you need to capture your viewers’ attention in 8 seconds or less. For this, you need great visuals and great titles. Something to make them stay just a little bit longer in order for you to relay a message or a valuable information.

#4 Have a blog/website

Invest in your own website or blog. Social media makes a great content marketing channel but you do not own what you post there. It’s like building a house on someone else’s property.

This point is quite obvious. Social media platforms are subject to continuous changes that may affect the way you interact with your audience and perform your content marketing duties. There’s no guarantee that all your work on Facebook, for example, will not get lost at some point or, your account be suspended due to various reasons.

Your own blog or website however, is your own independent territory. Here, you can write what you want, when you want. There are no other rules except the rules you impose yourself. Everything you write belongs to you and not to a third party.

WordPress provides you with the easiest way to set up your own website or blog. All you need is a domain name and a web hosting. Download the WordPress files, upload them on the server and access the website. There are a few steps you need to undergo before the blog to be online but the process is mostly automatic so you won’t need to have a technical expertise.

You can buy your domain names from NameCheap, GoDaddy or Name.com.

You can get a cheap hosting service from Namecheap, HostGator or BlueHost.

#5 Be a good host

Engage with your readers. Thank them for their good thoughts, act immediately when they criticize you. Be a part of the community if you want it to follow you.

Think about your website or blog as if it were your own home. What do you do when a guest is invited in? Well, you would most certainly try to make conversation, you would probably get them a drink or something to eat and so on.

The same rules apply on your website. The content you publish as a content marketer is only the first aspect of your creative campaign. You will also need to engage with your audience, and keep them entertained. You need to be a part of the community you are creating here and not a benevolent demigod who supervises only the open discussions and decides which comments get approved and which don’t.

Here are a few things to consider:

  • Respond to questions and comments
  • Give advice if required
  • Respond promptly to personal emails
  • Accept your audience’s complaints and critics and try to rise up to their standards
  • Commit to correct any errors as soon as someone signals them. Thank your critics for bringing them to your attention

 

Featured image by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

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