Consumers have seemingly infinite options when it comes to reading content, whether in the form of written posts, images, videos, or micro blogs. The job of the content marketer — getting consumers to read and assimilate your content into their daily lives and habits — certainly isn't easy. And without close management, it can start taking over your life.
The key to success as a content marketer is to focus on the efficient use of your time, rather than the total amount of time you're investing in your work. Here are several ways to help ensure that time is on your side.
Five time management tips
1. Take Advantage of Tools
Writing a great blog post is one thing, but if no one ever visits your blog, it's like the proverbial tree falling in the forest — does it even make a sound?
Content marketers must take advantage of tools that help push content into the consciousness of consumers. Social media marketing is one of the best ways to share a message, but if you're manually posting each piece of content to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+, you're eating up a chunk of time that could be better spent elsewhere. Use tools, such as Buffer and HootSuite, to link your social media pages and schedule content to automatically post at predetermined times.
If you're marketing content with high visual appeal - particularly food, crafts, home decorating, or fashion - look into setting up an account with Ahalogy. Free to publishers, Ahalogy makes it easy to auto-schedule pins to Pinterest in a way that generates more traffic for your site. Plus, it has teamed up with PicMonkey to make it easy to edit images and make them more "pinnable" directly from your own website. All-in-all, it increases efficiency while making visual marketing easier.
2. Develop a Consistent Schedule
It's one thing to attract a customer to your content, but it's another to keep that customer coming back for more. If you write blogs or post videos in a willy-nilly fashion, consumers never know exactly what to expect, making it more difficult for you to keep their attention.
By developing a schedule that consumers can count on, you make it easy for them to keep coming back for more. Think of it like television — you know your favorite show comes on every Monday at 8 p.m., so you plan to set time aside to watch it. If your favorite show's schedule were to change every week, you'd likely become frustrated and seek a new show.
Content marketing is similar. Make it simple for yourself to manage and your customers to consume by developing a content marketing schedule, and then sticking with it.
3. Create Great Content
Think for a second about food photography. A great image — one that's clear, bright, and perfectly staged — can literally make your mouth water. It calls you to action; you want to try the recipe, eat the food, then post your own image to social media recalling your experience. That said, a bad food image — one that's dark and makes a bowl of chili look like a brown bowl of sludge — has quite the opposite effect.
Imagine all of your content is food photography. Good content elicits a reaction from readers and consumers. They share it, purchase it and come back to consume more. Bad content elicits no reaction or a poor reaction, neither of which help you as a content marketer.
If you focus on putting out the best possible content, the marketing piece of your job becomes easier, as consumers help further the marketing effort when they feel called to action by the high quality of their experience.
4. Harness Others' Great Content
A content marketer's goal shouldn't be to get consumers to read or watch or view your content, but for consumers to become invested in your brand. One of the best ways to build consumer buy-in is to become relevant to their daily lives and experiences. A relevant marketer understands how to use other people's great content to start a conversation through your own channels, positioning yourself as a leader and conversation-starter in your field of expertise.
For instance, if you're in the weight loss industry, use a recent study on nutrition or exercise to start a conversation on Facebook. Or, pin a great infographic on weight loss trends to your Pinterest page, even if it was put together by a competitor. It doesn't matter that it was your competitor's work; what matters is that consumers digested the content from your brand's pages, making you the relevant resource.
5. Prioritize Based on Analytics
You only have so many hours in a day, so it makes no sense to invest much time in strategies that aren't working. Even if Facebook is the social media mecca for your competition, that doesn't mean it's the be-all, end-all of social strategies when it comes to marketing your own content. Pay close attention to analytics, and invest your time in the marketing methods that are generating the desired effects. And recognize that these things change over time.
For instance, for a long time, Facebook was a great resource for small business owners who wanted to create business pages and promote their content for free to followers of their pages. However, recent changes in the Facebook algorithm have resulted in drastic decreases in views for business pages. Even pages with thousands of followers may only generate several dozen views per post, and even fewer consumer actions.
This algorithm change necessitated a change in strategy for my own business, and I shifted my focus from Facebook to Pinterest, where I've seen significant increases in traffic. The point is, pay attention and change your strategy as circumstances dictate.
Depending on the size of your business and what exactly you're marketing, you may want to tap into the world of sponsored posts. Sponsored posts are posts published on someone else's website or blog that add value to a reader while shedding a positive light on the sponsor's business or area of expertise.
For example, Kellogg's might want to sponsor a series of posts on a major website highlighting the importance of eating a healthy breakfast. The posts might not even reference the Kellogg's name, but by adding the phrase "Sponsored by Kellogg's" at the top of the post, or by placing Kellogg's ads within the body of the post, readers may begin to associate the positive message with the brand name. These types of posts, while expensive, can do wonders for a brand while requiring very little time from the content marketer, especially when arranging posts through a single website or through a blogger network that can manage a campaign for you.
Are you a content marketer? How do you effectively manage your time?
Photo credit: Pixabay
Laura Williams is an online marketer and entrepreneur who writes about small business strategies to drive traffic and sales. She is also a fitness enthusiast who enjoys working out and spending time outdoors with her dogs.