The amount of data that’s currently online is mind-boggling—estimates placed this number at over 11 zettabytes (doubled volume every year and a half, from 2.8 ZBs in 2012). According to the 2012 IDC Digital Universe study sponsored by EMC, the Internet is expected to hold 40 zettabytes of data by 2020. A zettabyte clocks in at around 1.1 trillion gigabytes—just one zettabyte is more than enough to fill 75 billion iPads.
With so much data available, how do you get people to read your content?
Content marketing is a vital strategy for any business hoping to get noticed, but it’s increasingly difficult to stand out in the ever-expanding ocean of content. These tips will help you elevate your content marketing strategy from adequate to effective, growing your online audience and your market share.
Choose Quality Over Quantity
Volume may have been the key to successful content marketing earlier in the game, but in today’s crowded digital world, it’s nearly impossible to reach your audience successfully through volume alone. In fact, quantity is less important now—and quality is king when it comes to content marketing.
There are several reasons quality trumps quantity. Changes in search engine algorithms, especially Google, now give significantly more weight to high quality, relevant content, and penalize quickly written, poorly constructed copy that’s been stuffed with keywords. There’s also the share factor—people are more likely to share high quality content through email, social media and other tools.
Go Beyond Blog Posts
For many marketers, “content” and “blog posts” are one and the same. But there are so many channels and formats for online data now, that restricting your content marketing strategy to a few blog posts a week just isn’t enough. Diversifying your content pieces to include both longer and shorter pieces, shared links, social media posts, images, video, infographics and other forms of content can help you reach more of your target audience on more digital channels.
If the idea of producing so much varied content seems daunting, consider repurposing your content to get more mileage out of each piece. For example, you can bundle several blog posts into an ebook for visitors to download (or break an ebook down into a series of blog posts to keep your blog stocked with fresh content for weeks). Whitepapers and case studies can be converted into infographics, and vice versa. Images can be used as social media status posts, with brief commentary added for engagement.
Add Video to Your Strategy
For today’s digital marketers, producing video content is a whole lot easier than it used to be. Quality videos no longer require extensive camera setups, multiple-person crews, and weeks of planning. Now, all you need is a decent smartphone camera and affordable (or even free) video editing software.
Bringing video into your content marketing mix can boost your visibility substantially. Video traffic currently accounts for 66 percent of all global online traffic, and studies estimate that by 2018, that number will rise to 79 percent. On YouTube alone, 6 billion hours of video are watched every month—and mobile video is becoming increasingly popular. It pays for any business to tap into the online video-watching demographic.
Solicit Content From Your Audience
One of the easiest and most effective ways to generate fresh content is to ask your customers and followers. User-generated content promotions are highly popular, and can benefit your company in a big way.
Choose an aspect of your business that engages your audience, and ask them to send in written pieces, photos or videos of their experiences. A simple example is to request photos of your customers using your products, or short personal essays on how your company affects their everyday lives. Video is a great medium for this type of content as well—for example, travel site Expedia’s “Find Yours” campaign asked users to share videos of their best travel tips, and posted the videos on their website.
Consider Paid Content Promotion
As the content market continues to become more competitive, many experts agree that the best strategy is one that combines “paid, earned, and owned” media. This applies particularly to social media content, but can also include websites, blogs, articles and more. If your business is struggling to gain visibility for your content, you may consider adding paid content to the mix.
There are a number of inexpensive ways to promote content through paid media. Major social networks offer paid advertising programs that expose your content to more viewers—such as Facebook promoted posts, Twitter promoted tweets, and LinkedIn sponsored updates. Pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns like Google’s AdWords also remain effective ways to grow your website traffic or promote landing pages, article hubs or downloadable content.
Regardless of the size of your business, content marketing is crucial for successful marketing online. Elevate your content game with these tips for the new digital landscape so you can rise above the noise and attract a larger online audience.