If you understand how to stick to content marketing best practices, you’ll definitely be able to deliver and get the results you believe in.
As more and more companies are building and growing their brands/businesses using content marketing, it’s becoming harder to stand out from the crowd.
It’s no surprise that social media and SEO are two of the most important channels today when it comes to content marketing.
In fact, these two channels make up around 80% of traffic for most sites. The biggest challenge is what to do next and how to leverage the traffic you get from these channels.
Knowing how to leverage the traffic you get from social media and SEO is key to generating qualified leads, increasing engagement and driving more sales.
So, the key is knowing what content marketing practices can help you make the most of your online traffic. Let’s dive in!
18 Content Marketing Best Practices
If you make it a habit to stick to these best practices, you can expect to become one of the best content marketers on this earth.
1. Know Your Target Audience
One of the most key aspects of content marketing that many small businesses and freelancers miss out on is that they don’t spend enough time thinking about their target audience.
Understanding who your target audience is is one of the most important parts of content marketing.
In order to convey a relevant message to your audience, you must first figure out what they want.
It can be pretty challenging to identify their needs, but knowing how it works helps you deliver what they want.
You need to know the name of your target audiences and make sure that you speak the same language they do.
What’s not ever going to change is that the journey of content marketing is long. This means that you have to learn your target audience’s lingo, adapt yourself if they develop new habits and if they change their ways of consuming your content.
If you don’t, you’ll never be able to understand what they need, let alone cater to these needs.
So, go ahead and figure out your target audience by asking yourself who they are and what they need. This will give you a leg up when it comes to delivering the best content.
2. Write for Your Audience, Not the Search Engines
I’m sure you’ve read about this a gazillion times and I can’t agree more on this. Your content needs to be engaging, relevant, and insightful for the reader!
Most importantly, it needs to be useful.
It’s pretty easy to fall into the trap of writing content just because there are more searches for something than anything else…
Unfortunately, this is a recipe for disaster. Instead, think about what really matters to your target audience and write your content based on that.
It’s amazing that people do this. They write a bunch of articles that are mainly search engine friendly but totally useless for the readers.
These articles sit on their website or blog and get indexed in the search engines, and then no one ever reads them!
You need to be different and always think about what your audience needs. Write about what helps your target audience.
This will help you be an influencer within your niche and build a reputation for delivering useful content (which is going to rank higher than junk content).
3. Be Consistent and Regular
Be regular in your posting, like clockwork! Don’t stop being consistent in publishing your content.
You need to create a regular schedule for posting that you can stick to. You don’t want your audience and the search engines to forget about you, uh?
Consistency is one of the main content marketing best practices. A consistent posting schedule helps your audience to identify you as the authority.
This turns into a more direct relationship with your readers and makes them trust you more.
Consistent writing also helps you rank well in the search engines and get indexed more often.
As a result, you bring more eyeballs to your content, and of course, achieve more business goals.
4. Keep Your Business Goals in Mind
When you think about the objectives you want to achieve from content marketing, think about how you can use the above two practices to achieve your goal.
Figure out what you want to achieve from your content marketing efforts.
Consider how readers will benefit from your content, and most importantly, what actions you want them to take when they read your piece of writing.
There is no point in publishing content if no one is going to take actions that will benefit your business.
The final step is to set targets and show strong CTAs to achieve them. You need to make sure that you’ll reach the objectives, and your content will be what you want it to be.
You should think about what you want the content to achieve before actually writing the thing.
5. Keep Your Audience in Mind
Your audience is not made up of search engines. The search engines are there to help you drive traffic to your site.
Your readers are the real target audience, and they don’t want to read keyword-stuffed articles.
So, before you decide on writing, think about the people that will be reading your content and how they will feel after reading it.
They get value from what you write or else there’s no point in writing it for them. Valuable content is king, and it is the only way you’ll get the attention and engagement you want.
You can’t just put a blog post up on your site and expect people to read it. If you want to attract and retain your audience, you need to be sure that the content meets their needs.
Not every customer or reader is going to like what you post, but you should still make sure the content is relevant and valuable.
6. Make Your Content Visually Appealing
Think of it! When we are on the phone, we are usually in a state of laziness – we don’t want to read a huge block of text for 10 minutes.
It goes without saying that a piece of content that appeals to the eye is so much more beneficial in many ways.
Images are important, especially when it comes to conveying a certain message. Credible data from a survey or an infographic is great for any content marketing strategy.
You can also post relevant infographics and other images on your website for users’ reference.
Make sure that you create your own images too (images with relevant text overlay where necessary). This way, you can maintain consistency throughout your website and blog posts.
So, don’t just go crazy with text, spice up your content with images! Your content can be written in any form.
Nowadays, video and infographics are one of the best content marketing tools you can use as well as short videos on Vimeo.
Don’t underestimate the power of good design when it comes to content – because it gets your audience’s attention and makes them want more.
7. Make Your Content Easy to Digest
Creating content that grabs attention and makes people want to read more is a great skill.
If you can figure out how to grab the reader’s attention with words, you’ll be successful in all kinds of content marketing efforts.
Since you are the one writing the content, you should think about how and where you want to present it.
Two simple ways in which you present your content so that your readers enjoy consuming it:
Headings are very important in writing well-structured content for SEO placement. Using headings and subheadings is a powerful way to help your readers scan your content quickly and get to the point.
Also, organizing your content with the use of headings like H2, H3, H4, etc will help the search engines to understand your content, i.e, what’s more important, and what’s less critical.
In short, producing easy-to-digest content is one of the best practices when it comes to content marketing because it’s helpful for both the users and the search engines.
Some people have different styles of reading and prefer certain formats when they read articles. Making use of bullet points or numbered lists can help your reader better digest your long-form content. create easy-to-digest read topics.
Further down in your content, especially when long, take the habit of using bullet points, bolding important words in a sentence, adding images, infographics, etc…
Remember that there are people who prefer lists while others prefer short bulleted points.
Don’t just stick to one theme if you want your content to be enjoyable. Consider your audience and what they enjoy reading.
8. Adopt Content Hub
Also known as topic clustering, it’s the practice of grouping your content around a specific topic.
But it goes a little beyond just putting all your content around video marketing under the category “video marketing”.
Topical relevance really takes all its sense when you interlink related topics together and develop a synergy between your content.
In other words, as you are creating your content, you should fit it into the broader context within which it is being created.
One of the main reasons why topical relevance can be included in the list of the best content marketing practices is that it enhances user experience.
You should definitely have an eye on user experience, isn’t it?
By applying topical relevance to your content marketing strategy, users can navigate seamlessly between content that are relevant to one another, therefore providing them more and more value.
Also, topical relevance brings in some SEO benefits as well. It helps search engines index your content in an organized way.
In short, it helps them categorize your content more efficiently, and if done correctly, it can help you rank better on Google and other search engines!
9. Add Your Voice and Ideas
You can always add your own perspective and ideas to the mix. You can also gain inspiration from your competitors.
The key is to find a balance between what you need to do in order to reap the rewards of adding original content to your site and your brand voice that will resonate with people.
If you can do that, you’ll have more opportunities for cultivating a loyal following on social media and search engines.
Originality plays a great role in helping your content marketing strategy gain more traction.
Your original content can give you a competitive advantage over other sites.
Don’t copy others’ content but rather add your voice, your ideas, and your approach.
The best way to add credibility to your content is to offer useful information that can cover a topic from another angle.
Coming up with a unique is really hard, if not impossible since there are so many content marketers that have already covered a certain topic.
But covering that same topic but from a different angle and adding your own voice can be a skill that can help you stand out from the pack.
10. Think About Fresh Ideas
Don’t assume that you have to keep your content ideas constant. Instead, remember to be open to new ideas.
Sometimes, you can think of new topics to write about no matter what. It could be something that works for you even though it didn’t work for other people.
You should also find new ways to come up with fresh ideas. The best way is by diving deep into your audience’s problems and looking at the solutions you can provide through content marketing.
Think about the problems that your target audience is facing and try to solve them through your content.
One of the best ways to come up with fresh ideas for your content is to look at trending topics, search trends, and other popular bursts of content.
You should pick a topic or theme that’s getting talked about a lot and write about it from a different perspective.
So, coming up with fresh content ideas is one of the best content marketing practices that you should consider.
11. Build Strong Relationships With Your Readers
Being a content marketer is not only about putting out content day and night. But it’s also about building strong relationships with your readers.
It is simply impossible to build an effective channel into your niche without potent relationships with your target audience.
In other words, you should take the time to understand your potential client’s needs and then show how you can satisfy those needs through your content.
Building trust is the cornerstone of any strong relationship, and once you have built that trust, your readers will come back to you again and again.
Also, when you put your focus on relationship building, you are getting the most value out of your content marketing strategy.
You should be able to achieve a win-win situation, where both you and your readers get something out of it.
12. Don’t Bury Old Content
Repurposing old content has a whole lot of benefits. And the very one is that it allows you to reach new audiences.
Repurposing old content can definitely be one of those best practices when it comes to content marketing.
Just adding a few lines or paragraphs packed with value can allow you to reach new audiences.
Also, the main benefit of repurposing is that it can help you exert the full value of your previous work.
Piling up valuable content on one page can help you achieve a better position on search engines.
So, repurposing old content can be one of your best choices when planning your content strategy for your marketing campaign.
13. Gather Audience Insights
As you create content, you should take the time to listen to your readers and gather insights from them.
You should listen to what they want from you and how they want to receive their content from you.
You can then use these insights for furthering your content marketing strategy.
When you know exactly how your audience thinks, what they want, and how they want it to be delivered, the sky is the limit for your content marketing strategy.
Don’t forget that a content strategy should never be focused on just producing new and better content.
It should also encompass improving existing content to make your readers’ experience more valuable for them.
This is accomplished through collecting insights from your audience through surveys and other forms of research on demographics, behavior patterns, and other factors.
14. Be Aware of Trends
Trends are always changing, so you should always be aware of them.
The better you know what your audience is interested in, the more likely it is that you’ll succeed with your content marketing campaigns.
If you keep your ear to the ground, it will help you capitalize on trends and get ahead of your competitors when it comes to content and social media marketing.
Larger companies are always looking for new trends and the niche they can target.
Find something that works and replicate it. But putting your own spin on it is key to adding value that others might not be offering.
In short, read books, listen to podcasts, and check out other reputable blogs in your niche because you never know what you might pick up that could spark a whole new idea for a content marketing strategy for your business.
Maintaining a clear awareness of what is happening in your niche is one of the best content marketing practices.
15. Think of User-Experience
In addition to knowing what trend is hot or not, you also have to consider how you can make the content user-friendly.
If people don’t like the look of your content and they don’t want to read it, then it won’t matter how much traffic it generates for you.
Losing readers because of poor user experience is a waste, so make sure that you always think of the user experience of your content.
So, when you come up with new content ideas, try to look at how they can serve as a better solution for your users.
Show them how your content can solve their problems instead of just being like everyone else on the internet.
Like I always say, it’s not about the number of views and social media shares.
But rather, about how many times your visitors are returning to your site, buying from you, and referring you to others.
16. Plan Content Ahead Of Time
No matter whether you create content for your blog, social media channel, or even YouTube, planning ahead of time can help in various ways believe me.
To be able to create a content calendar, you obviously need to spend some time finding those keywords that will be valuable to your business.
Keyword research is the pillar of your content marketing strategy and it’s crucial that you spend long hours to a few days crafting your strategical content calendar.
You should always have an idea of what you’re going to publish next, but you also need to be flexible so that you can adjust on the fly if needed.
If you know exactly what your schedule is going to be in advance, it will allow you time to plan accordingly.
We all know how important planning is when dealing with business, so why not use it for your content marketing strategy?
17. Test New Types of Content Marketing
Going beyond written articles and embracing other types of content marketing is only going to be beneficial for your business.
Video, podcasts, and other forms of content like these can help you attract an entirely new audience.
With the rise of video marketing, you don’t have to worry about communicating with your customers any longer — just have them watch you.
Maintaining a strong video marketing strategy is a great way to reach out to new audiences.
It can be used in a few different ways when it comes to your content marketing strategy.
It’s one of those best practices that can be used across multiple platforms, but it is always important that it caters to your target audience which is why you should always include surveys and questionnaires in your content calendar.
The more you know the more likely you are going to be able to convert them into paying customers.
18. Track Your Results
When speaking of content marketing best practices, tracking results should be top of mind.
It’s easy to get wrapped up in a blog post or new social media channel and not pay attention to the return on investment that you’re looking for.
If you want to use content marketing as a way to grow your business and make more money, you need to be able to measure your progress.
Nobody can create a truly amazing blog every time they sit down at their computer.
There is always going to be room for improvement, so it’s important that you track your results and analytics so you can make adjustments and tweak your content strategies to get even more out of each piece.
Of course, there are many content marketing tools for that purpose. Make sure to make this a priority if you want to up your content marketing game and achieve your business goals.
Which one of these content marketing best practices are you not following?
Even though it’s not as simple as turning on a switch to start your content marketing campaign, these tips should help you out.
Most successful companies that use content marketing to their advantage also make sure that they are following the best practices for best results.
You don’t have to reinvent the wheel when it comes to content marketing.
What you need to do is simply put in the time and effort to try things out and follow these best practices.
If these ideas help you save time and money and get to your objectives, then that’s all that matters.