Making your company’s unique content stand out in a super-saturated marketing world can feel like throwing a solitary ball into the Powerball lottery and hoping it gets noticed. All of the balls (and content) are roughly the same size, shape, and color, but for some reason, one ball may get chosen out of the bunch as a winner.
Unlike the Powerball which is entirely luck, dominating content marketing has an element of skill. Viral content is also partially luck, but it can be controlled to some degree with technique and thoughtfulness. If you incorporate the elements below, you have a much better chance of generating viral content.
First Things First
Do Your Research
If you are serious about upping your content marketing game, the first thing that you need to do is research your competitors. Listen to how they communicate with their customer base, and figure out what works and what doesn’t. Doing an analytical review of their numbers and popularity can help you fine-tune your own marketing strategies and hopefully stand at least a few steps ahead of them.
There are analysis programs available online to let you look at bounce rates, page view times, number of visitors per day, and more. These are invaluable tools for helping you incorporate your competitors’ strengths into your business strategy while avoiding their weaknesses.
Define Your Brand
Before you can define your brand, it is vital that you decide on a target audience, and typically, the more specific you are, the better. How you communicate with high schoolers is entirely different from how you would talk with retirees, so you have to tailor your marketing accordingly. After all, even if you succeed in in getting a high quantity of traffic, if it’s the wrong group of people, you’ll have a hard time getting the conversions you want.
You also have to spend some time developing your voice. How will you communicate with customers?
- With humor?
Think of your business as you would a person. What kind of other people (businesses) would your company be friends with or hang around? What would it do with its time off or with a little bit of extra money? The deeper you understand your company and its goals, the better you’ll be at establishing your brand and connecting with the right customer base.
Create Critical Content
Education is Key
In order to stand out among the others in your niche, you need to establish yourself as an authority. You will get more long-term, repeat customers if you focus on educating your public instead of selling to them – at least at first. It may seem counter-intuitive for an auto repair shop to post DIY tutorials on how to change the oil of a car, but this kind of information builds trusting relationships with your clientele. It shows that you care more about educating the masses than your bottom line which, ironically, can boost your profits.
Don’t Limit Yourself to Words
Quality content is much more than perfectly written and frequently posted blog entries. If you want to have a leg up on your competitors, you need to produce quality content in all of its forms. Unique and original photos, live-streaming, video content, infographics, webinars—these are excellent ways to generate shareworthy information that is likely to get picked up by the masses. These alternate forms of media take time, money, and energy to create, but they will draw more people to your website than blog posts alone.
Walk the Line
There is a fine line between writing interesting and controversial content and coming across as an extremist. However, creating a little controversy every now and then can help get people talking. You don’t need to make everything you post divisive; in fact, there’s a ratio of safe to risky that can help get you more followers. Jeff Bullas, a top marketing influencer, calls this the 70-20-10 Rule – 70% safe content, 20% moderately risky content, and 10% very risky content. Most of the time, you should be posting things that appeal to the masses, but every once in a while, it’s a good idea to get people a little riled up. Make sure, however, that whatever you decide to condemn or condone is something that you are willing to stand for no matter the praise or backlash it receives.
Market to the Masses
Keep It Social
Like it or not, social media plays a major role in marketing in the online world, so it’s in your best interest to tap into its potential. Depending on which website generator you use, you have a variety of plugins available at your fingertips that let you add buttons to different social media sites. These buttons make sharing content easy on social media and can even show how many likes and shares each page has gotten.
Even though we emphasize not to judge a book by its cover, people still do, and online article titles are no different. Before you publish, make sure that your titles are share-worthy and attention-getting because that factor alone can mean the difference between viral and invisible. Once you’ve written a great article and slapped a fantastic title on it, spread your article across several different social media platforms. This will get your content much needed exposure to a lot of different kinds of people. You might also reach out to top social media influencers to see if they would endorse your product.
Be Actively Engaged
Even though we live in an online world, people still expect excellent customer service – regardless of whether or not there is a brick-and-mortar storefront attached to a business. If you want to rise above your competition, you need to actively engage your customers. Encourage online reviews and respond to them. Interact with your customers on Facebook and Twitter. Give your business a persona, and build those vital relationships by staying current with your social media presence.
The Long and Short
Getting to and staying at the head of the content marketing pack can seem intimidating, to say the least, but you can stand out with the application of some elbow grease. Take the time to nail down your company’s branding, and create high-quality content. Stay up-to-date with the technology and social media trends so that you stay relevant with your clientele. These steps will help your company stand out in the crowd.