Top 18 Tips That Can Maximize Your Content Marketing

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By Hector Cisneros

Anyone engaged in content marketing today needs to cross their T's and dot their I's if they want to be successful. This means much more than just proofing their content for spelling and grammar. It means making sure that all the odds and ends need to be taken care of on a regular basis. You can think of the odds and ends of content marketing as the principles you follow to make sure you're providing not only the best content but content that is found, followed and forwarded to others looking for the same. In this episode of Working the Web to Win, we will explore a 16 point checklist that needs to be addressed and managed so that your content is at its best and has the greatest reach for the time that you invest. So read on, learn and use the Top 16 Tips that every content marketer needs to complete in order to achieve the full potential of their content marketing.




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Before we get started, I want to say a few things about this” Tips List”. First off, any list is a living document. The content marketing industry is evolving, as is the internet and the technologies we use to engage our audience. I also want to say that this list reflects our marketing philosophy to some extent. Several of the items in our list reflect our commitment to maximizing the distribution of articles and other types of content. This often means that we favor the largest subscriber base in order to create maximum exposure whenever possible. As such, this tactic reflects our principles just as if they were our daily operating manual. Having said that, let’s jump into discussing our list.

1. You must start with a Strong Premise - Make Your Articles worth reading. - When we
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create an article, we strive to provide fresh, timely and relevant information. We want our headlines captivating and realistic. Our information needs to be pertinent, engaging and thought provoking to hold the audience’s attention. We add multimedia elements to make the final content stickier and appealing to a larger audience. If they don’t find your content useful, they won’t read it, comment on it or share it. You’re more likely to reach a goal of a larger audience if you start from the premise that your article has to be worth reading.

2. Use Google properties whenever possible - Currently, Google is the dominant player in search on the internet. As such, much of our efforts are designed to make Google happy. We achieve this by providing Google with what they have publicly stated as their policy of trying to make their customers happy. Google has stated that ranking is based on providing the user the best experience and listing for their specific search. This includes providing the user with the highest quality, authoritative, secure, useful, timely and relevant listing for the keywords they entered. We believe that Google likes, understands and believes their properties are secure and used by a large majority of people online. Google has even stated that they know what we want!

3. Make sure all of your internet properties are interconnected via backlinks and
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profiles
- We believe that backlinks are very important to Google, other search engines, and even Facebook. It also makes sense that it provides an additional way for a follower, user or subscriber base to use and find information in a way that they like and choose. Having backlinks to all your social nets and other internet properties just makes sense.

4. Make sure your web properties are search friendly with minimal use of flash and Java and don’t forget the Meta tags - Your website, blogs and social fan pages need to minimize the use of Flash and Java script. Flash videos can’t be read by search spiders and Java script is often used to trick the search engines. We believe that using straight HTML 5 and YouTube videos whenever possible is the best way to go.

5. Content marketing is a daily endeavor, don’t miss any days, time slots etc. - We have a daily to-do list and specific to-do list for all the marketing we provide and engage in. Many of the items we engage in (like social media posting) are posted via aggregation software or some other social media management tool These tools allow us to automate the scheduling of the posts. However, the actual schedule to fill the agitation software funnel is still done on a schedule based on our calendar entries. We proof and edit all things based on a schedule. We determine in advance when items need to be published or posted and then those items are put on the schedule. We even meet with our clients on a weekly basis. The completion of our daily work is what leads to the achievement of successful content marketing.

6. Integrated multimedia marketing is greater than the sum of its parts - Whenever possible we try to add video, images, and audio to our content. Many studies show that multimedia rich content is read and shared much more often than text publications alone. Also, video publication can score high in organic search and often have few competing listings. If you want to make sure the blog or social post gets read, shared and commented on, add some multimedia elements to it. Video is the best, followed by images and audio. Make sure your post is a multimedia post whenever possible.

7. Social media is the driving force of the internet and that force is controlled by
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consumer sentiment -
If you can get your audience to sing your praises you will increase your credibility and make more sales. A great way to do this is to post customer testimonials. A better way is to elicit customer testimonials that you can then capture and re-share on your other social nets. You need a daily process that engages followers to publicly post your praise. Whether this is through contests, loyalty rewards or great special offers, make sure you have some way of eliciting customer testimonials.

8. Social media is all about what the consumer wants – Provide it and they will reward you - Strive to make your social media followers happy by providing them with the type of content they really like. If you're posting to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Google+, use their built-in analytics to see the types of content posts that are producing the most reads, shares, and comments. Once this is determined, create more posts like the ones they like. This does not mean all postings need to fit this mold, but I would suggest using at least a 3 to one model and experiment to see what works best.


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9. Friends don’t let friend's blog alone – Get and use a blogging buddy on a daily if not weekly basis. Whether you're creating content for online magazines or blogs, your productivity and quality will go up significantly by not going it alone. Of course, this assumes your blogging buddy is competent and as dedicated as you are to getting the content out on a timely basis. A writing partner will lower your stress level, help you through writer's block and in general up your game to a new level. Everything we write is viewed by a minimum of two writing partners. Our customers receive a minimum of three edits before any item gets published. This is done on a daily basis.

10. To grow a following, you have to follow them, invite them to follow back and then thank them for it - If you want to create a huge distribution channel, you have to build a large audience. Loyal social audiences don’t grow on trees and you can’t buy loyalty either. However, if you follow others first, inviting them to follow you back and then thank them for doing so, you now have a chance of making them your loyal followers. The best way to build a loyal audience is to provide them with useful, timely and relevant content they want. Start by following others every day.  Then invite them to follow you back every day and thank them for doing so. If you did this for just 30 people a day and you had a 75% rejection rate, you would still have grown your audience by 2735 people by the end of the year.

11. Hit your competition where they ain’t - Do your research and figure out where your direct competition's strengths lie. Are they blogging the most, posting to social media a lot or posting videos the most? If they are strong on Facebook and Twitter, but barely use Google+ LinkedIn and YouTube, concentrate your efforts on the latter. If they are blogging like crazy on Blogger, but not on LinkedIn Pulse, publish your articles on Pulse.

12. Video’s, blogposts and social posts can also show up in organic search.-
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Producing weekly (if not daily) videos and social posts for your blogs can garner a page one organic position all by themselves. This won’t happen unless you're creating this type of content on a regular basis. It also can’t happen if you’re not posting on a regular basis. If you create evergreen content, your post can be recycled often. This method can garner a page one position at different times of the year and garner a new audience at those times as well.

13. Keyword all your post, blogs, article, videos, and podcast - If you want your content to be found, it has to be keyword rich. I don’t mean that you need to artificially add keywords to your content. I mean that subject of your article needs to contain key words if at all possible. Along these lines, the headline, body, and summary need to contain the same key phrases as well. This must be done in a non-artificial way. It must use proper prose and make sense to the reader as well as the search engine spiders.

14. Test and measure everything – AB testing is a must - Most small businesses never engage in AB testing because they find it either too expensive or time-consuming. We believe it is a must.  Having said that, there are ways to look at your data after the fact and still garner some of the AB testing information you could have gotten by doing the testing after the fact. We often go back and look at our social posts to see which curations are working best. We look at post length, keywords, article title and article curation, after the fact. You would be surprised at what you can glean from this type of “after the fact” analysis. For example; we discovered that our longer articles are read, commented on and shared the most. Until we did the “after the fact” analysis, we had always thought that our shorter article would get the most play. Even today when we look at our work, long articles seems to still do the best. This prompted us to write longer articles in general, and in turn, we believe has helped our overall success.

15. Be willing to do whatever it takes – never give up, just learn from your mistakes - A lot of things can go wrong in any business endeavor. The Wikipedia lists the definition of Murphy’s law as “Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.”.  People get sick, equipment breaks, files get erased by accident, they can get lost, and mistakes can be overlooked. You name it, all kinds of chaos can enter our lives. I have often heard it said that life happens to us as we make plans. Knowing this means also making sure you have a plan B in place. Every time we encounter a crisis, we build a new plan B to contend with it next time. Our team has a strong can-do attitude. Every player is willing to step up to the plate and tackle any task that needs to get done. All daily tasks are listed on our calendar. However, at the same time, we are willing to add, move or delegate tasks as needed to get all jobs done on deadline.

16. An imperfect post will beat a perfect post that never takes place - Often people get
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stuck - frozen by the need for perfection. Working from an understanding that nothing is perfect is a better perspective to have. Operating from the point of view that all things are a work in progress is much more productive than perpetual gridlock. This point of view allows you to get started with the understanding that whatever you’re working on will get better. Add a deadline and things will get started. Factor in a writing partner and you have a strong foundation for productive content publishing. Nothing is perfect. Make it the best you can, get some help, meet the deadline and then do it again. Over time you will get much better at the whole process.

17 Recycle your posts – re-purpose your blogs, articles, podcasts, and videos - One of the most important tenets is to reuse, recycle and repurpose your work. This is much easier to do than most people think. We write a weekly blog that is published on blogger each week. That same blog becomes the centerpiece of our weekly Blog Talk Radio show. The radio show will be simulcast on Google Hangouts and It will also be posted and recycled on our social nets. Finally, we will repurpose the article by refreshing and recreating it (with a new title) as a future post and we will be rewriting it for use on other online magazines and blogging platforms. With this method, our efforts produce a minimum of seven content pieces and produce the fodder for future content pieces as well.
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18. Pair down long articles that contain too much content. - This item is related to the recycling of our posts. I often write long articles and one thing that having a blogging buddy has taught me is to divide and conquer. What I mean by this is that I have learned to take long articles (3000 words)  and split them into two or maybe three articles when necessary. This has often provided me with a twofer or sometimes even a three-for. By pairing down a long article, you can create the meat for several new articles that are sized and formatted for as shorter blog posts or news magazine articles.

In this article, I have discussed 18 content marketing tips that help entrepreneurs produce results online.  I have also listed the internet marketing elements needed and have included links to dozens of articles that provide other perspectives to help you on your journey. Using these tips will improve your content quality and help you grow your audience.

That’s my opinion, I look forward to reading yours.

If you feel your business could use some help with its marketing, contact us at 904-410-2091. We will provide a free marketing analysis to help you get better results. If you found this article useful, please share it with friends, family, and co-workers. Also, don’t forget to plus us, on Google+. You can find other articles on our blog by typing in “marketing” or your desired search term in the search box at the top of this blog. I recommend adding these content marketing articles to your reading list:


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Hector Cisneros is COO and director of Social Media Marketing at Working the Web to Win, an award-winning Internet marketing company based in Jacksonville, Florida.  He is also co-host of the weekly Internet radio show, "Working the Web to Win" on BlogTalkRadio.com, which airs every Tuesday at 4 p.m. Eastern. Hector is a syndicated writer and published author of “60 Seconds to Success.”

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