There are some fundamental content marketing best practices worth noting if you are actively using this strategy.
These are tried and tested rules that every business should adhere to if they want to get it right. But don't make the mistake of trying to learn them in a vacuum. Why? Because content marketing involves triggering emotion and behaviour in people – and no two people are the same.
Have a read through this list of 10 content marketing best practices and see whether there are gaps in your campaigns.
1. Set Clear Goals
Avoid setting far-reaching, generalised aims and objectives. Be as specific as possible so that you are able to effectively match measurable metrics to your goals. If your scope is either too wide or too narrow, the end result will be a fuzzy picture of performance.
2. Specific Content
Have you heard the popular cliché that content is king? Quality content is without doubt the single most important factor in content marketing. It's pointless to attract people to your website without being able to provide great content for them to digest. They will surely leave within seconds and your chance to retain and convert will be lost.
3. "You" Content
Talk about your customers - try not to talk about yourself. It sounds simple, but so many companies get it wrong. Of all the content marketing best practices, this one is easily overlooked because businesses try to match goals with actions too closely and in doing so, the essence of content marketing is lost. Start creating content about what you know, not what you sell.
4. It's Not Good enough To Be Good Enough
You're not just competing against close rivals when it comes to content marketing - you're facing every publisher, bloggers, journalist and influencer on the internet. Why? Because everyone is vying for attention. Attention is precious because it presents you with the opportunity to convert. Don't be a average or good, be special and memorable.
5. Create A Content Calendar
Content is your primary weapon and so it should be well organised. Don't just sporadically blindfire content as and when it suits you. Think about a planned path using an editorial calender - your efforts will become much more focused.
6. Creation Is Not The End
If your content is going to be discovered, it needs to be promoted. It's naive to think that simply publishing an article on your company blog, along with a few tweets, will attract the attention quality content deserves (or that is required to fuel your marketing goals). You could have the best content in the world but without a useful promotional framework, it won't be seen or acted upon.
7. Content Ownership
It's important that someone owns the content mission. While everyone in your company may be responsible for contributing to content marketing, one single person needs to be accountable for it. This alleviates any problems associated with multiple contributors - having no single voice, focus, schedule or ultimately, responsibility.
8. Content DNA
It's unusual for most businesses to be publishers. Practices need to be adjusted and thinking needs to be aligned with the values of content marketing. When the transformation is taken competently and content becomes native to your business, you will be well positioned to maintain a robust, scalable channel of marketing.
Businesses that provide a lack support for their content marketing campaigns will suffer. It is sometimes hard to quantify the exact return on investments with content marketing because content never disappears from the internet - actions taken now can attract leads and sales for years to come. This sometimes creates an environment where a distinct lack of support is offered because it may, on the surface, appear to initially under-perform compared to other disciplines or departments.
Once this line of thinking has been overcome and a content marketing mindset has been established, supporting the ongoing campaigns is key. The internet is now very dynamic and fast-paced. Your content strategy should be sufficiently supported to react and adapt to the changing demands of your audiences and social environment.
10. Don't Be Lonely
Content marketing is a team sport and your team is vital to the creation, distribution and digestion of your content. With larger enterprises, this becomes even more apparent. No matter what the size your business is, having input from other people who are able to add value to your marketing campaigns will improve them. You know the saying; "1+1=3"? Believe it! A lonely content marketing campaign is usually under-performing.
Start Applying These Content Marketing Best Practices
There's little value in being aware of these content marketing best practices, but not taking the time or effort to implement them properly. That's like going on a diet but forgetting to exercise.
To know and to not do is the same as to not know - if that makes sense...?
Chances are that if you're not realising significant results from your content marketing activities, then it's because of one, or more, of these content marketing best practices being compromised.
Are you using all these content marketing best practices?
Which of the content marketing best practices in this list is most important to your performance? Why?