10 Tips for Content Marketing

If you haven’t heard of the 80/20 rule, then you’re not living! The 80/20 rule is a principle suggested by management thinker Joseph M. Juran and named after the Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto. Originally, Pareto observed that 80% of the income from Italy was received by 20% of the population. He went to observe that other things followed the same pattern. In his garden, for instance, 20% of his peapods produced 80% of the peas.

Now, you don’t have to be a mathematician to understand this principle. In fact, you don’t even have to like math! All you have to do is accept the 80/20 rule for what it is. And what it has become. And that’s an incredible tool for business.

Ok, so why does the 80/20 rule matter for you? And how does it fit into your content marketing strategy?

In a nutshell, the idea is to work smarter, not harder.

Let’s explore these 10 ways that you can generate more success with less effort.

1. Focus on cost-effective content.

Many different types of content can be produced. Usually, there are about 4-5 pieces that your audience will enjoy most. To grow your following, you can alternate between these different types of content. But not all of them will bring you the same return. Your goal is to choose the most cost-effective items.

How do you do that?

Start by evaluating the cost of each piece of content you can produce. You can get a quote from a freelancer, or budget what it would cost to produce the content with your in-house team. Or, use estimates from other public sources.

Next, research the performance of your competition’s content. Choose metrics that you care about such as traffic, social shares and email subscribers. Finally, divide the result metrics by the cost. You want to get a rough estimate of the cost per metric. Click here to learn more about calculating this metric.

2. Make quality a priority.

It’s crucial that you maximize the results you see from each piece of content. If you don’t have it in your budget to create several great pieces of content for the week, then don’t. Otherwise, you’ll end up posting a handful of mediocre blogs. Your focus should be on quality, not quantity. Each post should be valuable and relevant, not produced “just because.”

3. Repurpose existing content.

There’s no need to start from scratch every time. You can repurpose existing content and maximize your results. For instance, turn a traditional blog post into an engaging video, slideshow presentation or podcast. The nice thing about repurposing content is that the work is already done for you. You can even reuse some of the images if you’d like! This means that you’re cutting your time in half, and you can remarket the content to a new audience.

4. Find ways to work more efficiently.

If you do a lot of content creation and marketing on your own, it’s imperative that you use your time wisely. Fortunately, there are ways to work more efficiently. For example, you can practice something called “batching,” which is working on the same task at once. Say you’re working on creating a topic and title for your next blog. Rather than taking the time to find one topic to write on, you can decide on all your topics and titles for the next several months. You’re already doing the work anyway, so why not get the most from it?

5. Don’t overwhelm yourself.

There’s no need to be overwhelmed by content marketing, even though it can feel that way. It’s easy to think that you need to be everywhere at once: email, social media, tradeshows, direct mail, etc. The most and least efficient activities will depend on your industry and business. Bottom line: Stick to the activities that drive traffic to your content and turn visitors into leads, and leads into customers.

6. Target longer tail keywords.

If you want to outrank a bigger competitor’s content on Google, it’s going to be hard to do unless you put a lot of work and money into creating and marketing it. Rather than doing that, it’s better to target longer tail keywords. In fact, you can put all of your budget into them. Why? Because these keywords typically have less competition and are easier to rank highly for. You may not get a lot of traffic at first, but it will come. By ranking #1 for searches that get a few hundred queries a month rather than #10 for those with 1,000+ queries, your traffic will grow and so will your subscriber list. Just give it time.

7. Be transparent.

Transparency refers to revealing behind-the-scenes data and information. In other words, it means being “real.” If you write content regarding marketing topics, you can make your content more transparent by adding your personal opinion or informal research. This personal touch can make your content more valuable. Also, it’s much cheaper. Rather than waiting on other experts to weigh in, you can add your own data and save your budget for something else.

8. Take advantage of guest posts.

Rather than paying freelancers hundreds of dollars for a post, consider accepting a guest post. They can be just as good, if not better, than what you would pay for. Plus, they work both ways. You can get some really great pieces in exchange for exposure. Just remember that you don’t need to approve every pitch. It’s okay to be picky.

9. Update some of your content.

It’s wonderful to write in real-time because it makes your content feel fresh and relevant. Unfortunately, this type of writing also gets outdated very quickly. For instance, if you’re writing about SEO trends, 2016 tax tips or any other time-sensitive material, your content is going to get outdated very quickly. In fact, it can lose about 90% of its value once you’re past the initial date. Luckily, you can preserve this content by updating it with new information. If your post is simply old but not outdated, you can publish it and get new exposure.

10. Be selective with your promotion.

It’s important that you’re getting a worthwhile return from all the promotional work you’re putting forth. To work smarter, focus on the most likely sources of traffic. Your email subscribers are your friends. They already like you and are most likely to share your content with others. Always begin new content promotion by emailing them. Next, reach out to past sharers. Announce on social media that you’ve posted something new, or send them a direct message.

Good content doesn’t come cheap or easy. But there are ways to be successful without working yourself to the max. Start by implementing at least two or three of these changes and watch more success come from more efficient work habits.