10 quick principles for getting more out of your content strategy

Content marketing is a long-term investment, and even the most carefully planned strategies take time to yield results. Businesses need to take every opportunity available to them to make sure that their content strategies are both sustainable by being evergreen and targeted towards the right audience. The following essential tips will help you to optimize your strategy to accomplish you goals:
Make your content accessible
Given that people are more likely to browse the Internet using a mobile device, such as a tablet or smartphone, it is vital you make your content easily accessible across the full range of Internet-enabled devices. Your website, blog and any other online platforms you use must be easily usable on small touchscreen devices, both for the sake of user experience and your standing in the search engine results.
Repurpose old content
Repurposing old content gives you the opportunity to reach a new audience, reinforce your message and even improve your standing in the search engines. After all, considering how much work is involved in creating content, you’ll want to get as much out of it as you can. Some ways to repurpose old content include publishing a ‘hall of fame’ for your best content, turning it into an infographic or using the material to create an eBook.
Publish unique content
Many businesses hope to take shortcuts when it comes to content marketing in the hope that they’ll be able to attract their target audiences in return for little effort and money. However, unique content that reflects the personality of your brand and caters specifically to the needs and desires of your audience is the only type of content that is destined to succeed. Remember, that quality, relevancy and uniqueness trumps quantity every time when it comes to maintaining a sustainable content strategy
Diversify your content formats
Although almost any business can profit from having a blog, there are many other content formats to choose from, some of which are better suited to more specific niches. You should diversify your content based on which formats are most suitable for your business and its target audience. Some formats that are suitable for almost any niche include infographics, eBooks, videos and image slideshows.
Engage your audience
Social media and content marketing are closely related to the extent that neither should be treated as an entirely separate entity. By using a Web-friendly tone and taking every step to encourage engagement, your content will get shared and talked about both through on-page comments and social media shares. Always focus on your audience and remember the social element at every stage of the content marketing process.
Integrate social media
A quick and simple way to help encourage and facilitate sharing is to include social sharing buttons with your content. You’ll notice these sharing buttons on almost every blog and numerous other websites. They provide a quick and convenient way for people to share content that they like on their favourite social networks. If you use a content management system such as WordPress, integrating this feature is simply a matter of installing a plugin that automatically adds the buttons to all published content.
Publish evergreen content
While newsworthy content is an important part of any digital marketing strategy, it is wise to make the majority of your content evergreen. Evergreen content is that which stays relevant for a long time, such as tutorials, list-type articles and case studies. Although you should never rely solely on publishing evergreen content, it is an important way of diversifying your strategy and getting more out of the time and money spent on content creation.
Avoid fluff
Contrary to what some people might think, the search engines don’t necessarily favour longer pieces of content, and while a blog post of less than 300 words likely won’t do too well in the search results, you generally shouldn’t have to worry about content length. The optimal length of a piece of content depends on a multitude of factors, but the priority should always be quality. Repetition, superfluous sentences and an excessive number of adjectives is collectively referred to as fluff, and it will serve only to irritate your readers.
Find your voice
A distinct brand voice is what helps to make you stand out among the competition and connect to your readers in a more personal, meaningful way. Defining your style is one of the first and most important steps to take before going ahead with your content strategy. Different styles and tones suit different brands: a fun and casual way of writing might suit a business in the travel industry, while a serious and professional tone would be far more appropriate for a legal firm. Find your voice by learning more about your audience and defining the personality of your brand.
 Engage a guest blogger
Sometimes, it makes sense to get a new perspective, and this is where guest blogging comes in. Oftentimes, you can find someone to publish a guest post on your website for free, provided that you include a link to their own homepage. This mutually beneficial arrangement is very common, since you get some free content, while the guest blogger gets more exposure for their own website. Alternatively, you can pay a freelance writer to regularly write content for you.
While careful planning is an essential first step to take when it comes to formulating an optimal content marketing strategy, you also need to recognize that it is an ongoing and constantly evolving process. By carefully tracking the performance of your marketing campaign, you’ll be able to adapt and tweak it to better meet the needs of your target audience. There’s virtually no chance of getting everything right the first time, but through constant testing and a willingness to think outside the box, you’ll get much more out of your content strategy in the longer term
 
Our selected Evergreen image came from Flickr here

Christina Richardson About the author

As the first on-demand marketing department for start-ups and entrepreneurial growth businesses, our people work with you as one of your team in a flexible way – whether it is two days a week or even one day a month.