In the early days of content creation, you could talk about what you had for dinner and get tons of engagement. Content marketing was new. Only a few were doing it and people were excited to engage. But that was back when “content strategy” wasn’t even a term yet.
Now, you need to be proactive to attract your target audience and get results from your content. Even with great content, your approach and marketing tactics need to be dynamic. You have to know what’s in, what’s out, what works best, and how to implement those things.
Launching a successful marketing campaign is both an art and a science; you need both creativity and strategy to get results. Coincidentally, there are more than 600 million blogs out of 1.9 billion websites in the world to date. Although not all blogs are your competition, it shows the sheer volume of new and existing content floating around on the internet.
That’s why it’s more important than ever to be strategic with your content marketing efforts. Don’t worry; you can do a lot to make your content stand out and stand the test of time. Read on to learn about strategies and tools for jazzing up your content.
1. Add video to your content strategy
Let’s review the definition of content marketing before diving in. Content marketing is a strategic process that uses the creation and distribution of content to attract a target audience. It creates consistent, relevant touch points throughout the buying journey to build awareness and loyalty. Simply put, you have to show up where your potential customers are.
Start by getting the basics down: quality content and a mapped-out content marketing plan or content calendar. Then, you can implement the first strategy in this article: adding videos to your content.
Audiences love quick, engaging videos. In fact, video was the top format digital marketers used in their content strategy in 2021. And 87% of video marketers say video has increased their website traffic.
Videos are one of the easiest ways to grab your audience’s attention. They get your message across without requiring too much of the viewer’s time or energy. What’s more? You can use video content at all points along the content funnel. It can be in the form of testimonials, webinars, explainer videos, or FAQs
Videos also add variety and depth to your content production. For instance, explainer videos are often placed on a landing page, your website's home page, or a prominent product page. That’s why videos also make for more shareable bits of content that perform well on social media channels.
Gone are the days of needing a full studio with thousands of dollars of equipment to make videos. TikTok is full of content creators making videos from their phones. You can definitely try doing it yourself, or you can get help from talented professionals.
Also, understand that different types of video content pair with different stages of your marketing methodology. So, research what you need in terms of time, effort, and technology. You’ll want to know what you’re getting into and how to do it sustainably.
2. Animate content into GIFs and video
Since your target market is constantly inundated with thousands of messages on multiple channels, you need a way to stand out. One way to bring written content to life is with animated, eye-catching visuals. Imagery breaks up long chunks of copy, making it more digestible and memorable.
That’s why visuals are essential to creating content that stands out and attracts an audience. In addition, using imagery is an effective way to present complex concepts, tell stories, and share compelling messages that speak volumes without using words.
You can add many kinds of imagery to your content, such as:
- GIFs. GIFs are image files or soundless videos that loop continuously. GIFs are easily shareable and typically two to five seconds long, making them perfect for grabbing your audience’s attention.
- Photos. It’s true; a picture is worth a thousand words. Photos give context to any topic. For instance, adding photos gives your customers a better understanding of your products.
- Videos. As mentioned above, audiences love quick, engaging videos. Join the trend and start adding videos to your content.
- Infographics. Infographics usually include engaging images and data visualizations like charts to provide information quickly and clearly. You can add them to your case studies for an easy overview of the topic.
- CTAs. CTA stands for “call to action.” That huge button that says “BUY NOW” when you order something is a powerful CTA, and you can’t miss it.
- Interactive tools like quizzes and surveys. Surveys are a popular method of conducting research. They come in many forms, the most common being a questionnaire. You can also add photos and/or videos to your surveys to make them more engaging and interesting. As for quizzes, there’s a reason Buzzfeed is popular. Who hasn’t answered one of those quizzes to see how much they know about “Harry Potter?”
- Screenshots. Screenshots are snips of any object on your screen that you can crop, save, and share as an image. You can easily share reviews of your products or testimonials on social media using screenshots.
- Memes. Memes are often amusing, or at least interesting, cultural snippets that spread online, often changing slightly through different iterations. Try sharing some that are in-line with your marketing strategy, and see how your audience likes it.
It may take some trial and error but, in time, you’ll find the visual content that works most effectively for you to connect and engage with your audience
GIFs are currently the favored image format. The use of GIFs in marketing, advertising, and email has skyrocketed. Facebook was the first to support GIFs, followed by Instagram. Twitter now has a dedicated GIF button, LinkedIn supports them, and Apple has added a GIF search feature to the iOS messaging app.
In 2019, GIPHY co-founder Alex Chung announced that the well-known GIF search engine is second only to Google, with more than 10 billion GIFs shared daily across the internet.
So, why not join the fun? Broaden your reach, increase engagement, and improve your content’s performance with GIFS and videos. For example, GIFs can highlight your sales offers, announce your podcast, or remind viewers of events like product launches.
Videos are great, but only if they don’t load so slowly that they bore your audience. Rather than lose your audience’s attention, why not captivate them with a GIF?
Tips on how to add GIFS, videos, and other visuals to your content
Here are three tips to help you start adding various types of visual formats to your content.
1. Your visuals should serve a purpose.
Simply adding videos, GIFs, or infographics to your content won’t get you more views or engagement. If done poorly, you might even confuse your existing viewers. And remember, if you’re confusing them, you’re losing them. Make sure each visual asset serves a purpose to drive your story, deliver a complex message, or prove a point.
2. Redesign your digital marketing strategy.
When you decide to add visuals to your content, you need a reason, a way to measure engagement, and a plan for turning views into tangible results. Before revamping posts and editing landing pages, take a moment to answer these questions:
- What are your marketing goals?
- What are you trying to accomplish by adding visuals?
- Who are your audience members, and what kind of content interests them?
- What does your business stand for?
- Would visuals help convey your message in a compelling and consistent way?
- What content marketing metrics or key performance indicators (KPIs) will you use to measure the impact of your new strategy on your business goals?
3. Align the visuals to your brand colors and design.
Ensure the imagery you create aligns with your company’s identity. Incorporate the color, logo, and other design aspects of your business so visuals are consistent with your brand and stay recognizable no matter where they appear.
As an example, take a look at Shutterstock’s yearly Creative Trends. The content is unique because Shutterstock uses proprietary data, it’s on brand, and it’s delivered in a captivating and visually impactful format.
Do you want to spice up your content with eye-catching visuals, compelling videos, or impactful infographics? Connect with a content marketing pro who can help you create content that attracts and engages your target audience.
3. Optimize your content with SEO
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of optimizing your content to rank highly on a search engine. The idea is to get your content at the top of a search engine’s results page for keywords relevant to your product or services. And the goal is to attract quality traffic to your website.
The many aspects of optimization make SEO a tricky but important discipline. Even with quality content, you can still miss out on the visibility and traffic you’re aiming for if it’s not optimized for SEO. Furthermore, the rules, tactics, and strategies for SEO are always changing. So, you’ll want to stay informed on the implications of new technology, and especially Google’s algorithm updates.
It’s reported that 88% of all online shoppers perform online research before buying a product, and 36% of small businesses are making their sales on the internet. This shows that having a digital presence and optimizing your old and new content is important whether you’re a small business or a well-known brand.
How to optimize your content for SEO
You already know that implementing an effective SEO strategy boosts your website’s visibility, increases organic traffic, and attracts new customers. So, here are a few ways to do that.
1. Identify your target market.
Your goal isn’t to reach every person on the World Wide Web. You want to attract an audience that you can convert into customers. No matter your industry or niche, you should identify who you want to see your content and follow your social media.
Creating buyer personas is a great way to do this. Buyer personas break up your target market by demographics, pain points, buying behaviors, and so on. It’s useful information that will help you focus your marketing efforts.
2. Do keyword research.
Keyword research helps you understand how your target market searches for content, services, or products. Hence, successful keyword research helps you do two things. First, it gets the right people to find you. Second, it improves the search engine ranking of your posts and pages.
Keyword research also tells you how many people are using a word in their searches, and the popular format for that type of information. For instance, long-form blog posts perform better on some topics, while videos are the best format for others.
When it comes to keywords, however, popularity doesn’t always mean conversion.
Long-tail keywords with lower search volume often convert better since customers who are more specific and intentional in their searches are often ready to buy.
If you’re really out of your depth, you can still optimize your web pages for SEO with the help of content marketing professionals. Upwork can connect you with individual freelancers or marketing agencies if you want a content team who’ll do all the heavy lifting for you. Connect with an SEO expert today to get started.
3. Focus on the user experience.
Marketing experts will tell you that selling isn’t about closing a deal: it’s about having a satisfied customer. The same philosophy goes with creating content. You get what you want when you give your audience what they want.
So, focus on giving relevant, valuable information. Write content that’s clear, comprehensive, and accurate. Understand what your audience wants to know and produce content that answers their questions. Do that, and you’re already on your way to publishing an article that’s optimized for search engines.
4. Attract readers with a catchy title.
Whether it’s a blog post, white paper, or sales page, the headline is the first thing your audience will see. It has to pique their interest and grab their attention so they keep reading. Otherwise, even the most in-depth content would have been for naught.
According to some of the best copywriters, you should spend half of the time it takes to write a piece of content on the headline. Statistically, 8 out of 10 people will read the title, but only 2 out of 10 will read the whole piece. It’s a numbers game. A catchy title can encourage more people to read until the end.
5. Include a CTA.
A call to action (CTA) tells your audience what to do next. Now that they’ve given you their attention, don’t squander it. Include an enticing CTA on every blog post, video, or infographic you publish. CTAs can be buttons, hyperlinks, and widgets. Use different CTA buttons or add hyperlinks to the last sentence of your articles. Experiment until you find what your audience responds to the most.
Ensure your CTA aligns with the stage in their customer journey and the type of content they’re consuming. In an informational blog post, for instance, a CTA to subscribe to an email list or newsletter would probably convert better than a CTA to buy a product or service.
One of the best things you can do is engage an SEO expert, whether you’re in the planning stage or even after your content is public.
An SEO expert can help you create a content plan that focuses on the customer experience for better conversions as you generate traffic and use SEO tactics to get your content to rank.
Work with expert content marketers
An effective content strategy tells your brand’s story consistently across all platforms. Create brand awareness and engage with potential customers using optimized content. Get to know and understand your customers with the help of expert content marketers.
Join the trend and get creative with visuals, GIFs, and videos. Build your brand and grow your business with talented marketing professionals through Upwork.
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