According to a recent survey by Demand Gen Report, 47 percent of B2B buyers consume three to five content pieces before engaging with a salesperson. Yet, more than 70 percent of marketers lack a consistent or integrated content strategy.
What about you? Are you part of that statistic? If so, you’re not just leaving money on the table – you’re practically handing it to your competitors.
The fact is, having a viable content marketing strategy for your business has never been more important. The problem is with so much information available online, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed.
Don’t worry. We’ve all been there. Here are five content marketing strategies that will always work.
1. Write authoritative content.
The Internet is constantly evolving.
Once upon a time, you could build an audience of raving fans, eager for your next 400-word post. Today, that is not often the case. The truth is that if you’re not writing what Backlinko Founder Brian Dean calls, kick-butt, “wow this is freakin’ amazing” content, you’re wasting your time.
To get noticed in today’s noisy marketplace, you need to write authoritative content – content that’s not just thorough and well-researched, but positions you as the go-to authority in your field.
2. Write evergreen pieces of content.
While thorough, well-researched content is important, it’s not enough to get an edge over your competition; you need content that’s up-to-date and relevant to your readers’ interests.
With evergreen content, your blog will continue to rank well in Google’s search engine results pages (SERPs) long after you’ve promoted it. It will drive more traffic to your site, and generate more leads for your business.
To do that, though, you need to write content that is beginner-friendly, actionable and easy-to-understand (see No. 3). Most importantly, you need to constantly update it as and when your market changes.
Go the extra mile, and Google will reward you for it.
3. Write in easy-to-understand language.
Years ago, Copywriter Robert Bly interviewed 100 CEOs for a book he was writing about executive leadership. He wanted to know: Do successful people use big, pretentious words that reflect an Ivy league education, or do they talk like you and me? To Bly’s surprise, they talked in plain, everyday language.
There’s a temptation, when writing, to try and emulate the greatest writers of our time, to communicate in a way that’s more complicated than needed. Stop. You’re not writing for your colleagues; you’re writing for your customers.
When writing authoritative evergreen content, use simple, easy-to-understand English (especially if it’s a complicated topic). Take your reader by the hand, and walk them through it, step-by-step. Your readers will thank you for it.
4. Focus on one big idea.
We’re living in the information age. Imagine, you have access to more resources than the last King of France did. Yet, despite this advantage, we’re still starved for knowledge.
Your readers know what to do, but they don’t do what they know, because they’re overwhelmed.
They don’t want 10 mediocre ways or hacks to solve a problem they’re experiencing. They’re busy enough as it is. Do you think your readers have time to apply every recommendation from every blog post they read? Of course not.
They, like everyone, want the quickest and easiest solution to their problem – one big idea that explains exactly what to do and when and how to do it.
Give your readers what they want. When you do, it won’t be the big idea they’ll attribute their success to, it’ll be you.
5. Connect and collaborate with influencers in your field.
If you’re like most entrepreneurs, you’ve probably heard the term, influencer outreach.
It’s no secret that connecting with authorities in your field is one of the most effective ways of maximizing your business’ message, increasing your domain authority and reaching more people in less time.
The problem, though, is many business owners think of influencer outreach as a one-off effort, rather than a collaborative partnership that’s nurtured over time. The highest leveraging results come from not reaching out once but developing a genuine relationship with experts in your field – one that’s founded on mutual trust and goodwill.
Stop thinking of influencer outreach as a cost on your part, and start seeing it as what it really is: an investment in you, your business and your network.
No matter what industry you’re in, content marketing is, and will continue to be, one of the most effective ways you can scale your business. The marketplace is getting noisier, but you don’t need to shout louder to get heard; you just need to find people who are eager to listen.
This article first appeared in www.entrepreneur.com