The marketing landscape has changed dramatically over the last five years, due largely to a change in the way consumers demand to interact with brands. Long gone are the days when serving up an ad was enough to ignite a spark of interest in a consumer. Today's customers don't want to be bombarded with advertising. Instead, they want to interact with brands in a way that's meaningful and makes them feel connected and part of a community. In other words, this isn't your grandmother's marketing.
In the rush of companies trying to jump on the content bandwagon, oftentimes the focus is thrown on creating content-- mostly for blogs and social channels--rather than on creating a cohesive strategy that ties all of your efforts together.
Unfortunately that approach leads to a lot of companies having disjointed messaging and missing out on prime opportunities for marketing content over multiple channels. Luckily, that's pretty easy to fix. Here are three surprising ways you can get more traction with your content marketing activities, using your website as the hub of your marketing outreach.
1. Repurpose Blog Posts
One of the easiest and quickest ways to get the most out of your content marketing strategy is to stretch out each piece of content you create. Every piece of company content should be able to be repurposed and reused for different platforms and different purposes.
For instance, B2B companies can benefit from using blog posts as a starting point for creating questions on Q&A sites like Quora, while technical articles can be repurposed into Slideshare presentations to be used as a sales aid, and client success blog posts can be repurposed into stand alone case studies. Written content can even be spun into visual content, like an infographic or provide the basis for a how-to video.
Getting creative with each piece of content that you create can help you get a lot more mileage out of each piece without a lot of time spent brainstorming new ideas.
2. Create Resource Pages
One of the most valuable types of content is evergreen content--that is, content that is consistently relevant to readers. Evergreen content is the holy grail of content creation because with regular updates, it's consistently indexed by Google, shows up high in search rankings, and generally acts as a great industry or community resource that gets shared and draws people into your website to read more of your content.
One type of evergreen content is a resource page. An easy way to think about a resource page is to imagine it as a landing page for your blog. It's a place where you can choose a very specific topic and cover all facets of that topic in one place. This usually includes links to other blog posts that cover very specific aspects of that topic. This is incredibly beneficial for companies for a couple of reasons: it helps you rank well for certain tightly-focused keywords; it brings readers into a hub where they can read and explore lots of your content from one place; and it helps build strong thought leadership.
A good example of a resource page done right is Copyblogger's "Magnetic Headlines" resource page, where he gives readers some basic statistics on headlines, and lists 10 popular blog posts that revolve around writing better headlines.
A good resource page takes a significant initial time investment; however, the goal is to have something that will be around and used frequently for years to come. And updating a resource page on a weekly or monthly basis is a great (and simple) way to keep fresh content on your website.
3. Crowdsource Your Content
Everyone wants to have a voice. Use that to your advantage by recruiting other industry leaders--or even customers--to submit content. User generated content helps you keep fresh content on your website or blog without draining internal resources to create it. It also gives you built-in promotion, since guest contributors will almost always want to promote their content, and you'll be able to tap into their networks, as well as yours, to drive both traffic and brand awareness.
CMS platforms like Wordpress and Tumblr have even made the process of accepting guest content pretty much seamless. You can have a submission area on your website to accept content and then edit, approve, or disapprove as you see fit.
If taking outside contributions isn't your style, you can also take this idea internally, which works well for larger organizations who need to have a simple way to solicit internal content ideas from employees.
Building out a content strategy doesn't have to be a huge undertaking, but making sure you're getting the most out of each piece of content, and tying all of your efforts together will make your content marketing that much stronger.
(Image courtesy of Shutterstock.)