What content marketing techniques will you use in 2017? Long form article for your blog? Video series that shows your community the newest feature of your product? A daily story on Instagram or Snapchat about the team behind your brand?
There are tremendous opportunities for you as a marketer if you want to embrace content marketing.
But with these opportunities comes the overwhelming situation when you don’t know what type of content to create next, why is it good for your brand and how much results it will get you.
Why am I saying this? Because I was in that position of stressing out about what kind of content should I create and how should I do it.
There were mornings when I’ve arrived first at the office and after I open my email and see in Nuzzel that many of the influencers I follow on Twitter shared an article about an interesting strategies in content marketing I open that piece of content and read it. Wow! Awesome! Let’s do it. So, before my colleagues comes in, I already know what to do next and I get excited about this new thing.
The problem is that our strategy is not aligning with these new trends. “So what? Let’s experiment” I answer to their suggestions. And we do it. We work using this new technique and guess what? In a few days, or even weeks, the results are the same. No more leads, no more web traffic and no more social media shares.
I was trapped in this viral content and thought that if I will use it right now, I can take advantage of it.
But no, we, as content marketers, must also have a strategic thinking. It doesn’t matter if you are a content creator, promote the content your team created or you just think about the content you have to do in a strategic way.
Today’s content marketing is a lot of strategy and less creation and promotion.
The smartest content marketer will know exactly how much content to create, when to create, where to promote it and who will read it.
But how do you know which technique of content marketing can work for you?
This is why I will give you 4 examples of the techniques I used from the top influencers and some of them worked for me.
I’m sharing these techniques with you so you can have a start, if you are at the beginning of your content marketing strategy. But even if you already have a documented content marketing strategy for 2017, I bet that this article can help you.
The skyscraper technique is a content marketing technique for link builders that was first “preached” about by Brian Dean, the person behind Backlinko.
Brian is giving this technique for the ones who want to build a great number of backlinks to their content.
It’s not enough just to create great content, you also need to be very strategic and systematic about it.
Brian resumes the Skyscraper Technique in 3 simple steps:
Find link-worthy content – this is the high value page that you can leverage for backlinks over and over. It’s something you create and it’s so useful that people will talk about and link it.
Make something even better – Brian is talking about longer and better contents where you give more answers and better than the others that are already on the Internet. Make it longer. Make it more up-to-date. A better design.
Reach out to the right people – your job is not over. Don’t let Google do your job. Now you have to reach out the right people, email the influencers from your industry, talk with bloggers and publishers. Do the job that the PR should do.
This means that you should think about your piece of content as an entire advertising campaign.
When Apple launched their “Think Different” campaign you didn’t see it only on TV. There were hundred of posters, billboards, banner ads, magazine covers and articles about the people who think different. Einstein, Mohammad Ali, Picasso, Bob Marley and other big names were featured in different places and different formats to show that Apple is not just another computer company, is the company who is approaching this industry way more different than their competition.
If you wrote a great article and you hit the publish button it doesn’t mean that you are done with it. The second part of “content marketing” is right here because you know you need to “market” it.
So, how do you promote that awesome piece of content you created right now? Well, what if you create 8 pieces of content from 1 big one?
Rand created this Whiteboard Friday video explaining why creating 10X content can be a good strategy for your business. I recommend you to check out the video and see how good unique content is going to die, and what you can do to develop your own 10X content.
Why 10X content? Because your content needs to be 10 times better than is on the Internet so far. This type of content will help you stand out from the other types of content and will also bring you the values you need. You don’t have to trust me, you just trust Rand, who is the Wizard of MOZ and co-author of a few SEO books.
I used Rand’s strategy when I wanted to write about 12 marketing tools marketers should use to grow a business. But I wanted to go deeper than just talk randomly about them, upload a few photos and link them. So I created 5 interviews following the 5W’s questions: Why? Who? Where? When? Why?
And I asked the people behind these brands to answer me the following question: if you are a marketer and you want to buy a product for your company, I believe that you have a few questions before your purchase. Starting from this, I created the article on our blog about these products. Here you can read the answers a marketer is giving to another marketer. I also used screenshots from the product, their link to their website and also linked to their Facebook and Twitter account.
And if you will search on Google for the “grow business with online marketing tools”, you will see that at the 5th place is our link to the featured article (bellow to other big websites like Neil Patel or Entrepreneur).
Looking at the criteria that Rand is talking about the 10X content I can say that this article is about the following matters:
You can read it on any device because the blog is responsive;
It’s useful for marketers and trustworthy because the people behind the product showcase the answers;
It’s different than other websites who wrote about digital marketing products;
It also have the emotional response because of the people who answer the question;
It’s solving the problem when the marketer wants to purchase a product.
Creating 10x content is not something you can do every day. Because you are a busy marketer you can’t always write content, create videos or other visual types of content such as infographics or slideshare presentations.
And this will take me to the next content marketing technique I used in our strategy. The skyscraper technique by Brian Dean.
Who said that 1 piece of content should be only 1 piece of content? Well, if somebody said that, I think that we can ignore him.
Jay Baer produces 3 times a week a 3 minute videos about business, social media, marketing and life. These videos were called “Jay Today” and as he said “are among the strongest performers, especially on Facebook”. But Jay and his team didn’t stop at just this piece of content. They created 8 type of content starting from this video. After Jay spend 5 minutes recording a video, they also created other 8 types of content for their brand:
A YouTube video;
A Facebook Page video;
An audio episode on iTunes;
A video iTunes episode;
One episode video for jaytoday.tv;
1 blog post;
1 post on Linkedin;
1 post on Medium;
1 Google Plus post;
2-3 tweets (it can be video or just a tweet or image);
2 linkedin shares.
And let’s acknowledge that this is kind of a lot of content from only 1 piece of 5 minutes video. No wonder that marketers are so into the video content. You can start recording yourself, and after you finish it, you can create a blog post (or transcript the video as Rand is doing with his Whiteboard Friday) or upload it as audio on iTunes (just like Gary Vaynerchuk is doing with his speeches and other forms of video content).
But maybe you don’t have time to create so much content from 1 piece of content? Well, I recommend you to focus on the platforms you want to achieve a bigger engagement.
For example, we designed an infographic about the Instagram ads and we publish it on our blog.
That piece of content went viral and many publishers reposted it on their blogs. But we wanted more than a few post so we created a slideshow from it and upload it on our SlideShare page. It was so great that SlideShare featured it on their homepage. And we moved forward and upload it on Pinterest too. So from 1 piece of content we delivered on other 2 platforms.
I gave you this examples because I want you to understand that if you work a lot for only 1 type of content it doesn’t mean that you can’t share it and promote it using different types of content on different types of platforms.
Because on every platform there are other kinds of users who are consuming the content.
In a time when a lot of marketers are complaining about the amount of content that is produced daily, Gary Vaynerchuk is coming with this statement:
there are a lot of you out there who aren’t producing enough articles or videos or piece of content that you should be producing to build your influence.
But he is not thinking about the content type we talked before. He is moving to a more personal and more transparent one. Document. Don’t create.
It doesn’t matter if you are a big company or a small start-up, when you create content that document your entire journey and you also give a transparent overview of your product and brand, people will trust you and will start following you.
No wonder Gary started investing more in documenting his entrepreneurial life using David Rock to film his day to day work. Even if he is in Dublin or in London or just spending the day at the office in New York. Because Gary wants to document his life through the moment he will buy the NY Jets. But the real question is what will he do after he will buy the Jets?
As he said in his article
one of the biggest mistakes people make when creating content for their personal brand is trying to oversell themselves because they think that’s what’s going to get people’s attention.
And if we look at brands that are using their blogs to create content and trying to be a tough leader in the industry, you will shorty notice that they are just regurgitating other top brands ideas and content.
But what about when you document your entire journey? When you talk about your company and how you developed a product, how you launched a feature and what you learned after this, is something people want to know.
Think about Noah Kagan who wrote this article and also recorded himself about what he learned growing an 8 figure business. Is something he learned across the entire journey. But what if he has done this while he took these lessons and then moved in one big piece of content, something like an ebook? (don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to say that his strategy is bad, but this is something that came to my mind right now).
So here we go with these 4 techniques you can use for your content marketing strategy. Maybe you will use all of them, maybe you will use only 1 or 2. It doesn’t matter as much as the results you get.
But how do you know which one is the best for you? Well, you experiment and test and then drag the line below and see which one brings you the results you wanted.
Now back to you: let me know in comments if you used one of these techniques and if they helped you or not.