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Getting Attention for Your Content

Everyone is in the content marketing game. We are all vying for attention. Getting attention for your content requires that you have an intentional content strategy.

There are 5 steps to developing content that gets attention: planning, audience targeting, creation, distribution, and optimizing.

Plan Your Content Strategy

You are busy, but you need to be strategic to get the most from the time you devote to content. The best way to guarantee that is to take time up front to plan. Focus on your content strategy, write down what you will do, and you will have a road map that will keep you on course.

Be sure to document:

  • Goals
  • Topics
  • Sources
  • Creators
  • How often
  • Where
  • Marketing plans
  • Meaningful measurements

Understand Your Target Audience

Take time to deeply understand your audience. Where are they online? What are they interested in? What do they react to both positively and negatively? How do they feel about your topic and brand?

The more you understand your audience, the better you can be at creating content that will grab attention.

Understanding your audience is a continual process. Be sure to keep track of how their interests evolve over time.

Develop Great Content

This is the step where many content marketers begin, but the first two steps should provide you with insight into the content that makes the most sense for your audience. Be sure all of your content is well-developed with great writing and clear imagery.

Be sure to provide a mix of many forms of content:

  • Blog posts
  • Visuals
  • Audio
  • Micro content (tweets)
  • Video
  • Guest content
  • Text
  • Infographics
  • Quotes
  • Facts
  • Etc.

Post, Share, and Share Again

Post your content and then share it on all relevant channels. Track what you have posted and post it again in various forms on various channels.

You want to increase the odds that your very busy target audience sees your content at least once. Several times is better.

Measure Impact and Make Adjustments

Some elements of your plan will hit the target, some will exceed expectations and some will fall flat. That’s fine, as long as you pay attention and use that intel to make your content even better.

Be sure to take periodic assessments. This should be easy if you have defined your measures in your plan. Stop doing the things that don’t get traction and adjust to the insights that have the potential to increase the engagement with your content.

 

 

Managing Old Content Online

If you have had a website or blog for a while, chances are you have a lot of content online. On one hand, that establishes your longstanding expertise. But there is a down side. Search engines and people look for fresh content when determining relevance and accuracy, so that legacy content can actually work against you unless you actively manage old content online.

Update Valid Content

Content you first published years ago may be accurate and helpful today. Set a schedule to regularly revisit this content to make sure nothing needs tweaking. Make sure there are no new nuances that need to be included. Perhaps cite a most recent example or case study to illustrate the main point.

If the content has gotten long, consider breaking it onto more than one page or post to freshen it. Have a checklist of your current brand guidelines, writing style and SEO needs and make sure the content is updated as needed.

The goal is to ensure readers and search engines know that the content is still timely and worthwhile.

Delete Unneeded Posts and Pages

Take a look at your analytics. Likely, you have many posts and pages that aren’t getting any traffic. (Personally, I am hoping that all my COVID-related content becomes obsolete very soon!)

This old content adds no value anymore, now or for the foreseeable future. In that case, you need to either tell Google to forget about these old posts or pages or give the URL another purpose.

When I talk about deleting old content, I don’t mean just pressing “delete” and then forgetting about it. If you do that, the content might show up in Google for weeks after deletion. The URL might actually have some link value as well, which would be a shame to waste.

So, what should you do? Here are two options:

  • 301 redirect the old post to a related one. When a URL still holds value because, say, you have a number of quality links pointing to that page, you want to leverage that value by redirecting the URL to a related one. With a 301 redirect you’ll tell search engines and visitors there’s a better or newer version of this content on your site. The 301 redirect automatically sends people and Google to this page.
  • Tell search engines the content is intentionally gone. If there isn’t a relevant page on your site you can redirect to, tell Google to forget about your old post entirely by setting 410 deleted status. This status code will tell Google and visitors the content didn’t just disappear; you’ve deleted it with a reason.

Create a Maintenance Plan

Cleaning up old content should be part of your content maintenance routine. Go through old posts regularly. Refresh the content that still has value. Unpublish the rest.

Content Marketing Basics

Content marketing works. It is the path to establishing your subject matter expertise and positioning your brand and its products and services in the minds of your target audience. The main idea of content marketing is to build an audience and to distribute content to multiple online locations.

There’s lots of content out there, but following the right plan will help you achieve your goals. And, setting those goals is where you need to begin.

Establish Clear Goals

What is the goal behind your content marketing? The type of content you need to create depends on your goals and your audience.

Select Effective Channels

With your goals and audience in mind, pick the places where your content needs to be.  Then you need to develop your content in a way that is effective for those channels. Facebook content needs to be presented differently than Instagram, for example.

Create a Calendar

Create a plan for where to post and when. This lets you accomplish the daily, weekly and monthly tasks that will add up to impact your goal.

Assess Progress

Pay attention to what content gets engagement and what falls flat. Be willing to let go of what seemed like a great idea but isn’t catching the attention of your audience. In addition to these daily observations, take periodic assessments to determine impact and any larger patterns of impact.