Have you been in the digital marketing space for quite some time now?
If you answered with a “yes,” then you’ve probably scoured through countless guides on how to run successful marketing campaigns.
I’m even willing to bet you came across the line “content is king” countless times already. After all, you simply can’t have a marketing campaign without content — that’s just how online marketing works.
Whether you’re contemplating blogging, PPC advertising, SEO, or social media marketing, be prepared to develop truckloads of content that will deliver your message and build your brand.
There’s just one problem: developing content can be incredibly tedious.
If you’re a one-man marketer or solopreneur, you should know how challenging it is to write, edit, and promote your content.
It often equates to a couple of days’ worth of work — accompanied by hours of hair-pulling and sitting nose-deep in research.
Luckily, your life decisions (primarily the ones you’ve made a few minutes ago) have led you to this post.
Without further ado, below are some of the best content development strategies that will ramp up your production.
1. Look at Your Top Competitor’s Content
When writing content, it’s important to be as specific as possible with who you’re targeting.
Casting a wide net and providing broad information on your website may yield some traffic. But as far as monetization goes, the visitors you attract probably aren’t interested in your products or services.
To find content ideas that will draw in the right audience, one of the best places to look would be a top competitor’s website.
Think about it, you don’t have to worry about finding content ideas that click. Your best competitors already figured them out — you just need the right tools to spy on their strategies.
It should be easy to identify the best content of your top competitor by looking at their blog. Just pick out posts that get the most engagement in the form of likes, comments, and social media shares.
You can also use a tool like Fanpage Karma to view the content they share on Facebook.
How to make your content better than your competitor?
There are actually several strategies you can try.
For one, you can localize SEO content and insert tips that your target audience will benefit from. This will surely make your content more unique and valuable if you serve a different location from your competitor.
2. Create Evergreen Content
Although it won’t exactly increase the velocity of your content production, developing evergreen content will allow you to make the most out of your content.
In simple terms, evergreen content is a type of content that can garner traffic for the long term. This is because they offer information that stays relevant, unlike content pieces that tackle trendy or news topics.
When done correctly, evergreen content should eliminate the pressure to regularly publish posts just to supply traffic to your website. As a result, you can focus more on creating polished, high-quality content that will solidify the credibility of your brand.
Of course, this isn’t to say you should avoid capitalizing latest trends in your niche altogether. Not only will trending topics provide you with a quick boost in traffic, they can also fuel your keyword research strategy that can result in long-term SEO benefits.
3. Use Content Explorer Tools
Sometimes, you just need a tool that will cut the guesswork and show you effective content ideas in broad daylight.
If you really want to create engaging content, you shouldn’t be afraid to invest in tools that can simplify key tasks like content research.
Ahrefs, for example, comes with a built-in “Content Explorer” tool that allows you to scrape popular content from the web using keywords. It even provides you with metrics you can use to determine the popularity of each content.
4. Build a System Around Project Management Tools
Content development is a lot easier if you implement a step-by-step process.
For example, after performing content research with Ahrefs, a marketer could aggregate their ideas into Google Sheets, pull the details into Trello cards for task management, and then queue up the content on Buffer for social media sharing.
The internet is literally teeming with cloud-based marketing tools that can take your content marketing to the next level. Once you find the tools you need, you just need to piece them together into a cohesive, repeatable workflow.
If you’re worried that cloud-based tools may overcomplicate the content development process, there’s one way to keep everything streamlined.
With an automation tool like IFTTT, you can string together multiple services to create workflows or “applets” that can put any task on autopilot.
For example, let’s say you publish blog posts on WordPress and use Buffer for social sharing. With the IFTTT applet below, new posts will be automatically added to your Buffer queue and shared according to your posting schedule.
If you can’t seem to find an IFTTT applet for the task you want to automate, you can easily create your own using the new applet builder. All you need to do is to choose the services you want to link in your workflow — one functioning as a trigger while the other performs the automated action.
5. Outsource Your Content
Let’s face it, content writing isn’t everybody’s thing.
If you never had the chance to practice and hone your writing skills over the years, it’ll be extremely difficult to develop your own content.
Besides, there are plenty of other ways to be more productive with your time as a marketer, like doing SEO, forging relationships with other influencers, planning a webinar, and so forth. That’s why most, if not all, seasoned marketers tend to outsource their content creation efforts from freelancers and high-quality content agencies.
Just be careful, though — outsourcing your content is kind of hit and miss. You either find a reliable freelance writer that can consistently deliver quality content, or get a subpar piece that online readers wouldn’t touch with a ten-foot pole.
That said, always ask for work samples and gauge their writing ability yourself before you hire someone. This is one of the things self-respecting freelancers prepare if they intend to grow in this industry, so you’ll know you’re in good hands if they can show you an up-to-date content portfolio.
6. Write Roundups
If your primary objective with content development is to build SEO links, a well-written roundup post should do the trick.
In a nutshell, a roundup post is a listicle that contains tools, strategies, or quotes from other brands who can help share your content. And if you’ve made one before, you’ll know they’re a lot easier to write than other types of long-form articles.
Here are some examples of the most typical roundup post formats:
- Top X Link Building Tips from SEO Experts
- X Tools to Help You Launch a PPC Campaign
- X Reasons Why You Need Keyword Research (According to Experts)
It’s simple: you start by identifying questions that your target users are asking, finding popular influencers or brands in your niche, and launching an outreach campaign that allows you to gain their input.
For the last step, there are influencer marketing tools like Ninja Outreach that can speed up the process and allows you to track your results more effectively. This, however, is completely optional, as it’s sometimes better to use handmade, personal emails that express your sincerity to your prospects.
7. Boost Content Performance
Developing quality content for your audience is only a small part of a content marketing campaign.
What you need to do is engineer a compelling user experience that will build your authority, help your audience accomplish something meaningful, and push them down the conversion path.
Visual content, for example, is a great way to capture the audience’s attention and make your content more shareable on social media. With tools like Canva and PicMonkey, you should be able to whip up professional-looking visuals within minutes.
You can also significantly improve reader engagement and retention by improving your website’s loading speed.
According to statistics, you could lose up to 40 percent of your audience if your site doesn’t load in 3 seconds or less.
Fortunately, there are many ways to improve a website’s performance without the help of a professional developer. There are tools like Compressor.io and MinifyCode you can use to reduce the size of your page assets and optimize the bandwidth utilization of your site.
You can also leverage a CDN to further improve your site’s bandwidth efficiency and keep the user experience consistent for users in different locations.
Basically, a CDN allows you to utilize the hardware resources and capabilities of multiple proxy servers rather than a single server. These servers are also geographically-distributed, which means you can ensure stable latency to users regardless of where they live.
That’s it — the five content creation tips that seasoned marketers use to accelerate their results.
Do you have firsthand experience with any of the tips above? What advice can you give other readers who may be trying these strategies for the first time? Feel free to leave a comment