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Smart content marketers are succeeding with these 5 proven strategies

Content marketing isn’t a fad. Engaging and building relationships with customers is the smart way to drive profitable action for your brand.

It is predicted that 88 percent of B2B marketers will be using content marketing while 76 percent of marketers plan to produce more content this year.

With over 2 million blog posts published each day, you need to do more than write a 500 word article on why one should choose your company.

You need to provide exceptional value, fulfill the visitor’s intent and create content the “smart” way. Here are five strategies you can use to take your content marketing to the next level.

1. Find key influencers before you create your content.

Influencers in your industry have a larger reach to your target audience than your current list. A common way people contact influencers is to write a blog post, send a tweet or email and ask them to share it. They don’t owe you anything and acting like they do won’t work well for you.

People share content they find interesting or beneficial for their communities. BuzzSumo makes it easy to find and analyze influencers who have already shared similar content.

Here’s how it works. Enter a phrase into BuzzSumo and analyze the type of content that gets shared. With a pro account, you can view everyone who has shared popular articles on Twitter and form a targeted outreach list.

Create superior content that adds value to proven content and you will increase your chance at getting the same influencers to share your content.

2. Use positive momentum to get more.

Positive momentum occurs when you get new subscribers, sales, blog comments, social shares, a quote request or anything that benefits your business. Most of these end with a confirmation message or a “thank you page.” Rather than leaving engaged visitors with a generic thank you message, you can use that momentum to encourage a post-conversion goal.

A few examples are to survey them for market research, push important content in front of them and to get more social shares. Thisresource on “thank you pages” breaks down 8 practical ways you can leverage momentum to get more from your content.

3. Keep your content visual.

Keeping content visual seems obvious, however, everyone has not caught on. Content with relevant images get 94 percent more viewsthan content without. Articles with an image once every 75 to 100 words get double the amount of shares.

The bottom line is that images increase engagement and readability.

If you’re on a budget, use tools like Canva in combination with free stock photo sites like Unsplash and Pixabay to create professional images in under a minute.

4. Use content upgrades to capture new leads.

Websites and blogs have long been using sidebars to capture new subscribers and leads. This quickly evolved to the “pop-up” opt-in. Both of these work.

Nikki McGonigal found that her sidebar optin converted at 0.4 percent while her lightbox pop-up form converted at 5.5 percent over eight months of testing. Today, content upgrades are the next powerful lead generation tactic to use.

Content upgrades are contextual offers laid within the blog post by hyper-link. When you click the link, a pop-up appears with an opportunity to enhance your experience in exchange for one’s contact information.

I have seen blog posts convert between five and 20 percent using this strategy.

Here’s how you do it.

  1. Write an epic piece of content.
  2. Create a relevant bonus (ie. checklist, video, eBook etc.)
  3. Give it to your readers in exchange for their email address.
  4. Rinse and repeat.

5. Repurpose your content.

Repurposing content is simply taking something you’ve already created and converting it into other formats.

For example, you can turn blog posts into a podcast, condensed video, Slideshare presentation or an infographic with minimal effort.

With different formats come different distribution networks. Similarweb estimates Slideshare’s monthly traffic to be over 180 million visitors. SoundCloud receives more than 355 million hits. And YouTube is the third most visited site in the world with over 20 billion visitors each month.

By leveraging other channels, you increase your reach by creating content that can be consumed for any learning style.

Content marketing comes at a cost. Whether that’s time or money is up to you.

You need to research where your audience lives, engage them, experiment with different channels and promote your content with tact. Throw laziness out the window and create content that is worth sharing.

With smart content marketing strategies in place, you will get more traffic, leads and engagement from every single piece of content you create.

What content marketing strategies are working for you?