7 Content Marketing Habits to Kick In 2013

Content marketing habits to kick in 2013

Emma J. Fox

A majority of marketers are adopting content marketing strategies, but not all of them are doing it right. Content marketing is creating and distributing valuable content to engage your target audiences. It isn’t advertising.

According to research released by Marketing Profs and Content Marketing Institute, 91% and 86% marketers use the strategy for B2C and B2B respectively.

Content marketing isn’t just about posting a few blogs to your site once in a while. It involves strategizing and planning for SEO, engaging your audience and trusting that they will share your content to drive traffic to your sales funnel.

Before you start writing decide how the content will be created and distributed. Here is a suggested checklist:

  • Who are my target audiences?
  • How many blogs, infographics, podcasts and videos will I create?
  • How many blogs will be published on my website?
  • How many will I pitch as guest blogs?
  • How will I distribute the content I have created?
  • How much content creation work can I outsource?
  • How much can I handle myself?

Shed These Bad Habits

It’s time to adopt new content marketing strategies. Kick these 7 habits if you want to achieve content marketing success this year.

  1. Irregular blogging: To attract more traffic to your website, you need to post new content on a regular basis. Especially with the recent updates to its algorithms, Google is giving higher preference in its search results rankings to sites with fresh content. So if you need to boost your traffic, try blogging two to three times a week.
  1. No vision or plan: You can’t be haphazard in your approach to marketing your content. Draft a plan and establish the goals you want to achieve through content marketing for your business. You must decide the types of content you are going to create and tailor it to your audiences on social media networks. Content management planLet’s suppose you own a café and you have Twitter, Linkedin and Facebook profiles. You need to tailor your content for each of these social platforms. While you may want to connect directly with potential customers on Facebook and Twitter, your Linkedin approach may involve seeking cross promotion opportunities and connecting with local entrepreneur groups to promote your café as a venue for a Meetup. For Facebook users a video or a blog on “What To Order On Your First Date” could be effective. For LinkedIn, on the other hand, you would create content along the lines of “The 5 Reasons Your Next Networking Event Should Offer Refreshments AND a Content Expert.”
  1. Promotional Overdrive: A good rule to follow for content marketing is 20% promotion, 80% information. You can’t hope to grab eyeballs if your messages are self-serving. The content you create should be focused on entertaining and informing your target audience. If they like what you have written, they will share it and generate free word of mouth publicity. Focus on quality and promotion will fall into place.
  1. Not re-purposing your content: Google doesn’t like duplicate content, but that doesn’t mean you can’t re-purpose your content. Here’s how you can do it without trying to game Google.
  • Infographic: Have a graphic designer create an infographic with an embed code that your readers can use in their blogs.
  • PowerPoint Presentation: Copy and paste the key points, create a PowerPoint presentation and upload it on SlideShare.
  • YouTube Video: Convert the PowerPoint presentation into a simple video, add a music track and voiceover using the YouTube Video editor, and upload it on YouTube.
  • Podcast: Use a voiceover and convert into a Podcast. Here are few tips on how you can do it yourself.
  • Picture sharing: Add images in the blog to a Pinterest board. Share them on Flickr, too, for added exposure.
  • Documents: Take the infographic/picture and paste it in a Word document. Pick up the key points from the PowerPoint presentation, edit them, and save the document as a PDF file. You can then upload it to document sharing sites.
  • Ebook. Re-craft content as an e-book that you offer as an incentive to new subscribers or sell in your online store.
  1. Not interacting enough with your readers. Reply to comments on your posts and become involved in discussions with your audience. Not only will you get valuable feedback from them, but the active discussion will also yield SEO benefits.
  1. Bland and preachy posts: Write blog posts that are not only interesting and entertaining but also actionable. Give your readers clear instructions and suggestions they can use in their own businesses.
  1. Inadequate social sharing: Have content, will share, should be your motto. Not only are social signals important for your search engine rankings, social sharing also helps you get indexed faster, attract traffic from multiple sources, get valuable inbound links, and build new connections.

Make it easy for your audience to share your content. Have you added the social sharing buttons of popular platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, and Google+ to your blog?

If you haven’t, you’re missing the opportunity for your readers to become evangelists for your content and help it to go viral.

Emma J. Fox writes for Pitstop Media, a Vancouver based SEO company. Pitstop Media helps businesses across North America successfully increase their search visibility.

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    • The fact is that many Pinterest users share images of nudity (theirs or others) that they consider art. Imagine your prospective employer finding such images before an inteview 🙂

  1. I agree with most all that you said. The best part is, this is a great check list for new or inexperienced bloggers, any blogger for that matter. 🙂

  2. Hi Emma,

    There is overwhelm today for businesses of all sizes especially small businesses with what they are supposed to do. What tips would you give to simplify content marketing so they get the benefits and cut through the overwhelm. The reason for the question is your example of the cafe whose owners probably spend long hours just running their business. Apart from hiring someone or outsourcing content what would you suggest.

    • Well, apart from hiring or outsourcing, there aren’t really too many options. Someone has to write the content and then promote it. A couple of options I can think right off the bat is to create lists of articles (i.e. “best of this week”, “most discussed” topics in the industry, etc), use curated content and take advantage of user generated content or crowdsourced content.

  3. Bland posts and irregular blogging are two biggies. This whole list is good, but I think these two points are major. If you fail to blog for a while people will see you;re inconsistent and forget about checking your site. Likewise, interesting and engaging content is key to keep readers interested and coming back. If you write the same things as everyone else or the same things over and over, who will want to keep coming back?

    • Thanks for commenting Kelly. I wish I could say that writing is easy, but I can’t. Writing valuable content takes time, knowledge and above all, willingness to share it. But if you have all these ingredients, rewards will come. So, keep up with the good stuff 🙂

  4. I’ve recently started to work on re-purposing content, but have read various pros and cons about placing duplicate content on the internet. Some sources say it’s not good, and others dispel the notion. I don’t know enough about how search engines work to make an informed decision. I’ve re-posted a few of my book reviews on a news website that I’ve become an editor and contributor for. Maybe you can help or point me to a helpful post on the matter?

  5. Jeri, there’s a couple of things. First, there is no penalty for duplicate content. The drawback is that Google will only like to display one source for the same content. So, if the website you’re republishing the content on is more authoritative, there are chances that they will show up in search results, rather than you (original source).

    To prevent this, you need to first publish the content on your site and do a on demand Google crawling of the article.

    Second, build several (5 would be more enough) high quality backlinks pointing to the article URL. Make sure your article page is cached by Google (use cache: command in Google), then make sure the other pages you got links from are cached too. Additionally you should use the authorship to point search engines to your articles.

    Once you met the above you can publish the content on other site. If possible ask for a rel=”canonical” pointing back to the original source of the article.


    • Emma — You mentioned some SEO tips that I wasn’t aware of such as on demand crawling. I think my readers would value a more thorough explanation. I think you’ve found a topic for your next post here! Thanks.

  6. This statement is very encouraging: Google doesn’t like duplicate content, but that doesn’t mean you can’t re-purpose your content.

    Like most others I find I agree with what you are saying.

    Do you really mean – how many BLOGS will you create? Or is that how many blog POSTS? Can you clarify please Emma? Jeannette?

    • Patricia, when I refer to re-purposing content mostly I mean use an article to create other types of content out of it. For example, you can take one piece of article, save it as a .pdf and then promote that on document sharing sites (see my previous comment on how to make sure you will be credited as the original source of the article).