This morning you were sitting at your desk, wringing your brain for an idea. Your social media engagement is low, you’re getting almost no site traffic, and your boss is on you about creating content – whatever that means. Then, it hit you.
You had a great idea that will cure all of your problems. A simple list: “10 Preventative Maintenance Tips to Keep Your Equipment Going Longer.” You write it up and post. Then you sit back and wait for all the pageviews to come rolling in. And who knows, there may even be some leads that come through as well.
And you wait, but nothing happens. That’s because content, even trendy listicles, aren’t magic. Content won’t make all your problems magically disappear.
So what did you do wrong and how can you get people to engage with your new article?
1. Provide Real Value
Content marketing is only a useful marketing tool when you are providing value for your audience. A piece of content like the one mentioned above is a great title, and it will probably get you clicks when you distribute it. But you have to make sure you’re actually following up on your promise.
Remember, your title is a promise to your reader. You’re setting an expectation for what they will get from clicking. In this case, when they click, they’re expecting to find 10 preventative maintenance tips. If you don’t provide that to them, or you don’t give them enough value, you will lose their trust.
Your audience’s time is valuable. Don’t waste it.
2. Use Multimedia
There are a lot of reasons why people may not be reading your article. They may just not want to read something, or, in the example from above, they may not want to read an explanation about preventative maintenance. What if they wanted to see it demonstrated?
Multimedia can help you better explain how or why someone should do something. It also makes your list more compelling and actionable. Telling someone to take specific preventative maintenance steps is great. But showing them how to perform the maintenance and what happens if they don’t can help you spur them to action.
You might even try and make your new article into a video instead. Video doesn’t have to break the bank and can help you explain an issue more thoroughly. You can host it on YouTube or another site and plug it into your content management system like a normal post. Also, videos are extremely engaging.
Email is a handy tool for getting your audience to read your content. If you maintain a customer newsletter, try sending your article out as a helpful piece of content. Not only does this get your content read and your site engagement up, but it’s also a great way to remind your customers that you’re a valued business partner.
If you don’t have a newsletter, here are a few tips to help you get started building your list. In the meantime, you can ask your sales reps to send out an email to their customers, leads, and prospects. This can be a great sales tool for them. It’s a subtle way to keep your business top-of-mind without flooding their inboxes with sales pitches.
4. Post to Social Media
Social media sites are some of the best platforms for driving traffic to your content. You can post and share content with fans and followers for free. These platforms even let you start a real, engaging conversation around your content.
However, you need to make sure you’re investing in the right social media. There are a lot of different platforms your business can take advantage of, but these are only useful if you’re reaching the right people. Pinterest may be a cool place to post your images, but how much of your audience will see them?
Make sure you’ve invested in the right channels to accomplish your marketing goals.
If you don’t already have social media accounts, we have a lot of research about audiences in the trucking and construction industries.
5. Optimize for Social
Social media is a great place to post and share content with your audience, but you have to have the right format for each site. For instance, posting a link to your list is fine for Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, but you can’t just post an article link on Instagram or YouTube.
You need to optimize your content for each social media site’s format. Creating a short video, images, or infographics can help you increase engagement on sites like YouTube and Instagram, but you can also utilize these posts to link back to you original list.
Any additional content you create from your article to post on social media can be repurposed. Infographics, images, and videos can be used to create additional social engagement on other platforms as well.
6. Boost Your Posts
Yes, we’re still talking about social media. But that’s because organic engagement can only get you so far. You’re still probably missing out on a large portion of your followers and fans.
You have the option to boost your posts to reach more people on sites like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook. It’s a great investment. By investing just a fraction of your budget, you can reach a larger section of your social media audience. And you aren’t limited to your own followers.
While you can boost a post to reach your page’s audience, you can also build ads to reach your industry across Facebook or LinkedIn. There are also some robust targeting options that can help you refine your ad to reach decision makers.
7. Don’t Forget SEO
Search engine traffic can play a huge role in getting your content found. And you don’t have to be an expert to better optimize your article for search engine optimization. All it takes is a little practical know how and some planning.
One of the most important things writers can do to get ranked highly in search is to know what keywords people are using. Google’s keyword tool can provide you with deep insights into the search traffic around certain search terms. Once you know what people are searching, you can incorporate those terms into your article to improve its organic listing.
This can be a complicated topic, one we don’t have a lot of time to look at right now, but you can find out more about SEO here.
Content isn’t a magic wand. Writing something and posting it to your website doesn’t make your business grow overnight. In fact, anybody can start a blog and write about your industry. The difference is you’re publishing valuable, insightful content and putting it in the hands of your audience.