We're heading into a new year — it's time to make a resolution. Let's commit to putting the old content playbook away.
Let's stop writing generic content. We can do better for our own companies and our clients in this new year.
I know it's not going to be easy.
- Clients don't always want to take the time to give you the input you need to write unique and awesome content.
- Better content takes longer to write and there's not always budget for it.
- You have to change your processes. Good content needs more lead time and more effort to publish it and make it look good.
BUT think about the alternative.
You are churning out article after article and not getting results. You might be getting some search traffic, but are you getting engagement? Are you getting leads?
Or are you simply delivering on the X number of articles you promise you'll publish each month and leaving it at that?
If you want to level up your content and do better this year, here are some tips to help you get going strong.
4 Strategies to Level Up Your Content
These five strategies might not be easy, but they are effective. It's time to do more with your blogs and add additional content types to your repertoire. Let me show you.
1. Content Themes and Series
One of the biggest struggles that I hear time and again is people struggling to come up with ideas for good content.
They do the easy things — keyword research, competitor research, and look at alllll the numbers on allll the things in allll the places.
In theory, you've created a list of topics that should help you rank well.
In reality, you've ignored a few of the most important factors for successful content.
- You need to create content your target audience will want to read.
- You need to showcase your (or your client's) expertise and position them as a valuable resource for the audience.
- You need to take the audience on a journey that leads them to want to take an action — downloading something, contacting you, etc.
Content themes or series are a GREAT way to do this naturally.
Talk to your audience — find out what they need and or what to know. Then build a series of content that gives it to them.
Some examples could include:
- A multi-part series of interviews with experts that answers the tough questions. Bonus: this could be done as video interviews where you post the videos on YouTube and embed them into blog articles.
- A theme that offers content in different formats around a specific topic — like playbooks, workbooks, guides, articles, and videos. This type of series is great to offer as a self-paced email course where they can sign up to receive an email each day for a set number of days to get the content.
- You can host a series of live Q&A sessions with your team or other industry experts. When you're done the sessions, you can publish the recordings and write up the questions and answers in a blog article.
- You can do a series of blog articles on a topic, and then write up an article that provides a high-level overview and link to each article in the series.
2. Turn Your Content into Training Programs
How-to content is some of the most popular content there is — but it's also some of the hardest content to produce.
If you're going to teach someone how to do something, you need to know how to do it yourself. If you are outsourcing content to a writer that isn't part of that company or industry, they can't produce this content.
You need to have someone inside the company with insider knowledge that will provide the information. A writer can then take what they provide and polish it and turn it into a final piece.
This extra complexity is why you see so many "how-to" articles that are just not very good and don't teach you how to do the thing you wanted to learn to do. The "how-to" keyword looked like it would rank well, and someone just did some Google research and put something together.
If you put that extra effort in to make your "how-to" content valuable, you can easily repurpose it into training programs.
It's really simple to take a series of content that teaches you something and drip it out over several days, offer a quiz to test for comprehension, and give someone a quick certificate or badge for completing the training.
3. Webcasts or Podcasts
Podcasts and Webcasts (audio + video) have exploded in 2020. They provide so many opportunities.
You can easily interview guests in a monthly or weekly series of 20-minute episodes and produce a LOT of content with minimal effort from your experts.
Your clients simply need to put effort into finding and interviewing guests or recording information on a topic. These are short 20-minute videos/interviews that can easily be done with Zoom. You can even interview your client about topics if they are nervous about doing it alone.
These recordings can quickly be repurposed to create:
- A blog article about the interview — complete with transcript.
- A video that can be included on the article and published to YouTube (the second largest search engine).
- Audio that can be uploaded to all of the major podcast sites and included on the article.
- Social posts including audiograms and quick images with quotes from the episode.
This is also a great way to get into the habit of regularly creating original content. If you're doing a weekly show, you are putting out new content every week.
4. Physical Books
It may seem a tad bit old school to produce a physical book, but the results are almost always worth the effort.
Books are so easy to publish now. You still need to put effort into writing original content and creating something worthwhile for your target audience — but the effort will pay off if you do it right.
- Books build credibility and they work to generate leads. You can include calls to action or have readers visit web pages and opt in to receive workbooks or other materials that go with the book.
- Books can help your future clients get indoctrinated into your vocabulary and way of doing things.
You don't have to write it all yourself. You can knock out the core ideas and then utilize a copywriter to help flesh it out and polish it into a final piece.
What Are You Going to Do?
Hopefully this list provided some inspiration. If you're struggling to figure out what the next steps need to be to start implementing these in your agencies, I'm happy to talk it through with you.