A Guide to Getting the Most Out of Your Content Marketing By engaging visitors, you build trust, which makes it easier to snag qualified leads and close sales.

By Phillip Thune

This story originally appeared on PR Newswire's Small Business PR Toolkit


As content curators and marketers strive to keep up with this rapidly evolving industry, it is critical to produce pieces that both resonate with the audience and provide a return on investment. By engaging visitors, you build trust, which makes it easier to snag qualified leads and close sales. Following these four best practices for leveraging your content can strengthen your marketing efforts in 2017.

1. Long-form content delivers higher value to your audience

Savvy content marketers know that website visitors are often seeking solutions to a problem or more knowledge about a topic. It is your job to identify that issue and present your product, explanation or expert advice as the best resolution.

The best long-form content thoroughly answers a question and provides in-depth help. Visuals and videos not only engage readers but also break up chunky blocks of text.

2. Get personal with interactive content

According to Content Marketing Institute research, 75 percent of surveyed marketers are planning to increase their use of interactive content this year to achieve the elusive goal of personalizing content. A user-focused experience is highly engaging and helpful as it guides visitors to results that match their specific needs.

Calculators, surveys and trivia games draw audiences in and often lead to richer leads and larger sales. Interactive paid ads and calls to action have higher click-through rates while pre-event polls generate buzz. You can launch interactive infographics, produce 360-degree videos or craft multimedia-filled white papers. Personality quizzes that let visitors test their skills or discover new information about themselves have become a popular draw for organic traffic and are easily shareable on social media.

3. Re-purpose strong content to generate organic traffic

You can easily repurpose, repackage or expand every piece of content that you produce to get the most out of your investment. Identify high-ranking posts with social capital that you can build upon. Dig deeper into a topic by publishing a follow-up article, or update the original post with the latest news, trends or statistics. Add crosslinks to the original and new articles to generate organic interest and guide readers on their journey to discovering more about the subject.

You can also reuse popular and seasonal content by promoting it on social media at strategic times. Consider how you can present the same material in a new way. It is a simple task to transform an old blog into an infographic or publish a series of posts as an e-book.

4. Social media still drives traffic

It is not enough to create entertaining, engaging, useful content. As a content marketer, your job also includes driving traffic to the content that you curate. Promoting content on social media platforms remains the best way to reach audiences because it is an easy, inexpensive way to address wide audiences. Facebook and YouTube reign as the go-to resources, so the majority of marketers plan to increase their presence on these platforms this year.

Many small business owners are unsure how to use these channels effectively, but industry studies show that investing as little as six hours per week can boost traffic. Start participating in other popular channels, such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and Snapchat, to discover how to leverage each opportunity, although stick to the ones that best match your product or service. For example, while Instagram works well for a florist, it's probably not the best choice for a plumber. Posting frequently on one or two social media networks is usually more effective than diluting your efforts across four or five.

Phillip Thune


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