For the uninitiated, content marketing quick wins are not particularly easy to come by. It tends to be more about the long game, steadily nurturing an audience while breeding loyalty and brand recognition.
That said, as every marketer knows, sometimes the pressure mounts from nowhere and you need a quick win. You may be launching a new product quickly or responding to a trend. Or maybe you’re just starting out and need to make your presence felt.
Either way you may find yourself reaching for a quick win from your content marketing. That’s fine. Just remember – it’s not the time to be throwing your content strategy out the window.
Don’t be tempted to think that maybe life can always be like this – ditching the planning and instead waking up every morning and summoning a pile of leads as if by magic. Unfortunately that’s not really the way content marketing, or life, works.
If you’ve just started a content marketing strategy, be prepared to face an uphill battle and wade through boggy waters for a while. It’s going to take three to six months or perhaps longer before you start to see the benefit of your content, particularly if it’s evergreen and SEO focused writing.
Often you’ll naturally experience a content marketing quick win at the start of your strategy. Naturally, the best ideas are prioritised first, and when that content landed on social you probably experienced some modest success.
After a 24-hour cycle though, it will have dropped off a cliff and then the prospect of writing lots of content around long tail keywords, consistently producing engaging video and interacting with your audience every day starts to dawn on you.
When you look back after six months and start to see the SEO benefit in your organic referrals I promise there will be a warm feeling. But that can feel a way off.
So for when you do need a pick-me-upper – here’s a few tips for a boost.
8 content marketing quick wins
#1 Blog more
Ok so this isn’t going to feel like a quick win. But I guarantee that when most marketers (or people responsible for the marketing) wonder why they aren’t seeing any traction it’s because their last blog post was over a fortnight ago.
And for that reason, they haven’t posted anything of value on LinkedIn for a fortnight. Or Twitter or Facebook or Instagram or whichever social platform makes the most sense for your business. That’s when they start to search for content marketing quick wins.
Commit more to your content calendar or production schedule. If you’re a small business, it’s hard to find the time. But until you make sure you’re producing content that’s targeted at the audience you want to reach on a consistent basis, you’re not going to achieve much aside from having a few blog posts and a couple of videos for appearances’ sake.
So go back to the drawing board and brainstorm what content you are going to produce over a three to six month period and commit to it. I appreciate this will not feel like a quick win. But even producing content for a week you’ll start to see gains. Take it from there.
I’m not going to go over the process of brainstorming content now, but suffice to say it depends on what your goals are and what sector you are operating in. If you already have a strategy in place that involves targeting long tail keywords with written content, prioritise the content that you think will have the biggest impact on social.
#2 Harness the UGC right in front of you
What could be a quicker content marketing quick win than having people create content for you. For free.
We’re surrounded by user generated content we barely touch but all those reviews, social media posts and pictures you’ve been sent have value. Repackage them on your site into a page of testimonials – people are much less likely to buy without any reviews to research, so present them in an easy to find place.
If you’ve got a following on Instagram repacking recent posts other people have made about your brand (particularly if you’re B2C). Screenshot their posts and assemble them into a story for an easy bit of engagement.
#3 Give something away for free
Probably the content marketing quick win that comes with the biggest guarantee of success – everybody likes free stuff. Especially if it comes with value and its useful.
Give away your knowledge
The most common method is that you write, record or film something useful for your target audience. Effectively you’re giving away your knowledge. This will probably be in your strategy anyway since it’s a big part of everybody’s content marketing ethos.
That said, you’re probably holding something back. Something you’re secretly hoping people will come and buy from you that you’re teasing them with. Consider giving it away – or at least think of a way you might be able to.
For example, you operate in a B2B environment and you’re an expert in law. You’ve just spent years building your GDPR knowledge and you consider yourself an expert.
You’ve been blogging for months about the GDPR pitfalls and warning signs. Now it’s time to tell your LinkedIn audience exactly what to do about it, or at least an element of it. Don’t be afraid to give something for free. People will still buy from you.
Run a competition
If your business is more product than service orientated then you might have to move into competition territory to drum up interest quickly.
Think carefully though – though the knee jerk reaction might be to simply give away your product, does that really serve your interest best? How does that find your way to new audiences?
Instead, look for businesses that share the kind of audience you covet but you don’t naturally compete with. Can you team up and offer something for them to give away in return for the same?
That way you’re running the same competition but effectively with twice the audience. Use these relationships to your advantage and make sure they backlink to your site.
#4 Use the data at your fingertips
Look at the data you hold on your sector or your customers. Does it tell a story? If you don’t hold that kind of data – can you go out and get it? What value might it hold in PR?
This might not be the greatest example given the scale of the organisation in question but it illustrates the point. A report by the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association found that people simply were not saving enough money for retirement anymore. In hindsight it’s news value is obvious and a good PR will have probably steered the report in that direction. But it shows the value that the PLSA (a trade body) has on it’s members – and it’s given value to those members by catapulting the issue into the national press.
How many more people will now move a step along the journey to getting a better pension, or committing to saving more as a result of the coverage?
#5 Identify the gaps in the buyer journey
This content marketing quick win can be interpreted in several ways. First look at your content output. What is it aimed at? Is there a stage in the buying journey that you haven’t identified or targeted yet?
For example – you sell running trainers. A lot of your content is aimed at getting people to upgrade their trainers. How about “How to identify when your trainers don’t fit any more?”.
Or, “how to know if your trainers are giving you an injury”. Or maybe you should be targeting a stage later in the cycle – “The most popular colour trainers the stars will be wearing in 2019”.
Now, this is still aimed at SEO – but the benefits of doing this regularly can’t be ignored. If you’re forensic about it, you’ll identify a buying journey hole that will probably be a hit with your audience on social.
#6 Upgrade your content
Internally, you should look at your site’s user experience. Where can you insert content to make the journey happier? Use Google Analytics to identify your exit pages. For beginners, that’s here:
Where are your highest exit pages? What can you do on those exit pages to stop people leaving? Is the content too thin on those pages? Does it need more content to convince people of your product’s quality? Equally, which landing pages are underperforming? How can you create more audience on these pages to attract more audience? What content can you create that links to those pages?
If you’re using WordPress there’s a handy plugin called Yoast which will automatically load in your page and post pages in WordPress, and give you step by step instructions on improving the SEO of those pages.
Sometimes the advice will be ‘write more content’ – which might be exactly what you need to hear. What’s the point of doing all that rich content marketing if when people come to buy from you they find your site lacking in information and expertise?
From a technical standpoint (moving into pure SEO now) it may be worth using a crawler program like Screaming Frog, which will explore every nook and cranny of your site looking for SEO issues and advise you on how to combat them.
#7 Combine your content
If you’ve got thin content on your site (let’s face it, those 500-word blogs you knocked out in 2014 aren’t looking so pretty in your analytics now are they?) then it could be time to get rid or combine it.
That’s right – deleting poorly performing content will often help your Google game. If Google spots thin content on your site it’s likely to downgrade your site in search.
However, those 300 wonderfully crafted words need not go to waste. Does it fit with another topic you’ve covered or complement something else you’ve written about? Do you have several pieces that look a little light?
Combine them all into one definitive guide to a topic – they’ll be making a much greater contribution to your search ranking as a sum of parts.
Once you’ve combined your thin pieces of content, go through the lot and make sure it’s up to date – then upgrade it’s slot on your site and promote it with fresh vigour through your usual channels.
#8 Use paid ads to promote your content
If working in content marketing in a smaller organisation, the chances are you don’t have much of a budget to shout about. So the prospect of asking for money to grab your quick win probably doesn’t appeal.
That said, it doesn’t require much investment to get some carefully targeted social media ads to promote your content – particularly on Facebook if your operating in a B2C environment.
If paid ads are already part of your strategy, review who your aimed at and what tactics you’re using. If you’re read all of the above and are thinking there’s simply no content tactics that will bring you more audience – then consider using remarketing ads to target users who have already consumed your content.
Quick wins can be useful but they don’t make up a content marketing strategy. Most of the advice above involves revisiting your strategy and working harder at it. Remember – those first few months are going to be tough, and they will take effort and consistency. The important thing is to stick at it – even when those quick wins don’t work.
What’s your advice for pepping up your content marketing? Post in the comments.