Content marketing is the marketing process of creating and distributing valuable, important and regular content to entice the audience for your business.

Understanding the definition of content marketing is one thing, but creating successful content marketing is a different story altogether.

Don’t panic; we have compiled ten basic rules, which are the general foundation of content marketing. Without them, the chance of a good content strategy is something that you might find difficult to achieve or get good results.

Here are our ten commandments of content marketing:

Great Headlines Work

Great content marketing starts with a great headline. Start mastering the art of writing headlines. From here, you should have an understanding that you only have moments to capture attention and get that click to your link when it appears on any social media platform such as Twitter, Facebook or Google+.

Try putting yourself in the audience or readers shoes; would you click on a link that does not have a catchy or attention-grabbing headline? Bear in mind that there are plenty of other articles online - if the first headline is not interesting enough to grab the attention of the audience, the audience will move down to the next article.

Use Article Descriptions

Let’s look into article descriptions.

In a fast-paced world, time is of the essence. Article descriptions are used when shared on social media or linked in search results; they are the next element your audience will read and decide if your articleis worth reading.  Adding them to your posts is as important as your headlines.

So, spend time to create an amazing description, otherwise you will have to rely on search engines to create them for you.

Audience to Customer Conversion

Always put yourself in the audience or readers’ shoes. The objective of any content marketing is to entice and engage the audience, so create interesting content that gives your audience every reason to engage with your brand.

When you manage to get audience enticed in your content, you are getting them engagedin your brand. Your content should focus on the topics or problems that provide answers and solutions.

Strategic Marketing

Yes – it is not just marketing – it is strategic marketing.

Sit down with your team and discuss the goals and how to achieve them, and record or take notes. Use these notes to guide you at all times, and as something to look back at, should you or your team goes off course.

Don’t forget to track your results and conversion using simple tools like Google Analytics; otherwise, you will have no idea if you are advancing toward your goals.

Be Regular. Be Organised. Be Human!

Regularity is important, if you are not there or not consistent, your customers won’t be either. Spend a couple of hours per day to create or monitor content and post new material regularly.

Be organised and dn’t rely on your content marketing calendar all the time. Whilst important, these calendars generally make you think about quantity, not quality.

At the end of the day, we are all human (in case you need a little reminder), and consider adding humour into your content with a dash of compassion.

Quality Supersedes Quantity

Everything you do should always be focussed on creating great content that is well-written, refined, structured, as well as value-adding.

When you sacrifice the quality of your content, you sacrifice the quantity of your audience and customers. Remember that content marketing is about building relationships and that takes time. It’s a gradual path; you won’t see huge results overnight; this doesn’t mean failure. Don’t start smashing through tons of other articles just for the sake of quantity.

Share uyour article on social media, to reach your intended audience.

Indirect Selling

Take note: Content marketing is not about the hard sell.

It is about building relationships and trust over time. Do not irritate your audience by going into wanting to sell your product and services all the time. Remember, entice your audience to your brand by offering free guidance and value.

Let It Go Flow

Your content needs to flow like water flowing down the stream. Your article may be less than ten thousand words, however like any great story, your content should flow nicely.

Regardless if the content provided is full of data and figures, try writing it in a way that it would interest your readers.

Our minds are full with day-to-day ideas and information that can feel overwhelming. Look into writing well-structured content that uses:

  • Short sentences;
  • Short paragraphs, and;
  • Bullet points

Create and publish your content in a range of formats, it really helps!

Easy to Share

Sharing is Caring. Don’t forget to add social sharing buttons that are prominent and easy to find. Never underestimate the power of word of mouth.

When you create great content, include a couple of sharing button for others to encourage others to read as well.

Review Monthly

It is pointless to create great content and generate a fantastic marketing strategy when you do not review it monthly.

Try to audit your content and strategy to make sure that your plan works out and is making an impact on your business or if it requires revision.

Summary

To recap, great content marketing consists of;

  • Great headlines work
  • Use article descriptions
  • Audience to customer conversion
  • Strategic marketing
  • Be regular. Be organised. Be human
  • Quality supersedes quantity
  • Indirect selling
  • Let it flow
  • Easy to share
  • Review monthly

Good luck in keeping your content marketing efficient, effective and on course.