Content Marketing in 2017: The Challenge of Standing Out

One of the most difficult tasks marketers and business owners alike are facing in 2017 is how to stand out in an ever-increasing amount of internet clutter, as digital advertising becomes the fastest growing advertising segment. Where "hot topics" like entertainment and lifestyle tend to be innately engaging, it is much more difficult for those of us selling industry related services to have a similar kind of reach. As these market places become even more crowded as time goes on, quality content will become imperative to success. 

Before you get started developing your content, it is important to consider the user stages of engagement and where content is the most crucial. Initially attracting users on your site with an engaging design/usability is a problem for designers and developers. It is instead the "research" stage, where the user develops a deeper interest in your product, where you can lose users to the amount and complexity of your content. While it's important to demonstrate knowledge of your industry and service/products, using too much technical information to appear like "the experts" can be overwhelming.

Fortunately, there are a few strategies you can use to combat the "research" stage and dry content.

Translate Your Content Across Platforms

When planning your content, it is important to carefully consider how it can be received across different channels if you are planning to use them.

If your site tends to be more on the technical side, make sure that you have multiple ways in which it can be understood, and under different platforms. For example, more technical language may have a better appeal if it is translated into a video or infographic for some users. These may also do well on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Where your core content may be more resourceful, this will allow you to bring your company's culture and individuality into the mix.  It can also expand your reach and potentially bring in new audiences to your website.

Create a Space for User Generated Content

Similarly, using social media channels will allow you to access content that is generated by your audience. Common ways of doing this include incorporating contests, forms, or hashtags (if that's your thing). More importantly, it leaves a space to hear directly from your users and will help you to get a sense of what they are looking for, their questions, and their personas. You can repurpose this information to expand your marketing strategies and your reach.

Additionally, using blogs can be a great way to translate your content and hit a more informed facet of your audience. You can also generate user content with blogs by leaving a space for users to comment and ask questions.

Segment Your Audience to Maximize Exposure

With any luck, the above strategies should help to give you some sense of who your customers are, their demographics, and their personas. Knowing this information will allow you to focus in on where to devote the most time on your content. For example, if a large portion of your users are male, blue collar workers in their 40s - 60s, you may not want to put as much time into social media, and instead use blogs to target the questions they have about the industry. Your various users will have different personas, and will therefore respond to content in different ways.

A lot of this is trial and error to find out what marketing strategies produce the greatest amount of leads, and sometimes it takes a few tries to figure out where different niches of your audience are hiding. Utilizing these many platforms will help to guide you to how and where you should be developing your content. Good luck! 

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