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Hands up all those who have spent the best part of a day carefully crafting a perfectly-formed press release (or blog, or podcast, or online video), only to wonder if the thing is eventually going to be consumed by the right people.

It can be a heartbreaking task creating content that you can’t guarantee will get the exposure it warrants, and given the amount of stuff being generated and published online – competition for your business is stiff. In any one second on the web there are a whopping 12,964 Instagram photo uploads, 400,000 tweets and some 50,000 Tumblr posts. Thankfully in this crowded marketplace there are some tried and tested paths to securing promotion for your content to encourage it to land in front of the right eyeballs.

9 essential content marketing tips:

Embed discovery into your content strategy – social sharing is one of the surest forms of validation in the content world, so do everything in your power to create and publish content that will create direct action. Such as…

1. Piggyback news trends, issues, seasonal events

Try and keep content of this sort positive and informative wherever possible.- get it right and tapping into the cultural zeitgeist can be a very canny move.

2. Utilise editorial calendars

Draw up a calendar detailing what content will be published when, and in what format – paying attention to events and happenings that people in your industry will be talking about at the time.

3. Demonstrate timely thought leadership

Linked to the two previous points, respond in a timely way to real events. This could be with a relevant press release or you could get more creative, for instance with a video response to news or issues.

4. Use multimedia content

Blogging for business is one of the surest ways to draw a targeted audience to your company website, but have you looked beyond text-based content? Utilise social networks (think Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr), and visuals can draw a fresh new audience to your content.

5. Use CTAs wisely

A call-to-action is the golden ticket that invites your reader to interact with your content. Why then bury it at the bottom of your blog posts or end of your corporate video? Instead, use a compelling CTA early on and link it strategically.

6. Construct content carefully

When it comes to corporate blogging, there are certain techniques that we can guarantee work in engaging your audience. For starters, headline length matters as they’ll be used by search engines and social networks to categorise your content. Google truncates long titles and given that headlines often become the title tag for a page, stick to 65 characters as a maximum. Another tip is to kick off blog posts with a bang, rather than a speed bump. Most readers click off very quickly, so give them a reason to keep reading past your first sentence. Finally, use very specific keywords to ensure the searchers finding your content are the most qualified and valuable readers possible.

7. Harness free distribution sites

You might want to tweak your messaging for free options like PR Newswire as opposed to traditional paid PR. Use trackable links to guarantee what’s working and what isn’t, which leads on to…

8. Align efforts against results

Track what channels yield the most results and adjust your content distribution accordingly.

9. Forge connections with the right people

Identify who is important and influential in your industry and send them your best content. Just one share across one of their online communities could prove highly valuable.

While the above may seem like a great deal of effort to make each solitary piece of content work harder, once incorporated into a content marketing strategy these tactics will soon become second nature. Once your business becomes an experienced collector and curator of content, you can repurpose and redistribute your efforts to multiple channels for maximum value and effect.

Photo: Steven Lilley

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