Weekly Link Roundup # 11 – How to Diversify Your Content Marketing Strategy by Using Content Variations

how to diversify your content marketing strategy

How would your diversify your content marketing strategy?

An obvious answer would be, “by using content variations”. Most bloggers realize that using content variations can bring about variety to your voice and can also improve engagement.

But, very few marketers show the courage to diversify. And there are a ton of reasons for that.

Some might not be very comfortable with videos and yet others might not feel comfortable using audios. Tools could be another reason why people don’t experiment with content variations.

Whatever the reason is, it is time your find a way to overcome them. Because if you are not diversifying, you might just lose out in this game of finding an optimal content marketing strategy.

How to Diversify Your Content Marketing Strategy?

Some content variations like video creation, podcasting etc. might be a little too technical for a few of you and might even require some specialized tools.

But there are other simpler forms of content that you can very easily use, like Infographics, image blogging etc.

You could also bring variation to your content by using different forms of expression like “How to” articles, Tutorials, Behind the scenes etc.

We will look at a few posts that shows a different angle to content creation. And this week’s link roundup is focused on answering this question on how to diversify your content marketing strategy.

Content marketers, let‘s banish listicle articles for good.

“Listicle” articles have been a trend ever since Buzzfeed and Viralnova made it popular. Such articles normally see thousands of shares on Social Media sites and the engagement on Social Media for these specific articles are very high.

And probably that is the reason why, a lot many other blogs changed their format of content generation to the “Listicle” format.

While I would always wonder if this really translated into increased pageviews and more traffic for these blogs, I never had any concrete evidence that could support these questions.

Eventually I tried taking a leaf out of Buzzfeed and started writing posts with “inquisituve” headlines. But did they really help increase the traffic to my blog?

Not really!

In fact, it affected my blog negatively. Some of my dedicated readers wrote to me saying, it was destroying the “essence of the blog”. And that was the only statistics I had to stop following that path.

But this article at SEMRUSH has some nice data to support claims on, “If Listicle articles do well or, not?”

semrush.com

The fact that sites like The WSJ and New York Times have also taken to publishing articles inspired by Buzzfeed, would otherwise be good enough reason to think that these articles work and that they generate a lot of buzz and traffic.

In many ways, Buzzfeed has changed the way we think about content. Just five years ago, we never though that “serious” news sites like The Wall Street Journal or The New York Times would try to make their content more like that of a site that regularly publishes articles with titles like “21 Dogs Who Took It to the Next Level.”

A recent study by Lumanu found that out of 1,500 travel articles by top publishers like Thrillist and Lonely Planet, nearly one-third of content was in listicle form, which means marketers who rely on lists to educate consumers are going to be up against a lot of similar content.

But look like, they too did not do a lot of research on, if such articles worked. Or, so it seems from what the SEMRUSH folks found out.

To be frank, I had always had the feeling that all of these shares on Facebook were just impulsive shares. I am sure you too would have experienced it – You see a compelling headline and without even opening the article or, reading through it, you click the share button. At least that has happened to me.

And that is what the research by SEMRUSH proved.

The results were pretty disappointing. Highly shared content, like listicles, didn’t necessarily get a boost in inbound links, which means that even if a piece of content was pretty popular on Facebook, it didn’t usually shoot to the top of search results.

Image courtesy: semrush.com

Read more at semrush.com

The Ultimate Guide to Creating Shareable Infographics Using PowerPoint or Keynote

The easiest answer to how to diversify your content marketing strategy is to create infographics.

Infographics are an amazing piece of content that can go viral pretty fast. People like reading information in the form of graphics and then sharing it in their social media circles.

And most content marketers know this, which is probably why I keep getting a lot of requests from bloggers who have put together valuable information in the form of infographics, asking me if I would be willing to share it on my blog.

But it is also true that very few bloggers gather the courage to create an infographic because of the difficulty and the amount of work involved in doing it, of which I am one.

And that is why, I was impressed with this piece of content at hubspot, which used Powerpoint to create powerful infographics.

Want to learn how to plan, publish, and promote viral infographics?

You’re in the right place. But let’s start by making something clear: If you’re thinking, “I’m not a natural designer” or “I’ve never made an infographic before,” you’re not alone.

However, instead of making excuses, answer this: Have you ever made a presentation in PowerPoint or Keynote?

Great. Believe it or not, you’ve got the skills to make an infographic. And now that I know you can do this, I’m here to walk you through the seven steps that I take when creating infographics.

The plan is to cover each of those steps in detail so you know exactly how to create and launch infographics for your business as well. Let’s dive in.

Something that I am always bothered about, when creating infographics is, the structure. And the foundation of a good and informative infographic is its structure. So, when I read this section of the post where Brian explains creating a structure or, framework using the shapes in Powerpoint, I am totally thrilled.

Both PowerPoint and Keynote have “Shape” tools which will allow you to create (you guessed it) shapes.

PowerPoint has more options for shapes than Keynote as you can see below:

In this step, our goal will be to use those shapes to create a “wireframe” and layout each section you’ll need for your infographic.

Read more at blog.hubspot.com

How to Use Images to Enhance Your Content and Social Media

Till about 6 months back, I used to create a single image for a blog post and would use that same image to share the post across all social media platforms.

Though I was aware of the different image sizes for different social media channels I wanted to avoid the pain involved in creating all of these different images. But after analyzing a few of the posts that I published as an experiment, I realized the mistake that I was doing. I was wasting a ton of sharing opportunity on some of these social media channels.

Since then, I have developed my own style of creating images which are pretty uniform but also confirmed to the different image sizes.

This post at Duct Tape Marketing fascinated me because it touched upon this unique topic of image creation.

I’ll share a few rules of thumb to guide you as you get started. When you combine the rules I’ll teach with practice, you’ll become more proficient with image creation over time.

You may even find yourself looking forward to creating images! I believe that’s partly because images are processed in a different part of your brain than words. When you work on your images, you’re giving that hard-working verbal processing part of your brain a break.

Image creation shouldn’t be blind. It has to serve a purpose as explained here.

The best images add meaning to the words you’ve written: they convey emotion, evoke an atmosphere, and communicate opinions. All this without words! It sounds like a tall order, but the information in this post will help you find and use images that do all that.

Read more at ducttapemarketing.com

How To Publish Remarkable Content Every Week With Limited Time

I have been a culprit of inconsistent blogging. While I have professed and preached the importance of publishing content regularly and consistently, I haven’t been able to follow a consistent schedule because of a lot many other projects that I have gotten into.

Not that this inconsistency has not impacted my blog’s traffic. Yet, I somehow haven’t been able to gather the courage and strength to put in that extended hours to publish more.

There are a lot of people who advise publishing more to get more traffic. But does that really help?

This post has some research to substantiate a conclusion which is very interesting.

coschedule.com

It has become common advice nowadays that you should publish at least once a week. Less than that, people will forget you, and so will Google. More than that, people will love you more, meaning they’ll buy more from you.

It is not true. First, publishing more can actually be counter-productive, as this study from CoSchedule showed. Second, your publication frequency won’t matter if you publish crap.

I completely agree that a lot of blogs that publish multiple times a week generally have nothing but crap or, otherwise it is a little Shakespearean, for the common man to understand. So if you want to publish multiple times, the best blog to take inspiration from is that of Neil Patel.

I am sometimes surprised to see the consistency with which he publishes extremely valuable content.

And this is in fact, another big problem for bloggers like me – consistently writing everyday.

I liked this simple method that Charles uses to track his consistency of writing and have already implemented it into my daily schedule.

Second, I track my writing by writing every day how many words I wrote and about what. I do this in a Google Spreadsheet and then automatically create a simple chart to show how much I’m writing week after week.

This helps to quickly see when you’re falling off your habit. For example, you can notice two weeks near the end of the graph where I was busy doing other stuff. Fortunately, I caught myself up and fixed it.

Image Courtesy: coschedule.com

Read more at coschedule.com

Content Gating: When, Whether, and How to Put Your Content Behind an Email/Form Capture – Whiteboard Friday

At least there is something that is common between me and Rand Fishkin – we both don’t agree to the concept of “Content Gating”.. LOL..

Rand has these nice Whiteboard Friday’s where he discusses some very unique aspects of content marketing. If you haven’t yet seen them, then I would recommend that you straight away head over to his blog and watch some of the past episodes.

This one was on “Content Gating”. If you do not know what content gating is, then it is putting an optin gate to a piece of content. So your readers need to optin to get access to that piece of content.

A lot of times, I have seen people putting up a teaser to the post and then they would put a content gate to the more valuable part of the post. So if you want to read the meat of the post, then you need to optin.

Is this a right method of content marketing?

I personally do not think so. You might have a different thought. If you are indecisive, then this post will help you reach a conclusion after going through all the positives and negatives of this method.

moz.com

Have you ever considered gating your content to get leads? Whether you choose to have open-access content or gate it to gather information, there are benefits and drawbacks you should be aware of. In today’s Whiteboard Friday, Rand weighs the pros and cons of each approach and shares some tips for improving your process, regardless of whichever route you go.

Though Rand discusses about all the positives and negatives of “Content Gating” in this post, it is quite evident that he is principally against the concept.

And the reason is also obvious. Content Gating, defeats the entire purpose of content marketing which is to “give first” and build a relationship before asking for something in return.

As opposed to the classic model that we’re used to in a more open content marketing and open SEO world of, “Let me give you something and then hopefully get something in return,” it’s, “You give me something and I will give you this thing in return.” This is a very, very popular tactic. You might be familiar with Moz and know that my general bias and Moz’s general bias is against content gating. We sort of have a philosophical bias against it, with the exception of, on the Moz Local side, some enterprise stuff, that that marketing team may be doing, may in the future include some gating. But generally, at Moz, we’re sort of against it.

Image Courtesy: moz.com

read more at moz.com

The One Content Marketing Question You Need to Ask (That May Scare You)

Content, if not savored by the people for whom you are writing it, is absolute waste

.

There won’t be a lot of people who would disagree with me on this. But the question is, “Are your readers anxiously waiting for the next piece of content from you?”

I have seen people waiting anxiously for the next episode of that TV series – “Game of Thrones”. I have even seen people waiting for the next edition of that Comic book but haven’t come across a blog with a similar readership, even if the blogger is a top notch one.

This post at Content Marketing Institute looks at this aspect in a different way.

contentmarketinginstitute.comI think of this as “content anticipation,” a term I borrow from others. This is not a new concept — in fact, I vividly remember reading a post from Frank Reed on content anticipation years ago, and the concept has stuck with me. Andrew Davis also wrote about this concept and provided a great example of content that people anticipate from Joseph Kalinowski, CMI’s very own creative director. But content anticipation isn’t something on which most marketers are focused.

True, that content anticipation is not something that a lot of us are focused on.

Most of the TV series and the Comic books, that I spoke about earlier thrive on content anticipation and that is why they are more focused on this aspect.

And this lack of focus is probably the reason why we do not have readers who wait for our posts anxiously.

This simple technique is not a guaranteed way to generate content that can keep your readers anxious for what happens next, but is a good way to generate content that readers would want to come back again for more.

What can you do? Think about the content that you love, both in your industry as well as in general. Study those authors, designers, and videographers and try to figure out why you love them and why you look forward to viewing their content.

Your intent is not to copy what others are doing, but to truly study — and reverse-engineer — what works well. At the very least, you’ll get some ideas on how you can better create and design content for your audience.

Read more at contentmarketinginstitute.com

Over to You

We hope you got a few tips at least on how to diversify your content marketing strategy.

Are you using Infographics as a part of your Content Marketing strategy?

If yes, do let us know the tools you use to design your Infographics. We would love to hear from you.

I hope you liked this week’s link roundup and the posts that we included in it. Do let us know your thoughts by commenting below. Also do let us know if there is anything specific that you would like to see in the future.

If you really liked this post, hit the share buttons below to share it on your favorite social media sites.

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