Your Guide to Creating Popular Content

May 17, 2016

9:00 pm

Quality content marketing is important for everyone – from small businesses and emerging startups to huge corporations and big companies. However, most are facing low returns on their sizable investments. The costs of creating engaging content and promoting it are quite high and the attention they are getting from it is barely noticeable. And because startups need to produce tangible results fast, they aren’t capable of bearing the burdens of these expenses

Fortunately, this strategy can help you guarantee your content marketing will yield positive results. All you have to do is follow these simple steps.

Brainstorm Strategically

In a world of endless content, originality is nearly impossible to accomplish. However, experimenting with outrageous and unnecessary content for the sake of being unique is ill-advised and inefficient. Some topics never go away because there’s an ongoing interest in them. Adding your voice to the pile and using popular content to your advantage can be done through reverse engineering.

First, you need to find out what is trending. You can browse the “most popular” posts sections on the popular blogs in your niche, tap into Buzzsumo and Alltop for ideas or check out Quora for common questions people are asking in your industry.

Then, analyze the content formats ranking the highest. Whether they are long-form how-to guides or short listicles, having the right format can go a long way in attracting potential readers. Read and analyze trending pieces in your niche and take notes on the story angle, length, tone, format and calls-to-action.

Finally, identify trending keywords. By analyzing the titles and jotting down keywords, you can insert yourself into an existing discussion that will yield traffic. Afterwards, put the data into Google Keyword Planner to scope out the competition.

Earned or Owned Media

Owned media refers to your assets, like your website, your blog and your social media profiles. Earned media refers to the coverage you can get via outreach, like guest posting or getting featured at major publications.

The key is to know where your idea will perform better. Do you have the assets to promote your story on your blog? Do you have a social media fan base to spread the word? How well is your site optimized for search and what are the chances that your story will get ranked for relevant keywords?

“If you are just starting out and don’t yet have established connections with the influencers in your niche, it’s best to opt pitch away your most lucrative story to more established publishers,” suggests Shai Aharony from Reboot Online. “A strategic guest post with a link to a dedicated landing page on your website is likely to bring you much better results in terms of traffic, leads and potential sales. Additionally, it gets your name out there and makes it easier to secure further placements and leverage your brand’s visibility.”

Create Your Content

Based on this research, start working on your copy. Ideally, an epic post has a descriptive and informative title, an attractive sub-heading, a crisp format, relevant visuals, comprehensive data, meaningful quotes and an engaging call-to-action. It has been proven that long-form content draws in more readers, so try to aim for something a little lengthier than 300 words.

While this is not a guaranteed formula, following these guidelines will make sure you are not abandoned before the end of the first sentence. After all, not every well-written piece goes viral, but everything that goes viral is well-written.

Promote Accordingly

Crafting outstanding content is only half of the equation. The second major element of your success is strategic promotion. Whether you focus your energy on creating attractive social media posts or engaging a niche community in sharing your content, there needs to be a goal in developing your brand. 

It is also important to search through alternative means of social media. Websites like Reddit, Digg, StumbleUpon and many others provide a unique means of interacting with potential customers that many businesses are not using. Breaking through the white noise of content can show the world you mean business.

Analyze the results. Rinse and repeat what’s worked. Fix the holes and refine the strategy for you next blog post. The perfect piece of content could be right around the corner.

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Dianna is a former ESL teacher and World Teach volunteer, currently living in France. She's slightly addicted to apps and viral media trends and helps different companies with product localization and content strategies. You can tweet her at @dilabrien

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