How do you make sure your content marketing is smart?

Smart content adds value to the intended recipient. The valuable add is critical, because if nobody wants to consume it, it was waste of your time producing it.

In this blog post I share my three tips on how to be smarter with your content.

Three tips for smarter content marketing

Content marketing is heavily on my daily agenda as an entrepreneur, an influencer in my domain as well as the services we offer to our customers.

Sparked by a blog post I shared yesterday on my company blog, I decided to share a few tips about what I’ve learned and what has helped me with building a brand for my business.

  1. Be the first one out
  2. Take an unexpected angle.
  3. Study, research, dig deeper to offer value the general content marketer will not bother.

#1 Be the first one out with your content

While this could also mean, literally starting your own topic and taking ownership of that as I’ve done in my domain,  this also means: Be on time.

Many times in content marketing, time is of an essence. If you have a great scoop on something, treat it like a scoop, like a piece of news you want to be the first one to post out.

If you blog about something very hot at the moment, being the umth blogger about the same topic is not smart content marketing. The train left the station already and took all your audience with it.

This means, you have to act even if it was Sunday and it was super inconvenient for you. It was Sunday, quite late in the day and I had already been working since 7 am in a customer project. I knew I should blog, but I really was tempted to postpone it to Monday. I was tired as the customer project I was working on was huge and eating my brain like a disease.

Instead, I went for a power walk for an hour, formulated the blog post in my mind and wrote it out once I got back home. It was essential to gain the momentum. I posted it on my small business’ website and shared in Linkedin, Twitter and Facebook – only organically. Just by morning, the article was read nearly 2000 times. And I know it was read, because analytics showed my team the average time spent on the page was 3:13 minutes.

If you want to win the game, be on time.

#2 Take an unexpected angle

Most topics have been discussed, written about and literally just consumed to the very last crumb. If you re going to go through the trouble, might as well take an unexpected angle.

I’m using this heavily when I’m producing content about content marketing, inbound marketing and social media by targeting it specically for non marketers such as the HR audience and other entrepreneurs like me. And I keep going on with it in my blog posts, my weekly podcast as well as with the occasional video we pop out.

The world is full of bad content. Content becomes bad when it doesn’t offer you anything fresh: not in the information, not in the angle, not in the opinion or a view. Make sure you content has a freshness to it.

#3 Study, research, dig deeper with your content

Again, most topics have been discussed, written about and literally just consumed to the very last crumb.

Take any company blog and click a post open. Most likely it is so generic it’s not worth consuming. This is a problem. We are lazy as bloggers and lazy as members of the audience.

Like @GaryVaynerchuck has famously stated:

“Attention is currency.”

We are not going to give attention to just any content anymore. We cannot. Our brains are over used and attention span is literally so short, you cannot tie your shoe laces with it anymore. Only smart content win.

What is smart content?

Smart content is:

1) Content that offers immediately usable value to your audience

2) Content that is strategically planned to either build awareness, increase affinity or convert your audiences to whatever it is you want them to do.

Usually the value is not on the surface but going deeper in the topic. It’s hard work, I know. And you might have to spend several hours every week to learn about your topics to be able to use them in your own content production.

The good thing about studying and doing your research regularly is that your own thinking and skills about the topic are also improving. So the hours spent are like money in the bank!

I am actually pretty calculative in my content marketing. And not only in the blog posts but also in other content I produce and even how I appear in the “public”. Even my Insta stories that probably seem pretty random tend to have a reason behind. But I never, ever knowingly create content where it was just for my own benefit. Ever.

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