Have you ever found yourself staring at your computer screen, wondering how to create a content marketing strategy that truly resonates with your audience? Believe it or not, we’ve all been there.
As marketers, we’ve learned that staying on top of trends and keeping up with ever-changing algorithms can be daunting.
No need to panic, though! The solution to the steady march of time is to apply evergreen content marketing principles to your strategy.
You’re in the right place to get familiar with the tried-and-true strategies that have stood the test of time. These strategies will stay relevant regardless of trends. They’re the guiding forces behind any successful content marketing campaign.
This article will explore these timeless principles and provide actionable advice to help you shape your content marketing efforts. So say goodbye to chasing fads and fortify a stable foundation for your marketing success!
People don’t read the way you think they do
Online forms of content have reduced people’s attention spans to shorter than ever. In today’s digital age, we’re overwhelmed with information. As a result, we’ve become adept at scanning and skimming through content.
Your goal is to capture and keep your audience’s attention. Engage with them.
That means that you have to create content that’s visually appealing and easily accessible. Here’s how you can do that:
- Embrace the F-shaped pattern. Readers often follow an F-shaped pattern when scanning content. They pay more attention to the content at the top and left side of the page. Place your most important information and keywords in these areas to accommodate this reading style.
- Use clear, concise headings. Headings are essential for breaking up your content into digestible sections. Make sure they’re straightforward and descriptive. That way, your readers can understand the main points of your article without having to read the entire piece.
- Add bullet points and numbered lists. Formatting helps to break down complex information into digestible chunks. They allow readers to grasp the main points and drive their engagement.
- Keep paragraphs short. Long paragraphs can be intimidating and challenging to read, especially on small screens. Instead, aim for 3–4 sentences or shorter sections to keep your readers invested.
- Incorporate visuals. Images, infographics, and videos are excellent ways to break up large blocks of text and make your content more engaging. In addition, they can help illustrate your points, support your claims, and add an aesthetic appeal to your content. We’ll elaborate more on this below.
Embrace video as an alternative medium
It’s easy to see why videos have become so popular in content marketing as well as in any other forms of marketing such as paid or event marketing. They offer a more immersive experience compared to traditional text-based content. A study confirms that people spend 88% more time on websites that have video content.
Videos are visually appealing, easy to consume, and have the power to convey complex ideas in a simpler, more relatable manner. Videos also cater to various learning styles, appealing to visual and auditory learners. They’re also relatively simple to create nowadays, with several excellent tools available to marketers with varying editing expertise.
Zendesk, a customer services and sales CRM platform, is an excellent example of incorporating web videos. Below, we can see how they encouraged their customers to share their experiences with Zendesk through video. That way, the company can reach more visitors who’d rather watch a short video than read a wall of text.
Another excellent example of the use of video is HelloRache. They provide a variety of virtual assistants, including virtual scribes, for medical practitioners. They use real-life videos to communicate more effectively the effects of the services they offer.
Break down walls of text
Let’s be honest. Nobody enjoys sifting through large blocks of text. So you’ll need to rely on chunking to make your content more readable and accessible.
Using chunking is a great way to make your content more readable and accessible. It also helps to break up large blocks of text, which can make your content more visually appealing.
If you’re not sure how to chunk your content, there are a number of internet marketing services that can help you. These services can provide you with templates and tools that can help you break down your content into smaller, more digestible chunks.
Implementing chunking helps transform your content into a more reader-friendly experience. That facilitates success in your content marketing efforts.
Here are some fundamental techniques to help you chunk your content:
- Short paragraphs. Aim for paragraphs with a maximum of four rows in an A4 print format. Shortening paragraphs keeps your content digestible, especially for visitors who browse on mobile devices.
- Many subheadings. Use clear and concise subheadings to divide your content into sections. Subheadings make your content scannable and allow readers to detect the sections most relevant to their interests.
- Lists and bullet points. Organize related pieces of information using numbered lists or bullet points. This format is perfect for presenting key points, steps, or tips in an easy-to-read manner.
- Use bold and italics. Highlight important points, phrases, or keywords by making them bold or italic. This tactic will help draw readers’ attention to the most critical information and add visual interest to your content.
- White space. Don’t be afraid to use lots of it. It helps create a sense of balance and reduces visual clutter, making your content more comfortable to read and navigate.
- Lots of visuals. Images are a great way to break up long sections of text. They’re also super effective at communicating complex ideas to your audience. Creating images for your content is also much more accessible than it used to be, with many excellent photo editors available to site owners.
HubSpot’s blog is a prime example of properly formatting online content. Check out their comprehensive guide on content marketing. It employs clear subheadings, bullet points, and bold text to emphasize important points. The post also incorporates visuals, graphs, and charts, simplifying complex concepts.
Many of your readers aren’t interested in your brand (yet)
When people visit online blogs, they simply look for answers to their questions or solutions to their problems. They’re not necessarily interested in your brand or any paid services yet.
They’re hungry for information that addresses their immediate needs. As a content marketer, it’s crucial to recognize this and focus on providing value to your readers.
Driving immediate conversions should always be a secondary target. Instead, the primary focus of your content marketing should be to generate leads and build brand awareness. To do this effectively, consider the following:
- Focus on the reader’s needs. Create content that addresses the pain points, challenges, or questions your target audience faces. By providing valuable information, you position yourself as a helpful resource for your readers.
- Educate and inform. Offer your expertise without expecting anything in return. Share industry insights, case studies, and actionable tips to help your readers succeed. That’s how you’ll showcase your knowledge and establish your brand as a thought leader in your niche.
- Subtle branding. It’s essential to maintain consistency throughout your content. Don’t overdo it with promotional language or excessive self-promotion. Keep your branding subtle and let your content speak for itself.
- Soften your CTAs. Calls to action are essential, but they shouldn’t be the main focus of your content. Place a low priority on CTAs and keep them non-intrusive. Don’t push your readers too hard to buy something or sign up. Instead, encourage them to explore more of your content, subscribe to your newsletter, or follow you on social media.
Going, a platform that helps people find cheap flights, does a great job at providing helpful content for their readers. For example, they go through an entire 4.5k word post and only mention their product once at the end in a concise paragraph. That’s a great tactic for elevating their trust and credibility with their audience.
Most of your readers won’t click through to other pages
Most of your readers land on your blog post through search engines. They’re primarily interested in the information you provide rather than in exploring your website further.
Incorporating non-obtrusive peripheral information within your content is crucial, e.g., adding context, internal links, links to case studies, etc. Doing so will help you effectively communicate your brand’s purpose and offerings. Here’s how:
- Establish context. In your blog post introduction or conclusion, mention how your brand or product can offer a solution related to the topic. Keep it subtle and relevant, ensuring it adds value to the content without being overly promotional.
- Relevant internal links. Include internal links to related content or product pages that complement the topic of your blog post. You’ll provide readers with extra resources and encourage them to explore your website further.
- Author bio and branding. Include an author bio at the end of your blog post highlighting the writer’s expertise and explaining your brand’s mission and services. A good bio helps build credibility and introduces readers to your brand in a non-intrusive manner.
- Sidebars and banners. Use sidebars and banners to showcase your services, products, or special offers. Make these elements blend seamlessly with your blog design to avoid distracting readers from the main content.
- Testimonials and case studies. Share success stories, customer testimonials, or case studies within your blog post. They’re great for highlighting the benefits of your product or service. However, keep them brief and relevant, integrating them into the content naturally and informally.
Here’s an example from Slack, the team management and productivity platform. Their blog posts’ headers contain explicit value propositions that clarify what the site does for first-time visitors.
UnscrambleX is another example of how to subtly introduce your readers to your brand. This Scrabble word finder makes its core functionality visible in the page header. That way, visitors don’t need to navigate away from the post to engage with the most important function on the site.
Your leads need a reason to come back to your site
Converting a visitor into a lead or customer usually requires many touchpoints. Content serves as an excellent mechanism for creating these touches. But, to truly resonate with your audience and bring them back to your site, you need to create evergreen, referenceable content. Here’s how to craft content with a built-in reason for return visits:
- Focus on evergreen topics. Choose subjects that remain relevant and valuable over time rather than those with a short shelf life. For example, write about industry best practices or foundational concepts. Avoid focusing on trends or temporary news.
- Create comprehensive guides. Develop in-depth, authoritative guides that cover all aspects of a topic. These guides are a valuable resource for your audience, encouraging them to return for future reference and learning.
- Update your content regularly. Keep your content writing fresh and accurate by updating it with new information, insights, or examples. This practice maintains relevance and gives readers a reason to revisit your content.
- Develop a content series. Instead of publishing a single, standalone article, consider creating a series of related posts. This approach encourages readers to return to your site to explore the entire series and dive deeper into the subject matter.
- Encourage interaction and community. Foster a sense of community among your readers by encouraging comments, questions, and discussions on your blog posts. Engage with your audience and address their feedback, creating an environment where they feel valued and heard.
- Leverage email marketing. Use your email list to notify subscribers of new content, updates, or exclusive materials. This strategy drives traffic back to your site and reinforces your brand’s presence in their inbox, living rent-free in their minds.
Take a look at this page published by MarketBeat, a leading resource in stock market research tools and news. The post offers all the information you need on stock market hours and holidays. It has everything to keep people returning when they need to access the data.
Another great example is the Facebook Image Sizes Cheat Sheet by Dreamgrow. This post provides a comprehensive list of image dimensions to meet a social media marketer’s needs. This is especially helpful since Facebook changes its image sizes every couple of years and occasionally introduces different media types.
This topic has a built-in reason for repeat visits. The publishers must ensure that the content remains up to date and they’ll never run out of an audience for the post.
Some of your readers are ready to convert
Some of your audience might be visiting your site for informational purposes. But some have visited your site many times and are further down the buyer’s journey. Additionally, some visitors may be on the brink of an impulse purchase.
Cater to these readers by adding CTAs and product mentions to your commercially orientated content. Here’s how to create content that converts:
- Identify conversion-focused content. Recognize which pieces of content have a higher commercial or transactional intent. Some examples include articles that showcase customer success stories or discuss your product’s benefits.
- Incorporate strong CTAs. Include bold, clear, and compelling calls to action throughout your content. They guide your readers toward the desired action, such as signing up for a newsletter or purchasing a product. Put CTAs in highly visible spots on your pages.
- Highlight product features and benefits. Emphasize the unique selling points of your product or service within the content. Showcase how it addresses the pain points of your target audience and how it stands out from competitors.
- Use social proof. Incorporate customer testimonials, case studies, or industry awards to build credibility and trust. Social proof helps reassure potential customers of your product or service’s value.
- Optimize for impulse purchases. Make it easy for visitors ready to buy or sign up immediately. Simplify the conversion process by reducing the number of steps required. Providing clear pricing information and offering various payment options.
Aura, an Amazon repricing software, offers an example of a content page with a bold, logical CTA in the middle of the content. Importantly, the topic of the post makes the CTA logical. Marketers must strive for this balance and not just dump a CTA in any post and think it’ll work.
SEO is (still) essential
Search engine optimization (SEO) remains a crucial aspect of content marketing. It helps your content rank higher on search engine results pages (SERPs) and drives organic traffic to your site. By following the best SEO practices, you can increase your online visibility. You can also attract your target audience and grow your brand.
Here’s a brief overview of some SEO best practices:
- Keyword research. Identify relevant keywords that your target audience is likely to search for. Use tools like Google Keyword Planner, Ahrefs Keyword Generator, or Moz Keyword Explorer to find high-traffic, low-competition keywords.
- On-page optimization. Incorporate your target keywords in title tags, alt tags, meta descriptions, and headings. Make sure your content is well-structured, easily readable, and provides value to your readers.
- Building topical authority. Create high-quality, in-depth content that covers a specific topic comprehensively. This tactic will help establish your site as an authoritative source. It’ll also boost your credibility and search engine rankings.
- Link building. Acquire high-quality backlinks from reputable websites. They’ll help increase your site’s authority and improve your rankings. Focus on creating valuable content that others want to link to and engage in outreach or guest posting activities.
- Technical SEO. Ensure your site is well-optimized from a technical standpoint. Work on fast-loading pages, mobile-friendliness, and proper site structure.
There’s lots of in-depth information on how to do great SEO. Consider exploring an authoritative resource like Moz’s Beginner’s Guide to SEO. If you’re looking for additional support, you can also explore reputable SEO packages offered by professional agencies to further enhance your online presence.
These long-lasting content marketing principles are like secret ingredients to help your content stand out online. Even as things keep changing, these tips will be your trusted helpers in making your content highly valuable.
In short, you need to understand how your readers enjoy online content. Try new formats (like videos) and make your content visually appealing and mobile-friendly. This way, you’ll gain loyal fans.
So, grab these evergreen tips and create an amazing content marketing strategy. They’ll help you gain loyal fans and launch your brand into stardom.