You know that content marketing works, which is why you’ve made the wise decision to allocate more of your marketing budget to it this year.  Unfortunately, your competitors have a similar strategy.

According to a report from the Content Marketing Institute, 73 percent of B2C marketers said that they planned to ramp up their content creation in 2017.  Unless you’re working with a generous marketing budget, keeping up with your top competitors is going to be a daunting task.

The good news is that you don’t need to mass produce content to drive huge amounts of traffic to your website.  There are plenty of clever techniques that you can use to make the most of your content marketing.

Ready to boost your content’s visibility and maximize your ROI?  Here are eight content marketing hacks you should know about:

  1. Use Quora to Find New Content Ideas

Are you struggling to come up with unique topic ideas for your blog?  Q&A sites such as Quora are commonly used by digital marketers for content promotion, but they can also be great sources of inspiration for your blog as well.

With over 190 million monthly users, Quora has a vast array of niche categories that are full of expert opinions and interesting questions.  Simply find your niche and see what questions people are asking on Quora.  Once you identify a great question, make it the topic of your next blog post and answer it in detail.

This is a highly-effective way to drive traffic to your blog for a few reasons.  First, it tells you that people are interested in the topic and want to know the answer.  Another reason this technique works is because it uses the same keywords that people are searching for in your niche.

  1. Add Personalization

The importance of creating a personalized user experience has only grown more important over the past few years.  Personalized content can significantly improve open and click-through rates, as well as drive conversions and sales to your online store.

Additionally, consumers have come to expect a certain degree of personalization from online retailers.  To meet their increasing demands, you will need to take a data-driven approach to marketing and leverage automated marketing tools.  Tools such as Optimizely can help you customize your users’ experience by, allowing you to deliver more relevant and personalized content to your subscribers.

  1. Apply the 80/20 Rule to Your Content Marketing

The 80/20 Rule (the Pareto’s Principle) is often applied to marketing and simply infers that 80 percent of your sales is generated from only 20 percent of your customer base.  In content marketing, it means that you should devote 80 percent of your time to content promotion and 20 percent to content creation.

Why should you pay attention to this rule, exactly?  Because far too many marketers have a “build it and they will come” mentality when it comes to content marketing.  In 2017, you need more than just great content.  You need to know how to get it in front of the right audience at the right time if you want to achieve real results.

  1. Boost Conversions With Content Upgrades

For this content marketing hack, you will need to put in some additional work—but I promise that it’s worth it.

A content upgrade is simply bonus content that you offer visitors in exchange for their email address.  For instance, a blog post about how to train a new puppy might include bonus content featuring a few more training tips that weren’t covered in your blog post. 

Not only can content upgrades dramatically increase your opt-ins and conversion rates, but they also provide extra value to your readers.  Content upgrades can be in the form of free tools, checklists, bonus tips, templates, and more.

The best way to leverage this strategy is by identifying your top-performing blog posts (as these posts get the most traffic) and creating content upgrades to pair with them.  Then, sit back and relax as your number of email opt-ins skyrockets.

  1. Use Animated Infographics to Encourage Shares

If your niche isn’t terribly exciting or you’re covering a complex topic, getting social shares can seem like a lofty goal.  However, there is one particularly effective way to get this type of content spreading throughout social media.

Breaking complex information down into an easy-to-digest infographic helps audiences read your content and encourages social sharing.  In fact, infographics get three times as many “likes” and shares on social media compared to other types of content.

You can take things one step further by using animated infographics to grab your audience’s attention.  Since most marketers don’t take the time to turn their infographics into gifographics, you will have an edge over the competition.

  1. Peak at Your Competitor’s Content

Speaking of the competition, why not scope out your competitor’s content marketing?  Content marketers can get so wrapped up in their own strategies that they often forget to keep tabs on key players in their industry.

There is a heap of valuable insight that you can gain from analyzing your competitor’s best and worst content marketing strategies.  For example, many competitive analysis tools can tell you which keywords your competitors are ranking for, which you can then leverage to create content that targets these keywords as well.

  1. Use Influencers to Drive Traffic and Sales

Creating great content for your audience is no longer enough.  Your audience may love your content, but this doesn’t count for much if no one is sharing it.  The more your content is shared, the more traffic and sales you bring to your eCommerce site.

If you’re tired of logging into Google Analytics and seeing poor website traffic, then there is a tried and true method to fixing this problem – influencer targeting.  Instead of writing content solely for your audience, try writing it for influential bloggers in your niche as well.

People who follow influencers in industries they like, tend to listen up when those influencers post about something they find useful or valuable. If you can create content that is in-depth and insightful, an influencer just might share it to their following; putting even more eyes on your content and website.

To get started, identify key influencers in your niche and find out which topics they’re interested in.  Then, write content that will appeal to both your target audience and influencers.  Don’t forget to use share triggers in your content to maximize its potential to go viral.

  1. Leverage Heatmaps to Get More Views

Heatmaps are another underutilized tool that you can use to maximize the ROI of your content marketing.  By leveraging heatmaps, you can discover which areas on a page users spend the most time and how they interact with your content.

How is this helpful?  Knowing how users are interacting with your pages allows you to be more strategic about where you place your most important content and whether users are even reading your content in the first place.

For example, using Crazy Egg’s scrolling heat map tool can tell you how engaged your users are with your content.  If they aren’t reaching the bottom of your post, then you may need to add videos or images that will keep them engaged.

 

Conclusion

Being a content marketer in 2017 is going to be tough, but it’s also more important than ever if you want your business to thrive in a hyper-competitive industry.  There are no shortcuts when it comes to creating high-quality content, but the content marketing hacks above can optimize your campaigns to help you achieve marketing success.