How to make content marketing work in a content saturated world

Online content abounds. 4.6 billion pieces of content are produced dailyeach competing for your consumer’s limited attention.

The industry is saturated, to say the least. On the one hand, a flash of content is good for searchers because they’ll find information about just about anything they’re looking for. On the other hand, content creators have to fight for a chance to win the attention of these searchers.

It’s supposed to be encouraging, not discouraging. Here’s why:

It doesn’t matter if you’re a brand new business or a seasoned marketing veteran, you can play the game of content marketing and win it.

While you should keep tabs on your competitors’ efforts, content marketing is all about meeting the needs of potential customers with original, high-quality content.

Let’s see how to do just that.

Why should you care about content marketing?

Content marketing has one primary goal: to achieve your business goals through the creation and distribution of content. It’s not about selling – not directly – but rather about pointing potential customers in the right direction.

Whether you want prospects to sign up for your mailing list, download an ebook, or buy your product, content will get you there. But only if it’s the good kind of content to good time.

Generic content will be buried among the stacks. Generic content is weak.

Creating content just for the sake of it won’t increase your efforts or bring you enough leads. Frankly, people will find better sources elsewhere.

What you have to do is create content that shines. Content that stands out and answers all your prospect’s questions. Content that can be reused and shared over and over again.

Want to learn how to do it yourself? Keep reading.

How to make content marketing work in a content saturated world

1. Look at what your competitors are doing. So do it better.

Let’s talk about the “Skyscraper” content strategy.

Backlinko CEO Brian Dean has tested and proven that this strategy 110% increase in search traffic in just two weeks. Talk about a peak!

The Skyscraper technique is divided into two parts: create content, then find the right people who can give you a backlink.

For now, let’s just focus on creating great content.

This strategy is in no way intended to reproduce or plagiarize the content. “Making it better” means creating something original, more valuable and readable than the current winner.

Will it take time and work? Yes. But it will also give you the traffic you’ve always wanted. And when you have traffic and a good content marketing strategy in place, results will follow.

So… what are some ways to make your content better than the one that ranks first in search engines?

  • Added citations and expert sources. Remember Google 2014 EAT Guidelines? Quick reminder: EAT stands for Skill, Authorityand Reliability. If your website meets all three requirements, you’ll not only be creating content that Google loves, you’ll be creating content that your audience will come back to because they know it’s legit.
  • Adding expert quotes to articles, links to trusted sources, and including a professional bio on your website will assure quality reviewers that your page is run by an expert people can trust.
  • Add visuals to your blog posts. Infographics, visual examples, videos, checklists… anything that adds value by making it easy for the reader to understand what the page is about. Plus, the visuals can easily be pinned and shared by readers for later reference.
  • Create “pocket” PDF versions. Offering downloadable PDF versions of your written content is another way to keep readers coming back to them when they need it most. Making it a “snackable” version with key points and takeaways is even better.
  • Write longer copy. While not always applicable, longer copy has been shown to work better because you address all customer objections in one source. Of course, you should always A/B test your copy to make sure long-form content works best for your readers.

While the above steps do not guarantee top ranking positions on Google, they are a smart way to increase traffic to your website, simply because the content is well put together and well distributed. Instead of thinking about positioning, think about providing value to your readers.

Ultimately, it’s about creating content with share potential. It’s about creating “awesomeness,” as Google search advocate John Mu once tweeted in response to a curious marketer:

2. Take advantage of social media and social trends

Brands like NBA, Guess, Chipotle, and even The Washington Post use TikTok as one of their content strategies.

Why? Because they saw her enormous potential for growth and commercialization.

Part of TikTok’s strength is the trending content streaks that any business can borrow and turn into their own brand. Any business or professional fits TikTok trends – whether it’s a law firm, medical professional, e-commerce brand… you name it.

Additionally, TikTok users can start and follow challenges with the goal of going viral. An example of a famous challenge is #InMyDenim by Guess, where users would check in by going from “disheveled” to “fabulous”. Only, the latter had to include Guess denim clothing.

The same goes for other platforms like Instagram and other types of media, like memes.

Laffin, a stuffed toy company, saw an opportunity in the news and created the following meme:

And the response has been amazing.

All it takes is a little creativity to come up with interesting ideas. Nothing will ever be 100% original, but you can get pretty close. After all, your brand is unique.

The question you need to ask yourself is: How can I link current news and trends to my content? And how can I make it interesting enough to like, comment on and share?

3. Create permanent content

Many of those huge “ultimate guides” you see on the web were written years ago. This is also why you see brackets like “Updated for 2021” on title tags, for example.

This happens because some principles change so often that they need to be constantly updated. A great example of ever-changing content is search engine optimization (SEO), where new guidelines and rules appear every year.

Yet the potential changes or additions are so minimal that a complete rewrite of the SEO guides is unnecessary and a few key rules remain. Editors can simply edit these guides for clarity and upgrades, and they’re ready for republishing.

You too can only create your own ebooks and guides once and update them every year. This type of long content has several advantages:

  • You will do the hardest part of the job only once.
  • It’s a free, extensive source of knowledge for your readers, and you can use it to turn visitors into leads.
  • It may not be necessary to write all the content in the first place – you can assemble existing blog posts into one large ebook, making it a single source for your audience.

When it comes to content creation, there are plenty of options to explore here. You can:

  • Compare your product to others on the market.
  • Create step-by-step how-to guides.
  • Assemble a free guide and add subscription fees for those who want to see more.

You know your potential customer like the back of your hand.

What type of content would they like to see? A smart strategy is to send out surveys and respond to their wants and needs.

4. Attract leads every step of the way

Educating and nurturing prospects with great content are the most important steps towards a buying decision.

A smart content strategy will send prospects into the marketing funnel if the right content is well placed at every stage of the buyer’s journey: awareness, consideration and conversion.

Attracting potential customers at every stage means creating content that they will both need and love to consume.

Take videos, for example. According to Brightcove Inc. research, 85% of millennials said they purchased a product (or service) after watching a video. It seems that as they say the fun of video ads increase purchase intent by 97%.

With that in mind, there are ideal content types for each stage of the funnel. Here they are.

Sensitization. In this phase, you attract people who have probably never heard of your brand. You need to educate them and give them a good first impression to activate a positive association with the brand.

Content type:

  • “How To” Blog Posts
  • Engaging social media posts
  • Free guides and ebooks
  • Practical checklists,
  • Videos

Consideration. This is when former “outsiders” have become prospects, and you need to send them deeper into the funnel.

Content type:

  • Personalized email marketing
  • Case studies
  • Free webinars
  • Free samples
  • Free consultation

Conversion. Congratulations, you have a client! Still, it’s not because you’ve won their case once your job is done. You still have to delight your customers, otherwise they will choose to go elsewhere.

Content type:

  • Free Trials
  • Demos
  • Quote
  • Coupons

Key points to remember

Even if you don’t want to read this, your newly created content won’t gain its well-deserved attention overnight.

Remember there is an overflow of content there.

You might need to create dozens of pieces of content to hit your conversion goals, or a top position on Google, or the jackpot you’re looking for: money.

So hang in there. Establishing yourself and gaining authority in your niche takes work.

In the meantime, enjoy! Above all, creating and marketing original content should be enjoyable. The big break could come when you least expect it.