In today’s world of AI automation and ad blockers, content marketing remains to be essential in any content marketing plan. Statistics indicate that the users of ad blockers have increased by 10% in the last 6 years. This shows that there’s a good number of your target audience that won’t see your paid ads, no matter how much you spend.

Voice search has also significantly grown. Today, we have over 4.08 million voice assistants across the world—and this means people can get their online queries answered without having to visit any website. In the future, people will only be interested in authority content, created by experts.

Therefore, you need to start concentrating your efforts on content marketing. However, you need to understand that there is effective content marketing, and content marketing that’s not effective. To make your content marketing effective, you must have the correct content marketing skills.

The interesting thing about these skills is that you don’t need to have an inborn talent or special degree to master them. You only need to practice until you master them.

So, what are these content marketing skills?

Research about Your Target Audience

Before you start creating your content, you need to make sure that you get facts about your target audience. It doesn’t matter how compelling your content is, you will not be able to convert any lead if you don’t have an idea of whom you are speaking to.

When you understand your audience perfectly, it becomes much easier to create content that they will read. The following are five ways to research your target audience.

  1. Capitalize on Google Analytics to know who’s visiting your site. Google Analytics is an amazing platform that gives you information, such as the names, gender, and ages of people visiting your website.
  2. Research for topics related to your nice. Reddit or Quora are some of the best websites that will allow you to know what users are saying. Here, you will be able to know more about their dreams, fears, or desires. Reading what these people talk about will assist you to understand them better.
  3. Monitor how users respond or react to your content. Various online tools will allow you to do that. These tools, like BuzzSumo, can assist you to understand how people react to your content. At the end of the day, you should be able to analyze the posts with the most engagements and understand what makes them attractive to your audience.
  4. Create surveys. These surveys should have incentives, such as free downloads, cheat-sheets, or mini e-books.
  5. Engage with users in your blog’s comment section. You need to listen to what they say, and then reply to them personally and directly. Whenever conversing with your audience, you should do it like a friend. The better you know your audience, the more appealing and personal your messages will be.

Become an Expert in Your Niche

You must be an expert in your niche to create interesting and valuable content. But, does this mean you must join a law school to create a blog about legal issues?

Well, that’s not important. When you become an expert in your niche, you will be able to create quality and authority content, even if you’ve not studied anything about your niche. The best way to get quality information is to interview an expert in the niche.

However, you cannot just interview someone, and then ask them any question that crosses your mind. It’s important to note that the value of the information that you collect will depend on the quality of your interview queries.

The following are 5 tips to make your interviews valuable and seamless:

  1. Be prepared – the last thing you’d want to do is to go to an interview without any topic in your mind. Your desire is for the interview to get you much information as possible. Therefore, you need to do lots of research, and then create a list of interview questions that you cannot find their answers online.
  2. Avoid open-ended questions – when you contact the expert for the interview, you want them to feel excited, and also to take you through the topic seamlessly. You can use unusual questions in such scenarios. For example, instead of asking, “What makes your profession inspiring?” you can ask, “What are some of the facts that many people don’t know about your line of work?”
  3. Don’t forget to carry your content outline during the interview – asking random questions that are not related to your topic will be a waste of time. However, you can easily avoid this by asking your questions based on your content outline. When you do that, you will be able to ask specific and driven queries, which will give you the information you want to create your content.
  4. Don’t forget to record the interview – at the end of the day, you will need to listen to the exact words that the expert said during the interview. Also, you can be easily distracted from what the expert is saying when continue catching up with the notes.
  5. Don’t hesitate to ask for clarifications – always seek clarification when there’s something that seems unclear. This can even allow you to delve deeper into the topic.

It’s always a good idea to approach the interview with a genuine passion for the topic at hand. This will allow you to gather more information from the expert you are interviewing.

Always Have a Goal in Mind When Writing Your Content

Creating random content will be a waste of time—and you will not be able to do much for your business. But, the most important thing to do is to have a specific goal for each piece of content you write.

You should note that goals aren’t meant for selling specific products or services. For example, you can write a blog about how to grow an email list. Also, you can create an email list containing links to various blogs on your site. Moreover, you can choose to create an authority to gain the trust of your audience, and so on. But, you should make sure that you determine the goal of every content that you create.

Creating Content That Will Stand Out

When creating content, your ultimate goal is to make your audience read the content, rather than the content created by your competitors.

How is that possible?

This can only happen when you create unique content, which cannot be found in any other online platform. The following are tips on how to create such content.

  • Check what your competition is writing – see what they are doing right, and also what’s missing in their content, and you can include in yours.
  • Make your content unique – yes, your content can be the same as what your competitors are discussing. However, you can opt to present it differently—and this will make it look like new content.
  • Have your distinct writing style – you will be amazed to realize the number of people who read your content because of your writing style. For example, if you write your content in an engaging, fun, and easy-to-read manner, people will opt to read your content, rather than content full of long paragraphs and jargon.

It’s important to note that you shouldn’t overdo your uniqueness—there is a reason why your competitors are not that.

Improve Your Keyword Research

Keywords not only assist your content to rank better on SERPs, but they are also the backbone of your content. The keywords you use in your content dictate what your content is all about, and also they allow you to remain relevant with what online users want to read.

How to choose the keywords you want to use in your content:

  • Consider long-tail keywords – long-tail keywords are very effective when it comes to directing quality traffic to your website.
  • Use low-competition keywords – if you find yourself competing with large brands, choose keywords that have a score of 50 and below.
  • It’s not a “sin” to use a keyword with low-search volume – so long as users are searching for those keywords, using it to create content will deliver results.

You can use different online keyword research tools like SEMrush and KWFinder when searching for the best keywords that you can use in your content.

Plan Early In Advance

The last thing you’d like to find yourself in a panic mode since you need to create content, but you don’t have the idea of what you should write. Creating a content calendar will assist you to avoid last-minute rushes.

Besides, a content calendar assists in preventing issues like creating duplicate content and also staying updated with special occasions and events like holidays. You should, however, leave some room for freedom.

For instance, if you get a question from one of your followers, you can opt to address the question in a blog—and you should have time to write the blog.

Repackaging Your Content

This skill brings up the question—can you have enough new topics for your entire content calendar? Well, you don’t have to. You can choose to take content that you created a while back, and then repackage it.

For example, you can take a 3000-word guide, and then convert it into three or four different blog posts. Also, you can go ahead to convert these three posts into videos.

Moreover, you can choose to take the sub-headings, and then create a separate blog out of them. Updating an old blog post with new tips and stats is another way of repackaging your content.

Here, you must be creative—and at the end of the day, you have enough content for your content calendar.

Optimizing For AI and Voice Search

As we said earlier, you need to watch out for voice search—it will be the next big thing in the next few years. If you don’t optimize your content for voice search, there is a possibility that Google won’t choose it when answering a searcher’s question.

The following are some best practices that you should follow when optimizing your content for voice search:

  • Avoid using phrases – rather, you should use whole questions. Statistics released by Google have revealed that over 41% of people think that they are addressing a friend whenever talking to voice assistants. When addressing a friend, you cannot go “Hey Larry…hotel near me.” Rather, you can prefer using a question phrase with words like, when, where, how, which, and so on. Therefore, use whole questions when optimizing your content for voice search.
  • Structure your content to appear in featured snippets – today, users don’t need to click through to a site to view their answered questions—thanks to voice search. Google can find their answer through their voice assistant, and the interesting thing is, the answer that they get can come directly from your website. To increase this possibility, you can structure your content using relevant H2s and H3s, and then insert your keyword into these header tags. Also, don’t forget to use bullet and numbered lists.

Using Links

Links are important for your content. They can:

  • Assist Google to understand more about your website by linking it with high-authority websites in the same niche.
  • Show Google the most important pages in your site by linking to them
  • Invite other people to link to your content—it is valuable.

The secret to selecting the best links is to analyze the links using different online tools. If a website ranks below 100,000, you can use that link in your content.

Measuring the Success of Your Content

Monitoring the success of your content assists in determining if the content is successful or it needs improvement. The following are three ways to monitor the success of your content:

  • Email CTR – is users are clicking to the link in your email, see what makes that email different from others.
  • Bounce rate – do your visitors leave your website without clicking to other pages on your website? If your bounce rate is more than 70%, you should plan how to improve your content.
  • Scroll depth – do visitors read your intro and then leave the page? Or, do they read to the bottom of the web page? When do they stop reading your content? You need to analyze what’s working for you and what’s not, and then start strengthening your content.

Bottom Line

Content marketing is very powerful—but only when done correctly. Doing content marketing right doesn’t mean that you flood the internet with random web pages and blog posts. When you master the skills we have discussed above, your content marketing strategy will improve within a short time.