By Alicia Honeycutt

Gone are the days of traditional marketing – inbound campaigns are taking over. The reason why this approach works so well is that it gives the audience something. No inbound strategy is more effective than content marketing when it comes to boosting brand popularity and establishing loyalty.

Using content to be a better marketer this year is an absolute essential. If you’re just getting acquainted with the concept for the first time, here are 10 of the best content strategies to try.

1. Rework the Content on Your Business Website

Do you know what the heart and soul of every inbound campaign is? Your business website. It tells the world who you are. If it features powerful content, your website can easily turn leads into loyal customers. Choose the right tone and voice that are indicative of your corporate values and beliefs. Focus on niche topics. Quality pages and a corporate blog will help you establish yourself as the leader in the respective niche.

If you don’t know how to get started with your website’s content, see what the competition is doing. It’s also a good idea to examine the types of content that people interested in the niche go for. Based on this information, you can come up with a content plan that will create the right online persona.

2. Content Isn’t Just Text

When it comes to a content marketing strategy, you should rely on more than text. Alternative formats are gaining more and more prominence. In addition, these types of content are likely to go viral easily. Some of the options to consider include infographics, charts, diagrams, video clips and image slideshows that explain a concept or teach your prospects how to accomplish something.

3. Make it Funny and Shareable

What’s your main goal when creating online content? You want people to share it via their social media profiles. You want the content to go viral and reach thousands, even millions of prospects. Getting your content to go viral is easier said than done. Still, you can do several things to maximize the viral potential of the texts and multimedia you upload.

Making your content funny and getting people to laugh is one of the most effective options when it comes to reaching large groups of people. Alternatively, you should try to provoke any kind of emotional response. Unique content that shares information nobody else is providing has a lot of viral potential, as well.

4. Expand Content to More than Your Blog

Many marketers commit the mistake of developing solely a blog without focusing on other possibilities. Remember that everything you upload online classifies as content. Your social media updates are filled with content. So are the responses you write to people that leave reviews about your brand. Don’t put all of your content eggs in one basket, so to speak. Find other channels that enable you to reach alternative audiences.

5. Think About SEO

Search engine optimized content will drive a lot of traffic to your campaigns. SEO refers to a set of techniques that bring your pages and articles to the top of the search engine results page (SERP) for keywords of preferences.

Content that is optimized will usually include unique information, it will be well-written and it will answer a question that numerous people have. Doing SEO on your own is far from challenging, as long as you put emphasis on text quality and uniqueness.

6. Create a Social Media Editorial Calendar

The content you share via your social media profiles is as important as the content appearing on your corporate website. Social media updates are an important part of your content marketing strategy. Come up with an editorial calendar for the upcoming week or month. Both the quality and the frequency of social media posts will play a role in creating an online community and making your brand recognizable.

7. Craft Content that will Drive Purchases

This is another common mistake – many marketers create content for the sake of having content. They don’t keep a particular goal in mind. As a result, the audience isn’t stimulated to undertake an action after it is done reading.

When writing content, you should think about the response you want to provoke from the audience. Would you like people to make a purchase? Include a call to action, relevant links and delicate advertising in an otherwise informative text. Everything you do should be strategic. Otherwise, you will end up having great content that isn’t going to accomplish any goal.

8. Make it Newsworthy

Look for trends and events in your industry. Newsworthy content is easy to get trending on social media and in search results. You have to be aware of new developments and how these could be used to grow your reach.

9. Consider Writing an eBook

eBooks are a wonderful “weapon” to add to your content arsenal. They can be handed to potential customers for free or they can be used as a special reward for loyal clients. An eBook should be well-written and highly specific. Stick to the field that you’re an expert in. The eBook should be viewed strictly as a reputation establishment tool. Giving something to prospects for free is a great option for establishing a relationship.

10. Email Content is Also Great

Some marketers believe that the days of email newsletters are long gone but they couldn’t be more wrong.

When sending newsletters, make sure that each group you’re addressing is receiving unique information. You can have a newsletter for prospects, new customers and loyal clients. To make email newsletters effective, provide information and perks that can’t be obtained in any other way. Giving subscribers promo coupons or previews of upcoming product launches will stimulate more people to subscribe and share their personal information with you.