Content marketing can be very tricky. There are just so many things that you must look out for.

But if you do it right — and continuously improve your content marketing plan — it can dramatically improve your online business.

So many businesses are using content marketing for generating targeted traffic, increasing brand awareness, and converting visitors into paying customers. According to a research, 67% of B2B companies reported content marketing a top three or higher priority within their overall 2015 marketing strategy.

However, if you do not see the desired results with content marketing, you may need to improve it.

In this post, I am going to discuss 7 different ways to improve your content marketing plan.

Revisit your content marketing strategy and improve it by implement one or more of the following 7 strategies.

Let’s begin.

1. Use Infographics

Content doesn’t always mean text-based posts. In today’s content marketing world, infographics have a very special place.

A recent study by OkDork revealed that infographics bring, on average, 14,500 social media shares. More shares mean more traffic, email subscribers, and customers.

KISSmetrics used 47 infographics to generate 41,000 backlinks and 2 million traffic visits. You can do the same if you can create some high-quality and relevant infographics for your target audience.

Infographic Template - for Improve Content Marketing Plan

My advice will be to continue with text-based blog posts — if that is what your content strategy is focused on. However, also start using infographics sporadically and measure how those infographics perform in your niche.

For instance, infographics work extremely well in the online marketing niche. Test and tweak until you find the best combination for your content marketing strategy.

Here are some tools that you can use to get started with designing infographics:

2. Don’t Forget Images in Blog Posts

When you are writing text-based posts, don’t forget the images.

Another very important research revealed that blog posts that have images get 94% more views.

It is almost double the amount of traffic than you’d receive otherwise. You can then use this extra traffic to build your email list and a list of potential customers.

Moreover, images also increase readability, user-experience, and the average time visitors spend on your website. The inclusion of images may also lead to a lower bounce rate.

All of this eventually translates into better search engines rankings, more organic traffic, and potential customers.

By the way, did I mention that blog posts with images also get more social media shares? Here is a research that proves this.

Average Number of Shares with or without Images

3. Include Guest Posting in Your Content Marketing Plan

Guest posting is probably the greatest technique to build credibility, audience, and traffic. Your content marketing plan must have a definite place for it.

Create a list of well-established blogs in your niche and start connecting with them. Posting insightful comments on their blogs and sharing their content to social media websites are useful ways to build preliminary relationships.

Moreover, the key is to guest-post consistently and regularly. In this way, your stream of new visitors will almost never end.

Most of the established bloggers and influencers still guest post regularly. When they already have such a huge following and blog readership, why do they spend their time publishing on other blogs?

Because they continue expanding their reach and exposure to more people. This is how they keep receiving more targeted traffic, email subscribers, and leads.

Ideally, you should publish at least one guest post per month. Make sure you do publish it in your own niche, so you always get targeted and interested traffic.

4. Focus on Creating Viral Content

Have you ever noticed how Upworthy and Buzzfeed took over the online world with their viral content?

Emulate their strategies, headline tactics, and social media sharing techniques.

Create content that is more likely to go viral. This is because more social media shares play a pivotal role in improving your overall content marketing strategy and its success. More social media shares often mean more traffic, email subscribers, and new business leads.

Use catchy and interesting headlines — but don’t resort to clickbait titles. They suck!

I’ve found that headlines with numbers work particularly well on social media websites. People love and share interesting and useful listicles as they are easier to read and extract information from.

Recently, Conductor did a research to find out the overall headline preferences. Here is what they found.

Use Numbered Headlines to Improve Content Marketing Plan

As you can see, 36% of all online users prefer headlines with numbers.

They not only prefer to read these “numbered” headlines, but they also share it regularly on social media websites.

By using this simple technique, you can drastically improve your content marketing results.

5. Use the Popularity of List-Based Posts

As we just discussed …

Online users prefer to read headlines that have numbers in them. In other words, they prefer listicles or list-based blog posts.

I’d suggest that you base your entire content creation strategy around listicles. You will see some dramatic improvement in the results you get.

By the way, apart from infographics, list-based blog posts or listicles get the highest number of social media shares.

See the following image.

Average Social Media Shares for List-based Posts

As you can see, listicles get an average of approximately 11,000 social media shares — which is the highest amount of shares for any text-based blog format.

So if you haven’t been focusing on listicles, perhaps it is time to update your content marketing strategy.

6. Research on Consumer Psychology

What does consumer psychology have to do with content marketing? Everything!

If you know what your customers and readers actually want, you can shape your content marketing plan accordingly.

The understanding of what your readers and potential customers want is a great asset to have. Research that, find what they want, and transform your content marketing plan in accordance with that. And you can see an enormous boost in your overall traffic, credibility and authority.

To understand what your target audience wants, I’d suggest you to create a thorough plan. This will include:

  • Spending time on forums where your target audience hangs out.
  • Spending time on Quora and actively reading and responding to relevant questions from your target audience.
  • Joining relevant LinkedIn groups.
  • Reading comments on popular blogs by your competitors. There are often requests, feedbacks, and valuable suggestions in those comments. You can use that information to shape your content marketing plan accordingly.

7. Actively Promote Your Content

It does not matter how good your content is, if there is no one to read it, it can’t be successful.

Notice I used the word “actively”.

This is because promotion doesn’t only mean posting to a couple of forums and sharing on social media websites. It also includes emailing (not spamming) interested readers, bloggers and other influencers in your niche.

If you write something worthy enough to share and helpful to their readers, they will be happy to see your email when you share it with them.

Conclusion

Content marketing can be very complicated. Sometimes, you do almost all of the things, yet it doesn’t work the way you want it to.

However, the ways mentioned above are proven and tested, and therefore, are more likely to work in your favor. Include these strategies in your content marketing plan and you will see an instant boost to your website traffic and credibility.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask. And if you want my help in formulating your content marketing strategy, don’t hesitate to contact me.