You already know the basics of content marketing; produce high-quality pieces of content that people want to read and promote them, attracting more people to your brand and increasing the loyalty of fans you’ve already attracted. Because of this, even newcomers to the strategy are aware of some of the most important best practices for a campaign, including identifying the right target audience, investing time and research into your individual pieces, and measuring your success.
However, there are a number of secondary and peripheral factors that can influence content campaign success.
These factors don’t receive as much attention because they aren’t as obvious and, quite honestly, because they don’t matter as much as some of the “big picture” best practices. However, pursuing these factors can help put your campaign over the top when it comes to results:
Your Hosting Provider
Not all hosting providers are the same, and you can see this for yourself thanks to WP Hosting Hub’s research on the subject. In a comparison of six different popular hosting providers, they found major discrepancies when it came to factors like load time, speed index, and time to first byte across all sites on each platform. This means your choice of hosting provider could bear a major impact on the performance of your site, affecting how and when your users engage with your content, and what impression they get of your brand.
Your Site Speed
Your hosting provider isn’t the only factor that can affect your site speed—and your site speed is important for attracting and retaining visitors, especially on mobile devices. If your article takes more than a couple seconds to load, your user might bail before ever reading a word. Keep your site speed optimal by reducing the size of your images, ensuring content compatibility with all browsers and devices, and using a good caching plugin.
Your Content Timing and Posting Schedule
The quality of your content is far more important than its timing, but if your quality is consistently high, you can optimize your timing to reach more people in a more profound way. For example, your target audience may prefer to see new content on one day of the week more than another, or may have preferences when it comes to the time of day those articles are published. Experiment with your posting schedule and see if it makes a difference.
The Variability of Your Strategy
Remaining consistent in a content strategy is important, especially when you find a pattern of topics and publication that work for your given audience. However, it’s also important to add a degree of variability to your strategy to keep readers on their toes and keep your strategy from getting boring. Throw in some new ideas whenever you get the chance, experimenting with a new line of topics or a new medium. It can add life to your campaign.
Your Citations and References
The most shared and linked-to pieces tend to be the ones with the greatest amount of research involved in their creation. Sometimes, this is a product of original research, such as a survey or an experiment that your brand has conducted exclusively to cultivate the development of a given piece. But most of the time, you’ll be relying on secondary sources to provide backup for your arguments, highlight potential counterarguments, and point people to further reading. Many readers will ignore these citations, but to the few who follow up on them, these citations help to cement their impression of you. Are you using good quality sources? Are all of your citations relevant and necessary to the piece?
The Individuality in Your Posts
In content, just like with social media, the individuality and personality of your posts can make a big difference. People don’t typically want to read content that appears like it was produced by a corporate brand. They want to read content that was produced by a person, and the best way to do this is to encourage individuality from your team of writers. If you have more than one contributor to your blog, encourage small differences in tone, voice, and expertise (while adhering to your core brand standards, of course). This will make your blog more personal and accessible to your readers.
These factors, alone, can’t make your campaign successful, but when combined with a solid foundation of a good strategy, they can take your campaign to a new level of success. These are the finishing touches, or the “nice to haves” of your campaign…somewhat non-essential, but highly beneficial when called upon. Use them wisely.