According to research from the Content Marketing Institute, 70 percent of B2B marketers plan to create more content in 2017 compared to 2016. However, the same study revealed that only a measly 17 percent of content marketers report their content marketing efforts as much more successful.
Creating more content is usually always a good thing, but successful content marketers know that it takes more than just creating more content to get results. You don’t want to shoot yourself in the foot, wasting time and resources and having little to show for it. With the following research-backed tips, however, things can be much different in 2017:
The Best Content Length
Now, if only you had a magical answer that gives you insight into how long your content should be; should it be 500 words? 1,000 words? Longer? Well, there is.
According to data from serpIQ that analyzed the top 10 search results for over 20,000 keywords in the Google search engine, the average content ranking in the top 10 results has at least 2,000 words. The study found that the longer the content the better.
Now, creating good quality content of about 2,000 words, consistently, isn’t exactly easy. Do not lose hope, however. A similar study from Buzzsumo, that analyzed over 100 million articles, came to the conclusion that your content starts to perform really well when it is over 1,000 words — both when it comes to search engine rankings and social shares.
Practically every study that analyzed content length and performance came to the conclusion that longer is better. However, it’s good to start at about 1,000 words.
The Best Content Type for the Most Social Shares and Traffic
All content are equal, but some content are more equal than others.
At the end of the day, as a content creator your utmost goal is to generate traffic, which eventually leads to improved conversions. While there are over 100 different types of content you can create, it is important to realize that some are more effective than others. When planning your content strategy, it is important to consider the content types you will be creating.
The Buzzsumo study that I referenced earlier shows that the infographic is the most shared piece of content — outperforming the next most shared content type by thousands of shares on average. According to the study, here are the most shared content types in order of popularity:
- List posts
- Why posts
- What posts
- How to posts
Make use of this knowledge to plan your content strategy accordingly.
The Best Content Frequency
One of the most controversial topics when it comes to content marketing is that of content frequency. What is the best content frequency? Once a day? Once a week? Once a month? Many “experts” argue for both sides, with some recommending that you religiously stick to a daily publishing schedule and some recommending that you only publish an article when you have something meaningful and comprehensive to say.
What does the data say, though? According to research from Hubspot, based on an analysis of data from over 13,500 content marketers, publishing 16 or more pieces of content monthly is likely to yield the best results. The Hubspot study found that publishing 16 or more pieces of content monthly is likely to result in 3.5 times more traffic and 4.5 times more lead than publishing less than four pieces of content monthly.
If you can afford it, publish 16 or more pieces of content monthly — the more the better. If you can’t, publish fewer — but be consistent.
Using Media in Your Content
We’ve long known that an image is worth a thousand words, but exactly how effective is media in a content dominated online world? Here are some key facts and stats:
- Infographics get thousands of extra shares than other content types on average
- Infographics are likely to get 832 percent more retweets than articles that are pure-text or image-only
- People are 80 percent more likely to remember visual content than text, and they are 30 times more likely to read an infographic than text
- Content that feature images are likely to get 94 percent more views than content without images
Knowing the above facts, it is important to ensure that your content strategy effectively utilizes and integrates media. Owning a blog, publishing regular infographics, creating videos and utilizing different forms of multimedia can increase content reach as well as improve your brand image.
Integrate Email Marketing
At the end of the day, it is important to realize that a content strategy that does not include email marketing is incomplete — both from a traffic and conversion standpoint.
According to research from Monetate that analyzed over 500 million shopping experiences from some of the biggest internet retailers, email is the top converting source of traffic — converting more than both search and social traffic combined. Research has also shown that email is the biggest driver of holiday sales. During Black Friday 2015, email was responsible for 25.1 percent of all sales. That’s massive, especially considering that social media was responsible for just 1.6 percent of sales during the same period.
That said, there is a right and wrong way to go about email marketing: research shows that segmenting your email list can boost conversion by 208 percent, so be sure to look for email service providers that allow automation and the ability to segment your emails.
While content marketing will become more important in 2017, you will only get great results if you do it right. Be sure to make effective use of the above five tips to get great results.
John Stevens is the founder and CEO of Hosting Facts.
(Image Credit: Pexels)