7 Tips for Maintaining Relevant Content Marketing

Are you maintaining an effective, relevant content marketing strategy?

Relevant Content Marketing: Intro

Here are 7 tips that I guarantee will help you stay up-to-date and maintain a relevant content marketing strategy. Use them to stay ahead of the game!

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1. Subscribe to industry blogs by email and organize them in a way that helps you easily reference what you need

What I do:

Step 1: I sign up for my favorite blog newsletters by email.

Step 2: I filter emails so that they arrive in their own folder in my email account.

Step 3: I visit each blog post and determine whether I can use it or not.

Step 4: I save the hyperlinks of my favorite articles in my bit.ly account.

Step 5: In bit.ly, I organize the links by source, topic and purpose.

Step 6: I spend at least 2 hours a week turning the bit.ly links into share-worthy content for social media, particularly Twitter.

Extra steps:

  • If I don’t receive what I want via email, I bookmark the blog’s URL in my Chrome browser for manual viewing.
  • If I don’t like what I get in my email, I unsubscribe. The main reason why I unsubscribe these days is because a blog author sends me content I never signed up to receive.

2. Sign up for webinars and attend conferences

What I recommend:

  • Subscribe to industry leaders’ email newsletters for notification of discounts and promotions for upcoming conferences, but make sure you select the relevant notice types when they’re not automatic.
  • Follow leaders’ social media activity for the same reasons as above.
  • Visit your favorite influencers’ website directly for information about and sign-ups for upcoming webinars and conferences.
  • Ask your employer to sponsor your trip to a conference and/or approve your webinar participation.

3. Spend at least 30 minutes a day reading about the field

What I do:

I focus more on blog articles. They are a faster, easier read than print books and ebooks. I use bit.ly to organize my reading with tags so that, when it comes time to read, I have a nice variety of options to choose from, and I mark finished articles to prevent any confusion.

I do still have a nice selection of ebooks and print books that I’ve either read in full or scanned for what I was looking for at the time. When it comes to blogs, I would say there are too many really good sources to choose from, so I recommend making your own judgments with those. However, I especially love the blog articles from Buffer, HubSpot, and Content Marketing Institute, if I had to choose only three. I have provided a few recommendations below for ebook sources as well as print books via Amazon.

Recommendations:

eBooks and other resources:

Content Marketing Institute

HubSpot

Print books (via Amazon):

Likeable Social Media by Dave Kerpen

Epic Content Marketing by Joe Pulizzi

Content Rules by Ann Handley


4. Keep an active marketing blog for your company and/or your own personal brand

What I do:

I maintain this blog for many reasons, but one really big reason is, in fact, to stay current in my field. It takes a lot of work and keeps me quite busy, but I’ve found it very successful at growing my knowledge base. I also share content from other blogs through my various social media accounts. I make sure every source I use is valid and accurate before I use it for my personal brand.

If you have a very busy work schedule and can’t commit to a professional blog on the side, does your employer have one that you can contribute to? Writing about your company, its focus, and how its products or services can help others isn’t directly related to the content marketing education as I’ve been referring. However, simply writing company blog articles is content marketing. You’ll stay current in marketing by writing, learning and experimenting with company content, regardless of the topic.


5. Write heavily-researched or curated articles for your blog or as a guest writer

What I do:

As I’ve said previously, most of my articles on here have a generous supply of expertise from influential outside sources. I do a significant amount of research before I write an article on here, and that helps me stay up-to-date along with building my own influence in the industry.

I’m still quite the newbie in my field, so these articles are the best way for me to go. They are also ending up being very popular these days. Until I have more experience under my belt, I’m going to keep researching, reading, and practicing other sources’ advice. It’s definitely a great way to go, even after you’ve built a strong influence of your own.


6. Have an active presence on social media through your personal brand, and interact with others

What I do:

I’m on several social networks: Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook… I also have this website and attend in-person networking events when I can. I set up all my social accounts with the hopes of being found easier by employers and influencers along with those seeking advice in the marketing field.

A note of warning: it’s easy to overwhelm yourself with too much activity too soon. Don’t think you have to be everywhere right away. Pace yourself. Start activity on one social network at a time. I started with Twitter and LinkedIn before I moved on to the other two platforms.

Along the same lines, don’t start a blog until you’re able to commit to it every day.

In addition, if you’re going to be online, you need to be able to interact with those who reach out to you. You’ll need to have time reserved for reaching out to others just like you reach out yourself. Nobody likes robotic accounts, so be available to interact in a timely manner. That last sentence is key, and it’s something I’m working hard to improve with my own activity.

Keep in mind: Twitter is a fast-paced platform that requires quicker responses than, say, Facebook. Be aware of which platforms require what timeline for interaction.


7. Step away from your computer and refresh your mind by going offline and unplugging for at least 36 hours once a month

What I recommend:

Weekends are best for this. Most of us have to use computers and mobile devices during the week for work, so that’s unavoidable. However, being on the computer can drain us. It can kill our sense of reality and make us lose some of our creativity. By stepping away from technology for a while, we give our mind time to refresh. That, in turn, returns our sense of reality and strengthens our creativity.

Go outside. Take a walk around the neighborhood or somewhere scenic. If neither of those options are possible, simply go outside to get some fresh air. Otherwise, find a place that has a nice view where you can sit and reflect on life. Don’t think about work or your personal brand or anything online. Just let your mind enjoy the peace.

When you’ve spent some time resting and restoring your mind, take out a notepad and pen. Write down anything and everything you’re thinking about at that moment. Write down what you see, hear, smell, taste, and feel. Let your senses inspire your writing. Don’t worry about writing structure or grammar. Use this time to just include keywords and thoughts in whatever format works best in that moment. The important part is to get your thoughts onto the paper.

When you’re ready to return to the virtual world, use the notes you took to inspire the content for your blog or social media.

  • What was it like to take a break from the Internet?
  • What did you learn about the human spirit or the world outside?
  • What did you observe that was interesting or compelling?
  • Did your senses improve how you view the world around you?
  • Do you feel like your mind is refreshed?

Finally, how can you apply this to your work online? Do your notes give you any relevant ideas for future marketing? Use this to build a stronger, more unique content base.

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Well, there you have it!

Those are the seven suggestions I have for you. They aren’t all as common sense as you’d expect, but they’re all key to growing as a content marketer.

So, I turn it over to you.

  • What do you think about these tips?
  • Would you add any more to the list?
  • What are you doing to stay relevant?