Can you believe Q1 is almost over? If you’re like most marketers, you’re barely caught up after the bustle of the holidays and Q1 was all about regrouping. Now it’s time to plan Q2 and you should embrace innovation to get your content marketing strategy back on track.

What I love about content marketing is all the creativity that is involved. So instead of throwing technical strategies at you to implement in Q2, I’d like to propose my favorite creative strategies that I have implemented for brands in the past.

The following strategies are fun ways to optimize and power your content marketing strategy next quarter and I think you’ll enjoy implementing them!

Consumers Love Data

Words can be manipulated but data tells us what is real. Consumers are wiser than ever and don’t want to hear claims about your industry that aren’t backed up with data.

One way to implement more data into your content marketing strategy is to find like minded reports with a simple Google search and feature them in a round up blog post like this one.

Another (and my favorite) way to implement data into your content marketing strategy is to produce your own research report. I speak about this strategy from experience. It has been a great way for me to establish thought leadership for the brands I work for while generating leads simultaneously.

The most recent research report that I created was about the state of the influencer marketing industry. I tapped into my email list of influencers and had over 400 influencers take a survey on how they like to work with brands and got their view of the influencer marketing industry. You can read that report here and based on what I did, here are the steps you can take to produce your own research report. It’s really not as hard as it sounds!

  • Step 1: Choose a topic that your target consumers are curious about
  • Step 2: Formulate 10 questions to ask industry experts that are multiple choice
  • Step 3: Identify the type of people you want to take your quiz
  • Step 4: Promote your quiz through email blasts and social media posts
  • Step 5: Convert each of the 10 quiz questions and answers into an ebook page with the data you gathered and key takeaways your target consumers can glean
  • Step 6: Hire a designer to turn your content into a visually appealing research report
  • Step 7: Set up a landing page for your research report with a lead capture form
  • Step 8: Publish your research report and synch it up with your landing page
  • Step 9: Promote your research report through email, social, Google ads, guest blogging, etc.

Everyone is Listening to Podcasts

144 million Americans listened to podcasts in 2019. This shows how much your target consumers love audio content, yet, some marketers are intimidated by producing content for podcasts.

If you don’t already have a podcast for your brand, I would honestly not recommend starting this strategy unless you have a lot of time on your hands. I would recommend appearing as a guest on podcasts that talk about the topics in your industry.

Finding podcasts to be a guest on is as easy as a Google search and appearing as a guest on someone’s podcast is usually free as long as you have something of value to offer. Check out this one I did on Jay Baer’s podcast as an example.

When you reach out to a podcast, provide examples of content and/or links to webinars that you’ve done that validate your expertise in your industry. Share with them ideas for themes and provide assurance that you’ll be promoting the podcast on your brand’s channel so that it’s mutually beneficial.

When you are a guest on a podcast, keep in mind that it’s not an avenue to vomit out a sales pitch about your brand. The goal is to be viewed as a thought leader in your industry and you should only mention your brand in an authentic way.

Unlike a webinar, there are no visuals associated with podcasts so it’s crucial to paint a picture with your words. Write down some talking points before your episode to help you stay on track.

So, for Q2, don’t overwhelm yourself with podcasts, aim to star on 1 per quarter.

Start a Guest Blogging Swap Program

The beauty of swapping guest posts is that you don’t have to write extra content. Meaning, someone writes for your blog and you write for theirs, so, while you’re getting in front of new audiences, you’re not spending extra time writing.

As a content marketer, you’ve likely done guest blogging before and understand the value. However, in Q2, you may want to formalize your guest blogging strategy especially guest post swapping.

To amplify your guest blogging strategy, create a guest blogging campaign hub in Google Sheets and identify blogs you want to write for. Here is an example of a sheet that you can copy.

There are great tools like GroupHigh and BuzzSumo that can help you identify blogs in your brand’s vertical.

Create a simple outreach email that contains all the necessary information that your fellow bloggers may need. Items to include are:

  • Introduce your brand with one sentence
  • Say right away that you’re wanting to swap guest posts
  • Tell the blogger a little bit about your audience
  • Provide links to your past work that exemplify that you’re a credible writer
  • Suggest themes/titles that you think would be a good fit when you write for their blog
  • Assure them that you’ll be sharing both posts on social media and email for maximum impact

Keep a running spreadsheet like the one I linked to above of the bloggers you reach out to with their necessary information and keep the outreach and publication statuses up to date. You will want to set a timeline for you and the other blogger. The key is organization and communication.

As not to overwhelm your content production, I would aim for 1-2 guest post swaps per month and be sure to measure the traffic you get from your guest posts so that you know which blogs to post on again.

Create Interactive Content in the Form of Quizzes

Consumers love to interact with content. The ability to tap and swipe has translated into all areas of content and consumers are thirsty for content they can engage with. This type of content requires thought and innovation but is fairly easy to produce.

The most common type of interactive content is quizzes and polls. Think about Buzzfeed and their “what type of _______ are you?” quizzes. How can you translate this into being relevant to your brand? Once you find a way to adapt this type of content, it will make your brand more memorable to your target consumers.

Check out this quiz which asks “what’s the best landing page builder for me?” and based on the answers it provides a tool recommendation.

Think you can’t create interactive content without a designer? Think again. There are plenty of quiz generating software platforms like Quiz Maker and Typeform.

Not only are quizzes fun for your target consumers, but, they can also generate leads for your brand. You can guard the answers to your quiz with a lead capture form.

Be sure to promote your quiz and embed it into your blog posts and maybe even your homepage.

In Q2, aim to create 1 piece of interactive content in the form of a quiz and compare how it does to your other types of content and decide if you should make it a consistent part of your strategy.

Feature Your Consumers

In a world of constant ads, consumers crave peer reviews more than self-promotional messaging from brands. The modern-day consumer is savvy and seeks out these peer reviews and that means that it’s your job to make these reviews easy to find.

Featuring your consumers is a great way to get word of mouth recommendations in front of your target consumers. And not only that, but, it makes your consumers feel like they’re part of your brand not an extension of your brand and this fosters an important sense of community.

Here are some ways that you can feature your consumers and a plan of attack to do so in Q2:

  • Create 1 case study per month
  • Work with 5 influencers per quarter
  • Add 5 earned social media posts featuring your brand produced from a consumer by the end of April
  • Make May the month where you refresh your strategy to highlight your consumers and email all of your happy consumers and ask them to post their experience with your brand on their social media channels so that you have material to use on your site, marketing materials, social, etc.
  • Update or create your testimonials page on your website (testimonials can be extracted from blog posts, social posts, emailed.)
  • Create a consumer of the month program in which you reward and feature a new consumer every month and email it out to current and potential consumers in your newsletter.

To get your consumers to work with you in the ways that I outlined may require a little budget so that you can reward them with gift cards. However, a little goes a long way and earning the third-party content that you can feature is so worth it.

What innovative content marketing strategies do you have planned for Q2? I’d love to hear all about it in the comments below!

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