Creating a content marketing strategy requires a great deal of time and research. By continually re-evaluating your strategy and implementing the latest optimization techniques, you can mitigate growing pains and continue trending towards success.

What if we told you that there’s a way to fast-track this success? That’s right—your competitors are already optimizing their content marketing. So why not take a page from their books?

Here are 10 ways your competition is already creating higher-quality content, and how you can make yours stand out:

1. Discover trends

One of the easiest ways to optimize content is to write about popular, timely topics—topics that are interesting and relevant to your specific audience. Your competitors are constantly monitoring social media and online news to stay current, and are cherry-picking ideas to fuel their content bank.

Use social listening tools, such as MediaMiser’s PR solutions, to get a better understanding of what’s trending in your industry and leverage this information by curating/creating content that speaks to these trends.

2. Use high-traffic keywords

Your competition knows that in order for their audience to click on content, they need to feel compelled. Apart from monitoring trends, your competitors are also using high-traffic keywords to entice readers to engage with their content.

A high-traffic keyword is something that is frequently searched, including terms like big data, content, and growth hacking. Google AdWords‘ Keyword Planner is free and is a great way to gauge the traffic/popularity related to a specified keyword or group of keywords.

3. Use outbound links

Experts say that outbound links are the primary source of top-ranking SEO juice. Your competition is constantly scouring the web for new information, accumulating reputable resource lists they can reference in future content. They’re using this easy technique to quickly optimize their content — and you should, too.

Ramp up your content marketing by adding a variety of valuable external links to your content. MediaMiser’s media monitoring and analysis services can streamline this process by providing a list of content relevant to your industry, from which you can easily source.

4. Carefully craft headlines

Your competitors are also paying close attention to how they word their headlines. Not only do headlines need to be clear, concise and punchy, but there a few other considerations that should be taken when writing the perfect, attention-grabbing headline: For example, did you know that your chosen keyword should be placed towards the beginning of your headline? Or that towards the end, whenever possible, you should include your brand name?

Keep in mind, all of this needs to fit in a headline that’s no longer than 50 to 60 characters. So it’s absolutely important to take care when crafting your visitor’s first view of your brand.

5. Build trust

Your competition knows that great content isn’t just about increasing web traffic—it’s about building trust.

When readers trust you, you’re more likely to purchase a product, share content, etc. That’s why it’s important that your blog always represent the truth, not be too critical, and establish authority within your space. Keep this in mind when creating content!

6. Establish authority

Your competition is constantly optimizing their content so that they’re seen as an authority in their industry (from both an SEO and informational perspective). By establishing yourself as an authority, your audience is more likely to engage with your content and view it as a valuable resource.

7. Add quotes

Readers like to know that the information that they’re reading is credible (read: build trust). So adding quotes to your content from respected, valuable sources adds another layer of credibility. It also provides the opportunity to add more external links to your content.

MediaMiser’s QuoteHunter is the perfect solution for finding reputable quotes to use throughout your content. It allows you to see who is quoted most often in your media, how many times they’ve been quoted, and lets you know exactly what they’re saying.

8. Procure guest bloggers

If you’re employing an effective media outreach strategy, you may have already befriended key influencers in your industry. But are you leveraging them as effectively as possible? Your competitors are optimizing no doubt reaching out to these influencers and brand ambassadors and asking them to guest blog, and you should as well.

Guest blogging is a great exchange between both a brand and the blogger. The blogger gets visibility in a space catered to their niche — as well as leveraging the company’s audience — and the brand has the benefit of having content written for them, as well as promoting a well-known influencer on social channels.

Need help identifying your influencers? MediaMiser’s PR solutions can help you easily identify the key players in your space. Ask us how.

9. Use visuals with alt tags

Did you know that tweets that include an image see an 18% increase in clicks? Sometimes it helps to look pretty. Your competitors know that images are a great way to appeal to their audience and have them engage with content.

Use images to make your content pop, and always make sure to use alt tags and image titles. These tags ensure that everyone has access to, and can view, your site regardless of whether the picture is completely rendered or not. These spots also offer an additional place to write your keyword—just make sure you’re not keyword stuffing!

10. Create powerful calls-to-action

Every piece of content created should have a purpose, and should have a powerful call-to-action (CTA) that encourages readers to convert into prospective leads. This can be done through a banner image or carefully-crafted conclusion asking the reader to take some sort of action (such as downloading a report, signing up for a newsletter, or contacting your team for more information). Your competitors are constantly thinking of how their content relates to their product, service, or other pieces of content, and are consistently employing CTAs in everything they create. Use the same strategy with your content by carefully planning how your content can convert, and create a CTA accordingly.

Want to know more about content strategy?  Download our Content Amplification whitepaper and get your content out the door!

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