by Jamie Fuller

Implementing a content marketing strategy is a daunting task for most marketers. I mean, where do you start? There’s always so much to cover! The usual path to success starts with the all important step, know thy audience.

Once you know everything about a potential customer, even their favourite place to eat, you can begin to tailor high-quality content that appeals to them.

But there is a big problem with this. Unless your business operates in a completely new market, chances are, you’ll be competing with hundreds of other content creators, ergo, it’s going to be a nightmare to get any traction.

content marketing buzzsumo

For most of us, this can leave our social media and blog schedules looking a little too similar (and a little bland).

As marketers though, the boundaries of strategies should always be pushed with out of the box, radical ideas that reinvent the conventional marketing strategy that we are sometimes afraid to put to the side.

I’m not saying that creating this content isn’t important, just that everyone is probably doing the same things you are. So why not mix it up and get the backlinks that’ll force your site onto that all important page one position?

Remember that diversification of your backlink profile is only going to be good for rankings, so stop trying to claim what others have.

Adding to the content marketers problems…

We love outreach, because we love backlinks. But because of the sheer amount of similar articles out there, it can be so tough to get onsite content the exposure it craves. Attempting to pitch content, even if it is much better, is going to be tough. This has led to a war of word count, trying to create more authoritative content (which can come at a great financial cost!).

Obviously, there is a gap in the market for creating content that fills a void, which is what most content marketers use for their link-building campaigns. This is partially something that has stemmed from “everyone” reading the same guides and articles on link-building.

But do you want to drive a content marketing backlink making machine? Then you need to break that mentality of doing what everyone else does. I’m not recommending black hat here, just a play on everything any marketer should know.

The new content marketing world moves fast, and once upon a time, it was described as this linear, almost clinical process of creating an average piece of content, then emailing a few blog owners, and getting some links.

But great (original) content will build awareness all by itself, without a degree in psychology and a sent mailbox that requires archiving before leaving the office each day. Before the internet got crowded, a 500-word article was enough to be considered a great piece of content.

Consumers are glued to their mobile phones, computers, and televisions, which means they are on a daily basis exposed to a tremendous amount of advertising. People are addicted to technology. Hence why content marketing is popular, you are trying to push a great piece of content directly into the path of potential customers. Again, if you are doing what everyone else is doing, do you think it will gain traction?

Think like a newspaper.

Every marketer aspires to provide their audience with the most interesting content. However, with proper timing and a little creativity, there is always a way to leverage the most popular content. To achieve this, you need to find out which topics are currently trending and incorporate the trends appropriately into your content marketing strategy. Trending topics are those highly-trafficked and most-searched terms on search engines, grab them and bend them to your will. Newspapers have been rehashing “News” since their creation, piggybacking off each other in a game of chinese whispers.

You aren’t a journalist, no, but marketers have always known the potential of using hot trending topics to reach a bigger and often new audience. Playing with trends can be a risky gamble; posting the right content on a trending topic at the right time while using the right techniques? It’s a recipe for success. Miss your window though and it’s game over.

Focusing on trends has not always been a key strategy at AppInstitute, but as a company that always seeks new ways of doing things, we recently saw ground-breaking success simply by leveraging Pokemon Go.

In a nutshell, we were bouncing the idea around for a real-time infographic. Pokemon Go came along and we thought, why not use this to create a piece around? After creating a real-time infographic, we focused heavily on the outreach in a full blown launch campaign (one that was worthy of a startup). Then the backlinks came in, by the hundreds. Because we found something people wanted to talk about!

What did we learn?

Trending topics can generate an almost stupid amount of traffic. Depending on the type of content you create, it could generate you a massive amount of backlinks (in our case around 400!). Oh and we broke our server from the amount of visitors, oops. It’s worth noting that our focus was mainly to build backlinks from authority sites in the mobile niche and not to attract new customers.

Content creation can get stale after a while. Trends help you to discover fresh content that the majority of people are searching for, so it’s a win win situation, you create content that is a little different, and you get more traffic from it.

Trending content naturally gets more attention than the usual evergreen content. However, the attention lasts for a short term before another “next big thing” pops up. Trending topics are, therefore, time sensitive and tend to wear off eventually when readers discover another interesting topic. Riding on trending topics can be a major flop if you enter the scene late and possibly suffer a serious budget hit.

A trend can be a one-time thing. It could boost your content marketing campaigns in ways you’d never dreamed of. In our case? We operate in the mobile niche and created a piece of content around a mobile app.

This in turn made it onto several large publications and essentially gave our backlink profile a surge of juice which helped support other content marketing operations, and it didn’t cost a tremendous amount of cash!

Trends are a great thing to incorporate into any marketing strategy. If used properly you can seriously leverage them, but they are so time sensitive and require a really keen plan. If things don’t pan out, it’s a huge amount of time to invest.

In our case, the overall growth hack was a great success and we saw overall improvements across all of our serps. But you need to be ready to strike whilst the iron is hot.

Checkout the the Real-time Pokemon Go infographic here.

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