Plenty of marketers would love to see their content go viral and reach new audiences. Unfortunately, it doesn't usually just work out that way.

Unless you're using the right content marketing tools and going after a small, highly targeted audience, you can't realistically expect everyone in your audience to consume and share all the content you produce. Some people are going to be too busy, while others might not be interested in a particular piece of your content, even if they like your other work.

To solve this problem, some thought leaders and their marketing teams ramp up content production. Although more content is usually a good thing, content for content's sake doesn't add the value consumers crave. That's the reason most readers will give this type of content a miss.

Rather than waste resources creating things no one will read, follow these four steps to capitalize on the year's top content marketing trends and get audiences excited about what you have to say.

1. Stop publishing for the sake of publishing.

You might think you're being sly, but audiences can tell when you produce bland content just to meet some quota. If you're creating content primarily for yourself, rather than for your audience and its needs and curiosities, then people will ignore it -- and worse, they might ignore your better content later.

Create content to serve your audience, not your own production goals. Dedicate the resources you would spend producing more content to making your existing content better. Do more research, produce more graphics, or distribute a survey -- whatever it takes to make your content worth consuming.

2. Talk about your personal stories and examples.

No one has the same experiences, stories, and examples you do. Bring your audience on board by sharing information they can't get anywhere else.

Generic articles and videos get repetitive after a while. What differentiates one piece about SEO from the thousands of others? Thought leadership content that provides real-life examples and your expert insight will attract a wider audience and have greater staying power.

My personal example is an ironic one: I struggle to write. At first, it felt strange to admit that, as the leader of a content company, I wasn't a naturally brilliant writer. But sharing my experiences helped me connect with readers on a more human level, and it led to new opportunities for my company.

3. Build a network.

Great content requires a great network. Every brand needs advocates to grow and reach new audiences.

Attend industry events and stay active on social media. Don't post and forget -- engage with people on your pages and reach out to others in your space to talk about their content. Strive to genuinely help others and build relationships. When your turn comes, others will help you amplify your message and distribute content, which can help you build trust more quickly with new audiences.

4. Reach out to experts and influencers.

Along those same lines, select some leaders in your industry and ask them to join you in the conversation. Get quotes, share ideas, and include other experts to add authority to your content and offer more value to the audience.

Not only can expert partnerships make your content better, but they can also extend the reach of your content to other established audiences. When people attach their names to something, they become invested in its success. Content is no different.

Don't waste effort producing content that no one will ever read. Follow these tips to create more engaging pieces that will captivate audiences and keep your brand top of mind.

Published on: Jan 28, 2018