It’s uncommon for a span of a day to go by without hearing those two buzzwords. Separate they mean one thing, but together, they pack a serious punch. Within the last five years, the term content marketing has exploded, snowballing into a massive force of its own. Brands have taken note and began to educate their audiences by engaging readers, capturing their emotions and fueling their curiosity.

If you are new to the content marketing game you may want to consider implementing a few tactics demonstrated by the following brands that do it best.

Top six most popular blogs as of May of 2015

  1. Huffington Post with 110,000,000 unique monthly visitors
  2. TMZ with 30,000,000 unique monthly visitors
  3. Business Insider with 25,5000,000 unique monthly visitors
  4. Mashable with 24,000,000 unique monthly visitors
  5. Gizmodo with 23,5000,000 unique monthly visitors
  6. LifeHacker with 23,250,000 unique monthly visitors

Each of the brands mentioned above are entirely different, both from an audience and a content perspective. So, what is it that makes them flourish? How does Huffington Post manage to post some of the most viral articles on the Internet? By curating their content, knowing their audience and always keeping things interesting.

Curating Content

mashable elephantsAside from having almost unlimited resources, the one thing that all of these brands have in common is intriguing, topical and curated content. Each brand has a specific niche or voice that captures the attention of their audience. These brands cater to their audiences by consistently being themselves. Chances are if your go-to news aggregator is Huffington Post, you’re probably not a right wing conservative. (Just a guess.) And if baby elephants make you smile, you’ll probably be referring to Mashable for your afternoon pick-me-up.

Knowing Your Audience

Being a lean, mean content-generation machine means knowing your target audience. Without the facts, you will inevitably post haphazard, unfocused articles. Crossing your fingers and hoping that it reaches the right people just doesn’t cut it anymore. Figure out exactly who your target audience is. Are they predominantly male or female? Young or old? Business focused or thrill seekers? Once you know exactly who your audience is you are able to produce content based on what will interest them. Think of it this way, if you were writing to a group of executives you’d tailor your writing a certain way, versus writing to a group of stay at home moms for instance.

Fueling Curiosity

tmz screenshot headlineThere is nothing that captures the attention of an audience more than a juicy headline. Curiosity is embedded in our DNA; we naturally want to know more. The above brands know this and use it to their advantage. Creating compelling content with intriguing headlines is key to successful content marketing. No different than a standard ad, you want your audience to gravitate to your content, read it and in the end, be left wanting more. Make your headlines so tantalizing that your audience can’t help but click!

Content Diversity

content memesContent marketing consists of more than just writing blog posts. In fact, content comes in all different shapes and sizes, from videos to images, GIF’s, and interactive quizzes. Utilizing different content types and presenting your content in a unique and different way keeps your audience interested. Mashable is a pro at this. Even their homepage is a compilation of high-resolution images that grab your attention. Matter of fact, some of the most mundane content can suddenly become interesting with a well-designed infographic.

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