Content marketing is nothing new, and while it's going to evolve into new formats and platforms throughout 2016, as it always does, but it's definitely not going anywhere. If anything, more and more people will jump on board, especially as more traditional ad formats continue to fall short or become exorbitantly expensive.
People don't like to be sold to, and the techniques, which used to be secrets within advertising circles are now common knowledge, meaning that most people are savvy to ad techniques and ignore them all but completely. That said, just 'doing' content marketing is not going to get you very far. In fact, the number of blogs out there with tens or even hundreds of posts but which still have zero engagement is astonishing. The reason for this is that people love to jump on the bandwagon of content marketing, but very few take the time to learn how to do it well. If you want to know how people get hundreds of shares on their blog posts and drive real traffic, well, look no further:
1) Do it better than anyone else has
There's a technique in content marketing coined by Brian Dean called the Skyscraper Technique. The idea is to find a topic someone else has written a good article on and which has been shared around a lot, and then write something even better. Like, really dig into it. If they wrote 7 tips on how to market on Instagram, you article has 52. The main reason people don't take this approach is that they are lazy, or they don't feel they have the time, but here's a secret: Creating 14 daily blog posts will lose out to one blog post that took 14 days to create, every time. It's simply a matter of being honest about what is good enough to be shared. If it doesn't blow you away, it's not going to do it to anyone else, either.
2) Promote even more than you write
Once you got an epic piece of content, your job is far from over. In fact, many people recommend spending as much as two times as much time on the sharing and promoting of your blog post than you do on actually writing it. All of a sudden, you're only writing one blog post per month, but it's performing better and getting you more traffic than if you'd written several fire-and-forget pieces. People don't just find great content, especially when you're starting out, so you have to do everything you can to put it in front of their face.
3) Reach out to those who care (and who matter)
Once you've got your blog post out in the world, get a hold of experts and those who have a following and who might be interested, and ask if they might be willing to share with their social channels. Now, here's the kicker: Make sure there's something in it for them. Working with influencers in your market is about leverage, so if that means you have to offer some free services or skillsets in exchange for a tweet, so be it.
All of this is to say that if you want to have content that performs better than average, you've got to be willing to put in better than average time and effort and that's just true of anything, isn't it?