There was a time when getting exposure online for your brand was relatively straightforward if you knew what you were doing. Marketing via social media and reaching out to bloggers was an effective strategy to engage with your potential audience. However, as we witness more and more people consuming their news and content online, it’s fair to say that the landscape is changing considerably.

This means that social media and other news portals are oversaturated with content, and it’s becoming harder to be heard as brands. Furthermore, as larger businesses invest in huge marketing budgets, campaigns and agencies, gaining exposure as small to medium-sized businesses seems more difficult than ever.

Being Heard Over The Noise

The common misconception with this rise in content online is that the quality is decreasing. I would be inclined to disagree. What it actually means for marketers is that to stand out against the noise, brands are actually having to create unique and remarkable content that is more targeted and relevant to its audience than ever.

That’s where content marketing campaigns jump in. Over the last few years, we’ve seen a mix of creative campaigns frequenting the news in place of traditional media tactics. Where branded news and stories may have dominated the columns previously, we are now seeing this move towards creative marketing campaigns in the headlines.

I see this as the digital version of the traditional ‘PR stunt’. The principle is the same – coming up with something compelling that will gain virality. The only difference is that digital allows the audience to be engaged in a more interactive way, which leads to additional marketing tactics, data capture and surveys, for example.

The Importance Of Using Influencers

As more marketers cotton on to this, the idea becomes more popular, and we’re dealing with the same over-saturation of content again. Therefore, in order to run a successful and effective content marketing campaign, we need to look at alternative tactics.

Sure, you may be experts in what you do, but your audience won’t necessarily know that as your brand might not currently hold enough weight on its own, causing your content marketing to flop. You need additional authority, and that’s where using influencers within your campaigns comes in.

Think about reaching out to other higher profile businesses in relevant industries to see if they would like to provide comment. This may seem difficult, yet you’d be surprised. Often business leaders will want their own positive exposure and will be more than happy to provide comment, adding authority to your piece.

Alternatively, it’s easy enough to reach out to high profile experts via platforms such as Twitter. For example, for a piece on The Energy of Dance, the ex-tipped Strictly Come Dancing judge provided his comments and opinions on dances. Although a very simple idea, this kind of comment not only helps add weight to gain exposure, but also aids in the sharing potential, as these influencers have a huge audience on social media.

Tap Into Current Trends

Additionally, a great way to ensure that your content marketing piece is picked up is to make sure people are already talking about the topic. Before you start a content marketing campaign that’s relevant to your industry, think whether or not there are any current trends or hot topics that you can leverage to support your idea in some way.

Sometimes this can be something as simple as national days, such as holidays like Christmas or Halloween. But thinking more creatively, popular media such as films and TV series’ also gain a lot of exposure during the times they are released and broadcast.

Creating a content marketing piece that is focused around current trends means outreach will also be easier, as you’ll instantly have a list of blogs and news outlets that are speaking about your topic ready to contact with your content marketing piece.

Where To Begin?

Using influencers and current trends should be seen as an opportunity to be creative. Try a combination of all of the above, but don’t be afraid of trying new things.

Part of the appeal of being a content marketer in a time of such an abundance of content is that it means there are loads of great examples of successful creative pieces online already. Note the tactics used within these as much as you can, and don’t be afraid of taking inspiration from other ideas.

Think about using ideation tools such as Buzzsumo, Cision content analysis and ‘Answer the public’ to get an idea of what already exists around certain topic areas.

Often, and understandably, people are wary of creating content that has had parallels to content that already has been covered. Don’t always try to be entirely novel in everything you do. The best ideas come from inspiration from others, and this transfers into digital marketing too. I firmly believe that if something has had traction before then a new and innovative slant on it will be picked up again.