Getting Started with Content Marketing
November 3, 2017
November 3, 2017
Marketers place a lot of value on search engine optimization. While SEO is an important component of digital marketing, it’s best utilized when incorporated into a strategy alongside other tactics. You can sprinkle high-ranking keywords into your web copy, but the search engines are far more likely to find your business if you’ve got a vibrant, relevant, and frequently updated content.
Instead of trying to beat the SEO machine at its own game, focus on creating a killer content marketing strategy that engages users and inspires action. To accomplish this task, you should understand what content marketing is so you can create and execute a successful strategy without burning out.
What is Content Marketing?
At its most basic level, content marketing is the art of communicating with customers without actually selling to them. It’s a method for relationship and awareness building that’s closer to journalism or media production than it is to traditional advertising and marketing strategies. With content marketing, you’re always be providing helpful and actionable materials that deepens your relationship with your customer.
How to Produce Killer Content
Create It Yourself
Introduce the world to your brand by creating your own content that highlights your unique voice and industry expertise.
To start brainstorming ideas, do a little keyword research using the Google keyword tool. Enter terms you think your customers would use to find your business. The tool will suggest a number of related phrases. These are a great jumping off point for generating ideas. You’ll naturally use some of these search terms when writing your posts.
Another strategy for brainstorming is to check out what other blogs in your space are writing about. You definitely do not want to copy, plagiarize, or create something too similar, but you can use these topics as a something to get the wheels turning. Pay special attention to the posts that are getting multiple likes and shares on social media as that is a signal that readers will respond well to similar content.
With content marketing, you can stretch a single concept into a number of different posts using various formats. Start with a blog post, then produce a quick video with how-to tips, followed by a designer using the information to create an infographic. The possibilities are endless!
Curate Existing Content From Other Sources
Top-ranked websites don’t only share content that they have made. Many of the world’s top-ranked websites are content aggregators that never actually produce their own assets.
It’s important to keep in mind that curating content doesn’t mean stealing other people’s work, which will likely get you blacklisted on Google. What it does mean is following the best blogs, social media, and video sites and signing up for Google news alerts related to your industry so you are the first to know when the most interesting and helpful content becomes available. Once sourced, link to that content on your blog with a short summary, or publish a small excerpt before sending readers right to the source. Google loves fresh content just as much as readers do, and this will keep you high ranked and well-read.
You may already have far more content ready to share than you realize. Did you recently complete a new project? Highlight the project on your blog, or give your readers a behind the scenes glimpse into the production process with a video. Do you have exciting company news? Use your blog and social channels as a platform to tell the world. Have an exceptional employee who makes your office operate ten times more efficiently? Ask her to write a blog post about a day in her office life. There are stories everywhere you turn, so don’t be afraid to look around you and get creative!
Whether you use all three of these approaches or just one, use a content calendar to keep your materials varied and your production on track. Doing so helps you create themes for every month, which informs all of your brainstorming efforts so you can vary your content from week to week.
Strategies for Getting Your Content Read
If you’re considering only publishing content to your blog, you’re really putting too many eggs in one basket. Posting different types of media on a variety of platforms will keep your voice and ideas fresh in the mind of consumers, bringing your message directly to their favorite online channels. Google also loves websites that have multiple inbound links and connected accounts, as it makes a site look more authoritative.
A few places where you should share your content:
- Your blog is perfect for hosting blog posts, customer case studies, company news, infographics, embedded videos, photos, and comics.
- Social media is ideal for sharing links to your blog, infographics, popular news stories, memes, podcasts and, well, just about any other kind of content you produce. It’s also a crucial platform for engaging directly in conversations with your target audience.
- YouTube is the second most used search engine in the world, making it a powerful platform for SEO content marketing. This is where you should post instructional videos, news updates, or even just a friendly greeting from your company. Make sure to add keywords to your title and meta-descriptions for SEO purposes.
- Email marketing is a powerful medium for sending out blog-like content with clear calls to action to lure customers deeper into your conversion funnel. Even better, you can reuse eBlasts on your blog without Google even knowing.
- Amazon and other booksellers are a great a place to host and sell eBooks stuffed with expert tips and industry know-how.
- Other blogs within your industry are ripe with the opportunity to publish to guest posts. Doing so will expose your brand to the new followers and will also provide more content for your own blog when your fellow blogger pays you back with a post of their own.
How to Prevent Burnout
Phew! That should be more than enough to get you started, but you can stretch your content even further by thinking strategically about repurposing what you’ve already created.
- Reuse your content on different platforms. For example, a blog post can easily be republished in a magazine, as long as you’re upfront with your editor about where you’ve posted it previously.
- Approach old content from a new angle. Let’s say you wrote a blog post entitled, “10 Tips for Sneaking in Exercise During the Day.” You can freshen up that material by adding a new spin to the title, like, “Top 10 Tips for Exercising During Your Lunch Break.” Or, remove the “Top 10” element and rewrite the article as, “Tips for Exercising at the Office.” While it’s all the same basic idea, these approaches make it as good as new.
- Update old information. Things changes over time. If you have new data or research to add to an old article, swap out the new content for the old and suddenly, you’ve got a new post.
- More guest posting. Using all of these strategies, you can reuse the same idea on multiple guest blogs by slightly changing your angle or approach. Your fellow bloggers are always looking for content and will be happy to add your voice to their own.
Content marketing is by far one of the most worthwhile endeavors a business owner can invest in. With so many strategies at your disposal, it’s really a great excuse to get creative and have a fun while you’re spreading the word about your awesome brand and all that you do. If you need a little help getting the ball rolling, consult the experts at Focused Content Marketing now.