So you've decided to go with a content marketing strategy? Congratulations! Welcome to the world of inbound marketing. Before you begin dominating your industry, however, you'll need to make sure all your bases are covered.
To which bases, exactly, are we referring? Major marketing influencer and entrepreneur, Neil Patel, put together a list of the core elements every thriving content marketing strategy was following, and every failing campaign was lacking. So, here are 10 tips to keep your content marketing campaign alive and well:
1. Know your Purpose
This is not to be taken as 'know your company's mission statement and then write it on every piece of marketing collateral.' Rather, know why you've adopted content marketing, what goals you hope to set and achieve and the reason behind every piece of content.
Before a single email, blog or landing page is created, know what purpose they each serve, and how they contribute to the purpose of your overall campaign.
2. Know your Audience
To know your purpose, you must know who its catering to. And no, everybody is not an acceptable answer to the question who is your audience?
We help each of our clients create what we call a buyer persona, which is a holistic description of your perfect customer. Age, geographic location and budget are all things to consider when sketching this "dream client."
3. Know your Message
Now that you have an audience, what are you going to say to them? Maybe you know what to say, but struggle with how to say it. Patel suggests this three-step process to developing a message:
- Look at your mission statement. If your company doesn't have one, you might want to consider creating one.
- Write down your core message. What is the sole benefit a customer gets through buying your products or services?
- Write down your secondary messages. What are the secondary benefits your customers get?
Once you've developed a core message, the possibilities for content are endless. Just be sure to effectively convey your message!
4. Produce consistent content
To piggy back on the previous tip, your message should be the core of every piece of content you produce. Search engines reward sites that are producing fresh, relevant and consistent content.
Patel explains "when search engines rank results, they tend to prefer pages that have historic authority and fresh content." This means that search engine result pages (SERPs) may show a blog you published two years ago right under your most recent post about a similar topic.
All of your blogs, videos, social media posts, etc. should convey that very core message.
5. Build internal links
Some may consider this complex, but it's actually a quite simple task that improves your SEO. "Internal link building simply involves creating links from one page of your website to another," Patel explains.
In your next blog post, try finding a suitable place to link to one of your website's internal pages, or to another piece of your content that is relevant to the topic at hand.
6. Use images
Social media posts with images will receive more clicks than those without. This principal should be applied to your blog posts, emails, etc. Plan text is boring, and your readers won't stick around for long without images drawing them in.
Including stock photos in your marketing budget is a must-do. Don't be scared to spend a few dollars on nice, clean pictures that drive your message home and appeal to your audience.
7. Use keywords
Keywords, keywords, keywords! Every marketer has heard this mantra at least once in their career, but let's set a few keyword myths straight:
Shoveling keywords into your content will not "trick" search engines into sticking you right at the top of the page. Neither will entering generic keywords or, worse yet, neglecting to use keywords altogether.
Use keywords in a way search engine algorithms agree with. Best place to start? Research!
8. Actively promote your content
Publishing your content is only the start of it. Make sure this is seen by everyone in your Google+ circles, all of your YouTube viewers, Facebook friends, Twitter followers, Pinterest pinners et al.
Didn't get as many hits as you expected? Wait a week, and push it out again! For bonus points, try a different hashtag.
9. Diversify your content
Content is more than just a blog post. Content encompasses everything you publish: social media posts, downloadables, email blasts, videos, webinars.
Avoid tunnel vision. Don't spend all your time in one medium. Try them all and you just might be surprised at your own creativity.
10. Monetize your content
At the beginning of this list, we said that your content marketing campaign should serve a purpose. Whatever your purpose may be, it serves yet another purpose: sales.
If your content is not driving sales in the right direction (up), it's time to make some changes. The first think to look at would be your use of calls to action. Calls to action are buttons, links, or other clickable icons that encourage your visitors to take some sort of actions, such as downloading a cheat sheet or attending one of your webinars. These are your golden ticket to accessing the most valuable information you can: contact information. Those who take you up on your offers are the ones you want to continue targeting.
Improving your conversion rates doesn't have to be a game, SEO is not about "tricking the system." Likewise, marketing isn't about being aggressively obnoxious (or obnoxiously aggressive, for that matter). Content marketing is about attracting the right visitors by having the right content in the right places. Think of this list as the ten commandments of content marketing, and you will be reaping the benefits in no time.
by Gabriel Marguglio
Nextiny Marketing | 2803 Fruitville Rd Suite 244, Sarasota FL 34237