Content Marketing is about the creation and sharing of content. It doesn’t always have a direct sales purpose although you should relate your content to the services or products that you sell. Most of the time it is about awareness, acquiring new followers, encouraging those followers to share the content you are creating and proving your knowledge and acumen in your area of expertise in order to build trust within your target market. Its not just for businesses with large budgets. Content marketing is a cheap and easy way to improve your organic search rankings and attract more customers.
Other Types of Content
Most of the time when we talk about content we really mean blog posts or news articles. Text based content just like this post that you are reading now. For many small businesses blogs are a great way to share information, advice and product or service information, however there are other types of content you can share too
Your business might be really visual and you may have lots of photographs of your products that you want to share. If you sell online via e-commerce you should share photos of your products which link directly to the item in your online shop, making it easy to turn the content in to a sale. Pinterest and Instagram are great tools for doing just that.
These are basically visual representations of information, like the one on the right about content marketing. They are great when you want to make a point using statistics or trying to explain something to your audience which is all about patterns in data. Infographics take time to research and also time to create the graphics and make it engaging but when you get it right they are highly shareable and a great way to quickly gain attention for your post.
More and more businesses are turning to videos to share their content. Its a great way to engage people and often people are more willing to spend time watching a short video than they are reading an article. They are also more likely to watch to the end of a video than read to the end of an article. Not everyone feels comfortable in front of a camera but if you are and you can create short, engaging video blogs for your customers then do it. If you are not keen on creating videos yourself you could get professional videos made, however that can be quite costly for a small business so make sure you do plenty of research about what your audience want before you invest.
Audio and Podcasts
Listening is something we can do whilst doing something else. Lots of people listen to podcasts in their car or whilst exercising, cleaning or doing other jobs around the house. Create an informative or interesting podcast and publish it regularly and you can build a listener base in the same way you might recruit subscribers for your mailing list.
What Content Should I Create?
You need to first understand what your potential customers ‘want’ in terms of content. Are they seeking information which will help them to improve, reach goals, avoid problems? Are they looking for interesting content that helps them to learn or simply entertains them? Have you got a level of knowledge and understanding of a particular topic which you can share and your audience will find useful, interesting, engaging or entertaining? These are the questions you need to ask first.
Once you have thought about the above questions you then need to do some research. Understand the keywords and phrases that people might search for to find the type of content you have identified. Look at the search volumes and use analytical tools to see how your site and existing content already ranks. You also need to know the times of day and days of the week that your audience is most engaged and the channels that they use to find and digest content – are they mostly finding content through Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Feedly, Search Engines etc…. then make sure you post links to your content in the right places at the right time.
Most importantly try to make it interesting, relevant and original. Don’t just copy someone else’s article and rewrite it as your own. Its great to find inspiration from other content online and you should definitely research what is already out there, but your customers want to hear from ‘You’. Put your own values, thoughts and knowledge in to the content you create. The better the quality of the content the more likely it is to get results.
Search Engine Optimisation
To put it simply, search engines look for new, relevant and engaging content and rank your site higher for this. It is not the only thing that affects your SEO but it should be a major part of your digital marketing strategy. For the more techie among us and for those who think that buying inbound links is still the best way to optimise your site, you may be interested to read this article by a reformed link builder – http://inbound.org/post/view/confessions-of-a-google-spammer
The way that Content Marketing and SEO overlap is keywords. If you want your site to show in the results for a specific keyword (or more than likely ‘phrase’) you need to use that keyword on your website. Google ranks pages not sites so particular pages will show in results related to different keywords. Therefore each blog post you create should be targeted at a particular keyword or phrase. You should also include these words in the title, url, content and meta description.
Monitor, Measure and Evaluate
Just putting content out there is only part of the task. You need to make sure that what you are doing is working and change if it isn’t. To do that you need to monitor the results of your content, check that your page is ranking for the chosen keywords, track how many visitors it gains you and how many of those turn in to leads or followers. When someone visits your site to read a particular blog article, do they stay or do they visit that page and then leave? You can use Google Analytics to track the path that visitors take on your site. Your content should serve as a landing page to get them there but your site needs to be engaging and contain plenty of attractive internal links that encourage them to continue exploring and read more about your business once you get them there.
Its not Easy
Nothing ever is! But there are loads of free and premium tools available to help as well as plenty of specialists who you can employ to help get your content marketing on track. You might know what keywords you want to target and have plenty of ideas about titles for articles but struggle with actually writing the full article. Most small business owners simply can’t find the time needed to sit down and focus on this sort of stuff but almost all of the people I meet have lots of ideas and passion for the content they would like to serve to their customers.
If you need help with your content marketing and would like a free consultation meeting to find out more contact Zeun Digital now.