Develop A Content Marketing Strategy That Packs A Punch
You might want to rethink your approach if your entire content marketing strategy depends on the outsourcing of a 500-word article for $1 every few days. In fact, if you’re outsourcing any content for a dollar or less, STOP. Yes, we all like a bargain, but if it comes at the price of your ethics and integrity, you’re being ripped off.
Before we talk strategy, let’s take a quick look at what content marketing is, and how you can use it to meet your business objectives.
Content marketing is a low-cost, effective way to build brand awareness and drive traffic to your website. Any type of content you publish, whether it’s videos, blog posts, or status updates, forms part of your content marketing strategy. You can use content to attract and engage your target, which ultimately helps you increase your conversion rate.
So how do you build a rock solid strategy that defies the limits of a laughable budget and actually works? Believe it or not, it’s doable. While you may decide to incorporate your own methods for generating quality content, these basic steps will help you formulate a content marketing strategy of note.
Keep Your Eye on the Desired Outcome
Mistakenly many business owners take their eye off the ball, buying crappy articles for the sole purpose of creating a backlink. As an online entrepreneur, you should never underestimate the power of your content. When you lose focus, you start to place importance on factors that have little significance in determining your search engine rankings or providing value to your customer.
Understandably, you may feel the pressure to outdo your competitors by producing more, instead of better content. Don’t put your credibility or your business at risk by making that profit crushing error.
Your content has to mean something – every word counts. You’re not just publishing generic text, posting pretty pictures and revolutionary videos, or making bold statements.
You’re saying something about your company, about what you stand for and who you are. Unpalatable content that doesn’t resonate with readers could be your biggest downfall.
In a nutshell, you need content that resonates with current and potential clients, while giving your brand greater visibility in search engines. When you’re able to create a balance between SEO and making a connection, you’ll have traffic flocking to your site in droves. An increase in traffic leads to an increase in conversions, which means higher profits for you.
Get Rid Of the Designer Budget
You want a Ferrari when you can barely afford a bicycle. We get that. Unfortunately, the grand life doesn’t come cheap. It’s time to be realistic and realize that a shiny website with all the bells, whistles, and bling you can afford isn’t going to get you very far without engaging SEO content and plenty of it.
Assess your budget and make sure you’re spending in the areas that matter. If you’re throwing more cash into your website design than your content and SEO budget, make a serious change now, not when it’s too late. It’s time to free yourself from the mental anguish that comes along with expense and see the potential for conversions. In other words, don’t become so disconnected from content creation you lose the plot entirely.
6 Steps to a Powerful Content Marketing Strategy
Step 1: Find and Research Advantageous and Viable Gaps
Before you can create engaging content, you need to figure out which keywords you have a chance to succeed with, or improve on, in search engines. You’ll want to use several tools to evaluate content that’s achieving desirable results, and you’ll want to research keywords and phrases that drive the most traffic. Google Analytics, Yahoo Web Analytics, WordTracker, Google’s Keyword Tool, and similar tools are going to help you tremendously. However, make sure you understand the information they provide. If you don’t, consider hiring or consulting someone who does.
Once you have your keywords, it’s time to brainstorm content ideas. Research your target to find out what they want to hear. Survey customers, surf forums, and explore question and answer sites to see what people are saying. Pinpoint the topics that have the potential to attract visitors and boost conversions.
- Don’t waste time on phrases you’ll probably never rank for, especially when there are phrases you can rank for quickly and almost effortlessly.
- Think of ways to repurpose content that works.
- Target the keywords that are doing well, but could do better.
- Stay informed about developments happening within your industry. You may hit upon a few ideas for content.
Step 2: Plan Your Content Creation and Distribution In Advance
To keep your audience interested and engaged, you need to deliver a steady stream of quality content, no matter which publishing platform you use. It’s inevitable you’ll be pulled away to deal with more pressing matters, which is when clever scheduling tools come in handy. Schedule several social media status updates throughout your day, but make certain a reasonable amount of time lapses between each one. Don’t overload your audience with information.
- Keep a collection of blog posts on hand for emergencies. You never know when you’ll be away from the computer for a few days.
Step 3: Create or Outsource Relevant and Engaging Content
If you can’t produce your own content, you need to hire affordable professionals. In today’s erratic global economy, there are millions of writers searching for a supplemental income online. However, it’s best to work through an established, reputable, and affordable content provider like The Content Authority. When you have a structured system in place, there’s less chance of being burned.
- Find freelancers who specialize in your niche. Besides being knowledgeable, they may have a few sharp ideas and will tackle your articles from a fresh perspective. The Content Authority’s direct order system makes finding freelancers who specialize in a particular topic easy.
- Continue to add talent to your team for a stronger content marketing strategy. Depending on your outsourcing needs, you should always look for writers who are able to add value. You’ll find it helpful when you have a pool of writers you can depend on, instead of one.
- Readers prefer content that is easily consumed. Most people skim, deciding within seconds whether they’ll stick around. It’s best to break your article into smaller, digestible bits, paying attention to the way you format your content. Use bullets, bolding, and sub headlines, as well as appropriate images to liven up your content and make it visually appealing.
- Monitor your writers, and the content they produce to ensure you’re getting results. However, take into account you’ll only achieve a desirable result if you are clear about what you want. Provide your writers with clear, detailed guidelines, so you’re not disappointed with the outcome.
Step 4: Further Optimize Your Content for Search Engines
Part of a smart content marketing strategy is to use every opportunity to make the most of your content. Although writers will provide keyword rich articles, you can further optimize your content by including anchor text that links to relevant pages within your site. These internal links not only provide value to your readers, but you help improve your rankings, since anchor text holds significant weight in the determination of your positioning within search engines.
You should also create backlinks by submitting content to article directories and other websites. Be sure to include your keyword phrase in the resource box, linking it back to your site.
- Don’t use too many internal links. You don’t want to distract your audience, leading them away from the message you’re trying to convey.
- Search engines will assign greater value to your site when you have more backlinks. Besides using article directories to generate backlinks, consider leaving insightful comments on forums and blogs with a link back to your URL.
Step 5: Promote Through Social Media
You have to get your name out there if you want people to see you. With the rapid growth of social media, you now have thousands of outlets to share your content with the world. Use Twitter, Facebook, Google +, MySpace, LinkedIn, and other popular social networking sites to build your audience and share your content.
- Along with the content title, post a small snippet of the juicy information people can expect to find when they visit your site.
- Link to relevant, quality content, even if it’s not yours. When you find something your target will love, share it with them. They’ll thank you for it.
- Search for social bookmarking and sharing widgets that allow you to make your content shareable. Popular options are Tell-a-friend, AddThis, and ShareThis.
Step 6: Measure and Tweak
You need to know how you’re doing so you can change what’s not working. In addition to assessing the page views, bounce rates, links, and conversions your content garnered, determine how responsive your audience is. You’ll also gain insight into how effective each writer is in creating content that connects with your readers. You’ll find you can quickly pick up different writer’s strengths and weaknesses, allowing you to allocate projects appropriately in the future.
Document the results so you can easily analyze your progress. Keep going back to the drawing board and look for ways you can strengthen your content marketing strategy. No one ever said marketing was easy, but when you find your groove, you’ll reap the rewards.
Have you developed a content marketing strategy? We’d love to know what works for you and what kind of results you’ve seen. Share your tips with us in the comments section below.