Creating a content marketing strategy isn’t as easy as it may seem. You can’t just throw hundreds of articles up on the web and expect them magically to rank well on Google.
Yes, understanding that you should be leveraging content marketing is the right first step, but before you launch your campaign, there is a lot that you ought to know.
No matter how awesome your content is, if you’re not marketing it, sharing it, and promoting the heck out of it, nobody will read it.
With this straightforward guide, you’ll learn 11 content marketing tips that every marketer should know.
Let’s get started.
#1- You Need A Blog To Tell Your Story
Step one, you need a blog. It doesn’t really matter how big you are – you need one. While you’re at it, you should make sure that it’s built on WordPress. It will give you he most flexibility down the road.
In addition, you need to know why you need a blog. If you work in a company, you are going to need to justify this blog to someone eventually. If you are a small business owner, you are going to need to justify the time invested to yourself because let’s face it – you’re it. Your time is your greatest asset.
Every business has a story, and it’s up to you to make sure your story is told. One of the first things you learn in business is that people connect to people, not your brand or a faceless corporation. A blog can tell your story, share you expertise, and provide you with a human connection to your customers.
#2- Check for Grammatical Errors
Not only do you look a little silly to your potential customers if you can’t spell (particularly with spellcheck on every platform from Word and Google docs to WordPress), but you may also see a drop in rankings. Google wants to deliver authoritative results and nothing makes you look less authoritative than having misspellings and grammatical errors throughout your content.
But what if you’re not a writer? Try a content writing service. If you’re a decent writer but just need some help to improve, install Grammarly, a tool that will help you with everything from emails to blog writing.
#3- Stop Selling
Companies often get in the mindset of selling themselves to the customers. They will use their blog and guest blog posting opportunities to promote their brand and sell to the readers.
You need to stop working in the selling mindset and start focusing on offering content that is valuable. Place yourself in the reader’s shoes to determine what they want to learn, and why they would subscribe to your blog.
“The way to truly succeed and provide value is to learn to learn to natively storytell on each platform” – Gary Vaynerchuck
#4- Know Your Audience, and Give Them What They Want
Before you can create successful, engaging and overall great content, you’ve got to know your audience very well. One technique to employ in this regard is keyword research, aimed at discovering what your ideal customers are looking for.
Start by getting a better idea of the existing demand for your topic through Google Trends. Just type your main keyword into the search box to learn how many searches it received within a specified period of time.
Remember, the more you know about your readers, the more precisely you can base your content creation on them, and the more effective your whole content marketing strategy will be.
#5- Be Original
This is the only way to stand out.
There’s lot of samey content and thinly veiled re-blogging out there, so coming up with your own ideas is the best way to differentiate yourself from the rest.
The way to do this is to use your own voice and your own opinions, rather than regurgitating press releases and white papers.
Over time, the best content for us is that which is original and cannot be found elsewhere. Of course, this won’t be the only content marketing tips article on the web but these are tips written from experience, not cobbled together from other sources.
#6- Research Your Competitors
Considering that 48% of B2B marketers and 77% of B2C marketers use content marketing, you’re likely not the only business in your industry attempting to attract customers with content. And although this means that you have competition, it also means that you have the opportunity to see what other people are creating.
Take a look at what other businesses in your industry (especially top competitors) are doing with their content strategies. What formats are they using? What topics are they discussing? And how are their readers responding?
#7- Know Your Goals
It’s hard to pick one piece of advice, but as with any type of marketing program, I think knowing why you are doing content marketing, and what you want to accomplish, is so, so important. As in – why do you want to produce content? What are your goals? Do you want to increase exposure, brand affinity, gain more customers, improve your search engine rankings, etc?
Set some firm goals and create paths to achieve them. It isn’t enough to say “I’m going to write some awesome content and magically rank #1,” it needs to be more like “I want to rank very highly for these specific keywords, and I’m going to do that by creating informative pages on these topics that include information and graphics, and I’ll do it by this date.”
#8- Make a Plan
Creating a calendar is vital to a successful strategy. Just like an editorial calendar for a traditional publication, a content calendar can help to guide your strategy throughout a given time frame. Of course, you’ll want to add special dates in here, like major holidays and events that are relevant to your industry.
You’ll probably also want to leave some “blank” spots to incorporate, for instance, unpredictable but relevant events or trending topics that you need to create content for last-minute.
You can also use this calendar not only to plan what you’re posting, but where. Having a multimedia strategy and even including outreach like guest posting and PR is crucial these days. Consider where different distribution channels will fit well into your sales strategy along the timeline of the following months.
#9- Longer Content Performs Better
Longer content gets more attention from both Google and People.
You’ve probably heard this before., but what you might not have heard is that higher rankings also increase conversion rates. A study on Quicksprout showed that when they A/B tested landing pages, the longer ones not only performed better, but also had more qualified leads.
So why does long form content work better? More often than not, a blog post of around 2,500 words will:
- Capture attention and offer more relevant information
- Incorporate more keywords and SEO optimization
- Develop authority of the website that published it
Need Long & High Quality Content For Your Website?
#10- Optimize Everything
Every piece of content you write must be optimized for the search engines. Without effective optimization, it is challenging for the search engines to find your content. This will make it harder for the readers to actually find your content, and provide you with the traffic you need.
#11- Read Analytic Reports
One of the most important content marketing strategies is to watch your analytic reports. You need to check on them and measure what is working. Since the readers can change their minds, it can shift the way you write and market your content. Track the traffic sources for keywords, links, and other connections.
Use alerts to monitor information related to the customer’s needs. You must find out what is driving them to your website, or your competitor’s websites.
The first step will always be to know and analyze who your readers are. This makes content marketing so special, and so different from link building, because you need to think more about your audience rather than what your rankings will be in search engines.
This selfless act is lasting – just look at the profiles of these folks I interviewed, they believed in the power of content marketing, and never worried about algorithm changes because they know that building content for audience is something that will stay in the world of Internet Marketing forever.
Want to Improve Your Content Marketing Strategy?
If your website isn’t seeing the results you want from content marketing, I can help. I’m a talented content writer who has years of experience creating and promoting successful content for my clients, and I can do the same for you.
Contact me today to speak about how your business can get more customers with content!