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 Valuable 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
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#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.
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What a nice strategy you’ve introduced Ali, thank you! I’ve ordered some content from you last week and I’ve got brilliant articles. I’m sure that they’ll get rank on search engines very well. :))
Yea Dave, of course I remember your order and I really enjoyed working with you. Thank you for your comment and I’m looking forward to work with you more in the near future. ; )
I finally got to one of your giftools: Content Marketing.
I must say I am impressed! Your writing is crisp-fresh, and flawless. Your illustrations are colorful and easy to understand; attractive.
Your concepts are not duplicate. They flow in proper sequence.
I feel I spent my time with quality materials. Thank you for giving this complimentary.
YES, it is helpful. PS: My website is doing better, looking cleaner, still under construction.
You’re welcome Shirley, nice to hear that you liked it. 🙂
We can’t thank you enough for how much your blog has helped us and inspired us to write longer content, google announced that we would get dinged for such things. In a nutshell, our content will be up to par with 2,000 words again and above. You always help us with the tips that matter the most, such as, spelling and grammatical errors in content. The biggest mistake that we’ve corrected and will keep moving forward, installed Grammarly, and other plugins to help.
Thanks again for these tips and strategies that we all can use and keep in the back of your mind when planning.
You are more than welcome Mathew and Deloris, it’s my pleasure if I can help you with my posts and guides and I wish you best success in your affiliate marketing business. 🙂
Thank you for this information, it will go a long way to help me for my business.
What do you mean when you said optimizing how does it help for SEO.
Content writing services how does it help in creating content.
Pls you can visit my site for review plsss
Hi Tina and thanks for your comment. Optimizing means prepare your content to rank high in search engines which starts with proper keywords research.
I’ve reviewed your website; it’s designed well and you’ve done a good job. There are several things you can do to improve it:
You need to use images. Each post should have a featured image and a couple of images throughout the post.
You need to add social share buttons in the end of each post so that your readers can easily share your content on social networks and spread out the word about your website. Check out this plugin
Also, your website doesn`t need to look perfect right now. The WA training is designed in a way that by the end of it, you will have a good-looking website because things are explained step by step.
From my point of view, everything else looks nice and you’re on the right track. Just stick to it and you’ll get success for sure.
Thanks for sharing. My website is new, Most of my post can get rank on Bing, but none of them get ranking on Google yet. All my post is of around 1000 words, do you think it is too less?
And about the analytic report, I use the Google Search Console, I know there is google analytic tool, but not familiar with it.
Hi Lena, it’s recommended to write +2000 words per post if you aim for SEO ranking. Also, you need to do it on a regular basis (2 or 3 times every week) for 3 to 6 months to start getting rank in Google. But when your posts get rank and you start getting traffic, it’ll never stop and this is the beauty of SEO! ) So focus on creating fresh and quality content for your website and the result will come sooner or later.
3 points hit home for me and confirmed that I may be on the right track in building my online businesses. (1) write original content (2) don’t sell and (3) know your goals – “YOUR why” as I like to say. You are right, there is SO much content out there and so much bad content that it is often hard to find anything of quality. That coupled with the fact that almost every website I click on someone is in my face trying to sell me something I do not need or will never be of value.
In my humble opinion, the success of your content marketing strategy, especially for Affiliates like myself, begins with those 3 components. Everything else is secondary and complements the good job you would have done with those 3. There is too much hype and fluff out there making it harder for those with good, solid content to be found. But, the good news is that the internet audience is now more informed and for those that stay true to their core, success is guaranteed.
Thank you for your comment Cassandra, I’m sure that it’ll help many people to walk in the right direction in content marketing’s path. )
Thank you for this very informative post about developing a method to have a successful website. I’m fairly new to this game, having only had a website for about 6 months.
I use the analytic reports at my disposal so I know that my Google trust is increasing and my articles are ranking better. I’m sure I don’t use these reports to their full potential because I don’t understand what “all those things” in the reports mean. I google a lot of the terms so I can learn but I would love if there were some sort of training course on how to use them. Do you know of anything out there that I could use?
And what do you mean when you say I should optimize everything?
I’ve bookmarked this page so I can go through this list every week and keep on track. It’s so hard to know if you’re doing everything right when you’re new (and not yet successful). I hope that someday I’ll have the experience to be able to share with “newbies” quality information like this.
you’re welcome Cynthia. Well you don’t need to know everything about optimizing right now. What you need to focus on is your content to make it as quality as possible. When you start getting rank in Google and other search engines, you’ll have a lot of of ways to optimize your post/pages.
What a thorough and helpful post.
This is exactly what I am looking for.
To be honest I am new in this industry and the tips you provide here are very helpful.
I gree our readers come first before our ranking and we need to know our audience (their needs, struggles, etc) in order to serve them in the best way.
I think I learned a lot from your post because I wasn’t following a content writing calendar and I didn’t know that my analytic report could help me in my content marketing strategy. I will take it into account in the future.
I bookmarked your post for future reference.
You’re welcome and thank you too for your comment. )
I’ve tried to research my audience through google analytics but often I hit a brick wall as I just get that no data is available. Also a few weeks ago I was getting close to 50% of my traffic from organic search, which has gone down now which seems strange as I would have thought that would stay reasonably constant. After all, my content is reasonably timeless. What I find most revealing is the comments I get on my site. The most useful is when someone expresses an opinion which comes from an ill-informed stance, or when someone asks an honest question and clearly they would like to have an answer. I have written a number of new posts prompted by such comments and questions. Research on competitors is an area I need to focus more on. Clearly I still have a long way to go.
Thanks and best regards
Hi Andy, I’m sure that you’ll get success if you stick on your site and creating quality content for your audience. )
This is a great article for anyone finding it hard to get conversions on their blog posts. You are so right, the customer comes first. Providing thoughtful content that focuses on their problems and needs is paramount. I always aim for at least 1400 words in each post and sometimes achieve over 2000, but that depends on the topic. SEO optimisation is vital and I use Yoast. Thank you for sharing:)
You’re welcome Kathy and thank you too for your comment. )