Why You Need to Start Content Marketing and How to Do It

Intro

It often sounds like a cliché, “Start a blog”, like what every digital nomad does and apparently can monetise from it.

The truth is, a blog isn’t just about writing a story while you’re on your travels to share with the world, using the odd affiliate link to try to make some money.  A blog is crucial to your marketing strategy.

The inbound marketing strategy to be exact.

There are a number of ways to strategize your content marketing and even more reasons.

“Content marketing offers three times the leads of traditional marketing while costing around 62% less” Content Marketing Institute

Why is it so important?

Blogging is crucial for your SEO.  Every day millions of marketers and businesses are competing to reach the top 4 spots on Google, simply by running ads.

If you write valuable content which keeps your audience engaged, Google will learn to trust you and naturally place you higher in those search results, organically.

Imagine this: you’re running a business, paying for Google Adwords daily to keep your website near the top of the SERP (Search Engine Results Page), and then for one reason or another you have to lower your budget, and reduce or stop your ads.

What happens then?

Well, everything stops.  Gone.  No longer visible on the SERP.

So, what’s that got to do with content marketing?

Think of it as an investment.  Every piece of content you create, especially blogging, will stay on your site forever (unless you delete it of course).  It will continue to be searchable, bringing in organic traffic.  Doing the work for you.

The more content you have that is relevant to your website and your buyer audience, with the correct keywords, the more Google will trust you and reward you for these efforts.

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So where do I start?

  1. Set your goals

What do you want to get out of this?  Engagement? Website traffic?  Sales?  Trust from your audience?  Leads?

If you don’t know what you want to get out of it, then how can you tailor your approach to achieve this?  How will you define success?

Once you’ve decided WHAT you want to achieve from your efforts, how are you going to measure success?

It’s crucial to set up your goals in Google Analytics so that you can measure your success rate, and change your style or strategy depending on what is engaging or converting your audience.

It might be time spent on page, or the number of pages per session if you’re looking for engagement.  If it’s sales then work out a realistic return rate based on your own efforts, the time taken, any additional advertising costs etc, but whatever it is set up these goals.

If you’re not analysing your results, then there’s not much point in carrying out the task in the first place as you will never know if it worked.

  1. Do your research

Do you know who your audience is?  Do you know who you want your audience to be?

Create a buyer persona:

  • How old are they?
  • What gender are they?
  • Where do they live?
  • Where do they work?
  • What do they do in their free time?
  • What are their pain points?
  • Why would they want your product/service?
  • How would they use your product/service?
  • What social channels do they use?
  • How often do they use the internet?
  • What kind of websites do they visit?

The list is exhaustive, but once you have narrowed this down to a fine art you will know exactly where to find your audience and how to speak to them.

Think about how they write into Google searches and use the same language as them – be on their level in any way possible.

  1. Competitor Research

Who are your competitors?  What do they do that’s working?  What do they do that isn’t working?

Now I’m not saying copy them – that’s the last thing you want to do, as for a start just because it’s working for them it doesn’t mean it will work for you.  Also, if you do the same as them and they are already doing it better than you, then you’re giving yourself even more competition!

You have to be different.  Simple as.  Stand out from your competition and you will get better results.

63% of marketers create content by buyer persona” – Hubspot 

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The Content

Okay, so you know who your buyer is, you know how to conquer your competition and you know exactly what you want out of this and how you’re going to measure your success, great!

So, content marketing covers a whole range of things, and here are some of your possible options

  • Blogs
    • Try to use a minimum of 300 words
    • Do your keyword research first – what is trending, what keywords are being searched?
    • Use images, and include Alt tags – this is good for SEO as it tells Google what it’s looking at and if it’s relevant, and it’s also good for those with visual disabilities and screen readers, otherwise they wouldn’t know what was on the screen either
    • Categorize and use tags to help your audience to find a particular topic easier and navigate seamlessly across your website
  • Visuals
  • Videos
    • 51% of marketing professionals worldwide name video as the type of content with the best ROI – Invisia 
    • Video drives a 157% increase in organic trafficfrom SERPs – Brightcove Tutorials
    • How many times have you looked online for tutorials? Not only are your audience guaranteed to be engaged (they obviously need to learn how to do something), but it shows authority and builds trust
  • Podcasts
    • A lot of people think that podcasts are so last decade, but they are actually proven to still be a truly valuable asset
    • Unique monthly podcast listeners have surpassed 75 million per month – We Edit Podcasts
  • Press Releases
    • What better way to gain trust from your audience than with a press release? Showcase the launch of a new product or service, or run a charity event
  • Guest Blogging
    • This a great way to reach your audience – have your content published on an influencer’s website or have an influencer blog on your own website. Either way, it’s going to drive more traffic and build up trust with your audience.

72% of marketers view branded content as producing a better ROI over magazine advertisements” – Luma Partners LLC

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Things You Should Know

  1. No matter what compelling content you create, although it will bring organic traffic, you need to share it! There’s no point in spending hours creating beautiful compelling content if you’re not going to share on Social Media or in a newsletter.
  2. You need to find your niche. The more targeted your approach is, the most your product or service will be “just right” to that customer you are targeting, and you will have a lot more chance of gaining a new lead or conversion.
  3. Plan, plan and plan. Brainstorm ideas, have weekly or monthly themes, whether it’s a week, month or year at a time, make sure you have it mapped out. This will help you to keep things fresh and relevant, and also save you a headache on that Monday morning when you’re trying to think of something to write about last minute.
  4. Make sure your content is up to date. It’s tricky when you are scheduling content, as obviously news is news, you can’t predict it. Don’t write about something that happened a month ago, it’s going to look unprofessional and it’s not going to engage your readers – perhaps keep news on an ad-hoc basis.
  5. Link your articles. Internal links are equally as important as external links. Give your reader somewhere to go next, keep them engaged.  The more engaged your audience is, the more Google will think you are a valuable asset to the web and they will reward you on the SERP.

Summary

I think that’s about it for now, and I hope that this article has been helpful.  As always, please do feel free to get in touch if you have any questions or need any assistance with your own content marketing!

Otherwise, good luck and I hope to stumble across some of your content soon too!

“Four out of Five sites use blogs and email newsletters” – Content Marketing Institute

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