Definition: Content marketing is any marketing that involves the creation and sharing of media and publishing content in order to acquire and retain customers.
The internet is brimming with content – knowledge bases, thought leadership articles, blogs, video, white papers, how-to guides, case studies… the list goes on and on. But what is the point to all this content marketing? And more importantly does your business really have to come to the party and start posting content too?
The answer is simple. If you want your website to rank well and be found by search engines such as Google, then yes. Just as importantly, if you want your target market, clients and prospects to see you as a thought leader, to respect and value your opinion when they have a question about your company’s area of expertise then content marketing is one of the ways to do it.
But don’t despair, it doesn’t have to be time consuming and you can combine both copy writing for search engine optimisation and thought leadership into one.
Increasingly, people are going to the internet first and foremost for information – you have a question or need to know something and the first thing you do is “Ask Google”. The secret to content marketing is writing killer content that will come up high on the search results, which ultimately means that your content will be seen and read by more and more people.
Here are my top tips for killer content creation:
1. Make the commitment
Decide that you are going to commit to content marketing on a regular basis and stick to it. Block off a morning every couple of weeks just for creating and posting content. Depending on your role and the amount of time you have, its recommended that you post new content a minimum of twice a month, more frequently if you can. The more content the better and quicker your results will be but it has to be a realistic commitment on your behalf.
2. Identify your keywords
One of the main objectives for content creation is to help SEO rankings therefore, you need to ensure that you are creating content with search engines in mind. Gone are the days when you can employee ‘keyword stuffing’ techniques. You must identify which keywords you are going to focus your piece of content on and then weave that keyword seamlessly and naturally into your copy.
3. Identify what your audience is researching
Another main objective for content marketing is to education and inform your target audience. This will mean that ultimately they will consider you and your company as a thought leader with valuable views and information to share. They will choose to follow your posts and social channels and return to your website frequently for useful and educational information. Ultimately, they will then choose to buy products and services from your company as they respect and value your opinion.
4. Write naturally
As referenced above, you must ensure that your content is well written, easy to read and flows naturally. Search engines use algorithms to score the readability of all content of the internet and will downgrade ratings of content if keywords are inserted into copy without making sense. Also, ensure that you proof read your final copy. It doesn’t reflect well on you or your company if your content marketing is littered with grammatical errors and spelling mistakes.
Food for thought: should all your content be written content? I’d recommend that you mix it up and include a combination of written, visual (i.e. infographics) and video content. Each lends themselves to different audiences, social sharing channels and SEO metrics.
5. Use social media channels
Once your content is created, proofed and ready to post online, you should first and foremost add it to your website or blog. Then make sure you maximise your target audience reach but posting your content to your social media channels. These can include LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram etc. Ensure that you use hashtags to help with the reach of your content marketing and always include a link back to the feature as well as a relevant image.
6. Re-purpose your content
You’ve created killer content, you’ve posted it to your website and shared it over your social media channels, now you need to re-purpose it. If you’ve written a blog, why not turn this into a video post? If you’ve written a case study, why not turn this into an infographic. Re-purposing your content marketing means you can reach new audiences through different channels and that you achieve maximum mileage out of your single piece of content.
7. Partner up
A great technique for mixing things up is to invite partners and other industry influences to guest blog or post content to your site and vice versa. This will mean that you are sharing varied content from different authors on your site and when you post your content to their sites, you are not only reaching new audiences but also improving your website SEO rankings by having valuable back links back to your own site.
Above all else, ensure that your content marketing is king and relevant for your audience, then everything else will fall into place.
Jo Coxhill is an experienced marketing consultant and can help you on the road to success. Contact Jo for a free Discovery session.