Why is Content Marketing important?
In today’s complex digital environment and with a lot of Google updates coming out all time, the idea of content marking or running content that is put on your website and then distributed throughout the internet is really what Google is after.
We don’t want to manipulate search engines using spammy tricks and tactics. We want good content which answers your customer’s most commonly asked questions.
This satisfies what Google wants.
They want the best answer to their searchers queries and if you provide this, you’ll rank well.
Here are the six important aspects to creating a lead generating content machine.
1. Strategy and Planning
What you are going to write about? Having a solid strategy and plan will make the whole process a lot easier and provide a clear roadmap for your content marketing campaign. Research what you’re going to write about first.
Where Should You Do Research
You should have a good understanding of what your customers are interested in and what questions you commonly get asked. Sit down and write out all the questions you can think of that you get most often asked.
This will form the basis of your content. It’s important in this step to really put yourself in your customer’s shoes and not write about the things that interest you. The things that you’re interested in after working in your business for a long time are probably well above the understanding of a new customers.
Look at Your Google Analytics
If you have access to your Google analytics (ask your web developer or online marketing team for access), you’ll be able to see how people are finding your website. What words are they typing into Google?
What ads are getting clicked on the most. This can give you a good understanding of what people are looking for and this can give you a lot of good ideas of content.
Look At Your Competitors
There’s a good chance that some of your competitors have already gone through this process and maybe made a few mistakes that you can avoid. Have a look at their website and see what they’re writing about. Have a look on their homepage as well. They might be putting a link to their best content on their homepage.
2. Content Medium
How should you present the content? How should you present it on your website? Here are the following options:
- Written article
- Downloadable PDF
A video is a great way to go as it can be turned into all the above mediums quite easily. Ultimately how you present your content depends on your resources, abilities and how you think your audience likes to consume content. People like consuming content in different ways and the more options you give your audience, the more likely your content will be accessed.
3. Content Structure
Here are the most important elements of your content:
Headline Around six times more people read the headline than read the article. That’s why your headline is one of the most important elements of the page. As well as this, it should be SEO optimised. Here are examples of what makes a good headline:
- Headlines with numbers E.g. “50 Ways To Grow Your Facebook Business Page”
- ‘How To’ headlines. E.g. “How to Start a Brand that Customers will love”
- Headlines with questions, E.g. “Do You Close The Bathroom Door, Even When You’re The Only One Home?”
- The Curiosity Headline (piques attention in your reader by making a claim in the headline that seems unusual or remarkable) E.g. “Why You Don’t want to Drink The Pool Water”.
People like to be entertained or learn something new that they weren’t aware of. Keep this in mind when creating your headline.
Introduction Explain exactly what the article is about in your intro. Outline what you’ll be talking about but make sure to sell what’s coming up. Also explain the purpose of the article what do you want the readers to achieve by reading it?
Subheadings and Space Write with a lot of headings and space. Plenty of studies show that sub headings and space improve retention and comprehension.
Flow Make sure the article flows and the subheadings have a meaning or purpose to their order.
Conclusion Tie the article together and maybe provide an action item for your readers to take away. Also, provide a call to action or a way for your readers to get more information or more from you.
The next important phase is the Distribution. How you are going to get this content spread around to the internet. If your content is in multiple media formats (i.e. video, audio, PDF, image etc), this forms a great basis for distribution. Here a ways to distribute your content:
- Post the video to YouTube and optimise
- Post the audio to iTunes as a podcast
- Send the PDF out as a Press release.
- Announce the blog post on Facebook, Twitter, LinkIn, Google +.
- Announce it inside any forums you’re a part of.
- Pin the image to Pinterest with a link back.
- Use the post as an Ad on Facebook (sponsored stories)
- Email your list
How can you measure the success of this. Online marketing has an advantage over other marketing channels in that measuring success or goals is a lot easier than traditional marketing. Here are some metrics to track:
- Visits to the specific blog post
- Facebook likes and comments
- Twitter Retweets, favourites and interaction
- Increased sales
- If the post is selling a product, measure sales
- YouTube views
- iTunes subscribes and downloads
- New customers and feedback
- Google alerts
- New subscribers
Where is all the activity coming from?
Which channel brought you the most leads? it may be a good idea (if there is a clear winner) to drill down deep and focus on that channel (e.g. FB ads, Google organic etc)
And last but not the least, you have to schedule and repeat this process as much as you can. This is probably one of the hardest things to do and we all get caught up in the day to day but if you really set a schedule in your calendar or on your phone and stick to it, you’ll really see the enormous benefits of doing this.
If you need some direction with your content marketing, contact us here.