Table of Contents Hide
- What is Content Marketing?
- Why do I Need Content Marketing?
- Content Marketing Strategy
- How to do Content Marketing
- Free Courses on Content Marketing
As Business owners, our primary aim is always to increase conversion rates. As daunting as this task usually is with traditional marketing, this post features everything you’ll need to spike these rates using a Content Marketing strategy.
Below is a step-by-step guide to get you started.
What is Content Marketing?
With the publicity content marketing’s had the past few years, tons of online sources have tried giving a suitable definition. However, no other source defines it better than The Content Marketing Institute:
… a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.
This means that
- the concept of content marketing is long term.
- It focuses on building strong audience and customer relationship.
- It achieves this relationship goal by feeding them with quality and relevant content.
This definition basically goes against everything we know about marketing. But as strange as the concept may sound to you, it’s not a new one. Content marketing goes way back to the era of comic books and storytelling.
Ever wondered why Marvel controls such a broad audience even with some recent shitty movies hitting the cinemas?
It’s because they already have the loyalty of these audiences. They caught their attention with relevant content (comic books) at a young age, and now it’s almost impossible to resist the movies.
These guys understood the concept of content marketing early enough and utilized it.
Well, lately, the tables have turned…..
Everyone now wants a piece of the cake.
And why is that? Because it works.
The concept of Content Marketing starts with generating high quality and relevant content to a specified set of audience. However, contents range from videos to ebooks, articles, podcasts, infographics, and so on.
For Marvel, high quality and relevant contents were the comic books; the specified set of audience were the kids, teenagers, and even some adults. Yea, don’t deny it.
For you, on the other hand, you’d have to figure that part on your own because it’s an essential piece of the puzzle. A simple market research would fix that.
Why do I Need Content Marketing?
Trust me, this question popped-up at one point. I can literally hear you complain about the stress of going through all these when you can simply pay an influencer or run ads.
But here’s the thing, people are basically fed up with ads and the promises that come with them. Some have even found a way around it by using Adblockers. Your predecessors literally ruined your chances at gaining reasonable traction with ads.
Either way, Julia McCoy notes that:
a solid content marketing strategy can generate three times more leads than paid advertising.
What content marketing literally does is create a connection and loyalty with your prospects through valuable content. They get so immersed with your articles, videos, podcasts, and ebooks that they hardly notice when you silently chip in your products. Even when they realize this, they do not care at this point because the bond has already been established.
However, like you are used to, approaching prospects with ads straight up is more like coming in contact with a persistent marketer on your way back from work.
So, each time you opt to run ads with unrealistic promises, you basically take the place of that persistent marketer on the street.
Content Marketing Strategy
Content marketing Strategies are series of steps you take to research, generate, publish, and promote high-quality and relevant content.
A strategy in place is pretty vital to the success of content marketing. Furthermore, one of the many benefits of content marketing strategies is that they afford you the ability to create the right content at the right time.
Before the advent of the internet, content marketing methods were limited. All they had to go with were magazines, newspaper ads, and bandit signs.
But, in the face of this limitation, the early founders tried to find a way out. They devised means of generating relevant and high-quality content with the tools at their disposal. This included picture placement in newspaper/magazine ads and CTAs, choice of pictures, and playing with words.
Today we have tons of tools at our disposal, therefore quite a number of strategies in play. Regardless, only one of these strategies effectively works for all businesses and products alike. There are really no such things as a niche-based content marketing strategy like some people are led to believe.
How to do Content Marketing
Considering the several complications with strategies on the internet, I have carefully outlined progressive steps to get you started on the right path.
Research Relevant Keywords
Before you start out with generating content, you might want to know the needs of your target audience. Recall our use of the phrase high-quality and relevant content. It is almost impossible to achieve this without thorough keyword research. You literally win their hearts by producing content that aligns with their needs or solves their problems.
Furthermore, in this line of business, you totally want to avoid generating content based on guts, feelings, or personal likes.
Now when an internet user types a string into the Google search box, they unconsciously use keywords. These keywords give you an idea of their needs and help you build content around that need while chipping in your products as a solution.
However, a great tool to get you started is Ubersuggest.
Find Related Keywords
Take this like killing two birds with one stone. Most products or contents solve more than one problem. So, finding related keywords puts you in the position of meeting more than one need with your content. This in turn increases your conversion rates.
On the other hand, using just one keyword could make your content sound stale. You need to create your content in a way that is clear and understandable to both google and readers. It helps your audience flow with your articles and helps Google understand what type of search intent to target.
This is totally achievable by using related keywords. Ubersuggest can also help with this too.
Get Spreadsheet for Each topic
Remember your major objective for keyword research is to enable you build topics around the needs of your audience.
At this point designing a spreadsheet is paramount. It helps you organize your findings which you would be needing for each topic. Ranging from target keyword to related keywords and every other necessary information for content generation.
To skip this step of content marketing strategy could prove lethal because getting organized right before content creation is key to effective delivery.
Create a Checklist for Each Content.
Checklists may sound like clichés but for the first time, this cliché is one you cannot overlook. They help with organizing your ideas and structure.
Furthermore, they also help with deciding specific subtopics to cover which helps you deal with your inability to remember ideas most times.
However, this checklist should be embedded in your spreadsheet. Each topic carrying subtopics, links, and statistics you would want to mention.
Save Your contents on Drafts
Contents are not usually 100% perfect immediately after creation even though they look like it. Come back to the same article 2 or 3 days later, you’d realize this. There are two ways to go about this though; Proofread after two days or send it to a professional editor.
This is pretty vital because contents with grammatical, logic, and other issues sends out a wrong message about you especially to new visitors. Remember the thing about first impressions.
So, saving your content on drafts gets you ahead of issues like this. Tools at your disposal include Microsoft Office, Google docs, WPS, or any program you feel comfortable with.
Just ensure you hold the urge to hit publish few minutes after creation.
Get a Schedule for Publication and Promotion
Consistency is a key factor in content marketing; more important than frequency. The thing with being frequent is, most times, the need to meet deadlines prompts you to overlook some mistakes or leave out vital infos that would have been of value to your audience.
So, you would need to maintain a consistent schedule to enable you cover all your bases on each topic. A publish schedule could range from twice a week to every weekend or even every day of the week. That way your audience knows exactly when to come back for new content.
However, one great feature about most publishing platforms like YouTube, BlogSpot, and WordPress is that they allow you schedule publish dates. So even when you finish a content before the proposed date, you can automatically schedule the content to publish without coming back to hit the button.
On the other hand, posting about your new content before or after publication could make a huge difference in your conversion rates. Tools like Buffer or Facebook help to make promotion schedules easier.
Always Reach out To Influencers
There is such a thing as Influencer Marketing, a basic addition to your post-content marketing strategy. It basically involves reaching out to top brands mentioned in your content, asking them to share your content. Although, follow-ups are usually slow at this point however the more people you contact, the higher your chances of getting your content shared.
These people literally wield the power to make your content go viral. Another advantage is that they share your content with like-minded or related audience.
However, while there’s nothing wrong with asking for a share, avoid pestering Influencers. A better approach would be to build a relationship with them. More like asking for something you could do in return for sharing your content.
Read Also: Target Marketing: All you need to know
Do not Joke with Internal Links
Ranking better on SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) is always in synergy with internal links (links to other content on your platform). When visitors click on your content from SERPs, an important factor Google considers is the amount of time spent on your content. It tells how relevant your content was.
However, if they left as quickly as the link was clicked, it automatically affects your ranking.
So, Internal linking helps you keep them a little bit longer, although not relenting in your efforts at creating high quality and relevant content.
But starting out with a content marketing strategy from the scratch means you do not have existing content. This however fixes itself along the line as you keep creating newer pieces.
A great tool for achieving this is the Yoast plugin on WordPress. It automatically suggests related pieces available on your platform.
Free Courses on Content Marketing
To further broaden your knowledge on Content marketing, I have outlined some free courses below;
- Content Marketing Course
- C.M Strategy Trends for 2020
- Content Marketing 101: A free Guide for Beginners or Pros
- Content Marketing: The Key to Successful Business
Content marketing strategies take conscious time and effort to develop. Don’t expect explosive results to spring up from nowhere.
However, good thing you’ve gone through this post. All that remains is the implementation.
But to get you sorted out on confusing areas, you can reach out on the comment section.