Content marketing continues to be one of the top forms of marketing out there. Businesses around the globe utilise content to communicate with their audiences, share their expertise, and encourage conversions.
Why Use The Power Of Content Marketing?
Content marketing is the act of creating, publishing and sharing a variety of content across different channels. Its purpose is to communicate with a targeted audience and is not normally intended to directly promote. It works on relationship-building and raising brand awareness. Therefore, content marketing should have a strong focus on sharing helpful, actionable advice.
The Most Effective Content Marketing Techniques
There are different types of media to use in your content marketing strategy including:
Today, we're going to look at some of the most effective techniques you can incorporate into your overall content marketing campaign.
1) Optimise Your Blog Posts For Search Engines
Blogging may be the most obvious form of content marketing out there but it's also one of the most effective. Running a blog enables you to build an audience and following by sharing your knowledge. As an expert in your particular field, your audience will expect you to have answers to their questions and to be able to give them sound advice.
Just like your webpages, your blog content needs to be optimised for search engines. Search engine bots look for relevant, up-to-date information on websites and blogs so that they can present the most helpful search results to their users. As such, consistently creating relevant and up-to-date blog content will help it rank higher in search engines. But, there are also other necessary steps for you to implement:
Brainstorm - Keywords are what search engines use to match your content with search queries. Begin by brainstorming possible terms that people will search for in relation to what information you're offering. For example, if your blog post explains how to lay a carpet, possible search queries may be:
These are the types of things people search for when they're looking for an answer or instructions.
Use a Keyword Planner - Once you have your list of possible keywords, use a keyword planner like Google Keyword Planner or Ahrefs to pinpoint which ones to include in your posts. Both of these platforms will show you the search volume of your keywords, along with how much competition there is for them.
Choose Your Keywords - On both platforms you will be shown a list of similar, alternative keywords. This enables you to select the most relevant one that will be easiest to rank higher for.
While the examples given above are all very similar, one in particular may have a considerably higher volume of searchers per month. Although more searchers may seem like a positive thing, you need to take into consideration the amount of competition for each keyword before selecting them.
A keyword with high competition means that there are already lots of websites that are ranking for it, and some may be very well established. This would make it very difficult and timely for you - as someone just starting up - to rank high using those keywords.
For example, you wouldn't be able to overtake Amazon or eBay in search engines. Both these sites have a considerable amount of traffic, along with lots of funds to put into their SEO campaigns. They are too well-established for smaller businesses to compete with in search engines. The ideal combination for start-ups are keywords with high search volumes and low competition.
This doesn't mean that you should avoid the high-competition keywords altogether though. Ranking high for high-competition/high search volume keywords may take much more time and effort, but in the long run they could bring you significantly more traffic. Therefore, it's worth including a mix of keywords in your content.
Search engine bots crawl websites to find and index pages. They can enter your pages and posts through these links, making the process faster and more effective.
Include links in every blog post you write to direct your audience (and bots) to other relevant posts that you've written. Your internal linking system will encourage your audience to visit more pages on your site by providing them with an easy means of further reading. You should also include links that lead to high authority, relevant websites to increase your SEO.
In addition to the linking system within your blog, work on link-building outside your blog to direct people and crawlers to your posts. Guest posting is a great way to do this and to reach a wider audience. It is the act of posting a unique piece of content on another blog or website and including a natural-looking link back to your relevant blog post.
Search engine bots look for quality and relevance in websites. Ensure that your posts are informative, accurate, and free from spelling, grammar and punctuation mistakes.
To be considered high-quality, your text should be broken up with subheadings, bullet points, and images. Make it easy to understand with short sentences and non-complex words.
Keep it Simple
Don't overload your blog with widgets, plugins and large images. These will all add to the page-loading time and result in a slower blog. Google's ranking algorithm takes speed into consideration and a slow blog will impact your SEO efforts.
If your blog is slow try compressing your images, clearing your cache, and removing any unnecessary elements. If you're using WordPress, install plugins that are dedicated to clearing your cache and increasing your site speed.
There are also plugins to help optimise your blog for search engines, like Yoast and SEMrush. Yoast, in particular, is designed for users to improve your ranking even if they're not very SEO-savvy. The free version goes through all the basics and advises users on aspects such as:
2) Inject Personality into Your Brand and Content
Consider if your business was a person. What would they be like? How would they speak to your audience? Think about the type of words and language they would use.
3) Create and Distribute Tutorial Videos
Be specific in your videos and offer relevant, practical advice that people can take away and put into action. Videos should always be high in quality with a clear picture and sound so that you are viewed in a professional capacity. A poor-quality video will reflect badly on your brand.
Add your brand name, logo, tag line and a gentle call-to-action in your video, but don't make selling the main purpose. Request likes, follows and advise your audience where they can find further related content if they'd like to learn more.
Distribute your videos on social media platforms, emails, blogs, and your website. You could also create short video courses and distribute them to course platforms.
If you really want to get stuck into video-based content and your budget allows it, you can take advantage of various video ad programmes, like YouTube's. These are a great way to place your business in front of people who enjoy watching videos.
4) Showcase Your Testimonials
5) Launch Competitions, Polls, Special Offers and Giveaways
There's no better way to increase engagement than simply asking your followers to engage! Competitions and giveaways will always be a hit because people love to get something for nothing.
The exciting thing about competitions is that they allow you to get creative. The more creative and exciting your competitions, the more engagement you'll get. Here are some simple tactics to get your imagination going:
Competition rules and regulations vary from country to country. They also vary on different social media platforms. You need to check all of these before launching any competition to make sure you stay compliant.
6) Conduct A/B Tests On Your Ads
If you're running an ad marketing campaign as part of your content marketing strategy, A/B testing can be really beneficial for maximising your results. Even better, it's an easy task to carry out. A/B testing ads is the process of running two ads simultaneously, with one element different to the other.
You can A/B test:
Keep in mind that only one element should be changed at a time so that you are aware of specifically what has given you your results.
Some Points to Remember
Regardless of your specific content marketing strategy, keep these things in mind throughout:
Always add value - Your audience wants to feel like reading, watching, or signing up for something is worth their time and effort. Lazy content creation just wont do it. Take the time to make sure you're adding value to each piece you create and share.
Social Media is Your Marketing Friend - Social media, you either love it or hate it. But, regardless of your stance here on it, social media can be a tremendous tool for marketing. Every time you create a new piece of content, post it on social media. A new post on your blog? Let your followers know and give them a link for easy access. Writing a new ebook? Again, let your followers know. Tell them what they can expect and when to expect it.
Keep Creating Content - Content marketing is a continuous cycle. You need to keep creating, posting and sharing to build momentum and build your positive brand reputation. It wont happen over night but if you work at it, you will gradually widen your audience, gain more followers, and encourage more sales.