Content marketing isn’t rocket science but it isn't a cakewalk either. Like any other marketing tactic, it takes continuous trial and error and multiple mistakes along the way to start getting things right.
Content marketing is one of the best ways to grow your business. In fact, some of the biggest brands have been using content for eons to turn themselves into a multibillion-dollar business. For example, Nike created its “Just Do It” tagline almost 25 years ago. These three words form the broad theme that has governed most of their campaigns over the years.
Here’s how it became so popular.
Mentioned below are some basic yet effective content marketing lessons that can help you get started with your own amazing content marketing campaign.
Build a great blog as your focal point
One of the best and simplest ways to start with content marketing is to start your own blog. You might use Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and various other channels to build your online presence but you should always make your own blog the top priority.
Share valuable content and promote it everywhere you can - social channels, newsletter, content sharing with other blogs, etc. In fact, to further amplify your blog and make it stand out, you can also register it on a new domain extension. For example, if you’re writing about online marketing strategies, then a domain name such as www.buildyourstrategy.online will help you create a memorable and unique positioning for your brand.
New domain extensions such as .site, .tech, .space, .fun, etc allow you to have domain names that are contextual and relevant to the content on your website/blog.
Once you have this, ensure that you regularly share relevant content. A few things you could share:
- Thought leadership articles
- Interviews of influencers
- Guest posts from other writers
- Opinions on the latest industry trends and news
- Infographics to convey data visually
Longer content works best
One of the ways to ensure your content is high in search results is to write long-form content. Studies show that the average length of content in the top 10 results in Google is 2,000 words or longer.
However, it’s not just about putting down words. For your content to rank and give you positive results, you need to share really, really good quality content. Take a topic and cover it from various perspectives. Share data, examples, case studies to further strengthen your arguments. Also make sure you pay attention to how you structure your blog - use relevant headlines to break up sections (as we do in this post!), incorporate numbered or bulleted lists, and sprinkle in calls-to-action (CTA's) that link to your website. All of these things help significantly when it comes to SEO.
Pay particular attention to your backlinks, it's important that they cite credible sources. This will over time bring in backlinks to your website which will significantly help you in building a credible and search-engine friendly brand.
Update your content regularly
Your existing content is one of the most valuable resources that you possess. Instead of constantly creating fresh content, every few months, visit your existing content. This will help you scale your content marketing efforts significantly.
Instead of spreading yourself too thin, spend some time updating existing content on your site. Find the most popular pages, the ones that are bringing in the maximum traffic, and figure out ways to add new sections to that content or update the existing information. Also, consider updating content where traffic might be slipping.
By sharing content for free, you instill trust in your readers about the quality of your information. This makes it easier for them to share their email address with you. You can later share an email newsletter with your latest blog posts and updates with these subscribers.
Share exclusive content with your subscribers
When it comes to building a loyal base, there
are two strategies you can try.
- Consistently share valuable and actionable content for free
- Make some of your exclusive content, such as eBooks and whitepapers, gated
Gated content limits access to only those readers who share their email address, or other requested information, with you. This could be a great way to build a lead list and a list of subscribers who have shown an interest in your content.
By sharing content for free, you instill trust
in your readers about the quality of your information. This makes it easier for
them to share their email address with you. You can later share an email
newsletter with your latest blog posts and updates with these subscribers.
5. Create a content plan
When you first start creating content, it's easy to stay motivated. It's new and exciting so you'll have plenty of ideas and energy. Six months or a year later, that may not be the case.
Consistency is an important factor in a good content marketing strategy. If you don't put out fresh content regularly, people will forget about you. Having a well-planned content calendar helps you stick with a consistent posting schedule.
In addition to taking out regular creative time to brainstorm new topics, keep an idea spreadsheet open or a dedicated content journal beside your keyboard to capture ideas as you go about your day. Write follow-up posts to existing topics and build popular blogs out into a series. This will help you attack the same topic from various angles. Include time in your plan to go back to your existing content and update it.
Use a combination of evergreen and trending content
Creating content about trending topics can be a good way to get quick spikes in traffic to your site, especially if you can get in at the early stages of the trend. Check out what's dominating Google Trends, Twitter, the news cycle, etc. as a place to start. Most trends die off though, and the traffic dries up when that happens.
Evergreen topics are ones that never go out of style. Something you write today will be just as relevant in six months, a year, or ten years. This content might not get the same kind of traffic spikes in the short-term but over time, it gets consistent reliable traffic.
Use a combination of both types of content for the best results.
7. Track everything you can
The more you analyze, the more you will learn and the better you’ll be able to optimize your content. Track everything you can so you can understand what's working, what's not working, and if there's a way to better optimize the content that’s not performing.
Track your visitors from the first click that gets them to your site through the lead generation and follow-up stages. Understand their journey so that you can enhance their overall experience. Try out different headlines, fonts, page layouts, images, colors, and all the elements on your page to see which one performs well.
Every time you make a change, your tracking
system should tell you if the change improved results or made them worse. If a
change doesn't work, you can always go back to the original option so don't be
afraid to try new things.
8. Don't try to sell too soon
If you sell a product or service, the temptation to try and make a sale to your visitors can be strong. Don't go for the quick hit though. Get people engaged with your content and give them a ton of value before you ask for any kind of sale.
Focus on building trust first. Provide enough and more value to them before you ask for anything in return. Classify your content into two buckets:
- Lead generation
The content in the awareness bucket should be broader and highlight the pain points of your users and provide useful solutions. This is where you introduce your product/service to them.
The lead generation bucket has more sales-driven content. This is for users who already know about your product and are convinced to make a purchase.
None of these content marketing tips are mutually exclusive. You can layer them to get even better results. But don't do too many things at once.
Start with one tip and work on it consistently to get it working for you. Once you see some results, move on to the next one and do the same thing. Keep doing this until you've got a good mix of strategies up and running. They'll feed off one another and the end result will be far more than the sum of the parts.
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