Content marketing is the process of creating and distributing information using various online systems and social engagement sites. The goal of content marketing is to attract attention via search engines and SEO strategies that drive traffic to a predetermined destination.
Content marketing is also a very effective tool used by affiliate marketers. By providing valuable information on a particular topic, the author can build some credibility in the eyes of the reader. Distributing affiliate links that are relevant to the topic makes it more likely that readers will click.
It’s a process of attracting new potential customers as well as retaining past customers by consistently creating and distributing new information to enhance the customer experience. It’s a great method used as a major component of a product pre-launch online and off.
Content marketing isn’t just limited to the internet. It works across all different channels of communication including print, video, social, etc.
It can also be used at any stage in the process from attention-getting landing pages, product promotion and upsells to membership only and private label data.
Michael Brenner is a globally-recognized keynote speaker on leadership, culture, and marketing. When defining content marketing he states, “Content marketing is about delivering the content your audience is seeking in all the places they are searching for it. It is the effective combination of created, curated and syndicated content.”
The biggest hurdle your content must pass right out of the gate is grabbing attention. This is a critical component to moving up in search engine ranking. The more popular your blog, the faster you’ll climb to the top.
A good tactical plan involves clearly identifying your content marketing strategy. It clearly lays out how you will leverage your content and specifically how you’ll execute that strategy well BEFORE you publish it.
Your content marketing plan should also include details such as key topics, types of content to create, when and how to share it as well as CTC to include.
Marketers with a documented content marketing strategy are far more effective than those who lack a written strategy.
Social media must play a big roll in your content marketing strategy. Three-quarters of Facebook users and half of all Instagram users use social media platforms daily.
Top marketer Neil Patel gets into the nitty-gritty of things. Above is an infographic from his site. Click on the image to visit NeilPatel.com.
What Content Marketing Is NOT
MYTH: It’s only for a certain kind of business.
Content marketing is not industry-specific and is used throughout all platforms and in all niches. Every form of business can use content to promote their expertise, value of their product and/or services with ads, landing pages, blogs, videos, webinars, etc.
MYTH: It’s just putting a bunch of words together.
Unless your content is well researched with the intent of providing valuable information, your efforts will go unrewarded. Writing content isn’t about slapping something together and sticking a bunch of affiliate links to it. Even if your heading is well thought out, visitors won’t last more than 3-5 seconds on your site if your content is crap.
The best content out there does two things:
- It answers a question
- It solves a problem
MYTH: It’s a sales pitch.
NO! Anyone who has spent any significant amount of time online can smell a sales pitch a mile away. Avoid the temptation to write content that is too promotional. That includes product reviews that are too slanted. The best product reviews remain neutral and as such are able to quickly build trust between them and the reader. Your content should engage them in a conversation.
Content Marketing Strategies That Work
What’s the most important thing to us? Our name. As such, personalizing a product is typically a big hit. Take Coke, for instance, they printed Cokes with 150 of the most popular names in Australia and sales went through the roof.
Personalization makes you feel special like it was made just for you. Who else does this? Think Starbucks. Each and every drink is made specifically for you and has your name on it.
Research shows 74% of marketers know personalization boosts sales but only 91% of them actually use it.
Internet content is increasingly visual. With shorter attention spans, people simply skim through the words but place far more time and attention on visuals that are bright and engaging.
GoPro, for instance, uses this marketing strategy well. Their marketing strategy is quality visuals represents quality products. They have over 3.5 million subscribers on YouTube and another 6.8 million followers on Instagram.
What do their customers love? Pictures! That’s what they deliver, big time.
What kind of visuals can you incorporate? Infographics and funny or weird pictures or memes. There are tons of sites that help you easily create attention-grabbing visuals such as Stencil.or Web Graphics Creator.
The trick to images is to make them flashy so that they will stand out from the crowd. Sites like Pinterest can help inspire you. Pick out the ones that really catch your eye and see if you can make something similar for your post. You’ll need three graphics for every post:
- One as the featured image of your post.
- One for social media posting.
- One for Instagram & Pinterest.
I keep all my graphics in a folder on my desktop. They add up pretty quickly!
Improving Your Existing Content
To maximize your existing content, go through each of your blogs and make sure they each include the following:
- Two internal links to other blogs on your site.
- At least one external link to an authority site.
- At least two relevant images which can include infographics.
- A maximum of one or two affiliate links. Make sure these links are masked using plugins like Pretty Links.
- Embed video whenever possible. It doesn’t have to be your own.
I do this every few months to make sure I’m using my content to its fullest potential. No matter how many times I go through my growing list of articles, I’ll still find several that need more fine-tuning.
Another thing you can do is freshen up old content with some new. Maybe expand on something a little more. Add an infographic. I found a pretty good site that lets me make infographics easily and they look great called Infographics Creator. They will want you to pay a membership price in order to download your completed work but there are easy ways around that…take a screenshot and convert it to a jpeg. Done!
Check Your Grammar!
I read a lot of blogs online every single day. Nothing is more frustrating to me than a poorly written one. You can sometimes tell when the author is not a native English speaker by the way they structure their sentences. It tends to come off as odd.When I see poor grammar, it says to me that the author didn't take the time to fine-tune his/her work. Maybe they couldn't be bothered. So why should I bother taking the time to read it?Click To Tweet
English is my first language and I still need help with my grammar. I use Grammarly’s free program to help me with everything I write including my emails. It’s a big help to me and I highly recommend it.
Getting The Word Out
The fastest way to build on all your hard work is to distribute every new blog as widely as possible. The most successful methods utilize paid advertising on social media sites. I’ve tried using Adwords and it was a money pit.
Instead of spending what you may not have, try putting your content out there using programs such as Buffer which lets you schedule your content in five different social media sites all in one place and days, weeks or months in advance. Huge time saver! Also, look into posting onto other blog sites such as Tumblr or Quora.
Tell Me What You Think
Hope you found some value here. Feel free to share your own experiences, advise or questions below.