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Your Content Marketing Playbook

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Building ammunition for your content marketing requires so much more than typing up blog after blog. The misconception is to publish as much as possible and hopes that something catches fire. That’s simply the equivalent of throwing a bunch of stuff at the wall and seeing what sticks.

Using this or a similar strategy will do you and your online reputation more harm than good and is likely to burn you out in the process. There’s a better way to build your web content marketing arsenal.

Here’s the good news…it’s not quantity, it’s the quality that wins the day.

Let me take some pressure off your shoulders here and now. You’re more successful putting out two, well researched and carefully crafted blogs per week than pushing out less quality lower ranking blogs per day.

The trick is knowing how to leverage the heck out of each and every one of your blogs! That's what content marketing today is all about...leveraging!Click To Tweet

If you’d like to know more, I go into more details in Automating Your Content Marketing.

First, let’s start at the beginning, shall we? 

Ready, Aim…Fire! Define Your Target 

Can you clearly describe your perfect audience?  Don’t make the mistake of being too general.

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There are literally millions upon millions of online users.  Instead of trying to compete with “the big boys” who have huge marketing budgets and can easily outspend you, identify and hyper-focus on  your niche. The more you can narrow down exactly who your ideal audience is, the better! 

Related: Get Targeted Website Traffic With Keywords

Do Your SEO Homework First

Getting a blog to show up on the first page of Google requires careful planning, patience, and persistence.  This requires that you time a little time to run some online searches to determine which keywords and phrases utilize in your blog. Don’t pass this up! If you want Google to find you, you have to do this first, so no excuses!

There are a number of useful online keyword tools that can help you.

I use Jaaxy for this because I can run all kinds of different searches based on subject, create a list of high QSR keywords and save them, run search analysis on my competition or brainstorm.

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QSR stands for Quoted Search Results which represents the number of competing websites you are competing against using that keyword or phrase. A QSR under 200 is good and worth taking note of. 

You can also use BuzzSumo to help you craft a blog topic when you’re running short on ideas. BuzzSumo helps you identify what topics are trending.

Once you’ve put together a list of three or four best keywords that you can use throughout your blog run another search via Google for that same exact keyword.  Here are Google search results for content marketing: 

Google content marketing search results

Take note of the top results with particular attention to their meta descriptions. Use these as a guide when craftting your own.

I generally will copy the top three or four off of Google search results and paste them onto my online notepad. From there, using my top keywords, I’ll craft a title for my blog and meta description. 

For example, here are three titles  I came up with when crafting this blog:

  • 5-Step Content Marketing Playbook
  • Your Content Marketing Playbook
  • Content Marketing For Business

Here’s the meta description I wrote: Web Content Marketing tips, content marketing strategies and content plan you can easily employ today. Follow these online marketing solutions to steadily build your online presence. Get your free Content Marketing Checklist – Infographic.

Crafting Your Content

With your ammunition ready you can start the process of writing your new blog. I typically will write out a rough outline and draft first with the knowledge that’s already in my head and then I’ll do more online research on the topic to get other perspectives, ideas and add to strategies. I’ll also shop for images.

FREE LESSON: Building Your Own Traffic Producing Website (10 Lessons)

content marketing playbook

Once I’ve completed my draft, I’ll go and update the outline. The outline is important because I can then use that to create my own branded infographic, slideshow or video that will further enhance my content.

A well-researched blog is approximately 2,000 words, at least 5 headings, and 9 paragraphs. 

Most people skim read so make sure your headings are intriguing followed by a first sentence that summarizes what the rest of the paragraph will elaborate on.

Using an outline will also help you easily design a layout that will help a skimmer still get the gist of the whole blog. Ask someone you know to go over it and see if they understand the message you’re trying to convey.  For more on this topic, check out 10 Steps To Crafting Killer Content.

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Don’t Skimp On The Extras!

Have three to five images throughout your blog providing a visual context related to a particular topic, technique, etc. I’m a visual learner, so naturally, I’ll always be drawn to visual imagery over plain text.  Other extras include:

  • E-books – If you have a large library of blogs, consider consolidating them into a well-organized e-book.
  • Infographics – Businesses that publish infographics grow their traffic an average of 12% more than those that don’t.
  • Video – A web content marketing strategy without videos is as useful as a gun without bullets. Video is king so find a way to incorporate it on your site and in your online marketing arsenal.
  • Podcasts – Podcasts are increasingly popular and really go a long way towards engaging your site subscribers, building your credibility and boosting your content. You can record each of your podcasts for future syndication as videos.  Podcasts don’t have to be all about you, use it to introduce a new service, answer frequently asked questions, teach a specific skill, conduct an interview, etc. 

Also, don’t forget to incorporate one or two related links to your other blogs and/or products. Take a clue from Amazon, “if you liked this, you may also like…” followed by a link. 

Proof It

For the love of God, please don’t skip the proofreading! I read tons of blogs per day and even a good topic blog can be ruined by poor grammar. A site visitor’s patience quickly wears thin and the author/site loses credibility lightning fast.

Content marketing - proof reading your content

Also, if you have customer testimonials definitely work them in. Let your customers do the talking for you. Using testimonials gives you the opportunity to share a story of how you solved a customer’s problem.  Providing Social proof goes a long way! 

Your goal is to show the people who are considering your product how you can solve their challenges. After all, the proof is in the pudding.Click To Tweet

Make It Easy To Share…

You’d be amazed at what people share on social media. Make it ridiculously easy to share your post, images, infographics, videos, etc.Click To Tweet

I use the plugin AddToAny for this on my WordPress sites. It’s a great way to get your content out to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, WhatsApp and more without lifting a finger. 

Wrapping It Up

Once you’re satisfied with the finished product, checked that you’ve included enough links, pics, and extras, you can focus on getting it ready to publish.  Don’t forget to include internal links to your other blogs and site pages! You can read more on this topic at How I Drive Traffic To My Websites.

Remember the meta description you wrote? Now is the time to plug that in. Using WordPress makes this a no-brainer with the SEOJetPack plugin. At the bottom of each blog, I can easily cut and paste my meta title, keywords, and meta-description.

Syndicate the Heck Out of It

The key to building traffic to your site is consistent syndication. Sites like Buffer, let you schedule weeks worth of posts on your social media accounts all in one place. Not only will it save you hours of time but it also analyzes your progress, lets you repost over and over and gives you the ability to add posts right off other websites into your buffer queue.

content marketing playbook

You want to provide variety, so take advantage of this.  Posting is as easy as cut-and-paste a URL, Buffer will shorten it and plugin any related images. I automate my content scheduled them weeks in advance. 

Now, an important thing to remember is that some sites like Twitter frown upon you if you post the same exact images and titles over and over. Therefore, it’s a good idea to go back to your post outline and pick subtopics covered in your blog as new titles even if they each use the same URL. Also, post your URL links from other social media posts like Pinterest onto Twitter and Facebook.

Posting questions within your social media titles will also get more clicks. Some titles I’ll use when I syndicate this blog throughout my own web content marketing strategy are: 

  • Don’t Forget About The Extras…How to dramatically boost your blog’s share appeal.
  • Building Your Ammunition Before Crafting Your Killer Content
  • Content Marketing:  It’s not quantity, it’s the quality that wins the day.  Find out how to craft killer content. 

Lastly, don’t neglect to use teasers and trackable short links on your social networks. Share your posts in social groups and communities you belong to and have engaged with in the past.

Pinterest and Instagram are my top social media sites. I use a fantastic tool that not only lets me schedule a bunch of posts way in advance, a huge time saver, but also shows me which posts are repinned and gaining traction.

It’s not always easy to remember every step you need to cover for every blog you publish. That’s why I put together the Content Marketing Roadmap which is basically a cheat sheet that guides you through building content and how to get the word out every time.

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Did you find this blog useful? What are some effective methods do you use to boost your own content marketing?

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