By now you’ve heard the term “Content Marketing” more times than you can probably count, but may either be unclear on what content marketing is, or overwhelmed by exactly how your business can use this proven tactic, to grow your audience, and improve your search engine rankings.
First, let’s start with what content marketing is.
Very simply, it’s your company adding quality content that is relevant to your product or service, on a regular basis. The content is most often in the form of a blog post, ebook, article, downloadable pamphlet, video, audio/podcast, info-graphic, case studies, etc.
You want to keep this content relevant to your product or service so that people who will actually buy your product or service are driven to & looking at your web site.
For instance, if your web site specializes in personalized golf balls, writing an article on today’s general political climate wouldn’t make much sense.
While there may be a tiny handful of people who are both interested in reading your take on politics, and your golf balls, you would better attract buyers by creating and showing some or your golf balls that have been personalized, in support of your political views or in satire of the views you take issue with. This is just an example, and to be clear, politics is probably a subject you’d do well to avoid, however in this example you see how you can keep current and relevant while providing content that your buyers will appreciate.
And that leads of to the second issue…
Coming up with content.
At first glance, it’s a daunting task. What do you talk about? What do you show? How do you come off as informational or entertaining rather than a cheesy sales attempt?
It’s actually easier than it sounds. Here are a few tips to help you quickly enter the area of content marketing for your business online.
1. Be genuine.
If you don’t want to come off as a sales person, or be completely ignored all together, create real content. If it’s an article, speak from your expert position. If it’s a blog or social media post, let it get a little more personal. Let your readers and followers feel like they are connecting with you.
Quick Tip: Avoid the inexpensive mass article writers that are out there. Sure, they are cheap, and wordy, but they do not have the inside knowledge that you or your staff has and you have no real idea of the accuracy of what they post or if they’ve posted very similar articles for others in your industry.
2. Be visual.
If you are selling a product, show your product. Make sure to use quality photographs and candid shots versus staged shots tend to read better. If you are selling a service, be mindful of your visual layout of your article, using headings, line breaks, avoiding massive paragraphs, etc. You can also include info-graphics, photographs around your office, of your staff, screen shots of your work, etc.
3. Be consistent.
While you may be too busy to post every day, come up with a regular posting/publishing schedule that you can stick to. If too long of a time passes with out hearing from you, you can lose the new audience that your content marketing has gained. If you are too busy, delegate the content creation to someone on your team and just act as an overseer when it’s time to publish.
Quick Tip: It’s perfectly fine to post a candid or funny & relevant photo or quick video with just a small text blurb-everything you publish is not required to be lengthy and in depth. It’s more important that what you publish be something your audience will find value in, be it a form of entertainment or information.
4. Be social.
After you’ve posted on your site, mention the new post on twitter, instagram, facebook, linked in, and any other social media channels you use. If your content was posted on any of the channels mentioned, do a quick post on your web site linking to that content on social media. Basically, where ever you post your content to, be sure to link to that content everywhere else because sometimes Instagram will make more sense than an article, sometimes you’ll tweet something that seemed insignificant, then received a lot of responses and retweets, so make sure your interesting and/or informative posts are shared, first, by you.
So….that’s the quick and dirty on content marketing.
The more interesting or valuable your content, the more likely it is to pick up traction and increase your site visitors, directly via post sharing or indirectly through search engines ranking your site higher based on the valuable content.
If you are able to create content yourself, do it-doing so only costs you time & effort. If you need someone else to create your valuable content, delegate the task to someone on your team, or even rotate it between a few employees and you supervise and do final approval before anything is published. If your business is big enough, and has the budget, you may also consider hiring a dedicated content creator. If you do, I advise you to look for a content creator who is not only skilled verbally, but knowledgeable in your field, visually oriented, well versed in social media and with at least basic web design, photoshop and video creation/editing skills.
Now, get busy creating some content 😉