Content marketing is popular nowadays. More and more people shout the mantra “Content is king.” But what is content marketing anyway? Content marketing is the use of content to attract one’s target audience and ultimately achieve one’s goal. It is used by both small businesses and large corporations to entice a user to take a particular action such as engaging in social media or subscribing to an email list.
You might be wondering how to effectively utilize content marketing to your advantage. Well, in this article, we will be showing you how to create and apply a content marketing strategy for your specific endeavor. First, let’s start with the benefits of content marketing.
The Benefits Of Content Marketing
If you think content marketing is not for you then you might want to take a look at this. Below is a list of benefits you can leverage to your advantage.
- Increased Optimization For Search Engines
Search engines uses text to obtain information regarding a page or a website. Creating content that target particular keywords can help search engines decide what to do with your page. If you have high-quality content, then you are more likely to appear on search results for terms that you optimized your content for.
- Increased Traffic
Appearing on search results means more traffic. Promoting your blog posts and other types of content through social media marketing, blog commenting, and guest posting can also mean more traffic for your site.
- Enhance Reputation and Trustworthiness
You can build lasting impressions through your content. When you provide high-quality content that can’t be found elsewhere, you are immediately seen as the go-to-guy for that field. Trustworthiness is also built through content marketing. Think about how your readers will perceive you when you put crappy content on your site.
So, how do you start the process of creating a content marketing strategy? Let’s dive into the details.
How To Create A Content Marketing Strategy
STEP 1: ESTABLISH WHY YOUR CONTENT MARKETING STRATEGY EXISTS
Starting your content marketing strategy includes knowing your objectives. You need to focus on what you need to achieve with a content marketing strategy. Ask yourself, what do I want to achieve with this content? Below are some goals you might find similar to yours:
- Increase awareness of the brand.
- Drive traffic to the site.
- Entice readers to subscribe to your email list.
- Entice readers to share your posts on social media channels.
- Entice readers to contact you through the phone or through a fill-up form
STEP 2: KNOW YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE
Knowing your target audience means creating profiles or personas for the people you want to attract. You have to learn about who you want to target. Below are some questions you might ask yourself:
- Am I targeting people in a particular job, field or industry?
- How can I reach my audience? Where can they be found? Where do they hang out online?
- What are their demographics? Am I more likely to target males or females? What are their age groups?
- What does my target audience want from the business?
- What are their goals and how can I help them achieve these goals?
- What information are they looking for? Where do they go to in order to look for these information?
STEP 3: CREATE IDEAS FOR CONTENT
Finding ideas for your content can be mind-boggling but it sure is possible. You don’t have to hit your head with a club just to get the answers. All you have to do is apply the following.
- Research Your Competitors. Spying on your competitors is a great way to find topics. This does not mean you have to copy their articles. Simply take a look at their social media profiles and check what type of content gets the most approval (e.g. shares, retweets, and likes). Then come up with topics that might complement those articles. You can also analyze your competitor’s articles and check what they might have missed. You can create an article filling up their articles’ void.
- Research Questions. Prowling on blogs, forums and Q&A sites such as Quora AND Yahoo! Answers can be beneficial. Look for the questions related to your niche. You can type in the search queries “Keyword + Quora.com” or “Keyword + Answers.Yahoo.com” on Google to find questions you can answer through articles.
- Talk About Your Experiences. As a business owner, you’ve had your failures and successes. You can talk about your personal mistakes and what you have learned from them. Teach them how to avoid or fix these mistakes. You can also talk about your successes in business and the steps you have taken to achieve them.
- Provide Your Opinion. You can provide your opinion on hot topics or trends you find on the news. You can even provide your opinion on evergreen content. In addition, you can search for articles and create opposite articles that show the other side of the conversation. For example, if you find a topic that says “Content marketing is dead” then you should come up with your own article stating why content is still king.
STEP 4: CREATE YOUR CONTENT MARKETING EXECUTION STRATEGY
After you have finished steps 1 to 3, you must start creating a plan to execute your content marketing strategy. Use a spreadsheet to include the following:
- Title or topic of the content.
- Deadline of the content draft.
- When the content will be published.
- A brief description of the content.
- The outline of the content.
- Any graphical images or concepts included in the content.
A content marketing schedule will help you visualize how you will create content and when you have to create the content. This can help you dive into the actual action that gets your results. Now let’s move on to the final phase of this article, promoting your content.
How To Promote Your Content
Let’s face it. Your content isn’t going to be seen by millions of readers with a single wave of a magic wand. You have to put in effort to get your message across. Below are some marketing techniques you can use to promote your content and reach your viewers:
Promoting Your Content Through Comments
In this section, we won’t be using gray- or black-hat techniques to promote our content. We will be focusing on white-hat techniques. First, you have to find blogs or articles related to the content you are offering. Read these articles by heart and try to engage with the conversation (comment section) below it. Provide your opinion regarding the matter and build a relationship over time.
Finally, if the opportunity comes, you can link back to your article. Note that you should only link back to the article if it is relevant to the conversation at hand. You should not simply link back to the article right away as most of the time it will only be regarded as spam.
Also note that through comment marketing you can’t promote your content every single time. Sometimes, you can put a link back to your content. Most of the time, this isn’t possible.
Promoting Through Guest Posts
Guest posting is fairly simple to understand. You simply pitch a blog or article to another site (with a bigger audience) and hope it gets accepted and published. However, it can be a tedious process. On the other hand, this so-called “tedious” method works very well in the long-run. So, how do you do this?
Step 1: Look for sites that cover topics related to the content you are offering. Make sure those sites have a high Domain Authority and Page Rank. This ensures you that they have a big audience.
Step 2: Check out their site and find out if they have a page dedicated to guest posts. If they have it, then simply move on to Step 3. If they don’t have it, simply contact them through their email or contact form and ask if guest blogging is an option for their site. Wait for their reply. Some sites will allow you to guest post. If this happens, then ask for their guest post or editorial guidelines. If they don’t accept guest posts, move on to the next site.
Step 3: If they have guest posting guidelines, read this and follow it by heart.
Step 4: Brainstorm content ideas that you could use as a guest post and pitch it to the websites you have found.
Step 5: If they accepted your pitch, create content by following their guidelines.
Step 6: Submit your content and wait for it to get published.
Step 7: Once it gets published, promote your content through the various methods sited here.
Quick Automation Tip: You can use NinjaOutreach to find prospective blog owners and email them for guest blogging opportunities. This is one great tool that can save you time with regards to your activities.
Promoting Through Social Media
When you promote your post through social media, make sure to take advantage of most social media sites. However, you should not create one identical post for all social media channels. You must customize each message for each site.
It is best to have an image for your content. You must also create a catchy headline that will get your reader’s attention. If possible, edit the description of the post so that it says something significant about the content you are promoting.
When hashtags are appropriate (e.g. Twitter or Instagram), make sure you research the keywords for them. For example, when you are writing about business, you can use the hashtags “entrepreneur,” “business,” “startups,” and “entrepreneurship.”
Posting the same content spread over a few days is also possible. Do not be afraid to do this. However, you must customize the message for every post. In this way, you’ll get your message across to thousands (or even millions) of viewers in your network.
Quick Automation Tip: Promoting through social media manually can be tedious. You can use Buffer or Quuu to automate your social media marketing efforts. It allows you to schedule your posts beforehand and it automatically posts your content during your desired schedule.
If you have an email list, it is a must to send them a message regarding a new post you have published. Inside the message, tell them what information they can get if they read your blog post. Encourage them to share it on social media by adding social media buttons inside your blog post.
Content marketing can be a very tedious process however this is a strategy that works in the long-run. Make sure you target the right audience and send the right message at the same time.
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