5 Essential Ingredients to a Winning Content Marketing Strategy
These are a few of my (and Google’s) favorite things….
Content, Content, Content….
With the release of Google’s recent Hummingbird algorithm update, the term “content is king” is in the spotlight again. But, what exactly does this ‘sovereign’ phrase really mean for business and website owners?
What is Content Marketing?
For businesses, having a continuous stream of content that engages its readers and causes an action is critical for doing business.
This means producing relevant content that leads to actions such as newsletter signups, social sharing, online purchases, generating leads, increased phone queries or even physical location walk-ins. That's why it is said that the key purpose of all content marketing strategy is to ‘persuade a visitor to take an action’.
In addition, effective SEO strategies can be executed only after coming up with new and innovative ways of content generation across all platforms.
Here are five essential ingredients to help develop that winning content marketing strategy:
Identify and Write for an Audience, not only Search Engines
When you’re in the process of achieving high rankings, it’s easy to forget that you actually need to communicate to someone.
Whether you’ve consciously thought about it or not, you always write to an audience which can be: sometimes a generic group of readers; sometimes a specific set.
Once you identify and keep your audience in mind, it does more than ensure that you write clearly. It helps you make good decisions about what content to include, how to address them, and how best to organize your information.
For instance, if you were writing for a business consulting site, you would want to use a different set of vocabulary, phrasing and tone that say, if you were writing for a parental website.
The following questions will help you get started on thinking about how to address your audience …
1) What does your audience believe or already know?
2) How can you help them?
3) How do you establish rapport with your audience?
4) What style of writing, tone, and information would appeal to them?
5) How do you direct the audience’s attention?
6) How do you wrap up with them?
Besides, it is important to have a smart content strategy that extends beyond keyword density to include usability, readability and grammar of the content as well.
Businesses who address all of the above will naturally observe increase in their rankings, and more importantly an upward graph towards better leads and a healthy ROI.
Keeping the audience in perspective provides you exactly what search engines love: organic signals on how popular and informative your content is.
Embrace Social: Create Content that can be shared on your Social Media Profiles
There is no denying the fact that social media has changed the way we conduct our business. It has changed the way we interact with our clients, potential customers, colleagues and employers.
Social media channels can act as powerful tools for content marketers and business owners who want to drive new readers and relationships.
A post in Social Media Today refers ‘social media’ as a never ending marathon (and not a onetime sprint). Anytime you add new posts to your website or blog, make sure to post it on your social media profiles as well. At the bare minimum you should have a FB page, G+ page and a Twitter handle to share your posts on. Active social profiles act like gleaming billboards that makes it easy for visitors to follow you to your main website.
It is also worthy to have a social sharing tool bar installed to every single post. This gives your visitors the ability to share what they just liked to their own circle of friends. It also serves as a measurement tool to understand how popular your post is.
Although social signals do not carry the same weight as natural high quality backlinks, they do factor in search engine rankings. Just like a good restaurant that serves great food, the authority and activity of your website sharing the content holds more value that the total number of shares.
Get Visual with Videos and Info graphics
Psychologists have time and again demonstrated the power of non verbal communication. They say that when presented with visual stimuli, human brain decodes its image elements in a faster, non-sequential way, while text or language is deciphered in a linear, sequential manner, taking more time to process.
This explains the rising popularity of sites such Instagram and Pinterest.
Since we are all thrive on visual cues, using infographics and videos to put content in front of your readers stimulates a readers neural connections in more ways than one – while allowing you to deliver your message with less effort.
Now let’s see how all this above blabber can be more effectively told:
Monitor your Analytics and Fine-tune it
To know what content strategies are performing it is important to have a monitoring system in place. Google Analytics tool gives you an effective measurement landscape to understand metrics such as how many conversions are coming from your social pages? Or is the readership growing on your blog? How to identify the most popular content? Which campaigns are fuelling your leads? Is it email marketing or paid campaigns that are more effective.
Monitoring data will help you sort metrics to quickly find low performing pages or campaigns that need improvement, or high performing pages that can be used to guide future designs.
For someone who is not familiar in setting up and using Google Analytics, a free Digital Analytics Fundamental Course from Google can help you get started. Yes it’s free :) even I did it.
As business dynamics change with time, so does the needs of your readers and visitors to your site.
To stay abreast, updating your site with fresh and relevant content is important. If not, in all likelihood your visitors will soon lose interest and not return.
Make sure that content updation and syndication remains consistent regardless of whether you’re doing all of it in-house or hiring an agency to do it.
A heady concoction of these simple tips can help you create than winning formula that increases leads, traffic, conversions and higher rankings.
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