Out of all the digital marketing strategies available, content marketing is one of the most effective and least expensive to start adding to your website, especially in 2018 with social media networks like LinkedIn booming in popularity for top marketing influencers. You can distribute content on your site to social media networks and get more website traffic if you have content people want to share.
You gain a valuable opportunity to sell your business and develop trust among site visitors. They don’t want to go to a website and not have any idea of what your business is about. Many businesses flounder because their sites don’t have enough valuable content that adds value to the visitor’s website experience.
Good content can make or break your business online. Content is also a large part of a fruitful SEO strategy. Google’s search algorithms can detect how valuable your content is based on the amount of time people spend on your site. The best content sheds light on everything that makes your business stand out from the rest of your competition while offering something different and unique you’d be hard-pressed to find anywhere else.
What is Content Marketing?
The Content Marketing Institute, the leading authority on content marketing, defines content marketing as “a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience, and ultimately, to drive a profitable customer action.”
In plain English, content marketing makes your website sound human and personable. The content on the website should explain the business and its industry niche in a way anyone can understand. Some of the biggest companies use content marketing to educate their customers, forming a long-term relationship resulting in higher ROI and sales.
Content marketing is not about creating a cheesy infomercial sales pitch. Website content goes much deeper and focuses on helping people and engaging them. The backbone of social media marketing, SEO, email marketing, and pay-per-click lies in content. Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft, accurately predicted the rise of content for the web and made this remark: “Content is where I expect much of the real money will be made on the Internet, just as it was in broadcasting.”
Without content, you’re left with a bare-bones site offering no compelling value for the visitor. Opportunities to make money with your site are diminished because people don’t trust your website well enough yet. Bounce rates on these sites are high and getting repeat business is a near impossibility without a consistent content marketing strategy to make your online marketing endeavors worth the time.
Let us put what we’ve discussed in quantitative terms. You need to understand how much the internet has changed in the last 5-10 years. Search engines have grown smarter in detecting spammy websites offering nothing useful.
These are the statistics worth considering:
- 90% of all organizations use content in their online marketing (Demand Metric)
- Conversion rates with content marketing are about six times higher than competitors without content (Content Marketing Institute)
- Content marketing generates three times as many leads for businesses and costs much less than traditional marketing. (Content Marketing Institute)
- Nine out of ten B2B customers cite content as a major reason they made a purchase (Lenati)
The main takeaway: Businesses of all sizes are using content marketing to grow and get new customers. The most competitive companies like Cisco and John Deere have made content marketing a central part of their inbound and outbound marketing strategies.
You could learn a lot from Don Draper, the ad agency marketing guru in the show Mad Men. In his words, “why does everybody need to talk about everything?” Stay strategic with your content marketing strategy and always remember to play on the strengths of your business when investing in a content marketing strategy for 2018.
To help you get started with content marketing, we have ten easy tips which will help you unlock the full potential to expand your business:
1. Make SEO Your Highest Priority
Content without relevant keywords will just sit there gathering dust. You need to make SEO part of your content marketing strategy. Use tools like Google Keyword Planner to find profitable keywords related to your industry and local service areas your business operates in.
Don’t miss out on all these opportunities when you incorporate SEO into your content:
- Add internal links guiding readers to other important areas you want people to read.
- Include alt text in all images used on your site and add SEO keywords too, but don’t cram too many, or Google will penalize your site for spam.
- Have external links to authoritative websites to back up your content, like what we did earlier in the post by linking to The Content Marketing Institute and Lenati.
2. Use HubSpot’s Topic Generator Tool for Ideas
Stuck on ideas for new blog posts? The HubSpot Blog Ideas Generator is a great start. Think of three nouns that describe your business the best, add them to the generator, and HubSpot will generate several ideas for topics you could use to start developing your content online. Here’s the result of adding “digital marketing,” “SEO,” and “web design” into the generator:
Pretty cool, right? Now you’ll never be stuck on trying to form the perfect blog post on your website.
3. Update and Revise Old Content
Content marketing is an ongoing process. It never stays still, and neither should your business. As your business grows, you need to create more content to capture the exciting changes happening. You should also revisit old posts and website pages and tweak them for keywords, style, tone, and voice.
4. Monitor Your Competitors
Don’t be afraid to look at what your competitors are doing with their content marketing. There are lots of social media monitoring tools out there that perform phenomenally and keep you abreast of anything new happening. Use their content as inspiration to improve the content on your site.
5. Mix Up Your Call-to-Action Statements
“Learn more” and “visit us” are okay for button text here and there on your website, but shouldn’t be overused. Try to develop call-to-action statements which coincide with the branding of your business. There are loads of opportunities to get creative and motivate people to take a desired action like signing up for your newsletter or shopping from your e-commerce website.
6. Keep Your Content Simple
Content should be written at a level most adults can understand. The Fleisch Reading Ease Readability Formula has a scale from 0 to 100. Content that scores anywhere between a 60.0 to 70.0 is considered understandable by middle school students.
The lower the score, the greater the reading difficulty will be. If your content scores less than 30, that means your content is very confusing and will need a complete rewrite. Readability Formulas has a comprehensive breakdown of how these scores work.
7. Use Nice Visuals
Strong, compelling visuals strengthen great written content. Use infographics, video, and pictures to present your ideas in different ways. Some people love to read, while others prefer to look at pictures and visual content first. Beautiful, responsive web design comes into play and is one of our main service offerings to customers in Metro Atlanta.
8. Go for a Long-Form Content Strategy
Long-form content creation has caught on in popularity in recent years. The average word count for a top-ranking SEO web page has ballooned to a minimum of 2000 words. In the past, 300-500 word posts were the norm, but these posts don’t perform as well.
Instead of spending your time making dozens of smaller blog posts, why not take a shot of pouring your time into making a longer post jam-packed with lots of useful content and insights your customers will appreciate? The payoff for lead generation will be much greater.
9. Inject Your Personality
Your content doesn’t have to be dry and boring. Experiment and test your content often and see what resonates most with your customers. You’re not always going to hit a home run off the beat when you first develop content for your business. Rewrites happen all the time. Even the most talented content creators need to make changes as they brainstorm for new, exciting ways to get their message across to the audience.
10. Keep a Consistent Schedule
Center your content marketing around a consistent schedule. Plan out what content needs to be created and set up deadlines and post times. Decide which social media platforms you want to distribute your content. Always consider your audience first and develop the kind of content they’d need.
Content marketing is key to growing your business online and getting the most out of popular digital marketing strategies like SEO and social media management. You need to create a content marketing plan and stick with it for the long term.
Viridian Geeks, an Atlanta web design and SEO agency, specializes in creating content for the web. Whether you need a new blog post, marketing whitepapers, press releases, or any other kind of content, we’re there to help. Get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or call (470)-440-3434 today!