Despite the fact that content marketing is one of the most powerful forms of marketing on the internet, it can also be one of the most challenging to get started. In fact, content marketing is a perfect example of the proverbial “snowball effect”. You begin with just a small snowball, maybe even a snowflake, which is a fragment of an idea or a plan that you want to put into action.
You may not get instant results, the key is to be patient and remain persistent with all your content marketing efforts.
To get it started, you have to put in some effort and exert a great deal of force. It might only budge a millimeter. However, if you push it again, it will budge a little more. As you continue to work at it, it will continue to move and gain momentum. It may build slowly at first, but it is sure to gain speed and gradually build upon itself as it rushes down that hill toward success.
As a matter of fact, the ball will eventually just start moving, seemingly, on its own. It will even begin to roll so fast that you couldn’t stop it, even if you tried. That’s the power of content marketing. It’s slow to start, but once you become an authority site and once you build a reputation, it’s next to impossible to stop it. Over time, you gain the power to create a successful marketing strategy, and increase your customer base exponentially
So how do you get your site in motion? How do you give it the nudge that it needs to work its way down that hill, in order to pick up all of those visitors and potential customers?Here are twelve different strategies that you can use to begin your content marketing campaign.
Strategy #1: Answer the Important Questions
At some point or another each of us has found ourselves asking a question over and over again, only to hop onto the internet to try and look for the answer. This is because the internet has become a reliable destination for information-seekers, like a sort of virtual encyclopedia. It holds the solutions to problems and allows us to gather knowledge from limitless sources. So, why not become one of those reliable sources yourself? Why not turn those burning questions into content and provide information for others who may be looking for the answer? After all, if you've turned to a website to learn about a subject before, what's stopping you from becoming the go-to guru in your niche?
In addition, if you have a handful (or myriad) of questions that customers ask you on a continual basis, why not answer them on your website. Go into as much detail as possible. Make it so comprehensive that your page becomes the definitive source of information for that subject or question. Or, better yet, if it's a topic that you can cover at length, create an ebook for it.
Strategy #2: Create an eBook
That leads us straight into our next content marketing strategy...creating an informative eBook for your visitors
If you find that a variety of your customers are asking about the benefits of a product that you offer, you may want to consider writing a short eBook that can highlight the advantages of choosing your goods or services. There are a number of freelancing sites that you can turn to in order to find writers who can craft a great eBook that covers the topic at great length and promotes your business.
You can then offer the eBook for free on your site (or charge a small fee for it, if you like), which can give your customers the opportunity to get a substantial dose of information about your product, service, or niche. A customer that is well informed and educated about the subject will be more likely to understand the benefits that are associated with making the purchase.
Strategy #3: Look at the Long-Tail as Well
Are you lost amongst the countless other sites in your industry? Do you feel as though you have great content, but no one is able to actually find you in the crowd? If so, then you may be suffering from a simple lack of SEO. Don't be alarmed, however. There is a cure: doing some basic keyword researching and
targeting long tail keywords
Long tail keywords are essentially those terms/phrases that are more than 4-5 words long and where the search volumes might be low,but when combined to target multiple such terms, the outcome may prove to be more successful than just focusing on a single big term.Keywords provide a sort of road map for your target audience. You see, they are most likely trying to search for the information that you've posted on your site, but simply aren't able to find it because you haven't given them any road signs to go by. So, they'll spend a great deal of time trying to find the knowledge that they are seeking, but will miss your site entirely or go elsewhere for their information (despite the fact that your information may be more valuable or in depth).
Targeting a long tail keyword will enable you to rank for that keyword more easily than trying to rank for a highly competitive keyword term.
By using the Google Keyword Tool to identify long tail keywords that you can target, you gain the power to reach your target audience and to then share your information with them. You would want to avoid keywords that are ranked too high on the “competition” scale, given that they can often already be over-saturated.
Targeting a long tail keyword will enable you to rank for that keyword very quickly. You won’t get a horde of traffic from it, but you will get top rankings quickly. A few of these rankings can add up very quickly. It's that snowball effect again, you see. Slowly but surely you will notice that your traffic stats steadily increase, and eventually your carefully chosen keywords will be working autonomously to bring in new visitors and potential customers.
Higher search engine rankings equate to increased traffic and maximized online exposure. For instance, if you choose a long tail keyword that appeals to your target audience, they are more likely to find you, or your goods and services, more quickly. Given that so many sites exist today, long tail keywords can serve as a way to make you stand out from the rest.
Strategy #4: Turn to Your Own Analytics for Keyword-Driven Content
Dig through your analytics to look for keywords that people typed in to land on your site. Were there any that you didn’t expect? If so, see if it makes sense to turn those keywords into pieces of content.
For example, if you had a website covering the latest news on phones and you discovered in your analytics that you’ve been getting 4-5 visitors a month for the term “best phone for music in 2013” without really targeting that term, it’s a term you’d want to consider writing about. By doing so, you would not only improve your chances of having an article that would rankhigher for that term since it would be more targeted, but you would also be able to successfully reach out to a whole new audience that you hadn’t thought of before. Going through your analytics and looking through all those seemingly peculiar terms that give you just a few visitors a month is something you should do on a regular basis when coming up with content ideas for your site.
Strategy #5: Never Underestimate the Power of the Autocomplete Feature
This particular strategy goes hand-in-hand with the previous one, in that it can help you to create more unique and effective long tail keywords or keyword combinations...
Give this a try: go to Google and type in a word or part of a sentence. You'll immediately find that Google will complete the word or sentence for you, often at times giving you new ideas for content in the process. For example, if you type in “Create a Photo” in Google (without pressing enter,) Google might give you these suggestions:
“Create a Photo book”, “Create a Photoshop image” “Create a Photo site” Etc. For most internet users, this tool can help them to reach their destination much more quickly and enable them to learn about new topics that may be trending about a particular subject. However, for businesses who want to get the most out of their content marketing campaign, it's an opportunity that shouldn't be missed.
According to search engine giant, Google, the results that appear in the autocomplete feature are “algorithmically determined based on a number of purely algorithmic factors (including popularity of search terms) without human intervention.” This means that terms that may be trending right now are suggested to those who are searching for related content.
If you run a website about photography, these suggestions can be invaluable, because you can then create blogs, or even eBooks, that include the topics and long tail keywords that you've found via the Autocomplete feature. This tool can not only give you the ability to find new and creative keywords to use on your site, but to provide your visitors with content that is
Another way that you can benefit from the autocomplete feature is to research the competition. You can type in the name of your competitor in the search window, and see what the autocomplete feature suggests. For instance, if you type in “Smith Jewelers”, and “Smith Jewelers Diamond Care” pops up, then you can find out what information about diamond maintenance they are offering. This will alert you to the fact that you may want to include content that features new and improved advice and tips for the popular topic.
Strategy #6: Take your Content Cues from Twitter and Facebook
In many respects, business owners have a wealth of opportunities that simply weren't around for our predecessors. Not only do we now have technology to help us with our marketing pursuits, but a social media network that enables us to tap into the minds of our target audience within a matter of seconds.
These social media platforms also give us the power to take invaluable cues from the information that is being shared on a continual basis.
It's all about catching the trend while it's hot, and taking advantage of the need for knowledge about that trending topic.
This is why it's crucial that you participate in the Twitter and Facebook discussions in your industry as much as possible. Get to know the “movers and shakers” within your niche, and
constantly be on the lookout for new ideas. When you notice an interesting tweet or a new
idea pop up, turn it into content for your site. If you do it fast enough, you’ll be the first
and others will jump on the bandwagon to reference your content.
In many respects, business owners have a wealth of opportunities that simply weren't around for our predecessors. Not only do we now have technology to help us with our marketing pursuits, but a social media network that enables us to tap into the minds of our target audience within a matter of seconds. These social media platforms also give us the power to take invaluable cues from the information that is being shared on a continual basis.
If you happen to notice that twitter is all abuzz with talk of a new electronic device, for example, why not talk about it on your technology site. If you find that there are thousands of tweets about a brand new supplement, mention it on your health and lifestyle blog. The possibilities are endless, as long as you know how to take full advantage of the chances that are being provided by social media networks.
Strategy #7: Social Media Monitoring
Since we're on the subject of social media, it's also important to keep a close eye on Twitter and Facebook to figure out what’s hot in your industry. So, our next content marketing strategy is social media monitoring. These tools can allow you to create a piece of content discussing trending topics, and be confident in the fact that
people are actually going to be interested in the
posts you are providing.
You can also use Google Trends to seek out topics that are hot at the moment, and write content that will draw in new readers who may turn into return visitors. The idea is to draw in as many people as possible, because they are bound to keep coming back for more once they realize how informative your site truly is.
Make sure to tweet out your content and share it on Facebook, as these social media sites aren't just invaluable places to find information, but to share it as well. In fact, it's one of the best places to reach your audience (and their network), in order to expand your readership and potential customer base.
Strategy #8: Cover an Event
Go to an event, such as a conference, a competition, a seminar or a trade show, and give in depth details about it to your readers or followers. If you can give down to the minute breakdowns via Twitter, Facebook, or even your site, then that's even better.
This is called “liveblogging.” People who can’t attend the actual event love being able to stay in the loop. Use event blogging
to build quality links, and transform your site into a reliable source of information that people can turn to for up-to-date news.
Strategy #9: Conduct an Interview or Invite Someone to Guest Blog
Interviewing someone who’s well known, or even someone who has a skill or bit of advice that your audience wants, is a fantastic way to produce great content and generate buzz. If its public figure who many people are familiar with, talk about the interview well in advance, to create some anticipation for the event. Also, if they are willing, why not ask the person to write a guest post on your blog. If you want to interview someone or create an informative blog post for your site, just ask.
You’d be surprised at how many people will say “yes”. If they are too busy to speak with you directly, then ask if it would be alright if you just sent them a list of questions via email that they can answer when they have a free minute. This will give you the chance to get all of the attention-grabbing content that an interview can offer, without having to conduct an actual interview.
Strategy #10: Offer a Free e-Newsletter
An e-Newsletter gives you the power to keep your customers informed on a regular basis, while allowing your business or site to stay fresh in their minds. Not only can you offer them the chance to get all of the latest information that you have to offer via a newsletter, but they are more likely to return to you for future business because you are remaining in constant contact with them.
It doesn't have to be anything fancy. In fact, it can be just a one page PDF document or relatively short email that lets them know about ground-breaking news in your industry, your latest promotions, or even tips that they may find useful. Remember, it's all about non-intrusive marketing, so don't be too “sales-pitchy” with your e-Newsletter. Instead,offer them bits of wisdom that they will enjoy reading, and let their sense of gratitude and customer loyalty do the rest.
Strategy #11: Discover the Trending Topics and Hop on the Bandwagon
Look around your industry. Is there a trend you can see? Are people jumping on a certain “bandwagon”? Is a new tech gadget all the rage, or is there a buzz building about a low fat diet that everyone seems to be trying out (and talking about)?
Be sure to “strike while the iron's hot”, as they say, so that you don't miss out any site traffic.
If there’s a trend, be the first to put your two cents in. People love a good in depth analysis of a current trend. If you’re against it, say so. If you like it, explain why. Use trending topics to build links. However, be sure to “strike while the iron's hot”, as they say, so that you don't miss out any site traffic.
Also, try to get a new or fresh angle on the trend. For example, say there's a new diet that everyone is talking about online. You'd love to talk about it on your site, so that you can benefit from the hot trending topic. The trouble is that you've already found that a countless number of other blogs in your niche have already covered the subject at length.
Why not talk about a different aspect of the product, such as what foods are included in the diet, or which body type the diet is best suited for.
Strategy #12: Transform Testimonials into Content
Testimonials can be a fantastic way to bring in new content. For example, someone used your weight loss product and lost 20 lbs in 20 days. They've emailed to tell you about it, and just can't stop raving about the benefits it offered them. You can use this as a case study to point out all the things your client did right, and how your product lived up to its claims. You build social proof while providing valuable content.
Customers generally like to see proof that something works before they buy it. This instillsa sense of buyer confidence. Therefore, if you have shown that you are a reliable source within your particular niche, and combine that with a range of satisfied customer testimonials, then you're bound to see your sales skyrocket.
Using these twelve tips, you’ll be able to quickly and easily get that ball rolling. Remember, it's best to use as many of them as possible, in order to get the most out of your content marketing campaign.