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The Most Comprehensive Guide To Content Marketing Ever

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The Most Comprehensive Guide To Content Marketing Ever

Content marketing is one term that is in use since many years now. However, due to the ever-changing updates by major search engines and the fear of dropping down on SERP’s, content marketing has become more prevalent than ever. The subject has now earned its long deserved respect (though people knew its importance way back), and has found its way into a number of discussions, blogs and anything that relates to online marketing.

We decided to come up with a detailed guide on content marketing. This guide is meant for all those who know what content marketing is, and want to learn more about producing and publishing valuable content.

Building an immovable base

With the advent of new technologies and tools, content marketing efforts are constantly evolving with new trends more than ever. In order to engage the targeted audience, it is inevitable to develop a strong foundation for effective and well-organized content marketing. The following points, if incorporated right into the roots of the content marketing strategy, could help a brand stand out from the rest of the competition.

Objectives: When planning, it is important to determine your objectives for content marketing. Of course, like any other marketing strategy, you can apply different ideas to see what works best for you. There could be a number of objectives ranging from prospecting to establishing thought leadership in order to influence a certain industry. Make a list of specific goals that best suits your requirements.

ο Decide how content marketing will help your business

ο Decide the core message to be delivered (a story or a piece of advice)

ο Do a competitor analysis of the top 5 competitors and analyze their content marketing strategy. See what more could be implemented into yours. 

Some common objectives:

♦Target Audience: One thing should be kept in mind that we will end up with no one, if trying to target everyone. It is vital to decide a specific group for whom the content is meant. In fact, your core business goals comes into play here as you have to determine what your products and services are all about and whom are you targeting for the desired conversion rates.

     • Decide on who should read your content.

     • Are there enough people who are actually interested in your content, so as to meet your objectives?

     • Go to Google Adwords Keyword planner to figure out if people are searching for the information that you are looking to share.

     • Create personas that define the various aspects of your targeted readers. This includes the demographics and the physiographics.

 

Strategy: Your core message should go with all the kinds of content that is produced. Prepare a strategy to deliver the core message. The strategy has to include:

  ο Brainstorming to craft statements or tag lines containing your core message
  ο Make the secondary topics and messages easily attainable by searchers through keywords
  ο Decide on delivering a specific type of content or multiple types. The types include articles, guest posts, videos, infographics, presentations, how-to-guides, to name a few.
  ο Set up a publication schedule.

♦ Marketing Tools: Choosing a particular platform for each type of your content is very important. The following points would help.

  ο Depending on the type of the content created, decide on the platform where it would be published. (Guest post sites, PR, Youtube, Visual.ly, Pinterenst…)
  ο Decide which social media platform best suits your business and the content that you have created keeping in mind the various personas.
  ο Decide whether you are going to host the blog from your business site or another URL.

Having said that, I believe it will not harm having a look for some inspiration for content strategy given by Coca-Cola

 

Content marketing institute in one of it’s post gives us the reasons why content marketers should follow 3 lessons in content strategy laid by Coca-Cola.

Content Management: Creativity is the key here. Managing the content is unavoidable. By innovating with the application of unique techniques one could leverage the most out of the content marketing strategy.

ο Setup the objectives for each type of content
ο Decide on the approach that will be required for each channel. Each and every channel has its own way of communicating. For instance, Facebook provides an extravagant platform for sharing ideas and posts, while Twitter just allows 140 characters to express. Decide on what suits you and your business goals the best

Productivity of the Content

It’s easy to get lured into new ideas when it comes to content writing. However, it is the biggest challenge, which takes a lot of elbow grease and time. Being a content marketer, you need to keep a watch on the activities of the audience to get a clear insight in writing content, articles or eBooks.

While writing all of us have surely wondered,” How can I build an effective content marketing plan?” The basic steps given below will give us an idea on increasing the productivity of the content.

Refine the Categories for your blog: We know that great content relies on all parts working in harmony. To achieve this, you need an organizational system. Let’s start with the secondary topic that we discussed about after creating the core message. This secondary topic should be the category in the blog.

ο Navigate to posts in your blog’s admin panel.
ο Enter the category name.
ο Enter all the SEO details that include title tag, meta descriptions and keywords for the category page.
ο Include Title and Introduction for the Category Page

The same rule should be followed for all the secondary topics.

Know- your-customers: The thumb-rule of content marketing should always be in the center of all content creation activities. It is that the content should be informative, something that becomes popular and is able to achieve high rankings on search engines.

ο Never assume about the choices of customers. As discussed earlier create personas with various physiographics and demographics.
ο Set up an Interview with them. Ask your sales department for valuable insights into the customers’ needs.
ο Have a real conversation. Don’t merely collect data
ο Evaluate what you learned. Until now you would understand three things: 1) before looking for your product, what was the customer thinking? 2) What was the requirement that made them purchase the product? 3) What information was the most useful that made them decide to buy the product.

Write Like A Pro

It’s time now to start creating the content. But not any content for the sake of its name. We are talking about serious content that is creative, relevant and engaging. The content should actually be read and liked by all.

Select the topic and the approach: There are times when an idea springs up in the mind fully defined, however there are some ideas that are broad topics and it takes a while before you are actually able to narrow it into something worth writing.

Check your schedule. Look at the objectives and the keywords, which will give direction to your thinking.

If it is a general idea, you will need to narrow the approach. Writing too much into a small space will make it all the more overstuffed.

Research: What is it that you need to research? Quotes, statistics, case studies, thoughts from leaders, stories, it could be anything. It’s a good practice to have some useful resources pertaining to a topic, so that you could look up to them while looking for some facts and figures.

      ο Stay focused on the main topic while researching.
      ο Do an online research for the primary keyword.
      ο Check the PageRank or MozRank for the URL to see how popular a particular website is.
      ο Avoid looking at secondary sources as much as possible.

      ο Use sources that could be easily recognized by your target audience

      ο Use a very recent research.

Organize the ideas: After the above mentioned steps, you now have a narrow topic and ideas on how to elaborate those topics.

ο Understand what you are trying to say. You have to make your own point based on the objective listed on your editorial planner and your research.
ο Find some supporting statements or facts and figures that provide evidence to your point. Create a rough outline of the content.
ο Evaluate to know how effective the content could be.

Edit: Try keeping aside some hours when you are uninterrupted. You will need to evaluate the flow of the ideas to see that they justify the topic.

ο Read your content as if you are the targeted reader
ο Fix all the errors pertaining to the structure and the organization of the content
ο Work on the introductory part
ο Check spelling and all the aspects of the grammar.

Reaching the target audience

Optimizing for search is one of the vital requirements to reach the target audience. It is rumored that SEO is dead after the Panda and Penguin era. However, a well written and optimized content is the best SEO tactic and still exists.

Onpage optimization: Google has clearly stated through all its updates that quality content will be rewarded when it comes to ranking on the SERP’s. Thus, it is important to implement SEO only after writing and not before it.

ο Decide on the keywords on which you want to rank your content. Do a research of all the keywords related to the main keywords and make out which will best appeal your audience.
ο There are a number of tools available including Google Trends that help in comparing various search phrases and determining the best one with a complete report.
ο Insert the keyword once in the title. It shouldn’t seem as stuffing of keywords.
ο The keywords should appear naturally in the content and should not seem to be over-stuffed.
ο Internally link to other pages of your website

Make your website an authority: In order to build your authority, we suggested you to create a core message in the beginning. Google gives rank to authority websites, but in order to gain that a lot of quality content goes into it.

ο Keeping your core topic in mind, create a lot of useful and high quality content
ο Refine your internal linking strategy continually
ο Link to authority websites
ο Get other websites to link to you. Create link-inviting content, namely book reviews, product reviews and evaluations of some thoughts by influential leaders in your niche.

Utilize Author Rank and Social Media: Google wants to know you better. One of the main reasons Google launched Google+ is to track your social activities to identify which content is most relevant to you. Thus it is vital to create an authorship with Google.

ο Create a Google+ profile. Provide as much information as possible. Links helps Google in identifying your Author Rank
ο Use the Authorship tool to connect Google+ to your site.
ο Following the steps create your own author page and have a look at it
ο Be an active Google+ user

External links through Guest Blogging: Your authority as an author plays an important role to show your business up in search engines. Publishing and requesting is a great technique to earn quality links from authoritative websites.

ο Develop a list of ideas to post on high quality sites related to your niche
ο Follow the same steps that are given in this post to create a content for guest posting
ο Include your website’s link in the content or somewhere in the author-bio

Promoting the Content

A successful content marketing campaign is made up of 3 things: a great content, visibility on search engines, and promoting it to the followers. We already know how to create content and making it visible on search engines. Now let’s see the various ways in which the content could be promoted.

The day when your content goes live:You would like to get the word out on the day your content is going live. Here are some ways of doing it:

ο Send newsletters to all in your e-mail list each time your content goes live
ο Send promotional e-mails with landing page. Consider creating an HTML e-mail to promote it to your list
ο Tweet about the post and do it four times in a day. Research on the time when you could get visibility from more prospects.
ο Post it on Google+. It’s a good practice to include a comment to introduce the post. The same could be done on Facebook and other relevant social media platforms.

 ♦The week after your content goes live:You could continue to promote the content throughout the week, however don’t overdo it. The social profile pages should have something more in addition to the promotion of your posts.

ο In addition to the above mentioned points to post your content on social media, make sure that each and every +1’s, likes and comments are responded to.
ο Tweet or post at the highest response times on each social network.

♦Continual Promotional activities: Promotion is not a short term process. It is an ongoing process. And it’s a two-way traffic. The mantra is simple – in order to increase interaction, interact.

ο Create a list of influential tweeters and bloggers in your industry and increase interaction with them.
ο Link to the bloggers.
ο Send an e-mail to high value contact when you create something that might interest them.
ο Ask for tweets to all those you feel that your content might be useful to them and they may like it.
ο Leave comment on other people’s blogs to gain attention from them.

I personally liked the example given my Content Marketing Institute in one of its post on a motel called The Motor Lodge and its being doing a great job by using social media for its content marketing. It has managed to create a buzz for itself by engaging customers and prospective customers. A look at the likes in the below given image will say it all:

 

Summary:

If you want to take the content marketing strategy, also the online marketing strategy wholly to the next level, there are some serious things to consider. Keeping the overall business and marketing goals in the center is the key. Also, it is vital to ensure that everything starting from the concept to the distribution is carried out keeping these goals in mind. Having an adept content marketing team and setting up internal processes will make the task a whole lot smoother.

 

Dave Ken

Dave Ken
Digital Marketing Strategist in IBOXSEO. Who have worked with firms in the UK, Ireland, and HK on growing their online presence via lean strategy. Hugely passionate about the evolving nature of SEO, He is always interested in the latest shifts and patterns, particularly related to content marketing.
Google PageRank: How to Increase Your PageRank
The Importance of Strategy for Effective Content Marketing
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  • http://www.webmaisterpro.com/ Kaloyan Banev

    No doubt this is the right path for content marketing during 2014. Not just from SEO point of view, but from user perspective.

    • http://www.iboxseo.org/ dave ken

      HI Banev,
      Thanks for your comment.

      Yes you are right, the content marketing will become the more and more important. Content driven marketing even impacted the SEO a lot. You can see the new term like “content based link building”, “content based outreach”..

      Dave