How to create a CONTENT MARKETING STRATEGY that works

Chapter 6 of the digital marketing strategy guide

One of the reasons I love the internet so much is that it completely disrupts the way we learn about products or services. The old way of advertising, where you interrupt a customer to sell her something she is not so far interested in, is changing dramatically. It is being replaced by an inbound, or pull, approach, where the user actively searches for information that will help him make more informed decisions.

Content marketing, also known as inbound marketing, can make your website steadily attract leads who are already interested in your product without pushing sales to them. But spending loads of time producing the wrong type of content without really adding value to your target audience can lead to your website not attracting visits and not communicating a message of trust.

Lots of small-business owners are sceptical about content marketing, and I get it. It is hard to measure, and there is content out there already. And, unfortunately, many of them think they do not really have a unique point of view on their industry.

They are wrong. As a small-business owner, you have unique experiences that you can share and lots of people are going to find it incredibly useful. Dan Flanagan from Don’t Believe the Hype once told me there were tons of people who would love my stories, and that I should write them. I couldn’t have imagined how right he was. Your content strategy is the only thing between your expertise and your audience. Make it happen and your relationship will improve.

If you follow the guidelines below, your content will bring you these benefits:

·      Projecting your brand as experts and generates trust.

·      Industry influencers working together with you and talking to their audiences about you.

·      Organically attracting traffic through long tail keywords related to your topics, and then making those people become aware of your service and much more confident to buy from you.

·      Solving all your customers’ doubts and problems through innovative content pieces and saving customer support costs.

·      Fuelling your social media strategy with tons of valuable content and stop posting empty updates no one cares about.

Content strategy checklist

1.    Identify topics based on your key message

In our earlier chapter, we talked about researching topics over keywords. That is why we will go back to our key messages (Chapter 1), and identify our main topics and subtopics.

You can use Google Keyword Planner and research the keywords. What related subtopics do you find? This will help you sketch your content marketing strategy.

At Gozen Media, our main keyword is ‘digital marketing strategy’ and one of the subcategories is ‘content marketing strategy’. That is why you are now reading this article.

2.    Find the top 10 non-brand keywords your website is ranking for

Go to your Search Console. Search Traffic> Search analytics

Check which keywords your website is already ranking for on Google that have nothing to do with your brand. Is there an area you feel you could create more content on?

3.    What is the most popular content on your topic?

Go to Buzzsumo.com and search for your main topic. Find the 10 most shared articles about the topic. Why are they so popular? What patterns can you find that you could use on your content?

These patterns can range from the headlines used, to the format of the content, to the people featured. Be curious and your creativity will spark.

4.    What are people asking about your topic?

Quora is a great website where people ask questions about anything. You can browse your topic and find some of the questions people tend to ask. You can then answer these questions on your website and place the link on Quora.

Example:

Reading this, I could create an article asking content marketing influencers what their best content marketing tip is and then post the link as an answer to this question.

5.    Find related keywords

Use infinitesuggest.com to discover which longer tail keywords Google suggests when you type in any query. This is incredibly useful because Google is telling you what type of keywords they think are related to your main keyword, so you can build your content strategy on that. Then, you can include those long tail keywords on your existing content or create specific articles or videos for those keywords.

6.    What type of content would work in your industry?

Based on all the research you have conducted on your competitors, your target audience, popular content, your existing performance, and your key messages, you now need to come up with ideas for conveying all those messages. There are a myriad of formats for you to offer your content:

·      Video: something you can do in 10 minutes with your mobile phone and edit with software you’ll probably find already on your computer.

·      Article: An in-depth written piece about a specific topic or problem.

·      Guide: A collection of articles covering a much wider topic. You are reading a chapter from a digital marketing strategy guide.

·      White Paper: a PDF with your solution to a specific problem your target audience has. Typically given in exchange of email addresses.

·      Infographic: a graphically appealing collection of facts and results about a given topic.

·      Roundup: a collection of opinions from industry influencers. This is great because the influencers will likely promote that piece because they feature in it. Let Neil Patel explain you how to do this.

·      Podcast: an audio/video show about your topic, where you talk about your topic or conduct interviews.

·      Webinar: a seminar given to people through the internet.

·      Meme: choosing a popular meme and taking it further with your angle

Expert tip: create a content calendar based on the priorities for your content ideas.

7.    Create a content promotion checklist

For every piece of content that you create you will need a promotion strategy, and the first place to start is on websites and social networks your target audience is more likely to visit.

Find the social media platforms your competitors and target audience are active in. What hashtags are they using?

Identify key industry influencers. Where are they active and what type of content are they sharing?

This will give you ideas of what type of content to produce and who to contact in order to promote it.

You want to end up with a promotion checklist that you will optimise as you work on it.

For example, imagine you just published an article on your website where you show your audience how to deal with a problem they typically have.

You want to:

·      Create a ‘featured image’ or cover for the article. You can use Unsplash for free great stock photos and Canva for designing the rest of the cover.

·      Reach out to anybody you have referred to on your article and ask them to check it out and share it.

·      Email your contact list telling them about your new piece of content. Ask them to comment, share or link to it from their website.

·      Reach out to people who have written similar articles and ask them to comment, share or link.

·      Schedule 5 to 20 posts with snippets of the content that you created and schedule them on your most appropriate social networks. For example, we are doing this on Facebook and LinkedIn.

·      Share the link on industry websites that accept links or are looking for new content and news.

·      If you are doing b2b content marketing, check if Google has indexed your article (by Googling ‘site:[url of your article]), and if they have already done it, publish the same article on LinkedIn following their guidelines and adding appropriate tags to it.

·      Find an appropriate subreddit and start a conversation about the topic of your article. If you can, share your article and encourage people to read it. But be careful.

·      Find appropriate Facebook groups and promote the article, but make sure that you do so with the intention of helping people and never in a self-promotional way.

·      Boost your article on Facebook. £20 can go a long way, and improve the reach of your content. If you target properly you can get many of those people to actually visit your website and discover your brand.

Make sure you use sheets to track your creation and promotion. This will save you time doing each iteration.

Do you have any questions about content marketing? Let us know and we will help you.

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