Do you have a little corner of the internet that offers valuable information about your niche or industry? Whether it’s an e-commerce site, blog, or forum — generating content is a great way to develop relationships, establish yourself as an expert, increase traffic and sales, and stay in front of your target audience. However, when going into content marketing, it’s easy to make a few mistakes. And when you’re a small business, the stakes are even higher.
Don’t let your potential online slip away from you due to a lack of knowledge. Below are the common mistakes that could be preventing you from getting the most out of your marketing dollar.
Not Having a Solid Content Marketing Strategy
A content marketing strategy is a plan for how you will create and distribute content. Without one, it will be challenging to determine what type of content you produce, who your audience is, and how often you should share the information with them.
When creating a content marketing strategy, your objective should be to align your business goals with the needs of your target market by providing valuable information that will help them solve problems or answer questions. It’s not necessarily to sell products directly; instead, it’s about establishing trust with potential customers, so they are more likely to purchase something from your company down the road.
Not Identifying Your Target Audience
This is a critical part of content marketing that many small businesses don’t get right. You need to know who you are talking to, what they want to hear, and what they need to know about your niche topic.
Once you’ve identified your target audience—including specifics about their age range, gender identity/expression preference(s), socioeconomic status level(s), etc.—you can better tailor your message to their needs or interests.
For example, if you run a travel blog and want to attract travelers planning their next trip, that’s who your target audience should be. They may not all be millennials, and they may not all be affluent, but they will all have one thing in common: they love traveling.
The more specific you can get with your target audience, the better equipped you will be to deliver relevant content that benefits them personally.
Not Investing in High-Quality Content
Content is a significant part of your business’s online presence—whether used to build a blog, create social media posts, or shared on LinkedIn and other platforms.
If you’re new to the game, it can be tempting just to throw some words onto a page and call it good. But that won’t get you very far. Your target readers anticipate something meaningful.
The first step toward creating quality content is having a good understanding of what constitutes “quality.” That means more than just getting your facts right; it means ensuring your posts are helpful and engaging for your readers. Don’t try to imitate other people’s style — instead, focus on making sure that your voice comes through loud and clear.
Sure, you want to prioritize quality over quantity, and you might think that producing one post per week or month is enough. But if you want to drive commendable traction with your new blog, please commit to putting out at least two pieces of content per week.
Ignoring the 80/20 Rule of Content Marketing
Content marketing is mainly about creating valuable content that informs and educates your audience. But you also want to convert those readers into customers by promoting your products or services. Finding the perfect balance is where most companies fall short: They spend so much time trying to sell that they forget the importance of educating potential customers first (or at least in addition). It’s wrong, and that’s where the 80/20 rule of content marketing comes in.
The 80/20 rule of content marketing suggests that 80% of your content should be educational, and only 20% should promote your products and services.
It’s a great way to approach content marketing because it helps you build trust with your prospects. They will learn about who you are and what you do, making it easier for them to trust your brand and buy from you. That’s why the best-performing landing pages have a lot more content than just a form to fill out.
People visiting your website don’t want to see an advertisement or sales pitch immediately; they want to learn more about what makes your brand special. And the more information you give them, the more likely they will buy from you.
When it comes to content marketing, it’s easy to focus on the creative side of things and forget about the technical aspects. However, good SEO is essential for any website, especially if you want to attract traffic through search engines.
But you can’t optimize your content for SEO if you don’t understand how it works. Plus, Google’s algorithm is constantly changing, and if you don’t stay on top of it, it can negatively affect your rankings.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of creating content that is easily found by search engines like Google and Bing. In other words, it’s the art of making your site more accessible to people looking for the information you provide. This sounds simple enough, but in practice, many things can go wrong when writing content for SEO purposes. These mistakes can lead to pages that rank poorly or not at all in search results, which means fewer eyeballs on your business’ website and less awareness of what you have to offer online customers.
The most common issue? Creating thin or duplicate over-optimized pages with low-quality information that doesn’t provide any value outside of ranking well in Google searches—a blackhat SEO practice known as “keyword stuffing.” While this may provide short-term gains in ranking, people quickly become frustrated with seeing these types of sites appear when searching for relevant information on specific topics. They’ll move on to another website instead! Also, Google and other search engines penalize this technique by dipping your ranks.
Below are some ways to get your content discovered by more people:
Target keywords with high search volumes
Create rich media content (videos, images) with keyword-rich titles and descriptions
Create linkable assets (eBooks, infographics)
Optimize your website for mobile devices
Build links between your content channels
Creating Random Content on any Subject
Your target audience is likely composed of people with a need or problem they’re looking to solve. So, make sure your content offers value, not just information that’s interesting or different from what everyone else is saying.
If you can’t think of anything valuable about your product/service, then don’t say it! Relevant content means sticking with topics related to your products/services (i.e., if you own a coffee shop, don’t write about dog grooming) and providing information that solves problems for potential customers. If no one has ever asked, “Where can I get great coffee nearby?” it’s probably not worth writing about.
Not Measuring the Results of Your Efforts
While it’s essential to have a marketing strategy for content, it’s also vital that you track the results of your efforts. If you can’t measure what’s working and what isn’t, it will be tricky to know if you need to change course or continue with what has been working so far.
So, how do you measure content marketing performance?
It depends on your goals for the campaign. If you want to increase website traffic and leads, then you need to measure those things. If your goal is to raise brand awareness, then brand lift should be part of the equation.
The good news is that there are many tools available to help you measure performance. Some are free, and some require a small investment. Google Analytics is one of the most popular analytics tools on the market. It includes real-time tracking of traffic, engagement, and conversions. You can also use it to track sales conversions based on whether or not they came from social media or other online sources like blogs or newsletters.
A few simple metrics will help you gauge the effectiveness of your content marketing efforts:
Traffic: The number of website visitors is essential for measuring content marketing success. You want to see steady growth in site traffic over time, which means new people are finding value in your brand and engaging with your content.
Engagement: Engagement metrics tell you how many people interact with your content — sharing it on social media or commenting on it in forums, etc. The goal is to get users involved in the conversation around your brand to feel like part of the community.
We know that it can be hard to change your routine or reevaluate what you’re doing regarding content marketing. But we hope that by reading through these points again, you’ll identify where your business could make improvements and better serve customers looking for more information about your niche, products, and services.
Your search engine optimization (SEO) may not be up to par, but you have several options to reclaim its glory. A few minor changes can make your website more successful, especially if you want to attract more qualified customers and gain a competitive edge in today’s fast-growing digital world. Here are our top 3 suggestions.
Optimize your website for mobile devices
Search engines have been steadily moving toward a mobile-first index. Numbers don’t lie – according to Statista, 47.28% of the web traffic in the U.S in the last quarter of 2021. And that number will only increase as more people get smartphones and tablets.
The most important step in optimizing your website for mobile users is to ensure it’s responsive, which automatically adjusts its layout to fit any screen size.
You’ll also want to ensure your site loads quickly on mobile devices, as people are less likely to wait around for it to load when they’re on the go. Make sure its text is easily read on small screens and underpinned by plenty of white spaces.
Create Relevant and Quality Content
Content is the foundation of any SEO strategy for small businesses. Create pages where readers can quickly and easily find the information they want. As such, visitors spend more time on your website while providing you with the opportunity to cash in on superior user experiences.
Good content will get people talking about your business because they trust you as an authority on the subject matter. With trust comes action, such as subscribing to your blogs, downloading your e-book, or buying your product.
Start with conducting comprehensive keyword research—finding popular terms in your niche. Next, create keyword-rich copy targeting the people looking for products and services like yours. But again, use the keywords naturally throughout the copy.
As for the quality, make your content informative. Include lots of valuable information that people can use daily, not just vague descriptions of what your company does. Your content should also be accurate, easy to read, and up-to-date. You can always use the help of a reputable content writing service.
Google cares about videos, and so should you. Blending text and videos gives Google the impression that your site is informative, boosting your search rankings. You can use videos as a traffic generator, as there are high chances of people visiting your site after watching your video on YouTube or other social media channels.
Videos are an important asset for any business website, especially if you sell products or services that are hard to explain with text or simple graphics. An Orbelo study found that 54% of customers anticipate more video content from their favorite brands, and over 86% of marketing pros consistently use video as a marketing tool.
Incorporate video in product descriptions, on your homepage, and anywhere else you can embed it into your pages. You can use them for tutorials and other educative material that can benefit customers who may not be tech-savvy or find written instructions difficult to follow.
If you want your target audience to find your small business website, you must pay attention to your SEO strategy. As you dive deeper into the SEO world, there’s much to learn and implement. Get started with the above recommendations.
The year 2021 sounds so futuristic, right? But is this just a marketing gimmick, or is there something else to it? You’re smart; I’m sure you can guess the answer. There’s always something up our sleeves, but more on that later. Now, let’s focus on what brought us here – improving your web traffic in 2021.
You might be expecting a lot of web traffic from search engines, but that may not happen tomorrow. It requires more work from your side. These four strategies will help you steer clear of clickbait and grow your traffic organically in 2021. Let’s dive right in.
Videos are taking over the internet. According to statistics, more than 68% of consumers prefer videos over other forms of content when looking for more information about an offering. So, if you want to drive this effect, you must use video marketing in your business in 2021!
Video marketing will give you the edge your business needs. It’s a high-value way to connect with customers and establish yourself as an expert in your field.
Don’t create videos just for the sake of sharing them on YouTube, Vimeo, or Facebook. Of course, you want to engage your prospects and come up with something that they’ll watch. But wouldn’t it be great if they found your videos when looking for a solution to their problems? Your audience wants relevant, helpful information about a topic they’re interested in, preferably from the most trusted voice on that topic. You can be that voice.
You may consider hiring a video expert to create thrilling tutorials, about us, or customer testimonial videos that resonate with your audience and drive traffic to your website. It’s also essential to optimize the video descriptions for search engines.
The best way to capitalize on business videos is to integrate them into your other marketing channels, and embedding them into your blogs is an excellent way to start.
In 2018, 38% of the world’s population owned a smartphone. The smartphone penetration rate is growing fast, with Statista projecting that 87% of all mobile phone users in the U.S will have a smartphone. This, together with a growing trend in mobile searches and mobile-friendly web pages, are some statistics that prove the demand for an optimized site.
If you’re just getting started online, start with a mobile-friendly site and then create your desktop version.
By getting your mobile site up and running first, you essentially optimize your website for the majority of internet users – those using their phones. You give your audience easy access to your product or service and make it easier for yourself to reach them.
Good information doesn’t just disappear. People are using search engines like Google in their quest to find meaningful answers to their questions and concerns. These days, if you really want people to find your solutions, you need to help them first by putting together easy-to-understand content.
Remember that search engines now look for information-packed content that answers various queries posted by internet users. Writing for this purpose helps you grow your organic traffic and business.
If you’re targeting a specific user, the better you speak to their interests and the higher chances you have of converting them into leads. As such, research your niche, so you know who you’re talking to and tailor your content accordingly.
Did you know that sites with higher E-A-T (Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness) value rank higher on Google? To put things in perspective, your site’s reputation, and your own, play a role in your ranking.
So, how do you build E-A-T?
You should keep an up-to-date blog and be active on social media, giving helpful tips to your readers and followers. You should also offer excellent customer service, add more social links to your home page (Google likes that), build your brand authority, etc. And make sure you resolve all issues causing you bad reviews.
To maintain a good reputation online, you also need to ensure your site has the basics right, including security and performance. Other critical must-haves for your website are about page, contact page, customer service information, and relevant policy pages (privacy, terms of service, return policy, etc).
Given that the content will be used to promote your business, it’s important that each of your blog posts have a visible author and an associated profile. Simply put, make it easy for visitors to learn more about your business and writers.
There’s plenty of traffic to be generated in 2021. And driving massive traffic to your website doesn’t have to be a hassle. With these tried and true SEO tricks, you can gain rock-solid traffic without having to spend a fortune on paid ads.
Are you just setting out online? It helps to partner with professionals with proven experience creating content that people want to read and share.
ContentGenics provides effective and affordable bespoke content creation services allowing you to spend more time running your business. It’s a time-saving solution to driving more traffic to your site and building your thought leadership.Contact us today to get started.
Isn’t it frustrating not to drive traffic to your website despite putting so much effort into keyword research and content creation? Isn’t it sickening enough to see your competition command all the visibility and attention online? Your pain ends here with this guide.
Keywords are the foundation of any SEO strategy. But despite many business owners knowing this, they are yet to grasp the ins and outs of finding keywords that will drive traffic and leads to their websites. Consequently, they experience low revenue generation while losing plenty of business to their competitors ahead of the curve.
You do not have to keep losing revenue opportunities to low online visibility. This guide gives you practical keyword research tips you can leverage for your business or your client’s business. Let’s dive right in.
1. Analyze Your Business and Customers
The first keyword research step is understanding your business and customers. You want to determine what makes your business tick: financial stability, unique products, dedicated staff, or anything else.
Understanding your business helps you align relevant keywords with your business goals. For example, if you want to drive more organic traffic to your website, you might target high-volume or trend-based keywords. In contrast, niche, local, and how-to keywords are best suited for lead generation.
Understand how potential customers search for businesses/products like yours online. From there, create content that suits the keywords your customers use.
Another integral part of analyzing your customers is building buyer personas. These are semi-fictional representations of your ideal customer and contain quantifiers like:
Stage of life
Take your time to create thorough customer profiles. That way, you understand your target buyers’ needs and appeal to them better.
2. Determine the Query Intent
Organic results are primarily based on what the search engines interpret to be the searcher’s intent. There exist three common types of search queries:
With informational queries, searchers are not looking for a particular website or intending to make a commercial transaction- they are simply looking for answers to questions or guides to perform particular tasks.
An example of an informational query would be “making coffee.”
To effectively target informational queries, offer helpful, industry-related content optimized with long-tail keywords. This will help your content perform well on search engines for relevant but less competitive queries.
A navigational query suffices when an individual looks for a specific website or webpage. For example, when you enter “facebook” into the Google search bar to find the Facebook site rather than type the site’s URL.
A navigational query has vivid intent and isn’t easy to target unless you own the website a user is looking for. The searcher has the specific website in mind; if it’s not yours, you stand no chance of ranking in the organic results.
To know whether you need to optimize for navigational queries, search for your company on Google. If it ranks at the top of organic results, you are good to go. If not, optimize your website to ensure Google finds relevant information about your company. For this purpose, include business-specific information like brand name, services, products, and location.
Another trick is running PPC ads for your business to ensure your site appears on top of your brand’s navigational query results. See how Harmony Home Medical does this below:
Searchers perform a transactional query if they intend to complete a transaction, such as a purchase. These queries may include terms like “order,” “buy,” or “purchase,” or specific brand names and products like “Tecno Spark 5 Air”. A generic like “iced coffee maker” can also work. Many local searches are transactional, for example, “San Diego Medical Equipment Supplier.”
To optimize your product listings or service pages for transactional queries, ensure you include transactional keywords in your content, title tags, image alt text, and more.
3. Create a List of Keywords
Using the knowledge from the discovery stage, build a list of topics relevant to your business, separating these ideas into groups based on their similarity. Understand some keywords are good for informational queries while others will likely lead to a customer transaction.
Using Google Analytics, Search Console, or any other rank tracking tool, check the keywords your business rank for. Skip any branded term. Next, search the search terms on Google and check for their variations in the “People Also Ask” section and related search terms in Google’s organic results.
It is important to refine and prioritize your phrases. Start with distinguishing between short-tail and long-tail keywords. Short-tail keywords are broad terms often consisting of one or two words and have higher search volume and competition. Long-tail keywords are more descriptive terms comprising three to five or more words and have much lower search volume and competition.
Don’t just focus on short-tail terms with higher search volume. It is difficult to outrank the big boys using these phrases.
Keyword research tools usually indicate keyword difficulty for each phrase. The higher the metric, the harder it is to rank for that particular keyword. Many opportunities lie within the long-tail keywords as consumer searches continue to be more conversational.
Experts recommend targeting short-tail keywords for long-term wins and long-tail phrases for short-term wins. The soft spot is targeting keywords with higher search volume but with keyword difficulty of less than 60%.
4. Analyze Your Competitors
Your competitors have already conducted keyword research, built content, elevated their link-building efforts, and optimized their pages to boost performance. Checking and evaluating their SEO strategies (especially if they perform better online) can greatly help your keyword research process.
The main goal of competitor analysis in keyword research is to identify valuable phrases and concepts. Enter the competitor’s URL in a keyword research tool, and look for metrics that display the value of the phrases your competitors rank for, from keyword difficulty, and potential traffic to CPC (cost per click).
Don’t forget to check the phrases your competitors use in their ad campaigns. If they use phrases with high CPC, it indicates they are valuable phrases with high conversion potential. But don’t ignore their low-CPC terms.
Check Link Profiles
Another way of discovering concepts that matter to your ideal customers is by checking your competitor’s link profiles. If there are content pages with a significantly higher number of inbound links, that indicates the content is valuable to the competitor’s customers and audiences.
Identify unique links too! If a page covering a certain concept receives inbound links, but no other business/website is getting links related to that concept, then you know that’s a worthy concept. And since there is little competition, you can build better content and potentially outrank your competitor.
Additionally, if two or more competitors are getting links to pages about the same idea, look to target that concept on your website.
Evaluate the Pages
Competitor analysis is incomplete without an evaluation of their pages. Study the heading, page structure, and critical optimization elements such as title tags, H1 headings, image alt texts, and meta descriptions.
Analyze the content quality, and determine its readability score. Is it tailored to expert readers or lower comprehension levels? Is it long-form or short-form?
Check how the competitor incorporates visuals in their content. Do they include multiple images? Do they embed videos on their blogs?
5. Create Unique and Valuable Content
Now that you have your keyword lists and know what works for your competitors, start creating content that offers value to your target audience. Create different kinds of content for particular keywords, including blogs, eBooks, whitepapers, case studies, guides, etc. You can start with blogs and build your way up to the advanced content types as your business grows. For example, case studies require real-life customer success stories.
Common is the advice that repeating your target keywords as much as possible and in several spots makes it easier for search engine bots to find your pages. This has to be the worst advice you can offer an SEO beginner. The practice is known as keyword stuffing and is focused on manipulating search engine organic listings. Not only does keyword stuffing damage your communication efforts, but it is also highly frowned upon by search engines. The image below illustrates this black-hat SEO technique:
In white-hat SEO, it’s not about stuffing your copy with keywords; it’s about ensuring the terms appear in an appropriate frequency in your copy. Highly recommended keyword practices include:
Placing your target keyword in your title, meta descriptions, H1 and H2 tags(if possible), in the beginning, middle, and end of your copy,
Using at most two unique keywords per page
Starting your title tag with your keyword
Beginning the first sentence of the first paragraph with your keyword
7. Evaluate and Optimize
Evaluate your site and see what’s performing and not working. Check your rank tracking tools to see what draws more attention from users or experiencing higher than normal bounce rates. Check whether you are ranking for certain queries or losing visibility.
Using the evaluation data, dive into on-page optimization, including optimizing your title tags, Hi headings, alt attributes, meta description, and source code. If your web pages are not ranking at all for your target keyword, there could be a few reasons:
Your content quality is lacking.
You need better titles and H1 headings.
The pages need some inbound links from reputable sites in your industry.
To grow your authority and credibility, you must create new content continually and update your old content to align with new trends and information. But always remember, it is quality over quantity when it comes to content marketing success.
Repurpose the old, well-performing content to drive more results. You can tweak an old blog with a new twist or convert a blog into a video.
The Bottom Line
There you have them, practical keyword research tips to drive the customers you want to your website. However, keyword research is not a one-and-done technique. Continually evaluate your website’s performance and look for new keyword opportunities.
If you need help with content marketing for your business, don’t hesitate to drop ContentGenics a message here.
Content marketing remains at the heart of digital marketing for small businesses. However, being unsure of where to begin can be overwhelming. You might also be wondering if this investment will take up a ton of time and money that you could spend on other important tasks.
This guide has you covered.
It delves into the essentials of content marketing and practical tips for making this online marketing strategy count for your business. Also included are examples of successful content marketing campaigns for your inspiration.
Let’s get started with content marketing definition.
What is Content Marketing?
HubSpot defines content marketing as:
…the process of planning, creating, sharing, distributing, and publishing content to reach your target audience to boost factors like brand awareness, sales, reach, interaction and loyalty.
This is a solid definition but could do better with some explanation.
Simply put, content marketing is a long-term strategy that aims at establishing a formidable relationship with your target audience by consistently offering them valuable content that is highly relevant to them. It is not just the stuff you write to generate traffic or long-form articles or infographics. It is anything that speaks a message to your audience.
In a busier and noisier world, content marketing is a great way to show customers that you care about them…contrary to one-off advertising.
Using this strategy, you can nurture your prospects through the sales funnel, gradually building trust along the customer journey. In the long run, your prospects will buy your products/services and become loyal customers. Keep reading to learn about the current position of content marketing.
The State of Content Marketing in 2021
You must stay on top of the latest content marketing trends and advances to remain ahead of the competition. Following are the top content marketing statistics of 2021 that could help shape your promotional strategy.
The percentage of marketers who document their content marketing strategy rose a few inches higher from 65% in 2109 to 69% in 2020. (Content Marketing Institute)
Quality lead generation is the top priority for content marketing, accounting for about 75% of marketers’ goals. Driving traffic to a website and improving brand reputation follow closely 71% and 56%, respectively. (SEMrush)
Bloggers now spend 63% more time crafting a blog than in 2014. The expectations for content are higher than ever. As such, creating unique content worth sharing takes a ton of time. (Orbit Media)
The top metric for content marketing is organic traffic (76%), followed by lead (62%) and pageviews (60%). (SEMrush)
Remember to keep the above statistics on top of your mind as we delve into the benefits of content marketing.
Why is Content Marketing Important?
It is normal to doubt the importance of content for your business if you are still on the fence or need some benefit guarantee to continue investing in the digital content marketing strategy. Following is a compilation of long-term benefits to consider.
Enhances Your SEO Efforts and Traffic
You cannot win at SEO by just addressing technical issues in your website. Any inbound marketing-savvy individual knows that content is central to success in organic search and traffic generation.
You need to consistently generate content that resonates with your audience. Content that answers their questions comprehensively. By doing so, Google rewards you with better rankings in search results, increasing your website’s visibility. Remember: Google ranks web pages, not websites.
On top of that, backlinks from trustworthy sites and blogs enhance search engines’ trust in your website. However, only unique content that inspires, excites, entertains, and intrigues readers is worth the link juice.
Builds Trust with Your Target Audience
Content creation is elemental to forming strong relationships with your audience. it is a solid way to create value without asking for anything in return. And by continually answering your prospects’ questions, they are more likely to trust your opinions and recommendations.
It follows that publishing content at the right time and place improves your brand’s reputation. As such, customers won’t feel burdened to associate with your brand.
Content marketing is your ticket to building solid authority and thought leadership online. By distinguishing your website as a preferred information resource, you are more likely to rank favorably on Google and other search engines.
Additionally, your audience is most likely to trust you and keep coming back for more if you set yourself apart as an expert in your niche. As such, create content that demonstrates your expertise and answers your prospects’ questions.
Another impactful benefit of content marketing is the ability to attract leads. According to a HubSpot report, companies with a blog generate 67% more leads than brands without content… and marketers who focus more on blogging drive 13X more ROI (return on investment) than companies that do not prioritize blogging.
Prospective customers who read your content are more likely to buy your products/services in the future.
To generate leads, offer free, useful information to your audience, strategically placing actionable and clear Call-to-Actions(CTAs) in your content. The more a reader is excited by your content, the higher chances of them clicking your CTAs and proceeding to your landing pages.
Having a low-conversion website is like fetching water with a leaky bucket- you put too much work into it without gaining meaningful results. Why not fix the bucket, instead?
Assuming your website has a great user experience and speed, you can improve your conversions with high-quality, consistent content that helps your audience connect with your brand and offers them the information necessary to make educated buying decisions.
Top-Performing Types of Content Marketing
Blogs are the most popular content format for small businesses, with 86 percent of marketers using them as part of their marketing strategy. Blogging is popular for a good reason- it is among the best ways to enhance SEO and drive organic traffic to a website.
Besides, blogs offer you an excellent platform to discuss popular topics in your industry, position yourself as a thought leader, and showcase how your solutions can help customers’ everyday problems.
Another benefit of blogging is that you can repurpose your content into other content formats, including infographics, long-form content, email series, social media posts, eBooks, and videos.
To learn more about getting results with blogging, check out this post by Forbes.
An infographic is a visual type of content marketing that helps viewers effortlessly visualize data and information.
People love infographics because they are fun, understandable, and deliver concrete information using less space. You can use them to explain certain subjects and offer statistics about your industry/business, all geared to showcase the value your brand provides.
The point of infographics is to break down complicated information into important points. Make them simple, meaningful, and impactful. Here’s how Happify organized science-backed steps to reduce worry and anxiety into an easy-to-follow infographic.
Case studies are basically true customer stories illustrating how your businesses helped a particular customer alleviate a certain challenge. Case studies are a favorite among customers because the content type gives them a practical example of how a brand can improve their lives.
Case studies often feature at the bottom of the sales funnel because it is far easier to convince leads with a true story about a happy customer.
However, it is important to carefully consider the customer you intend to use as your case study example– ideally, a customer who has substantially benefited from your products/services. Also, look for a customer willing to offer you permission to use them as your example and some statistics and quotes that prove how your business helped them solve a particular challenge.
Case studies are often housed in a company’s website, but you can incorporate them in your other marketing materials, including social posts, blogs, and eBooks. Learn more about case studies here.
Though more difficult to produce, whitepapers still rank among the most effective types of content marketing. In the world of content marketing, a whitepaper is a long-form piece of content tailored to help readers understand and solve a particular issue.
Whitepapers and eBooks are similar in several ways. But whitepapers tend to be more data-backed, technical, and detail-focused. This positions whitepapers as a more effective content marketing type for small businesses looking to establish thought leadership and gain more authority in their industry.
A vast majority of web users admit to sharing information about themselves in exchange for a valuable whitepaper. Done right, whitepapers can help you gather information about new leads, giving you a way to keep them in touch even after accessing your report. However, this strategy of information collection can only work if your whitepaper is gated. See the image below demonstrating how TATA Motors does this:
An eBook is a digital book that offers valuable information and insight to a particular audience about their challenges and needs. Often, they are packaged in the form of PDF files for easy access and sharing.
However, eBooks require a bit more investment in terms of resources and time than other content marketing types such as social posts and blog posts. But this should not scare you from creating an outstanding eBook– you stand a chance to derive incredible benefits from this content type.
An eBook is not a 10-15-page ad. Instead, it should provide valuable information that resonates with your target audience, standing out as a great way to deliver a lot of critical information in a form potential customers are most willing to read.
One of the greatest advantages of eBooks to a business is that you can gate them in some kind of an opt-in, meaning visitors must provide their information to download your eBook. This technique’s output is more leads that you can nurture through the sales funnel until they become paying customers.
Video content can be money- and time-consuming to produce, but it’s among the best types of content marketing to grab an audience’s attention and engage them fast, regardless of your business size or industry.
The demand for video content is ever-increasing, with 6 out of 10 people preferring to watch videos than television. And according to a HubSpot report, the percentage of businesses using video as a marketing tool has risen from 63% in 2017 to 85% in 2020.
Talking of video marketing potential, businesses that utilize video on their webpage are 53X more likely to appear on the first page of Google results. Still, adding videos to your emails can boost open rates by as much as 300%.
A thoughtfully produced video demonstrates a unique side of your business, allowing you to create content that shows potential customers how to do something, how your product(s) works, or how you manufacture your products. The sky is the limit when it comes to the information you can offer with videos. But always remember to create closed captions for your videos and text introduction for a unique user experience.
See how DollarShaveClub uses video to make something boring as razors funny and memorable.
Examples of Content Marketing Done Right
Get inspired by the following examples driving content marketing a step ahead:
HubSpot and Blogging
A marketing innovator, HubSpot creates lots and lots of in-depth blog posts to help readers progress their marketing. The articles are high-quality, relevant, engaging, authoritative, and detailed, which is central to great search rankings. Also available are content upgrades like user guides, videos, and e-books.
HubSpot is also behind Inbound.org, an educational and content sharing hub that allows the company to promote its certification and partnership programs
Be Vocal’s Beyond the Silence Documentary
Be Vocal, a non-profit organization focusing on mental health, partnered with Shaul Schwarz and Demi Lovato to produce Beyond Silence– a 29-min documentary that takes a new approach to discussing mental health.
The documentary follows three people -Jeff, Lauren, and Lloyd- who portray their struggles with mental illness and demonstrate how their lives changed by speaking out. The film’s reach was humongous. It was covered in over 240 articles and hit over 415 million impressions without any paid promotion.
Getty Images-Amanda Foundation Image Collection
Pet adoption is a fantastic experience. And the Amanda Foundation, an LA animal rescue foundation, understands the power of injecting the ‘aww’ factor in their content using cute pictures of animals under their care.
The foundation partnered with Getty Images to make a stock image collection using photos captured by its staff in their day-to-day efforts to help homeless pets find loving homes. As of January 2021, the collection has 218 high-resolution pictures of cats and dogs. The organization receives a donation for every stock image purchased on Getty Images.
AARP magazine, the world’s largest circulation magazine, demonstrates the importance of understanding your audience and offering them the information they want. The magazine has received multiple awards for its content, web design, and photography.
However, AARP’s ticket to its success is not a mystery. It’s basically what any savvy marketer would advise you- listen to your audience. AARP listens to their readers who reach them via social media, letters, and email and use the information to identify topics that will best resonate with the audience. Therefore, it comes as no massive surprise that AARP is American’s most-read magazine, reaching over 22 million American households and boasting an estimated 38 million readers per issue.
Coke’s Share a Coke Campaign
Coke harnessed the power of personalization in marketing to get everyone talking about the brand. The ‘Share a Coke’ Campaign allowed people to customize their drink, making them feel like it’s them and their bottle against the world.
The campaign kicked off in Australia by swapping Coke branding on cans and bottles with 150 of the most popular names in the country. The campaign’s success was unexpected. In the summer of 2011, the campaign sold over 250 million bottles and cans in a county of about 25 million people. This equates to approximately 10 bottles per citizen. ‘Share a Coke’ has since rolled out across the world, currently reaching over 70 countries.
You can personalize your bottle now, as I did here:
GoPro and Visual Content
GoPro, currently with 17.7m followers on Instagram and 10.2m subscribers on YouTube, understands the incredible power of visual content. Their marketing strategy is about quality visual content and products. They know what their ideal customers love and thus provide precisely that- quality pictures and videos.
Visual content is no longer an option but a necessity for a successful content marketing strategy.
But what do statistics reveal about visual elements?
Blog posts with images get 94% more total views, and Facebook posts with photos get 37% higher engagement than text-only posts. On top of that, Twitter research on post engagement factors revealed that photos and videos average 35% and 28% boost in retweets, respectively.
The 9 Most Important Content Marketing Hacks for Your Business
As you delve into the content marketing game, you’ll need to leverage ways to drive customer growth, not just more content. Here are a few content marketing tips you can start using to grow your business.
Set Your Content Marketing Goals
You need to know what you want to achieve with your content marketing efforts. You could want to grow your reach or generate more revenues, generate more leads, or boost your revenue.
Your content marketing goals will determine the KPIs (key performance indicators) you use to measure your progress. Standard metrics include web traffic, number of leads, social engagement, sales, and SEO success.
Get Your Content Ideas Right
Why do some ideas go viral while others sink into the abyss?
If you’re looking for ideas on creating content that people will want to share, Jonah Berger’s insights may prove to be useful. In his guide to creating contagious content, Jonah stated that helpful, emotion-evoking content gets the most shares. He was right.
When we mention emotions, think of laughter, pain, anger, fear, loss, etc.
Because search engine results are currently linked to the quality of content, it’s no longer enough to simply create content that matches search terms. Now, you need to focus on creating emotionally resonant content that has value for your target audience, so they’re more likely to share it.
Get started with the following questions when brainstorming ideas for your content:
What trending idea do you have in mind that people will want to know?
Will your idea be controversial?
Will your idea provoke an emotional response in your target readers?
Does your target audience love long-form or short-form content?
Which of your already-published blog posts and articles account for the most social media shares?
Can you partner with industry influencers to promote your content?
There is an alternative approach. Identify thought leaders in your niche. Find their best-performing content and use similar topics and headline styles to create something more compelling.
With a tool like Buzzsumo, you can find the most viral headlines on a specific topic (keyword), so you generate better ideas for your own content.
Target the Right Keywords
To rank favorably in organic search results, you need to optimize your content with highly relevant keywords. Incorporate these words in the title and throughout the rest of the copy, while taking care to describe your product or solution accurately.
When you’re trying to find a keyword, try starting with a broader topic like “women’s health” and then narrow it down with Google autocomplete. Or if you already have a good idea of what you want to write about, you can use keyword research tools to narrow down your keyword options, depending on factors like search volume and SEO difficulty.
Experts suggest that you focus more on long-tail keywords– those phrases containing three or more words. These phrases are more specific than short-head keywords and people using them often have a higher search intent. Ultimately, they get you highly interested visitors and help you weed out the people likely to find your website by mistake.
Let’s assume you own a travel agency and intend to write a blog post about the best places to visit in France. Now, if you Google the phrase “best places to visit in France,” autocomplete offers you the following suggestions.
With the above suggestions, you know the related phrases commonly searched on Google. Such are the terms you should incorporate in your blog post to boost its ranking.
By carefully selecting the related phrases commonly searched on Google, you know which keywords to incorporate in your upcoming blog post. Make sure not to overuse keywords (to manipulate rankings), or you will get punished by Google for keyword stuffing.
A detailed article on a subject is better than a short one. A shorter one ignores essential details and leaves out valuable information, which may upset your potential customers and even Google.
Now that you know that Google and your future customers won’t stop at just the article title or intro, it’s time you start developing detailed content. By “detailed,” we are talking about a 1500-word article (at least) thatdigs deep into all the aspects of a subject.
When it comes to conversions, long-form content typically outperforms short-form content. In a recent study, Crazy Egg found that making their homepage 20X longer increased their conversions by 30%. Visitors wanted their questions answered comprehensively, and that’s precisely what Crazzy Eggs delivered. This proves that you cannot have a page that is too long- only a boring one.
There are many ways to write a detailed article. For example, you could interview experts in the niche and then paraphrase their answers. Or you could research the topic and then write your own answer to an imaginary question. If you choose the latter, here are few tips to get you started:
Pick a broad topic/subject.
Target a long-tail keyword in your headline- for example, how to build a successful travel business
Research current, accurate data on the subject
Create exciting content. Remember to mention reputed blog authors in the body.
Add some visual element to your content (images, graphics, slide presentations, videos)
Use a lead generator in the article’s body to collect emails
Ask mentioned influencers to share your article
Write Compelling Headlines
Next on our list of content marketing tips involves nailing your headlines.
Headlines are the secret sauce to generating more clicks, blog readership, shares, and sales. They are the first thing users see after clicking on your listing and are a critical tool for luring readers into your blogs.
A good headline is what makes the difference between someone who visits your blog/listing and eventually buys your product and someone who doesn’t.
But you have barely 8 seconds to grab your readers’ attention; otherwise, you lose valuable prospects to your competitors.
The most important thing is to ensure that your titles are compelling to encourage readers to click and read. Add some touch of curiosity and creativity, too.
According to Single Grain, headlines with numbers tend to get more clicks on the organic search results. Additionally, longer headlines (12-18 words) typically account for the highest number of Facebook engagements.
While you can include buzzwords that get users excited and eager to learn more, refrain from using business jargon. It’s noted that phrases like “need to know,” “the future of”, and “X ways to” drive the highest engagement for B2B (business to business) companies. In comparison, phrases like “X reasons why,” “this is what”, and “X things to” work well for B2C (business to consumer) brands.
Finally, split test your headlines to see which ones generate the best results. Learn more about A/B tests.
Work With a Content Calendar
If you want to boost your rankings and web traffic, then you need to publish content regularly. Follow a publishing schedule and it won’t be long before content marketing becomes part of your daily routine. Once you’ve published enough articles, readers will start coming back to check out your latest posts. This brings us to an important tool for effective content marketing strategy- a content calendar.
A content calendar helps you stay organized by mapping out your content creation for the month or a whole quarter.
Based on your audience, you decide what to produce and on which platforms to publish. Each piece of content will have a life cycle (creation, editing, and publishing), and it’s important to know how long each stage takes.
That’s how you maintain consistency in your content publishing schedule, avoiding a situation where you might overwhelm your fans with content or appear inactive.
Add Actionable Call-to-Actions
If you have only written content and nothing to capture leads, it’s time you try out CTAs. They can help you generate more leads for your business. In fact, you can increase clicks by 371% by including a single CTA in your email. You certainly don’t want to miss out on such customer acquisition gains.
The goal of a CTA is to get someone to take your desired action, such as subscribing to your email list, reading more of your content, or making a purchase.
You can try both written CTAs and CTA buttons.
With CTA buttons, use informative phrases to inform users what happens next. So, you want to avoid generic phrases like “click here” and instead say “click here to get your free ebook.” Instead of “buy now,” say “add to cart- save 30%”.
Don’t push potential customers to buy anything, though. Rather, appeal to what they want and how you can help them.
Above is an example of an actionable CTA button by Giftrockets. It does not urge customers to “buy” or “subscribe” but nudges them to “Send a Giftrocket” to their loved ones.
Developing successful CTAs also requires split testing (A/B testing). Test things like button text, shape, color, and size to determine what works for you.
Continually Update Your Content
Updating content has to be the most underrated hack for content marketing.
But truth be told, your industry and business change frequently. And so information changes too. Consider also that Google constantly changes its algorithm. As a result, articles that offer outdated information often drop in rank as more counterparts offer updated information.
Maintaining fresh content is vital for any website to rank well on Google. It’s essential that you update old content to be as up-to-date as possible, and ensure that every detail of your content is accurate.
Repurposing your old content in new and interesting ways is a great way to get existing customers interested in your old content. Examples include turning an old blog post into a white paper or repackaging an old webinar as a podcast. Also, you can use an old blog post as the basis for a new webinar or create a video from an old blog post that you can post on social media.
Share Your Content
Don’t rely solely on organic searches to grow your traffic and business. If you have social media marketing or email marketing, you can use the mediums to promote your content. As a result, you not only boost your traffic for your blogs but also create opportunities for your fans to share your content, further expanding your reach.
You can elevate content promotion using automation. Rather than sharing content manually, you can, for instance, integrate social share buttons at the bottom or top of your blog posts to make it easy for readers to share your content on their social media pages/accounts.
Measuring and Optimizing Content Marketing
The last content marketing tip we will look at involves measuring results. Below is a list of indicators to monitor closely to accurately assess the effectiveness of your content marketing efforts.
If nobody is visiting your website, your content (no matter how amazing) means nothing to your bottom line. That’s why you must measure traffic, which can be divided into three categories:
Users: the total number of unique visitors
Pageviews: the total number of times a web page has been viewed
Unique pageviews: The total number of times a single user has viewed a page combined into one pageview.
Traffic data offers valuable insights. You can get a sense of where your visitors come from, what kind of devices they use, and how much traffic you get to specific pages on your website.
Use this information to better tailor your content to your target audience. For instance, if you primarily target UK customers, but most traffic comes from Canada, you can tailor future content to your Canadian visitors.
What actions are your visitors taking after reading your content? Are they signing up for your newsletter? Are they clicking on your links and CTA buttons? Are they making a purchase? These are just a few examples of conversion.
If you own a B2B business, we must mention that your ideal customers will hardly move from the awareness stage to completing e-commerce transactions after reading your blog post. They take several steps on their journey to conversion. Track each step from the lite actions of clicking a blog post or subscribing to a newsletter to the more profound actions like registering for an offer.
Engagement indicates how good your content is, unlike traffic which typically shows how effectively you get users to click your links.
You undoubtedly want a lot of visitors on your site, and you want to keep them there as long as possible. You can use Google Analytics to see how well you do this.
Analytics lets you know the average number of pages that people visit per session, the average amount of time they spend on each page, and your bounce rates. Aim for a high number of pages per session, long average session duration, and low bounce rate.
A high average session duration means you’re offering something that keeps users engaged. If users frequently bounce from your website, it means they can’t find what they need. Such are the details you should use to adjust your content marketing strategy.
Another practical approach to content engagement analysis is to analyze performance on social media. The most important metric here is the number of times your content has been shared on social platforms- it’s a good way to track how well your content resonates with your target audience.
You can use BuzzSumo to track social media shares and quickly identify your top-performing content.
Organic traffic does not give much insight into your site’s performance in search engines. SEO performance analysis comes in here.
The search engine ranking position is arguably the most critical metric to track when analyzing SEO performance. That’s because rankings are straightforward indicators of how well a page is doing in organic search results for a particular term. Better rankings, logically, equate to more traffic and conversions.
Whereas your ranking may fluctuate a little, you want to see it stay in a good spot or improve.
You can use Google Search Console to see the terms your website is ranking for and how your ranking fluctuates over time.
Another indicator of good SEO is when your content appears in answer boxes for relevant keywords. For example, if you were selling a product that helps people cut their heating bills, an article entitled “How to Reduce Your Heating Bill” might appear in the answer box for this query.
Measuring authority is not as straightforward as most other metrics we have discussed.
Domain authority measures the likelihood that your site will rank on a search engine results page (SERP). It is calculated by Moz. The more authority your domain has, the more authoritative your content will be and the more people will trust your brand.
You can use Moz’s domain analysis tool to determine your domain authority(DA) and page authority(PA). Let’s catch a glimpse of Apple’s DA scores.
Note that DA and PA scores range between 1 and 100, with the higher scores indicating higher authority. And while there is no universally accepted ideal DA/PA score, essentially, you want to outscore your competitors.
Don’t just collect data. Analyze the metrics to discover where improvement opportunities lie.
Stop being a content marketing amateur. Understand that it doesn’t matter how much you spend on content marketing if you don’t do it right.
So, what are you waiting for? Gather your resources and put the above tips into action to build an effective content marketing strategy for your business.
So, you want to be an expert in your space. Congrats. But what if you don’t have the time? There are services that can help you fix that.
With a strong understanding of your business and your target market, ContentGenics can craft compelling content that converts, builds engagement, and helps build your brand. Contact us today to turn your ideas into compelling content that builds value for your business