Content marketing is a great method for gaining more brand exposure, organic traffic, and conversions using search engine optimization. When done incorrectly, however, these benefits may never materialize.
This is not only a waste of time but also a significant waste of opportunity because the content produced for this kind of marketing strategy has flow-on benefits beyond itself. Quality content can serve to gain more traffic from many channels beyond only organic traffic from search engines if leveraged correctly.
So how do you use content marketing effectively? Read on to discover five tips to improve your strategy and reap the rewards.
No matter how good your content is, it’s worthless if no one is interested in it. An effective content marketing plan needs to target topics that are relevant to your business and can deliver a significant amount of search traffic.
The only way to determine whether this is the case is to research before producing any content. This ideally begins with a thorough understanding of your niche so that you can ascertain the most likely information people want to know. What kind of questions do they often ask? What problems do they need to solve?
Once you have an idea of what you can write about, the next step is to decide how to frame that information based on search volumes and competition. Each piece of content should answer what the reader wants to know, using keywords and context they will use in a search engine.
You should also aim to minimize competition as much as possible, however. Keywords that have a higher search volume but also higher competition aren’t necessarily the most effective choice if your website doesn’t yet have the authority to outrank that competition. If no one is searching for your content, or they are but you can’t rank it on the search pages, your strategy won’t be effective.
Use Evergreen Content
Evergreen topics are the most valuable for use in content marketing because it’s content that will continue to bring in organic traffic over a long period of time, or even indefinitely. This represents a much better return on the time spent creating the content but also has other benefits too.
As evergreen content ages and continues to bring traffic to your website, it also continues to accrue backlinks, social shares, and other signals that help your website as a whole to perform better in search engines. Updating this older content a little over time allows you to continuously improve and grow each piece in a way that it can consistently rank high but also act as a dependable source of traffic to shuttle towards newer content.
Create Content Rich in Multimedia
A picture is worth a thousand words, but a contextually relevant video is worth even more. Diverse and original multimedia serves to increase the value of your content in the eyes of search engines. It is also a great way to boost engagement in your articles by breaking up walls of text with other media that keep visitors interested and excited about the content.
Furthermore, images and videos are ideal things to share on social media and they make your content itself more likely to be shared. This serves to grow your social media following without having to create new content specifically for a social media campaign or doing much extra work.
Diversify Over Multiple Channels
While organic traffic is incredibly valuable, it’s not the only kind of traffic you can gain from the effective use of content marketing. A good content plan also gives you bonus content for social media and the ability to diversify over multiple other channels using it. Posting and sharing on social media brings in traffic, but it also helps to increase the perception of value that search engines place on your content by showing that it is popular and shareable.
More importantly than that though, you can gain additional benefit from your time by expanding onto platforms like YouTube or through podcasts. Another option to squeeze out even more value is to use email subscriptions to build a more lasting relationship with the visitors to your content.
All of these things give you a greater return on the same piece of content, but also act to boost the effectiveness in search engines and to help give you return visitors whenever you post new articles.
Always Relate to Your Business Organically
Content needs to be beneficial to visitors in some way, but it is ultimately a marketing strategy at its core. This means that you need to be able to link every article back to your business.
Whether you use a particular piece of content to gain more subscriptions to your newsletter or to directly persuade people to buy a product or service, conversion of some kind is the end goal. The increased traffic you can garner to your website through content marketing isn’t worth much if you aren’t doing something with it.
Linking back to your business needs to be done organically, though. Today’s internet user is largely blind to advertising and will ignore obvious marketing attempts unless they are already considering your business for some purpose. If you want to convert the traffic from your blogs and other content streams into purchases, you need to use a soft touch.
Don’t try to tell your visitors how your offering can meet whatever needs they expressed when they searched for your article, but rather ensure that what your customer wants and what you’re offering is a perfect match from the beginning by choosing your content areas carefully. It’s better to write about a less popular topic with close specificity than to try to convert traffic that just isn’t interested in what you’re providing.
As with any marketing strategy, your content marketing plan needs to have actionable, achievable goals and a way to track your progress. Knowing what you want to achieve and having the means to do so through analytics is key to making the most of your time and being successful in whatever you do. These tips, combined with an analysis of your progress can help to greatly improve the results of your marketing strategy online.