Updated January 3, 2018
In previous blog posts, I’ve shared with you some of my advice for creating high-quality, unique online content for your business. But without a robust marketing strategy, it will be difficult for you to promote your brand as well as your products and services, and it is unlikely that you’ll reach a significant audience. There is no question that content drives traffic to your site, and when it’s done right, it establishes you as the authority and builds valuable links back to your site.
Links are the lifeblood of Internet marketing, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. There are additional supporting strategies that utilize SEO techniques and contribute to ranking, but at the end of the day, links should be your priority. It’s a brand new year, and now is the perfect time to get started on your strategy or take a look at your current practices and make some changes. Here are four recommendations to jump-start your content marketing efforts.
1. Find your specialty.
I know that it can be tempting to offer a wide variety of content in order to try to maximize your potential audience, but you can’t be everything to everyone. Determine what it is that you want to focus on, and then position yourself as a leading expert on that subject. Motivate your readers to read your content and keep coming back for more by offering insights that only you could offer and that can’t be found in your average blog on the topic. For example, if I were to create content on insurance marketing, I would draw from my years working in the insurance industry to provide more detailed, relevant, and specialized advice for my audience.
2. Know your audience.
Who are your clients and what will they find interesting? Always write content with a purpose. The purpose of this article, for example, is to establish me as an expert in content marketing for the insurance industry and to promote the content marketing services offered by my business. If the keyword you are trying to promote is auto-dealer insurance then you need to provide the auto dealers you are targeting with something that will help them and that they will find interesting. Within the body of the article, try to provide several links back to the relevant page on your website so they can take that next step towards becoming clients. But don’t forego creating interesting content in favor of promoting your services: after all, your readers won’t be driven to click on your links if you don’t pique their interest first!
3. Make it quality.
Today, the sharpest arrow in your quiver is your content strategy. The higher the quality of your content, the more likely it is that it will be shared. Gone are the bots and article submission programs that spin content and submit articles to hundreds of websites at once in order to build links and get your site ranked quickly. Writing high-quality, relevant articles and submitting them on guest blogs, or better yet, posting them to your own blog is a good way to get started. If you want to do something on a larger scale, higher a full-time marketing specialist who understands internet and social media marketing and who can write.
If you don’t know where to start, these are some of the basics of quality content:
- Well-written. Misspellings, grammatical errors, and awkward phrasing are probably the quickest way to show your audience that your content is not high-quality. It makes your content (which could be fantastic content, for all they know) difficult to understand, and it sends a message that your products probably aren’t good quality either. Always check over your content before publishing it, and if writing isn’t your strong suit, find someone who can look it over and spot the errors.
- Easy to read. No matter what you’re writing about, the average reader should be able to follow along and understand what you’re talking about. Be direct with your phrasing (especially if you’re trying to sell something; get to the point!), and don’t go overboard with jargon and esoteric content. In addition, don’t hit your audience with a wall of text. Break it up with sub-headers, images, and bulleted or numbered lists. Bonus: these features will help with your on-page optimization.
- Reputable. If you’re presenting yourself as an authority in your field, make sure your audience can trust you. Avoid making generalized statements such as “X is important” unless you’re going to follow up with the why. If you want to make a claim, try to back it up with evidence or relevant statistics (but first check the year on those statistics). Linking out to authority sites is thought to be one of Google’s qualifiers for a trustworthy site.
- The right length. In last month’s blog, I went into detail about recommended blog length. Ultimately, better search engine results tend to correlate with longer content: specifically, 1,000 words or greater. Typically, between 500 and 1,000 words should be what you aim for, and there’s a region for that range. You also want to think about the density of your content. If you have a lot to say, feel free to expand into the thousands with your word count. However, don’t feel pressured to “pad” your content to reach an arbitrary word count. A 450-word blog full of easy-to-digest, useful information is much better-quality than a 1,200-word post where the reader has to hunt for the details amidst the fluff.
4. Don’t hesitate to outsource.
Generating enough high-quality content can be a challenge when relying solely on in-house resources. Don’t be afraid to outsource content creation to supplement your in-house efforts, or outsource all it so that you can focus on your core competency. But if you do choose to outsource your content, do your best to be aware of the content you’re receiving and work to ensure that it stays in line with your brand and what you’re trying to sell.
About Agency Tsunami
Agency Tsunami has over 20 years of experience building, managing and delivering quality marketing media and excellent customer care. We offer a fully integrated marketing strategy customized for you that incorporates an effective online user experience designed to convert leads and position you ahead of the competition. We implement robust and ethical SEO practices to drive relevant traffic and leverage the way businesses and consumers interact. Contact us today to take your content marketing to the next level.