Yes, Virginia, content marketing still matters! Sure, there are a million tips and tricks, ranging from ways to glean those ever-coveted inbound links to optimizing social media marketing strategies. However, the things you say – and the way you say them – bear the most weight when it comes to building brand confidence and lead conversions.
Looking for ways to up the ante in your content marketing game? Consider the following as your own personal “Ultimate Cheat Sheet on Content Marketing”.
1.Understand that Content Marketing = Inbound Marketing. While not all inbound marketing is content marketing, all content marketing is inbound marketing. It is produced by you to live and breathe in the lives of your current and prospective clients because they came looking for it. And, high-quality inbound marketing will yield more inbound links. If you’re at all paying attention to the message we digital marketers are yelling from the bandbox, your inbound marketing strategies are the key to getting the inbound links your company needs to stay ahead of competitors in search engine rankings and brand credibility.
2.Define-Research-Plan. The action of defining brand credibility is dependent on having a brand to begin with.
- Define. Make sure your company is very clear on who you are, what your marketing goals/message is, and how you plan on sharing that message. Define your goals so you can start researching the best means to attain them.
- Research. Once your company’s goals are defined, you can begin doing the market research required to know what your market audience wants, and how they prefer to learn more about you and your products or services. Identify your buyer personas by learning from current and former customers.
- Plan. Now you’re ready to plan the content marketing strategies that will work best with your target clientele.
3.Balance SEO with Passion. Keywords matter, that’s for sure. However, Google knows we all want to land on websites written by reputable, relevant, and trustworthy companies. For this reason, the quality of your content matters more than ever. Those brilliant mathematicians continue to tweak their algorithms in a way that make web crawlers more and more human as they seek content with wisdom and heart. For this reason, you need to balance SEO strategies with passionate and informative content that answers questions, solves problems, and builds authority.
4. Be Mobile. You must – we repeat must – ensure your content is mobile. Laptops and desktops aren’t being scrapped (yet!), but study after study shows that mobile devices rule the internet roost. If your website isn’t mobile-compatible, your followers are going to bounce elsewhere to find well-formatted and aesthetically pleasing content by one of your competitors who are.
5.Think Visually. Notice we used the words, “aesthetically pleasing content” above? There are several techniques for accomplishing this. The two most important being:
- Formatting. Know what it’s like when you land on a website that has hard-to-read text, zero white space, and a jumble of graphics? So do your prospective clients. It’s a nightmare and it makes you jump immediately to the next link on the search engine’s results page. Your website, blogs, eBooks, whitepapers and any other text-based marketing tools need to be formatted attractively. This includes plenty of white space, bullets, numbers, larger fonts to highlight points or build excitement, and a pleasant color scheme. These things really make a difference.
- Images and videos. Don’t think images matter? Consider the nearly miraculous growth of Pinterest and Instagram, especially within the demographic of people who don’t consider themselves all that tech savvy (middle-aged women), or who don’t want to join Facebook or Twitter (We know! Hard to believe but those people are out there). This tells us that images matter. Plus, images and videos increase clicks, shares, likes, and other positive social media action that improves search engine rankings.
6.Link, link, link. There’s a horrible myth that goes something like this, “Don’t create external links to other credible sources because it helps them and not you”. Ew! This is A) not true and B) a horrible way to ensure inbound links are even harder to come by than they already are. DO create links to reputable sources in your web content and blogs. It helps them and it helps your site to cultivate search engine crawler trust since your content becomes related to the reputable source’s content. Plus, anyone you link to will be more inclined to thank you with a link back!
7. Share and be shared. Search engines are starting to pay serious attention to how often things are shared, linked to, commented on, liked, +1d, thumbs-uped and so on. Make sure your content can be easily shared and optimize your social media accounts.
Let your company’s individuality shine via dazzling content marketing and you’ll become an irresistible customer magnet.