Your internet presence is the face of your business. It’s important that your “storefront” be well organized, easy to utilize, and provides a good user experience. However, there’s more to creating a digital presence than simply creating an attractive website.
Your business also needs a solid content marketing strategy. Your content includes every bit of information you post on the internet, from tweets on social media to blog posts you share with your readers. The sum of those parts is your content marketing strategy.
A good content marketing strategy will not only entice readers to your site, but will also help to develop your business brand, engage your readers and encourage them to share.
Here are four quick tips to create a good content marketing strategy.
1. Know your audience.
To put it quite simply, when you publish content, you should do so with a target audience in mind. It’s just common sense. Publishing content which doesn’t appeal to your target audience won’t draw visitors and certainly won’t encourage them to come back to your business in the future.
In order to publish content that’s relevant to your target audience, you first have to know your audience. What do they want to know? Why have they come to you? What questions might your audience have that you can answer?
The easiest way to begin to discover what your audience wants is simply to ask them! Inquire of your current customers, or take to social media. Ask engaging questions or encourage them to respond in other ways. Listen to consumer complaints you’ve received and to the positive reviews you’ve gotten. Every interaction you have with your current customers is one you can use to formulate a better idea of what your consumer ultimately wants.
Remember, too, that your audience is always evolving. As you publish your content, gauge the reactions of your audience to further develop your insight into the identity and needs of your audience. Then, modify your content accordingly.
2. Content is king.
This might seem like a no-brainer, but content truly is king. You absolutely must produce high-quality, well-written and helpful content if you want to establish yourself as a leader in your industry.
Many business owners make the mistake of simply curating content they’ve seen elsewhere on the web. That’s okay, to an extent. It’s certainly fine to share knowledge that other industry leaders have shared. However, it’s critical that you remember that your business is different than theirs. Your customers are different customers. Create and publish content that appeals to your customers, and reflects your own, unique business.
Blogging is the most commonly implemented tool businesses use to share content. Your business blog is an awesome creative tool; you can write about absolutely anything you wish as long as it pertains to your industry.
As you craft your blog posts, be sure to keep your audience in mind. Your blog should never be self-serving but instead should answer the questions you know your audience is asking. Use best search engine optimization practices. In other words, don’t stuff your blog post full of keywords you think Google might be looking for. Finally, be sure your blog posts are well written, free of spelling errors and typos, and are well organized and concise.
Content comes in many forms; you’re not limited to a blog post. Choose social media to interact with your audience. Write e-books that your visitors can download from your website. Or create videos that explain a part of your industry. All are considered content, and all are crucial to your content marketing strategy.
3. SEO is vital.
SEO, short for search engine optimization, is just what it sounds like. Good SEO means your content is highly visible to search engines like Google, and that your content will be more easily found by people looking for the service you offer.
There is a measure of keyword research required for good search engine optimization. However, there’s more to SEO than just a few well-placed keywords. Search engines today are looking at a few factors when they consider the search engine optimization of your website. These include:
- Short tail keywords (for example, “inbound marketing”)
- Long tail keywords (“inbound marketing in South Carolina”)
- Page properties (URL, title tags, meta description, image tags, etc)
- Page elements (your headers, body text, etc)
- Internal linking
- External linking
As you can see, the way you structure your posts is important. Above all, though, it’s vital to stress the importance of good, quality content. Again, content is king and the best search engine optimization in the world will mean nothing if your content isn’t relevant to your reader.
4. Promote on the right platforms!
Content marketing can be time-consuming. It’s just the nature of the beast. It’s going to take time to craft your videos, ebooks and blog posts. Additionally, it’s going to take time to promote what you’ve created.
It’s of the utmost importance that you promote smart. Unless you’re Coca-Cola or Mercedes, you’re not going to have the time, the staff or the budget to promote your content across Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and Pinterest.
Social media is, in fact, a very low-cost way to boost your visibility as well as interact with your audience. However, before you begin on social media we recommend you take some time to determine which platform is best for you. It’s not essential that you have accounts across all the platforms. Simply choose one or two, and do those well.
An email marketing campaign is another great way to promote your content. Allow users to subscribe to your blog; they’ll get frequent updates on your company, your projects, and even your special offers. Be sure to link your social media accounts right there in the email to make it easy for readers to connect with you and share your content.
The key to a good content marketing strategy is a simple one: never lose sight of your audience. As you publish content, be sure to pay attention to the reactions of your readers. With quality content, best SEO practices and the right promotion, your content marketing campaign can be the most effective marketing strategy your business uses.
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