What is Content Marketing?
In the realm of digital marketing, there is a huge push for content marketing. Content marketing is revolutionizing the sales pipeline and flipping it on its head. You may have heard the term “inbound marketing,” but if not I’ll give you a little summary. Essentially, your efforts are aimed at offering solutions to the problems of your ideal buyer persona. In your buyer’s pursuit of finding a solution, they find your helpful content, motivating them to leave their information, contact you, or keep you top-of-mind. With that being said, content creation is HUGE, and without it, your business has limited credibility and limited ways to capture inbound leads.
Let’s get into different content marketing tactics that will boost your inbound strategy!
If your company doesn’t already have a blog, I highly suggest starting one! Blogging is a great way to increase the credibility of your brand, establish yourself as a thought leader, and reach a certain audience based on the keywords they search for.
Another pro-tip that I recommend is to make a pillar page. A pillar page is an accumulation of a lot of information about one broad topic and smaller, related topics. Taking one broad topic and mapping out these other related topics is called topic clustering. The strategy behind creating a pillar page built around a topic cluster is to improve search engine rankings by grabbing the attention of search engines with this SEO-heavy content.
Conduct Effective Keyword Research
I mention keywords because they are important to keep in mind when writing new content! If you simply publish a blog post and neglect what people are actually searching for, all of your efforts will go unnoticed. Make keyword research your friend because it will help improve your search engine rankings as well as the visibility of your blog posts.
I have some go-to tools for keyword research that I want to share. My favorite tool that I use almost every day is called Keywords Everywhere. It is a free extension that works using an individual API key. When you have the extension turned on, it provides you with the monthly search volume, cost per click, and competition data for whatever keyword you enter into your search engine. I love this tool so much because, in addition to presenting useful keyword-specific information, it also provides you a list of related keywords and keywords people also searched for (all with search volumes, CPC, and competition data).
The second tool that I use quite often is called Answer the Public. This website is great for taking a general topic and seeing what related keywords people are searching for. It breaks the results up into questions, prepositions, and comparisons. Additionally, you can choose to look at it in a “data” format, showing you the same three metrics that Keywords Everywhere does.
The Importance of Titles and Headers
As important as keyword research is, it won’t do you much good if you don’t incorporate the keywords into your title or headers. Most people know that writing content around a keyword requires the inclusion of that keyword in the body, but many people forget how important it is to include it in your title and H1 tags. It is advantageous to put your keyword as close to the beginning of your title and tags as possible. For example, if you are targeting the keywords “keyword research,” your title should be something along the lines of “Keyword Research Tools for 2019”. The same goes for your H1 tag. It is also beneficial to add header tags whenever possible. Be sure to follow the hierarchy, but don’t be afraid to get as granular as an H4. This makes your content easier for Google to digest, comprehend, and ultimately rank.
Offering downloadable resources on your website is a great way to capture qualified leads. I mentioned offering a solution to your ideal buyer persona’s problem, and this is the perfect way to do that. E-books, templates, and online tools specific to your industry are some of my favorites. Offering this type of content goes further than just offering pieces of knowledge. When you can create an online tool that your website visitors are able to use, you are establishing yourself as a reliable source that can help them solve problems. This content also garners qualified leads because the people who come across your content are searching for something specific, finding themselves navigating through your website and content.
A webinar is probably the most sophisticated type of content on this list, but it is extremely effective. One of the best aspects of a webinar is interaction. You can involve your viewers by asking them questions with a poll, answering live questions, and asking for feedback. I say that webinars are so sophisticated because you need to plan them out pretty far in advance.
For a webinar to be effective, the topic and content need to be helpful and relevant, paired with a well-executed visual presentation. It also takes some time to make sure that video and audio streaming will work properly when you go live. This is especially difficult if you have more than one thought leader presenting together. I highly recommend hosting a webinar with a business partner of some kind; someone who has a different yet related perspective. To ensure the success of your webinar, you need to market it properly, which requires even more preparation. Make sure to market it across platforms, including email (which I will cover in a minute) and social media. With that being said, you need to have an optimized landing page to redirect people to if they want to sign up for the webinar. This is where you will ultimately capture their information and enroll them in your automated email chain.
It’s 2019 and people seem to think that email marketing is dying. Please don’t find yourself thinking like those people! Email marketing is thriving and when done right, can produce incredible results. I could talk about email marketing for days, but for now, I want to focus on how you can use it to promote all of your amazing blogs, webinars, and downloadable content.
The first step to promoting your content through email is to build out your email list. On your website, you should embed a simple, one-field form for people to enter their email in order to subscribe to your newsletter, get company updates, receive offers, etc. I recommend, at the very least, to include this form on your blog pages. The beautiful thing about offering downloadable content and hosting webinars is that these are built-in ways to capture someone’s email. Whenever someone wants to attend your webinar or download an online tool, they have to enter their email to do so.
Once you start publishing relevant content and capturing emails, it’s time to start optimizing your email marketing strategy. Make sure your email templates are conducive to promoting your separate pieces of content (whether individually or in a newsletter), with a clear CTA that directs them to your blog or landing page. Work with a designer to build out templates and utilize A/B testing to figure out what performs best with your audience. From there, set up automated workflows for when people sign up for your webinar or download your content. Automation will make your life a whole lot easier, so get to it!
Nearly half of the world population is active on at least one social media platform, making it a huge opportunity for your business. 37% of users find inspiration to purchase through social media. Publishing content on social media is similar to other content types, but social media posts are a lot more transitory. The fleeting nature of social media means you need to publish content more frequently than other types of content. The trick to social media is the same as a blog, webinar, or downloadable: it has to be relevant. If you’re posting about topics completely unrelated to your industry and audience, you won’t see a successful social campaign. It helps to have a list of content types and to map out your posts ahead of time. I suggest making a content calendar to write drafts and help with scheduling.
Social media has undeniable potential to help businesses grow, but a successful social media marketing strategy necessitates time and nurturing. We know how hard it is to carve out the time for social media. If you find your social media strategy getting put on the back burner, we would be happy to help! We offer social media planning services for those who trust the power of social media but don’t have the internal resources to make the most of it.
Wrapping it up
I’ve covered a lot of information, but publishing a blog is always a great place to start. You can host it on your own subdomain or a site like Medium. Blogging can be time-consuming, but it will pay off with improved SEO, search rankings, and credibility! From there, you can build downloadable content and host webinars that can then be promoted through social media and email. Happy content creating!