In 2014, we can see a fusion of what would have been considered a few years ago to be separate techniques. For example: social and search engine marketing. They are converging to become one. Another strategy that’s tending to fuse with that mix is content marketing.
If you want to thrive (or even just barely stay!) in business in the coming months and years, we strongly recommend you to get started with content marketing if you haven’t already.
In this article, we will be sharing 5 components that can make content marketing an investment or a waste (if they are missing!).
Know Your Audience
Even if you cater to a broad range of customers, you need to know who you want to target when writing any and every piece of content.
Nike for example has several Twitter accounts targeting different segments of its audience (nikebasketball, nikefootball, nikerunning, nikegolf, niketennis, etc.) This allows the brand to publish highly targeted pieces of content.
Get to know your audience. Find out what they are interested in, the language they use, etc. (this is where niche forums help!). With this information, you’ll be able to create content that resonates with your readers. Skip this, and you are risking writing or paying for content that is only going to get a couple of views, when it could be getting hundreds or thousands with a little research.
Ask Them to Participate!
A fancy term to describe that would be “User-Generated Content”. Encourage that. Tell them to ask questions. Ask them questions and for their feedback. Make a survey. Do contests. Provide an easy-to-see link on your page where they can contact you to make a guest post.
A lot of sites run almost exclusively on user-generated content. You don’t have to be one of them, but making it simple for your audience to contribute to your content can’t hurt, can it?
Focus on Quality
Quality is one of those things that just keeps gaining more and more importance with time. Search engines and social networks spend millions of dollars on building algorithms that specifically find quality content.
If you intend to be in business long-term, your investment in quality content now will pay off for a long, long time to come, starting today.
Invest (time or money or both) in writing awesome blog posts, remarkable articles, kick-ass e-books and doing extraordinary webinars.
Quality encourages shares, signups, and purchases (We rarely buy when we are not impressed. What about you?)
Engage with Your Audience
Respond to their concerns, make a conversation. I’m not talking about your blog only, but also about the various social networks you are not. What does this have to do with content marketing? Engagement is content! Whenever you engage with your audience, it’s an opportunity for you to sound and look like a true authority in your niche; someone trust-worthy; someone helpful; someone who people wouldn’t mind paying for the info, products or services he sells. There you go, marketing!
We don’t like recommending writing for search engines and obsessing about LSI keywords etc., but it’s always a good idea to have a look at what people are searching for, and the words they actually use. This can bring you extra visitors for the same piece of content.
For example, instead of writing about asking a website’s audience to participate, I could be writing about user-generated content (which is basically the same thing, but more people would find the latter more easily, because that’s what they are typing in the search engines).
So do have a look at the keywords people are typing in the search engines so you can write content that resonates with them.
But whatever you do, do not compromise on the quality just to fit what people are typing. For example, if they are typing something wrong, don’t optimize for it! Maybe you remember from the last time you’ve misspelt something on Google, the search engine returns results with the correct spelling by default! Quality first! By compromising on that, you are just discouraging people to share and limiting the amount of trust you can build with your audience.
Traffic is important, but marketing is not ALL about traffic. Sure, it might be easy to generate some traffic by using sneaky tactics. But traffic is nothing without conversions. And one of the best ways to generate quality, targeted traffic is by doing some quality content marketing. How? By doing the above 🙂