Internal notes on how to do Content Marketing, the right way.
Your sole goal as a content marketing should be "To create a platform that is the leading informational resource around your content nice" - this isn't an easy task, it takes dedication and time.
The #1 reason people fail at content marketing is they give up to soon.
Find your writing sweet spot, this needs to be a topic that you are an expert in and enjoy writing about - as a general rule, I hate writing traditional style blog posts, but when it comes to sharing content about growth marketing (something I'm passionate about) it's actually enjoyable.
Before we start
Write down and define your target audience in the simplest form
- 2. Who is He/She?
- 3. What does this person need?
- 4. Why does this person care about us?
- 5. Sample job title?
- 6. Our Mission?
Here's an example of what this form may look like for Notifia
- 1. Who is He/She? The target reader will be a Website owner interested to increase website traffic.
- 2. What does this person need? Clear and understandable information on growing their website
- 3. Why does this person care about us? We offer free and relevent information that will help the user increase their digital presence, as well as a suite of free tools allowing the user to grow website traffic.
- 4. Sample job title? Our target audience's job title could be: Blogger, Marketer, Growth Hacker, Entrepreneur, Owner, Founder, Influencer
- 5. Our Mission? to deliver clear and actionable information, advice and insight for readers to grow their website traffic.
This can always be changed later on as your business scales, your mission and target audience may need adjusting. But it's important to have a clear and concise understanding of who you are targeting, especially if you have a team publishing to your blog. We need to make sure everyone is on the same page.
Building a Base
As I said earlier, your sole goal in content marketing is to become the leading informational resource for content in your niche, and that's not an easy thing to do.
Start Collecting eMails/Subscribers straight away
If you take away anything from this post at all, please let it be this. You need to build an audience that you can control.
It's all well and good to build an audience on Social Media, but we have no control over these platforms, literally none whatsoever. What if one of these platforms you've spent months building an audience on turns round one day and says right, we aren't allowing that anymore, or there's a change to the algorithm, or your account is restricted (I've had 4 LinkedIn accounts restricted at 58,000 connections, 33,000 connections, 21,000 connections and 18,000 connections as well as an Instagram account at 44,000 followers and a Facebook page at 21,000 followers).
For this reason, you need an audience that you can control, and eMail is the best way to do this. By all means grow your audience on Social Media as well, but eMail is the highest value conversion we can get.
Some of the best methods for growing an email list are popups after the user has been reading for 1 minute, ExitIntent and a targeted message after the user reads 3 blog posts. I don't mean to self promote Notifia, but I speicifcally built these features to maximise conversions for our users, and you can use these tool for free 😀
I believe it's also good practice to set targets, for example my goal for Notifia's content is 100,000 eMail subscribers.
Go Small to Go Big
One of the most common problems I see is Content Marketers who are just starting out going for ridiculously high-competition keywords. Lets take a few steps back and start from the beginning.
Don't be afraid to go for low hanging fruit - When starting out, don't be afraid to go for low-traffic keywords, I'll even go for 50 searches per week when starting out, as long as the keyword is relevent it's worth targeting.
Get Laser Targeted on your Niche
Following on from my previos comment, start off small and go laser focused on your niche then build out from there.
for example, don't have your target audience as Social Media instead we would start with Instagram and cover EVERY SINGLE ASPECT of Instagram Marketing, if it exists on Instagram you want an informative article written about it such as;
- Best Times to Post
- Best Perfoming Content
- Influencers to follow
- How to grow your account
- Pros and cons of follow/unfollow
- Best way to use Instagram Stories
- How to write an effective bio
- How to get verified
- Most popular instagram filters
- Engagement groups
- How to rank for hashtags
- How to use Instagram live
- Changes to the instagram algorithm
- How to use carousel images and so on
These are literally 10 blog ideas I came up with off the top of my head, to truly cover the niche you will need about 250 articles written up on Instagram. I have to take my hat off to Later.com they have done an INCREDIBLE job at this, with over 270 articles focused on Instagram Marketing. Seriously, if you're looking for an example of a Good Content Marketing Strategy that's an excellent starting point!
Once Instagram has been covered completely then you can expand your content into other platforms
I hear a lot of people complaining that they aren't sure what to write about/run out of ideas. So here's a collection of places to get ideas
When a user asks a question - whenever a customer of mine asks a question, I think if it's worth writing an article on it - if you're asked the same question by several customers then the answer is yes.
Google Alerts - Set up Google alerts for niche related keywords and get content delivered to your inbox whenever Google scrapes something new - this is a great way to find what your competitors are writing about and allows you to read their content and write a better more informative article to rank higher in search. This may seem obvious, but ask your users what they want to hear about.
There's nothing better than writing content your audience has specifically asked for. Google Trends - use Google trends for keyword search, find keywords that have a rising search volume, and you can also look for similar keywords in the tab to give ideas for content
This is exactly what I've tried to do with Notifia; incase you weren't aware this is an Open source collection of information that I have collected over the years and decided to release. Open Source is a term usually referred to software (meaning the code is open to the public to use, review and add to for free) but is now expanding into other industries. All this information is available to you for free on the Notifia site and GitHub (an Open source publishing platform) and as long as you have a GitHub account, you can contribute to the repository, edit the content or add new pages.
Optimising your Content
Now you have a base platform and plenty of topics to write on, we need to make sure your content is full optimised to maximise engagement andgrowth of your business.
Use Images! - Articles with Images perform 91% better than those without, use HQ images with your content, this can be infographics, quotes, diagrams or anything else. Keep images HQ and relevenet and be sure to optimise your image size for SEO purposes (more on that here)
Video - along with images, include videos on your site. The amount of time a user spends on your site is a direct ranking factor for SEO, as a content publisher your goal should be to keep a user on your site as long as possible and video is a great way to accomplish this. Either record your own videos and embed them on your site, or embed someone else's videos to help support your articles.
Use relevant internal linking to push users to other pages within your site to improve SEO. I just mentioned the amount fo time a user spends on your site is a ranking factor, so why not push them to other pages as well? Try to link to at least 3 relevant articles per blog post. When users visit other pages on your site this indicates to google that your content is relevant and engaging and passes positive signals to Google ranking algorithm.
Publishing on Multiple Platforms
Now that you've done all the hard work, you've built a killer article and published it on your site, lets diversify to cover multiple platforms.
From your single article you can also publish this (or a snippet of this) to LinkedIn Articles, Medium and Reddit.
You can also record a video of yourself reading the article and add some interesting visual elements to the video then publish this to YouTube, Facebook video, Wispia, Itunes Video and Vimeo (you can also embed this in the original blog as we mentioned earlier) then we can strip the Audio from the video and publish an Audiobook and Podcast.
That's 10 pieces of content you've just created from your original blog post that will all be shared over a variety of platforms.
If you create any infographics be sure to publish those to these sites as well as Pinterest
Distributing your content
Here is a collection of sites I use to share content on, this may vary depending on your niche/target audience and I recommend you also do your own research and add to this list.
You should also add Social Share buttons to your site to promote social sharing amongst your users, this is a great way to drive traffic to your site.
Facebook retargeting; it's also an idea to stick a Facebook pixel on your blog posts and just stick a $5 marketing budget on all your new blog posts to get some initial traction and retarget readers of your blog posts.
and of course, send out an email to all your subscribers with your new blog posts as well as sharing across all your social channels
I have compiled an advanced SEO checklist I follow before publishing any piece of content which can be found here: SEO Checklist