One thing that hasn’t changed much in the last few years in content marketing is that Content is still King — and it still works!
You need to do content marketing in your business if you want to…
- Drive more potential clients to your website, you need to create content.
- Grow your following on social media, you have to share both your and other people’s relevant content.
- Increase conversions (sales), you need to write the right content.
Good, quality content is the main building block of today’s successful, digital marketing strategies. Whether it’s written (blogs, ebooks, whitepapers, etc.), visual (video, animated gifs and graphics) or podcasts — if you don’t create content, you might as well close up shop.
Yes, and it takes…
However, in this article, I’ll tell you about a bevy of free tools and content marketing strategies to help you generate your content, be more productive and in turn, generate quality leads.
Content Marketing Strategies to Incorporate and Invest
- Create content that your target market(s) wants. So that you know what interests your target audience you first need to clearly define them. Consider age, gender, income level, occupation, likes, dislikes, habits and other demographics.
- Then you need to do some research. Luckily there are a lot of free online resources to help you get as much information as possible. Find out what type of content they like. Which social networks do they frequent? For instance, if you’re trying to reach Millennials – they’re a hot market – you need to think mobile, short videos, podcasts and Instagram. (Related: How Different Generations Use Social Media.)
- Think of your potential customer’s buyer’s journey. Your content should walk a potential customer exactly where you want them to go. Will they buy or convert right away or do they need to be educated more?
- Decide what you’re good at and what type of content you’re capable of creating.
- Blogs – you have to be a decent writer; check out writing classes at the library.
- Video – it’s easy with the cameras on mobile devices and laptops, but what about editing? If you’re on a Mac, there’s iMovie; on a PC, there’s MovieMaker and YouTube has a free video editing tool.
- Then there’s graphics and pictures. Use the free online graphics tool, Canva.com.
- Keep in mind that all the content you produce is part of your Brand Image. Make sure you put out good, quality content. If blogging, proofread it. Good grammar and spelling counts even for SEO. Videos and graphics can never be fuzzy.
- Keep up your passion. Create content about what you know and what you feel comfortable doing. If you feel you’re not a good speaker, then video won’t work because, you’re going to stop doing it because it’s hard. You might want to outsource your content creation if you have the budget. Research your options to make sure you will get someone who will create content that will enhance your company brand image. If you do outsource, make sure that they will be creating original content and not selling you articles that they’ve sold to others. That won’t help you with building the authority that Google looks for.
- Get your social media act together. Social media plays an important part in how you promote and distribute your content. If you need help, we can do a 1:1 training session.
- Write out a strategic plan. Start with SMART goals on what you want to accomplish with your content marketing. The strategic plan is how you’re going to accomplish those goals. Include the data from your research. Based on your research, how often do you need to blog? How often will you record a video or podcast? Then the tactical plan is detailing how you’re going to implement the strategy.
- Be consistent and persistent. Content marketing, as well as social media marketing is a marathon, not a sprint. If you stop creating content, Google will forget you. If you stop posting on social media, people will think you fell off the face of the earth.
- Include Email Marketing Automation in your plan. The content on your site along with social media will draw visitors to your website. You then need to convert that visitor in to a lead by offering a free download – ebook – yes, more content, webinar or video or a coupon or special offer. You want to capture their name and email and ask them some qualifying questions to be able to segment your email list. Then, set-up a marketing automation system. A couple of days after the download, send them an email with a video. If they watch the video, they then get another email. If they don’t watch the video in 3 days, they get a different email. They idea is to nurture the lead into a sale.
- Make sure your website is optimized for the search engines. You want your target to find you, right? Do some keyword research to determine what people are searching for regarding what you have to offer. The Google Keyword tool, which is part of Google Ads is free to use, but you need have a Google Ads account. Look for keywords and phrases with high monthly search volume and low to medium competition. See how-to video below….
- Make sure your analytics are set up properly on your website. You need to track where your visitors are coming from: Google or the other search engines, social media, email, etc. This will tell you what’s working and not working. Furthermore, each social network has it’s own insights or analytics which will tell you which posts did well and the reach that you’ve attained.
- Write your blogs for the human reader, but with the search engine in mind. Your articles should be keyword-centric. In fact, your website and social media profiles should be also. This is all part of your search engine optimization (SEO).
If you’re local, here are some tips to boost your local search results.
- Make sure your content is voice-search ready. The folks at Social Media Explorer offer this advice:
With the popularity of Amazon’s Alexa increasing it’s now more important than ever to make sure your content is accessible via voice search.
Searching with voice is the easiest and most convenient option for many online users but the main problem companies face with this is that only the top results are given as answers. You need to aim to be one of those top results.
Optimize your digital strategy locally to ensure locations are picked up by voice search devices. Geotagging your business on social media and your website will also work in your favor to boost local page views.
Create location specific material to attract nearby customers and consider investing in social media advertisements. These will boil down an audience to the people who will be most interested in your content and show it to them, rather than wasting a lot of money on ads aimed at people who do not care.
How to Use the Google Keyword Tool
Time-Saving Tools for Content Marketing
Here are some great tools to help you share your content, grow your following, expand your reach, boost SEO, build credibility and trust.
Quora – popular Q&A site: Yes, it takes some time, but the more questions you answer, the more you get known as an expert in your field.
- Setup your profile completely.
- Put links to your Quora profile on your website and LinkedIn profiles
- Follow questions from your topic(s) of expertise
- Respond quickly to questions so you’re one of the first to answer.
- If someone else beat you to it and they answered correctly – in other words, you couldn’t have written it better yourself – then up-vote their answer. It’s like liking it.
- Share your answers on Twitter.
- Answer the question in a brief paragraph. Then, put links to pertinent blog articles to “dig deeper” on your web site. This helps grow your email list and increases traffic to your website.
After a month of answering questions on Quora with this strategy, check your website analytics (make sure they’re setup correctly) and see how many folks came from Quora. (On my site Quora comes up 2nd or 3rd behind the search engines.)
Feedly – Your online newsstand: You have to subscribe to dozens of blogs and online magazine to be able to keep up with your industry, competition and find relevant content from trusted sources to share with your social media followers. Subsequently, you don’t need 100 emails daily. That’s where Feedly comes in. I use it daily to find content for my clients. I use the Feedly mobile app on my tablet and use Buffer or HootSuite to share to my clients’ accounts.
- Set up folders to save content you want to deal with or read later.
- Search for relevant content and look for quality sources.
- Watch for magazines who publish more than 2 or 3 articles daily. If it’s too much to keep up with, just unfollow.
- When you find a good article, share it on your social networks using either Buffer or HootSuite. (See below)
Dlvr.it – automate posting content to social networks. Free to a point. Don’t pick content publisher who publish a lot of content daily. Find trusted sources who provide consistent, good, quality content — that’s not a competitor!
LinkedIn – Publish your blog on your website first to give it content authority with Google. Share it to your LinkedIn personal profile as well as your company business page (use one of the automation tools to do this). Then in a few days, publish it on LinkedIn, but add a link to the original article at the bottom saying that this article originally appeared on your website. Make sure you have a call-to-action at the end. This will help with SEO, brand awareness, trust and credibility.
WordPress.org & free plugins – I recommend WordPress for your website and blog. It combines both and there are tons of free themes and plugins. If you’re not ready for your own hosted website, start at WordPress.com which is free to a point, but it’s inexpensive to add a domain name. You’ll also start using the new Gutenberg block editor that is having problems on hosted websites.
Must-have free WordPress plugins:
- SEO by Yoast
- Google SiteKit with Analytics and Search Console
Buffer – I use buffer to share content to several social networks at a time. They have a mobile app, which goes will with the Feedly mobile app. It’s free to a point. But if you want to manage up to 10 accounts, it’s just $10/m.
HootSuite – This is a great tool for monitoring social networks – something Buffer doesn’t. For free you can monitor 3 networks and you get 2 automatic RSS feeds. There, you can automate your blog articles to post to your LinkedIn business page which WordPress’ JetPack doesn’t connect to.
Co-schedule – they have a free headline analyzer. Try to get a score of 70 or above. They offer a content scheduler for $20-40/m.
One thing’s for sure, we can’t predict what new tool will come out, what features a social network will add, what will be popular, and what will be trending. Moreover, you need to be ready to adapt to the changes. I share on my social media the latest news. Follow me to keep up. If you’re not on my list, click here to download the free Define Your Target Market Workbook and you’ll get on my list.