Beef Up Your Content Marketing Strategy

cat-lion_Mar14The term “content marketing strategy” has evolved over the past few years. Now a full-on strategy involves totally customized communication efforts through channels like social media, email, press releases, and yes, your blog.

Why You Need a Content Marketing Strategy

If you’ve been subsisting on your blog content alone to get you in front of more potential customers, you’ve probably been disappointed with the results. Sure, great content on your blog does drive traffic to you, but it’s often not enough to bring the number of leads you need to convert. If you convert just 3% of your leads (an acceptable industry standard), you’ll need hundreds or even thousands of leads coming in to really boost sales.

Leads come from multiple places. That’s why you need a content management strategy that encompasses more than just your blog. The more places you connect with people through content, the more leads will funnel in.

Quality Over Quantity

While yes, you do want more leads, you also want them to be quality leads. After all, ten thousand unqualified leads with a .05% conversion rate isn’t as good as a thousand really qualified leads with a conversion rate of 50%. It’s an exaggerated example, but you get my point.

How do you get quality? You zero in on your audience. Don’t speak to a mass of a thousand people; speak to each person individually (more or less). Understand what they’re interested in, and tailor your content to them.

Leveraging Segmentation

The closer you can get to what each individual lead wants, the higher you can convert. That means your landing page should speak to her. Your emails. Your content. Everything.

A brief word on SEO: we keep hearing conflicting things about search engine optimization and what Google won’t move up in the search results. But if you focus on those keywords that your segment is interested in when you write your web copy, they’ll find you through search.

An Example

Let’s say you sell women’s clothing. You have landing pages for:

  • Shoes
  • Athletic gear
  • Dresses
  • Purses and accessories

If you optimize the keywords on each landing page, only those leads who are interested in that particular category of women’s clothing will click on that page. That keeps away those leads who would be interested in other types of women’s clothing, and helps you get really specific in your messaging.

Carry that one step further. On that page, visitors can sign up to get special offers in that category only. Those people that sign up for emails on the Shoes landing page won’t get emails about dresses or anything else. Again, this increases conversion.

And then, maybe you include a few shoe-related blog posts on the sidebar of that page. You’re keeping your messaging laser-focused on shoes so you keep a visitor’s attention.

Let’s keep going. Next, you’ll send segmented emails to your different market segments. If you’re already using Customer Relationship Management software, try to find one that integrates with an email marketing platform, like Insightly CRM for email marketing. That way, you can integrate the data you glean from emails, such as when a customer clicks on a particular link or makes a purchase. Storing this information in your CRM can provide you with future opportunities to deliver content specific to what that customer really wants.

Pay attention to that data, and use it to your benefit. Your customers’ behaviors can help you shape future content and email campaigns, and further solidify your content marketing strategy.

Susan Payton is the President of Egg Marketing & Communications, an Internet marketing firm specializing in marketing communications, copywriting and blog posts. She’s also the founder of How to Create a Press Release, a free resource for business owners. She’s written three books: DIY Press Releases: Your Guide to Becoming Your Own PR Consultant, 101 Entrepreneur Tips and Internet Marketing Strategies for Entrepreneurs, and contributes to several sites, including ChamberofCommerce.com, The Marketing Eggspert Blog, CorpNet, Small Business Trends, and BizLaunch. Follow her on Twitter @eggmarketing.

7 Effective Content Marketing Strategies for Small Business

 

Running a successful small business in any industry not only requires in-depth knowledge of the products or services you have to offer, but also an understanding of the audience you want to share your content with directly. Knowing how to effectively market content for a small business can help you to outshine competitors while adding to your success in terms of generating revenue and gaining loyal fans.

Content Marketing Strategies for Small Business

 

Create an Official Business Blog

One of the most important factors of operating a successful small business is launching an official business blog dedicated to your company. Once you have an official website up and running, you can then begin adding and updating content to your site at any time. Using a CMS such as WordPress or Joomla is highly recommended if you do not have any coding or programming skills but still have a professional business site in mind. Once you have an official business blog, you can begin to produce content for your visitors while also sharing any products or services you have to offer.

Search Engine Marketing

Search engine marketing is essential for all businesses looking for success online, regardless of the industry you are in or the type of content and products you want to share with your visitors. Knowing how to market within search engines can be done with the help of professionals who specialize in SEO, or search engine optimization. Search engine marketing helps to drastically increase the number of page views and visitors your site receives daily based on keywords and trending topics at the time.

Implementing search engine marketing is ideal whether you are a start up company or a well-established brand, as this helps to keep your website more memorable and easier to find for those who are not familiar with what you have to offer. Marketing within search engines properly can get your website on the first page of search results of trending keywords.

Submit Your Website to Link Directories

Submit your website’s URL to relevant local and industry directories and online listings to help get it placed within search engines such as Yahoo!, Bing and Google. You can find plenty of link directories by comparing message boards and digging deep into the industry you work in online.

Invite Guest Bloggers

Inviting guest bloggers to post content on your site is highly recommended when you want to network and build a reputation online. Find guest bloggers in your niche and industry who have credibility and may be willing to lend a voice to your website. You can find some of the top guest bloggers and entrepreneurs in the industry you are working in by joining online forums and message boards. Getting involved with others online is one of the quickest methods to network and get the visitors and traffic you desire.

Put Social Media to Use

Putting social media to use is one of the most important factors in building a successful business in today’s society. Create pages and accounts for your brand on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest and even Instagram to help build your company’s credibility, reputation and overall online following in less time. With the right applications, it is possible to update content to all of your social media accounts simultaneously, making it instantly possible to connect with hundreds of thousands of people around the world.

Update your social media accounts regularly, but without spamming your visitors and customers. It is important to update your followers on a consistent basis to ensure they do not forget about or lose interest in your brand and what you have to offer. Once you establish a positive relationship by communicating and interacting with your followers, you can even as them to help with “liking”, “sharing” and re-posting your content onto their own pages and websites.

Host Contests and Giveaways

Host contests and giveaways to attract new potential customers while also keeping your current fans loyal to your business. The more actively engaged you are with hosting giveaways and contests, the easier it is to build traction and to find other potential fans and loyal customers.

Find Affiliates

Seek out affiliates to trade links with in your industry. Swapping links and affiliating is a great way to build your site’s page rank while also helping to spread your company or brand’s name to new potential customers.

The more time and effort you put into growing your business and brand online, the easier it is to outperform potential competitors while also building a positive relationship with customers. Understanding the importance and benefits of search engine marketing and social media can ultimately help to take your company to the next level of success in terms of customers and overall revenue generated.

White Chalk Road is Perth’s leading search engine marketing agency and consists of a small team of dedicated SEO professionals and paid search advertising consultants.

Step aside SEO! You need to think about CMO now

 

SEO isn’t what it used to be. Once upon a time, SEO was this hallowed religion. Agencies and specialist’s knew the SEO bible inside out.  Many Step aside SEOused dodgy techniques – keyword stuffing, using invisible text and buying spammy links.

But the landscape is changing and you need to care about content nowadays. 90% of marketers think content will become more important in 2013, according to a report by Outbrain and Econsultancy. CMO (Content Marketing Optimization) is going to become a key part of our online marketing strategies.  You need to think about CMO now.

 

The Great Flood

We all bow down to Google’s almighty power. He is the internet God of the 21st Century. He can bring us millions of pilgrims and many, many customers.

When he saw all these underhand techniques, he wasn’t pleased with what he saw. Many people were abusing these tactics to cheat searchers. So Google unleashed a flood of updates (Panda and Penguin) to wash these baddies away.

 

Those who were good had already built their content rafts

When the flood waters receded, many businesses had survived, and arrived at the top of Google. They’d made rafts of content to keep them afloat. Others quickly capitalized and they found it remarkably easy to climb the rankings, especially for long tail keywords.

Just In Time, a financial PR agency, wrote a few articles about ‘financial pr agencies’ and climbed up the rankings very quickly.

 

Google wants content angels, not SEO devils

Google, like any benevolent father wants to please its worshippers. His searchers, and they are crazed devotees at the altar of content. If searchers want rich, meaty content, then Google will do his best to deliver it.

Google is ranking people by who has the best content. They’re trying to put the best content at the top. Now you’re in a battle with your competitors to create the best content! There are no more underhanded tricks (and if there were Google will soon eliminate them). So you now need to create more content, and optimize that content. Be a content angel, not a SEO devil.

 

So what do you need to know about CMO, then?

I suspect Content Marketing Optimization will be the next big thing and ultimately step in the place of SEO. CMO is adding that extra bit of sparkle to your content, framing it in a tasty way. Adding dazzle will make both your readers and Google love you.

 

Longer form content and rich media

There’s a great resource here of 11 content optimization tips from Jason Acidre. If you don’t have the time to read them – here’s the most important tip.

Jason talks about longer form content. Why? And why does Google value this so highly?

It’s because, the longer an article – generally the richer it is. If it’s bursting at the seams with analysis, examples, case studies and other thoughts – it is likely to be much more useful than a simple 400 word article.

Rich media is also becoming more and more important as well. Big brands are saying that visitors want more rich media content like videos and images.

It’s a bit old-fashioned now to just have an article. We don’t always have the opportunity to add multimedia to every article because we’re not big enough. However, people expect their content to be a bit more interactive these days,” says Sharon Flaherty, Head of Content and PR at price comparison site Confused.com.

Google has become more sensible, and has wised up to the black magic that SEO agencies were practicing. In its place, you need to create fantastic rich content. So, as the years go on, I reckon we’re going to talk much more about CMO than SEO.

 

Alex Clifford is Marketing Executive at Virally where he writes about content marketing, social media and how they’re changing internet marketing. Virally is a software platform which empowers you to track and amplify your content marketing.