Content marketing is a powerful force for businesses that want to increase their traffic, authority, and conversions.
That is because content marketing is one of the best inbound marketing tools around today to help convey your message around the internet.
People who have used content marketing to build their network, like Neil Patel or Darren Rowse have created multi-million dollar business models.
How to Create A Great Headline
The Washington Post reported a study recently that stated 6 out of 10 Americans had not read anything past the headline.
That is why it is so vital to create a headline. Otherwise, you too could be a victim of headline blindness.
One of the best formulas for creating a solid headline is from Mike Koenigs. Koenigs is the founder of Traffic Geyser, a video sharing site.
He discovered this trick from The 4-Hour Body author Tim Ferris. It is called the 10x10x4.
You create 4 sets of 10 questions your prospects ask you during a sales call.
Originally the idea helped video marketers create relevant video titles for their viewers. However the idea has merit with bloggers and podcasters who want to connect with their audience.
Because the title is relevant to the audience, it hooks them into the conversation.
If you need some, then use a quality Headline Analyzer.
5 Tips to Create Great Content
#1 Talk to your audience
Your audience is everything. If they do not like your content, then you are talking to yourself. That’s called a diary.
That is why the first step in creating content is to understand your audience.
Everything follows naturally from there. One of the prime examples of this idea is Stephen King. The famous horror writer mentioned that he creates all of the content for his wife.
She is his core audience. Whether she likes the book or not determines its fate. That is because she is a great representation of the audience he wants for his books.
You do not have to always be that granular, but definitely have an ideal prospect that you can envision reading this article. What would they say, do, and feel while reading your content? How do they react to your content?
The more you understand that person’s mind, the more you can inspire them to take action.
#2 Society is built around the stories we tell
Stories are a bridge between entertainment and education. They make your information real.
A good, simple story can capture our imagination. For example, consider the legendary story of how Fred Smith started FedEx. Three years after founding the company, and down to the last $5,000 in the company coffers he went to Vegas.
$27,000 in winnings, and history was made.
As HubSpot mentioned, blogs are articles written mostly by marketers to inspire users. I does not have to be “like the last twenty minutes of Rudy, but rather to read more, and maybe buy something.”
As long as the stories are ethical and fit within the bounds of the product, they become the heroic tales readers and prospects remember when they purchase your products.
#3 Multiple Intelligences for Multiple Readers
One of the best books to explain how people understand information was written by Harvard professor Howard Gardner. His internationally acclaimed book, Multiple Intelligences discusses the various intelligence we have.
These are the ways that we learn information. For example, a visual intelligence works well with people who see information visually.
That is why you need videos, photos, and other media to support your writing. They demonstrate your point. For example, it has been proven that photos of attractive women increase the response rate by 4.5%.
Conversely, many people learn better through auditory methods. It partially explains the rise of podcasts in recent years. In an era of visual blogs, infographics, and videos, podcasts have become a growing part of the marketing mix.
That is because many people learn by listening. That is their intelligence.
#4 Optimize Your Content for Search and Social Media.
We discuss social and search engine optimization in more depth further on in the article. For right now, keep in mind these facts while writing.
- Lengthy articles need to be broken up. Too much text scares many readers. That is why you need to include the media we just mentioned above in point number three.
- Additionally, use tools like Click to Tweet or Pin It Button for Image to encourage more shares throughout your blog posts.
- Finally, paragraphs should be a max of 2-3 sentences. Just like lengthy articles, lengthy paragraphs scare people too.
A terrific tool is to use bullets and headings to breakdown the point of your article.
#5 How To Advice
The best advice then with all these different ideas is to write like you talk. In fact, you probably forgot how to talk if you are new to writing. We spend so much of our lives thinking about what to say to people in the appropriate manner that writing as human beings is just…frightening.
Therefore, you need to write all your drafts in free flow without editing. Those are your true beliefs. If you want to remove something later on for being too controversial go ahead. For now, just write.
7 Steps to Improve Your Content Marketing Strategy
#1. Consistent Blogging
Many bloggers think this is a myth, but the truth is that it takes time for your content to start driving the type of traffic you want to build your business. If you cannot consistently create content every month, then you will struggle.
HubSpot discovered those companies that blogged every day had a 90% likelihood of acquiring new business, while those that blogged multiple times per day had a 100% chance of acquiring clients.
These companies consistently post great content to help their users with their challenges. If you cannot devote 6-12 months building up your blog then you probably cannot succeed with content marketing.
Note: Keep in mind that often many of the companies that post multiple times per day have more than one writer on staff. Otherwise, you likely risk the chance of burnout and not be able to post at the same frequency over time.
#2 Understanding Your Market
Once you consistently create content you should start noticing trends in your blogging. For example, around 6-12 months you might see an increase in traffic.
This is because your market understands the basics of your blog. That is what can make your blog stand out.
By understanding why these fans visit your site, you get an exceptional view of what your content can do to influence your market.
That is what you want. As Amazon founder Jeff Bezos stated, you need to become obsessed with your customers. Think about everything they want, consistently put yourself in their shoes.
The more you can do that, the more you can identify what trends your customers are interested in and how to take advantage of them.
#3. Quality Content is key, not the keywords
For years, content marketers focused on how to create keyword rich articles that Google would notice.
Google responded with algorithm changes over the past few years that said they care more about content than the keywords. Hm!
Therefore, if you want to attract traffic to your blog, you need to focus on content that engages and educates your target audience.
When you do that, you encourage Google to send the type of quality traffic you can use to build your business
#4. Use a Team approach
Content marketing requires a team approach. Check out the largest blogs in the world like Mashable, Huffington Post, Techcrunch, Buzz Feed,
Business Insider, and Gizmodo. They are all multi-author blogs for a reason.
Their founders could not create the level and quality of content on their own. That is why they put together large teams of writers who could create dynamic content on a regular basis.
If you are just starting to create a team for your blog, understand that the key is planning. That is why you need to have an editorial calendar breaking down the production schedule.
WordPress has a number of great editorial calendar plugins that are useful.
#5. Natural Link Building
After you have the quality content, make sure that you build your links back to your website without being spammy.
We bring this up here, because the quality content you create elsewhere becomes a catalyst for greater link building.
Bloggers see your posts and they share it on their own blogs. Website reference your content on their site. Your content gets shared on social media sites.
All the good things you want to happen, come from the quality content we show you how to create.
If you are just starting out, then you might want a jump start to your link building efforts. A great tutorial on this is Brian Deans Skyscraper Method.
His new method for attracting links is a major shift in the content marketing industry.
Instead of looking to link his site out through guest posting or other measures, he creates quality content that is so powerful it can be referenced by other bloggers to encourage them to link out to the original blog post.
#6 Writing Content
Once we have the links, keywords, and other junk out of the way, the focus goes back to the content.
We discuss a lot of this above, in the how to create a great post section. However, keep in mind that this is what will make or break your blog. You want a mix of content that is relevant to the moment, and also evergreen content that provides traffic to content creators for a long-time.
That is the power of this type of content. Take Jason Acidre from Moz.Com. He uses Moz’s evergreen content to continually power the traffic to the search engine blog years after the first post.
However, content does not just have to be evergreen.
#7 Promoting Content
Once you create the content, then you have to promote it. Get the word out about your free content to build your audience.
You have a few tools to help you do that. To help, we broke these down by social, seo, and other.
One of the best is Facebook. The 1.3 Billion member social network has niches for almost any specialty. That is what internet marketer Ryan Deiss used when he started Survival Life.
In one year they grew the Facebook page to 300,000 fans (now at 500,000). The site is the main source of traffic for the paid offers on their site.
Pinterest is another strong site for content marketers. A few years ago, the Pinterest craze among mommy bloggers intensified.
That is because of bloggers like Mandy Wallace. She used Pinterest to increase traffic to her blog by 2500%.
By ensuring that her Pinterest images (735×1102 pixels) were set up specifically for the social network and using proven headline formats she started promoting high quality, copyright-free images to share on the social network.
Then she graduated to using tools like Pixlr and PicMonkey to share content from her blog.
Twitter is the third social network for driving traffic to your blog. As we mentioned in the article on Traffic for your business , Jeff Bullas drives a significant amount of his traffic from the social network.
Make your site crazy fast. Neil Patel is the founder of KISSmetrics, Crazy Egg, and Quick Sprout. His blog gets millions of views per year from Google.
To help improve his traffic to all of his sites, he did two things: a) bought better hosting to improve his site speed; and b) created more dynamic, longer content.
Based on his Google Analytics, he saw an increase of 20-40% from these two actions.
Search engines love it when websites load fast. Neil took the information from Google Analytics that the site speed was too slow. He then bought improved VPS hosting to help the site move faster.
Here is one of the most ironic parts of content marketing. Google generally ranks articles 1st and 2nd that have an average length of 2500.
Conversely, 60% of readers do not make it past 1500 words. 10% never make it past the scroll bar.
That indicates two things.
One, you need to create high levels of content that probably will not be read in it’s entirety.
Two, you need to have multiple calls to action on your blog posts, so the scanners do not read your information and leave before they get to the good stuff.
Guest Blogging- Kristi Hines is the Queen of guest blogging. She literally wrote many of the original guides on how to use guest blogging for your business.
While guest blogging is still a vital part of any bloggers marketing mix, remember that if you plan on creating guest posts do so with the intention of creating relationships with your guests audience.
Many bloggers, including Kristi Hines, have done this and generated hundreds of thousands of visits from single guest posts.
A post that I wrote on JeffBullas.Com, once netted me close to $1,000 in sales over the course of the next two months. That is because I created content relevant to the audience.
Building Email List
One of the biggest reasons to create content is to build your email list of prospects. Many bloggers do not use their blog to build their business. Instead, they use their blog to build their list.
The key is to collect emails through different lead generation tools on your site.
Take TruConversion for example. They have a number different options to encourage visitors to sign up for the email list.
For example, the home page requests email signups for visitors who want a Beta Trial of TruConversion.
Furthermore, when you look at specific articles on the blog, like 25 YouTube Marketing Strategies to Skyrocket Your Traffic. On this post, you can see the Hello Bar at the top of the post where users can subscribe to the mailing list.
Furthermore, on the sidebar they have a free eBook on the 7 Universal Conversion Optimization Principles. Put together, these various opt-in methods help increase conversion rates.
Then they monetize the list by sending regular emails out through tools like MailChimp, InfusionSoft, AWeber, and GetResponse.
Through them, you can create automated email marketing messages that resonate with your audience.
To see what converts the best, you want to test out every aspect of your conversion efforts.
For example, TruConversion can help bloggers and websites owners access to all the best conversion optimization and analytics tools including Feedback polls, Heatmaps, Surveys, Conversion funnels, Form Analytics, Visitor Recordings and A-B Testing.
Content marketing is all about a long-term strategy to create quality content your readers will enjoy and use to make an informed decision on your products.
The trials and tribulations of content writing are the struggle you must take to build the type of blog your readers appreciate your content. Along the way, you can use that strategy to find clients interested in your services.
Let us know in the comment area what challenges you have with creating a complete content marketing strategy for your business.