You’ve probably heard the expression ‘Content Is King!’
Well, not only is it king, it is queen and all the pawns too, and it works together in concert to make a wonderful and enchanting kingdom.
Okay, seriously… all the types of content you put on your blog, or someone else’s as a guest, needs to be considered unique and provide value for your audience for Google or any other search engine to care about it.
The great thing about content marketing, aside from the fact that it is an inexpensive form of marketing that works, is that it’s a true investment in your business. One that pays off over and over again, year after year. When you create content today, it will be working for you a year from now. Creating content isn’t only about marketing; it’s about educating and engaging your audience, too.
Unique content is essential to any blog’s wellbeing and popularity. Google sends traffic to websites it views as authoritative, but Google’s job isn’t to send you traffic. Google’s one and only job is to deliver relevant content to their audience – and to send them correct information. Once you understand that, you’ll also understand that your job is to provide your audience with unique and relevant content so that Google can do what it does best.
Content marketing is a simple concept to understand and implement for marketing success. Just follow these four steps for content marketing success:
1. Create a Website for Your Content
It’s important that your content has a home. You want to drive all traffic to that home, which needs to be your website. You don’t really want to drive traffic outside of your website. Any content you put anywhere should drive traffic to your website. It doesn’t matter if you have a bricks and mortar business or a strictly online business. Driving traffic to your website will ultimately drive traffic into your store to buy or to purchase from your website.
2. Create Optimised Content in Multiple Formats
The content that you create should be, as mentioned previously, engaging, and work to educate your audience about your products and/or services. Repurpose content into different formats to stretch the life of any content that you create. There are many forms which this content can take. Blog posts and articles, both on and off your website, short reports, eBooks, videos, and podcasts are all types of content you should produce and promote for effective content marketing.
3. Build Your Email List
The key to successful content marketing is building your email list. Use content to build your email list by writing keyword-rich content to attract your target audience to your website and directing them to sign up for your email list. Once they sign up for your email list, you can market your other content to them, educating and engaging with them and encouraging them to purchase your products and/or services. This will be easier because they’ve given you permission to market to them.
4. Market your Content on Social Media
Social media is a great way to market your content in a way that your audience can share with others. Share all your content on social media, including your blog posts, articles… anything you produce. Place buttons on your content so that other people can also share your content to their social media networks. This gives you an opportunity to attract the friends of your audience so that you can build a larger following.
Simply keep repeating the above throughout the content marketing cycle. Use a publication or editorial calendar to plan out in advance the content that you want to create for every product or service that you’re marketing. That way it will be easier to create effective content on a regular basis – content that is educational, engaging and gets the results that you desire.
One area I particularly want to look at as it is having such an impact currently is…
Video has become a driving force in content marketing. You only need to look at the success of YouTube and now Facebook Live to see that video content is a thriving entity all on its own. In fact, you can create a great business using mostly video as your main type of content. But, if you normally just use text, the thought of using video can be daunting. I know I find it a challenge!
Get the Tools
You really don’t have to spend tons of money on the right tools for creating entertaining and engaging videos for your content marketing needs. However, at least spending enough to be able to provide adequate lighting and sound is important. You can even use your iPhone or Smartphone, iPad or Tablet to create outstanding videos.
No One Hit Wonders
Videos don’t stand alone. If you create one, you really should create more than one. Having a regular video series as part of your blog is a good idea. It will encourage more viewers to take the time to view your videos if you have more than one. At first it may feel as if no one is watching, but take the time to stick to doing them during a time period and see what happens.
Shorter Is Better
You don’t want to make a video super long. More than three minutes and you’re pushing it unless you have really high-quality images and sound to match the length of your video. If you do have something long to say, try breaking your videos up and do a series with one point on each video over time.
Repurpose Content You Already Have
For your first video you don’t have to reinvent the wheel; instead use some content you already have. If you have a “how to” blog post, why not do a quick video demonstrating how to do “it”. If you have a blog post with five tips on doing something better, do five videos talking about each tip for two or three minutes. Using visuals other than your face is a good idea, to make it more interesting. It also helps the camera shy!
Leverage Events (Online and Offline)
Having an event such as an in-person interview, conference, or an online webinar? Why not record it, then edit it and repurpose it to use later. You can break up longer events into shorter videos with a little bit of editing and adding in visuals, and you could have a series of videos from one hour-long event.
If you’re not sure about how to edit the videos or create them in a format that is usable by most browsers including mobile devices, consider outsourcing the editing process. Usually you would provide them with the raw video and they’ll cut it down and edit it to make it a more professional production.
You can hire someone local to record for you. It’s up to you how much money you want to spend. But, it costs a lot less than you think to produce very professional sounding and looking videos for your content marketing needs.
You don’t have to worry about being perfect. Take a look on YouTube at the popular videos in your niche. There may be a few exceptions but more than likely the really popular ones aren’t perfect. As long as viewers can see something interesting, hear the audio and trust the value and truth of the information being shared, you’ll see success using video as one of your content marketing tactics.
One of the big challenges that most of us face is creating content.
You know you need plenty of content to keep the search engines ranking you highly, and your audience coming back for more. But, where in the world will you ever find the time to keep up with the demand for high quality content that your audience will find value in? The first thing to realise is that you don’t have to do it alone.
The obvious one is to hire several writers to help you. This is where Mill House Media comes in! Our team of talented professional writers can write about almost any niche you can think of. Or you can use a service like Upwork.com to find freelancers to do the writing for you. Initially you may need to edit it and add your own voice. you can get a lot of content written quickly – and relatively inexpensively.
Another option is to curate content from others. You don’t really always have to create content from scratch. You can be the source for all things “your niche” that will make your business website or blog a one-stop-shop for your audience. Introduce, and provide a link to, important content that you feel your audience will enjoy.
And, of course, repurpose your content. If you’ve written books, or created other content, you can repurpose it. Even if you have already written a blog post, you can turn that post into a podcast or YouTube video. Change it up a bit but keep the facts the same, and the content will feel brand-new.
Your idea file
One of the really useful things that I do is to keep an idea file. One block to creating content can simply be having an idea. But, as you know, ideas come when you least expect them. If you start an idea file and keep track of every idea you have, you’ll be able to come up with and create content quickly when you need to.
Using your idea file, you could take a couple of hours to create a lot of content at one time. It’s a lot easier to do four or five articles or several videos at once on a topic than it is to try to do it every single day, one at a time. When you’re working, you will get into a flow and be able to create more in a short period of time.
Always remember to keep it simple. Try not to think too hard about each thing to the point where you cause yourself to have a block and be unable to create content. Trying to be perfect can cause procrastination. And procrastination can lead to not getting things done.
You don’t have to spend all your time pecking away at your keyboard all alone to get content for your website or blog. Why not get help from others by outsourcing and curating content? You can keep an idea file so that when it’s time to sit down and create, you’re ready.
Types of Content You Need
Creating content isn’t just about text blog posts; it’s about a whole host of different types of content, and even more than those I’ve listed below. However, these are the types of content that are most consumed by all types of audiences.
These are images that invoke certain emotions combined with quotes from someone famous. (But you can write your own quotes, of course: they just need to be profound, factual or thoughtful. You can use a site like Canva.com to make your memes.
If you have data-centric content and need a new way to impart the information to your audience, use an infographic. An infographic is a long graphic with many images and data explained in an easily understandable way.
3. Short Blog Posts
Have blog posts that are about 500 words long which explain information that is very focused on one topic. This type of post can provide an informational overview on a topic, but doesn’t go particularly in-depth.
4. Long Blog Posts
Every person who is using content for marketing should include long in-depth, authoritative pieces of content. These can be anywhere from 750 to 3000 words. They might consist of guides, reviews, and “how to” posts.
An eBook is usually somewhere around 10,000 words long, but don’t let that frighten you. Think of it as just 20 short blog posts. If you write 20 short blog posts about the same topic, explaining how to do something, you can put them together and make them into an eBook.
Usually 2500 words at least and up to 7500 words, an eReport usually covers some basic educational information about a topic as well as solutions for problems that the audience may have.
7. Social Media Blurbs
When you promote your blog posts, eBooks, eReports and other content, you’ll need a social media blurb. Make them different for each network to make it unique and original.
I’ve already discussed this in depth. Just remember that videos are shared more often than text content and have the potential to go viral.
You can and should ask your customers and clients to provide testimonials. It’s a great way to get content on your website or social media profile that you did not create. The testimonials will mean more if you provide links back to the site of the person who gave them. If you can get a photo of the person it helps, but absolutely the best is a video testimonial!
10. Product Reviews
When you recommend products, why not do a full product review? It’s a great way to get more content, as well as to promote a product you like. Be fair about the products. And let your audience know in advance if you will get a commission should they choose to buy it.
These are audio files, and are great for those of your listeners who like to take their content on the go.
Creating unique content doesn’t have to be difficult, but it is super important. And that’s not just because you want the search engines to recognise you as authoritative. It’s also because you want your website visitors to find value in your work.
The most important fact is that by using content marketing to establish yourself as the ‘go-to’ source you will soon create a steady stream of customers who want to work with you.