04 Oct Content Marketing: Why Great Content Is Critical for Business Success
Why You Need Great Writers
There’s never been a better time to be a writer. Content marketing is at fever pitch, for many reasons. It’s effective, it’s affordable, and it continues to pay off when done well. And anyone can do it, right? Sure, if you have great writers.
Before you run off and start writing tons of blog posts, it’s important to know how to properly use content marketing to build your brand. There’s absolutely a method to the madness, a method that even the most seasoned experts are constantly refining.
Building Your Content Engine in 3 Steps
Your content isn’t going to write itself. You need to have a content engine that keeps things moving while being effective. With great writers at your side, these three steps will help your content marketing get started on the right foot.
Step 1: Research Your Audience
No matter how well you think you know your audience, get to know them better. Look at them through the lens of content and SEO. Check forums and social media groups to see what kinds of questions your audience has.
Start small and try to rank for the terms with little search volume and a low cost per click. These terms usually have lower competition, giving you a better chance of ranking. As you rank for more and more terms and earn more backlinks, your domain authority will rise and you will be able to tackle the higher volume terms.
Step 2: Deliver Value
Anyone can write a bad blog. Give your audience valuable information with your content. If you’re writing a piece on raising capital for your startup, don’t just offer them the basics. Give your readers a complete rundown on how to get started.
Great, helpful content will be read again and again. The best content will also be circulated by larger sites, referred to as a resource, and deliver an ROI unlike any other. The investment is absolutely worth it.
Also, don’t skimp on the graphics. If you don’t have an in-house designer to create images for your larger pieces, find a reliable freelancer.
Step 3: Promote, Promote, Promote
While the ultimate goal here is to generate organic traffic, you need to get the ball rolling in the beginning. A great place to start is with the promotion of your content.
Share your content across all your social media channels for starters. Next, consider reaching out to relevant sites that do article roundups or cover your niche, and contact their editor regarding your piece.
During your research y,ou might come across outdated lists like “Top 10 Posts Covering ___.” These types of lists present a great opportunity for your article. Send the author or editor a friendly email and tell them you have an updated article covering that topic that would be beneficial, and see if they’ll include it.
Your goal is to provide them value, so make sure you’re emphasizing what they get out of the exchange.
While you’ll strike out more than hit a homerun, especially in the beginning, landing your article in round ups can help build your domain authority as you earn more and more links to your site from reputable sources.
Balancing Content and Products
With all of this content being created, it’s important you know how to properly display it. You have a product to sell, but you also have content that needs to be read. Can you succeed at checking both boxes?
Google loves to reward great content by giving it preferential treatment when it comes to rankings. Keep this in mind when creating content to prevent yourself from making anything lackluster. A few pieces of great content are always better than a bunch of bad content, so spend time creating content that’s high quality, and different from the competition.
A big part of what makes great content is refraining from being overly-promotional in your writing. That’s why you need to…
Exit Through the Gift Shop
Whenever you’re creating great content, you want to focus on being informative. You also want to make sure you’re still giving your products some love. Typically it’s good to use 80/20 rule. Meaning, 80% of your content should be focused on providing value and information and 20% on promoting and selling your products or services.
When appropriate, link to a product within your content or even do a soft pitch of it at the end. In our case, we will use the end of an article to remind readers that they can try our virtual data room platform for free, and link them to the appropriate page. Again, the focus is still on offering information on a pain point our audience is experiencing, with our pitch only taking place at the end.
Nobody likes talking to someone that only talks about themselves. Don’t be that guy. But, you also have products to sell, so don’t be afraid to lead your guests through the gift shop after their time with your content.
If your goal is only to drive traffic with a particular piece, don’t try to push any products. If you have a new product you’re really jazzed about, write an article that addresses the problem your product solves. This makes for a natural “in” for your product, without sounding overly promotional.
Remember: always keep the focus on relationship building!
Don’t Stop Writing
Content can be exhausting. If you continually deliver quality content that helps your audience, you’ll eventually find yourself a respected source in your industry. Along with the respect, comes traffic, opportunities with other brands, and advertising potential.
While you won’t turn into an empire overnight, you will eventually find yourself able to compete with Amazon, Walmart, and other big names for the first page. The feeling you get when you manage to rank for a big keyword is unlike any other. Oh, and the traffic is great, too.
Author bio: Eric Jackson is the co-founder and CEO of CapLinked, a virtual data room platform for securely sharing corporate information and conducting due diligence online. He is a best-selling author and regular contributor to media outlets such as Forbes, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal.