As a content marketer, you’ve got plenty of ideas and plans for great content that your audiences will love -- it’s helpful, interesting, relevant, and you know that when you finish that guide or post that blog, people are going to read it and convert. But then, they don’t. What happened?
Great content will always be a part of a solid marketing strategy. Giving potential customers the information they need to identify their problems and arrive at a decision is practically the definition of inbound, and it’ll be a strange day when inbound marketing agencies like ManoByte start advocating against that. But actually creating content is just a part of your total strategy. The fact is, so many people are putting out great content for consumers to see, and even more are creating mediocre content that makes it hard for yours to break through. So what can you do to make your content marketing efforts count?
Rethink Your Content Marketing Framework
The reason that content marketing is so much harder nowadays is simply because there are so many players in the game. In 2010, Google indexed about 1 trillion webpages; in 2017, that number rose to over 30 trillion.
It's 30 times harder to get your content seen today than it was 10 years ago.
And, from what we’ve seen, it’s only going to get harder from here. The internet is saturated with content, and without the right mindset about content marketing, all your blogging and social media work might end up falling on deaf ears.
Here’s the place to start: reorganize your thoughts and your efforts around a more efficient framework. Instead of starting with the content, start with your business goals (hint: think dollar signs.) How have your past efforts contributed to your company’s revenue goals? Are there channels and types of content that perform better than others? Be strategic about your focus for better results, and consider cutting back or changing your approach on content that doesn’t resonate with your audience. After all, more content is clearly not the answer.
That leads into the second piece: understand your audience. These are the people that are going to help you reach that revenue goal, and they’re the people you’re talking to. Your great content ideas may be designed to help people just like you get interested in your product or service, but what if your ideal customer isn’t like you at all?
Once you’ve developed a strategic plan for your content, you can finally start creating it. Remember: more isn’t better, better content is worth more. The sun has set on the 500-word blog post (but more on that later.) In addition, the cycle doesn’t repeat after you’ve released your content into the world. After all, if people aren’t reading it you may as well be shouting into the wind.
That’s where distribution comes in. One commonly cited best practice is to spend at least twice as much time promoting your content as you do creating it, but if you can bring that up to four times as much, you’re getting much more mileage out of your work. Repurpose your eBook into a series of blog posts, share it to different social media platforms in different ways, or create an email campaign with tips and tricks to entice readers to download your offer.
And then, of course, your efforts should be measurable and open to improvement, which means data analytics. How many clicks are you getting on your emails? What is your post reach on Facebook? Are you getting conversions from your blog? Analytics should be the starting and ending process of every single piece of content to make sure it will have the impact you expect.
The Name of the Game: Authority
We’ve changed the way we search for information on the internet, and in response, Google has changed how it prioritizes page rank -- or is it the other way around? Either way, relevance is no longer king. Of course, your content still has to be relevant (don’t forget about your keyword best practices just yet) but search engines are caring more and more about domain and page authority as they come up with new ways to give searchers better results.
What does this mean for content marketing? The way we write, format, and distribute content needs to be more in line with the latest trends in search, and because Google is striving to make its algorithms more human, it ultimately means we need to create content in a more human way. As consumers, we now want to do research before making a big purchase, and we are more inclined to purchase from brands that have more authority for those spends that really matter. Therefore, your content should help you build authority for your brand by offering comprehensive, easy-to-understand knowledge about the topics that are most relevant to your business
In addition to better (not more!) content, one concrete technique to build authority is focusing on link building. Google loves seeing pages that are linked to by other websites, because that means that page is a go-to resource for a topic. Start building relationships with industry thought leaders and social media influencers for high-quality backlinks that will drive up your domain authority. For example, asking a respected expert in your industry to contribute a quote or two to a blog post, then show them the result -- they’ll be more likely to share that post on their own platforms, driving both their audience and Google’s spiders to your page in droves.
Content marketing is such a huge topic that these tips barely scratch the surface. Luckily, we’ve got a webinar that covers what you need to know about content marketing trends and best practices in 2018. Check it out below!