Content marketing is a great way to take advantage of the steady flow of search engine traffic, give your social media audience a reason to visit your website, and build trust with your audience through quality content they enjoy.
Of course, it only accomplishes these things when done well.
So how do successful content marketers do it?
1. Look At The Competition
There are sites out there similar to yours. What are they doing? Where do you see them failing? Succeeding? What kind of content is their audience engaging with? How is it received on social media and how is it ranking in the search engines?
Understanding what the competition is doing will let you see what audiences in your niche are used to and better clarify how you’re going to stand apart.
2. Research Your Keywords
You want to use your keywords both for search engine optimization reasons and because these are the words your audience will see and resonate with.
Do a wide search and build up a list of words you want your content to be associated with and terms you wish to rank for. Save them in a spreadsheet to refer to and add to as you progress.
When you come up with content ideas, you can work with these keywords to create rich, relevant content.
3. Use An Editorial Calendar
There are many tools for this. You can use a simple calendar in WordPress, Google Docs, Trello, ToDoist, or break out pen and paper if that makes more sense for you.
4. Understand What Makes Your Content Unique
Do you have a brand mission statement? Create one. It doesn’t have to be long. Refer to this when you get lost so you can stay on track.
You want to create content that speaks to your company and the interests of your audience. What does your audience want from you? What are their pain points?
If a law firm created a content marketing campaign, their content would need to be serious and useful for their clients. Their clients have specific questions and come to them for content that will be thorough and answer their questions in a serious and informative tone. If their brand is that they are the most helpful law firm, their content will focus on content that can walk their clients through the process.
5. Practice Writing Titles
Headlines matter. They need to be keyword rich, but in a natural format. They need to grab attention and compel users to click, but without being spammy.
Set a timer for three minutes. Write a list of as many title ideas as you can think of. At the end, cross out the losers and then choose from the winners. The more you do this, the better you’ll get.
6. Set Goals
What are you trying to accomplish? Set goals for the month. Set a goal for how many pieces of content you want to create. Set a goal for how much engagement you want to get. Set a goal for how much traffic you want to see happen.
Your goals may very well be wildly off, especially in the beginning. But setting these goals gives you an idea of what you want to strive for. As you go, you’ll learn more about setting your expectations and get a better idea of what you’ll need to do to see specific results.
7. Be Consistent
Posting consistent content trains your audience. When people know to come to your website on specific days for new content they’ll learn to trust your brand and visit you more.
Search engines also like to see a consistent flow of steady new content.
8. Record Your Analytics
Keep a record of your traffic, engagement signals, and other markers of success. Save these in a Google spreadsheet where you can see all of your data, month to month.
9. Analyze Your Findings
Look at your goals list for the month. Look at your analytics for the month.
How did you do in accomplishing your goals?
What types of content resonated with your audience?
10. Adjust Your Strategies Based On What You Find
After you go over your findings, it’s time to make a plan for moving forward considering this new information.
Can you create more of the types of content your audience was most interested in next month?
The more you learn from what resonates with your audience, the better content you’ll be able to create. Follow what works and you’ll reach greater success, faster.