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The bar for effective content marketing has risen quite a few notches. The Internet is now a huge information repository, a crowded marketplace where everybody is seeking attention. Information overload and ad blindness are facts of life.

What is content marketing? What purpose does it serve? The Content Marketing Institute offers the following definition:

“Content marketing is the process of developing and sharing relevant, valuable, and engaging content to a target audience with the goal of acquiring new customers or increasing business from existing customers.”

To acquire new clients, you have to drive visitors to a sales funnel. You must do so in an unobtrusive manner. Do not publish content that is self-centred and overly promotional. People no longer respond when the feel they are “being sold to”.

The website content you publish must be informative and relevant. When people search the Internet, they express these requirements as a search query which expresses their search intent.

Content Marketing in a Crowded Marketplace

As an experienced content marketer, here’s my 10-point outline on how to write and promote content to acquire leads and to convert these leads to buying customers.

  1. Analyse your niche market and discover what people need and want.
  2. Use an appropriate tool to find one main keyword and two secondary keywords. You don’t need any more.
  3. Use an LSI tool (latent semantic indexing) to find theme-related words and phrases and include these in your content. Google uses latent semantic analysis as a ranking factor for relevance. Writers need to do the same. You can use a free at tool like LSI Keyword Research Tool , or you can splurge and buy Web Content Studio.
  4. Find the top ten ranked websites for your main keyword. Analyse their content. What’s their storyline? Is their content relevant and valuable? What is missing? How can you add viewpoints not covered by others?
  5. Use a tool like BuzzSumo and search your main keyword. What content is popular and most shared? Find topics like these to write about.
  6. You must create a top-notch title for your content. If possible, include your main keyword at the front of the title. Also, include a “hook” that attracts attention.
  7. Write and introduction that captures attention. You have about 4-5 seconds to raise interest and curiosity. Use emotional triggers to capture attention.
  8. Present a unique point of view and state this opinion in your opening sentence. Don’t be lazy and repeat what everybody else has written. Be unique but acknowledge other’s point of view.
  9. Embed LSI words and phrases where they fit. These are words and phrases that, based on LSA analysis, should appear in the article.
  10. Always think about the user experience. Use relevant images and video to draw interest. Always remember people who read your content on a mobile device. Don’t write long-winded paragraphs. Try the Google  Mobile-Friendly test.  With up to 70% of people accessing the Internet on smartphones, it is important.

Content Promotion

How are people going to find your content? The content has to reach your audience and attract their attention.

People will find your content through organic search on search engines, on social media channels, or through paid advertising.

Here’s what you can do to promote your content and attract traffic to your website.

  1. Use paid advertising. If you have no experience in this field, learn audience targeting by using Facebook Promoted Posts, At US$10 per promoted post, it’s inexpensive.
  2. Bookmark you content to a wide selection of sites using a bookmarking service like SocialAdr.
  3. Tweet about you content on Twitter and include a link back to your website.
  4. Write a brief post about your content on Facebook and include a link to the full content.
  5. Do the same on Facebook and LinkedIn group boards where you are a member.
  6. Consider re-purposing the content as a slide presentation and publish it on SlideShare and other slide presentation sites.
  7. You can also re-purpose the content as a video. If you don’t have the skills, look for an inexpensive service on Fiverr.com.
  8. Generate earned media. These are attributions you earn by people sharing, commenting, liking or linking to your content on social media channels.
  9. Finally, consider paid media which is paid advertising. You can boost a post on Facebook, advertise on Twitter or LinkedIn, or any other advertising platform.

Do not link a paid advertisement directly to a Sales Page. Instead, link it to your content. Include the link to your opt-in or sales page somewhere in the middle or the end of your content.

To discover the power in the convergence of paid, owned, shared, and earned media, follow the link to The Power of Converged Media on this site.

 

Recommended Further Reading

>How to Generate Content Ideas Using BuzzSumo by Paddy Moogan, Moz.

Simple Steps for Conducting Creative Content Research, by Hannah Smith

 

 

 

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Published author and freelance writer