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

What is content marketing and what purpose does it serve? One of the several definitions provided by the Content Marketing Institute, and possibly the definition that makes the best sense to the average small business owner, states as follows:

“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.”

Client acquisition requires  you to drive visitors to a sales funnel and you need to do so in an unobtrusive manner. Your content must not be self-centred and overly promotional in nature. People no longer respond when the feel they are “being sold to”.

The content you publish on your website or blog needs to be informative and relevant to a user’s need, interest and motivation. 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 with a view of acquiring marketing leads, and building an audience that can subsequently be converted 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 similar to 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 the introduction to your content with the realisation that you have about 4-5 seconds to raise interest and curiosity. Use emotional triggers to capture attention.
  8. Where possible, present a unique point of view. If you can, state this opinion in your opening sentence. There’s not much purpose in repeating what everybody else has written. Be unique but acknowledge other’s point of view.
  9. Embed LSI words and phrases where they fit naturally. These are words and phrases that, based on LSA analysis, that should appear in the article.
  10. Always think about the user experience. Use relevant images and possibly video to draw interest. Always remember people who read your content on a mobile device. Don’t write long-winded paragraphs.
  11. Finally, make sure your website content is readable on mobile devices. 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? There’s not much purpose in broadcasting to an empty stadium now, is it?

Let’s explore the power of what is called the convergence of paid, owned, shared, and earned media. Follow the link to The Power of Converged Media on this site.

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

  1. Bookmark you content to a wide selection of sites using a bookmarking service like SocialAdr.
  2. Tweet about you content on Twitter and include a link back to your website.
  3. Write a brief post about your content on Facebook and, again,  include a link to the full content.
  4. Do the same on Facebook and LinkedIn group boards where you are a member.
  5. Consider re-purposing the content as a slide presentation and publish it on SlideShare and other slide presentation sites.
  6. 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.
  7. Endeavour to generate earned media. These are attributions you earn by people sharing, commenting, liking or linking to your content on social media channels.
  8. Finally, consider paid media which is paid advertising. For example, you can boost a particular 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 yourcontent.

 

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