Content marketing, you increasingly hear that companies want to do something with it. It is precisely this that ensures that it is used far too often, without having a good look at what it yields. What is really important in content marketing nowadays? What do you do or do not do when you start using it?
Over the past 2.5 years, I have faced such decisions in my job every day. What is handy to do and what does it really deliver? I would like to share the best practices with you on the basis of the 5 essential parts of content marketing. Towards more traffic and more importantly, conversion!
What is the added value of good content marketing?
Whatever industry you work in, content marketing is a valuable addition to your marketing mix. Blog content is one of the most important marketing channels for Send Cloud, the company where I work. With more than 40%, SEO is number two in generating traffic. In addition to traffic, content can also provide leads, sales and subscriptions to the newsletter, provided that it is carried out well, of course. Content marketing also supports us in creating brand awareness and thought leadership.
Now we are a SaaS business (software as a service) and you can ask yourself if it is valuable for your company. It is not about writing blogs or scoring on Google. Of course, those are means to achieve your goals. But no, the essence of content marketing is that you can teach your (potential) customers something. On the one hand about your product, and on the other about your industry. You are (and your product is) the solution to the problems they are struggling with.
And yet it often goes wrong, content does not yield what you had in mind. Why? Because you have to publish the best content there is!
1 Give goals to your content marketer
It sounds obvious, but you also need separate goals for content. That is often not the case. A marketing team has goals and content marketing must contribute to that. That is why it is best to set sub goals for content.
Be the first to find out what currently works best for you. Does email marketing work best for you? Then content marketing could help to collect e-mail addresses. When search engine traffic often leads to sales, make traffic a separate goal for your content marketing strategy.
The key question that you should always ask yourself is: what do I want to achieve with (exclusively) creating content for my target group? Make sure that you link your content to a specific promotion that you need from the reader. So, do you want to increase traffic with your content? Then write the best content available, so that you rank at number 1 and don’t forget to optimize the meta description, so that it is actually clicked on and you can increase your traffic.
2 Use the right tools
Tools are crucial when it comes to content. They will help you to write the best content, rank high in Google and the most important thing is to let readers convert. Exactly in that order, I list a number of essential tools for you. I use these tools myself weekly and with results!
Determining the subject
Without tools, it is quite difficult to know what you want to write about. In addition, it is also a waste of your time to spend hours on Google searching for what is already available in your field and what you can still contribute. That is why my search always starts with finding keywords via the Google Keyword Planner, SEMRush and Uber suggest . Thanks to these tools you can find relevant keywords for your product, see how much is searched for these words on average and you will also get new ideas for future articles.
Writing the article
Once you start writing your article, it is important that this article rank high to stand out. In addition, there must also be clicked. The more people read and share your article, the better it is for your Google rating. When you use Word Press, the Yoast SEO plugin is indispensable; it shows you exactly what you need to do to optimize your article for SEO. The CoSchedule headline analyzer also helps you write a title that people cannot ignore. The title is the calling card of your article. Without a good title, no readers!
Apart from the fact that you have to score an article on every level, it is also important that you encourage your readers to take action. That is why it is important to use a tool with which you can add opt-ins to your blog in total, but also in separate articles. Therefore link relevant opt-ins to your articles via tools such as Sumo, Privy, Get Site control, Convertful and more. So many different tools have now been developed that it is difficult to make a recommendation for this. In any case, look at the integrations of the tool, so that leads are automatically stored in your CRM system or email marketing program.
3 Focus on quality factors
If you do it, you must do it well. A lot of articles have been written and Google only shows what is good for its users. But what is right? First of all, the content must be good. Therefore, check which articles have already been written about the subject and try to “overrule” them. For example, if there are articles written about “the 5 best”, try making 10. Be as complete as possible in your description and do not turn it into a commercial piece. In addition, it is important that the topics are close to your knowledge and expertise. You may want to write everything that your target group is looking for, but if the link with your company is not clear then you will not get results from the article itself.
In addition, I have analyzed many articles myself and I can tell you that quality is about quantity. What is quality? Rate your article on a number of factors:
– Solve a problem: does your content not answer a question or does it not solve a problem? Then your article has little added value.
– In-depth articles score better: be as specific as possible. When you write about anything that an article wants to write, it will not rank and visitors will not be able to quickly find what they are looking for.
– Longer articles score better: Articles with 1250 words or more score higher in Google and receive more social shares.
– Make it scanable : Make your article scanable and divide it into clear paragraphs
– Add UX: Provide navigation in your article when you create content guns. If your article contains so many words (2000-3000) and paragraphs, make sure that you make them clickable. That way, visitors always find the answer to the question and they no longer go back to Google for another article (and you will be punished).
– Don’t forget the visuals : The eye wants something and we people are lazy. Therefore, make sure that you add images that support your text. Don’t know where you can get the images from? No problem, we have listed 40 useful sites for you.
In addition, the question arises at many companies: should we place more or fewer articles? It seems simple, more articles are more likely to rank high in Google. Have you ever thought about the fact that you also have to keep track of all those articles; no information is useful to out-dated information. Beyond that, you better focus on super relevant articles that actually have a link with your product or company.
4 Measuring is knowing and helping to convert
If you have done your best to publish high quality content, it is important to know if it works. Nevertheless, the measurement aspect is often forgotten. This is a waste of your budget and time of course. How do you measure what your created content has delivered?
First of all, it is important to always link UTM codes to your URL when you share them on external channels such as social media. With UTM codes you can see exactly which content scores best and where.
In addition, you can see at a higher level how high your article is, what the CTR is and how many unique visitors it has delivered. Google Analytics and the Google Search Console are useful tools.
When you have set goals via Google Analytics, you can also see if there are articles that generate direct sales. Content marketing will generally help in the generation of “micro-conversions” where readers have entered an opt-in. Because of the questions you ask in the opt-in, you can qualify leads afterwards. Make sure you have a good follow-up flow with your sales department and preferably also automatically.
Last but not least, it is important to check at article level how much time readers spend on the article and how high the bounce rate is. Articles that score well in all possible ways, so filled-in opt-ins, direct sales but also a long “time on page” and a low bounce rate indicate that the subject contributes to your goals.
You can use this information smartly by dividing the subject into smaller subjects and other forms of content. That takes less time, increases results and ensures that you become indispensable on the web.
5 Go beyond your own channel
Also think further than your own channels. You can also create content for others. This does not necessarily mean that you have to generate as many backlinks as possible, but ensure synergy! Just think of the subjects that your target group is looking for, but for which you are not a specialist. You can look for new collaborations and ask them to write a guest blog for your channel. This allows you to rank high with more articles, without it costing you a lot of time, but you also ensure that your partner regains more visibility. Conversely, you can do exactly the same for external channels.
Returning to the backlinks. What about 2018/2019? Backlinks give your website authority, which is good for your ranking in Google. Now it is not the backlinks themselves that ensure that your article scores well. The point is that you write such a good article, so that others will refer to it, so that you will eventually rank well.
Going viral is therefore very important here and that is only possible if you come up with valuable content, which again solves a problem or answers a question.
There is a lot involved in content marketing and hopefully I have given you a number of key learning’s. I also learn from the profession every day and that makes it so much fun! In addition, the internet never stands still and it is therefore important to stay up to date with the latest developments and updates from Google. The most important thing that we always and all have to remember is: quality comes first in quantity and we can only offer this if we offer problem-solving content.
I wish you a lot of success and results. If you have any useful tips yourself, please let me know. I’m curious!