Is your content hitting the mark? Is it reaching your target audience? Are they engaging with your content through all that noise and clutter on the web and shining through on searches. We’re all looking for ways to improve results, so here are some content marketing secrets will help you achieve more.
Every industry has its nuances and idiosyncrasies, but in today’s digital-first world, simply creating and publishing a handful of blogs isn’t going to get you noticed and drive growth. Its competitive out there with almost 70% of businesses actively investing in content marketing.
1. Identify the right keywords
Creating content that’s aligned to the best keywords for your website, business and target audience is essential. Understanding what your prospective customers are searching for is your guide to what subjects and topics you need to create content for.
This involves finding out three key pieces of information
- The keywords that people are using to search for products or services like yours
- The volume of searches relating to each of them
- How difficult it will be to rank for each keyword (this is derived from how many existing pages or authoritative sites perform well in search results using those keywords)
All of a sudden, creating content doesn’t feel so simple or straightforward. But if you want to see the results from your efforts you need to think about this as a data-driven approach. This data will help you find your SEO ‘sweet spot’ – a balance between a reasonable amount of traffic, but not so popular that there are already lots of other websites dominating. If you are the new kid, it will be hard to get the results.
So where do you find all this data? There are plenty of websites to help you, some free and some come at a price. Here are just a few
- Google Adwords – keyword planner. Its free but you will need to set up and account
- Ahrefs – paid tool with initial free trial
- Adword and SEO keyword Permutation Generation is a free tool
- KWFinder – monthly subscription but initial free trial available
- SEMrush – monthly subscription but free trial available and can be switched on and off
- Moz – a paid platform with free initial trials
- Ubersuggest – is a great free tool, but the paid version
- Similarweb – initial free offering with a monthly subscription
- SuggestedQueries – free tool
- SheerSEO – with free version
2. Hook your reader with content and a title that connects
Today we are bombarded and overloaded with information and content, so as individuals how do we decide what we want to read. Even more important for ‘time-poor’ individuals. Content is all about delivering valuable information.
Ideally a great headline: that’s the first hook that creates a promise of what is to come. Hopefully your content exceeds the expectations. This is the power of words. A word can change mood, meaning and motivation and with around 171,146 words in the English language we’re spoilt for choice.
One word can change the way you feel about an action button on a website or the title of a post on social media.
Inherently humans are emotional beings, you click on a title or headline because a single word or group of words strikes you. The likelihood of you clicking on a button labelled ‘join’, sign-up’, or ‘free’ is the power of emotion.
Intrigue, interest, fascination and appeal is the emotional hook that makes your audience want to take the next step to read your content. So think about your hook. Check out this infographic which gives some tips on surprising words that attract and get shared ‘the surprising words that get shared’.
3. Have a strategy
Having a content strategy enables you stay focused on creating the content that works for your business and that’s right for your audience. It also helps in measuring your performance and successes and prevents creating content around personal interests. Although I’d encourage writing content with keywords and rankings in mind, don’t get fixated on them. Creating content that others are not can show off your individuality and thought leadership. Think about other forms of content that help you stand out such as
- First hand knowledge and experience from your business. Results, surveys and reports that draw on know-how and wisdom
- Share your thoughts on emerging industry trends that matter to your audience. This could be in the form of an infographic
- Look at your content that has performed poorly and update them
The key is to tailor your content to your audience, their interests, needs, challenges and issues.
One of the little gems of content marketing secrets is to create content that is clustered around a specific topic can really aid in being focussed, but also help build your authority around a specific theme. This will encourage a balance between search-focused and thought leadership content, whilst aligning to the problems and challenges your business solves for your customers.
4. Avoid feast or famine
Your strategy will set you up for success, but be realistic. Creating content is a essential enabler to attracting and engaging new customers, but don’t over stretch yourself in terms of what you can create and produce. This is where many businesses fall down, by trying to achieve too much.
Avoid the pitfall of creating content for the sake of it. What you create needs to be beneficial so think about being consistent and regular with your content. Your content needs to positively impact your audience and contribute to your bottom line. And most of all avoid feast or famine, with some weeks sharing a high volume of content and zero in other weeks.
Although your business is unique, don’t let that cause a barrier to outsourcing content creation. Copywriters can be a great extension to your internal knowledge and capabilities. An experienced copywriter will be able to create the right tone and deliver content faster than someone who is not an experienced or natural writer.
5. Repurpose, recycle, remix
Don’t be fooled that you need to create new and fresh every time. Businesses don’t make the most of the content they already have. One of the real secrets of creating that steady stream of content is to repurpose, recycle or remix what you have. Reusing some parts of existing content in a different format will save you time.
For example, turn a blog into a small number of social media posts. Consolidate the essential tips and takeaways of a blog into a video or story. Package quotes from content into tweetable nuggets. Slice and dice your content to maximise the return on the time, cost and effort of creating it.
When you do this, just be sure when you remix your content it remains useful, relevant and is not just a straight copy. Google does not like duplicate content.
Content marketing secrets revealed
Creating content takes time, but it’s worth it if you focus on creating content that your audience want to read. No matter your business niche, to succeed with your content, its important to invest the time creating your building blocks. Stay focused on creating quality content that’s informative and valuable to your customers and prospects.
With so much free content available, you will have to work hard to stand out, that’s what the content marketing secrets are designed to help you with.