By Rob Gilliam
An effective marketing strategy involves planning and direction. Before putting your pen to paper, follow these 7 steps to ensure the content you publish will have the impact you desire.
1. Determine your objectives
What do you want viewers to get out of this content? Is the ultimate goal to create brand or product awareness? Retain existing customers? Create leads?
The goal of this step is to define your exact objective and how exactly your content will achieve that goal. Defining your purpose is essential before further action is taken.
2. Determine how to differentiate yourself
There is a ton, I mean a TON, of content out there. What will you do to make sure your content is viewed? What can you bring to the table that does not already exist?
Content comes in a plethora of varieties. From blogs to webinars to e-books and more. With so many options you need to determine what will be the most effective way to reach your intended viewers and what will differentiate the material you publish.
3. Define and know your audience
Who is this content intended to reach? How do they prefer to consume content? What mediums will they most likely use to find your content?
You need to know your intended audience extremely well. You must know where they go for answers and what form the prefer their content. For some audiences that may be YouTube, while others it may be through a blog. To have the highest impact, the content you produce must match the preferred content type of your intended audience.
4. Ensure you are answering the right questions
How many people are searching your main keywords a month? How hard will it be to rank on Google? Is there any reason to cover this topic?
Goals: relevant topic to your brand = High search volume + low difficulty to rank
Before covering a topic, make sure that topic is being searched. Tools like SEMrush and Hubspot Marketing, allow you to see the monthly keyword search volumes. If your topic has a low search volume, it may not be worth writing about. Similarly, if a topic has been covered extensively by reputable sources, it may have a high ranking difficulty. In this case, you may also want choose a different topic.
5. Build links
Who else is is producing content on this subject? How can I expand on their content? How does my content help theirs?
Content marketing is a strategy game. Everyone playing the game knows the importance of inbound and outbound links. Find relevant content that would benefit from the information you provide and ask for a back-link or to trade links. Asking for links is a time consuming process with a low percentage of success, but a few back-links go a long way in content’s your Google ranking.
6. Measure and track effectiveness
How many people are viewing your content? How many inbound links do you have? Where are you ranking on Google?
Content marketing is a long-term strategy. Your content will not magically jump to the top of Google’s rankings the week you post. It is important to keep track of everything you can when it comes to the content you publish. Keep track of the overall traffic you receive and also where that traffic is coming from. Google Analytics and ahrefs are both great tools to track traffic and links.
7. Provide quality content
Is my content useful? Does my content add real contribution to the subject matter? Is my content presented in a manner consistent with my brand?
It should go without saying, but producing quality content is key. Poor quality content can do more damage to your brand than good. It is imperative that everything you publish is professional, informative, and helpful. People are smart and know the difference between information and filler.
Don’t just publish content. Have a plan, do your research, create quality content and execute your strategy. Content marketing is hard work, but if done right you can generate a large volume organic visitors for years to come.