Content Marketing is not necessarily a new strategy. Companies have been blogging for years and years so one part of “content marketing” is nothing new. But with the rise of social media, especially Facebook and to a lesser extent Google Plus, content marketing, has acquired new functionality and importance.
So, just what is Content Marketing? In the simplest sense, it is a strategy to write blog posts that answer questions, such as, “What are the best sunglasses for golf?” “When is the best time to see the Northern Lights in Iceland?” People are using the internet for these kinds of queries all the time. And, because there is very little online competition for these kinds of queries, it is pretty easy for your content to rank high enough to be found in search. Over time, the traffic from these blog visits can be significant.
There’s another use for these blog posts that adds a new dimension to their utility and this is the more modern part of “content marketing.” This other part involves using social media, especially Facebook and Google+. By posting your blog to Facebook, and using the promoted post function (small budget), you increase the odds of a person repurposing/reposting your content which turns the link(s) in your blog into a valuable backlink.
Content Marketing as a link development (LD) technique? Yup. Really, it’s is one of the few ways people have of any kind of link development these days. Google has very effectively shut down just about all forms of LD. If SEO professionals had an LD toolbox, it is now reduced to a couple of tools, and this is one of them. Unfortunately the link development portion of Content Marketing is very indirect and not something that you can control. Think of it more as a happy outcome to a good content marketing strategy that, of course, includes interesting and engaging blog posts.
Before you run off and start blogging, it is important to know that effective Content Marketing is intimately linked to Social Media Marketing (SMM). That is, for the LD portion to work well, it is important that you have a decent Facebook following. If your company’s Facebook page has a small number of likes, your post will not be exposed to enough people. For this reason, we recommend starting some form of SMM. Unfortunately, really “turning on social media” is a whole other strategy and too detailed for a proper vetting in this article. Suffice to say, it is important to start posting regularly to Facebook and, if you can afford it, launch an ad to get more likes. This works well.
The next component is Google +. When you post your blogs to Facebook, you should also post them to your Google + page. This can help with authorship issues (Sorry, another article) and give your blog posts an advantage in search (yet, another post).
I am excluding Twitter from this blog mostly for the sake of simplicity. If you have a decent Twitter following, then by all means post here as well. Many, unfortunately, do not have much of a Twitter following; this is a big job all by itself.
So how many blogs should I be writing? The answer to that will depend on two main things: A.) How much bandwidth you or a content writer have to dedicate to Content Marketing and B.) How many QUALITY posts you or your team can write. Yes, you can outsource but be careful about quality. And, sometimes this avenue can be inefficient because they (the outsourced) don’t know your subject matter as well as you and, subject matter is critical. It needs to be relevant to your customers; it needs to be useful too! And, these blog posts do NOT need to be long, so don’t be afraid to dive in and add Content Marketing to your arsenal of Internet Marketing techniques.
The following are set of Content Marketing strategies that Gravity Internet Marketing uses for its clients that have proven to be highly successful (some of these are more advanced):
- Social Media Marketing
- Blog content research – this can be done using your own Google Analytics and other tools!
- Developing a content calendar
- Developing customer segments
- Developing writing resources – someone has to write the blogs!
- Research and planning Keyword targets for Link Development (SEO portion) – don’t be spammy!
- Learning which blog posts are worth promoting in Facebook
- Using Google Analytics to see traffic growth
- Using link research software to validate growth in backlinks
- Setting up site conversion and attribution metrics in Google Analytics
Well there you go, Content Marketing explained and some instructions to hopefully get you started. If you need some expert help, don’t hesitate to contact us!