Content marketing is a huge business. Companies need it as a critical part of their digital presence. To get the content they need, they either hire in-house staff or outsource the function to freelancers or writing services. And they pay for online advertising as well. All in all, for 2019, it is estimated that it will end up being a $300 billion industry.
The whole point of content marketing is this: driving traffic to a website where products and/or services are offered and convincing visitors that they should purchase them. But these efforts require strategies for resonating with your target audience, for being “found,” and for crafting content that is creative and provides value.
Here are five of them.
1. Tell Stories
Everyone loves a story. And by telling stories, you can attract your audience and engage in indirect marketing. No one wants a hard sell today, so just don’t do it.
You can tell stories about how you began your business and what your mission is; you can tell the stories of satisfied customers; you can tell stories of community or charitable evens in which your company has participated. All of these things build a relationship with your audience members, and they “connect” with your brand.
2. Identify Your Audience’s Needs
There are several things you need to do to discover the needs/wants of your audience:
- This is a complex task but one that cannot be ignored. If you do not have a handle on your audience, their pain points, and their needs, then your content cannot reflect those things. If you have not already done so, you need to conduct the research on your audience that will reveal everything you need to know about them. There is a lot of data out there, and you need to tap into it.
- Check out your competition. Who are they appealing to in their blogs and their social media accounts? These are your customers too.
- Survey your current customers and email subscribers. Just ask. What type of information do they want? Most are happy to complete surveys and give their opinions. This can be a great resource when determining the topics for your blogs, your social media posts, and on your website too.
3. Be Creative
There is an ocean of content out there, and yours has to be unique and engaging. That content should include the following:
- Compelling titles, whether that is for a blog article, a social media post, or an email subject line. These will engage a reader immediately and make him want to have a look at what your content is all about.
- Use humor and entertain your audience a bit. Everyone appreciates humor, and if you know your audience, you will create the humor they appreciate
- Inspire your audience occasionally. Many brands do this with appeals to “doing good.” Check out Toms Shoes and their one-for-one giving program. You can do something similar, even on a smaller scale.
- Use visuals, videos, and other media. Research shows that readers/viewers prefer visuals to text and actually absorb it 60,000X faster than text. Plus, your customers are busy and on the go. They would rather “see” than “read.”
- When you must use text, be certain that it is in a style and tone that fits your audience. There is a huge difference between appealing to a Gen Z audience and senior citizens. And be certain that it is broken up into scannable and snackable chunks for easier reading. Vocabulary is important too – keep it at about the 7th-grade reading level.
The actual creation of content is a “tall order.” If you are concerned about your ability to do all of this, then it might be wise to contract with a writing service that has the copywriting experts you need. You need to do a bit of research and find the best writing companies that have journalists and creative writers to craft your content for you.
4. SEO – It’s Critical
You have to become somewhat of an SEO expert. How do you do this? Well, there are several steps to take:
- Do the keyword research. You can use any number of tools to find the most popular keywords/keyword phrases, and they must be included in your content if search engines are to find you.
- You also need to understand the latest algorithms that Google is using to index and rank content. Your content must be unique; it must engage audiences and cause them to share your content with others.
- You will need to find “influencers” in your niche who are willing to post your articles so that you can get backlinks to your content.
- Set up collaborative relationships with reputable and related businesses to promote each other’s content. Be careful to avoid any collaborations with businesses that are not related or whose reputations are suspect. You will be penalized for this.
- Be certain to add a major keyword in your title and in the first paragraph of your content
- Do not stuff keywords into your content – again, you will be penalized – but focus on the few most popular ones.
5. Add Share Buttons
You want your content spread among your audience’s communities. They are your potential customers too. Place them strategically throughout your content and focus on those social media platforms your target audience uses. Content spread means brand spread, and if you always have links back to your website, your traffic will increase.
In the End…
Increasing traffic to your website is a complex task. It involves all of the four tips listed above and then some. Do not take your content marketing lightly. It is critical for the spreading of your brand and getting your targets to visit your website. Proceed deliberately.