Lessons Learned After 3 Years of Content Marketing
Content marketing is a MUST for every blogger, and if you have read any of my previous posts, you’ll understand the importance I put on this strategy. Through content marketing, you are able to reach an audience that otherwise would be impossible. Google has also emphasized the importance of high quality content because it enhances the user experience. With that said, it’s important that you write content that is in-depth, provides value, provides a solution to a common problem, and is sharable. Why sharable? Social media is increasing the rate at which content is found and discovered. This means the more value you provide, the higher chance of achieving conversions later on.
Content marketing can be used to generate enormous sales, especially if you have a blog that relies on conversions. Many blog simply as a past time, but others do it as a means of survival. For example, like myself, I blog because it’s my main source of income and I need to keep up-to-date with the popular marketing strategies. Today, we’ll be discussing what I’ve learned over 3 years in content marketing. We’ll be looking at such thing like:
- Type of content
- Data driven content
- Importance of SEO in content marketing
Your feedback will be greatly appreciated so please leave your thoughts within the comment box.
Importance of SEO
No matter what type of content you are writing, it’s important that you add the right SEO elements throughout. Google ranks content depending on value and different types of keywords, like long tail, LSI, and loosely connected. This has become more important because of how the user search pattern has been changing lately. For example, people are more precise on what type of content they are looking for so will type long phrases within the search engine. When writing content, it’s important you add a mix of keywords scattered throughout your introduction, body, and conclusion. Here are a few tips to follow.
First, always perform research before getting started because this will help guide your content writing. For example, by having a list of 5-10 keywords, I’ll know what to focus on and will understand the type of content they are looking for. It’ll also allow me to optimize my content by adding some of these keywords within my title, description, and as sub-headings. Researching keywords is NOT difficult because you have several awesome tools that will help you along the way. Here are just a few:
- Google keyword planner
- Google search
- com (great to find other popular content based around your keywords)
- com (another site just like Topsy.com)
Secondly, I always add keywords after writing because it helps with the flow of my content. If I worry about keywords from the start, then I might ruin the flow of my content, which will make it harder for people to understand. The less they understand, the less they’ll share with others within social media.
Third, DO NOT over optimize your content with a single keyword, and it’s important to add a mix of keywords. Change up the anchor text because Google loves variety because of how users have been searching for content.
Timing Does Matter
This can work in two ways:
If you have loyal readers who visit your blog daily, then it’s a great time to post as early as possible in the morning. Monday to Friday posting by 8AM has worked enormously for me because people tend to be skimming the Internet at this time either from home or work. The time gap between 8AM to 11AM has shown the highest engagement, which I feel has a lot to do with recreation time available. From my experience, people arrive at work and will spend the first 30min checking through emails. They’ll then spend time browsing the Internet, visiting blogs they read daily. If you have sent a newsletter to your email list, then the user will open it first thing in the morning, which, again, will increase the rate of engagement. Next,
If you are new to blogging, then posting early in the morning will still increase engagement through social media. My experience has shown me that people tend to be on social media from 8AM to 4PM (Mon-Fri). Again, the visitor will arrive at work and after checking emails, will begin to browse their popular sites, including social media platforms. However, for you to increase engagement on social media, it’s important you know how to use the search and tools available. Let’s take a look at one popular Twitter tool that I have written about before.
hashtagify.me is a tool I’ve been using for years to find popular #hashtags to embed with my tweets. #hashtags are Twitter’s way of organizing the different “tweets” that are posted daily. For example, if I browse over to Twitter and I am looking for content related to blogging, then I can search using #blogging. Twitter will display all the content that has that #hashtag embedded within the “tweet”. This is an awesome tool for those just getting started online and DON’T have a big following as of yet. What enhances the experience even more is when you post a link to high value content on your blog because this can definitely increase engagement. Imagine if your “tweet” gets 1,000 more “retweets” by those with 10,000+ followers? This can have a huge impact on engagement, and can help build your brand within a short period of time.
I’ve noticed both of the strategies work well if you are posting first thing in the morning because around 8AM is when users tend to be skimming online the MOST. In the end, you always have the option of trying different timings until you find one that works even better within your niche.
Data Driven Content
Over the years, I’ve learned that people love to read data driven content. This includes case studies, how-to content, and even infographics (which you’ll learn later on). This type of content tends to be full of substance and cuts much of the tedious work out of performing manual work on your own. For example, if I can find content that has tested different PPC marketing strategies, this will save me money in the long run because I won’t invest in poor quality networks. Next, I’d be happy to share a case study that cuts MOST of the headache for bloggers on my social profile because it does provide value. Here’s another example,
Imagine finding a case study done on email marketing and inbox rates. As marketers, we spend countless hours trying to find the right time to send email follow-ups and what text to include that will help inbox our message. The more we can inbox, the higher chance of the subscriber opening and engaging with the link within the message…right? Personally, I would love for someone to do a case study on this and present the findings because it reduces much of the leg work others have to perform going forward. If you can do this and provide value at the same time, then you have increased the likelihood of ensuring you have a successful content marketing campaign. I often get asked this question: How do you find the best data driven content? Simple…
Start by doing a quick search in Google with “case study” embedded within the search phrase. For example, “CPA case studies” is a great way to find content based on cost per action campaigns. It’s also a great way to find case studies available for you to do. If I type a phrase and I’m NOT able to find any data, then it might be something that can go a long way with my readers, and on social media. The more unique my content, the higher chance of it ranking within the SERP’s, which is great for my bottom line going forward.
Get started now by doing a quick niche related search and find the different case studies available. Create a list and look for a pattern because if you notice something missing, then you can get started on creating your own engaging data driven content. If you do decide to create your own, then do the following:
- Take your time researching.
- Find an awesome way to track your data (MOST IMPORTANT).
- Keep track of the results each week, which will make it easier for you to put content together in the end.
- Always ask people to share because this type of content marketing does very well on social media.
Infographics = Content Marketing Success
Over the years, I’ve seen an awesome pattern developing with infographics. For those of you NOT aware of infographics, they are a content type based on a graphic that includes images, text, video, charts, etc. Many online tools have been created over the last several years to allow bloggers to create them with ease, and this has helped stimulate the growth going forward. However, how does this translate into better content marketing? Infographics have been known to attract more links than traditional content because of the value they provide. They are easy to skim through and efficient when searching for information quickly. This doesn’t mean text content is doing poorly, but you should try incorporating infographics into your marketing. Next,
The Internet has connected people all over the world and infographics are a great way to convey your message. In general, graphics can be understood more clearly than English text for those who speak a different first language. Instead of text content, which can only be read and understand in-depth within North America, you have infographics that people all over the world will share, comment, and even link back to going forward. Next,
Keep in mind, with more link backs, you are securing your long-term traffic success going forward. Google looks at link building patterns over time so having an influx of links over time is a great way to increase your ranks within the SERP’s.
It’s time for me to conclude this content with a few final words.
First, content marketing is the new norm because it provides depth, and can be used as a funnel for high conversions. Content marketing is a great long-term strategy to build traffic momentum going forward because some formats like infographics have a higher link retention rate. Next, as a result of the changes in social media, your content can be shared with more precision. What do I mean? You can share with videos, images, infographics, and even embed a few awesome #hashtags into your “tweet” or “share”. This is important because it increases the likelihood of your content being found, which is important, especially if you are trying to build engagement leading to conversions.
Going forward, it’s important you focus on a few crucial things.
- Write content keeping the user in mind because this is the only way you’ll build a loyal following.
- Always research your topic before getting started because it’ll help guide your content and focus more on your audience.
- Use data within your content because we have learned how this is important to build loyalty and increase link backs to your content.
- Google is your friend and doing a simple “keyword” search can help you find valuable content going forward. These resources can be used to gather additional information about your topic.
- Don’t forget the importance of infographics and how they connect people all over the world. They are easier to understand, which is important for those who don’t speak English as their first language.