If you own a business and you are looking to reach out to your audience and attract new potential customers, then you may have heard of the term ‘Content Marketing’.
Content marketing refers to the utilisation of online content such as social media to attract interest and boost traffic to your products and services. While searching for a way to do this, your competitors most likely will have also heard or already know of it.
So how do you get ahead of the game and remain one step ahead? In this guide, we will introduce you to the basics of content marketing, the benefits of utilising it, as well as providing you with a beginner’s walkthrough of how exactly to get started with some strategies.
- What is content marketing?
- What are the benefits?
- Content marketing strategies to get you started
- The bottom line
What is content marketing?
Online marketing can be challenging as you have many competitors fighting for the attention of an audience and ads alone just won’t cut it.
Content marketing is an extra strategy to help you gain a competitive edge in attracting customers through the content you share with them.
Here are some examples:
- Free tools
- Social media
- And more
Although you may already be familiar with some of these as marketing mediums, a content marketing campaign is going to take it a step further.
Content marketing by definition is the act of providing content to your audience in return for increased traffic to your site. Which is a perfect opportunity to subtly promote your product or service to the reader without sounding like a sellout.
Here’s an example of a content marketing strategy:
This is an informational blog from Lifehacker, the content of this blog is the tutorial on how to defragment a computer drive.
It generates traffic from readers through the use of keywords and keeps them interested by providing the information they came for.
The marketing part is the link to a product and the example using said product, which is the program in the subheading in this picture.
If you are promoting this product, you have just made your target audience aware of the product while their attention is on your tutorial.
The transition from content into marketing is as seamless as possible, introducing your product is part of the content itself. So you’ve got your content, but how will you get it to show up on Google searches? The answer is keywords.
If you need a primer on that, we’ve got you covered in the walkthrough below.
What are the benefits of content marketing?
Bringing in traffic is the number one benefit to content marketing, which leads to awareness and interest in your product or service.
This is the web traffic of Wordtracker, a free tool site.
If you’ve clicked the link to see this example, you will notice that they provide a free trial to use the tool at the top, the USP in the middle, and a call to action for a 27 dollar signup at the end.
Despite the simplicity of the strategy employed here, you may be surprised to learn that there has been a 119% growth from just Thailand alone! This site ranks second on Google search results.
As we can see here, content marketing does provide results in the form of more visits to the site. You can access these web traffic results on Similarweb, a free analytics tool.
Some of you may have also noticed what we’ve just done.
You have just been made aware of two free content tools, provided a navigation point to them and seen one being put to credible use.
That’s content marketing right there.
Content marketing strategies to get you started
Now that we’ve covered the basics of content marketing and the importance of it, let’s walk through some of the strategies that will help you reach your goals.
Keeping your audience’s attention on your content long enough for you to deliver your marketing is difficult, but very much achievable.
Let’s keep it simple.
Think of it as a give and take relationship with your target audience. You provide them with something of use or interest to your specific target audience, which can come in many forms through many mediums, we will get into this later.
In return, they bring traffic to the site and potentially any sites linked. They become aware of your product or services, and when they think of the subject in your content, your brand will be top-of-mind.
Getting your page to rank up higher on the search results
Any strategy is useless if you can’t get it to show up on the first page of Google. So what is it that makes the search engine ranking tick?
The Google search results are ranked based on multiple factors, some of the most relevant to you are:
- Knowing your search intent: i.e. The search query ‘Cheap running shoes’ are going to get you mostly merchandise pages and catalogues
- Click-through-rate: Percentage of people that click onto your site through the search results
- Bounce rate: The number of people that click onto your site then immediately go back to the search results page
- Dwell time: How long people stay on your page before returning to the search engines results page
- Target keywords: What keywords you target and where they are on your page
- Backlinks: Links from other domains pointing to your page
- Wordcount: 2,000 words or more is an ideal word count for a blog to show up higher on the search results (Source: Moz)
- URLs: This tells both Google and users what the site is about even before they click on the link
- Technical SEO: If technicals aren’t your forte, that’s fine. The reason an SEO company or agency’s services exists for, we can help you with that
Chances are you’ve heard of this before. Keywords are crucial to successful content marketing. It is what makes your content show up in searches and what people look for to find what they need.
Let’s start with some ground rules.
- Don’t stuff your page with the same keywords: You get penalised for this by the algorithm and it’s not appealing to read what is essentially spam.
- Don’t use keywords unrelated to your content if possible: It confuses both the readers when they skim and search engines when they crawl your page. Not a good thing if you want your page ranking higher.
With that out of the way, keywords are relatively simple to understand and use. You can use one of the many available tools out there for finding keywords such as WordStream or the previously mentioned Wordtracker.
As you can see in the image above, the keyword ‘laptops’ is associated with multiple other keywords which in this case are specific laptop models and their brands.
You can put this to use by including them in your page. A good way of doing this is by putting it in the H2 subheadings. For example, if your H1 is “12 Best ways to lose weight in 2022” then one of your H2s might be “#6: Keto fat burner diet”
It doesn’t need to be the exact keyword either. If you want to say laptops but you don’t want to repeat it too often you could also use semantically related or equivalent keywords such as ‘notebooks’.
An important thing to note when putting keywords in headings and subheadings is keeping in mind what people will take note of when they are skimming through and what the search engine bot looks for.
Let’s get you started on some simple strategies for content marketing.
Blogs come in varieties and provide content for its specific target audience. Entertainment, informational, educational. You name it you’ve got it.
You are reading one targeting an audience interested in content marketing right now.
Here’s how you make something similar. Let’s say you’ve got an online educational platform selling online classes you want to promote sales of its services and increase the revenue it brings in.
Find a topic of interest to your likely target demographic, students. Then write something of specific interest to a part of that specific demographic niche. A smooth call-to-action in the middle or at the end will be the sales pitch.
In this specific example, we will target history students. Particularly late classical and early medieval history students. Start with a hook, something specific your target audience will be searching for.
‘Pre-tagmata proto-byzantine army’ is a title that would be of great interest to specifically students searching for late roman warfare, early byzantine army and the campaigns of Belisarius.
The content you provide them with needs to be relevant to them and keep their interest. Which means that you need to talk like they talk and know what you are talking about.
“The late roman army is often poorly depicted and plagued by misconceptions today. Taking a glance at the evidence available, however, we can see a very different and detailed description in Maurice’s Strategikon.
A major shift in focus of the late roman army is the transition from heavy infantry to heavy cavalry in importance. The Strategikon details this brief period’s premier force, the bucellarii, in vivid detail of its constitution and recruitment. Let’s draw a picture based on the descriptions emperor Maurice provides…”
Talk about it, share your knowledge, make content. That’s what they are here for and that is what you will provide. The next question you should ask yourself is, how do you sneak your marketing into this? The answer is: at the bottom or in links and call-to-action buttons.
“… the Romans adapted as a result of the change in foes and climate they faced in this period such as Maurice adopting Avar tents for his forces as one of the many examples of this. You can learn about the world and civilizations around and in conflict with them in the courses on Roman history provided in TheGreatCoursesPlus….”
You can draw parallels from this example with what’s been applied in this blog itself.
This is an evolutionary biology video by Tierzoo, targeted at the young student demographic. It’s entertaining and appealing to its specific target as well as being informational, pay special attention to the ad transition he makes at the end of this video.
Slick transitions can be just as entertaining as the content provided. Same principles apply here, he is providing content for views and the opportunity to sponsor a service to the viewers.
This here is an easy one- if you’ve got a product or service developed that is. We’ve provided multiple examples of this but let’s break one of them down together.
We are using Wordtracker as an example once more.
The first thing you see is the free tool, people that want to use this tool can immediately see and use this.
This is good since it is fast and easy to access, and it isn’t hard to get to. The web layout is also appealing and people are unlikely to bounce off to other search results which is why it is important to keep things easy on the eyes and simple to access.
Immediately below is an example of the tool in use. This reinforces credibility and gives the visitor to the site an idea of what they are getting into. If the user interface is good then this is a great way to show it off and attract potential users
This transitions immediately to a comparison against the competition, here is the place you should put your USP on in the highlight as your pitch to the person viewing this. Customer testimonials are a helpful asset to follow this up with.
You should by now have a very good idea of what is coming next. That’s right, it’s a call to action.
You want to target a target audience that is already your customer base. There’s a new product you want to introduce and your customers are the perfect target audience.
Here is an email example of an email to someone who is already a user of a subscribed free tool.
Take note of the last two lines and how he personalised the email. It is addressed to the person in name, has a call to action at the bottom in a way that is easy to approach and is not impersonal or cold.
The bottom line
Create valuable content for your target audience to use. Persuade them before even introducing them to what you are promoting.
Engage your audience, entertain and interest them at the same time if possible. The more they can relate the better, a ‘made by users for users’ theme if you will.
So now you are on your way to growing as a content marketer, armed with the knowledge to apply to your business. Content marketing is a challenging and constantly changing field, please feel free to contact Morphosis, our SEO agency in Bangkok for assistance.