Before taking any action, we believe it is important to understand why to do something first -content marketing included. We narrowed that focus of understanding to three questions for this article:
- Why content marketing matters
- What marketing content properly creates
- How to implement a strategy in content marketing specific to your situation
As we answer these questions, our intent lies in building a foundation of progressive understanding and recommend reading each section in order. With that said we created a table of contents so you can jump to what you feel is most relevant to you:
- -- Why the future of marketing strategy is content
- -- Marketing content, value proposition and understood results
- -- Content comes first, marketing strategy goes next
- -- Keyword research equals content strategy
- -- Oh no SEO? Oh yes for success
- -- Foundation laid, time to get paid
We hear all over the importance of content marketing. But why? Understanding how marketing has operated historically and the intent behind those efforts provides us relevant insight. Consider how marketing (simplified) has progressed in building awareness:
- Physical mail where advertisements now look like official government correspondence
- Phone calls from people we don't know or even worse, machines
- Banner advertisements on content we wish to visit
- Pop-ups on content we are engaged with
- Link redirects to places we had no intention to visit
- Email desperately needing to become relevant for automated marketing to work
Notice all the above methods have the same intent - to manipulate the behavior of the audience in favor of the content originator (company).
The problem? People are becoming increasingly resistant to being manipulated. This results in lower conversion which drive costs up forcing companies to change.
The intent of proper content marketing does not manipulate. For those that try, they are encountering the same problem as the other methods above.
With the above trend in manipulation decreasing effectiveness, how does a company build awareness? Enter the new marketing concept which exchanges awareness for value as messaging switches from a push to a pull approach. We need information - always. We need it to make decisions and we need it constantly as information changes.
Marketing strategy executed properly as it relates to content stems from providing objective transparency within the communication. The unbiased approach in an explanation helps to breed trust - a fundamental requirement in purchasing decisions. By providing unbiased information of value to the reader, this helps to build trust in the solutions the author provides. In between the lines you communicate that your intent is not to manipulate, but encourage a business exchange by informing in the best interests of the reader.
Subliminally manipulation communicates the following: Author > Reader
Subliminally unbiased content communicates the following: Reader > Author
It means just that. Write content that provides knowledge which increases the value a customer would get from your offering. Concepts like how it works maybe a start, but why it matters and what situation(s) your offering serves matter even more. Tell the story, provide a natural flow and discuss thoughts around the situation your offering applies to rather than the offering itself. This conveys a sense of understanding to the reader.
How to start? I present you Sean Connery to say a few words on the concept of writing:
Write for you, share with others. Write from your heart first, edit with your head second.
After you write your content, then search for different keywords and combinations that describe it. I personally prefer searching for keyword combinations that have no bid value on adwords with at least one hundred searches per month. Look for various combinations and right them all down. Try to start by searching various single words first. At the end, having a list of ten to thirty combinations will help with the next step.
- URL: the words at the end of the webpage address are what matter (ie: www.christianoferraro.com/pages/content-marketing-strategy-the-definitive guide)
- Page Title: the title of the page (apply the H1 heading at the same time which tells search engines that these primary words describe the content)
- Meta Title: the title used for displaying what appears in search results (70 characters or less)
- Meta Description: the description used for displaying what appears in search results (160 characters or less)
The first two to three words matter the most. Try to pick a three word combination that covers anywhere from two to four keywords. (ie: Content Marketing Strategy --> Content Marketing, Marketing Strategy, Content Marketing Strategy and may rank for Content Strategy as well)
Now that you have completed the above, it's time to get your message out there. Some outreach works better than others. I would recommend working with a trusted off-page SEO provider to help get your content noticed. You can also take a look at this list of marketing methods online - most of which are free as well.