The backbone of digital marketing continues to be content marketing. According to a survey by Semrush, 97% of survey respondents (1,500 businesses in over 20 industries) stated that content was an integral part of their overall marketing strategy. But to be successful in content marketing, you must go beyond writing a few posts here and there.
Content marketers understand that various factors impact a piece’s success, including the number of backlinks, website authority, and SEO readability. And even if you do everything right, you still might end up with a dud post.
The team at The Loop Marketing wants to help elevate you and your marketing strategy this year, so we put together a list of 6 easy ways to win at content marketing to give you the best opportunity to rank on Google, drive leads to your website, and increase conversions.
Table of Contents
Why Does My Business Need Content Marketing?
Content marketing isn’t only blogs- content strategy includes developing different forms of writing (blog posts, ebooks, and pillar pages), video, and various other forms of content (including but not limited to podcasts, infographics, and webinars).
If you are a business with a web presence, you may have realized the importance of content marketing. As a brand, you have an opportunity to show that you are an expert in the field by creating expanded content or blogs. This content encourages visitors to return to your site and brings new customers interested in your content.
Through content marketing, you’ll utilize the power of the Google algorithm to drive traffic to your website. Successful content marketers understand that there are various types of traffic and posts depending on what step in the funnel they may be on.
While blog posts aren’t for every business, content marketing is. Depending on your audience and type of business, marketing strategies can evolve into full-fledged Youtube channels to a podcasting network.
At The Loop Marketing, we take the time before you sign up to identify which types of content are best for your business.
6 Easy Ways to Win at Content Marketing
Content marketing is almost a science: with endless data points and research available, there is enough information to give yourself a fighting chance against some of the biggest names on the internet. Remember, it’s still possible to follow all of these techniques and still end up with limited traffic or no conversions.
Our list of 6 easy ways to win at content marketing minimizes risk: follow these guidelines to give your content the best chance at success.
*Note: Content marketing is a long game. While you might see results quickly in terms of traffic, Google search may not add your content to their search results might overnight. In fact, many content marketing ideas might not gain traction until around the 6-12 month mark.
1. Understand Your Competitors
To win, content marketing requires understanding your competitors in the space. That means reading their blog posts, investigating their social media, and watching their videos.
We know this is a bit more abstract as an actionable item, but let’s break it down. First, by understanding your competitors, your business gains insight into which methods of content they are heavily investing in. Thanks to data aggregators like SemRush, Ahrefs, and Moz, you can identify your competitor’s best ranking keywords, number of backlinks, and general traffic information.
Once you have this knowledge, use it to help identify where your audience is and where the gaps in your competitor’s content are. The easiest way to get a quick win at content marketing is to exist where your competitors do not.
Example: Competitor One ranks highly for various keywords in the custom t-shirt design space. When looking at a data aggregator, you realize they are missing out on several other keywords related to the same space.
To start being recognized as an authority on Google about the custom t-shirt design space, you create a series of blog posts and videos related to the topic using a “hub and spoke model” content strategy. If done correctly, you’ll see traffic increase within a couple of months and serious increases within a year.
2. Start with Your Most Frequently Asked Questions
Are you stuck in a writer’s rut? Unsure what to talk about?
For brands in less “sexy” industries, it’s sometimes tricky to identify exciting topics to build content around. But anyone who has used Google in the past couple of years has probably noticed that they now include a frequently asked question list with a collection of snippets from sites/videos around the internet.
Use those questions or the questions customers often ask you to build your content around. Make any articles, videos, or podcasts littered with helpful information for any potential clients.
No one knows what your target audience wants to learn about more than they do. Not only will you be helping your current customers, but you will be driving potential customers to your website.
Questions are keywords too! With the rise of personal devices like Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant, blogs are a great way to try and directly answer the questions people ask their devices.
Remember, everyone wants to write an article that goes viral. Still, there are two important caveats to that sentiment: first, it’s tough to do, and second, a viral piece might bring brand authority but not necessarily traffic that’ll drive sales.
Example: Stricken with writer’s block, your content team begins searching for information about in-ground pools. Google offers a series of related questions with snippets. Your content team puts together a series of posts and pillar pages designed to answer those questions. A pillar page can be a blog post or landing page that covers a topic in depth and related content is linked back to it.
If all goes to plan, those pages get chosen for the featured snippets, leading to more backlinks, traffic, and website authority.
3. Base Blog Topics Around the Related Keywords of Your Target Keywords
There are two main types of keywords: short-tail and long-tail keywords.
Short-tail keywords “contain 1-3 words and cover a broad topic.” Think something like “digital marketing” or “content marketing.” People search for both keywords tens of thousands of times per month which makes ranking for them incredibly difficult.
Long-tail keywords have a lower search volume than their counterparts. They are “more specific than short-tail keywords, providing greater detail to search engines and clearly signaling search intent.”
Start with a short-tail keyword you want to rank for, then identify long-tail keywords related to it (including the search term).
Use the related keyword in the title of your blog or video. Sprinkle it in amongst the metadata and alt-text, and soon enough, you will be making progress towards ranking for the long-tail keywords. Don’t forget to link to your target keyword page using that keyword as the anchor text.
Remember, content is always about your readers first, not search engines.
Example: You are a digital marketing company and want to rank for terms related to “content marketing.” Unfortunately, “content marketing” is searched around 110,000/mo, which makes it incredibly difficult to rank on Google.
Instead, you identify a couple of related keywords: “content marketing agency,” “content marketing in digital marketing,” and “benefits of content marketing,” all under 2,000/mo. Attempting to rank for these terms provides you a better opportunity to get on the first page of Google or Youtube, thus driving more traffic and leads to your website.
4. Recycle Old Content
There’s nothing wrong with recycling an old post with updated information. You may also hear us say “revamp” or “repurpose.” It all means the same thing.
Google’s algorithm frequently fluctuates, and other websites create content similar to yours as time goes on. Because of that, you might rank first for a search term today and be off the first page by next week.
This is why we recommend taking the blogs you published in the past and making them look brand new.
Start by choosing the blogs on your website that brought in the newest users, had the longest average time on page, or recently dropped in the Google search results (you can find this information using Ahrefs, SemRush, or Google Search Console). It’s important to note that these posts must be at least six months old.
Next, identify the length and number of photos/videos on the top ranking pages in Google. Your recycled post needs to be longer, more informative, and contain more photos if you want to beat them.
Updating blog posts is just one step along the way. After you’ve updated (and updated the interlinks as well), write new posts/create new videos related to the post.
One way to do this is by turning an existing blog into a “how to.” Another way is by using the “evil twin” method of reversing the meaning of the blog. For example, “10 Things You Should Be Doing When Writing Blogs” turns into “7 Things You Should Never Do When Writing Blogs”.
There are many ways to recycle old content and make it look like entirely new blogs.
Example: Your top-ranking post about men’s shirts fell from 1 to off the front page. Looking at the new top ranking posts, you notice they all feature new information, more photos, and a couple of additional sections.
You revise your old post to include new quotes, add more images, and update the content. Within a couple of weeks, you should begin to see your post rise up the rankings again.
5. Utilize Your Entire Team’s Skill Set
If you are an in-house marketing manager, you may not be the leading expert in the field you are producing content for. One of the easiest ways to create a lot of content is by delegating it to different employees in your company.
Remember, every employee has a different knowledge base, so use that to your company’s advantage.
Depending on your company’s size, everyone may only have to write as little as one blog, create one video, or record one podcast a year – that is not asking for much. Remember that you will still need to edit blogs since not everyone in your company will be a natural writer. You will also need to optimize them for search engines by adding target keywords and internal links.
Another great benefit is that your employees feel they have more stake in the company. With a few unique writing “voices,” your customers will perceive your blog as more dynamic and your company more knowledgeable.
Example: A new client requires content about a specific type of knitting. Thankfully, some of your employees are incredibly knowledgeable about knitting, so they share their knowledge with the content team. Some write bullet points for articles, and others film short videos of them working on a knitting project.
The team uses this information to create engaging and exciting content without spending time doing a ton of new research on the subject matter.
6. Create a Content Marketing Calendar
To organize who is in charge of writing which blogs and scheduling them, you need to build a content marketing calendar using a shared spreadsheet.
A content marketing calendar plans out all of your future blog posts to not only maintain structure but to identify larger content goals and where they might need updating. It holds both you, the marketing manager, and the writers accountable.
The Loop Marketing put together an easy-to-use Google spreadsheet content marketing calendar; learn how to use a content marketing calendar and get our free template here.
Example: While laying out your company’s Q3 content strategy, you identify a series of keyword gaps related to your webpage. The content marketing calendar schedules a series of Youtube videos designed to minimize those gaps and drive new traffic to your landing pages using the content marketing calendar.
Want to win at content marketing? Call The Loop Marketing today!
Putting a more significant focus on content marketing helps bring your brand’s online presence to the next level. With these 6 content marketing tips, we hope you have gained a newfound perspective on how simple and easy content marketing can be.
If you and your business are ready to go further with content marketing, reach out to the team at The Loop Marketing, where our content marketing experts can help create, guide, and build your content strategy.