Content marketing is “in.” But what is it anyway? And how is it different from what has been done in the past?
According to Wikipedia, “content marketing is any marketing that involves the creation and sharing of media and publishing content in order to acquire and retain customers. This information can be presented in a variety of formats, including news, video, white papers, e-books, infographics, case studies, how-to guides, question and answer articles, photos, etc.”
In a lot of ways, content marketing is not new. It is an overall term for what savvy marketers have done for years. And for many of those years, many of these people have struggled to create and market the type of content that drives organic traffic.
Fortunately, some new tools make the job much easier. Several of these tools and techniques were covered in a recent Cision webinar, “9 Tools and Tips that Drive Content Marketing Success.”
The speaker, Ian Cleary, is the founder of RazorSocial, a blog providing insights on social media tools and technology. Social Media Examiner named RazorSocial the “best Social Media blog” for the past three years.
Ian focused on nine major problems content marketers experience. Here are my highlights from his discussion of five of these problems.
Problem: You want to drive ongoing, organic traffic to new content.
If you’re not getting regular traffic, what’s the point of doing blog posts in the first place?
So check your analytics. You’ll probably find that a small percentage of blog posts generate most of the traffic.
You can improve your chances of success by checking your topic with a tool such as InBoundWriter, which can predict your chances of getting ongoing traffic from Google. The tool will analyze your topic and title, and give you an idea of how successful your blog topic will be before you write.
Problem: Most people don’t see your content.
People are not online all the time, so spread out your marketing. Tweet about your new blog post in the morning, and then repeat the tweet several times: six hours later, 12 hours later, and then one day, three days, one week, and one month later. For Facebook (and probably LinkedIn), do an update when the post is first live and then again a week later.
You can also share the material on an ongoing basis. Queue your posts and distribute them every month or two. (Obviously this only works for “evergreen” content that does not become outdated.) If you are concerned that people will see a message more than once, include a different image or slightly different title.
Also share other people’s content. Among other benefits, this gives you a much better chance of building a relationship with those experts. Most people will “follow” or “share” back.
Problem: You’re not ranking high enough in Google.
If you don’t promote your content, you’re probably missing out on most of the traffic. So search for the topic on Google and look for high-ranking posts, especially those that might have outdated info.
Put a copy of the article into AHrefs, a tool that shows the volume of links to that article. Reach out to writers of high authority sites, and alert them to your post. You don’t have to ask for a link. Many people will link to your article if they find it useful.
Problem: 70% of your website visitors will never come back.
To stay in contact with your visitors, you need to capture their email addresses. To do that, you need to offer your visitors something. The offer can be as simple as a pdf version of the blog post. Tools like OptInMonster display a popup when your visitors are about to leave, increasing the chances of getting their emails.
Problem. You’re not producing good enough graphics.
Canva is the “go-to” application for non-graphic artists to develop graphics. You can do a template and then do variations, changing the background color, for example. The basic version of Canva is free. The new Canva for Work lets you design a brand, and includes a function that will resize the image for multiple platforms all at once.
Again, this is not the entire webinar, but just the points that I found most interesting. The webinar also included a discussion of these problems:
• Your Twitter followers are not growing quickly enough.
• You are not tracking enough about campaigns.
• You want to produce more popular content.
• You don’t know enough about your website visitors.
I encourage you to watch the entire webinar, which is available here.