Content marketing. It’s behind every door and around every corner these days. You check the sugar content of something and next thing you know you’ve bought tickets to Sweden and invested in Bitcoin. Because nearly every company is doing content marketing these days, it’s becoming impossible to read a marketing or SEO blog without being lectured about the importance of compelling content distribution! But here’s the problem: many companies think they’re doing effective content marketing by regularly getting an intern to post to their blog. After a while, though, they’re left wondering where is all this money going? And why is this intern losing the will to live? It’s possible they’re utilising the wrong platforms or methods of distribution. It’s also possible that their content isn’t very good.
Here are seven actionable content marketing steps which will drive more traffic to your website.
1. Edit, Edit and Then Edit Some More
Most marketers create content that’s way too long. Yeah… thats it. Practice what you preach.
2. Establish Credibility
With all of that Internet “noise,” why should people trust your blog posts or video enough to believe you about anything? Most won’t unless you give them a good reason. For example, the statistic about blog posts comes from Technorati and WordPress, and the data on video uploads have been made public from YouTube itself. Knowing the source of information makes it believable. It also increases your trust in the people providing the information – and makes it more likely you’ll visit their site to read or learn more.
The message: use facts and citations to build credibility and trust with those reading or viewing your content. They’ll be more likely to trust you, and more likely to click on your site link.
3. Format Written Content Properly
You already know that people won’t spend long deciding whether to read your posts or articles. The best way to help them make that decision is to format the content in a way that makes it easy for them.
- Short, catchy titles (irony)
- Paragraphs no longer than two or three sentences long (four, at the most)
- Using action words to begin paragraphs (they give content a feeling of forward motion)
- Bolding the most important phrases
- Inserting sub-headers every few paragraphs (which also helps with SEO)
- Including bullet points and numbered lists
You probably anticipated that last one, but all of these formatting tricks make it easier for readers to skim your content – and will make them want to spend more time reading it.
4. Let The Right People Share Your Content Quickly
If you don’t already have social share buttons on your site or blog, why not? The most efficient method to dramatically increase exposure is by encouraging visitors to share your content with their friends. Here are two more tips, though, which can ensure your target audience sees your content.
- Check Google Analytics to see where most of your social traffic comes from. If most comes from Pinterest and Facebook, then that’s where you want your content shared, not on LinkedIn or Google+. Removing those “non-performing” sharing buttons you’re your site limits your visitors’ options, and forces them to choose the sharing platforms where you want your content seen.
- If you get a lot of traffic from Twitter, install the “Click to Tweet” WordPress plugin on your site. It allows you to highlight key quotes from your site which can be shared with a single click.
5. Provide Frequent News Updates
No, not news about your company – you’ll find it challenging to make that type of content compelling enough to drive regular traffic. We’re talking about trends and happenings in your niche, industry or area of focus. Set Google Alerts for key topics, so you’ll get updated news as soon as it breaks. Then blog about the most interesting stories, and spread the word (with links to the full stories on your site) through “teaser” social media posts. That will bring in immediate traffic, but it will also build your reputation. Your target audience will trust you to help them keep track of major news they’re interested in, and they’ll bookmark your site to come back on their own for the latest updates. That type of return traffic is gold for successful bloggers.
Added tip: if there’s enough going on in your area of speciality, consider a daily or weekly podcast or video roundup. If done properly, that’s content which will be shared extensively while building a regular audience.
6. Take Advantage of Reddit to Repurpose Content
Reddit users are addicted to the platform. Most business people have, at best, a passing familiarity with it. But there are categories (known as subreddits, and listed on the platform as /r/topic) for nearly every subject, and moderators are usually pretty open to content submissions. Submit your best existing post(s) to the appropriate subreddit(s) and they will often be published within a day, generating additional traffic with almost no additional effort. Not sure which post(s) to submit? Just type your URL into BuzzSumo and you’ll find a listing of your content that’s been shared most frequently. If it worked once, it will surely work again on a different platform with a receptive audience.
7. Stay Targeted
An old saying advises “write what you know.” That’s great advice, but only if your target audience is interested in exactly the same subjects that you are. How do you know what they are interested in? You’ve already learned about a tool that’s great for that purpose: BuzzSumo. Type in a subject or keyword, and you’ll see a ranking of the most-popular related web content. Gather ideas from those posts to get your thought process started, and create your own content (don’t plagiarise!) based on the articles which generated the most traffic. Automatically, you’ll be directly targeting the audience that is already searching for your content.
To repeat something mentioned earlier: if it worked once, it will work again – and it will bring in boatloads of new traffic.