Content Marketing for Your Website 101
Updated: Feb 15, 2019
Content Marketing in Context
Converse. Plaid. Leggings. These are trends that for decades have stuck (and, weirdly, all peaked in the 80s).
Since the inception of the internet—back when we used to spell it with a capital “I” to distinguish the global network from other internets—content marketing has been used as a major tool to drive web traffic, albeit not in the most seamless of ways; in the early days of the web, search engines couldn’t detect whether your content was good, bad, or ethical. By ethical, I mean scattering nonsense about the page and planting keyword phrases wherever possible. The result: directing users to a site that isn't necessarily relevant to their search.
So, like Converse, plaid, and leggings, content marketing existed long before it reached its peak.
Nowadays, quality content has become essential to achieving high search engine rankings—quality being the operative word. Search engine algorithms have become so advanced that they detect red flags like grammar and spelling errors, deceptive information, irrelevant keywords, plagiarism, and duplicate content instantly.
What Good Content Marketing Does
It’s one thing to give content marketing a try, but quite another to do it in a way that is effective. Think about the last time you searched for something online—a product, local business, service offering—and ask yourself whether your findings responded to your needs. What drew you in? Was it the meta title and description on the search engine results page? Once you clicked, was it the clever, humorous tone that the page seemed to radiate (this relates to branding)? And after you’ve browsed some of the site’s pages, was it one of the call-to-actions that lead you to request the free consultation?
These are all elements of content marketing that converted you into a customer. They created something of value, and you connected with it. Their brand and product/service offering spoke to you in some form or another, the same way an environmentally conscious shopper might discover a local jeweller whose diamonds are ethically sourced.
Creating a Content Marketing Strategy
Writing a book without outlining it first will take you ten times as long to finish, not to mention your ideas are likely to be scattered, your story inconsistent, and your characters one-dimensional. Why? Because you haven’t taken the time to lay out your act breaks, establish the rules of your universe, and explore your protagonist on a deeper level.
The same rule applies to writing out a content strategy. According to The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), 93% of B2Bs in the US use content marketing as part of their digital marketing strategy, and only 9% have found it to be super effective; but of those unsuccessful B2Bs, a mere 11% have actually taken the time to write out their content strategy. In a similar study by Content Marketing Institute and Marketing Profs, 66% of successful B2Bs have documented their content strategy.
Laying out a strategy could be the difference between success and failure in terms of gaining leads through content marketing. You can begin outlining your strategy by addressing these pertinent questions:
What are your key performance indicators (KPIs)? In other words, what numbers are important for you to see grow? I.e., traffic, conversion rates, and post shares.
What is your brand? How do you want others to perceive you?
Who is your target audience?
What is your target revenue/profit?
Once you’ve taken the time to answer these, do some careful research and decide which strategies are suitable for your business.
Content Marketing Strategies That Work
There is a variety of innovative ways you can use content marketing to your advantage. Some I’ve generally found to be most effective are:
Videos. Video is one of the best ways you can reach any audience; people today are watching videos more than ever before. According to BrightCove, brands that use video see an average increase of 157% in organic traffic from search engines.
Blogs. It’s often underestimated how effective blogs are in driving traffic to websites. This is the most popular form of content marketing, especially within the small business landscape. According to Forbes, websites that include a blog section have about 434% more indexed pages than those that don’t, meaning they have a greater chance of ending up on search engine results pages.
Infographics. They’re visually appealing, easy to read, and informative. What’s not to like? Infographics are a great way to engage your audience and relay complex ideas. This is especially true for tech and science industries.
Case Studies/Testimonials. Case studies help potential customers understand and appreciate the value of your business. They’re a great way to build trust with new leads, which, in turn, works wonders in raising conversion rates.
Checklists. No matter what industry you’re in, your clientele has some form of goals or standards they would like met. By listing a simple, comprehensible checklist, you’re providing an easy and fast way for them to find what they’re looking for.
CTAs. Call-to-actions are crucial design and content components to converting customers into buyers. Offering the option to sign up, send an inquiry, or get a free consultation will do well to drive clicks.
For quality-focused content that converts, contact me for a free consultation. I use the latest Content Rate Optimization (CRO) techniques to increase your website's visitor percentage.
But the true magic of what I do stems from what I love most—giving your unique brand a voice that whispers to your desired audience.