Content marketing is swiftly becoming the new SEO, and just like SEO it is easy to spend a lot of time, effort and money on it, without delivering corresponding results.
Blogging is one of the central aspects of content marketing and it is very easy to get stuck in a rut of writing to tick a box and meet targets without really delivering the results that the time investment requires. So what do we need to do in order to achieve maximum benefit from blogging?
Objectives, targets and measuring results
Do you have clear goals and targets set for your content marketing activities? You need to work out the financial investment you are making and the return on investment that this should be generating. Then you need to make sure you are measuring the results – ideally on a daily, weekly and monthly basis.
Ideally you’ll have overall objectives and targets – e.g. to be considered a leading thought leader in your area of expertise. A supporting target for this could be to have one of the top 5 social media followings of experts in your field.
At a more granular level it will be helpful to agree an objective and targets for each post you write.
An example objective could be to learn your target audience’s thoughts on a particular subject. And your supporting targets might be:
- Get 50 feedback comments on your post containing audience feedback and views
If you are writing posts for lead generation perhaps you might write a post that ultimately promotes a whitepaper or ebook you have written with a target of achieving 100 lead generating downloads. Similar objectives and targets can also be applied to ecommerce retailers.
Just as with any marketing, targeting the content is essential. Ask yourself these questions before writing a post:
- Who am I targeting with this post?
- What action do I ideally want them to take after reading the post?
- What problem am I addressing with this post?
- How am I going to get the maximum number of my target audience to read this post?
This is the stage where you can use the marketing personas you have developed for your business. It is also a sensible point at which to look at search key phrases people are using to related to the subject you are writing on. Also think about common questions your customers and potential customers ask you. If you are looking to target search traffic with you blog posts, thinking from this perspective is a great way to start.
You can use the Google Adwords keyword tool or Google Insights for search to understand the search terms your target audience is using. This leads neatly into our final point – distribution.
The final point in today’s blog is that distribution is one of the most important elements of your content marketing strategy. Recently, we reported on a webinar by HubSpot and Evernote, and part of this discussion was the significance of social sharing. Every piece of content produced needs to be published across as many platforms as possible. Understanding content distribution is just as important, if not more important than producing the content itself. Before you sit down to write your post, ask yourself these questions:
- How are people going to find this post?
- Which social media sites are my target audience using and how am I going to get this post in front of them when they are there?
- What search terms would they use on Google or Bing to find this post – and how likely is it that this post will get ranked for those searches?
- Are there any other websites who might be interested in this post, who have similar readerships to my target audience?
Let us know if your content marketing strategy is up to scratch by leaving a comment below. If you think you need help, get in touch with our expert team to find out how we can lend our services.