Ramp Up Your Content Marketing for 2016
It’s 2016 and content marketing is still going strong, perhaps even stronger than ever. It isn’t new by any means, but interest in modern forms of marketing has shot up in the past few years. This is great for all the content specialists, article writers and storytellers who can use their skills to grow traffic; but it also means that the quality of content marketing has to advance as fast as its popularity.
According to the Content Marketing Institute’s 2016 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends report, 88% of organizations surveyed said they use content marketing. This means more competition for the other marketers that also plan to tackle this area. With more and more companies devoting big bucks to content development, marketers have to be sure that their approach for 2016 is rock-solid. Whether you know exactly what you’re doing or have no idea where to start, these tips will help you craft a winning, profitable plan. Better yet, we’ll explain how hiring a content writing service can help cut down on stress and increase the amount of first rate material you put out.
Ah, keywords: one of the much-loved and often-misunderstood cornerstones of SEO and content. No, you can’t keyword stuff and expect it to work anymore, but yes, you should use keywords as part of your profitable content plan. Keywords are one of the ways that you can put your blog posts, infographics and white papers in front of the right people: influencers, your paying customers and the people who may not buy from you but will help publicize your brand by sharing your material. Here’s what to remember about keywords in 2016:
1. Solidify Your Keywords
While choosing keywords on the fly might, in theory, work, it’s much better to plan out your keywords ahead of time. Pick words that are popular yet winnable (there are many available tools to research this) and that people actually use to get to products or services like yours. Plan out which keywords you think will be high-performing and use those to build out your content strategy. For a more focused strategy, try selecting fewer keywords for one part of your business you want to highlight.
2. Keep Mobile, Voice and Local Search in Mind
More and more people are using their phones to get information, research products and services, and make purchases. Your writing has the potential to influence people who aren’t ready to buy but just need a little more information to make the right purchasing decision. Keep in mind that people searching on phones with their voices may use different phrasings than people typing out their search terms. Additionally, it’s 100% mandatory that the pages you direct customers to are mobile-friendly. It may seem like old news at this point, but there are still companies that do not provide a viewing experience that’s optimized for mobile. This one small, easily fixable mistake could cause people to ignore you, making all content development efforts irrelevant. You can’t make money from your quality posts if no one sees them.
Local search is another area where you can optimize your keywords. You’re not the only organic frozen yogurt shop in the world, but you might be one of only a few organic yogurt shops in Corpus Christi, Texas. Use location keywords to bring in local customers with a specific interest in your services.
3. Get All Teams on the Same Page About Strategy
Companies need different departments to work together when making important decisions. Make sure that all marketing teams are involved in creating your keyword list and are on board with how best to implement those keywords.
4. See How You Measure Up Against Competitors
“Spying” sounds negative, but there are plenty of options for keeping an eye on your competitors to see what keywords they are using and what keywords they are ranking for in organic search. As one of your first steps, set up a method for tracking this information and seeing how well you measure up to competitors. Along the way, you can use this information to tweak or improve your strategy.
5. Track Your Progress
To know if your content development efforts are succeeding, you’ll want to measure your progress with analytics and see if keywords are bringing in new traffic.
Take Advantage of New and Growing Platforms
New platforms to share content on are appearing all the time; 2016 proves to be a great year for new kinds of tools and platforms that offer you the challenge of connecting with audiences in a different way. With their rising popularity it’s hard to ignore new developments like:
- Facebook Instant Articles
As you explore and develop pieces for these new fun tools, don’t forget older types of content that are just as popular. Slideshare is one such highly effective platform. Investor, entrepreneur and digital marketing expert Neil Patel recommends repurposing blog posts as Slideshare presentations for a marketing tactic that is fast, easy and has a high ROI.
Be Profitable in Creative Ways
To do content marketing right, you need to take the time to plan and craft useful, well-written blog posts. As anyone who has ever experienced writer’s block knows: this is easier said than done. Inevitably, you will run into a day when content development seems like a chore and you feel like you cannot come up with an interesting idea to save your life. One way to increase your profits and avoid losing your mind is to find ways to cut down on the amount of research, work and time it takes to create new material.
1. Look Back to Move Forward
There are many resources available to you to find out the popularity of specific keywords, but the best way to find out if a keyword works for you and brings in the right type of people is to test it out. To cut down on the amount of testing you need to do, look back into your website archives and find high-performing pieces from the past. Pinpoint what worked, whether it was keywords, headline construction, topic, medium (blog post, infographic, slideshow) or method (shared on social media, emailed, etc.). Use whatever the effective element was again. If it worked before, chances are it will work again.
2. Reuse or Recycle
With all the time, energy and resources that go into creating a blog post, it seems like you would want to have more of a payoff. Luckily, content knows (almost) no bounds, and it’s easy to repurpose a blog post as an infographic, tip sheet, series of social media graphics—you get the picture. Doing this makes the most out of a great idea and lets you sit back and breathe, reaping the rewards of your outstanding content marketing work.
3. Write Better, Not Harder
Search engines get smarter each year. In 2016 prepare to make your content higher quality if you want it to convert. Google recommends creating high-quality material and may even reward those who pull it off with better search rankings. Don’t have the time or writing skills to make it to the level you want? A content writing service can help you reach that goal. Content farms that churn out so-so material are a thing of the past.
4. Don’t Hesitate to Get Help
A recent CMI survey of marketers cited “producing engaging content” and “producing content consistently” as two of the biggest struggles facing marketers. If you want to continue to produce copious amounts of content and keep up with all of your other responsibilities, you’re going to have to get professional help. No, not that kind. (Though if you try to do too much, you just might.) If you really want to produce the amount of content it takes to keep a strategy going, consider hiring a content writing service to help you put out high-quality content. Article writers are skilled at content development and can create the blog posts and other items you need for less than the cost of the time you’d spend creating the same materials.
According to Content Marketing Institute, less than a third of B2B marketing professionals rate themselves as effective content marketers. Don’t let this statistic discourage you. Rather, look at it as a challenge. Quality content takes work, but with the right plan, resources and professional assistance, you’ll be able to forge a profitable content machine and blow past your competitors.
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