One of the most fundamental, yet critical components of maximizing your brands online visibility is creating engaging content that is relevant to your target audience’s interests, needs, and questions. An efficient use of this tailored content can result in significant benefits for your organization. From improved keyword rankings in major search engines to increased website traffic and leads, content marketing is a highly effective digital marketing practice.
What is Content Marketing?
Content marketing is a subset of digital marketing that focuses on creating, publishing, and distributing digital content to a target audience. A few popular forms of digital content include:
While there are many additional variations of digital media, the aforementioned types are most frequently utilized to help promote a brand’s product or services offerings. Distributing these various types of digital media on a variety of marketing platforms, such as websites, social media pages, and affiliate networks help increase the visibility of your brand. More views equals more leads and more leads equals more sales.
Why is Content Marketing Important?
Based on a study by HubSpot, roughly 70% of marketers actively invest resources into content marketing. To forgo this concentration puts your organization at a serious disadvantage. With over 5 billion (yes, billion) Google searches and rising every single day, maximizing your brands online visibility should be at the forefront of your marketing priorities. While there are other avenues to help supplement this effort, content marketing typically requires minimal resources and development expertise and is often one of the most effective digital marketing strategies.
The cliché, “out of sight, out of mind,” most certainly applies to online marketing. It’s estimated that approximately 75% of users never continue their search past the first page of Google’s search results. This means that if your website or web pages do not appear within the first 10 organic results on Google, the 11th through infinite results are all in competition for the remaining 25% of the traffic. Creating relevant and keyword rich content for your target audience is a sure-fire way to help increase your organic traffic.
Considerations in Content Marketing
While described as fundamental, content marketing is a difficult practice to perform effectively. There are certain considerations, planning, and preliminary steps to run a successful campaign.
Understanding Your Audience
A crucial process to enact prior to creating content is developing user personas. Understanding who you are creating content for will help you sculpt unique and personalized content that has proven to provide a significantly higher conversion rate than generalized content.
A persona is a fictional character you have developed to represent a fraction of your target audience. These personas will group similar market segments based on unique characteristics identified by demographics, interests, goals, frustrations, needs, and more. Pro Tip: the more detailed you can be with your personas, the more information you have at your disposal to formulate a strategy for this particular segment.
Creating user personas might seem like a trivial task but it is highly important to your content strategy. A few key areas that are important to consider when constructing personas are:
- Audience Demographics
- Audience Behavior
- Internet Usage Details (device, time of day, frequency, etc.)
This information will help you develop unique characters in which you can craft specific content for. For example, an upscale home renovation company will need to convey their services to a small subset of the general population. Accounting for their service offerings, they can determine a baseline income of whom they are targeting, the location or service area in which they are able to work, whether they want to target men, women, or both, etc. From this data, they can construct personas
An example of a user persona created for a home remodeling company may look something similar to:
- Name: Michael Jones
- Age: 46 years old
- Marital Status: Married, 2 children
- Location: Orlando, Florida
- Work: Account Manager
- Household Income: $120,000
- Bio: Michael recently received a promotion and substantial salary increase at work. He is finally ready to pull the trigger on a home renovation project he had been planning. Michael bought his house 12 years ago, before children, and is looking to remodel their bedrooms and the living room to accommodate the larger family. Michael is a creative and constructive type and enjoys building things around the house; however, he realizes he does not have the time to do this on his own. Despite his lack of time, he still wants to be heavily involved in the design process.
In this scenario, a home renovation company could craft an article that describes the planning and design process and illustrates how the client is involved every step of the way.
The logical next step in content marketing is creating content. While constructing helpful and informative copy is a great start, your article isn’t finished until you’ve implemented best SEO practices. This all starts with keyword implementation.
Imagine you own a cooking blog and are planning on sharing a new meatloaf recipe. Using a catchy title and description like “Momma’s Favorite Meatloaf: This perfect concoction has been in our family for over 50 years and we guarantee it’ll be in yours after you try it!” does very little to help search engines understand what your article is actually about. There is where implementing keywords comes into play. With that being said, how do you determine which keywords you should actually use?
Performing keyword research using tools like Ahrefs, SEMRush, or UberSuggest is a great way to find out what your users are searching for. By typing in a generic keyword, these tools will return a list of results that show the average monthly search volume and ranking difficulty for a number of keyword variations. Deciding which keywords to utilize is the tricky part. While it is enticing to go with the larger volume, you have to consider the number of other websites that are also competing for that term. It’s typically a good idea to go with high volume, low difficulty words that are very specific to your user’s intent.
For example, the keyword “divorce attorney” would be considered a good indicator of a user searching for a lawyer specializing in divorce law. Alternatively, a user searching just “lawyer” would find a variety of results, such as criminal attorneys, contract attorneys, civil attorneys, etc. Using specific or “long-tail” keywords, while reducing the total audience, will help produce more qualified traffic to your website.
Littering a handful of keywords throughout your copy isn’t exactly a methodical strategy. Instead, there are specific content areas in which keyword prominence is most prevalent. These include:
- Page title
- Header tags (specifically H1s and H2s)
- Paragraph tags (within the first 100 characters)
- Meta description
Implementing these keywords naturally in these focus areas will help improve the opportunity for your page or website to rank for those search terms.
Once your article has been written for your target audience and has implemented best SEO practices, it comes down to distribution. While publishing this article on your website is likely to help generate organic traffic, especially if your article or web page is able to rank highly on search engine results pages, capitalizing on other mediums is a great way to help continue driving users.
A few ways in which you can redistribute or syndicate your content to increase traffic:
- Share the article on social media channels
- Post the article on your Google My Business listing
- Post the article on LinkedIn Pulse or Medium
- Run a link-building campaign
A Content Marketing Success Story
Code Authority recently published a blog called DotNetNuke (DNN) in the Enterprise in 2020. The blog was written by Code Authority Senior Architect and former DotNetNuke Corp Co-founder, Joe Brinkman. The subject matter was highly detailed but well-articulated and was able to generate significant organic traffic gains within the first week of being published.
Within two months, Code Authority was contacted by a government agency in Richmond, South Carolina (Code Authority is located in North Texas) to assist with their DNN platform. Unfortunately, their entire operating platform had crashed and they were in a panic. With little to no support offered by DNN anymore, the entity took to the internet to quickly find a development organization with DNN experience who could quickly resolve their outage.
Fortunately, Code Authority’s development team was able to repair their platform within just a few hours but the real win came from the content marketing team who was able to connect a need to a solution. Without the blog highlighting Code Authority’s experience with DNN, the agency might have had significant downtime attempting to find a solution which could have been detrimental to their operations.
This goes to show you on a very granular level how content marketing can help drive in new business for your organization.
Contact Us for Your Content Marketing Needs
While we have expressed the benefits of content marketing, we understand that this is a timely endeavor. That’s why Code Authority’s full-service digital marketing team is here to shoulder that burden for you. From topic research and planning to copywriting and SEO, we do it all. Give our digital marketing team a call today to learn how we can start growing your business.