When developing your content marketing strategy, it’s easy to get wrapped up in grand ideas of slick video campaigns and professional looking photo shoots. While those components are certainly a huge part of what makes a good content marketing strategy, it’s easy to overlook the power of the written word. If you are are business or marketing firm that is interested in blogging, there are a few easy tips we can share that will increase the value of your content.
Before we start, it’s important to decide what kind of blog you want to create. This means doing your research! If you are a technical company, for example, check out how the competition is structuring their blog (or if they’re doing one at all!). Maybe you want to bring your technical information to the general public, or perhaps you want to keep the level of proficiency on the same level of your peers to attract like-minded professionals. Conversely, if you’re a consumer oriented business, keep an eye on the latest trends and changes to the culture surrounding your product.
Regardless of why you’re starting your blog, your marketing focus should be on keywords. It doesn’t matter what your blog is about if no one is going to read it, so start by making a list of words that you believe someone would search to find your blog. After you narrow down what keyword you want to focus on, make sure to include it in every aspect of your blog – from the title, to the body, to the meta slug, and even the URL.
Use this article as a perfect example! My target audience is other marketers or businesses who have an interest in content marketing and blogging. I decided to keep it simple. You don’t need a fancy title to get attention. “Blogging for Content Marketing” hits my keywords and gets right to the point. It uses very searchable terms that appear multiple times throughout the blog. I also throw in some related search terms such as “marketing” or “advertising” to get some extra reach, but my focus is “content marketing” because I know it’s a trending topic that is likely to get a few hits.
If you’re using a blogging platform like WordPress, there are plugins and tools that will help you keep track of your keywords. You can input which term you want the plugin to scan your blog for, and it will give you an SEO rating and tips to increase your ranking.
Blog consistently! The formula is simple: the more you blog, the more keywords you hit, the higher your search ranking. If you’re only blogging once a month, your content will drown in the competition. Be prolific. Start out with a goal of one blog a week, and increase it when you start to find a rhythm. They don’t have to be long or overly complicated, especially if your end goal is SEO ranking.
However, as is key with all content marketing efforts, creating meaningful content should always be the goal. You don’t want to appear to be self-promoting. If you’re blogging about something that you are passionate about, it will show through in your work. The more your blog is shared organically, the better it is for your SEO, and the more eyes there will be on your future content. Give people something to care about. Start a discussion, raise an argument, and take a stand for something that will get people talking. It’s important to keep in mind that regardless of your topic, you may have to alter it slightly to hit a better keyword. Do your homework to find what works while retaining the integrity of your article.
And yes, don’t forget about images! We talked a lot about actual copy today, but no one wants to read an unwavering block of text. If appropriate, use images to breakup the page and make it more inviting to someone just scanning your article. This is especially important if you plan on using StumbleUpon and you want to retain readers. Make sure to include a great featured photo that will show up as a thumbnail image when you go to promote it as well.
Always remember: practice makes perfect. It will take a while to fully understand the format and what works best for your company. The more you work at it, the better your blogs will be, and the more organic traffic you’ll drive to your site. Don’t be discouraged if your blogs aren’t coming out just the way you want. So long as you are hitting keywords, they are still serving an invaluable function.
After you’re all done, check out how to promote your content to make sure the right people see it, then get started on your next one!