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3 Often-Ignored Aspects of Content Marketing

3 Often-Ignored Aspects of Content Marketing

When it comes to content marketing we’ve moved from questions like, “Is it effective?” to “How to enhance the deliverability of content marketing?”

With 77 percent of B2C marketers and 86 percent B2B marketers using content marketing, there is absolutely no doubt about the huge role this marketing technique plays in driving brand awareness and customer engagement.

But one of the problems content marketers face is that content marketing is a comprehensive field with a truckload of intricacies; it is also labor intensive and time consuming. What’s more, it does not deliver results in a hurry.

No prizes for guessing that marketers who are using the production and distribution of content to enhance brand visibility are a harried lot. As a content marketer, I can attest to the fact that it’s difficult to get on top of each and every activity that is a part of content marketing.

There are some activities that will come naturally to you as a content marketer, while there are others you need to remember. Many a times, it is these ‘others’ that decide the fate of your content marketing campaign. These are factors that give your content marketing strategy the added impetus it needs, to deliver the returns you are looking for.

At times, content marketers tend to ignore these aspects thinking they are unimportant in the scheme of things. You ignore them at your peril.

 

Let’s take a look at three important aspects of content marketing that, I think, often get overlooked:

1. Getting inspired.

There are some big brands out there generating tremendous returns from their content marketing campaign. Make it a point to learn from them. You might have your content marketing strategy all worked out, but it makes sense to check how it matches up with the strategies implemented by other businesses, especially your competitors. You might come across a particular tactic that is paying them rich dividends and which you should be using as well.

For example, say you have ignored making visuals an intrinsic part of your content marketing plan; but when you do take a look at the content marketing campaign run by your competitors, you realize visual content is working for them. This, essentially, gives you the confidence to come up with a visual content marketing strategy of your own.

2. More “you,” less “me.”

A content marketer needs to do a fine balancing act between distributing branded content and content with absolutely zero brand affiliation. Very often, branded content takes center stage and the need to push out useful, actionable and user driven content pieces is ignored. Marketers who are making this mistake constantly need to remind themselves that their target audience is looking for information that focuses on their needs and requirements.

Your content marketing should be more about your brand’s audience, than your brand. The brands that are scoring big with their content marketing begin by identifying the problems their potential customers are searching to solve, and then delivering solutions through high-quality content.

If you’ve been talking more about your products and services and ignoring the “real needs” of your audience, it’s time you started focusing on the latter.

 

3. Creativity and innovation.

In our search for measurable results from content marketing, we sometimes see this marketing tactic through a narrow prism defined by a set of “must-follow” rules. We forget the very essence of content marketing – creativity. We tend to create content silos, and refuse to look at the world beyond them. This reduces the scale and scope of our content marketing strategy.

The whole idea behind using content as a marketing technique is that it allows us to push the marketing envelope. Make no mistake, it is important to follow rules, but not in a manner that limits your creativity. If you take a look at some of the successful content marketing campaigns doing the rounds, you will realize that at some level, they are breaking new ground. They are exploring new content avenues, distributing diverse content formats and revolutionizing content marketing.

Over the long term, you will find your emphasis on creativity and innovation paying off. However, if you choose to stick to the “rule” book, you’ll find the results ordinary at best.

If you’ve been ignoring these aspects, it’s time you started giving importance to them. They should be fundamental to your content marketing strategy.

7 Content Marketing Hacks to Increase Website Traffic

7 Content Marketing Hacks to Increase Website Traffic

Content marketing, when correctly executed and delivered, is an economical way to identify your brand as an industry expert. If you are a part of the 53 percent of businesses using content marketing to gain new customers, it’s time to evaluate your creation process. Crafting original and useful content for your target audience will generate leads, increase brand awareness, and boost traffic to your website. As you strategize about how to grow your business in 2020, build an effective plan around content marketing, and customers will take notice.

What Is Content Marketing?

Content marketing is the promotion of useful content with the goal of attracting a target audience by offering valuable information while simultaneously marketing your business. The content can be delivered in many forms:

  • Blogs
  • eBooks
  • Infographics
  • Lead magnets
  • Podcast
  • Videos
  • White papers

Successful content marketing relies on a brand’s ability to tell a story that will captivate the intended audience. Effective content offers solutions to problems, creates thought leadership, and encourages engagement. It’s your job to find the voice and platform that reaches the most people and pulls them to your website. Fortunately, there are many brands that have found massive success with content marketing and forged a trail for you to follow.

Improve Content Marketing Strategy

The formula for quality content marketing is simple, but it’s not necessarily easy to implement. Originating unique, polished content that people want to read or download requires research, creativity, and the ability to promote.

A simple three-step method to create quality content includes:

  1. Find authoritative content for outbound links.
  2. Craft original content that’s better than what’s available.
  3. Share the content you create.

To help you achieve these three steps and build a library of share-worthy content, use these seven tips.

1. Create a Content Calendar

It’s possible to plan your way to content marketing success. In fact, it’s a necessity. Strategize about the content you want to create throughout the year. Perhaps you have special events planned: a product launch, a giveaway, or a semi-annual sale. You can use those events to create content that your audience can use but will also promote what’s happening within your company.

Other happenings throughout the year can also be natural topics for content creation. Consider:

  • Current events
  • Holidays
  • Local community events
  • National days or months (like World Social Media Day or Mental Health Awareness Month)

Creating the content calendar will help you stay on track with posting regularly, save time, and support your overall marketing goals.

2. Rely on Customer Data

Before you can create quality content, you need to know what type of content your audience likes. Study your website analytics and customer data to understand your audience. Segment your audience into different customer personas. Based on customer characteristics, you can generate content that has a better opportunity to reach them.

In order to group your customers appropriately, study their demographics. Segment them by gender, age, family size, income, geographical location and other characteristics. You’ll also want to group your audience based on any information that suggests preferences. Use this information to create content that is specifically tailored to different segments of your audience.

3. Repurpose Popular Blog Posts

Google crawls your website to look for new and updated web pages. Review your site analytics to discover content that’s most popular with your audience. Even if your content regularly ranks high with the search engine, you’ll need to update the page so Google continues to find it relevant. On a yearly cadence, take an inventory to see which pieces received the most traffic, and renew that information to draw Google’s attention.

Tips for repurposing blog posts:

  • Test all inbound and outbound links to ensure they still link to live, relevant pages.
  • Replace any dated images or graphics and include keywords in your ALT text.
  • Revise any statistics as needed.
  • Add headers, convert long text blocks into bullet points, and build in natural white space.
  • Amend the introduction and conclusion of the blog.
  • Rewrite your intro and conclusion.

You don’t have to rewrite the entire post. Aim to update or revise about 30 percent of the post to attract the attention of the Google crawlers.

4. Create In-Depth Content

Google looks for the most authoritative content with each of the 5.6 billion searches it processes each day. The search engine leans toward in-depth content that covers all aspects of a particular topic. The average Google first page result contains 1,890 words, so put your efforts into a 2,000-word piece that’s thoroughly researched and links out to other quality sites.

Long-form articles not only grab the attention of Google crawlers, but they also drive your customers to take action. Marketing Experiments revealed that long-form content resulted in a 30 percent higher conversion rate than shorter style pieces on its homepage.

By creating factual, lengthy content and repurposing your old blogs into long-form pieces, you’ll gradually improve your SERP while also growing your business. To create in-depth pieces that are filled with valuable information, choose a broad subject such as ecommerce or digital marketing. Dig deep into the topic. Use your keywords or phrases in the headline and back your content with researched data and statistics. Break up the content with different forms of media and incorporate an email capture form where applicable. In the conclusion of your piece, ask your audience for feedback (provide a comments tool) and to share the article on social media.

5. Diversify Your Approach & Distribution

Distribute your valuable content through different platforms. Being dependent on one channel greatly limits who will see your work. The same goes for the type of content you create. For example, writing one blog post per week and sharing it on your business Facebook page strongly reduces the potential impact of your work.

Diversify your content creation to include blogs, videos, tutorials, white papers and more. Study your audience to understand where the segmented groups are spending the majority of their online time. While Facebook may be the most used social media channel, it surely won’t reach your entire target audience.

For example, YouTube is a great choice for video tutorials, unboxing videos, or reviews. Depend on LinkedIn for B2B content and reach your Millennial customers via Snapchat and Instagram. Allow your website and social analytics to guide the type of content you create. Craft content that your audience is most likely to click.

Once you’ve discovered the type of content your audience craves and the most popular platforms for your brand, be consistent. It’s important to publish new content on a regular basis to keep your audience coming back for more. Following tip #1 and creating your content calendar will support your consistency.

6. Incorporate SEO

Improve your organic site traffic by utilizing SEO practices. Free SEO tools like Google Analytics and Keyword Hero can help you discover keywords and phrases that rank amongst your industry.

SEO-based content will perform better with search engines and help your audience find the pieces more easily. Incorporate the use of meta-data descriptions, long-tail keywords, and detailed URLs and avoid keyword stuffing to improve your organic site traffic.

7. Adapt to Analytics

A content marketing strategy isn’t a set-it-and-forget-it plan. You must constantly study your website and social media platform analytics to understand your audience. It’s important to understand the type of content that performs well, so you can create more of it. Likewise, for content that doesn’t seem to hit the mark with your audience, you need to pull back on that style or topic.

Tools like A/B testing can help you understand the types of headlines, images, and colors that work well with your audience. When you understand your audience more deeply, you can create more effective content. Be willing to adapt to your audience’s preferences and you’ll continue to see an increase in website traffic and conversion rates.

Key to Successful Content Marketing

For these content marketing tips to help you create better content and improve website traffic, you must have a clear and consistent brand voice. Your customers will come to connect with the brand’s personality and identify the voice through words, images, colors, graphics and more. No matter where you publish the content, your brand voice should be front and center.

Develop a style sheet that helps you create and use a consistent voice and tone for your brand. Consider factors like your customer, product or service, and core values to build a dedicated voice. When you create any content—from blogs to responding to customers on social media—you must be consistent with your brand voice.

Launching a new product, creating a catchy video, or posting vibrant photos will not consistently bring customers to your website. A detailed content marketing strategy will help you identify your brand’s strengths and weaknesses so you can connect with your audience on an authentic level and offer valuable information that leads to more web traffic and an increase in conversions.

3 Reasons Content Is the Important Part of Digital Marketing

3 Reasons Content Is the Important Part of Digital Marketing

A strong digital marketing strategy is made up of many different components. From social media to search engines, it can be difficult to know where you really need to focus your attention. While each piece of your digital marketing strategy is important for effectively promoting your business online, some elements will be more crucial than others.

For example, the content you create is arguably the most important part of your digital marketing efforts. Content not only helps you build trust and connect with your target audience, but also acts as fuel for your other marketing techniques. It’s the base upon which you promote your business online, so it’s essential to give it the attention it deserves.

Let’s take a look at three reasons why content is so important to your digital marketing strategy!

Key Takeaways:

  1. Content can help educate your audience, ensuring that they’re making smart purchasing decisions.
  2. Strong pieces of content can help you become more visible online, both on search engines and in social media.
  3. Quality content can be linked to all over the web, increasing traffic to your website and building authority with search engines.

1. Content Educates Your Audience

Education is the first step a potential customer takes when deciding whether a product or service is right for them. Before they can make a choice, they need to fully understand the options available to them. This means you need to have content that properly educates audience members on what you can provide.

Educational content typically takes the form of blog posts, product pages, your home page, and your company’s ‘about’ pages. However, it may also include tutorials, reviews, and other content that provides your customers with the resources they need to make educated purchasing decisions. Educational content should focus on teaching your target audience more about your business and offerings.

Gif of blonde woman in blue plaid shirt saying "Educate yourself."

To educate your audience through the content you create, you want to focus on the questions or concerns they may have. When addressing your target audience, consider what problems they might be trying to solve and how your products or services relieve those issues. Your educational content should focus on the solutions you provide, and how you can make their lives easier.

2. Content Fuels SEO

Search engines are a go-to resource just about any time someone has a question or concern. This means that optimizing your content to appear in relevant searches can help you attract new leads to your website. However, in order to fuel your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy, you need to have strong content.

SEO revolves around keyword placement, backlinks, and website visitors, and your content enables you to create web pages that fuel each of these components. Without content, you’d have nowhere to place your keywords, no page for your visitors to read, and no information for other websites to link to. However, if you’re creating awesome pieces of content that your target audience is excited to engage with, you’ll find it’s not hard to reach the top of the search engine results lists.

For an example, see this search engine query about content marketing:

Example of a piece of content that appears at the top of a search engine results list.

Content creation and SEO should always go hand-in-hand. When you consider your readers first and foremost, you will be able to create content that provides clear value to your audience. If your target audience is engaging heavily with the content you create, your SEO strategy will be that much more successful.

3. Content Drives Social Media Strategies

Your social media platforms are one of the best ways to connect with your target audience. As a powerful tool for establishing genuine relationships with your customer base, social media gives you a direct pathway to have conversations, get feedback, and push new leads to your website. However, this is all fueled by strong content creation.

Your content enables you to take your social media conversations deeper. While there is only so much you can say in a Tweet or Facebook post, great content encourages your audience to follow through to learn more. This helps you establish a better connection with your target audience. Plus, you can also gain more visitors to your website, where you can collect their information and bring them into your sales funnel.

Example of a social media post displaying a piece of content.

Your social media strategy should leverage content that provides a high amount of value to your target audience, such as this example from Buffer’s Twitter profile. While content is crucial for developing strong connections, you also need to remember that your audience wants information they can participate in. If you’re simply posting links to your content, you can’t expect to see high amounts of engagement.

Bonus: Content Builds Backlinks

Backlinks, or links from an external website back to your content, are an important part of bringing new traffic to your site. A backlink back to your site can encourage a visitor of another article or website to click through and learn more about you.

Of course, you’ll only see backlinks when your content contains ideas, opinions, or information that is worth sharing. If you’re creating mediocre content or simply relaying information that your audience can find elsewhere on the web, you’re going to struggle to get other websites to link to you. This means that you’ll have a more difficult time attracting new attention and establishing authority online.

Backlinks, like the example below, can also contribute to your SEO strategy. They show Google and other search engines that you create content worth recommending. The more backlinks you have, the more authority a search engine will assume your page holds:

Example of an excerpt from a blog post containing a backlink.

To encourage backlinks, you want to ensure that your topics are unique. While there may be similar content already available online, you want to put your own spin on each piece. Adding your unique perspective can ensure that your information stands out, helping you attract more attention. You can also increase your number of backlinks by focusing only on creating high-quality content. This includes developing harder-to-create pieces like infographics or videos. Since they take more effort to create, other sites will be less likely to produce them as well, instead choosing to link to your content.

Conclusion

Your content is the foundation of your digital marketing strategy. Without it, you’re going to struggle to attract the attention you need to collect leads and convert them into paying customers. When you create great pieces of content, however, you’ll be more successful in your other digital marketing efforts.

How I can earn money with content websites

How I can earn money with content websites

Many people are looking for a magic wand.

A wand that will make them rich and successful!

I can’t provide a Magic Wand, but I can provide you with perhaps the best low-cost way to get make a significant income online.

What is that, you ask?

Drum roll, please…

Create an Authority Blog or Website

Simply put;

An authority website or blog is a popular online place where people go to for information on a particular niche or topic.

When a visitor lands on an authority site they get excited – at last, they have found what they are looking for! [Like we hope you felt when you landed on this webpage]

An authority website is a trusted, reliable source of information.

Our friends at Authority Hacker do a free webinar that covers creating Authority Sites in more detail.

I have built and sold several authority websites, the first over 10 years ago!

Selling a website is my favorite way to create a big payday. I have now done it several times and plan to do it again soon.

In the meantime, this article explains authority websites in more detail.

Of all the ways to make money with a website, this has earned me the most money over the years.

It helps build a solid brand.

It encourages readers to come back to your site.

Website traffic may go up and it may go down, but with an email list and a good offer you are always in business.

Email marketing can make you money in a few different ways, such as email promotions, which deliver free reports that are monetized (have affiliate links in them). I like this method best – and it is where I recommend everyone starts.

Typically, you offer your readers a free report or eBook or access to a video in return for their email address.

This is referred to as a lead magnet.

The important thing here is to offer something of value. Ideally something that people would pay for if it was not FREE.

I see too many bloggers offering low quality lead-magnets – poorly produced and often with information that is out of date.

Don’t be that blogger!

My preferred strategy is a free report or eBook – here is an eBook we did several years ago (a little dated in places now, but still useful information)

I emphasis the need for QUALITY information. A simple ‘word doc’ with quality information will beat a fancy PDF with rubbish information every time.

Over night, we went from getting 20+ subscribers a day to well over 100 per day!

At the time, most websites hated using popups because of the negative association people have with them. But these popups were different.

Instead of popping up in another browser window, they popup as part of the page you are on.

It was a lot less intrusive. Even better, it wasn’t to promote something spammy, but something of value to the reader.

After seeing the massive results, we created our own software, so that other website owners can experience the same huge gains we have.

Another list building technique you should try is a squeeze page. A squeeze page (also called a landing page) is a dedicated page on your site to getting a visitor to sign up for your mailing list.

How I can increase my website traffic with SEO optimized content

How I can increase my website traffic with SEO optimized content

Feeling overwhelmed by the infinite options for driving traffic to your website? You’re not alone.

This article doesn’t list every traffic strategy under the sun.

Instead, it lists the tactics we use at Ahrefs. These are tactics that have helped us grow our revenue by +65% year over year.

In other words, they’re proven to work.

 

The Ahrefs blog gets over ~230,000 organic visitors per month:

ahrefs blog traffic

Besides word of mouth, this is our second best marketing channel, sending us hundreds of new users every month.

Without a doubt, search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the best ways to achieve consistent, long-term results. For as long as you rank highly in Google, you’ll be able to generate passive organic traffic to your site.

To do this, you need to write about topics people are searching for. In other words: topics with search traffic potential.

Here are two quick ways to get started.

A. Find high-volume, low-competition keywords

Enter one (or a few) relevant words or phrases into Ahrefs Keywords Explorer, then choose one of the keywords ideas reports to see hundreds or thousands of ideas.

pasted image 0 6

Filter this list by two metrics:

  1. Search volume—the overall search demand for this keyword, or how many times this keyword is searched for in Google each month, in a specific country;
  2. Keyword Difficulty—the ranking difficulty of a keyword, represented as a numerical value between zero and a hundred.

pasted image 0 8

This gives you a manageable list of low-competition topics with decent search volumes.

For more ideas, play around with the filters until you get a list you’re satisfied with.

IMPORTANT. Filtering for Keyword Difficulty (KD) only gives a rough sense of difficulty. You should always analyze the search results manually to judge real-world difficulty and search intent before targeting a keyword.

But don’t stop there. Further prioritize your list of topics by focusing on those with high business value (i.e., the topics where your product or service is crucial for solving a particular problem).

In the end, traffic is a vanity metric. There is no point in driving a lot of traffic to your site unless that traffic somehow translates into revenue.

This is the simple scale we use at Ahrefs to determine the business value of topics:

  • 3: our product is an irreplaceable solution for the problem;
  • 2: our product helps quite a bit, but it’s not essential to solving the problem;
  • 1: our product can only be mentioned fleetingly;
  • 0: there’s absolutely no way to mention our product.

The very best topics strike a balance between high traffic potential, low competition, and high business value.

how to find the best topics 1 1

B. Use the Content Explorer ‘hack’

Content Explorer is a searchable database of over a billion web pages.

To find low-hanging content ideas that are easy to rank for, search for a broad topic and apply two filters:

  • Referring domains < 5
  • Organic traffic filter > 1,000

This will give you a list of relevant pages that get lots of organic traffic while having few or no backlinks.

beard content explorer

Scroll through these pages and look for topics with business value that make sense to cover.

For example, if we were Beardbrand, we could easily create content about “grey beard styles” and “how to shape and maintain a square beard”.

Learn more about content creation in our step-by-step guide to writing a blog post that ranks.

Guest blogging is a tactic where you write for other blogs. In return, the editor/site owner will usually allow you to link back to your site.

The benefits include:

Here’s an example of a guest post that I recently did for SmartBlogger:

smart blogger guest post

The biggest challenge with guest blogging is finding blogs that are willing to accept your guest posts.

To circumvent this issue, most SEOs use Google search operators to find sites with “write for us” or “become a contributor” pages.

write for us google

The problem? This is tedious and time-consuming. Plus, if everyone follows the same process, then everyone finds the same opportunities. As a result, editors of these sites often receive more pitches than they can handle and so ignore many of them.

How can you solve this problem? Don’t limit yourself to only sites with a “write for us” page. Most sites are willing to accept guest posts, even if they don’t advertise for it.

After all, who doesn’t want free content?!

If you can find websites that have written about a particular topic before, then chances are they’ll be interested in a guest post about a similar topic.

The easiest way to do this is with Content Explorer.

Enter any word or phrase and then toggle the “one article per domain” switch to make sure you don’t contact the same sites twice.

parenting content explorer guest blogging

Voila! 26,000+ potential guest blogging opportunities!

Too many? Use the Domain Rating filter to focus on the caliber of sites that you’re comfortable writing for.

pasted image 0

To learn more about guest blogging, read our guide on how to do guest blogging at scale.

PRO TIP

Most people write guest posts solely for links. It often doesn’t matter to them whether the topic of the post is relevant to their blog, or whether the links they build are likely to send referral traffic their way.

I’ve also made this mistake in the past:

While trying to promote a customer-loyalty SaaS, I wrote a post about Reddit marketing that linked back to a post about Instagram. No business value whatsoever.

Luckily, Tim showed me that to get traffic from your guest posts, you have to write about relevant topics and pitch your product or service in the post itself.

You don’t have to give the hard sell. Just mention your product or service where relevant. In my experience, most site owners allow this as long as it’s not too pushy.

Here’s an example from the SmartBlogger guest post:

ahrefs mention in smartblogger

Relevant online communities are places where your target audience hangs out on the Web.

You can find these communities everywhere:

Recently, we launched Content Explorer 2.0, which is rebuilt from scratch and has tons of new features.

As part of the launch, I did a few videos for SEO-related Facebook groups, where I explained how to take advantage of these new features.

content explorer video dan ray fb group

Judging by the comments, it was pretty well-received.

Sounds easy right?

It is. Just don’t seek out a few Facebook groups and start spamming the heck out of them. There is no quicker and better way to get booted and banned.

What’s missing in this example is the effort required to be active in the group, build trust in the community and cultivate your relationship with the group admin.

Do this, and they’ll be more inclined to say yes on the rare occasion you ask permission to self-promote.

Nathan Collier, the admin of the Facebook group Content Marketing Lounge, says this is the reason why he was able to “turn the other cheek” when I posted something self-promotional in his group:
nathan comment

Quora is a Q&A site where anyone can ask questions or answer them.

That means you can respond to existing questions in your niche, establish your authority, and generate some traffic for your website along the way.

Since July 2018, I’ve been active on Quora, answering at least 5 questions a week on topics related to AhrefsSEO and digital marketing. Since then, we’ve accumulated hundreds of thousands of views.

si quan quora views

But, Quora views are a vanity metric. The real question is: does it send traffic and sales to your website?

Short answer: yes.

We’ve been getting consistent sign-ups from Quora every month (and that’s from people who have indicated they knew us from Quora):

quora registrations 2

So, how do you market on Quora?

There are two parts to this equation:

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