Content marketing is not really one of the quickest ways of generating traffic and acquiring customers (Pay-per-click advertising, for example, can bring you clicks within a couple of minutes).
However, it seems to be one of the most reliable and cost-effective forms of marketing in the long run; and if you are a real business (small or big), content marketing is what you should be turning to.
Content marketing is not about creating and distributing just any kind of content. You can burn money just as easily as with PPC ads with this strategy. To really maximize your ROI, you need to follow a few guidelines. This post should help you with that!
Tip #1: Be Unique
Very often on Internet Marketing forums, I come across people asking if it's okay to manually re-write the articles from other peoples blogs and post them on my own blog.
The most common reply to this inquiry is that it can be done, but it has to be at least xx% unique so that Google doesn't penalize you.
Firstly, it's plagiarism. Even though it will appear unique to the search engine bots if you are (or use) a half-decent writer, it's still plagiarism.
Secondly, why would you do that? You are not adding value. Rephrasing other peoples content does nothing. People have seen it before. What they want is something new and fresh!
Try to make your content as effective as possible so as to give people a reason to read your material instead of others. Find another angle; Express your disagreement (and explain why you disagree); Get real experts to give their view (be the host of the content). Be different!
Tip #2: Be Consistent
Content marketing is not something you can set and forget. Choose a publishing frequency and stick to it.
Neil Patel, co-founder of KISSmetrics.com wrote:
Whether it is 1 post a day, 1 post a week, or even 1 post a month, the number isn't really as important as the consistency. Whatever pace you decide to create content at, make sure you stick to it. You can also pump out more content later on if you have more time, but it can hurt your traffic if you decrease your consistency.
He saw a drop of 21% in traffic on his blog with only 4 or 5 posts less in a month.
When you publish good content, you start building a following and people expect your content with anticipation. Do not deceive them.
Tip #3: Leverage Your Content
We talked about creating truly unique content in tip #1. You don't have to create unique content for every platform you are on. Once the unique content is created, you can simply adapt it to the different distribution channels.
You can repurpose the same content for distribution on your blog, YouTube, SlideShare, Facebook, Google+, Twitter, etc. Obviously you cannot post an entire article on Twitter, which is why I talked about adapting your content.
(For those wondering how, on Twitter for example, you can have a nice hook with a strong call-to-action to your blog post. For a recipe on your weight loss blog, your tweet can be something like: This sugar-free smoothiemmmm>> tinyurl.com/delicious
Being on many channels means that you can maximize the use of every piece of content you publish anywhere.
Tip #4: Be There
Your brand needs to be associated as much as possible with the demand your business supplies. Take Starbucks for example; Ive seen several of their coffee shops on the same street! Actually, Ive seen several of them in the same mall! They want to be known as THE place to hang out to have a coffee.
While not many of us can afford setting up shop at multiple locations, what we can do is be there when the customers are looking for something that we can provide.
By being there in the SERPs when people are looking for a solution (this is where publishing content helps). This is not all
How about when someone is complaining about his water pipe issues on Facebook? You can post a link to your Quick Way to Fix Your Broken Water Pipe blog post in the comment section.
Tip #5: Your Content Does A Lot But You Need To Close In
Awesome content will generate traffic with decent marketing. However, once the traffic is here, you need to close the deal. Content marketing is worthless if you cannot generate leads or make sales out of the traffic it generates for you.
Provide an easy way for visitors to sign up for your newsletters or to have a look at the free trials you offer.
Dont forget to provide links to your social profiles as well to provide them even more ways to stay in touch (and to be there).
Tip #6: Offline
With the focus on social, online and digital, a lot of us tend to associate the offline world with personal.
Marketing can (and should!) be done offline too. Unless your local magazine or newspaper has negotiated exclusive publishing rights to your content, you can distribute your existing content through them as well.
Tip #7: Data Tracking
If you are the kind of person to who needs (or wants) numbers, then tracking is what you are looking for.
Google Webmaster Tools and Bing Webmaster Tools will give you analytics about search traffic.
Linktrack.info enables you to track your links.
Google Analytics allows you to track your visitors behavior.
These 3 - 4 free tools alone will give you a lot of data you can work with to be maximize your ROI on your content marketing.
Content marketing basically takes care of SEO, social signals and human interaction - now why would you not do it?