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Keys for a successful content marketing campaign


May 17, 2013
By Jen Alsip

Topics

May 17, 2013 — Online marketing and search engine optimization (SEO)
used to be all about banner ads, paid link building, email campaigns,
and pay-per-click. While those things are still used, to be truly
relevant to today’s consumer, you must add strategic content marketing
in the SEO space to the mix. 

SEO refers to anything Internet-related that is based on organic
results. In other words, it’s when someone goes to their favourite
search engine and types in a keyword or phrase related to what you
offer, and your company or product appears naturally in the results.
Making sure your information is visible in the search is important and
plays a huge role in the art of communicating with your customers
without selling them. It’s about creating fresh, relevant, and unique
content through your blog and social media that reaches your ideal
customers and enables you to earn a presence in the SEO space.

For any business, content marketing is one of the most important online
activities to enhance their SEO ranking. Unfortunately, many are not
fully utilizing it because they lack an understanding of the concept,
impact, and necessity of content marketing. As a result, companies
frequently get stuck in the old way of doing SEO, which entailed writing
keyword heavy content tailored for search engines, versus the new way
of doing SEO, which is writing engaging content for the readers. It’s
about focusing on user intent, which takes a little more time but yields
great results.

In order to fully leverage your content marketing activities, follow these three simple steps:

1. Identify personas for your target audience

You likely have a target audience for your products and services, and
often the audience is quite broad, such as “women age 35 to 50 who have
kids” or “Baby Boomers” or “men age 18 to 40 who like sports.” While
there are certain characteristics that go across the entire target
audience, there are also many subsets of people (called personas) within
the target.

For example, using the “women age 35 to 50 who have kids” target
audience, you could have specific personas of “married, working mom,”
“stay-at-home mom,” “single, working mom,” etc. Each of these personas
within your target audience has very different interests and will
respond to specific content. Someone who is younger with pre-school kids
may be looking for more engaging content, whereas an older working
woman with teens may be more responsive to the technical information you
can provide. Therefore, identify the various personas within your
target audience so you can reach and engage each group.

2. Create a targeted and consistent blog

The purpose of your blog should be to connect with and engage readers by
providing value to them through relevant content. After all, when
readers like the information you provide, they are more apt to return to
your site and ultimately purchase what you offer. The key is being able
to provide usable content for all the personas you’ve identified.

Staying with the “women age 35 to 50 with kids” example, you may write a
narrative blog entitled “The Best Toy I Ever Purchased” to reach the
stay-at-home mom persona. The next day you may write a technical blog
titled “The Safest Way to Clean Electronic Toys” to reach the working
mom persona. Each blog would have a different tone based on the persona
you’re targeting.

In addition to providing relevant content, being consistent in your
blogging activity is important. Whether you post something daily, three
times a week, or four times a month will depend on the topic and your
readers. The key is keeping your schedule consistent—doing the same
number of posts every week. Posting a blog every day for a month and
then not doing anything for two months can hurt your SEO efforts. For
most businesses, doing two to three blog posts per week is sufficient.

3. Concentrate on engaging your audience

Engaging your audience means getting them to share your information with
others via their social media channels, comment on your blog posts to
create conversations, or click to your marketing pages to learn more and
ultimately make a purchase decision. It’s about getting your readers to
take some sort of action without pressuring them to do so.

Today’s readers don’t want to feel pressured to do anything. The
engagement needs to be natural. Even the search engines have changed
their search algorithms to make the results more innate based on what a
user would naturally do. Therefore, putting a link within your blog post
to a page on your site that’s related to a product you’re talking about
is totally fine and recommended. Someone would naturally click on that
page since they’re reading a post about the topic. But putting in eight
different links with optimized anchor text that either all go to the
same page or to one specific product is the epitome of putting pressure
on a reader.

Additionally, when you keep the focus on engagement and categorize your
blog posts correctly, your posts can show when someone is looking at
your products. In other words, if someone is shopping and comes across
your product, they can see that you wrote a blog post about the product
and click on it to learn more information, which can then influence
their buying decision.

Content marketing is a way to expand your reach, build relevancy in the
search engines to gain traffic and visibility, and convert readers into
buyers. Realize, though, that content marketing is just one piece of
having a winning online marketing strategy. No single technique or
strategy will make your business profitable. However, when you combine
content marketing with all the other online and offline marketing
activities you do, you’ll soon realize the success and profits you
deserve.

With 11 years of experience in Internet marketing, Jen Alsip is the
content marketing manager for Volume 9, Inc., helping put together
strategies for her clients to improve their outreach and personalize the
information they are putting out on the Internet. Volume 9 creates
custom search marketing campaigns for clients, including a mix of SEO,
paid search management, social media, local search marketing and website
development for over 100 clients and 200 managed websites. Jen and
Volume 9’s enterprising team leverage search marketing into real bottom
line results for their clients’ businesses. They were recently honored
by both the Inc. 5,000 and the Denver Business Journal as one of the
fastest growing companies in Denver, and in the U.S. For more
information, please visit www.volume9inc.com.


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