Content Marketing: The Hard Path that Keeps on Giving

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djbaxter

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4 Lessons on Content Marketing – The Hard Path that Keeps on Giving!
by Srinivas Krishnaswamy, SearchEnginePeople.com
January 19, 2018

It's been over two years and since I started my bootstrapped venture. With very little money to spend and no major investment backing, I was looking at ways to spread the word about my product and couldn't afford to spend money on social media platforms.... With no experience in marketing products for consumers via the Internet, and absolutely no knack for churning out viral content (even my cat was way too lazy to do anything that might give me content for a viral video), my situation seemed hopeless.

Finally, I decided to do something that did not involve any spend but took up pretty much all my time. I started churning out content across several platforms and that's all I have been doing for over two years now... My site has seen traffic grow by over 40 times from Nov 2015 to Nov 2017!

Here are the key lessons I learned about using content marketing as the primary strategy to get your product off the ground.

1. Create The Best Content In Your Industry
Every industry has similar opportunities to differentiate. You just need to spend the time. Use this action list to create the best content on this side of the galaxy for your business.
  1. Identify keywords for your business that you want to target.
  2. Understand the intent of the keyword. Find out what type of keyword you are addressing - navigational (Facebook login), Informational (laptop review), or transactional (order pizza). You should be targeting informational or transactional keywords.
  3. Once the intent is clear, review the top 10 articles showing up for the keywords on search engines (aka Google).
  4. List down the broad subtopics covered in the top 10 articles.
  5. Use tools like Keywordtool.io or Ubersuggest.io (free) to find out if you can unearth related keywords with the same root phrase (psst...ignore ones that have zero search volume).
  6. Compare the subtopics from the top articles (point 4) with all the keyword phrases you have shortlisted (in point 5). Now you have the nailed down the content gap!
  7. Create a content outline that covers all the subtopics covered by your competition along with subtopics your competition has left untouched.
2. Horses For Courses
Here is what I did to push out content on multiple platforms. I create the core content which is usually a 3500+ word blog post on a specific topic that might be directly related to my product. The purpose of the blog post is to educate and answer the user's questions and not to sell my product. I don't just stop with the blog post. Once the blog post is published, I create snippets from the blog post and push it out to Pinterest, Tumblr, SlideShare, Twitter, Medium, G+, Facebook, Quora to name a few.

3. Your Content Is Your Garden
My content has a shelf life....
  1. I treat my content as a garden that needs constant nurturing and maintenance.
  2. I watch out for content that will automatically expire, I watch out for what competitors are generating,
  3. I find out what other angles I should have covered in an article that is already popular.
  4. I improve the graphics, and I look for spelling and grammar mistakes all the time.
When I see an opportunity for improving an article that is already performing well, I just put in the effort to make it even better.

4. Don't Forget Conversions
All the crazy effort and time that goes into creating awesome content about your product or the solutions you are offering are worth nothing if they don't help you move the needle or get your business to the next level. So what is the ultimate goal for the content you generate? The objectives could vary, but here are some usual suspects.
  • You want exposure to your brand or service or educate your target audience
  • You want leads (usually the name and email address of someone interested in accessing your amazing content)
  • You want customers or active participants for whatever you want them to sign up for (could even be a cause you are fighting for).
Read more...
 

Hazel Gomez

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Thanks for creating a thread for this. I am too a freelance writer and it is not as easy as it seems. You have to do research, build social media contact and create a different content every time. Content writing needs more brain power than ever. I am still learning so your information is very helping.
 

azgold

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I've witnessed a big (and good!) change in content marketing over the years. Used to be that you could slap something up with links and ads and call it a day. Didn't always make money but sometimes it did.

Content creation is hard work but so rewarding when done well. Hopefully financially but I mean in a self-satisfying way, as a job well done. I love sitting back and thinking, Wow, I wrote that? It's good! Puts a smile on my face, especially when readers like it as much as I do.

I seldom write anymore but man, did I love it when I did. Thankfully, a great deal of what I wrote was evergreen. :)
 
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