There’s not much point in having a website if no-one sees it. And it can be discouraging to realise that all your time and investment in your website doesn’t seem to be generating the interest you were looking for.
Build your reputation and credibility
Content Marketing can make a significant difference. Not only does it give you the chance to build relationships with your target market, it also builds search rankings. In other words, it helps you get closer to page 1 on a Google search.
Simply put, Content Marketing means giving away information and insights that are useful, helpful or interesting to your target market. And if you do that on your website, they’ll find you online, because that’s what they’re looking for. Sounds obvious, doesn’t it?
More importantly, if your target market discovers that you are a valuable source of reliable information, the advantages are clear; increasingly, they’ll rely on you for the information they’re looking for and a relationship of trust will develop. And eventually, when they’re read to commit, you’ll be at the top of their list of potential suppliers.
The harsh reality
The internet is a competitive environment. If you search Google for “Content Marketing South Africa” there are roughly 50 million results with about a million if you limit this to Durban. There are even 17 million recipes for peanut butter ice-cream.
What about your industry? How easy would be for your target market to find you with a Google search?
You probably know from your own habits that people usually only bother with the first page of search results, and the stats back this up. With ten searches per page, you can see how vital Google ranking is if you want to be found.
If you’re not on page 1 or 2, you’re toast! So you need to focus on your search ranking.
How often do you need to add content?
Google has a complicated algorithm to determine search rankings, but recency of material is a key element. It’s not enough to build a great website and then move onto your next marketing project; you need to maintain your website and add new material on a regular basis.
Last month I did a quick survey of my LinkedIn contacts and can tell you that not too many of you are doing this. Approximately 25% said that you added new content “as and when” new information became available, and about 50% said you updated your sites monthly.
I can tell you that I neglected my own content for three weeks when I was working on a project with a tight deadline, and my Alexa ranking dropped by almost a million places (from roughly 1.5 to 2.5 million). And it hasn’t yet recovered. It’s still quite respectable, but that’s a huge dip in a short time span.
So monthly updates aren’t going to do much for you.
More isn’t enough; it’s got to be good
You can’t get away with adding content for the sake of new pages. Another of Google’s imperatives is the need for “quality” content. Now I don’t have a problem with this. If you just keep adding pages of useless or duplicated information, you’re not going to engage with your target market anyway, so it’s a waste of time. Just getting people to your site is only half the job. You need to give them something of value or they won’t hang around.
There are a couple of measures of quality. If you plagiarise you will you punished; you shouldn’t even duplicate your own material. For example, if you write an article for someone else to publish on their website and later decide to include it on your own, Google will view it as duplication and you won’t get any benefit from it.
Engagement is another key measure. I’m only aware of two metrics for this, and you can check them yourself:
- Time spent on the web page
In other words, if people click onto your new content, take one look at the page and decide it’s boring and click away in seconds, there is no engagement. If, on the other hand, they stay on the page and read the entire article, you’ve delivered the quality they’re looking for. (You can pick this up from your analytics – just ask your web boffin).
Comments are easy – if people are moved to comment on your website, then they obviously engaged with your content.
Will it really make a difference?
This year, Hubspot, an American marketing software company, researched more than 7000 companies to establish whether Content Marketing made a noticeable difference.
Not only does a regular stream of valuable content drive more traffic to the website, they also proved that it created more leads.
In fact, websites with between 51 and 100 pages generate 48 times more traffic than those with fewer than 50.
And businesses with higher numbers of blog posts or articles also score more leads. The significant number is 100. After you have 100 blog posts, the number of leads generated by your website increased exponentially.
How to create valuable content
So often there is an abundance of content available within the organisation, and this is particularly true for professional firms and industrial marketers. But even small service organisations and medium sized businesses have a wealth of knowledge and expertise that they can use to generate content.
The difficulty is often in unlocking that knowledge and presenting it in a way which is easy for your target market to digest. And you may decide it would be more cost and time efficient to get outside help with this.
While Content Marketing often takes the form of articles, this is certainly not the only way to present content. The options are extensive and include:
- White papers
- Q&A sessions
The starting point
The key to a successful Content Marketing campaign is a strategy that integrates this with the total marketing campaign, and takes account of the resources at hand to develop the most appropriate material.
If you’d like assistance in setting up your Content Marketing, contact Ann TODAY.
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Capitalising on other people’s content
Content marketing lessons from a broken hip
How does your QC compare?
Taking content marketing offline