Content Marketing is the new SEO. No more keyword tags, keyword-stuffed paragraphs and headings, online directories and link-building (I haven’t even mentioned any “dirty” SEO tricks…).
Content is how you build authority, traffic, leads, contacts, email list, links.
Content is loved by your prospects AND Google, Bing, Yahoo. Search engines now award those websites that generate quality content, on a regular basis.
So, here are 3 of the most common questions about Content Marketing: why, when and how often.
Why Content Marketing?
You may have heard that content marketing can grow your business. But how exactly?
Wiggle, originally a small local bike shop, as of 2011 had over 600.000 customers and generated 50% of its £86 million sales from overseas.
And how did they generate business from overseas?
I have seen the impact myself. Looking at my own business, I can say that using content has enabled me to dramatically widen my customer base.
Before I started blogging, using eBooks and the other content marketing tools, visitors to my website were predominantly local contacts – averaging approximately 11 visits a day.
From the very date that I started posting blogs, I could see dramatic effects – a classic Before/After scenario.
Up until 17th January 2015 – the point at which I started doing content marketing – 44% of my website traffic was from Ireland. After 17th January, that dropped to 6% while traffic from other countries grew dramatically.
There is no other way I could have achieved that in as a short a time and for as little investment.
Quick and cheap results! I think that’s what we all want.
Having said I invested little from a monetary point of view, there is of course a time investment. But you might now be thinking that as well as time and money, there is another big consideration – talent.
Don’t you have to be a writer to produce good content? And even if you can write, what on earth do you write about?
Well, we’re going to help you with both those things too.
When and How Often Should I Blog?
One of the most common questions I get asked is “How often should I blog?”
Well, the answer is “How often would your target audience like you to blog?”
If you are targeting busy mothers for kids’ drama classes, you might want to blog often but keep them short.
If you write very technical blogs on investment strategy aimed at big-league financial planners, you could write less often because there is a lot to digest in them.
Whatever interval you decide is appropriate, stick to it.
Consistency is better than frequency.
If there is just no way you can manage a blog a week, make it two a month, but do it.
Put a content Marketing System in Place
Now, it’s a myth that you need to wait for inspiration.
Inspiration is like that bus into town. It might not come.
So beat the days when your inspiration is a no show by producing a content calendar.
Sit down with your team – even if your team is you and your teenage son… or just you – and write down all the ideas you have for content: blogs, faqs, tips, how-tos, videos, competitions, eBooks, images, infographics and so on.
Now slot them into your calendar, making sure you are making the most of seasonality, major events, periods of low demand; whatever dates are important for your business.
And if you are struck by writer’s block, there is no better suggestion than the one my friend Eilish gave me (Eilish is a freelance content writer).
She told me: “Starting from a blank page is the most difficult thing. So, start typing words. Anything you can think of related to the topic. Eventually something will begin to take shape. Bullets, sketches, word brainstorming, anything that might fill that blank page with some ideas.”
Using your own experience as a way into a blog can be very effective so it doesn’t matter if the chosen topic brings up a personal memory.
Just use it.
1. When working out how often to blog or post, think about what suits your audience.
2. Consistency is better than frequency. If there is just no way you can manage a blog a week, make it two a month, but do it.
3. Having a content calendar means you don’t need inspiration every time you sit down to write content. It also encourages you to create the content because you have it in the diary.
4. Just start writing! And keep writing until you have a blog. Then leave it, come back to it and edit it.