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Bizzuka provides a lot of content marketing for its clients. There are good reasons for it, too.
Content is to search engines what gasoline is to fire. The more keyword-optimized, topically-relevant content you create, the better your chances of being found. Every article, blog post, white paper, ebook, or another type of searchable content available on your website, the more desirable to Google it becomes.
People trust expertly written content. According to the report “The Role of Content in the Consumer Decision Making Process,” expert content – credible, third-party articles and reviews – is the most effective source of information in impacting consumers along all stages of the purchase process across product categories.
The following statistics from Prose Media, a content marketing company, support the role of content as a successful marketing strategy:
- Per dollar, content marketing produces 3x more leads than traditional marketing;
- 73% of customers prefer to learn about a company from articles rather than ads;
- 61% of customers are more likely to buy from a company publishing custom content.
If content marketing is that effective isn’t it time you started using it in your business?
Here are four steps to get started.
1. Conduct careful keyword research
According to a report from Fleishman-Hillard, 89% of consumers turn to search engines to find information on products, services or businesses prior to making purchases.
When crafting a content plan, the first step is to carry out careful research for keywords that are critical to your business and industry.
There are plenty of tools and articles available on how to do keyword research, but here are four I recommend:
2. Decide on a content format and style
There are many ways to develop content: videos, white papers, ebooks, audio podcasts, infographics, articles, press releases, and so on. For those just starting out, no better avenue exists to market content than a blog. It is the perfect repository for every other type of content and attracts Google’s attention just like a magnet. In fact, someone once said the word blog stands for “Better Listings On Google.”
Bizzuka has seen a marked increase in site visits, page views, and, more importantly, leads generated as a direct result of our blogging efforts. On average, we post three times per week focusing on major themes of concern to our business: web design, internet marketing and mobile technology.
If you are a Bizzuka customer, a blog component is built right into the content management system. It’s just a matter of turning it on.
In terms of choosing a content style, keep it consistent with the nature of your business. B2B companies may wish to adopt a more formal approach to writing while B2C can be more casual. Regardless, you want the personality of your business to shine through, so adapt the voice and style as it suits you.
While we feel it’s important that your blog reside on your company website if that’s not a possibility, many options are available.
WordPress is a blog platform especially well suited to long-form content that is heavily text-oriented. If your style is more casual, or that focuses primarily on using images, video or shorter posts, Tumblr is a great option.
Finally, if you’re pressed for time or lack the internal resources necessary to produce original content, you can always opt for curation. A couple of tools for that include Rebelmouse and Scoop.it. Finding content is easy enough, too. Twitter search, Google news alerts, or tools like Feedly and Mention can help.
(Curation is where you find content produced by others and write a synopsis in a paragraph or two expressing your viewpoint and/or insights.)
3. Create a content calendar
The next step is to create a content calendar. This will help you stay on track and ensure that the keywords you’ve chosen are distributed evenly throughout the month/quarter/year. Start by organizing the keywords according to themes and topics.
Themes consist of the primary keyword “buckets,” each of which contain a list of topics. For example, you may organize your content by product lines, and list topics according to each product.
If industry terms are important to you (rather than product terms), organize your buckets according to industry, with topics related to each of those. Perhaps a mix of both would work best.
Your calendar can be setup using a spreadsheet, or project management tool such as Basecamp or Teamwork.
For more information on creating a content calendar, I recommend this article: “How to Build a Content Calendar,” which contains a detailed tutorial on the process.
4. Start producing content
Now that the prep work is complete, it’s time to turn on the ignition and get your content engine running.
If you’ve never created content before, or don’t consider yourself a writer (photographer, videographer, designer, et al), in the beginning it may seem strange, not unlike the first time you drove a car. However, the more content you create, the less uncomfortable you will feel. Over time, it will begin to appear in search engine returns, and you’ll gain a following as a subject matter expert.
How can I be certain of that? Because I’ve seen it happen time and time again. What’s worked for others will work for you, as well.
Isn’t it time to put the power of content marketing to work for your business? If you’d like more information, a member of the Bizzuka Internet marketing team can help.
Image source: Flickr Creative Commons