Content marketing is all about making the connections between information of interest to your target market, and using it to promote your product or service. If your business activities can generate enough excitement to build your content around them regularly, that’s great. Few small business ventures have that much going on, however, and social media, in particular, is all about conversation, not self-promotion. Engagement with your target market depends on finding exactly the right topic to pique their interest, and then tying it to your product or service. Piggy-backing it, if you like.
Finding Content Topics
The toughest part of a content marketer’s day is finding the topic du jour. Yes, we all know blogging is critical to building up a small business and social media interaction is what drives the traffic to your blog. But where do you find the subject to start the conversation? Let’s consider a few suggestions:
- News of the day
- Current issues
- Affected communities
- Family and friends
Make sense? Let me explain.
As a content marketer, your first task of the day is to find out what is going on around you. Scour the news websites, watch TV, speak to family and friends, check your social media sites – find out what is top of mind in your city, county or state. Pick a story you can relate to your business, and figure out how to capitalize on it. For example, if the story of the day is the city council’s latest budget, focusing on how the budget plans to meet cost savings and relate that to how customers can achieve cost savings by using your offering. If your business is sunglasses for kids, look for news about the youth eyewear industry – studies on the negative effect the sun has on kid’s eyes, the latest technologies in eyewear development. If you clean carpets, focus your internet marketing on upcoming holidays and special dates, the effect of the weather, and spring home maintenance.
Writing your Content
The second task for a day in the life of a content marketer is execution, or producing the material. Start with writing your blog post. Identify the hook you are using for the day and list the ways in which you can relate it to your business. Focus on one thing only – one of the biggest mistakes content marketers make is to try to cover too much information in a single post. And don’t worry about promotion – blatant advertising is sure to drive readers away. Get the conversation going. If you aren’t sure how to do this, get some training from an expert.
Choose your keywords. Fresh, vibrant blog copy on your website pushes you to the top of the search engine rankings, but your post will come up on the search engine results pages (SERPs) only if it has enough of the right keywords to be found when a user searches. Use a keyword ranking tool to help choose the best keywords with the highest number of searches, then work that into your copy at a density of around 2 percent, no more. That means using it twice for every 100 words. Anything more than that is keyword stuffing and Google, for sure, and possibly other search engines, will penalize your site.
Social Media Promotion
Finally you can do some promotion, but not the sort you think. Leave the marketing copy for your advertising; what you want to do here is to put your social media to work to generate traffic to your blog. If you’ve got the conversation right, traffic to the blog will result in users sharing your post with others, in both the business and personal spheres. Users will comment, and every comment is another “update” on your website, keeping you at the top of the SERPs.
Publish your posts on Twitter and Facebook, with links to your blog. In January this year, social media thought leader Dan Zarella posted the results of his analysis of 100,000 tweets showing that there was a 60 to 80 percent chance that tweets containing links would be re-tweeted. This proves the theory that interesting content spreads, disseminated by readers through their own networks.
And don’t just limit your social media activities to Twitter and Facebook. Linked In groups are an excellent forum for business people to share information. Digg, Delicious and StumbleUpon are all aggregators of news and information, Google+ is slowly gaining momentum, and don’t forget the new kid on the social media block – Pinterest, which is driving more traffic to blogs than the other platforms combined. If your product or service has visual appeal, set up a Pinterest profile and upload your images onto virtual pinboards, linking each image back to your blog. Then you can sit back and relax, your work is done for the day…maybe…
Remember: we live in an online social world that never sleeps; be sure your content marketing efforts stay relevant no matter what time of day or time zone your customer is in.