If you're new to content marketing, it can be a little daunting at first. Where do you start? How do you create content that will rank on Google? And once you've got people clicking through to your site, how do you keep them there? Luckily, we've got you covered.
This guide will take you through everything you need about content marketing, from understanding what it is and why it's essential to creating content that will help your business stand out from the crowd.
We'll also give you top tips on improving your organic click-through rate once your content is ranking. So, let's get started!
What is Content Marketing?
The definition of content marketing is a strategic approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience.
Then, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.
Content marketing is one of the most important aspects of online marketing. Creating and publishing a valuable piece of content can attract new customers and keep them returning for more, nurturing them through their customer journey. It's all about creating a relationship with your audience.
When you produce quality content, potential clients will trust you and see you as an authority in your field.
Publishing high-quality content regularly can also help improve your search engine rankings, bringing even more traffic to your website.
Some types of content marketing include:
- Blogging is one of the most common and effective forms of content marketing. Businesses can attract new readers and customers by creating a helpful, informative blog article.
- Social media marketing: another great way to reach potential customers is through social media. By sharing interesting content on platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, businesses can get their products and services in front of a large audience.
- Creating ebooks or guides that provide valuable information for your target audience
- Creating helpful resources, such as checklists or templates, that can be downloaded from your website.
- Developing infographics that illustrate vital data points or stats related to your industry
- Video marketing: Producing short videos or webinars that educate viewers on a specific topic
- Creating email newsletters that provide exciting and helpful information for your subscribers
What are the Essential Factors in Content Marketing?
Define your Target Audience
To define your target audience, begin by creating a "buyer persona", or "customer avatar". Neighbourhood has a free buyer persona template you can utilise below!
A buyer persona is a digital marketing term that refers to a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research, demographics, behaviour patterns, motivations, and goals.
While high-end marketing agencies will try and make the process complicated, creating a buyer persona is simple: just picture a customer you know in your mind, and answer some questions about them.
For example: where do they live? What do they do for a living? What are their buying habits? Potential annoyances? What are their hobbies and interests?
Once you have a clear picture of your ideal customer, you can start to create content that appeals to them. You can also use this information to target your ad campaigns effectively and craft more effective sales pitches.
Produce Quality Content
There is no substitute for well-written, informative, and engaging content. Whether you're running a blog, a website, or a social media account, your goal should always be to produce the most valuable content possible.
This doesn't mean you need to spend hours writing perfect prose or employing a team of editors. But it does mean taking the time to write something thoughtful and original and ensuring that your grammar and spelling are up to par.
With quality content, you'll be able to build a loyal following, drive traffic to your site, and ultimately achieve your business goals. So don't skimp on quality - it's worth the investment.
You must publish content on a regular basis if you're serious about driving traffic and generating leads. That doesn't mean churning out a few blog posts now and then - it means consistently publishing high-quality content regularly.
Think about it this way: if you only publish content sporadically, your audience will never know when to expect new content from you. But if you're posting on a regular schedule (say, once a week or once a month), your audience will start to anticipate your content and look forward to it. Consistency is critical when it comes to publishing content - so make sure you stick to a schedule you can commit to in the long term.
Not only will pushing content on a regular basis help you build an engaged audience, but it will also make it easier for you to plan and produce your content.
With a regular publishing schedule, you can map out your content calendar in advance instead of scrambling to develop new ideas at the last minute - this is key to becoming an effective content marketer!
Trust us - regular content publishing is worth the effort.
Promote Your Content
There are a lot of ways to get attention for your content. You can post it on social media, send an email blast, or even print an ad in the local paper. But if you want to get people talking, you need to do more than just put your content in front of them. You need to promote it. Here are a few simple ways to get started:
- Reach out to influencers. Influencer marketing has become an emerging trend to reach new audience groups on several social media channels if you can get specific influential people in your industry to share your content. Make a list of potential influencers and reach out to them with a personalised message.
- Create shareable content. If your content is easy to share, people will be likelier to do it. Use engaging images and headlines, and make sure your content is mobile-friendly to encourage social shares.
- Run a contest. People love games; they're a great way to get people to talk about your brand and generate action in your awareness stage. Offer a prize related to your business, and promote the contest across all your channels.
- Leverage paid to advertise. Paid ads can help you reach a wider audience than traditional marketing, and they can be very pretty darn effective if you target them correctly. Try using promoted posts on social media or running a search ad campaign.
- Use social media wisely. Social media is one of the best tools for promoting your content. But you need to use it intelligently; bombarding people with links will not work. Instead, focus on trying to start conversations rather than just pitching your product or service.
Learn how to do Keyword Research
Keyword research is vital to rank higher on search engine results pages (SERPs) and make your content marketing efforts actually worth it. It allows you to understand what people are searching for online, so you can produce content that meets their needs.
In short, keyword research is finding and analysing people's words and phrases they use to search for information online. By understanding which keywords are most popular, you can tailor your content to include these terms, making it more likely to rank highly in SERPs.
Use a keyword research tool like Google Keyword Planner or paid tools like SEMrush. These tools allow you to see how many people are searching for specific keywords and how popular those keywords are.
Another approach is to analyse your website's traffic data (usually Google analytics). This can help you to identify which keywords are driving traffic to your site, so you can focus your efforts on optimising for those terms.
Ways you can Improve your Content Marketing
Once you've got the hang of regularly publishing content, you can begin to improve your content marketing campaigns. Follow these steps to start generating more clicks from your search engine listings:
Cover the SEO Basics
Ensure your page titles and meta descriptions are relevant, exciting, and informative. Make your page meta description accurately describe the content on the page. That way, people will know what to expect before they land on your page. Essentially you are "warming up the crowd" for your content through minimal SEO efforts.
Write Attention-Grabbing Headlines
Headlines are the first thing readers will see, so you must ensure they're compelling enough to make people want to read your content. People read hundreds of thousands of headlines in their lifetime, so make sure you spend some time crafting headlines that are both accurate and attention-grabbing.
What exactly makes a headline "catchy?" Well, there are a few key elements:
- Use numbers: Numbers matter when it comes to headlines. Research shows that using numbers in your headlines can increase click-through rates by up to 36%. Why? Numbers make headlines more concrete and easier to digest. They also help convey the scope of the article without requiring potential readers to click through to find out more.
- Use positive words: Headlines that use positive words like "best," "great," and "essential" tend to perform better than those that use negative comments like "worst," "never," and "don't." This is likely because positive words are more likely to catch people's attention and pique their interest.
- Use powerful verbs: Active, powerful verbs are another critical element of catchy headlines. Verbs like "boost," "improve," and "double" tend to perform well, as they suggest that there's something worthwhile or engaging in the article for readers.
- Keep it short: Generally, more concise headlines perform better than longer ones. This is likely because people are more likely to scan headlines than read them. So if you want your headline to be readable and compelling, keep it concise.
- Make it specific: Specific Headlines perform better than vague or general ones. This is likely because specific headlines make it clear what readers can expect from the article, which helps them decide whether or not they're interested in reading it.
Use Imagery and Video
People are visual creatures. We're drawn to colours, shapes, and movement. That's why incorporating images and entertaining videos into your content can help to hold their attention.
Adding visual elements also makes your content more shareable on social media. Just look at the popularity of platforms like Instagram and Snapchat.
The power of visuals is undeniable. But you don't need Hollywood-level production values to make an impact. A simple chart or diagram can add value to your article or blog post.
Write Compelling Copy
Even if your article is thoroughly researched and optimised for SEO, it won't do you any good if no one wants to read it. A goal of content marketing is to ensure your copy is interesting, engaging, and free of typos and grammatical errors.
Your audience consists of real people who want to know that you understand them. So the best way to connect with them is to write as if you were talking to a friend. Be natural, be yourself, and don't try to be someone you're not. Your copy will instantly become more relatable and compelling when you do that.
So, now that you understand what content marketing is and why you should be using it, let's take you to the expert level!
We will now explore what click-through rate is and why it's essential to the success of your content marketing strategy.
We will show you how you can draw some of that all-important search engine traffic away from your competitors and into your sales funnel.
What is Click-Through Rate, and why is it Important?
The click-through rate (CTR) is a metric that measures how often people who see your content click on it. It often aids with business objectives because it gives you an insight into how effective your content is at achieving your goals.
CTR = the number of impressions divided by the number of clicks.
A high CTR means that people are interested in what you have to say and are more likely to take the desired action, whether signing up for your email list, buying your product, or downloading your eBook.
Conversely, a low CTR can indicate that your content isn't relevant to your audience or that the content isn't written engagingly.
CTR is a general term to discuss any marketing campaign's overall performance. In the following section, we will discuss "organic click-through rate", which means optimising our content to get better results from existing search engine visibility.
How to Improve Your Organic Click-Through Rate
Paid advertisements, featured snippets, and knowledge graphics are becoming more prevalent at the top of search result pages. Because of this, organic CTR has been continuously declining for several years. Paid Ads are made to look less like paid ads to gain the lion's share of clicks.
So how can you ensure that your content is seen and clicked on by potential customers?
Instead of writing more content, use some of the following strategies to squeeze more blood from the Google stone:
Begin by Analysing the Lowest Click-Through Rate Offenders First
These are the pages that have the most room for improvement. Picking the low-hanging fruit is always the best way to get the most results from the least effort!
Navigate to your Google search console (GSC) and check the "Performance, Queries and Average CTR" boxes. This will give you a report which you can sort from best performing CTR to worst performing or vice versa.
Once you have that data now, what do you do with it? Figuring out why your content generates lower than average CTR will take some sleuthing using the best Sherlock Holmes deductions!
Use Paid Advertising to Rectify Headline Writing Errors Quickly
The most common reason for low CTR is a poorly written headline; the easiest way to fix that is to use paid search advertising as your tool for headline improvement.
Paid advertising allows you to quickly and easily test out different headlines to see which ones perform the best. By testing other headlines, you can find the ones most likely to drive clicks and conversions.
If you make a mistake in your headline, you can change it in your ad and see results immediately. This is a proven way to rectify headline errors and retrospectively apply them to your articles with low CTR.
Use Descriptive URLs in Your Site Structure.
Which URL gives you the most confidence?
The more descriptive URL is going to be the winner here. You can easily change URL slugs to reflect your content and improve CTR more accurately.
Apply Title Case to Your Headings
Title Case is a form of capitalisation used for titles and headings. In the title case, all significant words are capitalised, while little words are left in lowercase.
The most common minor words that are not capitalised in title case are articles (a, an, the), prepositions (of, in, on), and conjunctions (and, but, or).
There is no single standard for title case, and different style guides may have other conventions. However, it is generally advisable to use title case for headlines and titles that will be seen by a broad audience. This helps to make the text more readable and easier to understand.
Title case makes the heading stand out and is attributed to higher CTR.
Aim For the "Holy Grail" of Search - The Featured Snippet
Think about the last time you went to Google to search for something. You probably typed in a few keywords, hit enter, and then scanned the results until you found what you were looking for, right?
Well, chances are good that you also noticed the featured snippet at the top of the search results.
The featured snippet is the "holy grail" of search engine optimisation (SEO), which every business should aim for. Here's why: featured snippets get significantly more clicks than the first organic result.
And since they appear at the top of the search results, they are also one of the first things people see when searching for a particular term. In other words, if you can get your website to appear in the featured snippet for a specific keyword, you will likely see a significant increase in traffic.
So how do you do it? Unfortunately, there's no surefire answer, but there are a few things that you can do to improve your chances.
First, make sure that your website is optimised for mobile devices. Google is increasingly prioritising mobile-friendly websites, so this is a crucial step to take regardless of whether or not you're trying to rank for a featured snippet.
Second, make sure that your content is well-written and informative. Google wants to feature accurate and helpful snippets, so content that meets those criteria is more likely to be chosen.
Finally, use structured data wherever possible. This helps Google understand the content on your website and makes it more likely to be included in featured snippets.
Although there is no guarantee following these tips will get your website into a featured snippet, it's certainly worth doing if you're looking to increase your traffic from search engines.
We've reached the end of our journey!
First, we defined content marketing and how it can be used to achieve business goals. Next, we looked at how to implement a content marketing strategy, including the different types of content that can be created.
Finally, we discussed how to optimise your content for organic search and improve your click-through rate once it's ranking. By following these steps, you'll be well on your way to content marketing success.