Content marketing is a really hot topic these days and is considered the foundation of any good inbound marketing strategy. In today’s competitive online business environment it’s a must for search engine visibility, social media marketing, lead conversion, brand building and referral traffic. Below are 10 requirements for deploying successful online content marketing.
- Blog– While there are other ways to deploy content marketing online, a blog represents one of the most flexible ways to publish content on the internet. Try to host a blog on your own current domain rather than on a subdomain if possible. The only exception is if you have enough publishing throughput to populate both the subdomain and domain with at least 10 posts per week (preferably 21). Otherwise, you’ll be cannibalizing your ability to rank well in Google’s SERPs.
- Publishing Schedule – A schedule serves three main purposes. Besides the obvious of creating deadlines for content producers, the schedule sets the weekly submission requirements for publishing and establishes accountability for the team. According to HubSpot, most blogs reach the point of diminishing returns at 21 blog posts per week.
- Advanced Content– Contrary to popular belief, just because someone has visited your blog or website doesn’t mean they’ve entered the top of your sales funnel. You have to morally bribe them with a quid pro quo transaction. By publishing white papers, case studies, tutorial videos, etc. you will have the currency to barter for your visitor’s email address through a form. After this transaction occurs the visitor is at the top of the funnel (TOFU) and can be placed in a lead nurturing email campaign with the intent of moving them down the funnel.
- Calls-to-action(CTAs) – These represent the billboards on your blog promoting advanced content. They should focus on value, solving problems and convenience. It is also recommended to test CTAs with A/B testing. Never expect a “Get Started Today” or “Sign Up for Our Newsletter” button to drive leads.
- Landing Pages– These are the pages on your website visitors arrive at after clicking on a CTA. They must look trustworthy and have a clear message of value while enticing visitors to fill out the form. It is also recommended to test these pages with multivariate or A/B testing.
- Quality Content– Never focus your content on yourself or your company. Always make sure you’re solving problems or entertaining. Those are the only two reasons people go to the Internet in the first place. If your content does a good job of this overtime the writers may become thought leaders in your industry, thus elevating the business brand to more trusted heights.
- Social Media Distribution– Social sharing buttons are a must for maximizing social visibility of your content and driving traffic. Besides, content is the foundation of any good sustainable social media marketing campaign, aside from the occasional sweepstakes, contest or give-a-way.
- Subscription– Always provide your readers a convenient way to subscribe to your blog. You’ll want to include both email and RSS as options. This is also a good metric to watch when measuring the popularity of your content over time.
- Analytics– Tracking data overtime will provide lots of feedback as to what works well on the blog and what doesn’t. However, it also helps define TOFU and middle of the funnel (MOFU) content. MOFU content is what’s consumed shortly before the visitor becomes a customer. It’s important to identify MOFU content in order to more frequently offer it up to TOFU visitors via email lead nurturing and CTAs.
- Syndication – After your blog has been out there for a while and your content is considered good, other blogs may take notice by requesting (some do it without asking) to republish your posts. As long as the blog won’t damage your brand accept the invitation. Syndication lead to a 348% growth in the number of referring leads for Kuno Creative.
Content marketing isn’t easy. It’s a lot of hard work, but can be very rewarding for your writers, business and brand. Don’t expect results overnight and never give up.
About the Author:
Chad Pollitt is a Certified HubSpot Partner and Director of Social Media and Search Marketing for Kuno Creative, one of the hottest inbound marketing agencies in the country. Catch himpresenting Inbound Marketing the New SEO via webinar on January 31. He has been a guest lecturer, syndicated blogger, keynote presenter and featured in The Wall Street Journal.