Content Marketing 101: 5 Steps to Becoming the King of Content

| May 03, 2018

Content marketing will generate leads, improve SEO rankings, increase visibility and web traffic, all while helping to establish your brand as a trusted authority in the field.

You’ve probably heard the phrase “Content is King” ad nauseam, but that’s because it’s true. When done right, content marketing will generate leads, improve SEO rankings, increase visibility and web traffic, all while helping to establish your brand as a trusted authority in the field.

How do you create killer content? Here are 5 best practice tips you’ll want to keep in mind while crafting the perfect messaging for your brand.

1. Understand your audience. What type of people are using your products and/or services? The better you understand who your people are, the better you can understand what types of content they will find relevant. Consider mapping out buyer personas before getting started.

2. Create a content calendar. Ideally, you’ll want to post at least once a week. Hubspot found that 82 percent of marketers who blog daily will acquire at least one customer through the blog, compared to 57 percent who blog monthly. Creating a content calendar will help keep you on track. Keep in mind that timing is everything, so the time you post your blog could make a difference. Generally speaking, blogs get the most views on Mondays, and at 11 a.m., but you’ll need to leverage analytics to find a schedule that works best for you.

3. Craft the content. Make sure you provide value by answering questions the audience might have through how-to articles, industry news, and other insights you may have on a hot topic in your field. This is your chance to showcase your expertise. Provide content as educational value, teach your audience something they didn’t know before.

a. Make it flow. Online attention spans can generally be measured in nanoseconds. The best performing blogs with the most value are, generally speaking, around 1,000 words and include bullet points and subheadings to help break the content up into bite-size pieces, making it more readable.

b. Links. Once you’ve built up a library of great content, it’s a great idea to link back existing content in the new content you create. This provides different pathways and opportunities for the reader to visit more of your content and other website pages, while also helping showcase your expertise. If you use outside links, make sure they open in a new tab. This will keep readers engaged with your site.

c. Don’t oversell. The most effective blog content isn’t too in your face about buying a product or service. The purpose of blogs is to be informational and educational, not a place to pitch all your products. Oftentimes (like with this post), there will be a brief mention of your product or service at the end, with a call-to-action to learn more.

d. Need ideas? If you’re struggling to come up with content ideas, subscribe to industry newsletters to get a feel for what topics you should cover. Talk to your customers and learn what they are interested in.

4. Leverage social and email. Posting a blog on your site is great, but it will need a bit of promotion to get all the love and affection it deserves. Come up with a promotion strategy that includes social and email to get all your killer content in front of as many eyes as possible.

5. Use Google Analytics. How do you know if your content marketing efforts are working? Google Analytics is a very helpful tool that can provide insights, backed up by data to tell you what’s working, and what’s not. If a certain blog post had page views that were through the roof, then you know it worked. Use these numbers to help shape your content calendar moving forward.

It’s also best practice to continually optimize existing content helps to keep it fresh and relevant. If a content piece isn’t successful at first, take a step back to try and understand why – and then fine-tune it where it makes sense. For more on the ins and outs of Google Analytics, click here.

Bonus: Nearly 55% of marketers struggle to produce fun and engaging content for their audience. Don’t be afraid to outsource your content marketing efforts. Not everyone is a great writer or graphic designer, and that’s ok. Find out how the TEGNA Marketing experts can help your content efforts by clicking here.

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