How much content is out there on the web?
On WordPress.com hosted blogs alone, the number hovers around 2.5 MILLION blog posts a day. And that doesn’t include the rest of the blogosphere.
And Google said a few months ago that they could see at least 130 TRILLION pages published on the web.
And, if you had hopes of getting people to look at content you write about your business and industry, this is more than a little intimidating. It’s enough to make you want to go and bury your head in a book. A print one.
Yet, there is hope in content marketing. It takes some thought, planning and effort… but the ability to position your business as a reliable authority, one people can turn to for advice, is a smart step on the path to acquiring these individuals as your customers.
So, how and where do you start?
What does your customer want to know about your field of business?
If you’re a jeweler, you’ll want to identify the questions the layman has about jewelry. How do you figure out what these questions are?
One of the best sources for these questions is your own mind – and the minds of any customer-facing staff. Staff who serve your customers deal with their questions all day. What questions come up time and time again?
Q&A sites are a treasure trove of questions that real people want to know the answers to. Search for “jewelry” or specific types of jewelry like “wedding bands.” Browse relevant and related topics, like Fashion. If you find a relevant question, check how many people are following it or have upvoted it to see how many people are interested in getting an answer.
If your own Facebook page has enough traffic, check what people are commenting and messaging about. If not, go to the big names in your industry and see if there are any telling comments there. It’s also a good idea to check what content (your own or other jewelry pages) gets the most likes and shares. Let your audience’s engagement tell you what they’re interested in.
Social media groups, like Facebook Groups and LinkedIn Groups, can also be a great resource. Find relevant groups where your audience is participating and talking about your topic.
Do keyword research. Login to Google Adwords’ Keyword Planner tool. You’ll have to create an Adwords account, but you don’t have to give any payment information to use the tool.
Put in some industry terms, like “gold necklace” or “engagement rings,” and see what suggestions Google gives you, and the estimated monthly search volume each term has. Google is getting more stingy about giving out information, so they only give out ranges, not exact figures – but it’s still helpful to get an idea if the keyword phrase has lots of searches, some searches, or very few searches.
For your content, try to find questions and longer, topical phrases. You want to unearth phrases like “what other gems besides diamonds do people use for engagement rings,” not just “engagement rings.”
Then scroll down the search results page. Sometimes Google will bring several questions in the results under the heading “People also ask.” Almost always, at the bottom of the page, Google lists “related searches.” Either one can be a content idea gold mine.
Once you have the question you’re going to answer in your content, answer it well. Don’t just spit out 500 words and call it a day. Write the most comprehensive post you can on the topic.
If you’re answering, “what other gems besides diamonds do people use for engagement rings,” don’t just give a list of gems. You could make your content amazing by giving:
If you publish the most amazing, comprehensive post ever, but don’t take the pains to promote it, your post will most likely die a silent death. Marketing expert Derek Halpern explains that he spends only 20% of his content marketing time writing content. The other 80% he spends promoting it.
Share it on social media, of course, but go beyond that. Here are some promotional suggestions:
We’re not going to kid you. The process of successful content marketing takes work, and time. Figuring out what questions your customers really want answers to, creating the best, most comprehensive answer ever, and promoting it until people find, read and love it doesn’t happen in an hour… or a day.
The return on investment, however, is much higher than any more watered-down blog posts or content marketing you could be doing.
So are you ready?
1, 2, 3… go!
Submitted by Alyssa