If you are familiar with content marketing, then this Advanced Guide to Content Marketing will help you a lot.
In this article, you will learn about:
- Why Content Marketing has changed in 2019.
- Changed Algorithms and Updates of Google Affect Content Marketing.
- The Best Practices of Content Marketing.
- The Best Approaches to Content Marketing in 2019.
- The Challenge between Link Building and Creating Good Content.
- How Content Marketing can be your best Sales Strategy.
- Why Content Marketing is the Perfect Tool for Reputation Building.
- How Content Marketing can help Brands establish long term Relationships with Consumers.
Why Content Marketing has changed in 2019:
Critics and commentators alike hail Content Marketing as one of the truest ways to turn website visitors into full-time consumers. However, numerous online portals, including some tech gurus are writing their guides to Content Marketing. Therefore, the question is- what is new in this article or content marketing guide?
Content Marketing strategies are dependent on a number of variables. Most noteworthy of them are updated in the algorithm that are carried out by tech giants like Google, Moz, Ahrefs, SEMRush, and others. These give us the basic metrics on which rankings, search, discovery and other core digital benchmarks are measured. This affects the ‘digital health’ of a website.
A Content Marketing guide is no longer just about creating content and link building. It also includes integration with other platforms like Social Media Channels that help in Social Sharing. Consequently, a strategic approach to a successful Content Marketing approach in 2019 needs to be holistic, cross-channel, and creative. In other words, a content marketing strategy works best across several content marketing platforms.
Changed Algorithms and Updates of Google Affect Content Marketing:
To begin with, we need to consider every digital advancement from the standpoint of how algorithms change. In 2019, Google’s Core Update of March 2019, and Moz’s changed algorithms to measure Domain Authority or DA are very important to strategize on Content Marketing.
If you are familiar with these updates, you will also be aware of the fact that Google has de-indexed millions of websites. Further, the updates have also changed rankings, DA scores, and other metrics of websites. This is an alarming situation, as more updates are in the works in the coming months. However, when everything seems lost, this guide helps you triumph over all the odds.
All over the internet, authenticity, and originality is making a comeback. This does not mean that paid platforms or advertising will cease to exist. It means that Google will rank content created solely for the purpose of ‘link-building,’ significantly lower.
The internet designed to offer ‘information’- correct, accurate and human-friendly. However, with time, individuals and digital agencies started using metrics to their advantage by manipulating them. The era of ‘spun-articles’ and plagiarised content started dominating the internet, whose sole purpose was to carry out link building activities.
With the changed updates, Google has already come down heavily on a number of sites, de-indexing them in the most severe of cases. If such sites have not been ‘de-index’, their rankings and DA have come down significantly.
This is why most agencies and brands are looking to follow advanced content marketing strategies to drive engagement.
The Best Practices of Content Marketing:
It is only fair that any guide to Content Marketing start by highlighting the importance of content. Quality content, which is original and plagiarism free is the foundation of any great Content Marketing strategy. It is not possible for every writer to create original quality content that is SEO friendly. Everyone can write, but not everyone can write SEO friendly content.
Having over ten years of experience in the industry, I have come across numerous writers. Some have been experts at social media writing, others at creative writing. In contrast, I have only come across very few writers that have excelled in Content Marketing writing.
Technical Content Writing:
Writing for a Content Marketing strategy is different from other forms of writing. For starters, writers need to integrate a lot of technical awareness in their writing style. A good start can be analyzing pointers on WordPress that tell you about the health or quality of your article.
The ‘Readability Analysis’ and ‘Keyword Analysis’ on WordPress are useful tools that help establish good foundations for your article. Writing well in 2019, is not enough, knowing the technical details and modifying your content style to it is key.
The economics of Digital Marketing dictated that content sites whose quality was sketchy and using spun articles were asked by brands to seed back-links for them. For a very long time, this unhealthy practice continued unabated. With the new updates from Google and other metric tech calculators, there is a change in the industry.
Brands and agencies should only work with content sites and link-building platforms who have credibility. Only those content sites, who have demonstrated their intentions of not using spun articles, should work on link-building assignments.
Link Building Agencies:
It is a good idea to look for integrated link-building companies who offer both content creation facilities along with link building. A number of link building companies employ strict quality checks, in terms of maintaining the quality of content on their sites.
Great quality original content matters, but where your brand links are also mattered equally. A great Content Marketing strategy weighs both these parameters and proceeds with the right kind of content creating and link building agency.
Long Format Content:
The preference for long-format content is a result of Google’s Core Update. In other words, Google’s algorithms think that a 300-400 word article figuratively entitled ‘Guidance’ is an anomaly. In contrast, an article, which works as a guide should be longer in length, as its purpose is to give relevant and detailed information on a subject.
The ideal length of an article should roughly be around 2000 words. The article should have details, be divided into sections, with keyword-friendly headings and sub-headings. A good article should have screenshots, images, videos, infographics, and listicles of some form.
A common mistake that most brands make is not utilizing the blog section of their website. If you do not have the blog section, you should start one immediately. The Blog Section of a website becomes the brand’s repository of keywords, helping it to rank organically.
A good well-maintained blog can work wonders for your Inbound Marketing Strategy. It can also work like a bank for storing and offering quality content for your present and prospective consumers. From tutorials to How-To lists, your brand website should have several forms of content. A blog is a significant content marketing platform, which should be successfully exploited by brands and agencies.
The Best Approaches to Content Marketing in 2019:
Know Your Brand:
The first step in evolving a successful Content Marketing strategy is to know and understand what your brand represents. If your brand is into lifestyle and fashion, the language and style of content will vastly differ from a brand that makes electrical cables.
The Content Marketing strategy of a B2B brand will differ from the strategy of a B2C brand. The style of writing, social media platforms, the target audience of the brand and many other factors determine the kind of Content Marketing strategy your brand should approach. If you wish to follow an advanced content marketing strategy, knowing your brand is the core foundation.
Select Industry Specific Writers:
If you come across a writer that tells you that he can write on practically every industry, chances are that he is bluffing. If you have seriously found someone that good, please do not let that person go. The reason I am telling you this is because the quality of writing differs vastly from industry to industry.
Writers, who have a flair for writing on fashion related issues, might not be a good fit when it comes to writing on automobiles. This is not to state that they are limited in some way. It only means that a good agency will be able to give you writers who will be best suited to creating content for your brand.
Determine your Social Media Platforms:
Some businesses and brands are better suited to particular social media platforms. News and education-related brands find Facebook a good fit, while fashion and lifestyle brands vouch by Instagram. Similarly, most of the B2B brands concentrate on LinkedIn (though this is not a good approach).
Determining your social media platform, helps you share your article with an extended audience. This audience might not necessarily read your company blog organically through search. However, if it pops up on their feed, or some friend has shared the same, there is a good chance that people would click on the link, and read your article.
Long-Term Investment in Content Marketing:
Recruiting the right kind of agency, along with fixing credible backlinks, and quality writers require some investment. The brand had been peeling off digital marketing budgets for years using software for spinning articles and seeding backlinks in non-reputed sites.
With the changes in the updates, if brands do not stop availing these tactics, it might lead to a massive drop in rankings, and eventual de-indexing. Investing in a reputed agency that understands the ethics of the business will hold your brand in a better position in the end.
Advanced Content Marketing is a long-term strategy. You will probably start seeing results from a robust and comprehensive strategy after a period of 6-9 months. However, if you are able to execute the strategy, you will have created an asset that will help your brand immensely.
Use Your Blog as a Sales Pitch:
This is an aggressive approach, and can only happen after you have already well established your blog. The key is to offer information free of cost for at least a year. Once you have won a significant number of fans and followers on your page who are repeat visitors, you can start with your sales pitch.
Start using links in your article that redirect to one of your product or services pages. Please ensure that the start is made after your site has a DA of over 40, and maintains good metric numbers. Many people start doing this almost immediately and end up losing traffic. If you strategize correctly, this can become a huge sales asset for your brand.
The Challenge between Link Building and Creating Good Content:
At the very outset, you should decide with your agency why you need a Content Marketing strategy. Many people who misunderstand content marketing think of it as only a strategy for link building. While others misinterpret it as a strategy for converting leads into sales.
You should be clear to what end you want to use Content Marketing for your brand. If you want to create links with the purpose of your brand organically ranking better on search, your strategy will be quite different. On the other hand, if you want to convert your readers and visitors into consumers and buyers of products, your strategy will be different.
However, what agencies will not tell you is that you can do both simultaneously, rather than at the cost of one another. A good digital marketing agency, which has an in-house team of content writers and maintains a good relationship with content sites, will be able to give you both these benefits without any extra cost.
However, economics and financial considerations made agencies short-change clients and services.
An integrated Digital Marketing Agency that offers holistic solutions, rather than outsourcing its services will help you maintain quality, transparency, and bring value to your Content Marketing strategies.
Creating good quality content which is original and informative, and seeding it on reputed sites is not an issue for agencies, which maintain ethics at work. Yes, this might charge you a bit more, but it will definitely eliminate the possibility of your negatively affecting your site.
How Content Marketing can be your best Sales Strategy:
This might be a rather ambitious pitch to many out there, but this works. If you are a product brand, you should start by identifying problems in your industry or segment. It can be anything- from high prices to fewer retailers, to problematic service centers.
Start publishing information whose headlines begin with- How, Why, What, and other question bearing words. This will help your audiences with information on problems that affect them. Once they know that your platform/blog site helps people understand problems and offers solutions on the industry, they will keep coming back to your site.
Once you know that you have a number of repeat visitors, who regularly consume content and engage with you by commenting, liking, or sharing your article on their social profiles, chances are that you have already converted them.
At this time, you can start redirecting your audiences to your brand’s products and services. Start linking the problems that you were posting earlier, and offer your brand as a solution to the same. Once you have been able to establish this connection psychologically, you will see how your sales pick up.
A strong and efficient follow-up team can monitor the ‘Contact Us’ form responses, and phone queries effectively. Content Marketing has helped many great brands convert readers and visitors into lifetime consumers.
Why Content Marketing is the Perfect Tool for Reputation Building:
A good Content Marketing strategy helps you establish and maintain your reputation for a very long time. If consumers are convinced that your brand offers genuine and ethical information that is unbiased, chances are that people will start trusting your brand.
The internet lacks good information, and I am not afraid of stating that on record. Almost every industry needs a voice that people can call genuine, credible and reputable. Once your brand has been effectively able to adopt that pedestal, your credibility, as a brand will skyrocket.
Content Marketing also refers to engaging with fans and consumers on various platforms. Having simultaneous strategies on content marketing platforms is a great way to proceed. This includes your brand’s website, social media channels, forum sites like Quora, Glassdoor, Reddit, and others. If you are able to monitor conversations on such platforms and come up with good and tactile feedback and responses, your brand value will increase exponentially.
For many people, Reputation Management is a Social Media genre. In other words, replying to comments, liking people’s posts, or shares and other activities is the domain of social media marketing. I would respectfully beg to differ. A person who is replying to someone on social media needs to know the right way to communicate.
The kind of effect custom wrote real responses have on people, you cannot expect the same from pre-rehearsed ones.
This is again, where your Digital Marketing Agency needs to play a big part in managing and maintaining your reputation. Maintaining reputation on digital is a precarious endeavor, but this reaps great dividends after a period.
How Content Marketing can help Brands establish long term Relationships with Consumers:
Your company blog should be your biggest relationship manager. Once you have been able to transform your brand website and the blog into areas where people come to hear out solutions, you would have found consumers for life.
It is for this reason that home appliances brands invest heavily in content marketing and maintaining blogs. They offer solutions ranging from recipes to fighting against gender stereotypes. How your brand communicates along with the style and quality of its content are all determinants in building relationships.
Press Releases deserve better attention as a form of content by brands. No matter what size is your brand, you can always have Press Releases from your brand’s side. This can help convey communications on behalf of your brand, and be your brand’s voice on global happenings.
The Gen Y, or individuals born in the internet era, feel strongly for brands who are authentic, have a voice and are credible. They want to relate and identify with brands that have a personality. A brand’s personality has two main two elements- design and content.
A good Digital Marketing Agency can help you navigate strong topical matters. A simple blog post might win you thousands of new fans and prospective consumers. The purpose is to not limit it to just blogs, but also social media posts, forums, and other channels.
Content Marketing: The Final Word:
Creating great content is both an art as well as a science. However, you should ensure that if there is great content from your brand, it should not go to waste. If you have a great writer who keeps churning out irresistible content, you should ideally start promoting the same.
For many of you, this might take away the charm of organically developing a Content Marketing strategy. Promoting your content strategically on platforms such as LinkedIn ensures that good content will end up performing better.
As a brand, you should not shy away from paid promotions. You should be sure that your content is great in terms of quality, value, and information. A great Content Marketing strategy will offer you fantastic ROIs in the end. It offers returns on both a rational, as well as on an emotional level.
If your Digital Agency does not suggest a Content strategy, chances are you are talking to the wrong agency. Content Marketing for your brand is as important as is SEO, Social Media Marketing, or the maintenance of your website. If you have still not understood, Content Marketing helps and improve all the previously stated digital marketing solutions.
I hope I have been able to answer most queries and clear doubts in this content marketing guide.