Content Marketing...What Is Content?
There are many definitions of content and it comes in many forms. Generally, content can be defined as any audio, video or text based information that enlightens, teaches or entertains people.
For every great piece of content available, there are several awful pieces of content alongside it. Just look at the type of content found on popular news sites. Wouldn’t it be nice if each content creation strategy automatically came with a way to make the content design meet minimal standards?
Maybe that is wishful thinking!
One thing that isn't wishful thinking is having a content marketing plan as part of your content creation strategy.
Who Creates Content?
Topics on what to create content on can come from anywhere.
One way to keep up with all topic ideas is to outsource the writing. This can turn out to be more hassle that is worth, which is what happened to me. I ended up spending a lot of time editing what was submitted.
Things like spelling, sentence construction, grammar, keyword usage, had to be rechecked. This was on top of checking for plagiarism where I occasionally found high levels in what had been submitted.
After editing submissions a few times, it became faster for me to create my own content rather than outsource it.
In having more control over content creation, being able to make sure keywords were not overused and the keyword profile would not result in my site being hit with any search engine penalties. I was able to create content that was better than what I was paying for.
They are all platforms that require content. Other than Netflix, all of the other sites mentioned rely on user generated content. Even so, Netflix creates its own original content - Netflix Original - where shows have been created specifically for Netflix.
Why Is Fresh Content Needed?
Without fresh content returning visitors to websites get bored and look for other places to visit. It is for this reason publishing frequency plays an important role in keeping people interested in what a site has to offer.
To ensure site visitors are aware of new content, creating a content marketing plan should be done.
Content Marketing Process
There are 3 methods I have used to promote content and here they are:
Method 1: Searching For Others
Initially, I wrote a post, looked for people who had written similar posts and contacted them to see if they would be interested in sharing the post or linking to the post from their site.
The thinking here was I would be able to get backlinks which would then increase my ranking in google.
Having used this method on a few blog posts, one thing became clear. The type of posts I was writing wasn’t giving people anything they could take action on, so getting others to recommend reading my content was not worth the effort...at the time.
My takeaway: I found using this method is better suited to actionable posts that educated site visitors.
Method 2: Being Social
The next method I used was to focus on building social media followers and posting to my social media platforms. This method seemed to work, as I was getting a couple of hundred visits to my site each month.
The issue I had with this method was the need to constantly keep feeding all social media platforms with content that links back to my site. Remember the fresh content comment earlier?
After doing this for a few months, I stopped posting, which obviously resulted in my site views dropping drastically.
My takeaway: Using this method requires a lot of social media content created for different platforms.
Method 3: Think Content Marketing From The Start
This method is used to marketing my post, classes, landing pages, collaborations etc.
It is still a work in progress as the process is constantly being tweaked. Essentially, each step in the content creation process is done with content marketing in mind.
Here are the steps used for each blog post:
- Write post - ideally one that doesn’t ramble on
- Run post through webtexttool to make it SEO friendly - The great thing about this tool is it tells you if you need to increase or decrease number of characters and keywords for your page title, page description and blog post. It also analyses the readability of each post. My aim is for all posts to have an SEO score of at 100% and readability score greater than 75%...my writing skills are still a work in progress!
- Find or create a total of 3 images to use on the post. One of which is Pinterest friendly.
- Create 4 additional Pinterest friendly images
- Load post onto site and create a silo for the post
- Schedule post to be published - I like doing this as it allows me to read it one last time before it goes live.
My takeaway: With this method, I learnt it is best to select images that can be used across all social media platforms. This saves having to constantly look for appropriate images for different social media platforms.
It doesn’t end there.
After scheduling the post to be published, a content marketing plan is put into action.
Missinglettr is used to create and post text snippets with images, quotes or just plain text with hashtags specified for each post. This is scheduled out for a 12 month period with more posts published in the first 2 weeks.
As missinglettr only posts to Twitter and Facebook, I use the snippets and images to post to other platforms. For Instagram, I use PromotRepublic to resize the image before scheduling the post.
For Pinterest, the same text snippet is used or new ones selected from the ones created in missinglettr. This is then added to my pinning schedule which then auto pins to the relevant board at times I specify.
Added to this, marketing is done in other Facebook groups, Instagram groups, Pinterest group boards and on social bookmarking sites.
Here are some of my key learnings:
- Finding the right keywords makes marketing content easier
- Using relevant popular hashtags helps get your posts noticed on social media platforms
- Finding the right groups to market your content to, is equally as important as using the right keywords
- Sharing other peoples’ content helps increase eyes on your content
- Building relationships is a strategy to use in marketing content
Feel free to use the ‘create, publish and wait’ method. Somehow I do not think it would get you any traffic to your post, or even your site.
Having used different methods to promote my content, including the ‘create, publish and wait’ method. I now use a combination of all things I have tried in the past. With the main thing being, once content is created, no matter what format it is in, a promotional plan is implemented immediately.
As content marketing is an ever evolving process, I adjust my promotional plan as needed.
What process do you follow when marketing content you create?