9 Steps To Build An Effective Content Marketing Campaign

Are you struggling to try to keep your website competitive?

Maybe you are just starting out, and are wondering how to get your site ranked on the top search engines.

The truth is that more websites than ever are vying Internet traffic. By January of 2014, more than 86 million websites were built with WordPress. And if you look at the infographic below, you’ll see how much data are uploaded and shared every minute. The numbers are staggering.

effective content marketing

With this explosion of content on the web, the chances are that you are going to face stiff competition to get traffic to your site even if you have a highly specific niche audience.

Here are 9 simple steps that you can take to drive more traffic to your site through effective content marketing.

    Step 1: Use the Right Format

    Website content is not limited to blog posts. There are many options for formatting your content. For more effective content marketing, you should consider a wide variety of formatting options that will appeal to a larger audience. Here are few to consider:

  • Blog posts: This is the most basic content format out there. Search engines operate based on text, and blog posts provide lots of text for search engines. There are many kinds of blog posts from lists to how-to pieces. Make sure you employ different kinds of blog content. You also want to create great titles for your post that will attract the attention of people who are scanning the search results. Give them something that makes them want to click on your content.
  • Infographics: People really love images so an infographic is a great way to provide valuable information in an attractive visual format.
  • Podcasts: A podcast is an audio recording of your content. You can interview people, give a talk or even recite poetry. It is important to do some production planning to create a high-quality recording. You can’t just make a podcast on the fly. You want to plan it out and put together something really valuable.
  • Slideshare: Slideshare is a place to post presentations. You can layout your content into an attractive slide show to post on this site.
  • White papers: These documents analyze a particular problem and provide steps to a solution. While white papers are marketing tools, instead of selling products, they try to provide a solution to a problem that establishes that the company is an expert in this area. The purpose is to educate potential customers and engender trust.
  • Ebooks: Similar to white papers, ebook are longer explorations of a topic. An ebook may be created from a series of blog posts about the same issue.
  • To learn more on this topic, read this related article:
    How To Present Your Boring Information In Interesting Ways

    Step 2: Build a Robust Social Media Following to Share Your Content

    content marketing

    As it gets more difficult to find new readers from search engines, you will need a little help from your friends. That is why effective content marketing involves building a robust social media following to share your content with. Your followers on social media have expressed an interest in seeing your content. So you want to let them know about new content by sharing it.

    Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ are the most popular social media sites. Being present on these sites will bring you into contact with a wide variety of people from all walks of life.

    You need to be on the most popular sites, but you should also consider a broad range of other social media networks. These sites are more focused and could connect you with a more targeted audience. Do some research to find out if these other sites might provide good channels for your content, select a few and get involved.

    Pinterest and Dribble are great for sharing infographics and images. These sites are great for designers and artists whose content is highly visual.

    Reddit is great if you have a very specific niche and want to find a lot of active users interested in that niche to share your content with.

    Quora is another interesting social media site. People ask questions grouped into categories. You can follow categories related to your business and answer questions in those areas. If you have a piece of content that answers a question, you can add the link to it in your answer.

    Building a social media following requires that you be active on these sites. You want to engage with other people’s content and offer your own perspective in the discussions. When you share valuable information, people will see that you have something to say and will start to follow you. Once you build a following, you can share your own content.

    Step 3: Share Your Content at the Right Time

    Timing Is Everything

    Timing Is Everything

    Studies show that there are ideal times to post content on social media sites. Think about it: activity on these sites is driven by human behavior, so it only makes sense that timing is important. If you post your content when people are not really paying attention or available to look it over, you are not going to get likes or shares. Here is some basic data for Facebook and Twitter, but you can also look at the research to determine the best times for other sites as well.

    The best days to post on Facebook are on Thursday or Friday. People are looking for outlets at the end of the work week. Early afternoon is the best time for a Facebook post. People are checking their social media accounts just after lunch. After workKeep in mind the time zone of your audience when posting.

    Twitter users tend to be more active at lunch and in the early evening. They are checking their account during their break or while commuting home.

    There are many tools that are available that can collect data on your followers to tell you when your best time to post would. Tweriod is just one of the many tools that can help you with this.

    There are also tools to help you schedule your posts at these times. One of them is Co.Schedule. You can set up in advance what content you want to post and when you want to post it. This means that you will not miss these optimal times.

    Step 4: Expand Your Reach with Social Share Buttons

    Effective Content Marketing

    Make it easy for your readers to share your content

    Beyond sharing your content on social media, it is important that other people share your content. You can make this easy by including social sharing buttons in your content. When you make it easy for people to share your content, then you will get more likes and shares.

    When people share your content, that means that their connections will see it in their newsfeeds. This expands your audience beyond the people who are following your social media. Now the connections of your followers will also see your content. In addition, social media likes and shares are an important signal that search engines use to rank sites. So you will be helping yourself with the search engines as well.

    Add share buttons with tools like Simple Share Buttons Plus or Cresta Social Share Counter. With these easy and inexpensive tools, there is no reason not to use social sharing buttons on all your posts.

    Tools like Social Metrics Pro can help you measure the effectiveness of your content on social media sites. This information can help you plan for future effective content marketing.

    Step 5: Save Your Best Content for Guest Blogging

    Guest blogging

    Guest blogging

    You’ve spent hundred of hours to develop a really top-notch piece of content. You’re thinking – “Great! now I can post it on my site.”

    Wait! Don’t do it just yet! Instead of posting on your own blog, you should give it to someone else and let them post on their blog.

    And before you think that I’m crazy for asking you to give your best content away, hear me out.

    If you have a genuinely great content, you need to show it to as many people as possible. If you post it on your own blog, chances are, most of the readers that read it are returning visitors while only a small handful are unique visitors that found you from search results page. And everyone knows that if you want to gain traffic quickly, you’ll need to bank in on gaining unique visitors.

    By posting your content on other’s blog, you’ll gain a whole new set of readers from the blog’s subscribers. If your content is genuinely insightful and in-depth, then these readers will go to your blog to look for more quality content and even subscribe to your blog.

    If you’re new to guest blogging, here are few tips you should follow to get a desired result:

  • Guest post on blogs that are in the same niche as you.
  • Guest post only on blogs that have more traffic than yours. (Easy way to find this out is by checking their Alexa ranking)
  • Make sure that your name and a link to your blog is included in the guest post.

    Step 6: Do Your SEO Homework

    Because the competition for search engine rankings is so high, you really want to give yourself every advantage. Make sure that you are practicing good SEO to squeeze every little bit out the search algorithms as you can.

    Effective Content Marketing

    One thing you should always do before posting your content is keyword research

    Organic search results that are produced by the natural operation of the search algorithms are still the best for effective content marketing. Putting in the extra effort on SEO will help your ranking and give you a better chance of being discovered by new readers. The best place to start working on your SEO is keyword research.

  • You want to start doing regular keyword research. You can generate a list of potential keywords by researching and profiling your audience.
  • You can refine this list by using keyword analysis tools to find out the best variants of these keywords that have good search volumes.
  • Then, you can produce content that is keyword friendly. You can include the best keywords naturally in your content.
  • You also want to make sure that your content is relevant to search intent. Internet searchers are using keywords to find information they need. You want to make sure that your content matches these needs or a searcher will just click away from your content.

    Step 7: Incorporate Visuals

    content marketing campaign

    The Golden Ratio

    People love stunning pictures. The most successful blog posts have one image for every 75 to 100 words. On Facebook and Twitter, posts with images are 70% more likely to be shared. So you want to make sure that you find great images for effective content marketing.

    Here are some good sources for images:

  • Free Creative Commons images. These are images that people post on the Internet that are free to use. You can find these on Flickr or Google by narrowing your search to Creative Commons images.
  • Stock photos. You can purchase stock photos from sites like iStockPhoto.com. People take these photos and sell you the license to use them.
  • Build your own photo library. Get out your digital camera and start taking pictures. With a little effort, you can build your own digital library to use with your content.

    Step 8: Create Internal Links

    internal links

    Internal links

    Internal links are links that point at a different page within the same domain. This happens when you link one blog post to another related blog post.

    This internal link structure makes it easy for search engines to find and rank every page of your site. It also increases your page views as people click through and explore your site.

    For example, you might have a page on your site about the best practices for using images on your blog. You could link this to another post about the best place to find free images. These internal links are most effective when the anchor text contains a keyword for the page that it is linking to. You have a lot of control over this.

    For more effective content marketing, you should be diligent about your internal links and continually update them as you add new content.

    Step 9: Create an Opt-In Form

    Another strategy for effective content marketing is to build an email list of people who visit your site. Email allows you to engage your followers more personally and build a community around your site.

    You can do this by giving your visitors an attractive offer in exchange for leaving their email. Ebooks, white papers, templates and other freebies are great items to offer in exchange for contact information.

    To improve your opt-in rate, you should also offer your readers freebies that are relevant to your content. The more relevant the better. For example, you can see that we have different offers in different blog posts.

    For blog posts that are related to social media, we offer our readers a free e-book on how to use hashtags in their social media marketing. Meanwhile, on blog posts that are related to content marketing, we offer our readers e-book that contain tips and tricks to make their content go viral.

    Doing this has significantly improved our opt-in rate because people who are reading about social media are more interested in learning about how to use hashtags in social media marketing and hence are more likely to opt-in.

You put a lot of effort into creating great content. Don’t let this effort go to waste because your content is not capturing significant Internet traffic. Follow these simple steps to maximize your potential for effective content marketing to drive traffic to your site.

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Updated: 10/7/15


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