This entry is a guest post by Mark Acsay, the Director of Search and our resident technical SEO expert at Xight Interactive. He also blogs at Webbythoughts.com and you can follow him on Twitter @markacsay
First, let’s talk about content. The foundation of a successful online marketing campaign is strongly based on its content marketing strategy. Thus, if you want to attract customers, clients and buyers, make sure that you have quality content that they would not only read, but share and spread around as well.
Awesome and relevant content also encourages other sites and web bloggers to link to you, which is a good thing, knowing that links to your pages are one of the major traffic drivers over the web.
“Content marketing has almost the same trajectory with the rise of social media.”
There are different types of web content that you can choose to publish in your website. Not one is ultimately better than the others. Some websites are better off with podcasts than white paper contents. Though, you will have to decide which type of content will be most effective in creating your presence in the Internet as well as in your targeted community. Some marketers would also try two or all of the content types just to determine which works best for their niche.
Few Types of Powerful Web Content
Here are the types of web content tools and formats that were proven effective when it comes to online marketing;
- Videos – These are short recorded videos embedded in your pages that tackle important, controversial, relevant and trending topics. Your videos should be short and direct and it should only be discussing one main topic. Too much fluff and unnecessary talk will turn off your viewers and potential consumers.
- Blog posts/Articles – These are what the viewers read on your pages. They would be looking for information and good writing. Nothing will bounce a viewer faster than horrible page content. By horrible, it means bad writing, irrelevant content and fluff.
- White Papers – These are comprehensive and in-depth take on the relevant issues currently trending in your niche. These are longer than the usual blog articles and should offer not only factual data, but also your appropriate analysis and your studied opinion.
- Podcasts – These are the video equivalent of the white paper. Podcasts are mini documentaries that will exhaustively tackle issues concerning your niche and topics that have major impact on the buying behavior and decisions of your customers. An interview with an industry expert would be a good setup for a podcast.
- Webinars – These are instructional videos. Many people opt to watch webinars than read text-based content. Unlike the general topic discussions in the videos, webinars answer to the daily “how-to’s” that people are looking up on the web.
- Webcasts – These are live coverage of events that will interest your target market or the viewers of your site. Make sure that your webcasts will cover topics that are updated and interesting.
Many marketers use more than one type of content to attract viewers and links. Others will use one or two at a time, and then determine the type of content that generates the most viewers and conversion. For more types of web-based content, you may check out an extensive list here from Hubspot.
The key is on giving quality information to your viewers. Interesting, relevant, factual and significant content will keep viewers going back and sharing your page to their network. With that said, your content will be the baseline of all three dimensions of your marketing.
“In this day and age of online marketing, it’s not enough to have quality content, you have to be the “King of Content” in your niche.”
The Three Attacks of the Triangle Offense
There are three major venues that you can utilize in order to drive visitors/readers and eventual customers to your site. Some of the most successful websites over the web work on all these three. That is the most logical option as your customers are most likely to spread out. So, for optimum coverage, take on these three.
But if you are just starting on building a website, you might consider on a venue that you think is the most effective way to reach your target audience. Focus your marketing campaign on that venue and then take on the second and the third once you already created a strong foothold on your primary campaign. Here are the three big ways in which you can create a strong brand presence on the web;
- Build Your Base in the Blogging World– Creating a good foundation on your webpage by focusing on the quality of content and stunning presentation will pay off in building up your reputation in your industry’s online community. Being the authority site in your niche is the best way to attract would-be customers and linkeratis as well. Here are some of the benefits of strengthening your blog’s online presence.
- Build up the trust of the customers – Efficient internet marketing is based on trust, given that Internet buyers will not buy anything from a website that they cannot trust. As there are hundreds other providers and sellers of what you have, they can easily look for another site. A well conceptualized, informative and engaging website/blog can incite trust from the customers.
- Build on your authority standing – Being the authority in the industry counts a lot. By putting nothing but well-researched and well-written content, you are not only providing knowledge, you are also creating a powerful voice in your niche.
- Direct communication with your customers – A simple email option form can work a lot in opening a direct communication line to your potential buyers.
Here are some ways to easily build a good following base through blogging:
- Post interesting articles/videos – This is a sure fire way to generate traffic. Being interesting could be funny, shocking or just plain good read. Make sure that you base all your posts in verifiable facts.A great sample of one of the most successful video marketing campaigns done in the past years is that from Tom Dickson of Blendtec where he blends anything unimaginable.
- Get help from the experts – Article pieces or video recorded interviews of known experts in your niche will leverage the value of the information your content has. You may choose to crowdsource your content through interviewing influential players in your vertical niche as well.
- Engaging Titles– Make your titles as specific to the topic as possible. Adding numbers or names will generate more interest than generally titled pieces. An example would be a specifically titled article “10 Fun Reasons To Visit the Philippines According to NBA Players” is more likely to generate response to a generally titled article “10 Reasons To Visit the Philippines” even though both have the same content. You may play around this Title Idea Generator to kill that writer’s block.
- Updates, updates – Make sure that your contents are all updated. People would like to see something new every time they visit your site.
- Spread the news – Let the people in your network know of your web activities. Encourage them to take a look and share the posts that they like. Social media is a very effective tool for this purpose.
- Be an active participant in your niche – Seek out other authority sites and participate by leaving comments on these sites. Include a link back to your site as much as possible. Be willing to contribute to influencer’s websites through guest posting. It will help you get targeted and relevant traffic as well.
- Communicate with your tribe – You can encourage them to leave comments, email you or share your posts in their social media accounts.
2. Spread Your Content In Every Search Engine Landscape – Search engines, especially Google is the primary search engine used by most web users in finding information, products, services, people and anything else on the web. The best chance of being visited by viewers generated by Google searches is to be on the upper half of the first page list. It would then be very sensible if you focus your marketing campaign aiming for good Google search rankings.
Here are some quick basic on-page strategies to optimize your content.
- Optimize with the right keywords – First, you have to identify the most appropriate keywords for your niche and product of service offered. Simple SEO maneuvers like putting keywords in the title and in other strategic locations throughout the website will help Google pickup your site whenever a search for that particular keywords is generated. Start with long tail keywords to start getting traction.
- Optimize with the right URL– Another Google ranking consideration is the URLs of your site’s inner pages. It would help if you have a relevant URL to the niche or business you are offering. Use pretty URLs so search crawlers and users can easily understand what the page is about (better relevance scores). This will also tell your visitors that they are in the right place and could attract relevant keyword anchor text from linkeratis.Ugly URL: reviews.cnet.com/4531-10921_7-6648315.html?tag=cnetfd.mt
Pretty URL: cnet.com/best-ipad-apps-list
- Optimize with the right content – Again, emphasis on quality content. You can only generate natural backlinks by having great and relevant content, As traffic, user engagement and active links are some of the most notable search engine rank drivers. You should aim to get as much quality links as you can have, and you can easily do that by investing in quality, relevant and interesting content for your visitors. It feels like you’re putting a cap in your marketing at first but as you get traction, you will see the multiplying effect in your overall campaign.
- Use Authorship Markup – It will give authenticity and credibility to your site. Since search is becoming more social, Google is tying up reputation to an individual author and not just the company. For years, content in the web is static and lifeless data and this factor gives more life and dynamism to your content.
One thing that should stay away from is blackhat gimmickry to generate the desired traffic. These might give you temporary surge of traffic, but viewers are easily turned off by false hype, invalidated information and badly conceptualized content pages. You will only have a lot of disappointed people who will not only shun from your products, but will also warn their friends about your site. Worst, Google can penalize and ban you like JC Penny.
If you want to stay in business, avoid the following;
- Buying Links
- Cloaking and abusive keyword saturation
- Blog Networks
- Putting links that will redirect viewers to irrelevant pages
You can check this list of blackhat SEO strategies that you may want to avoid, BUT some of these methods can also be turned into ethical ones.
3. Swarm the Social Media with Your Message – In today’s internet savvy society, everyone take advantage of the unlimited possibilities offered by the internet. People came to rely on various social media platforms to socialize, communicate and be in the crowd.
Chats and conversation with someone who is thousands of miles away is already the norm. Going out to actually meet friends has already been categorized as luxury and is only done due to necessity. This is the venue where you can nurture your customers and turn them to be your advocates and loyalists.
“Loyal customers don’t just make your business look trustworthy but they have a compounding effect on your marketing strength”
With most people patronizing the numerous social media tools available for free over the web, it is just logical that marketers use the same to connect with their customers and targeted market. Some of the benefits on focusing your marketing campaign in the social media arena are the following:
- It is relatively cheaper than maintaining a primetime television spot for TV commercials and you get to reach the whole of the virtual world (and can also be chosen to be targeted to your business’ different market segments).
- You get a direct communication line to your consumers. You can use social media to listen to their honest comments and feedbacks.
- You can directly address to their concerns and issues, immediately, as the web empowers you with real time response time, where you can better build trust and loyalty with your clients. Airline companies are already using social media for customer support, why can’t you?
For a more effective social media campaign, you have to make sure that;
- You’re telling the truth. Your presence in the social media can work both ways. It can effectively promote good products and services fast, and could destroy your hard-built reputation just as quickly. The internet offers many ways to confirm your claims, so you better make it good.
- You’re ready to address any issues brought to your attention. In the social media, communication is on real-time. Just as customers get impressed with instant attention, they will also be easily turned off by your negligence.
- You have to know the social media platforms that are most frequented by your customers. If your customer base is mobile and busy people, Twitter might be more effective than LinkedIn or Facebook. You’ll likely get more professional response from LinkedIn. But for general campaigns, Facebook is still the best source of your widest and biggest market base.
- You’re using relevant business account names.People will remember you easier if your profile handles and account names are in conjunction with your product. People, who might know of your product but are unsure of how to look for you, can use your product name to find you on the web.One example is “purple cow marketing”, which is closely related to Seth Godin’s name.
- You’re actively participating on most conversations relevant to your niche. Make sure that you leave comments on conversation threads, regularly update your posts and address to inquiries and issues. Because people will easily know if the account is a dummy or inactive.
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Author Bio: +Mark Acsay III is a badminton coach turned SEO consultant and helps SMEs with their inbound marketing campaign. He loves to travel, learn new things and explore new foods. He blogs about SEO at Webby Thoughts.