The Content Marketing Pyramid
When evaluating your organization’s content marketing strategy, you should be looking at five distinct areas; Website Composition, SEO Strategy, Social Media Marketing, Lead Generation, and Blog Implementation.
Each of these areas has a key part to play, and if each element is not fully functioning, you won’t get a content marketing program that is firing on all cylinders.
The Foundation: Website Composition
At the base of the pyramid is your website. Of course, your website needs to cover key informational areas. And it needs to be well-written and professionally designed. Hard-working websites should also be full of images and ideally videos. And, since over half of all website traffic now comes from mobile, it should be mobile-optimized.
The Key Addition: SEO Strategy
A hard-working website won’t help your organization if it’s not optimized for search. In addition to doing smart keyword research, paying attention to URLs, H1 and H2 coding and links, you’ll also want to make sure your website is TLS compliant, especially if you have contact forms or are asking visitors to submit information. If it isn’t TLS compliant, many search engines will flag your website as a dangerous site. Additionally, make sure your site is AWS compliant to make sure web crawlers can visit and index your site. And once you have those basics in place, start thinking about ways to continually update your site with new content, with an emphasis on keyword rich copy.
Blogs are a great way to add SEO-driven content. Because search engines may penalize you if you’ve added too many keywords (called keyword loading) it’s important to include plenty of context and logical syntax to around your keywords. Search engines also like to see lots of keyword synonyms. So if your keyword is “cat,” you may also want to use the terms feline, kitty, kitten, your new best friend and your pet. Finally, you want to make sure your site has lots of internal links, links out to other sites, and links coming in from other sites. The addition of these links adds to your site’s credibility and relevancy in the eyes of search crawlers.
The Amplifiers: Social Media and Marketing Plans
There are many social media platforms out there. You don’t need to be on all of them. Research each social media platform’s users, and think about the type of information they expect. If you’re a teen clothing line, it may not make sense to market on LinkedIn. If you’re a crane rental service, Pinterest may not be the best platform for you. No matter what platform you use, understand exactly how people search for information in that format. Think about what kind of images you should use, how ,or if, to use hashtags, the role of videos, and what voice you should use to get the best results. Each platform also has different expectations on post frequency. On Twitter, for example, users only see posts from the past few minutes, so posting once a day is not optimal. However, on Pinterest, too many posts can clog up a feed quickly. It’s important to understand the special considerations of each platform. Finally, to get results, you must commit to advertising. The days of free exposure for businesses are all but over. Each platform has evolved to push down business posts in favor of individual posts. If you want to be seen on social media, commit to advertising.
Get Sticky: Lead Generation Programs
If you’re spending time and effort to get people to your website, you should be getting something back. Even if you sell on your website, you should be working hard to get names and emails. Opt-in databases can make or break a business. Once you get a name and email, you can begin to remarket to them, sending them ads on Google or Facebook. Or you can send email offers or newsletters. Getting leads requires a different mindset. You’ll want to experiment with contact form formats, design, colors and placements. You should be testing a series of offers, whether it’s price off, free evaluations or thought-leadership white papers, you should give your visitors a clear reason to opt-in. You may also want to consider customized landing pages that look like a part of your website, but that are actually formatted to increase opt-in rates.
The Multi-Purpose Tool: Blogs
When we see a website without a blog, we know we are dealing with an organization who has not fully committed to the strategies behind content marketing. Blogs are one of the hardest working parts of any website. Blogs can:
Load your site up with keywords.
Provides lots of new opportunities to include keywords in H1 and H2 formats. Search engines recognize keywords in H2 and H1 formats as more important, so it may help you rank higher in search engines.
Provide context and syntax for your keywords, making them more attractive to search engine crawlers.
Allow you to use phrases and keywords that rank high in searches, but that might not fit into the tone of the rest of your site. You can use more familiar language and more informal grammar in blogs without jeopardizing the credibility of your business or your website.
Present a great place to use outbound links, especially when referencing research. (See what we did there?)
Provide dynamic content, which simply means blogs are an easy way to continually add new information to your site. Search engines factor this in when ranking sites.
Give you a steady stream of content to promote on social sites.
Give you a nimble way to address current issues, changes in laws or regulations, or to call out new developments that your target market may care about.
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These five areas are critical to almost any organization’s digital success. If you want to learn more, or if you’re wondering if content marketing is right for your business, contact us today for a free consultation.
Want to read more blogs about digital strategy? Check out these Cup O Content articles.