Confused About Your Content Marketing? Here’s Your Road Map.

by | Nov 10, 2019 | Uncategorized

One of the first questions people ask us when they find out about Better Content Matters is a simple one: How do I start? They don’t know what a content marketing strategy is, how to leverage a social media campaign, or what SEO stands for. Mostly it’s about SEO, search engine optimization—a fancy title for describing the process it takes for Google (and Bing and Yahoo) to find your business when people are searching for what you offer.

At Better Content Matters, we know how to use words to boost a business’s SEO game. If all this is new to you, it’s likely challenging to think about it while simultaneously running your business. Consider this a primer to help you launch your own content marketing campaign. It’s much easier to tweak once you’ve started. 

How to Start a Digital Marketing Campaign

Step 1: Invest in a Website

Some small businesses try to simply use Facebook as a makeshift homepage, but that doesn’t do much for your SEO. As Facebook is getting some bad press, it’s also a gamble. Create a website and use words that describe what you do. If you’re too clever or aren’t clear, it’s going to be hard for search engine algorithms to crawl through your content and find your business. 

Step 2: Make a Place for Blogs

You don’t have to call it a blog – you can name it News, Notes, or Takeaways. Whatever you want to call it, do it. Blogging is one of the quickest ways to get Google’s attention. When written with SEO in mind, your blogs should include keywords and links to boost your rankings. 

Every time you post a blog, you attract the attention of search engines.

Do it and do it often—and with care.  

Step 3: Create Social Media Pages

Start with Facebook (despite its problems). Facebook has the potential to reach the most people with spending dollars. However, don’t neglect Twitter. You may not see as much engagement right away, but Google pays attention to it. 

Also consider Instagram because it’s easy to connect to your Facebook page. Future buyers are likely there, or they’re coming into the market soon (and may already be there, depending on your industry). Insta’s focus is almost exclusively image-driven, so before/after pics are excellent ways to gain attention. 

Boost Your Content Marketing Campaign by Being Active

Content marketing is not a one-and-done process. You should think of your marketing as a kind of pet—a faithful older dog more than a puppy. Give him a little attention, and you’ll get mountains of love in return. Like your elderly dog, you should care for your digital campaign daily. When you are active, Google’s algorithms take notice. If you’re blogging, posting, and linking, especially if your competition isn’t, then your business is likely to see a boost in ranking. 

What most businesses struggle with is what to post, how often they should post, and where they should post it to. Here are a few basics. 

Post on Your Website

Craft content on each page that clearly explains what you do. Consider how a potential user might look for you when typing (or speaking) into a search engine. Use that type of language when you explain what your business or service does, but avoid the temptation to overuse it – Google will penalize websites that engage in “keyword stuffing.” 

Much of your website will have “evergreen content” on its pages – content that doesn’t change often – like contact info, “about us” pages, or “what we do” pages. Make sure that content is clear and written well. Think of your website content as the first meeting between you and potential clients. Work toward making a good first impression. Nail your brand’s voice, be clear about your business, and craft error-free content. 

Also, and this is crucial, make sure your website is mobile-friendly. More people use their smartphones to search in today’s world than their computer. In fact, nearly 53% of web traffic happens on a mobile device. Expect that number to increase in 2020. 

Post Blogs and News

Consider writing a few how-to guides for your industry. The basics are likely already out there, so you aren’t giving anything away. However, if you give a bit of expert advice, people will look to your business to solve their problems in the future (or when their DIY fails). 

Likewise, write about industry insights or predictions for the future. Few things will set you apart as much as positioning yourself as an expert in your field – and that’s one way to do it. 

You can also create content outside your industry, but be sure to find a way to connect it. For instance, at Better Content Matters, we feel strongly about ensuring public schools have access to humanities classes like art and music. We created a post about it, then explained it mattered to us because technology and the humanities are forever entwined. People want to see an authentic presence on your website, so that’s one way to do it. 

Aim to blog once a week, but don’t let that frequency prevent you from blogging at all. If once a month blogging is all you can handle right now, it’s a great first step. What matters is that your content offers value, has some keywords sprinkled in, and is well-crafted. Quality writing is a great way to show off your professionalism, regardless of industry. 

Post on Social Media

 

One of the most important things you can do is share your blogs to your social media page. Grab a snippet of text that explains your idea, then post it with a link to the blog that’s published on your website. 

 

Other content could be simple call-to-action (CTA) posts: “Call us if you need HVAC repair during these winter months” or “Looking for a fun gift? Mention this post for a 10% discount.” 

 

These CTA posts and links back to your site should only be about a third of what you post because no one wants to follow a business that is always selling. Your next third should be informative posts – like this: “With the winter weather that’s coming, expect temps to drop below freezing. Leave a drip in your faucets to prevent burst pipes.” Or: “This season, small businesses make up X percent of the marketing dollar.”

 

The final third should be entertaining. You don’t have to go outside your comfort zone here – simply think about what might be interesting to your audience and share it. Do dad jokes make you chuckle? Are you tickled by your children’s’ antics? These are all relatable, have nothing to do with selling, and can be the most shared things on your social media page, which is the goal: Boost your brand in the digital space. 

How often you post depends on your platform and business goals. Consider these guidelines: 

  • Facebook. You should post daily to get more timely exposure in your followers’ timelines. Remember, just because you post it at 9:00 in the morning doesn’t mean your connections will see it then. It could be hours or days before they see it. To avoid that lag, stay active. If posting every day is a reach, consider posting three times a week—but remember that daily is optimal. 

 

  • Twitter. Tweeting is an investment. Aim to tweet three to five times a day. Some businesses do it up to 50 times a day! That’s a lot of tweeting, so consider outsourcing the task or using an automation tool to schedule your posts ahead of time. You can also retweet existing posts (similar to Facebook sharing), which counts as being active, too.

 

  • Instagram. This image-driven platform can be overused – so cap your posts to once or twice a day. If you don’t have a business that would engage well on Insta, it’s not a crucial platform. However, when used well, it can be a great boost to your digital marketing plan

 

  • Other platforms. Those aren’t the only three social media platforms, but they’re excellent starting points because that’s where the most people are engaging. Pinterest, LinkedIn, and YouTube all offer powerful reach to businesses. Do your own research and use what’s best for your industry and audience. For example, creating a “how-to use weather-stripping” video may be a smart way for a contractor to use YouTube. LinkedIn is a must for B2B – business to business – companies, and Pinterest can be a boon to craft-driven products. 

 

Invest your time in what makes sense for your industry and do a little research to determine how often to post if it’s not listed here. 

Seek Help When You Need It

If reading about content marketing strategies is a little overwhelming, remember that many services and tools exist to help. From content calendars to retweet bots, content marketing is a huge industry. Possessing the ability to write is an important piece of any content marketing effort. If you’re looking for writers who understand the landscape and can write in your brand voice across different channels, contact our team.

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Christie Moll