1. Create and understand your buyer personas
The first step in writing for your audience is understanding who those people are. If you already have customers, then you may have a good idea of their behavior patterns already. If you’re just starting out, your customer persona will be a fictional, generalized character that represents your target market. HubSpot put together a terrific user guide on how to create user personas and all of the questions you’ll need to ask. Gathering information such as location, age, interests, education, job, and income will help you gain more insight into how to reach your audience.
2. Research topic ideas through Google
Use Google as a springboard to help you come up with your own topics and blog post titles. Google allows you to find the latest news and press releases related to your niche. Try searching the following terms:
- “News about [your niche]”
- “Top stories about [your niche]”
- “Press releases about [your niche]”
Scroll to the bottom of the results page. You may be familiar with the section titled “Searches related to…” that gives a clue to what other search queries are being performed and how Google categorizes content for your search query. Your goal is to write content that targets those key phrases.
3. Base your content calendar on your keywords
Keywords are useful in a lot of ways. Aim to come up with a list of at least 500 keywords that relate to your company, services, and products. You can reference this list and use these terms throughout your content, but be sure to not overload your content with these keywords all at once. Google detects what is called “keyword stuffing” and can penalize your ranking for it. Refer to your keyword list once you’re ready to start creating content, which will both save time and allow you to stay on track to product content on a regular basis.
4. Share your content
Your work isn’t done yet! You’ve done great work and created fresh, relevant content, but even with some keywords sprinkled in, that doesn’t mean traffic will just start flooding in on its own. Not sure where to share your content or where your audience spends the most time? BuzzSumo provides the ability to analyze what content performs best for any topic or competitor.
Social media also provides valuable insights. By learning about the demographics of each social media platform, you can decide which platforms work best for your marketing strategy. Keep your audience engaged with frequent posts to build your social media community. There are Social Network Automation tools available to further optimize your content calendar strategy.
5. Build your backlinks
Backlinks are incoming hyperlinks from one website to another. Building your backlinks can help drive traffic to the content on your website. Here are a few different ways to gain more backlinks. Backlinko offers a more extensive list if you want additional tips and tricks.
- Give testimonials to the companies you use - big or small. Most companies love to highlight their testimonials and so should you). If you decide to write a testimonial for a product or service you’ve used and were satisfied with, give the company permission to use it on their website and request they include a link back to your website.
- Request reviews from bloggers. Conduct a quick Google search for bloggers in your niche area and send them a friendly email to tell them about your service or product. Asking directly for a link or review violates Google’s Webmaster Guidelines, so you will need to be careful with the language you use in that email. Consider writing something along the lines of: “I usually charge $X, but I’d be more than happy to send it over to you at no charge. All I’d ask is that you’d consider mentioning it on your blog or writing a review.” By offering the product to them, you’re letting them decide if it’s worth writing about on their blog.
- Find mentions of your company or brand that haven’t been linked. Use tools like BuzzSumo and Mention.net to find mentions of your company/brand on other websites. If they mentioned you (in an article that shows they like you or had a good experience) and forgot to add a link back to your website, reach out to them. Your email could thank them for the mention and ask for a link back to your website so their readers can easily find you.
6. Use Pay Per Click (PPC) campaigns to generate immediate traffic
PPC campaigns allow you to see what content on your website is driving the most conversions. By understanding which content is converting best, you can determine which keyword phrases to target long term, and which content to invest more time and money into creating. Google and Facebook have their own strengths and weaknesses when it comes to PPC advertising. It’s important to determine which platform is best for your company and the content you’re trying to promote. Keep your target audience in mind.
7. Create visual content marketing and infographics
According to HubSpot, in 2016 there was an impressive emphasis on visual content marketing. Hubspot compiled a list of 42 statistics to consider going into 2017. A few to mention are:
- 37% of marketers said visual marketing was the most important form of content for their business, second only to blogging (38%). (Source)
- Infographics are "liked" and shared on social media 3 times more than other any other type of content. (Source)
- Tweets with images receive 150% more retweets than tweets without images. (Source)
- Facebook posts with images see 2.3x more engagement than those without images. (Source)
8. Drive people to your content with email marketing
Beautifully designed, mobile responsive emails paired with compelling messaging and a clear call-to-action (CTA) button, are a great way to drive your email list to your content. As you capture email addresses, keep your list engaged by directing them to relevant, useful content on your website. Keep the emails simple with a clear goal in mind. Adding too much content could distract your readers.
It’s important to engage your customers through an ongoing content marketing strategy. As you’re driving people to your website content, the ultimate goal is to build trust and encourage people to buy your products. Although not every visitor will result in a sale, you could run remarketing campaigns to bring them back to your website through special offers or promotions.
Creating a strong content strategy is valuable whether you are just starting your business or trying to grow your business. If you can offer valuable content and position yourself as an expert for your niche, you’re on the path to earning visitors’ trust and retaining them long term.