For many websites, effective content marketing is their bread-and-butter. They generate nearly all of their leads and most of their profits via strategic content.
But, even if it’s not your main focus, content marketing can still be an invaluable way of generating new leads and higher revenues for your business.
So, what are some of the things you need to bear in mind when embarking on a new content marketing strategy in 2019?
Make sure you have a concrete strategy in place BEFORE you get started
Remember, if you’re going to achieve success in content marketing, you’re going to be required to publish once every week or two at the minimum.
You might think it’s easy to come up with new, valuable topics on the fly, but trust us – it’s much harder than it looks!
By having a comprehensive plan in place that details:
- Content type
- Content topic
- Content launch date
And a rough outline for the content in place, you’ll be able to work much more efficiently.
You’ll also end up with higher quality content than websites relying on ‘ad-hoc’ ideas, because you’ll be able to spend the time thinking more deeply about how you can deliver value.
Focus on making ‘evergreen’ content
Look, SEO is a tough industry to work in. It’s constantly shifting, and almost every website has – at some point – suffered from a Google update or two. Even the ones with good content!
With that in mind, you should minimize the risks of your content getting penalized in future by focusing on more evergreen work.
This is simply content that will always be valuable.
You want to try and make sure your content offers something unique and original. You always want to make sure it’s useful to the reader: that they get something out of it.
And, of course, you want to make sure it stays relevant over the long-term.
For instance, if you’re going to write a blog on copywriting, it’s better to focus on the long-term persuasion principles that never change – scarcity, obligation, etc – than it is to focus on tricks that happen to be working at the time.
Sure, you might need to do an update or two each year to account for changes in your industry, but the basic premise is to think about your content the way you would about a book: would you be happy that it would still standup if someone discovered it three or four years down the line?
Try to maintain relevance
One of the things to avoid in terms of content marketing is to not stretch too far out of your specialist area.
The search engines want to present the most relevant pages to their users, so you want to avoid straying too far off topic. If Google has a choice between sending someone looking for marketing options to one of two websites:
- A site that is 100% marketing related content
- A site that is 50% marketing and 50% travel
Which choice are they likely to make? (And yes, the second type of website does exist, believe it or not!)
There are obviously exceptions to this. If you’re a B2B or B2C company that offers different types of services, then feel free to write about all the services you offer.
(We, for instance, cover a range of topics in our blog – SEO, UX and UI design, app development, etc – because these are all services we offer. As a result, they’re all relevant.
But stick to your chosen area. Remember, a business blog isn’t a personal creative project: it’s designed to get you more traffic and – in the end – to make you more money!
Design does matter
Visuals matter, even when it comes to the written word.
You’d be amazed how many websites look like they were designed with an 1800s hardback book in mind, rather than today’s attention-deficit online audience!
Of course, if your content isn’t good then design can’t save you. But always give your content the best chance of succeeding by making it look great:
- Use larger, more readable fonts
- Don’t use boring color schemes
- If you use images, make sure they’re of a high quality
- Use lots of sub-heads and short paragraphs to make your copy readable
If you need inspiration, take a look at a website like Buzzfeed, which – like it or not – grew from nothing to a billion-dollar business almost entirely as a result of its content.
Buzzfeed’s copy is easy to read, their website is bright (but not too complicated) and their images and videos are always really high quality.
While we won’t debate clickbait as a whole, you can learn a lot from their design, which you bet has been tested to the nth degree to make sure it keeps people reading!
Try to be consistent
The days of ‘write as much content as you can, as often as possible’ are long gone. There’s little point publishing short form content often, as this is now something that’s as likely to be punished by the search engines as it is rewarded.
However, it is important to try and be consistent in whatever publishing schedule you set yourself.
For instance, if you decide that you’re only going to write 10,000-word pieces of content in order to dominate your space, that’s fine. But try to make sure that you publish one a month. Or six times a year.
As long as your work’s quality, you’ll still reap the rewards. Backlinko’s Brian Dean – as big an authority on SEO as you’ll find anywhere – has only published 40 or so pieces of content in about six years! But his publishing schedule is quite consistent, and when he does release a new piece, you know it’s going to be high quality.
Essentially, search engines want to send users to reliable websites that they know are going to continue to put out high quality work in future. Make sure that you offer some kind of consistency, and the search engines are more likely to trust your site.
Remember that content marketing is long-term
We live in a time where, unfortunately, many businesses still don’t understand that while the rewards of content marketing can be huge, it is hard work getting going.
If you’re starting from scratch, it can take months for serious results to happen. The rewards really can be huge: essentially, a good content marketing strategy can give you unlimited amounts of new leads, on autopilot!
But if you want to reap those kinds of rewards, take a long-term view. Think of content marketing as building an asset – a website – that can reward you financially for years to come.
In one sense, it’s one of the best investments you can possibly make for your business website. Just be sure you approach content marketing with the right mindset.
Get in touch today
If you’d like to find out more about how you can improve your SEO and content marketing strategy in 2019, get in touch with Iconic Solutions today. We’ve helped companies around the US help improve their marketing strategies online, and we’d love to help you do the same.
Whether you’re planning to develop a new app or build a new website, our team of industry experts can help you improve your online returns. Get in touch today.