When you use content marketing the right way, it becomes easier for you to grow your online business. Content marketing will allow you to grow a community of followers who have a solid engagement with you and your business. When your content marketing is effective, you can easily increase the traffic flow to your blog and, most importantly, drive sales.
What is Content Marketing?
Content marketing is the steps you take to create content that is useful and beneficial to your target audience. This creates trust and builds a strong relationship between you and your target audience. It allows you to build a community of people who are loyal to you and your business.
Using Content Marketing the Right Way
#1: Create a Solid Foundation
Creating a solid foundation will help you lay the groundwork that will assist you in growing your business. At this point, you are learning why you are doing content marketing, what you can achieve with it, and how you should do it.
In order for you to come up with content that will be useful and beneficial to your target audience, you need to know what kind of content they want and how you can create that content for them. When you do that, you will become an authority figure because people will know they will be able to solve their problems when they get to your website.
#2: Generate Creative Ideas for Your Content
Now that you have a strategy in place, you need to generate the ideas that will help you translate this into action. If you don’t have creative ideas, your planning and strategy will become useless. Not only does a creative idea make your strategy work but it also allows you to develop content that is read.
As a website owner, you have to be able to generate an endless amount of creative, unique and invaluable content ideas. Although this is a big task, it is worth the time you put into it.
To make this easier for yourself, you need to create a space to annex all your content ideas. You can make use of a jotter or an application such as notepad to jot down ideas as they occur to you. Another thing you can do to make this easier is to follow trends in your industry or niche. You can set up Google alerts at http://www.google.com/alerts or create a RSS Feed at www.feedly.com. You can also use a Mind Map to brainstorm or join a forum in your niche. Doing these things will make generating unique content ideas easier.
#3: Plan Your Content for Maximum Results
By now you should already have a blog in place. If not, read our article (Link to Creating a Blog to Grow Your Online Business) to learn how to create a blog that can promote your online business. At this stage, you should have a solid plan and a list of content ideas you can use. The next thing you need to do is to plan your content to achieve maximum results.
Now you need to set up categories for your blog. You don’t have to have great ideas before you can create categories on your blog. The only thing that is important is how big your niche or topic is. If you have a wide topic to cover on your blog, for example cars, you will have to create several categories. However, if you are targeting a small niche like mini vans for families of two, you will need only a couple of categories.
Once you have a your categories in place, you can now arrange your content ideas under each category—some of your ideas will be subtopics while some will be topics, simply place the subtopics under the topics on your website.
We are emphasizing the use of categories because they will help you determine the kind of content you create on your site and will make it easier for you to keep your website organized.
#4: Write like an Expert
It is time to do the real work—create the content for your website. This is the most important aspect of your entire content marketing strategy—so pay close attention to it.
At this stage, we will must give you a warning. That is, don’t create just any content. Make it something that is useful, creative, engaging, and interesting to your target audience.
In order to create content that has all these qualities, you have to write like a pro or go through the process a pro writer would go through. What is this process?
- Select your topic and the audience you want to target. This should be straight forward if you have done steps 1 and 2 above. You simply need to select a topic that you want to write about but before you start writing, you need to know who you are writing for so that you will know the best approach to take.
- Research your topic. Even if you are an expert in your niche, you still need to do some research to refresh your mind on your subject.
- Organize your research. Once you have completed your research, you need to organize your notes by creating an outline. An outline will give you the skeleton of your article and help you figure out what you need to add or weed out.
- Edit. While this is the last stage in the process of writing, it is the most important. At this stage, you need to verify facts, correct spelling and grammatical errors, and make sure your article flows well.
#5: Create Templates for Different Posts
While some people disregard this step, it is actually very important. At this stage, you should have passed the hurdle of content creation but you are probably still facing the problem of what kind of content to create. Building a template now will ensure you don't stress yourself about the kind of content to create in the future. You should create a template for posts like:
- How To
- Product Review
- Book Review
- Case Study
#6: Optimizing Your Website and Content
- Use On-Page Optimization
- Make Your Website Content Useful
- Utilize Social Media
- Optimize Comments on Your Website
- Build External Links Through Guest Posting or Article Marketing
- Take SEO very seriously
These are just some of the things you can do to optimize your website and content for maximum results.
We have written this article to help you figure out how go about using content marketing so that you can grow your online business. You job is not to simply read this article but to put it to use. If you follow this guide religiously, you might be surprised how simply your blog will all come together.