July 17, 2012
You hear statements like these all the time — “Content is king,” “Google’s looking for quality content,” “Potential customers are judging you by your content.” So, obviously, you need a great content marketing strategy if you want to succeed on the web.
But how do you go about creating it?
Sadly, most of the website owners out there don’t know how to come up with a successful content marketing strategy. They fall victim to bad advice, bad writers, and bad promises from people pushing “shiny objects” (you know, the gurus who claim to have a push-button solution for everything). In the end, they wind up blending in with their competitors — or, worse, their content stands out in a BAD way.
The truth is — creating the perfect content marketing strategy isn’t tough, as long as you follow these 4 rules:
1. You Get What You Pay For
You wouldn’t expect to cook a gourmet dinner with Ramen noodles and canned asparagus, would you? Then why do you expect to build a “gourmet” content marketing strategy around cheap articles and blog posts that skimp on research, that were written by sub-par writers? Sure, that content may only cost you a couple bucks, but since it’s not doing anything to get you ahead, you’re simply wasting your money.
If you’re hiring a writer, you need think of it as renting their time. If your writer thinks that their services are only worth a $2/hour “rental fee,” is that really the person you want in charge of writing your content? I guarantee you that the people who have the expertise and credentials you need to publish awesome content aren’t going to let you “rent” an hour of their time for just a couple of bucks.
2. Content Marketing is All About a Return on Your Investment
Let’s say you spend $25 on a well-written article, and that article winds up getting published on an authority website in your niche. As a result, a business owner reads it, likes it, and decides to do business with you. For the sake of argument, let’s say the business owner pays you $250. You just netted yourself $225!
And who knows how many orders he’s going to place with you in the future — or how many colleagues he’s going to pass your name onto. It’s not unrealistic to think that $25 article could wind up making you thousands of dollars!
Think it doesn’t really happen like that? Think again! Personally, I’ve gotten some of my biggest and most loyal clients just by publishing quality articles on websites like this one. Trust me, people are definitely reading — and they’ll definitely respond if you can impress them!
But let’s say you went the cheap route and spent $5 on an article that had some grammar issues, didn’t really “hook” anyone, and seemed to focus more on keyword density than on legitimate research. Guess what? No authoritative website is going to publish it! So, that business owner is never going to see it. He’ll never know you exist, so he’ll never be able to place an order or pass your name along to anyone.
In the end, is it worth saving $20?
3. You Don’t Have to Break Your Budget
Before you think I’m trying to get you to spend un-godly amounts of money on content, it’s important to understand that you can have a great content marketing strategy and stick to your budget. The key is to prioritize.
Let’s say you only have $100 to spend right now. What’s the most important thing you need to take care of? If your web copy is a disaster or your blog is blank, that’s way more urgent than starting a press release campaign or creating a bunch of videos.
In order to have a successful content marketing strategy, you have to look like an expert from top to bottom. It won’t do you any good to publish a bunch of awesome guest posts if your website is chock full of terrible content. When people arrive on your site, they’ll immediately stop taking you seriously, and all of the expertise you established in your guest post will be gone.
Bottom line — address your most urgent content needs first. Then, branch out from there. If you’ve got the right content marketing strategy, you’ll start to see an increase in traffic and sales. It shouldn’t take long for your content efforts to pay for themselves!
4. Learn the Difference Between Syndication and Duplicate Content
If you don’t know what makes these two terms different, your content marketing strategy will never succeed. It’s as simple as that.
Syndication involves getting your content published on authoritative, relevant sites all over the web. When you see a news story written by the Associated Press pop up on 50 different websites, it has been “syndicated.” Or, when you read “Dear Abby” in your local newspaper, you’re reading a column that has been “syndicated” — meaning it appears in different newspapers all over the world. As a former news anchor, I can tell you that there’s nothing more prestigious in the news biz than getting your work syndicated!
From an internet marketing perspective, syndication is the reason article directories like Ezine Articles were first created. The idea was (and still is) to give website owners a place to go where they can find free, quality content to publish on their own sites. In exchange, the author gets a link back to his own website in a resource box.
Yes, you’ll get plenty of quality links through syndication, but you’ll also get something much more valuable — targeted traffic. By having your content published on authoritative, relevant sites, you’re getting your name and your expertise out in front of your target audience. Without great content, you may never have been able to get out in front of these people!
As you can see, syndication isn’t “duplicate content.” You won’t be “punished” for taking advantage of it. Instead, you’ll be able to show people that you’re an expert, get more exposure than you ever thought possible, and generate traffic that doesn’t depend on Google. Now THAT’S a powerful content marketing strategy!
Nicole Beckett understands the power that good web content can give you. As the owner of Premier Content Source, she has helped countless business owners succeed through a variety of content writing services.