The internet has evolved from a few computers talking to each other, to a planetary ocean of digital information. Navigating this ocean has become an industry that is worth trillions of dollars. Traditional media and advertising are decreasing, while online content is being consumed on a regular basis.
So, given the internet and its scope, it is not enough to have a good idea. Good content is useless if it is not seen by anyone. Your efforts must be split into two distinct directions: content marketing and content strategy. And, depending on how you want to count it, SEO can fall into a third, separate category or within content marketing.
The good news is that your task is easier than ever. Gone are the days when you needed a decent amount of web dev knowledge to move forward. There are many online resources that can help you.
For example, an entire sub-industry has developed trying to figure out how to beat Turnitin or Grammarly. There are plugins for SEO optimization, marketing, statistics, and anything else that you may need. And most of them are very user-friendly, not requiring the user to be very tech-savvy.
Search engine optimization
As previously mentioned, the Internet is nothing more than a series of computers talking to each other. But there are trillions of devices connected to the internet. How does your browser know on which device to look for your desired subject? And how can people find your site/content in particular?
Well, the answer is provided by search engines such as Google and Bing. The search engine has certain rules to rank and display websites. With it, you don’t need to type a computer’s IP address or the URL of the page.
Based on a few simple keywords, results will be displayed.
The issue is that you are not the only one in your field. For example, if you run an online consulting business in a major metropolitan area, there may be 20-30 other businesses that show up during a search.
Also, most people do not bother to search every link. Most never look past the first three links. As a result, your entire business can be compromised if you do not manage to place your page in those top three.
The most important part of online marketing is search engine optimization. Even poor-quality sites receive many hits if they show up first.
But how can this be achieved? How can I optimize my page?
Well, the methods are numerous and deserving of their own article. Still, the basic is this: learn what Google is looking for. You must know how to format your text, which keywords to introduce, how to phrase your title, and so on.
Other content marketing strategies
While search engine optimization is definitely the most important factor, it is definitely not the only one. Here are a few others:
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Guest posts on other blogs
Let’s assume that you have a tech-related website, but you just started. Your views are low, and there’s not much traffic towards your page. If you are good at what you do and are truly knowledgeable, you could consider writing a guest post for a larger site.
They will let you because you are providing free content. What you get in return is exposure. You can post links to your content and invite readers to check it out if they are interested.
This strategy works for any type of topic and was proven to work on numerous occasions.
Run a blog in parallel
One of the most powerful ways to attract the attention of a search engine is to already be popular. If other websites are talking about your page and are mentioning it, then the engine will know to display it upfront.
A blog is an investment of time that definitely pays off. First, if it is well-written, it will create a genuine, loyal community around your efforts. People will be invested in opinions and trends, especially if you include a comment section.
And, by mentioning your main site in blog posts, you are generating an organic SEO footprint. The blog is highly versatile, as it can hold opinion pieces, discussions with former or actual clients, and so on.
Email marketing is one of the most despised aspects of modern online marketing. By itself, there’s nothing wrong with using emails and mailing lists. The problem is that every site, every purchase, puts you on a list.
Still, in theory, you will be able to form a more up-to-date relationship with your regular customers. In addition, you can host sales and discounts for special events.
Now for our second type of action: content strategy. While content marketing focuses on bringing people to the page, a content strategy will establish what they see when they get there.
Overall, you have to adopt a hunter mentality. Hunters don’t just react, they are proactive. They go to places, they set traps, and to some extent, control their environment. You cannot afford to just stand by and watch your competition, waiting to react.
In general, the business world tends to punish those who are reactive, and not proactive. Many products created a need where there wasn’t one before. For example, craving Soda drinks or needing to browse Tik Tok is not a natural need. The product created the craving inside your head.
This is the power of content strategy.
You can’t just stream together some thoughts and hope for the best. Strategizing is important because:
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It enhances your online footprint
Have you ever noticed that nobody has just one place where you can find them? Every company has a vast social media presence, along with several websites and landing pages.
You will be more likely to attract new customers, or at least people interested enough to view some of your content.
Watch the feedback
Most feedback is very important. Sure, there will be a substantial amount of people who won’t be happy with the content, regardless of what you provide. And those comments are best left ignored.
However, do not mistake toxic online attitudes with genuine feedback and dissatisfaction. People will generally tell you what they don’t like. Companies used to have to pay for focus groups, just so they could obtain the feedback that you are now getting for free.
Even though you have the option, never disable the comment section on your platform. Let people talk, and moderate it from time to time. One day, you may find some advice that will save your business.
Constructing a brand
Every product or service has a brand. But we are talking about a BRAND, with a capital B. Being generic won’t get you anywhere, in today’s competitive environment. Depending on what you are selling, you will have competitors from across the planet.
You have to find a method to stand out from the pack, to distinguish yourself as being unique, and better than the others.
Rivers of text have been written on the subject of how to build a brand, and that is not the purpose of our current discussion. We only need to underline the opportunity and the need that a brand needs to be built.
Keep it in the back end
Many companies make their efforts obvious. Just by accessing their sites, you will be bombarded with pings, dings, email prompts, offers, and so on. And this works to some extent. However, it can be a little too much.
Living in a world where everyone is trying to sell you something can be exhausting. People are wary of mailing lists and advertisements. As a result, try to integrate your marketing effort more organically, and focus on the quality of the content.
For example, it is common knowledge that a lot of product reviews are thinly veiled advertisements. If you are one of those people hosting such a review, put some effort into it. People can tell when the content is just window dressing attempting to sell you something.
That’s why large corporations prefer to buy talent, actual entertainment and have them do most of their plugs.
In today’s landscape, hearing or reading the phrase “like, share, and subscribe” is so common that it has almost become background noise. But there’s a reason why all of these content creators keep asking.
They are asking people who like or believe in their content to be part of their marketing efforts. It has a massive impact and can potentially grow your business.
We must underline the importance that the actual content has to be good in the first place. So many sites are marketing professionals, they implement every step, every strategy, but their content is dull and mediocre.
Viewers don’t come to your page just so they can be bombarded with ads and put on an annoying mailing list. They come for the content and tolerate your marketing for the sake of that entertainment that you provide.
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To put things in plain English, a content strategy is how you organize and plan your website content, while content marketing is how you convince people to come to your page in the first place.
You cannot afford to skip or neglect either of these steps.