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A Step-By-Step Guide to Developing Content That Works

content marketing

It’s great you’ve decided to engage in content marketing.

The content you create is key to your audience’s hearts and purses. Some realize it. Others suffer. 60% of b2b marketers create at least one piece of content every day. 

According to Aberdeen, YOY growth in traffic for content marketing leaders is almost 800% higher compared to followers. 

That’s the reason why it’s so important to have a rock-solid content strategy. 

However, it can be tedious and overwhelming. There are so many things to figure out ranging from what kind of content to write, its frequency, to decide on setting up a new blog or hosting the content on a channel like Medium. 

What if I gave you the step by step method to get the content wheels turning?

But prior to starting, keep in mind that content is powerful. The kind of content you write holds the ability to draw specific types of people. If your content isn’t aligned with the service or product you offer, conversions would be dismal. 

The right content marketing strategy takes the guesswork out of content. It details out steps to research and creates engaging content that’s valuable to your audience.

Primarily it should aim at solving problems. The first thing that comes to mind when you think about content is a bunch of words. However,  it can be textual, audio or video content. Such content is very effective at generating leads day in and out. 

Shall we get started?

Focus on the Problem it’s Going to Solve for Your Audience

Your product or service should be a problem solver. By extension, the content that revolves around this product or service in the same spirit should solve problems.

Second, promote what makes you unique.

In the plethora of similar products, that offer much the same solutions, you should have a key differentiator. Make this difference the front and center of your content strategy.

For Macbook, since its advent, the key focus was to be way ahead of its competitors. It was the first to introduce a visual display that relied on mouse movements, not command lines, making the computer 100x easier to use. Ever since they have never wavered from that introducing changes and innovations that’s lightyears ahead.

Apple Mac

Do Proper Persona Research

Persona research ideally helps you envision your target buyer. By being able to define your audience you will be able to define your persona.

The content that’s produced as a result of this is going to be much more relevant and valuable to the audience you’re trying to target.

Do you want to target a new group of people or expand your current target market? Do you want to keep the same target audience? Revisiting your audience parameters by conducting market research each year is crucial to growing your audience.

One of the examples I ask my clients to follow is one outlined by PiktoChart in their Jobs-To-Be-Done (JTBD) framework.

PiktoChart

Simply ask what did this person hire our company for? And divide personas by it. Doing this lets you understand what job users need to have done and brings you to the core of the pain point you must solve. 

Do Keyword Research

The above statement sounds almost like a cliche. And yet you cannot arrive at a sound content marketing strategy without keyword research. Keywords are as relevant today back to when search engines scrambled to life.

The person who lands on your site after keying in a query on Google may not realize that he just searched for a keyword. And most people aren’t aware of the process or the nuances. They’re just happy to get the right results.

Which tool to use?

I use a combination of tools like Ahrefs keyword module, Kwfinder, and sometimes long tail pro. There are tons of free keyword research tools too like Google’s keyword planner. 

Typing in a keyword can get you plenty of long-tail keyword variations that you can use for your work. Based on the product offering a niched down audience might be more suited. For instance instead of targeting menswear which can include a vast demographic ranging from men from their 20s to 80s why not take a more niche approach, say menswear for bikers? Or menswear for patriots. The latter example was successfully replicated by a clothing store in the US that has gone on to spin millions for its founders.

Create an Umbrella List of Topics

As you research your keywords you’ll come across a list of overarching topics you could use. There will be keywords you can group under the same umbrella.

In this umbrella include the main keyword and secondary, tertiary and long tail variations that you can use. Then use these keywords when creating content.

This will help you create content in an organized manner.

Write Well-Researched Content

In a survey led by SurveyMonkey it was found that 74% of adults prefer and trust content that backs up its claims with research.

Your content can be more trustworthy, generate higher leads and get more shares if you have data to back it up.

Survey Monkey

Do Internal Linking

Don’t underestimate the power of internal linking. As an amateur newbie blogger, I couldn’t for the life of me figure out what’s the big deal about linking out to your own posts. But a link is a link whether it be external or something from your own site. You’re free to use a variety of anchor texts to diversify the anchor text profile and it has proven benefits. 

Again top rankings aren’t the only thing. You’re effectively reducing bounce rates. If it’s an interesting article visitors would click on to it and read those articles reducing bounce rates and creating a better relationship with them.

As you add newer pieces of content revisit older articles and see which ones fit the bill.

Finally,

Reach Out to Influencers

According to Brian Dean of Backlinko who single-handedly grew his blog to over millions of visitors and thousands in revenue attributes his success to the 80/20 principle. He spends 20% of his time writing new content and 80% of it promoting what he wrote.

He blogs hardly once in 2 or 3 months and yet all his posts go viral. Comparatively most content on the internet is host to crickets.

And there’s only one thing you can do to avoid that fate. Write epic content and reach out. 

There are multiple opportunities that you can create yourself to reach out. If you go and visit Neilpatel.com, on the blog which sports posts over 5000 words regularly you can see 100 to 200 outgoing links. I’m pretty sure that Neil reaches out to all the brands and people mentioned on the blog post and let them know of the link. If you email 100 new people you might get 10 responses. There’s no easy way around this. Of those 10 people who responded, 2 or 3 may link out to your blog sometimes later in the future if your content is interesting or share the article.

I did something else as well. I used to guest post at sites like CrazyEgg and kept a file of people two tweeted my link. I then reached out to these with the article. Sometimes I got a link. Other times it paved a way for me to guest post on. These are exclusive sites that otherwise don’t allow guest posting

If you’re lucky an influencer would decide to tweet your article and it could go viral, score dozens of links on the way and so on. 

Conclusion

Remember that with your blogging efforts you’re trying to build a rabid fan base and an exploding email list waiting on your every word.

Be consistent in your efforts and don’t shirk. 

Decide on a schedule after brainstorming with your content team and stick to it. If you’ve decided to publish a new piece of content twice every week- say Thursdays and Saturdays stick to that.

Find out what your competitors are doing? Do they have a schedule? John Chow has been posting every day on his blog since the day it began. And readers know to check it every day because something awaits them.

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George Mathew

George started Kamayo to share the distilled wisdom of his years of working with startups, starting and failing at businesses and succeeding at some. Read his post on Startup marketing.

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One Comment

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  • Thank You George,
    It was a nice read and a very good step by step approach to write an effective content.
    Thumbs Up to you.
    Swati

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