How do you build brand recognition, market a niche product, and engage a highly targeted audience–all without ever coming across as spammy? The answer: content marketing.
Companies have engaged in various forms of content marketing for ages, but in the digital age content marketing has grown to be possibly the most effective form of marketing available–particularly for small companies with tight marketing budgets.
In 2012, I’m focusing on content marketing and how you can use it to grow your business. We already covered six of the 12 commanments of SEO content writing. Let’s keep rolling…
6 more commandments of SEO content writing
7. Thou shalt share thy* content on social media
Social media is growing like a weed. According to one statistic, one in nine people on planet earth is on Facebook. Overstatement or not, the fact remains that your target market is on social media. If you want to generate buzz and get your content in front of prospects then tweet it, share it, like it, bookmark it, and post it to forums.
Don’t be afraid to share content more than once, either–that blog post you wrote five months ago is still news to some of your followers. And make sure to provide social buttons so it’s easy for others to share your content, too.
8. Thou shalt use attention grabbing headlines
Newspapers and book publishers have been using headlines to sell content for I-don’t-know-how-long. Learn from their experience and avoid boring content titles. Keyword-rich headlines may work for inching you up in the search rankings, but with a little creativity they can also scream “click me!” Try posing a question, saying something provocative, or giving your own take on a hot news topic.
9. Thou shalt keep thy paragraphs short
Large blocks of text are intimidating and off-putting on a website. Leave plenty of white space on the page so your visitors have room to breathe. Break long paragraphs up into shorter ones, each focused on a single idea.
10. Thou shalt use subheadings
Web surfers are skimmers. We seldom read from the top to the bottom of a webpage. Instead, we scan the page for relevant information and selectively read what catches our attention. Sub-headings clue the reader in to what your content is about and encourage them to read more.
11. Thou shalt hyperlink
Hyperlinks are vitally important to your SEO. They are used by search engines to find and rank webpages. Hyperlinks also help readers by providing instant access to additional information. When writing your marketing content look for opportunities to link back to pages on your website or other content you’ve published on the web.
12. Thou shalt include a call to action
It’s not marketing without a call to action! Are you trying to drive traffic to your website? Grow your email list? Promote a product? Identify the purpose of your content then write it to be relevant and encourage readers to take the next step.
Now that you know the 12 commandments of SEO content writing, why not give content marketing a try? Pick one of your products or services and create a piece of content to promote it. Let me know how it goes by leaving a comment below.
*With thanks to Dean Christensen for setting me straight about “thy” vs “thine.”