content-marketing

Do you want to know the one SEO strategy that will never die? That is immune to Google dances? That will be around long after all the major search engines die? It’s content marketing.

No, seriously. Content marketing has been going on since, well, forever. Long before the Internet was even thought of.

Before social media, and even before Google itself, there were advertorials, brochures, and product packaging, white papers, and case studies. All of these are different forms of content marketing. They worked in the 1920s, and they’ll work in the year 3000. Why? Because consumers will always want to know more about their problems and how to solve those problems.

Here’s how you can help them.

Create A Journey

The best way to get new traffic is to give your visitors high-quality content at the right place and time. Now, unless you’ve been living under a rock for 10 years, you already know this. In fact, it’s been rehashed and restated countless ways.

The problem is that, in all those years, few experts tell you what “quality” means.

It does not mean “expert-level information.” It does not mean including fancy graphics. It does not mean ninja writing and marketing “tricks” to get visitors to click on your ads or share your content.

What it means is finding a problem that keeps your audience up at night – something that frustrates them to no end. Something that they can’t live with. Something that they need to change or fix right now. Something that they want to aspire to right now.

In other words, that content has to be highly relevant to your ideal customer, right now. Not 3 years from now. Now.

Most marketers, and content creators, don’t do that. And, that’s why they struggle.

Promote Your Content

Once you’ve scratched your market’s itch, you need to get the message out there. You need to promote it. It’s not enough to publish and pray. You have to actively tell people about it. If it’s well-written, and it addresses real problems and frustrations your market is going through, it will be shared. It might not go viral, but it will be shared by the right people.

Know That Audience

You’ve probably noticed that a lot of this content marketing stuff is highly dependent on the audience you’re trying to reach. Put crafting articles in front an audience of lumberjacks, and it doesn’t matter how good the writing is. It will bomb.

Likewise, writing an article about how to fix the 5 most common golf swing faults and sending it to amateur golfers is a surefire way to grab their attention and hold it indefinitely.

Want to grab young video game players? Talk about the latest releases and, more specifically, “Easter eggs” in those games that no one knows yet. Want to capture old-school video game enthusiasts? Write about how to build (or buy) a retro gaming system.

Want to appeal to gardeners? Teach them how to grow flowers in the dead of winter.

Are you starting to get the picture?

Mix It Up A Bit

You don’t always have to write articles. All you have to do is deliver a message. But, sometimes, a video format works better than text. Sometimes, audio works better than video. Choose the format that your audience prefers and don’t be afraid to mix things up a bit to appeal to a variety of learning styles.

You should also vary the content format. Sometimes, a “how to” piece works the best. Other times, a list post will be a better choice. And, sometimes, you need an in-depth “why” piece to explain why something works the way it does.

If you stick with the basics: Who, what, where, when, why, and how, then that should give you the basis for just about any content format and style you’ll ever need to worry about.

On Images

You’ve probably heard or read somewhere that images make content more appealing. And, they do, but only when the image is relevant to the story being told. You see it all the time – bloggers inserting images into posts that don’t really seem to make any sense.

The cheesy stock photos. The nonsensical “business” images with people that are smiling way too hard.

Don’t do that.

If you’re going to use images, use ones that are relevant. Use custom graphics that help explain the point you’re trying to make. And, always use a caption for an image. People read captions more than they read the main content.