There is no denying the short and long-term impact of content marketing on your site's organic presence. Both the search engines and social networks thrive on fresh content and the more great content you put out the more visitors, social shares, and links you can earn over time. And with Google's recent changes to the link schemes page in the Webmaster Guidelines the link earning potential of your content is more important than ever. Google flat out says;
The best way to get other sites to create high-quality, relevant links to yours is to create unique, relevant content that can naturally gain popularity in the Internet community. Creating good content pays off: Links are usually editorial votes given by choice, and the more useful content you have, the greater the chances someone else will find that content valuable to their readers and link to it.
In the last few weeks Google has made a lot of noise about adding nofollow links to online press releases, guest blog posts, widgets and infographics, pretty much any content you might create offsite. This means your own business blog should be the crux of your content marketing campaign, but many site owners and marketers struggle with content creation. What should they write about? What if their niche is too boring? How can they make their content stand out? At the end of the day the best solution to your content marketing quandaries is to write what you know and start your blogging efforts by answering the most common questions.
Search and social expert Rob Garner suggests that;
SMBs should focus on foundational content for frequent questions within the business space... It also allows your business representatives to address similar questions social spaces but paraphrasing or customizing the answer, and also to provide for further reference. First questions to address should revolve around your specific business and brand terms, then expand to the generic topics related to your industry, service, or product types.
At the end of the day you are blogging for your target audience, not other professionals in your niche. While some information may seem like "well, duh" to you and your compatriots, to someone just getting their feet wet in your niche is can be really enlightening and ground-breaking. Take a step (or three) back and approach your industry as if you knew nothing--what kind of information you would you need to learn? What questions would you have? What issues do you need resolved? These basic issues are the foundation of your content marketing campaign because these are the issues of your potential customers!
If you aren't sure what kind of questions your audience is asking spend a few hours with your sales or customer service representatives. These customer-facing employees know exactly what problems your customers are dealing with and what concerns they have because it's their job to resolve them! Ask them to write down every question they are asked and start looking for patterns. If a dozen people as asking similar questions you know there is an information hole that your content marketing efforts can fill. The end goal of your content marketing campaign is to turn your website and your brand into a resource for your target audience. This means creating content that appeals to decision makers and influencers at every stage of the buying cycle, including the initial research phase when people are asking a lot of questions and searching for basic information.
There are dozens, if not hundreds, of angles you can take with your content marketing efforts, especially as you move through the buying cycle. But sooner or later you are going to be strapped for ideas. When that day comes don't panic! Turn back to the basic questions your audience is looking for answers to and just run with it.
Nick Stamoulis is the President and Founder of Brick Marketing, one of the premier full service SEO firms in the United States. With over 12 years of experience Nick Stamoulis has worked with hundreds of companies small, large and every size in between. Through his vast and diverse SEO, search engine marketing and internet marketing experience Nick Stamoulis has successfully increased the online visibility and sales of clients in all industries.
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