socialmediat oday.comhttp://socialmediatoday.com/feldmancreative/1190456/12-brutally-honest-answers-your-content-marketing-questions12 Brutally Honest Answers
to Your Content MarketingQuestionsYou won’t dig this piece if you’re thin-skinned. I’m notgoing to pull punches. You should go now. Really, just af ew clicks f rom now you’ll f ind a warm, sun-shiny storyto bask in. Happy trails.Staying put? Alright. Perhaps we can still be f riendsaf terwards. Maybe you’ll f ind me to be an acerbic(blank)head, but respect my brutal honesty. Fine by me.So, I found this content marketing survey report...Yummy. Fresh research in my wheelhouse.BusinessBolts put it together in an ef f ort to uncovertrends in content marketing. I’m not going to get intothe questions the participating small business ownersand marketers were asked. Nor will I get into theiranswers (but you’re welcome to). I’m going to get intothe questions they wanted answered.Yes sir. Bef ore the survey f indings are presented, itgets into the questions swirling around the brains ofaspiring content marketers. Some of them are decentquestions. Many are very much open to interpretation.Some are painf ully idealistic. But anyway, twelve of themscreamed, “Barry, hit me with your best shot.”How can I not? Answering questions to help yourcustomers is, af ter all, the point of content marketing. Here goes. You were warned.Which form of content marketing gets the best SEO boost?The written form. You f eed a search engine words. It f inds them. If you want “the best SEO boost,” which Imust assume translates to inclusion in the results, you need to create written content.But, but, but… what about video, audio, and images? You’ve read how much web f olks eat ‘em up, right? Sure,but search engines don’t. Your discovery of these content types could come f rom a search engine, but it’s morelikely to come f rom a search within a specif ic site. If Google serves you a video, podcast, photo or inf ographic,it’s because it was accompanied by a transcript and/or was properly tagged with relevant keywords.If youre not worshiping words the way you should, you might want to check out Brian Clarks "The Writer RunsThis Show."How do you best use keywords in content?First answer: you put them in the headline. The headline or title is what Google’s looking f or f irst. It’s what
will you’ll be shown f
irst. Put them in the metadata too. It’s what you’ll see under the headline and likely tobecome the f actor that determines whether or not the content gets the click.Second answer: you use them authentically. So, write a piece about those keywords—not excessively andnot deceptively. If you should keyword stuf f and get away with it, you might earn a click, but not a customer.Where can I find high quality writers?Online. Search f or the type of writer you seek. It’s probably f air to say the writers you f ind ranked on pagesone and two know their way around SEO. Great sign, right? Don’t settle yet though. You can achieve highrankings and not be a highly skilled writer.Read their websites, blogs, bios, portf olio samples, prof iles, and tweets. The f irst line of everything they write,the headlines, should seduce you. What f ollows should engage you. If you get to the last line, that author didsome admirable word slinging.A clean plate suggests the chef created something you liked. Same goes f or writing. You’ll gobble up every biteof the good stuf f and want more.In the real world, the tastiest stuf f tends to get devoured.How can I create high quality content easily and quickly?
You can’t. Think about your
f avorite book or album or movie. Was it created easily and quickly? Please.Creating high quality content takes hard work and time. Anyone who tells you otherwise is f ull of it. There’s nomagic button you press where great content comes out the other side. Sorry man.There is something you can do though. Plan. Get a content strategy and plan together bef ore you get into it.Assemble a team. Create an editorial calendar. With the pieces in place, you will indeed accelerate the process,capitalize on repurposing opportunities, and increase the quality and continuity of the work. Maybe this is whatthe question really was about. I’d like to think so.Where is content going? Video, audio or images?Two part question. First answer: it’s going everywhere—wherever your customers go, content goes with them.Second answer: yes video; yes audio, yes images. Pulling one out of the mix strikes me as saying only oneof the f ood groups matters. Dif f erent markets, customers, behaviors, and tastes will inf orm your mediachoices, so you need to do the research, experiment, measure and respond.If you’re insisting on a practical starting point, a blog should be your content cornerstone. Next, if you know it’stime to diversif y and you don’t know what your customers crave (shame shame), go with the media you believeyou can do well and make an impression with.How do I make my content stand out?Grow a pair. Have an opinion, a point of view. Write or produce something that hits a nerve. Make youraudience f eel something. This is how you get noticed, remembered, and talked about. Trod down the middle ofthe road and you’ll be roadkill. It’s powerf ul to be unpopular. Unpopularity is the common denominator oflegends. (Shout out to the brilliant and brash Erika Napoletano.)How can I keep the visitor’s attention?By relating to him or her. It’s really that simple. Of course, I don’t mean to say the skill of being highlyrelatable is easily attained. You need to understand your audience or audiences—intimately. Feed their need tosucceed. To do this requires a keen understanding of what troubles them. Find out what that is. Then teachthem what they need to know and you’ll get more than their attention. You’ll get their loyalty.What are the most effective content marketing methods?I can’t answer this one. Only you can. If you can’t, you should stop everything you’re doing in the contentmarketing realm right now, backup, and do the things you should have done to begin with:Def ine your overall objective(s) and specif ic objectives f or each marketing channel. You now knowwhat ef f ect you want to af f ect. In other words, you can use actual data to determine what is and isn’t“ef f ective.”Determine which metrics will serve as meaningf ul performance indicators. “Clicks” is a reasonablemetric, but “conversions” is likely to be more meaningf ul. Again, it’s up to you to def ine “ef f ective” and inthis case, “conversions” too.Put analytics tools in place to measure the ef f ectiveness of your content marketing and use them.Summarize the f indings and share them with the team members capable of improving them.You with me? This is rocket science. The science part involves def ining and quantif ying ef f ectiveness. Therocket part is about using the power of business intelligence to perpetually thrust onward and upward.
Is posting once a week
good enough or sufficient?Yes, if you’re hitting your marks. No, if you’re not.According to the annual study by Content Marketing Institute and Marketing Prof s, marketers claim theirgreatest challenge is producing “enough” content. But what’s enough? Do you have enough money? Do youget enough love?Had enough of all this enough stuf f ? If you’re getting the results you want, it’s possible you’re not creatingenough content, but I suspect you have a dif f erent problem…You’re not creating great content.How do I find topics to write about?Raise your antennae and tune-in. Who’s supposed to consume your content? What challenges do theyf ace?Don’t know? Well, f ind out. Don’t know how to f ind out? Three quick tips: (1) ask them, (2) “listen” to thequestions they’re asking across social media, and (3) stay abreast of the topics the inf luencers in your f ieldcover.What are the best places to put content other than your blog?Where your audience is.For video, YouTube reigns. For podcasts, iTunes. For presentations, SlideShare. For images, well, that’s a longand growing list, but I’m probably not helping you here by pointing out the obvious. I am, however, making apoint…These websites and services are f ree-f or-alls. They’re free and all can contribute and consume. There are nobouncers outside their doors. Take advantage of this and share your content with their audiences.Now, f or your written works, there are also a shitheap of places with no or low standards, but they’re notnearly as helpf ul to your cause as those with high standards. So the best places to put content other thanyour blog is on the best blogs.And those are? The best blogs are the ones that not only reach, but also touch, your target market—f requently, with clarity, with poignancy, and with purpose.You will find gatekeepers at these publications. Introduce yourself to them and politely request permission toenter their domain and publish your content. If you get rejected, dont stay away f orever more. Turn yourmediocre content into a master work they’d be crazy not to publish.I’m done now. 1500 words. And you’ve put up with every one of them. Perhaps you needed a f ew goodpunches upside the head.Any further questions about content marketing?[Want to learn more about content marketing and how it f its into an ef f ective online marketing program? I wrotethe eBook, "The Plan to Grow Your Business with Ef f ective Online Marketing" f or you and of f er it f ree here.]