How to win new clients through strategic content marketing

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Like many people you may have had a shock recently.

Everything that worked for site rankings is now less effective. Trusted methods, paths of least resistance and tried-and-tested systems just don't do it any more.

Basically, Google has moved the goalposts for good.

In the past, Google algorithm updates have tweaked elements of how they rank website. But those updates of all been part of a broader strategy to change the way search is structured and delivered forever.

And right now we are in the endgame of that change.

I work with online business owners in several countries, and they are all telling me the same thing. Link building doesn't work in the same way it did. Spamming social media accounts to create pure volume doesn't work as well. Worrying about every minor detail of your on page SEO and tweaking it until your head explodes does more harm than good.

What has happened is simple. Google is stepping up the pace of overcoming the gaming of its search engine results.

Yes you can still game it to a degree. Yes you can get short term rankings through linkbuilding boosts and fresh content blasting. But if you want that hard work and investment to last beyond a year, then you need to give Google what it wants, because eventually it will become smart enough to spot the gaming and exclude you for good.

This new guide by Kavit Haria reveals the strategic plan for you to win new clients with content marketing.

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How to win new clients through strategic content marketing

  1. 1. Legal Notice: © Insider Internet Success 2014. All Rights Reserved. The information contained with the document is given in good faith and is believed to be accurate, appropriate and reliable at the time it is given, but is provided without any warranty of accuracy, appropriateness or reliability. The author does not accept any liability or responsibility for any loss suffered from the reader’s use of the advice, recommendation, information, assistance or service, to the extent available by law.
  2. 2. www.insiderinternetsuccess.com 3 L ike many people you may have had a shock recently. Everything that worked for site rankings is now less effective. Trusted methods, paths of least resistance and tried-and-tested systems just don’t do it any more. Basically, Google has moved the goalposts for good. In the past, Google algorithm updates have tweaked elements of how they rank website. But those updates of all been part of a broader strategy to change the way search is structured and delivered forever. And right now we are in the endgame of that change. I work with online business owners in several countries, and they are all telling me the same thing. Link building doesn’t work in the same way it did. Spamming social media accounts to create pure volume doesn’t work as well. Worrying about every minor detail of your on page SEO and tweaking it until your head explodes does more harm than good. What has happened is simple. Google is stepping up the pace of overcoming the gaming of its search engine results. Yes you can still game it to a degree. Yes you can get short term rankings through linkbuilding boosts and fresh content blasting. But if you want that hard work and investment to last beyond a year, then you need to give Google what it wants, because eventually it will become smart enough to spot the gaming and exclude you for good. Welcome
  3. 3. www.insiderinternetsuccess.com 4 Time To Play The Game And Reap Big Rewards. W ith the evidence clear, you’ve got to adapt. You got to change the weapons you use. This means jumping on the content marketing bandwagon. You may have heard the term content marketing strategy, in fact I’m sure you have if you follow marketing information sources online. The problem is that the term “content marketing strategy” is being massively confused across the Internet, resulting in many people making key mistakes which are costing them time and money. In the worst cases their misguided efforts are earning them over- optimisation penalties, as well as losing significant amounts of time and money in the process. For your website to be a winner, you need to understand what a content marketing strategy really is and then invest time, money and effort in developing it intelligently. For your website to be a winner, you need to understand what a content marketing strategy really is
  4. 4. www.insiderinternetsuccess.com 5 CaseStudy Getting The Big Rewards: Inside Out Development. O ne success story to highlight the real results that embracing a content management strategy can have, is that of corporate training firm InsideOut development. Their industry was traditionally reluctant to share information and best practice, for fear of giving competitive advantage away. However Tiffany Franz director of marketing, and her team began to realise during 2012 that they could no longer ignore the results they were seeing in other industries from implementing a proper strategy for marketing content. They worked hard to replace their purely outbound, sales-based communications through email with a far more integrated and engaging outreach. Using a strategy that involved four key principles, they revolutionised the way they marketed. The four principles were to be bite-sized, simple, visually compelling and unique. Working hard to excavate genuinely useful content from colleagues within their own company and beyond, that team targeted themselves to deliver regular and consistently useful content. The results were significant, especially in clickthrough rates from email marketing. Where previously they had just chucked marketing messages at their email database, through engagement they had, by the middle of 2013 achieved a 20% higher click through rate, an 87% lower opt-out rate, and most amazingly, generated 388% more warm leads month on month. They did this by sending half as many emails as they used to, but by engaging more. Through a mature strategy they had increased their overall warm leads via email marketing to 83% of their total generated leads.
  5. 5. www.insiderinternetsuccess.com 6 As you can see this is pretty significant. What it took was a dedicated in-house team who had the time, experience and determination to soak up the information needed and turn it into a detailed strategy for success that was then implemented successfully. But the first key step was recognising that change was needed and then going all out to embrace it. Whether you can do this yourself in-house, or through partnering with a content marketing agency who can deliver for you, is one of the key decisions you have to make, but success is within your grasp if you embrace it and go for it. The first key step was recognising that change was needed and then going all out to embrace it
  6. 6. www.insiderinternetsuccess.com 7 So What Is A Content Marketing Strategy? T he first thing to understand is a content marketing strategy is not about writing content. That may sound ridiculous, but the key is in the word marketing. You are developing a strategy for marketing your content that will lead to an increase in traffic and conversion rates. What many people are confusing right now is the developing a content marketing strategy with creating and actioning a content strategy. So before we go any further, let’s make it crystal clear what we are talking about here with these two very similar terms. Your content marketing strategy is developed from your high level, guiding business principles. Your business objectives and goals drive the creation of a detailed plan for marketing your business through content generation and dissemination. This is your content marketing strategy. Your content strategy is part of your content marketing strategy. Once you have created your overall plan of attack, you then use your content strategy to actually develop the content you will market. So it’s important to get this distinction clear. Your content marketing strategy is not about creating content, it is a plan to unify, deliver and convert through every single piece of content you generate.
  7. 7. www.insiderinternetsuccess.com 8 Your Content Marketing Strategy Is Your Brand. I n the past few years Google has been sending out louder and louder signals about the need to brand yourself properly and uniquely. Matt Cutts mentioned branding several years ago, and there was a brief explosion of people talking about the need to create a unique and sustainable identity for their online activities. Unfortunately as the old ways of getting business, spam, automation and poor quality, was still getting results, this message was lost on all but the few people who could spot that the writing was on the wall. All of a sudden, towards the middle of 2013, people realised that the message they had been sent for several years was now the only way forward if they wanted a sustainable long-term online business. And that message is that you must build your clearly definable brand through a content marketing strategy that expresses it. You must build your clearly definable brand through a content marketing strategy that expresses it
  8. 8. www.insiderinternetsuccess.com 9 Building A Brand Makes Things Easier. Honest. B efore you develop your detailed plan, you need to define your brand. This means clarifying what your USP (Unique Selling Point) is. It means defining where you sit in your niche and nailing down how your offer is clearly different from those around you. Once you have understood exactly where you are in the market, you need to define and develop a unique voice. This is the unique message you send out at all times, it is the ethos that you live and breathe that will flow through everything you produce. So your brand identity must drive everything you do. Having this clarity makes developing and delivering absolutely everything much easier. There is no confusion in your mind as to what you are trying to achieve and why. When you work with others to produce your content, it’s easy for you to explain your brand because you have defined it so well. And it’s not just making things easier for you, the hard work of developing your brand will pay off in the search engine results in time. The reason for this is simple, as Google has been trying to tell you for five years. Developing a consistent, high quality online presence, that is recognisable and widely discussed, leads to legitimacy. Legitimacy leads to trust. Once Google trusts you, then it will let you in through the golden doors. So now you understand how vital branding is for kickstarting your online marketing, let’s go through the detail of gaining legitimacy and how it gives you authority right now.
  9. 9. www.insiderinternetsuccess.com 10 CaseStudy How Driving Unique Branding Can Bring Great Results. B efore we go any further, let’s give you an example of how creating a great brand, or refreshing an existing one, can bring results fast. Don’t be fooled into thinking that branding is something lightweight that doesn’t really matter, it is the foundation on which a successful marketing strategy is built. Without branding, you are marketing a company with no identity. Ironmongery direct is U.K.’s largest online supplier of trade ironmongery products. They have an online catalogue of 13,000 products in stock. Despite being a traditional industry, with lots of competitors, they had a unique position that they had built up over many years hard work. They offered next day delivery if you ordered before 7:30 PM and a no quibble 30 day moneyback guarantee. That was an unbeatable offer in the industry. However, the company felt they were still struggling with being seen as old- fashioned. They also felt that website and brand image did not reflect the full product range and staff knowledge proposition they offered the general public. So they worked hard to get some ideas together for a full brand refresh. This refresh would then be implemented across the communication strategy the company already had, which itself would then be refreshed based on the branding results. So branding driving a content marketing strategy. They changed their strapline to “Masters Of Our Trade”, to better reflect the values and expertise within the company. The message was clear, we are the best place to come online for Ironmongery products and advice. This refresh also included TV advertising for the first time. Year-on-year, profits increased 25% after the refresh. That aim in the next few years is to hit £50 million turnover year. So you can see, a carefully thought out brand, marketed through an intelligent content marketing strategy, can reap big rewards.
  10. 10. www.insiderinternetsuccess.com 11 Legitimacy Is The Key To Google’s Golden Doors. W hen we talk about legitimacy in your online presence, we are talking about you having a genuine, consistent and high quality output in everything you do. Put together, every element of what you produce online will link to form an obvious and unique brand that delivers a unified message. There are several key elements to convincing Google of your legitimacy. Onsite this means content. It means producing joined up content that interlinks to create a truly useful and original resource. Your content needs to be high quality and in-depth. It needs to address all the key points within your niche in a genuinely useful way. The content needs to be produced on a consistent and ongoing basis, not chucked up once every six months. You need to demonstrate you are an ongoing and high quality destination. We will cover this in more detail later, but it means distributing your high quality content via every available media type. This means creating smart content that can be “sliced and diced” for marketing through all channels. Offsite it means interaction. You need a strong social media presence across all the major social networks. And when we say strong social media presence, we are talking about a real one. With high quality and regular interactions, sharing and contribution. It doesn’t mean building up massive lists of useless followers to try and fake things, Your content needs to address all the key points within your niche in a genuinely useful way
  11. 11. www.insiderinternetsuccess.com 12 it means demonstrating you are useful and respected contributor. Although this description of what you need to do to achieve legitimacy is by necessity brief and simplistic, once you go down that path you will realise how powerful it can be. The reason for it being so powerful is because it will create a growing army of raving fans. Once you have an army of raving fans, then your search engine rankings will really start to grow naturally. When people like something they talk about it, they link to it, they share it. Other people marketing for you, free. Google claims that social signals do not directly affect page rankings in the search results. However, the the search industry noise clearly demonstrates that there really is a correlation between high quality social presence, especially on Google+, and increased rankings. Whatever you believe, you have to always keep in mind the new reality is legitimate branding. Legitimate brands interact in a high quality and consistent way. It also means looking to the future and seeing that the influence of social on search engine results will only increase, so at some stage you are going to lose out unless you get ahead of the game now.
  12. 12. www.insiderinternetsuccess.com 13 Brand > Legitimacy > Authority > Success. W orking hard to create a truly unique online brand will grow your legitimacy. The more your legitimacy grows the more you will be seen as an authority, both by people and Google. The benefits of authority are massive. Authority sites, that used to be referred to as “hubs” by the SEO industry, rank strongly. The more you are seen as a trustworthy source of information, the more your authority will grow. That’s why people clamoured to get their links into Wikipedia for example. As well as search engine growth, being seen as an authority opens the door to many opportunities. It makes people see you as a valuable resource, which leads to effortless growth in followers and interactions on social media. People come to you and want to interact with you, where as most of us are desperately trying to get the attention of the gatekeepers and big players within our niche. It means those people will share our content, across social media and through their own sites. This means natural link building and it means growth with minimal investment. • Authority sites are trusted • Authority sites rank strongly • Authority sites are destinations • Authority sites get opportunities • Authority sites draw people in effort free The problem with authority is simple, it doesn’t come quickly, cheaply, or easily. And this is why so many online businesses are now in trouble. They have thrown time and money at the easier path of automation and massive upscaling to get their short- term results. However as each of their campaigns gets slapped out of the search results, they are finding it difficult to now build and rank for the long-term. The old methods don’t work as well, and the new reality takes time. So starting down the path to legitimacy right now is essential. The sooner you create a clear brand identity, work hard to grow it and get it seen as a legitimate resource, the sooner you will see a growth in your authority.
  13. 13. www.insiderinternetsuccess.com 14 How To Develop A Plan For Your Brand. A s with anything online, you will need to do your own research and create your own path to a certain extent. However there are key areas we can focus on right now to help you develop a unique identity – your brand. There are two key areas you need to focus on to undertake simple but effective brand development. 1. Visual identity. This is the most straightforward element of developing a brand. This is having a consistent look and feel across all of your online real estate. Your logo should be the same on everything. It should be professionally designed and reflect the niche you are in. The logo should also display your brand colouring. Yes it may sound obvious, but you’ll be amazed how many people have no idea about colours as part of their marketing. Pick a set of colours that you will use to brand everything you do. There are online tools you can use to create palettes of complimentary colours and shades such as http://colllor.com/. Although you may not even realise it, you associate a website with its colours. Take a look at some of your favourite sites and you will start to realise how this works and how powerful it can be. It creates an instant association in the mind, a visual attachment to that website. Linked with the logo, it can be a powerful and instant recognition across all media platforms that creates emotional attachment to your brand. 2. Your core values, position in the market, and key messages. This is a combination of the intangible and the tangible. The intangible part is your values and key messages. This is comes from inside you and drives
  14. 14. www.insiderinternetsuccess.com 15 everything you do online. The tangible part is knowing your position in your own niche, and being able to market your products to reflect that position. Determining your core values can be tough. But you need to make sure you have this nailed down hard, because doing so drives the consistent key messages you want to deliver, which will drive your content marketing strategy. For example, if you are selling high- quality gold widgets, then your core values and messages need to be around quality and luxury. There is no point in positioning yourself in one part of the market, and then delivering a conflicting message. So if your content partly goes on about high-quality gold widgets, do you want to muddy the waters by also being involved in trying to sell mass volume inferior blue widgets? Quality is where it’s at, but volume is good as well? Confused marketing. So at the start of the branding process, you need to nail down exactly where you are positioning yourself within your niche. Of course if you have set up your online business as you should have done, you will already have done this through your business plan. • What is my position within the market? • What is my Unique Selling Point (USP)? • What is my target audience? • What core values do I have? • What key messages do I want to deliver? Once you understand where you sit in the marketplace, then you can to develop fully your core values and messages that will flow through every single thing you produce in terms of marketing materials. If you are not 100% consistent in the key values and messages, you are creating confusion which will lead to abandonment. Have an angle and stick to it. On top of that, when you fully understand the market you are positioned in then it will be easier to position your content strategy more clearly for that market. Using language and structure that potential buyers will look for and understand is incredibly useful as it builds instant trust. Speak their language and they will accept you. Now that you have a consistent visual identity, a core message to deliver, strong and legitimate values and you are clear on your position in the market, you are ready to develop your content marketing strategy.
  15. 15. www.insiderinternetsuccess.com 16 The Basics Of A Successful Content Marketing Strategy. W ould you like to hear something truly astonishing? Okay, here goes. In a recent survey from the Content Marketing Institute* 48% of the people who responded said they didn’t have a content marketing strategy in place at all. This means, if we extrapolate that data, that around half of online businesses are yet to respond to the changes in the search landscape. This is despite the fact the writing has been on the wall the three years. So there is massive opportunity here if you get started right now. Your content marketing strategy needs to be properly joined up set of tasks and principles that drive the content you produce for consumption online. The goal is to make your business one that delivers value for people, making you a destination and a resource that is recommended. The first thing to understand is that as with so much of what is done in business online, there is no fixed path to success. How you create, deliver and further develop your content marketing strategy is down to you, there is no singular approach you can take. There will be elements of guesswork, intuition and correcting errors as you go on the journey. Expect things to go wrong early on and accept they will, then react quickly and positively. You must not get bogged down in detail, especially not initially. Your content marketing strategy should be a high level overview document, driven by the branding we have already discussed and the available resources you have to hand. Add detail as it develops and you gain experience, don’t try and cover everything at once or you will just set yourself up to feel like you’re not achieving. The important point here is to start a proper content marketing strategy now. Now you understand what will drive your content marketing strategy and that how you construct and deliver it will vary considerably, it’s time to discuss some of the key elements that will be in your strategy, regardless of its structure. *http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/2014/02/small- business-2014-content-marketing-research/
  16. 16. www.insiderinternetsuccess.com 17 1. Determine what your key content themes will be. Develop each in detail, to act as a springboard for each fresh piece of content. Understand how each content theme will lead down a clear conversion path. 2. We will cover this in a moment, but you need to understand how the content you create must be designed to be varied in structure for dissemination across all media types. 3. You need to do keyword and topicality research, so that you can ensure every piece of content you produce ties together tightly in the eyes of both Google and the person searching on the topic. 4. Understand clearly how the person consuming your content will go on a journey, which will flow through your sales funnel to conversion. If you don’t understand the journey you want them to go on, you can’t expect them to complete it. 5. Know in detail what your conversion goals are and how you will measure and adjust them. 6. Have a plan in place to recycle and redistribute your successful content in variation, to squeeze even more out of your initial work. Know in detail what your conversion goals are and how you will measure and adjust them
  17. 17. www.insiderinternetsuccess.com 18 Understand What Real Success Will Look Like A s you have just read, a key consideration is to understand in advance what your goals are. How you going to know what success looks like? It is too simplistic, especially initially, to measure your return on investment simply through conversions or profit. You need to break down your analysis so that you can focus on a progressive improvement of all metrics, starting with those that seed conversions. This will tie in to your goals. When you create your content marketing strategy, you should have a clear idea of what your objective is. It may be more money, it may be increased conversions, it may be an improved spend per conversion, or it might be something less financially driven (initially) such as increased social interactions and followers or mailing list subscribers. So break down targets per channel and then measure them in terms of views, shares and clicks. What that means is for each piece of content, you will be aiming to spread it via all media types and channels. You need to track and measure how successful you are being in each of these. Only when you see improving metrics for views shares and clicks, will you then usually start to see a potential improvement financially through actual conversions. Obviously in terms of organic search traffic this can me measured on conversions straight away, so segmentation of your measurements is the key. If you focus purely on hard financial targets with a content marketing strategy, you will give up quickly. There are stages to developing your strategy that you need to understand. You create the content, you build your brand and trust, then you build your conversions. Only when you get to the stage of building conversions can you really start to target improving them. If you focus purely on hard financial targets with a content marketing strategy, you will give up quickly.
  18. 18. www.insiderinternetsuccess.com 19 CaseStudy Content Marketing Is Universal In It’s Potential. H aving a content marketing strategy is vital to your success whatever your niche or industry. Don’t think that because you are in “X industry” that marketing through content delivery won’t work. If people read your stuff, then you can market to them, even non-profit organisations do it. An example of an unusual niche is in the renewable energy sector. This is a complicated and controversial topic, which struggles to communicate clearly and effectively. One company seems to have done this. SmartestEnergy is the leading buyer of renewable energy from independent renewable energy generators in the UK. That team decided they wanted to create a major piece of content to build their leadership in the renewable energy sector. In 2012, they spotted an opportunity to produce a piece of research that would be of interest to anyone looking to renewable energy is a sector. It took them six months to collect the data they needed, for publication of a new report. The structure of the report was deliberately light on, writing, focusing instead on graphics and key facts boxes, which could be plucked out individually and used across any media source. This was a clever marketing strategy, as in effect it grouped together multiple information structures for people to pick from as needed. A freelance copywriter and design team were put together to write the report from a fresh viewpoint. They were particularly keen to influence journalists. That aim was to get 20 pieces of mainstream media coverage. The actual total was 54 pieces of mainstream media coverage, from a total of 506 downloads of the report. As you can see, though the downloads total was low, the content was so effective in its structure, both for an information and design is a smorgasbord, that it generated an incredible amount of publicity. This is a clear example of one piece a brilliantly structured “epic” content delivering massive publicity that rolls on and on.
  19. 19. www.insiderinternetsuccess.com 20 Comprehend Comprehensive Content Reach. B efore you get into the detail of your content marketing strategy development, you will need to clearly understand the most efficient way of distributing your content for maximum return on investment. To understand, you need to be made aware of the huge lie most people who jump into content marketing currently believe. They believe that content works for content’s sake. The message has been that tons of content will drive rankings, because of its freshness. This has resulted in people churning out tons of poorly targeted, obviously cheaply produced content. It has created a logic fail, which most people seem to be completely ignorant of: Unless you create content that generates further action, all you’re ultimately doing is paying to increase your bounce rate. So more is not better. One piece of very high quality content with massive discussion potential, will do more for your business within the scope of a content marketing strategy, than 100 “price of a beer” pieces will ever do. And this is the key message in all of this, so pay attention:
  20. 20. www.insiderinternetsuccess.com 21 Focus your content marketing strategy on driving content distribution, not driving content creation. O ne single piece a brilliantly crafted work, can drive your entire content marketing strategy for months. You do not need endless content, just the ability to know how to craft content that can be marketed and remarketed indefinitely. The key to this is producing content that can be reformatted for distribution, in whole, parts or variation, across all the major media types: • Text (articles, blog posts, video transcripts, audio transcripts) • Video (YouTube, Vimeo, Vine) • Social media (LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook) • Audio (podcasts) • Downloads (Ebooks, whitepapers, case studies) • Press releases • Direct marketing (email, newsletters, auto responder sequences) • “Smorgasbord” content that contains multiple formats for selection by the consumer A piece of great content, written so that it can be sliced and diced into a format for all of the above options, can be enough to launch your entire strategy and maintain it for months. Get somebody to read your piece by audio, put it in an ebook, strip it down with examples make a case study, serialise it into an auto responder sequence, get somebody to read it out on a white background video.
  21. 21. www.insiderinternetsuccess.com 22 And it doesn’t stop there. Aim to reinforce success, exactly as successful generals have in history. Good generals learned never to reinforce failure, but always to strip resources from parts of the battlefield where they were failing, and to instead push harder for success in the areas they were having it. Athough you can never guarantee victory, you can weight your chances in the gamble. Monitor your content across all its distributionchannels, and where you see traction, put your efforts into maximising it quickly. This means learning how to juggle and it means knowing when to drop one of the balls. It means your content marketing strategy needs to contain a clear plan on how you will capitalise on success. One word of caution. You know your business and your market. So don’t spend time and money spreading your content through channels for which it may be a poor fit. Facebook for example is great for some markets, but atrocious for others. Ask yourself the question: why are these people using this social media channel? Don’t just look at the size of the userbase, or the ease of access to them, look at the content they love to read and discuss and decide if your content will be a great fit. “Share the right content with the right people, for the right reasons.” Good generals learned never to reinforce failure, but always to strip resources from parts of the battlefield where they were failing
  22. 22. www.insiderinternetsuccess.com 23 Plan To Serve Up Content For Easy Eating T he number of mobile devices being bought globally is now greater than the number of computers being bought. On top of that, the number of webpages served to mobile devices now exceeds that served to dedicated desktop computers. And you want more? It is predicted that video traffic will account for at least 55% of all Internet traffic by 2016. These basic facts should tell you clearly which way the wind is blowing. Adapting now will leave your competitors all at sea. When you are planning to hit multiple channels, you also need to take into account the devices they will be read on. It is very rare for people to read detailed content, such as an ebook on a mobile phone, however they will watch videos or listen to audio readily. This means you need to consider your delivery methods. If you are going for video distribution, can the storage location of your video cope with demand? Is it third-party hosted or is it on your own website? • Are the locations your fantastic content will be served from easily accessible? • Is your website fully device responsive? • Is navigation and paths to content the same however that content is served? These are key questions that need to be built into your preparation of a content management strategy. Understanding the channels you will use and just as importantly how the people who use them will consume the content, is key to your success.
  23. 23. www.insiderinternetsuccess.com 24 Content Strategy: Create Great Content T he moment has arrived, you now have two get that fantastic content created. You understand now how a single piece of content can be structured for delivery and redelivery across all media types, to wring every last drop of value out of it. Now we need to discuss the key elements of creating content that will fulfil that aim. 1. More content is not better. If you want to deliver boring and mechanical rubbish that fails to achieve any of the goals you set out in your content marketing strategy, then you will be a person who has not understood the message that more is not better. This in part is a hangover from the old way of doing things. Link building was all about volume, traffic was all about volume (endless blog creation and article spinning). That is a mindset that has infected content marketing strategies, where volume of content created is the goal rather than what each piece of content can actually do in terms of conversion. So lets say it again so it’s clear: in the beginning focus on one great piece of content. A piece that hits a key business message, that will generate opinions and discussion, and that can be broken down for digestion through any channel you want. 2. Invest in your content. Visit any marketing Forum online and you will see people asking “Where can
  24. 24. www.insiderinternetsuccess.com 25 I get cheap content?”, “Is five dollars too much to pay for 500 words?”, “How can I hire a reliable and excellent writer who doesn’t charge much money?”. The above quotes are genuine questions I have seen on the biggest marketing Forum on the Internet. It shows that people simply do not get it. They are setting themselves up to fail by focusing on the last thing they should be focusing on: cost. If the first goal in your creation of content is costs virtually nothing, then you can guarantee your content marketing strategy will produce virtually nothing in terms of results. You might get lucky, but I’m sure you’ve heard the saying “You get what you pay for.” If you pay the price of beer the 500 words, what do you expect to get? It will be frothy, and its effects will last a few hours. The obsession that will sink you can be made even worse if while trying to pay as little as possible you are also obsessed with word count. Good words work, bad words don’t, regardless of how many of them you publish. The person who is churning out this content, and they will need to churn it out in order to make enough money per hour to live, won’t care. They won’t care what your strategy is, and they certainly won’t buy into it. The five dollars they will just find something online and vaguely fits the topic, reword it, take the money and run. You need to find a quality writer to team up with. Someone who will buy into your ethos, is have the brains to understand what you are trying to achieve, and who can be there for the long-term as a strategic partner. Those people are not cheap. They don’t have to be expensive, but you have to see the content you want to distribute as an investment for your brand, and that means developing really high quality stuff. As a rule of thumb, you should expect to pay $15-$30 per 500 words for exceptional content. Anything less and every piece is a gamble. Peanuts attract monkeys.
  25. 25. www.insiderinternetsuccess.com 26 Can You Cut Costs And Do It Yourself? T he moment has arrived, you now have two get that fantastic content created. You understand now how a single piece of content can be structured for delivery and redelivery across all media types, to wring every last drop of value out of it. Well, this could be the million-dollar question. I would suggest that the answer is generally no you can’t, for several key reasons. Unless you are a great all-rounder, with years of experience, then you really are going to struggle. No matter how good you think you are, that is taking a big risk with your time and money. You need to understand the disciplines of writing. General writing principles, how they are adapted to the Internet and sales copywriting. You need to understand how to structure a piece. How to write great headlines. How to break the text up so that scanning with your eyes allows the key points to be taken in. • It means understanding how writing for the Internet generation is different to formal writing. • It means grabbing their attention instantly, and never letting it go. • It means understanding how to hook people in and deliver. “You cannot bore people into buying your product; you can only interest them in buying it.”
  26. 26. www.insiderinternetsuccess.com 27 And is not just the writing you need to understand if you want to do it yourself. • Do you know how to use social media channels expertly? • Have you got the time, energy and knowledge to interact to a high standard across all these platforms? • Can you have unlimited fresh ideas to slice and dice your content and deliver it effectively across them? And then there is the graphics and design side of it. Are you great and I mean great, at producing sharp visuals? Do you understand layout rules? The lists go on and on and on. So the chances are, you may do an adequate job at best. But lets face it, with the competition out there, adequate is not good enough. So don’t pretend you can do it yourself, unless you have been doing it yourself successfully for some time. Focus instead on getting a team around you who can help. Set up trials the people who can help you with graphics, content and distribution. Don’t patronise them by asking them to do a trial, remember they are all professionals and treat them as such. Telling them you want to trial them is code for “I don’t trust you, or think you can do it and I want to pay you peanuts.” Explain your goals and that you want to get close team around you the long- term collaboration. Make sure they understand the benefit to themselves from jumping through the hoops initially. You can ditch someone at any time, so there is no need to make them react negatively by saying the “trial” word. Once you get your team around you, you can then share your content marketing strategy with them, get advice and suggestions for improvement, and most importantly develop creative buy-in from your freelancers. If you don’t get your team in place before you start implementing your content management strategy, you will be firefighting. Firefighting is a headache and costs more money in the long run. g the channels you will use and just as importantly how the people who use them will consume the content, is key to your success.
  27. 27. www.insiderinternetsuccess.com 28 Do You Really Have The Time To Create That Content? U ltimately you have to weigh up the quality of work you can do in the time you have. If after reading the last section you still feel you can create great content without a team, you also need to be clear on how much time it will take. Only then can you see if it will be detrimental to the core running of your business. One great piece of content will, with brainstorming, drafts, running it past people and final touches, take you at least 8 hours for just 500 words. Then you have to slice and dice that content to make it fit into the media channels you will be distributing it through. That is another 2-4 hours per channel. You also need to look at the “hooks”. The things that will grab people, so it’s creating create headlines and social media posts, which could take an hour per channel. And you have to format it all so it looks GREAT however and wherever it’s viewed. Another hour or two per piece. That one seed article to kickstart your content marketing strategy could take you as long as 30 hours to prepare for launch. Can you afford to take yourself out of your core business role for nearly a week? What will that cost you against potential gains? Only when you have done this exercise in detail can you see if outsourcing to a team you construct, or an agency who can deliver the entire package for you effort free, is the way to go instead.
  28. 28. www.insiderinternetsuccess.com 29 The Key Considerations For Producing Great Content W hatever the structure you put in place, great content will have the following key elements: • It will target your audience and tell your story • It will resonate with potential and current clients • It will engage universally, through social, journalistic and blogging channels • It will influence buying decisions • It will build your brand reputation • It will build your authority and trust • It will grow your audience • It will be concise and precise • It will contain cynical elements that target discussion and sharing As well as hitting the above considerations, you also need to be fully aware of the customer journey in the content you create: Awareness > Interest > Consideration > Purchase > Retention > Advocacy The content you produce must be targeted to the steps of the customer journey and leads them through it. If you do not create content that creates clear thought within the customer, you will create confusion that will lead to abandonment. “Create A Meaningful Experience That Attracts And Engages Your Target Audience.” Good generals learned never to reinforce failure, but always to strip resources from parts of the battlefield where they were failing
  29. 29. www.insiderinternetsuccess.com 30 Give Your Content A Heart. A great way of benchmarking the quality of your content is to give it some HEART. Is your content: • Helpful • Entertaining • Authentic • Relevant • Timely This is a simple but great way of analysing the structure of a piece of content by asking each of the above questions in turn. Give your content some heart and watch it get better and better with every draft.
  30. 30. www.insiderinternetsuccess.com 31 Serve Your Content From Trusted Sources. T here is no point in creating fantastic content at a price, if you then chuck it at people through channels that do not seem authoritative. If you’re going to use Twitter, which is going to be better, a highly respected account that you have taken time and effort to build up a real rapport with people around you from, or account that doesn’t interact with other people and has 15,000 fake followers? If you have a Facebook page, will it build trust if your 15,000 likes seem to come from people on the other side of the world whose own Facebook feeds seem to be filled with mindless spam? And even if you are using nurtured accounts, do those account feeds fully represent the message you want to send? If you are spouting off personal opinions about things outside of your core business message, you will not only dilute what you’re trying to achieve but you will also risk alienation. So once you have established the channels you want to use, it may well be a good thing to do a full audit to make sure that they are “clean” channels. If they are not, invest some time in creating a clean channel for a few months before it is to be used. Will it build trust if your 15,000 likes seem to come from people on the other side of the world whose own Facebook feeds seem to be filled with mindless spam?
  31. 31. www.insiderinternetsuccess.com 32 Analyse, Adapt, Aim, Fire. P art of your content marketing strategy, as we’ve already discussed, will be knowing exactly how you’re going to analyse your content once it is distributed for success. This analysis will allow you to spot success, adapt the content further, then distribute again. The title of this section puts that strategy into four words. Make use of all the available measurement channels and set them up in advance. To most people this means using Google analytics at the very least. It means tracking clicks through analytics, through URL shortening services, or through plugins within a content management system such as WordPress. You can set up campaigns, conversions and goals within Google analytics to track each element of your campaign. You can track easily every single path you have disseminated your content through. Your analysis should look to reinforce success as we have already discussed, by shifting your resources rapidly to do that. You analysis should constantly be watching for opportunities to develop or reconstruct your content to push it out in another version through those successful channels. Make use of all the available measurement channels and set them up in advance.
  32. 32. www.insiderinternetsuccess.com 33 Out With The Old... In With The Old D on’t just look at new content creation when you are starting out in creating your strategy. Ask how your existing content can be part of your new content marketing strategy. • Can your existing content be sharpened to go with a high quality message? • Can it’s relevance or accuracy be improved? • Can it be refocused to better support your new content? • Can it be used as a seed to work from? • Can the content be brought up to date? • Does old content meet your new content standard aspirations? • Can old content be repackaged to make ebooks or another different format to the original to increase its freshness? The last point is something a lot of people miss. Check out copyblogger. com and join their free members option. You can then download a ton of fantastic ebooks about copywriting. When you open them and compare them to old blog posts on their site you will realise they are constructed from those old posts, just slightly edited and packaged together by theme to make the ebooks. Classic repackaging to add depth to a new strategy.
  33. 33. www.insiderinternetsuccess.com 34 CaseStudy Does Content Marketing Actually Work? U nequivocally, the answer is yes. Just ask cloud-based telecoms company ShoreTel Sky. Realising that they needed a proper content marketing strategy implemented, they turned to an agency who delivered it expertly for them as a package. Amber Newman realized her company lacked the manpower to fuel a sustainable strategy that could build her brand as a reliable resource for business phone system shoppers. Her team eam were writing blog content internally, but wanted to up the ante. The company also needed a partner that could help it break into new formats. She decided to use daily industry news content to power consistent updates and turned to the services of a specialist content management provider to assist with her goals. The result for ShoreTel was a 51% increase in organic site traffic year on year in their Q3 2013. The key is having clear goals that align with your key business aims, and teaming up with the right people to deliver great results. The result for ShoreTel was a 51% increase in organic site traffic year on year in their Q3 2013.
  34. 34. www.insiderinternetsuccess.com 35 I Don’t Want To Deal With All This!! T You may be reading this, getting new insight and inspiration, but at the same time feeling a problem growing in your mind. The doubt about actually wanting to invest significant time in creating, and driving a content marketing strategy yourself. And let’s be honest here, to do it justice will take a significant investment in time, effort and money. • The doubt about dealing with the process of finding different freelancers to create a team. • The doubt about knowing enough about what needs to be done to get that team working to high capacity. Maybe you just want to focus on what drives your business: your passion for it. It’s completely understandable that you will want to put all your energy into delivering the absolute best you can for your clients, which means you do not want to divert energy to content marketing. And of course, that makes complete sense. You will make more money focusing on what you are good at, rather than if you divert that “money time” to something you may not be able to do with any success. Well, there is another option that will deliver you a complete content marketing strategy, fully implemented and benchmarked for results. That option is to team up with a reputable content marketing agency, who have the expertise to take the pressure off you. Partnering with a great company will allow you to agree on goals that you want your content marketing strategy to reach, verbalise your key messages, and then sit back and let things happen expertly.
  35. 35. www.insiderinternetsuccess.com 36 So if time, skill or desire is making you avoid implementing a content management strategy, then teaming up with a content management specialist is the answer. As an example, Kavit Haria’s “Done For You Content Traffic System” is a complete content management strategy that can really simplify the whole content marketing process for you. Kavit’s team will work closely with you to understand your business, identify the key indicator you want to improve, and then construct and deliver a careful strategy to reach your goals. You don’t have to do anything other than focus on the core of your business, while they construct and deliver quality content across all the media channels we have discussed, hitting the right keywords, sending the right message, delivering the right traffic. So if time, skill or desire is making you avoid implementing a content management strategy, then teaming up with a content management specialist is the answer. A quality service is not cheap, but you have to look at the return on your investment and the time, energy and money it would take to get the results yourself. Go to the website www.insiderinternetsuccess. com/traffic-system to find out more about the Content Traffic System and how we can help you build authority, increase your rankings, drive more traffic and get more new clients.
  36. 36. www.insiderinternetsuccess.com 37 It Is Time To Get Serious About Your Content. I am sure you will now be churning all of this over in your mind and are keen to get things moving quickly. A great strategy for content marketing takes time and skill to build and deliver. However, using the information in this guide you can speed up the process and make less mistakes along the way. If you don’t want to be distracted from your core business role, then outsourcing either to a team you build or a company with a team in place is the cost-effective way to get fast results. Whichever path you choose, implementing a complete strategy with clear goals and adapting as you go is the key to success, and do not underestimate the ongoing effort required to maintain that success. Case Study Citations Shoretel Sky http://www.brafton.com/blog/content-marketing-case-study-shoretel-sky-lifts-traffic-and-sales InsideOut http://www.marketingsherpa.com/article/case-study/content-marketing-leads-4-step-strategy# Ironmongery Direct http://www.b2bmarketing.net/knowledgebank/branding/case-studies/case-study-ironmongerydirect-brand-refresh SmartestEnergy http://www.wiseupmedia.co.uk/blog/an-inspiring-green-content-marketing-case-study-the-energy-entrepreneurs-report
  37. 37. www.insiderinternetsuccess.com 38 About Kavit Haria and Insider Internet Success About Kavit Haria Kavit is called upon by businesses globally to advise them on their online marketing strategy using cutting-edge tactics to get more targeted website visitors, more enquiries, more clients and more profit. He imbibes the philosophy that marketing is the biggest money- making skill in the world and believes that the biggest change comes from entrepreneurial success. One entrepreneur succeeding in good business will impact hundreds or thousands of customers, their families, and the business’s staff and their families. Known for telling it like it is and from the heart, Kavit has spoken to tens of thousands of people in audiences in the UK, Australia and America, and to over a hundred different countries through his webinars. He has writes a powerful daily e-mail tip for subscribers online. You can subscribe for his Daily Tip for free at www.insiderinternetsuccess.com About Insider Internet Success If you’re looking to build a lifestyle business – and you need more traffic, more leads, and more sales – so that you can have more time off and make a difference with your business, you’re in the right place. At Insider Internet Success, our goal is to guide and provide you, the savvy entrepreneur and small business owner, with the training and services to help you build authority, drive traffic, get more enquiries and increase your sales. We deal in meaningful, purposeful businesses online that support who you are, the people you serve and the lifestyle you love. If you’re ready to build your own lifestyle business online, or create automated systems that help you increase your rankings through solid content, driving more traffic and sales from your website, we can help. Visit us online at www.insiderinternetsuccess.com
  38. 38. We deal in meaningful, purposeful businesses online that support who you are, the people you serve and the lifestyle you love.

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