Content Marketing: How We Got to 12 Millions Visitors Per Year
By Nishadha Silva
Internet Marketing Manager
We Managed These Results…
● Competing with MS Visio and other well funded US
● A team of 5 people
● Not attending conferences/trade shows
Content Marketing Definitions
● a type of marketing that involves the creation and sharing of online material
(such as videos, blogs, and social media posts) that does not explicitly
promote a brand but is intended to stimulate interest in its products or
● Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and
distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and
retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable
Content Marketing Explained
● Consistency is very important
4 posts in one week and no posts for 2 months won’t work
● Long term strategy
Think 10 posts sending 20 visits per day to 200 posts sending 50
● More about informing/entertaining than promotion
“Drawing org charts with Creately” vs “How to manage company growth with
an org chart”
● Target a clearly defined audience
Tempting to tweet with popular hashtags, infographic about a trending topic
Benefits of Content Marketing
● Increases the chance of getting search engine traffic
● Fresh content for social channels
● Increases chance of getting backlinks from high authority
● Increases brand recognition and authority
● Improve the overall authority of the domain which boosts
Content Marketing Challenges
● Consistently producing high quality content
○ Not enough resources / budget
○ Struggling for ideas/topics
○ Long approval/feedback process for agencies
○ Branding issues
○ Aligning content with company goals
● Promoting content
○ Reach of social media going down
○ The web is flooded with content making it hard to stand out
○ Having trouble identifying influencers and reaching them
○ Paid promotions getting costlier
Content Marketing Challenges (Cont…)
● Measuring results / ROI
○ Defining measurements / KPI
○ Attributing conversions/leads to content
○ Unpredictable nature of viral content
How We Do It
● We focus on two things
○ Blog posts
● Infographics are mostly used for link building and to increase brand
● Their success is measured by
○ Social share counts
○ Number of links acquired
Some of Our Most Successful Infographics
● Using visual communication in marketing
Engagement - 1376 Links - 11
● Will robots take our jobs by 2020
Engagement - 1826 Links - 9
● Elon Musk's Master Plan
Engagement - 31944 Links - 0
The Process for Blog Posts
● We come across great blog post ideas everyday. They shouldn’t be lost.
● We maintain a spreadsheet that include the following
○ Topic idea
○ Brief description
○ Diagram type
● Anybody can add to the list. We go through the list periodically and pick the
most suitable ones.
● Not picked doesn’t mean your idea sucks. Just that another idea is better.
Picking Topics / Generating Post Ideas
○ Lots of reading helps
○ Knowing customer pain points
● Spying on competitors
○ Keep track through Google alerts
○ Setup Twitter feed for mentions/domain search
○ Use a social media listening tool
● Analyzing competitors top performing content
○ Buzzsumo is great for social shares. But a paid tool. There are free alternatives with limited
○ SEO tools like Moz, SEOProfiler, Ahrefs to find the most linked content
Before the Actual Writing Process
An outline for the blog post is created. It includes the following fields.
● SEO Title - The title we want to appear in search results. Prominency is given
● Post heading - The objective is to increase CTR when shared in social media.
Curiosity + Benefit.
● Objective - Why we’re writing this post. Is it to convert users? Educated
users? Or Both?
● Keywords - All the keywords related to that topic. It would look similar to
something below. The data is taken from Adwords Keyword Research tool.
Keyword Avg. Monthly Searches Competitiveness
Process mapping 11000 0.21
Business process mapping 9900 0.41
Process mapping tools 9000 0.12
Process mapping software 6600 0.25
Process mapping examples 7200 0.47
● Best performing posts - The top posts that currently rank for the targeted
keyword. At minimum we consider 3 posts, but it could go up to 6 or 7 posts.
● Key points - The main points covered in the article
● Insight - What are the key insights the reader can get from reading this post
● Key graphics - What graphics and diagrams we need to add to the article
● Why will this post win - Very important when we start the content promotion
The Writing Begins
● The editor does the writing. The initial focus is on creating an interesting piece
of content that is easy to read.
● Multiple iterations to match our brand voice and satisfy the conditions useful
● SEO elements are considered and and related keywords are added as
necessary. Do not stuff keyword.
● Diagrams/graphics are added as necessary. Do not add diagrams for the
sake of having an image.
● Final draft is proofread and published.
When creating a blog post we have two main objectives.
● Getting the post ranked in search engines
○ Continuously send us traffic for a long time
○ Generate natural backlinks
○ Increase brand awareness and authority
● Convert casual visitors to paid customers/generate leads
Replicating the Competitor Links
● Do a link analysis of the top performing posts
○ We use a paid tool called SEOProfiler. Moz, Ahrefs are also good options. Free tools available
with limited functionality.
● Gather the details of the webmaster and send a link request
○ How we found his post and something complementary about his post
○ Mention that he/she has linked to the competitor post
○ Tell why your post is more beneficial to him and ask for a link
● Track responses so you can get back to ones who didn’t respond
Find New Link Opportunities
● Look for other blogs that has talked about related topics
○ Will that post benefit from linking to our post? Send a link request.
○ Can we leave a meaningful comment with a link? Go for it. Don’t comment for the sake of
● Set an alert for the target keyword
○ Promoting never stops. If the content is evergreen you can keep pitching your article.
● Link monitoring mechanism helps
○ Your competitors posts will also get backlinks. With a link monitoring tool you will immediately
know about new links.
Share on Social Media
● Create separate images for separate channels
○ This helps you stand out in social media timelines
● Make use of the post text to entice users
○ Instead of just sharing the article use the text to prime the readers
● Use relevant hashtags
○ Increases the chance of your content getting discovered
● Don’t just share and forget
○ Have a mechanism to continuously promote evergreen content.
○ We use a tool called SocialOomph which has recurring queues.
Look for Influencers
● Twitter search is a good place to start
○ Start from the highly influential ones to mid level ones
○ Everybody wants to look smart. They will share quality content that’s relevant to their
○ Don’t be shy to ask.
● A paid tool like BuzzSumo gives more advanced metrics
○ Influencer score
○ Quality of followers
Make Use of Your Email List
● Still one of the best channels to reach your target audience
○ Will help to retain your current customers
○ Keeps your brand fresh in their memory and increase brand authority
Image Search / Pinterest
● Pinterest is our best performing social channel
○ It help that we are a diagramming company
○ Much better discoverability than other social channels
○ Depends on the nature of your business
● Image search is more than 10% of overall searches
○ Under utilized by most marketers
○ Alt tags and other meta data are important
Convert Content to Other Formats
○ Submit to Slideshare, Authstream and other presentation sharing sites
○ Scribd, eDocr and many other document submission sites
○ Hundreds of infographic submission sites
Convert Content to Other Formats...
● You have already done the research. So converting is easier than starting
● Exposed to a different audience who consume content in a different way
● Increases brand exposure
There are multiple measurement you can use to evaluate a campaign. The
measurement should align with business goals/objectives.
● SEO rank
● Increase in subscribers
Campaign URL Builder
● Powerful tool provided by Google https://ga-dev-tools.appspot.com/campaign-
● All the data is available in Google Analytic
● Makes it easier to attribute site goals to individual pieces of content
● Makes future analysis easier
● Are content spinners any good?
They can be a useful way to create content for your “made for link” sites. But I
would use them very carefully.
● How to avoid keyword cannibalism?
Keyword cannibalism is when multiple pages rank for the same keyword.
Easily avoidable for small sites if they do proper keyword mapping. However,
large sites, sites with user generated content can suffer from this.
With specialized tools like SEOProfiler you can identify these pages and
tweak them to rank for other keywords or redirect the unnecessary ones to
the main page.
● How to handle broken links?
Can easily happen with sites with user generated content. Need a customized
404 page directing users to important pages. Have to actively look for broken
links and fix them as soon as possible. CMS like WordPress have plugins to
notify about broken links. Most crawling tools, including the free ones will help
you find these errors.
● With all these marketing can you trust what’s shown in search results?
Yes. Search engines consider many factors when it comes to ranking. Bad
content might get there, but it will never stay there.
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