We’ve all heard the phrase “content marketing” in relation to blogs and other marketing sites. But what is it exactly? How can you start a blog for your business and make it popular?
In this article, we will answer these questions and provide plenty of tips for the building of your blog sites.
According to the Content Marketing Institute (the best-known content marketing education organization), “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 customer action.”
By this definition, it’s clear that marketing sites are way more than just blogging. When you really think about it, every part of marketing requires content:
- Social media: without content, your followers won’t engage with you.
- PPC ads: you need high-quality content behind your ads.
- Landing pages: a good landing page takes much more than a nice design and layout – a killer headline, value proposition, benefits, and an explanation are all essential pieces of content for success.
- PR: how you present your business and connect with your customers is driven by the “voice” of your brand.
- SEO: search engines are increasingly smarter with learning algorithms that pay attention to content.
You can see that content plays a role in every aspect of your marketing. What this means is you shouldn’t separate content marketing from your overall marketing strategy.
Content marketing helps you express the personality of your business, establish trust, and build a relationship with your audience.
If you’re new to the world of content marketing and building marketing sites, writing a blog on your website is a good place to start.
7 content marketing lessons
Blogging is essential for every business. A regularly updated blog gives your visitors a reason to come back to your site. It also helps you to rank higher for specific keywords in Google, and it can help you to drive sales.
Here at OptiMonk, our marketing team has experience creating content across a range of industries. The members of our team, have written hundreds of blog posts over the years, perhaps even thousands.
Every quarter we have a Content Planning Meeting. The goal is to discuss what to do in the next quarter while reviewing what we learned from the previous one.
In our last meeting, we realized the lessons we’ve learned in content marketing over the years would be useful for many business owners and digital marketers, so we decided to gather them together into this article.
We’ve got 7 of the most important content marketing lessons we’ve learned after writing hundreds of blog posts. Plus, we’ve created a free editorial calendar that you can download and start using today for FREE.
Ok, let’s get started with the first important lesson on building a powerful blog to skyrocket your content marketing!
1. Invest in amazing photos
“A picture is worth a thousand words,” or so the saying goes, and it’s doubly true for the photos you use on your blog.
Vibrant, high-resolution photos with relevant imagery can help you to tell a story and guide your readers through your content. Great photos help you to get more social shares, and they also help SEO. Want more proof why photos are important?
Check out this study below from Socialbakers. They discovered that images on Facebook constituted 93% of the most engaging posts!
The best part is, you don’t even have to pay for amazing photos. There are many websites where you can get free, high-quality stock photos. Here are just a few examples:
2. Headlines really matter
Before you even start creating the content itself, you need to draw people’s attention to your post with an amazing headline.
Peter Koechley from Upworthy says “When we test headlines we see a 20% difference, 50% difference, 500% difference. A really excellent headline can make something go viral.”
According to our experience, list posts (e.g. – top 10) and “how-to” posts work well. But you also need to pay attention to the words you use: emotive headlines typically encourage more engagement.
Emotive headlines typically encourage more engagement. Click To Tweet
Bonus tip from the OptiMonk marketing team:
Use CoSchedule to analyze a variety of headlines and choose the best one.
Check out below how it helped us find the best headline for this article.
3. Don’t make it too promotional
The secret to creating great content is providing real value to your readers. You can only provide real value if you avoid “being too salesy” as much as possible. We understand that you’re excited to promote your latest product or service, but if you talk too much about your business, people will lose interest in your content.
When you talk about your business, try to make it seamless. Answer your readers’ questions while offering them a solution to their problems.
Bonus tip from the OptiMonk marketing team:
We only mention our onsite journey optimization platform in an article when it makes sense. If it has nothing to do with the subject we’re writing about, then we won’t mention it. When we do mention it, we’ll use only one or two sentences and then add a simple note: “Would you like to learn more about onsite journey optimization? Click here to download our free eBook.”
5. Quality over quantity
There’s no point in writing a 20-page long article if it’s full of bull crap. To provide the greatest value to your readers, your content should be short and to the point.
This rule applies to the content you produce and the frequency of your blog posts. It’s better to publish one quality article per month that provides real value, rather than publishing one every week that’s poor quality and doesn’t offer a substantial benefit to your readers.
6. Use a content marketing editorial calendar
Using an editorial calendar for your blog helps to organize and categorize your content. By customizing an editorial calendar for your business, you can plan ahead and stay on track. This also helps prevent your blog from getting in the way of other business activities by knowing when each piece of content will be produced, published and shared.
Based on our experience, an editorial calendar is essential to building an awesome blog.
We’ve created a FREE editorial calendar template for you. It’s very similar to the one that the OptiMonk marketing team uses, so I can say it’s proven to increase engagement when you provide valuable content.
All it takes is one click to download and start planning your content marketing more effectively. Click on the button to get your free content marketing editorial calendar template.
7. Stay consistent
Once you determine how often you’ll publish your content, it’s vital to stay on track with consistent posts – that’s why an editorial calendar is so helpful. Whether you publish on a monthly or a weekly basis, your content needs to be delivered on time. Your engaged readers will come to expect their “monthly tip” or “weekly news” and staying consistent builds trust and credibility. Be sure to keep quality consistent too, and make sure your writing has a uniform style. For example, if your articles follow the AP writing style with a professional tone, you must remain that way from beginning to end.
Whether you publish on a monthly or a weekly basis, your content needs to be delivered on time. Click To Tweet
Content plays a part in every aspect of your marketing. When you’re just getting started with content marketing, a blog for your business is a great first step. There are thousands of blogs on the Internet, so you’ll need to create valuable and unique content to stand out from the crowd.
Find great photos that express your topic, write an amazing headline, craft your content so it provides value, share it so people pay attention, and stay consistent by using an editorial calendar to plan your content marketing. It seems like a lot, but once you hit your rhythm, you’ll see the results.
Now that you have a basic knowledge, you need to start content development. Thanks for reading, and we hope you enjoy using our editorial calendar!
Do you have more content marketing tips that others should know about? Share them in the comment section.