Content marketing tactics to growth hack your business: The step by step guide
An ad you see, a billboard, a newspaper ad are all examples of traditional advertising. Content marketing is different.
It sells without selling anything.
Content marketing is a long game. Content is patient. It waits. It nurtures and guides. And that’s why Seth Godin said that content is the only kind of marketing we’ve left with us.
How to start with content marketing? How to use it to grow your business. Here are all the answers you need.
Before you begin generating all those leads and sales with your content you need to first create the said content.
Content creation is the obvious step here but most people struggle to create any valuable content.
They lack ideas. They don’t have a plan. And that’s why their content creation process is saddled with doubts. It doesn’t take them anywhere.
Once you have the content ready, it needs to be put on a distribution path, so that the content you create gets the attention of the right people.
The content should go places where they reach the right prospects.
Start with your goals
I give you this. Creating content can be a challenging task. That’s why so many people fail at it. 64% of marketers say that learning how to create great content is their biggest challenge.
And is one of their biggest needs.
If you find yourselves in a similar boat, lost and confused regarding how to create great content, I can help.
I’ve boosted multiple brands to content marketing success and conversions. It’s easy. It needs focus and being on the pulse of what people want and need.
Here are a few simple steps to make the most of your content marketing budget.
Start with your goals
The best starting point for your content strategy is to set out your goals first.
What this is simply puts the focus back on stuff that’s most important and kills focus on staff that’s blindsiding you.
Create a content marketing mission that lists out who your target audience is, the kind of content you want to use to reach them and the benefit you want with all the efforts.
It could be part of your mission and vision statement.
The statement should cover who your target audience is, what they get from your content and how will you use content to reach out to them.
Ultimately tangible goals should tie back to each piece of content you create.
Especially you’re looking at;
The amount of revenue you want to grow with content marketing strategy
Driving more sales and getting better qualified leads.
Improving the traffic to your site by meeting traffic goals
- Establish your authority as an influencer in your niche
- Reduce costs associated with marketing by gaining SEO wins
- Social media engagement
Who’s your audience?
To be successful with your content, you next need to know who your audience is You need to know their goals and desires and what is it that motivates them and propels their action.
So here’s how to know your audience in a much better manner
Start by Collecting Demographic Data
Collect demographics information on visitors, on social media followers on email lists subscibers
To do this pore over GOogle analytics, social media analytis and email analytics.
You need to know
This helps you form key insights into their interests. To do this go to audience interests overview in your ga.
On social media too you can find similar data. Instagram Facebook and Twitter offer this.
Get demographic data on your visitors.
Other than crunching numbers you need hard real qualitative data:
To understand what customers think of your content, ask this:
What do you think of the current content on xyz blog.
What are your most pressing problems
Think of what you can write about to address these problems
With customer feedback you get to understand the pressing priorities readers have and subscribers have.
You also know where they hang out online meaning you can publish content on these places and get people to take action.
Data is information you may use to create buyer personas.
In the next step I will briefly touch how you can create buyer personas for your site.
Come up with Buyer Personas
If you want to create content that speaks to your audience, and when it speaks, they listen you must craft research-backed buyer personas. Buyer personas are fictional representations of what and who your ideal customer is.
They describe ideal readers. With them in mind, creating good content is a stone’s throw away.
Customer personas ideally tally up customers’ pain points, their challenges and motivations. Combined, all of these paint a picture that you can use.
With this you have a better and improved understanding of the kind of content that will help them. And this in turn improves thei receptiveness to the content you creating.
Take stock of where you stand currently
As a business you may already have engaged in creating lots of content. This is content in the form of blog posts present on your blog, there are podcasts and videos, infographics, guestographics and many other forms of content.
To get hold of your most popular content GA is your best friend.
Go to GA>>behavior>>site content>>all pages
You will get this:
So the next step to do is conduct a content audit. With a content audit you’re going to look at all the content pieces live on your blog, see the traffic to them and many other things.
You’re going to look at how successful they can be. Do they drive traffic back to your own site? What about leads?
In the next step identify leaks in your funnel, identify gaps in your content and performance and see how it tallies up against your competitors.
See if competitors are enjoying some great level of success with content they produce but you somehow aren’t able to.
In this manner you can be successful with content marketing efforts.
Here are the methods to do that:
How to understand content performance
Here’s the step by step process
Start by getting a list of your urls
Second analyze page titles and their descriptions
Find out duplicate content
Create a sitemap of your content
You can use Screaming Frog. It’s an excellent free site crawler and you can get up to 500 urls with the free version.
You can also run the tool on competitor’s site and get a list of their urls.
Another tool you can do this is by using SEMRush. It’s a free tool that helps you conduct a content audit from within your dashboard. Content audit needs you to create a fresh new. project. Select the urls and click on start content audit to get started.
Once the content analyzer runs you get a complete and indepth analysis of all your content. You get the entire site crawled and get content titles and description, content length, backlinks and number of social shares on individual urls.
Export the data as a csv file
Determine usefulness of content
The next step is to measure how good your content is.
To assess the usefulness of the content, look at several things like:
- The number of inbound links to your content
- To see the individual ranks of keywords the posts rank for.
- To see if the content is getting social media shares.Whether there are a lot of inbound links to the content
- Are the right keywords ranking
To do this, once again SEMrush is your best friend. With SEMrush’s site audit and position tracking tool you see the historical rankings, present rankings and movements of your keywords. The position tracking tool is a gem.
If content is ranking for many keywords I suggest not changing anything.
You will also be able to find content that needs some improvement and updates to meet those goals.
FInd content you should rank for with gaps analysis
With any content marketing audit you will find gaps in your content marketing efforts that when optimized will let you scale your content to its heights.
These could be keywords around your content that you’re not fully making use of. Say you rank for web hosting. And wordpress hosting is something you could simply target but aren’t currently. That’s one example.
With Answer the Public find questions your target audience is asking but ones that you’re answering with your content.
Content that’s ranking well already but could be improved if you targeted couple of more keywords. You could target featured snippets by including faq style questions. Or more.
Here’s an example
See how the site is ranking by answering a question.
You can conduct a conduct gap analysis with the help of a tool called Ahrefs. Go to organic search followed by content gap. Add domains for your competitors, up to 5 to show you the results for what they rank for.
Add your domain and see the list of keywords they rank for but you don’t/ Prime opportunity, I’d say.
This kind of analysis is only available with premium tools like Ahrefs or SEMrush.
Determine your marketing KPIs
Establish Your KPIs
For content to work on a level that it brings you leads and drives sales for you, that means you need to make its impact felt.
You can achieve your goals only when you know what those goals are. So the first step is to make your goals measurable. This is done by setting KPIs for your strategy.
With KPIs you know if you’ve achieved your goals or are closer to achieving them.
The KPIs revolve around broader goals like increasing revenue, sales, traffic, and other aspects that improve your blog.
It can be getting more podcast downloads for content. If you’re hosting podcasts use the Smart podcast player.
Typically this will have an incremental impact on your growth.
And to achieve these goals set small specific goals that you can get to on a case by case basis.
For example set a monthly revenue target. Set small numbers.
Set a number of signups to your email list you want to generate
Set a number on the amount of traffic you want to increase
Set a target for improving the ranking of certain pages on your site and so on.
Aim for a set number of mentions for your content on social media.
Set the number of events you want to be invited to. Pay attention to your spending a set a target on the ideal cost per lead and so on.
Create Blog Posts
Blog posts are often imagined to be the end all of a serious content marketing pursuit. Blog posts, in fact are just one part of the whole content marketing business. However it’s definitely one of the most potent parts. Have a business blog on your site, where you regularly post content on what you sell. This attracts the attention of prospects who might convert into sales and leads.
A blog is your place to shout out to the world creating interesting, compelling content and posting them. This way you can also use social media to grow your business. A blog helps your brand grow
There are tons of benefits of using a blog. It has a positive impact on traffic you generate, the SEO of your site, links you’re generating, the overall ROI and so on.
Social media sharing
Social media is the name of the game. Sharing content on social media channels, be it Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, gets people excited about your site.
There’s plenty of ideas you can share beginning from articles to blog posts, to short blurbs, videos and images. People find all of this interesting. The more interest you spark the better your odds of them finding your content to be engaging. A social media strategy hinges around sharing content that’s relevant with your target audience.
Social media is also a place where you fan more interest to your blog by sharing content directly from your blog to social channels. People who see these links read the preview and will be interested in checking out your site, see what you have on offer and turn into a customer. Social media strategies are many both traditional and new.
Creating and Posting Video Content
Content marketing never sits idle. It evolves and blogging or textual content isn’t your only solution. Video is one more way of content marketing.
Video is so powerful because it can engage many senses at once- sight, hearing, it reminds you of imagery and so on.
In that way video is more powerful. Research indicates that marketers tout video as the most powerful content type that gives them the highest returns on investment.
There are common types of videos you can use like testimonials, explainers, demos and how tos to convey your thoughts and ideas well.
Video content is seen as interesting and valuable to the end user
An ebook is a class apart from usual blog posts because your readers have documented evidence of your expertise. An ebook makes you an author. This instantly elevates your status. Youre no longer just another blogger, you’re creator. Only experts in a subject create ebooks. This holds intense interest among people. The ebooks are certainly better than videos that tap out in a few seconds. This holds your audience’s intersest and as such gives you more opportunities to convert them.
An ebook can also double up as a lead magnet as it is something you can give away for free to excite people to sign up to your email marketing list. This is much better than the traditional advertising route.
Increase Trust and Authority in Your Brand
The content you create mirrors your brand. People buy from brands they trust and love. And if the only window you give your customers to trust you is when they land on your site and are pushed to purchase something that isn’t going to sit well with trust creation.
A content marketing strategy hinges on several pillars. It creates trust by
Introducing people problems
Talking about these problems and
Solving these problems
COntent that’s valuable establishes you as an authority in your field. The more you create content, the more it is that you’re seen as an authority and people feel that you will be able to handle and solve their problems for them.
That means they trust your products more.
Increase Your Visibility
Content marketing gets your company name and brand out there in front of many more people. Content marketing establishes you as an authority and shows your brand in a better light.
When you push out more content that has an incremental impact on visibility multiplying the number of followers you have on social media channels.
And as you amp up on this content, this creates a flutter of excitement for people who bring in more and more followers to your brand.
It’s a good thing when people engage with content on your site, through blog posts you write and videos you created. This helps improve search engine rankings for you as well. The emphasis is to create better and much more useful content so that you stand out.
Content is better returns than advertising
Both traditional marketing and content marketing will bring increased sales, which is the lifeblood of any business. Content marketing is cheaper than traditional advertising. Creating interesting, informative content that people find to be valuable takes effort, and time. However, it costs nowhere near blunt advertising efforts.
To ensure that you’re not on the content flywheel, simply pushing out more and more content that goes nowhere ensures you study the right metrics. This is achieved by analyzing your data.
Be data driven to find out which of these blog posts are really bringing home the bacon for you.
Content is SEO
There’s no SEO without content. SEO is a powerful any company can use to generate leads and traffic back to their own site. SEO is growing and is only set to become larger and bigger with each passing year.
To increase your visibility with content, you have to rely on more and more SEO techniques. Valuable content on your own blog is one part of the equation. A stronger, bigger part of the equation is driving relevant traffic by placing guest posts on different highly targeted websites. The more people are engaged on your site the more conversions will be and the higher search engine rankings stand.
To improve engagement time don’t spam your site with keywords. Instead, focus on improving and optimizing the content on your site in the best possible way to get more traffic.
This is why content marketing seems an underutilized tactic today. WIth all the available tactics like ads, pr and search marketing, content marketing seems to fall behind but yet content marketing is supposed to grow to a billion dollar industry in the next two years.
You’re going to be successful with content if you decide to put in the effort.
If you don’t have a content marketing strategy yet, start with it today itself. The single most important benefit of having a strategy is that even if you’re on a tight budget you still can grow your business. Content marketing is the future.
And it dons different hats from infographics, to videos, to posts and articles.
People are sick and tired of advertising and don’t want more of that shoved down their throats anymore.