Don’t get us wrong – clearly that piece of content has some value if it brought in that kind of traffic.
But creating content isn’t just about traffic – not unless you’re a media site that sells ads on your web pages.
If you’re a business that sells a product or service, then you don’t want just traffic. That’s like saying you’re fine starting at a picture of pancakes for breakfast.
Sure, that picture looks great. But it ain’t gonna fill your belly.
Webpage traffic isn’t going to grow your business. Leads are, which is why it’s time you focus on how to earn more leads with your content marketing efforts.
It all starts with research – Know what content your audience wants
If you’ve done any marketing on your own – or have worked with reputable marketers – then you know there’s a ton of data out there waiting for you to mine.
This research can help you determine what types of conversations are going on among your prospects and current clients.
The seemingly go-to tool for this type of research is Google’s Keyword Planner tool, but over the years that tool’s not only gone through some changes, but has also seen competition from other services.
Regardless, Google’s free tool is a must-have in your toolbox, so familiarize yourself with it. It helps you determine the words and phrases people search for.
You can then use that information to conduct your own searches. Type in the most popular keyword and phrases you found on the Keyword Planner tool. What type of pages come up? Are the questions posed by your prospects being answered?
If not, then it looks like you’ve found a good niche to settle in on.
If so, then see how you might offer a different voice to the conversation.
Google’s suggest feature is also a free and effective tool. You might not even know what it is – but you’ve probably used it.
Start typing a phrase into the Google search bar. As you begin to type, Google will start adding suggested searches based on what you’ve inputted thus far.
These suggestions are based on the popularity of the terms across Google.
For example, if you type in “Best Way to Cook …” Google will suggest a few options, like steak, bacon, and salmon.
This is a pretty simple – but helpful – way to monitor your industry and the search terms being used by your prospects.
We also suggest you monitor group-based forums and sites including:
- Facebook Groups
- LinkedIn Groups
Start deciding what type of content styles you want to focus on
There are a ton of content types out there, and we’d recommend trying your hand at several. The more diverse your content distribution is, the wider the audience you’ll reach.
However, in an effort to not get overwhelmed or overspend your budget, it’s a good idea to hone in on a few content types at the start.
Which content types you’ll use will depend on:
- The needs and demands of your marketplace (some industries and audiences, for example, respond well to white papers, while others don’t)
- The type of branding and voice you’re looking to put forth
Some of the types of content you can produce include:
- How-to posts
- Case studies
- White papers
- Industry definitions
- Marketplace news
Each of these content types can be delivered in the form of written articles, videos, podcasts, webinars and more.
Optimize your blog pages to become landing pages
Most businesses will turn to the “blog post” as their go-to content delivery method. It’s an effective content type and continues to pay off in terms of helping a site rank high on search engine results pages.
Here’s a pro tip to help you get the most out of your blog posts: start thinking of them as landing pages (because, in essence, they are).
As a landing page, your blog post should do well to attract readers, retain their attention, and get them to convert.
Here are some tips to help you add a bit more landing-page power into your next post:
- Have a strong, concise headline
- Keep the most important information above the fold
- Keep the page simple and focused on your objective (often times we see very busy blog pages with sidebar widgets galore!)
- Have a clear and strong call-to-action button
- Create content that leads folks right to that button
Creating content to reach an audience is the crux of digital marketing. Attracting your readers to your content isn’t as challenging as you think, particularly with all of the marketing tools you have at your fingertips.
Turning those readers into loyal followers is where the true challenge beings. Use the tips above to turn your passive readers into brand evangelists – all through the power of your content.