We all hear “content is king,” but what does that mean? How can producing a blog be helpful in the online world, and more importantly in the real world? After all, don’t we all want our efforts to be rewarded with a new client or new sale?
In the age of Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, people are constantly being fed information. How can you possibly make a dent? How will your little business ever be able to compete? Well, there’s good and bad news. Which would you like first?
I’ll start with the bad. Bad news is, if you want to stand out among your competitors you’re going to have to do some work. YOU are the expert, not a guest writer or SEO company. You are the one with all the knowledge, so you’ll have to get your hands dirty with this one. It will probably take a lot of time at first, but trust us, it’ll get easier.
Having content on your website does many things, and whether you start by writing one blog article, or by expanding your website content once a week, once a month, or you’re really looking at content for the first time, we hope you’ll jump on the band wagon.
Positioning Yourself as an Expert
If there’s anything we’ve learned at Southern California Marketing Services over the years, people don’t want to be marketed to. They need to feel empowered to do the research and make their own decisions.
A recent study reported that 79% of people who shop online spend 50% of that time doing research (Source: PowerReviews, February 2012 ). How can YOU be the one to help them make their very important buying decision? You can be the source of information. How do you do this, you ask? It’s simple.
- Position yourself as the expert on the topic by using — you guessed it — content. Content should tell a story, show expertise, and show that you are a leader in your field.
- This can be the hardest part — DON’T SELL ANYTHING.
What? Yes, you read that right. Don’t sell anything. At least not on your blog. Your blog, latest news, or information section of your website shouldn’t sell anything. That doesn’t mean you can’t link to internal pages, include calls to action, or prompt people to contact you. By all means, you should be doing that. The goal with your content, however, is to educate, not to sell.
Getting Found – The SEO Benefit
We wouldn’t be SEO specialists if we didn’t bring this up. Yes, content is important for converting leads to customers. But how do your leads find you in the first place? You guessed it again — content!
The more pages you have (with quality content), the more likely you are to rank on the keywords related to that content. And the more pages you have, the more opportunities you have to be found.
The search engine bots will “award” you if you site relevant, up to date news and information. The faster you publish new content the better because the bots will see that you’re in-tune with the latest happenings.
Engaging with your audience
The social media benefits of content production cannot be left by the wayside. Having a blog with updated, relevant, interesting content is essential to developing a relationship with your customers or prospective clientele. Having a blog and sharing it on Twitter gets your more Twitter followers. It gives you the opportunity to be seen when people “share” your content — this is the same across all social platforms.
So where do you start now? If you’re like us (and I know you are), you’re busy. This is what we’ve done:
- Define your goals: What do you want to achieve in the next week, month, year in terms of content?
- Create a plan: What are your immediate, medium, and long term strategies to reach your goals?
- Develop a calendar: A publishing calendar that’s shared with all those responsible for providing content is very helpful. This week, John CEO is going to write a blog. Next week, Sue Marketing will write, and so on.
- Train: Writing can be scary. Train your new bloggers with some handy tools for writing. Help them develop content ideas, and set up a procedure to make sure the task is completed to your standards.
- Measure your return on investment: The results of your work won’t be apparent over night. In one month take a look at some analytics from your site. How is your content doing? What’s popular and what isn’t? Have your fans been engaging? If not, why not?
- Rinse and repeat: Rinse out what wasn’t working and start from the beginning. Set new goals, refine your plan and adjust your calendar.
We hope you’re excited to implement some of these changes into your marketing efforts. We said it was going to take some work. Are you ready?