Columnist Rachel Lindteigen shares three strategies to help you get a leg up on the competition and push your content marketing program to the next level.
Are you ready to take your content marketing program to the next level? Have you seen some program success? You’re driving more traffic, maybe even attracting some links and seeing your KPIs increase. Great! Here are three tips you can implement today to move your content marketing program to the next level.
1. Net new content
Find new content opportunities the competition hasn’t discovered yet. By being a digital sleuth and doing a bit of extra research, you can discover competitive opportunities for your business.
When you’re the first one to address a customer’s needs, you get the better ranking — and a bigger share of the traffic. So, how do you find new opportunities and stand out?
Start searching! There are several tools you can use to help craft a content strategy that will help you beat the competition. Consider using a site like Answer The Public for some of your content research. On this site, you can enter a keyword term, and it will provide you with numerous questions that are related to your search terms to reveal the topics people are asking about online.
You can also look through sites like Quora to find questions that are relevant to your industry and provide answers. When you sign up for Quora, you’ll be asked to select at least 10 topics to create a personalized feed.
Think about your industry and those areas that are both closely related and maybe a step or two away but still applicable. Spend some time, read a few of the questions, and see if you have net new information to contribute to the conversation. You may even find an idea for a question you should answer on your blog or website.
Go to Google and start searching for new opportunities. Google’s predictive search tool is a great way to find new ideas because it provides them as you type your query. Start with a basic query and see where Google takes you.
You’ll be more likely to find long-tail keyword queries this way. While some think long-tail doesn’t drive enough traffic, you’re driving more qualified traffic that’s closer to a purchase decision, and in my book, that’s a good thing. I’d rather see one customer who is ready to buy and does buy than 10 who just browse.
You make more money on that one customer who’s ready to convert — though we still want the 10 who are browsing because we want them to keep coming back until they’re ready to covert. That’s what we want: a mix of content that addresses multiple stages within the sales funnel.
2. Gain competitive insights
Spend some time on your competitors’ websites and see what they’re doing. If they’re doing something you’re not, they could have a competitive advantage. However, it might be a great opportunity for you to replicate the idea.
When you find something great that your competition is doing, take a deep dive and see if there’s an opportunity to make this idea work better. Maybe you discovered great downloadable PDF case studies on their site.
OK, that’s a good start — but if you want to take it to the next level, make those case studies interactive: Consider video testimonials from your customers; add photos to help tell the story; bring the content out of the PDF and make it easier for the search engines to crawl.
When you make content easier for the search engine spiders to index, they often reward you with better rankings — and that leads to more traffic.
3. Go old-school: Earn some links
I know link building can feel like a bad word within our industry, but the reality is, links are still important to your content’s success. Years ago, you could buy a bunch of links cheap from a link farm. Today, you must put in some work to really be successful.
Stop thinking link building and focus on link attraction. If you focus on crafting outstanding content that’s useful to your customers and provides relevant information, they will want to share it.
And each link you earn is a sign to Google that someone essentially endorses your site’s content. The more high-quality links you can earn, the better.
There are several ways to go about attracting links for your website or blog. The easiest one is to write great content that people find useful. If you’re using some of the ideas listed above, you’re providing information your customers want, and that’s the first step.
Second, make sure that what you’re sharing is unique. Do a bit of research and ensure that your post addresses the issues better than the competition or includes something new the competition didn’t include.
If you have an opportunity to partner with an influencer, do! Influencer marketing is huge and can help drive links, as well as expose a new audience to your content. The caveat here is that influencer marketing takes a lot of time and work. You must build a relationship with the influencer before asking for their help.
You can partner with influencers in different ways: ask for a quote for a piece you’re working on, or ask them to write a guest post on your website or blog.
But remember, influencers are busy running their own content marketing and social media campaigns. Be thoughtful and understand that they’re likely being asked to write for multiple sites. The best way to be successful with influencers is to take the time to build a relationship before asking for anything from them.
Hopefully, these three ideas will help your content marketing program move to the next level, so you see even more results. Have any other ideas or things that are working great for you? Please share!