Everyone loves a good story, right? If drawings in caves are any indication, we’ve been telling stories to each other for thousands of years. It’s through storytelling that we nurtured culture and education—the building blocks of society.
And it’s also through storytelling that companies began to market their products and services to people, through the invention of content marketing.
The Content Marketing Institute defines content marketing as “[…] 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.”
If I had to guess when content marketing began, I would have guessed with the dotcom age, but I would be wrong, and by a lot! In 1732, Benjamin Franklin published his first Poor Richard’s Almanack. But he didn’t do it just out of his love of writing. He did it to market his new publishing business.
These days, there are many content marketing strategies and top companies pay big money to attract customers.
But what if you aren’t a Fortune 500 company with an in-house marketing team, does your content marketing still stand a chance? The answer is, yes. Here are some small, but effective steps you can take.
1. Do your keyword research: Google Keyword Planner, Ubersuggest, and KeywordTool.io are great places to start.
2. Write authentic content: Google just knows when you have poorly written content and it can affect your page rank which is not what you want. Pay attention to what your customers desire and become an authority in that. Write to it.
3. Write a kickass headline: Strong headlines rope readers in and make them open your content.
- Numbers are sure to grab their attention: Top 10 Toys for Your Indoor Cat
- Suggest the best way to do something: The Best Way to Cook Spaghetti According to Italians
- Offer a best/worst list: The Best and Worst Wedding Presents of 2020
- Share your experience: What I Learned from Being a Broke Expat
There are many ways to emsure that your headline aligns with your content!
4. Optimize your writing for the web. With mobile devices, people have the attention spans of goldfish. If they go to your page, see long blocks of paragraphs, and it takes you forever to get to your point, they’ll get exasperated and leave. So, get straight to the point, write in short paragraphs of 1-3 sentences, and use bullets and lists.
5. Ample use of photos, infographics, and videos (extra credit if they are YOUR OWN): Photos, infographics, and videos break up the monotony and can help inform your reader. I’m not a designer, but I really like Canva for making infographics and designs. I haven’t gotten into videos yet (hello, introvert here), but that is the next frontier.
6. Use your Voice. It’s your site and your content marketing, so write it how you speak—friendly, approachable, conversational. Congratulations, you have a tone and style!
7. *Looks around* Learn from other content marketers: Yes. I said it. There are some amazing content marketers that can inspire you to create incredible content of your own. Soak up as much quality content marketing as you can.
Good luck to you! If you need more help, I’m just an email away.