What is Content Marketing?
“It is a marketing process of creating, distributing, sharing and publishing relevant, valuable content to attract a targeted audience”
“Content is not king! Your business is king” and your content should serve the king. This is exactly how we must approach content marketing.
How to plan and make content marketing strategy?
I’m going to show you how to plan and execute a content marketing strategy that gets more leads and sales for the long haul. So let me show you how our content marketing strategy works and you’ll see exactly why it’s so effective for any type of business. Let’s get to it. First, what is content marketing? According to Content Marketing Institute, content marketing is 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. Now, the goal is to drive profitable customer action. So if your content channels aren’t working towards that goal, then you may not even be doing content marketing despite having a blog, YouTube channel, or podcast. Again…content isn’t king. Your business is king. And if your content isn’t serving the king,then what’s the point?
How content helps your website?
Now, your content’s job is two-fold:
1). Get as much relevant traffic as possible. and
2). Convert or prepare your visitors to become paying customers.
So the first thing, and arguably the most important thing you need to do, is keyword research. Whether you’re a seasoned SEO practitioner or not, keyword research is important. If you’re creating content around topics that people aren’t interested in, your traffic won’t be sustainable. So let’s say that you run a business in the personal finance space and you sell a membership to help aspiring middle and upper class people in their 30s and 40s save their first million dollars. Now, a couple of keywords worth researching might be “personal finance” and “save money.” So I’ll go to Ahrefs’ Keywords Explorer and search for these search queries. Next, I’ll go to the Phrase match report which will show us a ton of keyword ideas that contain any of our keywords. Now, the personal finance space is pretty competitive and since my site is rather new, I’d probably want to start with some lower competition keywords. So I’ll set a Keyword Difficulty filter to show only keywords with a maximum difficulty score of something low like 15. I’ll also set a minimum Search Volume to something reasonable like 400. And we now have a small, yet manageable list to filter through. Now, this is where your decisions will determine success or failure.
Important questions for content creation?
At this stage, you need to ask yourself these three questions.
First, will someone searching for this keyword be interested in my products and services? The best way that we’ve found to answer this is to give it a score. At Ahrefs, we call this “business value” and we rank topics on a scale of 1-3. A score of 3 means that our product is an irreplaceable solution for the problem. 2 means that our product helps quite a bit,but it’s not essential to solving the problem. And 1 means that our product can only be mentioned fleetingly. So this would mostly be used for brand awareness rather than anything remotely close to demonstrating our products. Anything that doesn’t fit into these categories would be given a zero, meaning we won’t go anywhere near that topic.
The second question is, what would a searcher be looking for when searching for this query? We call this ‘search intent,’ which simply means the reason behind a searcher’s query.
And the third thing you must ask yourself is, “how much traffic can I get if I ranked in the top 3 for this keyword in Google?”
How to select keywords for your content?
Let’s jump back to our list of keywords and answer these questions. The first keyword that stands out is, “reddit personal finance.” And this phrase gets around 41,000 monthly searches in the US alone and has a low keyword difficulty score. But how would this impact your business if you ranked for it? If we click on the SERP button, you’ll see the top 10 ranking results in Google for this keyword. And as expected, the top results are all dominated by Reddit themselves. And that’s because search intent shows that people want to get to the personal finance sub reddit. Probably not your website. But there are ten spots on the first page of Google, right? Well, if you look at the first non-reddit.com result, you’ll see that it barely gets any search traffic compared to the top results. And that’s because it’s not getting clicked. This shows us that even if we were able to rank, the traffic potential probably wouldn’t be worth your time. So this would have a business score of zero. I won’t be able to match search intent, and it doesn’t really have much traffic potential either. Alright, maybe that was obvious to you, but what about this one on “how to save money in college?” It has decent search volume, the top results get decent traffic, and you can clearly match search intent by creating a guide on your blog. But that’s where the definition of content marketing makes its way into the decision-making process. Our personal finance product is a membership to help people save a million dollars. And by nature of the beast, our target demographics are people in their 30s and 40s that are already making decent money. Someone searching for “how to save money in college” doesn’t fit that profile, so I would give it a business value of zero, which would end our analysis for this keyword. Last one. Let’s analyze this topic, “personal finance course.” It has 500 monthly searches, a Keyword Difficulty score of 10 and seems to be super relevant to our product. Looking at the top 10 results, you’ll see that we can definitely match search intent by creating our own list post of different personal finance courses. As for business value, I’d give it a 3 since we can easily plug our products here. And looking at the estimated traffic these pages are getting, you’ll see that it’s quite high considering search volume for this keyword is only 500. And this is important to note because a page doesn’t rank for a single keyword, but can rank for hundreds of keywords. Now, the interesting thing about this is that you’ll see that the top 2 results are getting thousands of search visitors each month. But look here. According to our Top keyword data, this page also ranks for “personal finance class,” which has double the search volume as the keyword we’re investigating. Knowing this, you can create content around the “better” keyword and know with confidence that you can also rank for the original query too. Cool, so we have a topic to run with.
How to create Content?
Let’s move on to the next step, which is to create the content. So let’s say we decided to create content around “personal finance class.” Let’s look at the top 10 results for this query. Just by looking at the titles, we know we need to match search intent by creating a blog post on this topic. And if you go one step further, you’ll see that a good chunk of the Top pages are list posts. Rather than reinventing the wheel, I suggest that you follow suit since Google is essentially telling you what people want to read when they search for this query. A list of free personal finance classes. Next, we’ll want to analyze how we can make our post better than what’s already out there. These all seem pretty generic or over hyped,so I might create a title like 15 Free Personal Classes That Helped me Save My First Million Dollars. Of course, if you’re going to write a title like that, it should be true. Next, you’ll want to find additional keywords you can rank for since these pages are ranking for hundreds of other relevant keywords. It’s as easy as clicking on the number of keywords in the corresponding row in Keywords Explorer, then analyzing your competitors’ organic keyword rankings and picking out subtopics from there. But an even better way to do this is to find common keywords that your competitors rank for and then use that to build your post. You can do this really fast by using Ahrefs’ Content Gap tool. Just enter in the top 3 relevant ranking pages for your target keyword, and leave the bottom section blank, assuming you don’t have existing content on this topic. This is basically saying, find common keywords that any of these pages are ranking for, where one of the pages ranks in the top 10. Now if we run the search, you’ll see a list of around 200 relevant keywords on your topic. If you want to keep your results hyper relevant, you can set the number of intersections to only show keywords where all of the pages rank in the top 100, but again, at least one of them must rank in the top 10. And we’re down to a smaller, more relevant list of 138 keyword ideas. From here, just look for keywords that pop out. So for me, “money management,” “for adults,” and”financial literacy” may be interesting points to include. So I would sprinkle these into the title and/or content when it makes sense to do so to ensure I can cover the topic in-depth. You now have a great piece of content. Now you need to promote it.