How to create content marketing that gets results

How to create content marketing that gets results

by Mike Hardcastle

We have been repurposing our marketing content online since 2007.

Our simple formula has produced millions of views and a substantial subscriber database.

Below you will discover 21 of the most important things we have learned.

1. Marketing is simple. It’s about putting out your information that has a perceived value to your prospective customer in a place they can easily find it, then offering them something of even greater value in return for their contact details. 

Once the prospect has shown interest in your product or service and you have them on your list by providing value, you can then start building trust and rapport leading to a sale and a long-term relationship.

2. Think of an iceberg. Think of your Internet visibility as the part of the iceberg that’s above the waterline, to support this 4/5 is underwater, that’s all your content, SEO, keywords, backlinks and social networking etc.

To have a higher visibility you need more relevant content properly submitted below the “waterline” to support it.

3. Before the Internet changed the game. Like everyone else we used advertising, PR, trade shows and direct mail, times were simpler, now there are an unlimited number of platforms all demanding rich content.

What every business owner ought to know about content marketing.

4. Repurposing is the answer. Every business has a wealth of existing marketing collaterals that can be repurposed to suit the myriad of different platforms on the web. The rest of this report outlines just a few of the most effective strategies we have developed.

5. Prospects ask questions. When you access a search engine like Google or YouTube most times you are looking for the answer to a question.

Working out the questions your prospective customers are asking in advance and providing clear, concise answers in an easily digestible format, should be your main priority when creating content.

6. Start with an outline. We always start by creating a Press Release.

A traditional PR piece starts with a well-written headline to get the readers attention, a good quality graphic or photo, then a sub headline to keep them interested.

Body copy that explains the product or service, without being too sales oriented is next, followed by a relevant quote from an expert or someone at the company.

Finally, always have a boilerplate ‘about your company’ section including contact details.

This is a great starting point for repurposing and it never hurts to distribute the content to the relevant trade publications and online PR sites. Be warned sending PR to trade publications will instigate calls from their ad sales reps.

7. Blog Posts are our first port of call. A PR piece is very similar to a well-written Blog Post, with a few tweaks you can almost cut and paste the content.

Top-Tip: Always put a web link in the first few sentences of your Blog Post so that readers can click through to your web site for more information. You will also need a link on your web site home page back to the Blog Post. We like WordPress, Blogger and Tumbler in that order, there are loads of others though.

WordPress comes in two options, WordPress.org for professional blogs/websites and WordPress.com a free blog-hosting site. We recommend starting with WordPress.com although it only has about half the features of the .org site it’s more than adequate.

8. Newsletters come next. If you already have an email database a Newsletter is the next logical step.

Taking two or three cut down blog posts and pasting them into a well-formatted newsletter provides a great update reminding existing customers and prospects about your products and services or informing them of something new.

We produce quarterly newsletters and always add them to a section on our website.

9. Building your list. All your marketing efforts should be geared towards building or adding to your list, a well maintained list of customers and prospects is a businesses most valuable asset.  

10. Articles take a little more work and are well worth the effort. Article marketing is one of the best vehicles for building authority and influence in your industry, marketplace or your particular field of expertise.

A well written internet article posted to a directory with links back to you website works wonders for your Search Engine Optimization. Think of it as an extended text only press release.

Top-Tip: Don’t post the same article to several directories as duplicate content will be filtered out and blocked by the directories.

11. Publications, Reports, Whitepapers and EBook’s. As with an Article a subject can be expanded upon to create content in all these formats dependent on the author’s level of commitment and available time.

Self-publishing using Amazon is surprisingly simple and a whole industry has been built around it.

Why Video works so well for your content marketing.

12. Video the most effective type of content marketing. If we were only allowed to produce one type of content it would have to be video.

Twelve simple online video’s created originally to explain a product have produced and are still producing thousands of leads for us every year.

How? Remember earlier we said people go to Google and YouTube to find answers, well people would rather watch video than read text. Google knows this that’s why they purchased YouTube. So a video with the correct SEO will always rank higher than the equivalent text page, many times on the front page of Google.

Next time you do a search, if a suitable video answers the question you have asked, it should appear about half way down the first page of the Google search results.

If you are in a niche market where no one is producing video for that niche’s popular search terms you could get on the first page of Google and YouTube very quickly. This is one of the best-kept secrets of online marketing.

Getting your executives on camera humanizes your business, building trust and rapport like no other form of content, why do you think Apple, the most successful company in the world use video to launch every new product?

13. Podcasts and Webinars. As with online video, the technology for Podcasting and Webinars has become very inexpensive, smartphones and tablets can produce almost broadcast quality video so there is no excuse.

Top-Tip: Always use a camera with a separate audio input and a good quality microphone, poor quality audio is the biggest turn off.

Podcasts are normally short audio broadcasts published on a regular basis to subscribers. The most popular type of podcast is the interview format. Video podcasting can also be done with a little more effort.

Both Audio and Video podcasts can be uploaded to the most popular platform iTunes free of charge. Some of your existing video’s could also be repurposed into podcasts for additional content.

A webinar (Web-Based seminar) is an online event hosted by an organization or company and broadcast to a select audience via the Internet.

With a webinar you can build an audience and a list with key points presented at an interactive, live, online event.

14. Convey your information quickly and easily with Infographics.

Repurposing your knowledge into a graphical visual representation allows you to get your message across quickly and clearly, in an eye-catching way, that favors an audience with a shorter attention span.

Infographics allow you to take advantage of the visual web discovery tools like Pinterest, if your product or service is not easily represented photographically, like say Accountancy.

15. Instagram and Pinterest are great for eye candy. If your product or service is visually appealing these visual web platforms allow you to put lots of content out as it happens, all linked back to your website.

Top-Tip: Always use hash tags to make your images searchable.

16. Slide Share does what it says on the tin. Sharing your repurposed information with Slide Share works wonders for your SEO, builds your speaker profile and maximizes your LinkedIn potential. See also Prezi.

Start leveraging Multi Billion Pound platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Google, YouTube and iTunes for Free.

17. Social Casting turbocharges your content. Social networking can be overwhelming. Social casting allow you to be on social media without constantly being on social media.

With Social Casting we take all the repurposed information from the different platforms and distribute at a time best suited for maximum effect on each individual social network.

Top-Tips for Social: Twitter, hash tag #everytime to make it search friendly. Facebook – find out the best time to post for your business to increase engagement.

LinkedIn – add company pages with visual content to stand out and get noticed.

18. Always have a call to action. Make it easy for prospects to engage with you, tell them what to do next and offer them something of value for doing it.

Top-Tip: The less information you ask for the higher will be the response rate, we typically ask for First Name, Email (with Phone number as an option)

To get a copy of our 57 Free Opt-In give away ideas, click here.

19. Autoresponders for an instant response. When someone makes an enquiry online they have come to expect an instant acknowledgement, especially if they have given their email address. Always deliver what you have promised immediately if you want to retain credibility and start building a relationship.

20. Always have a checklist. Even though we have done thousands upon thousands of content marketing posts we still use checklists for the different online platforms. This ensures that we don’t miss anything important and we maximize the effectiveness of each and every post.

For a pdf copy of our complete Content Marketing Checklists click here.

21. Look at Content Marketing as an Investment not a cost. When you post on the Internet the content is basically there forever, as long as you keep up with any hosting costs. Unlike traditional marketing and promotion, which has a shelf life, once the magazine has been pulped for recycling, your content is gone.

Every video, every blog post, every infographic you put out there is an opportunity for someone to discover what you have to offer. Think of it like fishing, the more hooks you bait the more fish you are likely to catch.

Is this all we know about content marketing?

Each heading in this report deserves at least a chapter if not in some cases a complete volume all to its self.

We have only scratched the surface in this document. If this has wetted your appetite and you want more information on content marketing that would not fit into this brief report, click here.

No charge, no obligation and we never share your data.

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