The Ultimate Content Marketing Guide for Business Owners
In the modern era of information and service, Content is King.
It’s the reason thousands of businesses are turning to content marketing and enjoying spectacular results.
But you might have a few questions if you are yet to get your content marketing efforts up and running.
- What exactly is content marketing?
- Will content marketing work for my business?
- How exactly do I implement content marketing?
Well, you’ve come to the right place.
In this article, we’re taking an in-depth look at content marketing for business owners.
This is NOT your typical content marketing guide that’s aimed at SEO agents or marketing professionals.
We are NOT looking at cryptic statistics that you have to decipher.
Instead, you’ll discover SOLID steps on how YOU can work on your business’ content marketing right now.
Let’s dive in!
What is Content Marketing?
The goal of content marketing is to reach more potential customers, educate them about your product or service, get them interested in your brand, and ultimately ask them to buy your product – all by creating content online.
I know what you’re thinking:
Well, by the end of this article, you’ll have a step-by-step answer for that.
But first, we need to address the question:
“What exactly is content?”
Content is information that is directed to your target audience. It comes in the form of articles, infographics, videos, podcasts, etc. Any information you provide for your target audience to consume is “content.”
The distribution method that produces the most favorable results will be unique to your target audience and industry.
Combine that with “marketing” (surely we don’t have to tell you what this means), and you get content marketing.
The simplest way to put it, “content marketing” is creating and publishing content on your website (or social media for some businesses).
There’s more to content marketing, of course. And we’ll explore it more in-depth below.
Will Content Marketing Work for Your Business?
How do we know?
Because no matter what industry you’re in, you WILL benefit from content marketing. However, this excludes industries where information is highly regulated, like the military, financial services, and more.
Even if you’re in a niche market like cement manufacturing, pushing content online will reap you rewards.
Content marketing will allow you to:
- Reach new clients or partners
- Build prestige and establish your company as an authority
- Educate your target audience about your product or service
- Spend less than other marketing methods
- Put you on a level playing field with the giant companies of your industry
- Enjoy long-term results
Let’s take a quick look at each one, and then we’ll get into how to use content marketing to get these results.
Note: If you already know why you need content marketing, feel free to skip ahead to this section below to get to the action bits.
Reach New Clients or Partners
Whether you’re in a “fun” industry like sports…
… or a “boring” one like manufacturing…
… content marketing can win you new clients, partners, or deals.
It can do this because, according to Statista, 4.66 billion people use the internet. That’s a whopping 59% of the ENTIRE world.
That’s why it’s insane to think that no one on the internet needs the product or service YOU provide.
And here’s the great thing.
Good content marketing is not a shot in the dark.
It’s not an internet billboard that you put up hoping that someone who needs you sees it.
No, content marketing allows you to target specific people who NEED your product or service.
When you publish great content, your target audience will find it.
That’s why it’s super effective at bringing in new clients, partners, and deals.
Build Prestige and Establish You as the Authority
Jim wants to know about the different cement types for construction, so they search “types of cement” on Google.
An article by JohnDoeCement.com pops up and answers their questions.
Now Jim wants to know about low heat cement specifically.
They get another excellent article by John Doe Cement.
“What’s this ‘thermal cracking’ that this article talks about?”
Jim looks that up, and guess what?
John Doe Cement yet again answers ALL their questions with another expert article!
Finally, Jim decides he needs high-quality, low heat cement, but he doesn’t know any suppliers.
Can you guess which company he will trust?
That’s right. John Doe Cement!
Now, if John Doe Cement had never published those articles, Jim wouldn’t trust their brand when it came to buying – heck, he might’ve never even heard about them at all!
But since they did, Jim saw them as an authority in the industry.
If your name keeps popping up whenever people search for information about something you are selling, they will grow to trust you.
People buy from brands they trust.
And that example is just one way you can use content marketing to build prestige and authority.
We’re going to explore a few others when we get to the action bits.
Educate Your Target Audience About Your Product or Service
The value of talking to an educated customer is 10x higher than talking to someone who doesn’t know about what you’re selling.
If people know what they should be looking for, it’s a LOT easier to convert them into your customer.
However, too many people don’t know what they’re looking for – especially in niche markets.
Content marketing is your opportunity to show these people that what they need is you.
In the previous example with John Doe Cement, Jim started with no idea what type of cement he needed.
With John Doe Cement’s content marketing, they were able to:
- Show Jim the type of cement he needed
- Explain to Jim what makes useful low heat cement
Those two things educated Jim.
And when it came time to sell their product, Jim already knew ALL the benefits he would get from it. So getting him to buy was easy.
Spend Less Than Other Marketing Methods
How much do you spend on advertising campaigns?
Let’s say you spend $1,000 and reach your target conversion rate.
However, everything stops after that.
Once your campaign is over, you won’t get any new leads unless you start spending for them again.
And while it does work, this can cost you tens (maybe even hundreds) of thousands of dollars over time.
If only there were an evergreen marketing strategy that brought in leads without you having to spend for it…
Oh wait, there is!
With content marketing, you spend FAR less than you would with traditional advertising. And in time, you will bring in the same results.
Yes, it will take longer.
And no, we’re not telling you to ditch paid advertising forever.
But if you inject content marketing into your marketing strategy, you can cut your budget by a HUGE amount.
Enjoy Long-Term Results
On the same note, content marketing will give you results for years to come.
When you publish evergreen content, such as “Types of Cement,” there will still be people who need that information many years from now.
That’s why it’ll stay relevant and continuously bring new customers.
It’s not like traditional advertising.
Once your campaign is over, it’s over.
It won’t bring a single new customer anymore.
But content marketing will. Once you publish content online, it’s going to stay online for years and years.
And if it’s good and stays relevant, it’ll be the ultimate resource online.
Put You on a Level Playing Field With the Giants of Your Industry
Let’s face it.
You can’t challenge the giant companies in your industry with traditional methods (tv, newspapers, radio, etc.).
If you’re selling sportswear, you’ll need a miracle to challenge Nike, Adidas, or Under Armor with traditional marketing.
Those companies have enormous marketing departments that can shell out billions of dollars on advertising a year.
That’s why if you go head to head with them on traditional marketing, you’re going to lose. Every. Single. Time.
Content marketing has completely changed the game.
It doesn’t matter how much money you splurge on marketing, but how high-quality and valuable your content is to your target customer. It’s a COMPLETELY level playing field online, and anyone can fight for that top spot.
To date, content marketing is the ONLY place where you can put up a fight against the big dogs.
So don’t pass on this opportunity for your business.
Content Marketing Strategy for Business Owners
Now let’s get down to business.
No cryptic statistics or general principles.
Here’s a detailed guide to content marketing.
As an SEO agency, content marketing is a large part of our service offering.
And today, we’re letting you in on a little secret.
This is an inside look at our content marketing strategy for our clients – from start to finish.
Step 1: Choose a Topic
One question we hear ALL the time is this:
“What should I write about?”
If there were a one-size-fits-all answer to that, we’d give it to you right here.
But there isn’t.
Here’s what you need to do to end up with a good content marketing topic to write for your business..
Determine Your Most Important Goal
“What is the most important goal for my business right now?”
Do you want more subscribers to your SaaS? Get more people to bid on your online auction site? Showcase that you’re the authority in constructing hospitals?
Everybody has a different goal.
It’s up to you to figure out what that critical goal is.
And here’s the thing:
To succeed in content marketing, you have to take it one step at a time.
That’s why it’s so important to identify that #1 goal.
If you have ten goals, pick out the most important one and work on it first. Only once you’ve put up enough content on that should you move on to the next one.
Once you’ve determined your goal, plan your content strategy to achieve this.
Are you going to write a series of blog posts?
Publish press releases?
Create an informative video?
Again, the type of content will depend on what you’re trying to achieve and matching the ideal delivery method with your target audience’s favorite method of information consumption.
For most situations, writing blog posts or articles is the best way to do content marketing.
It’s the most straightforward and far-reaching type of content for you to get your content to your audience.
But even if you decide to write blog posts, you’ll still have a huge question mark over your head:
“What should you write?”
Well, now that you’ve determined your end goal, you’ll find that there are several avenues to get there.
At TGC, we have a set way to determine what types of content we need to write.
Here’s how we do it:
Choose a Keyword
The next step is to choose a target keyword.
Your target keyword is what your entire article will revolve around.
Choose the right target keyword, and it’ll work wonders for your business. Choose a bad one, and it’ll get you nowhere.
It is pretty easy to win keywords that have little to no searches per month and often challenging to win high search volume keywords. Mainly because where there is high volume, there is also competition.
Ideally, you should have a keyword tool (we’ll show you what we use below) to find profitable keywords.
With it, there are three types of keywords you should be going after:
- Big wins
- Related keyword dominance
Big wins are the keywords you dream of ranking for some day. These keywords will instantly bring you many new customers if you manage to rank #1 for them.
Big win keywords are keywords that get a LOT of traffic in your industry.
By a lot, we’re talking thousands (or tens of thousands) of people searching for these terms every month.
Let’s say you are selling a calendar software. A big win keyword would be “calendar software.”
If you write great content on those subjects, it’ll drive in a boatload of people looking for calendar software.
And if you position yourself at the number 1 spot, there’s a HUGE chance they’ll choose your services.
However, because they’re “big wins,” winning these keywords is not easy.
All your competitors are fighting for that same keyword, so get ready to throw in a lot of time, effort, and resources into getting these “big wins.”
Related keyword dominance takes a different approach. Instead of targeting a broad and high-traffic keyword, these keywords are mid-sized ones related to your business.
These keywords don’t tie directly to your product. Instead, these keywords are educational, covering everything that someone who might need your product might ask.
A calendar SaaS provider might go after keywords like “what is calendar software” or “why do I need calendar software.”
These topics don’t get as much traffic as big wins. And they are higher up the sales funnel as well.
However, while the article isn’t necessarily about your product, anyone that reads it will come away knowing that a tax preparer can significantly help them achieve their goals.
We call this related keyword dominance since the goal is to dominate every keyword relating to your product.
Long-tails are low traffic, ultra-specific keywords.
If you use a keyword tool, these keywords will almost always show that these long-tails get very little traffic every month.
However, they can be super valuable in their own way.
That is because they are ultra-specific.
The people that search these keywords are already searching for your product or service. They just need a little nudge to turn into a customer.
Long keywords like “best calendar software for tax preparers” or “YourCalendarSoftware vs. Competitor” gives your site a chance to convert someone late in the sales funnel.
Long-tail keywords often target buyers who are within a few hours of making a purchasing decision.
Those are the three types of keywords you should go after.
Once you’ve determined your end goal, start planning your big wins, related keywords, and long-tails.
Publishing blog posts in all three categories will get you closer and closer to your end goal.
Of course, planning all of these is not going to be easy.
Not everyone has the eye or the tools to find keywords that they can win.
So if you are looking for a professional to guide your content marketing, sign up for our free audit and we will give you a little content map you can follow.
What to Write About Ideas
Okay, now you know the categories of content you should write… but what exactly should you write again?
Here are some ideas:
- How-to guides
- What-is article
- Industry news
- Case studies
- Top 10 lists
- Why article
- Infographic post
These topics can fall into any of the three categories depending on your subject and the keyword’s traffic.
If you were a cement manufacturer, you’d write things like:
- How-to guide: How to Choose Cement for Foundation
- What-is article: What is Portland Pozzolana Cement?
- Industry News: John Doe Cement Now Manufactures Portland Pozzolana Cement
- Case studies: We Tested the Strength of 8 Top Cement Brands – Here are the Results
- Top 10 lists: Top 10 Cement Manufacturers
- Checklists: 5 Things You Should Look for When Choosing a Cement Supplier
- Why article: Why Portland Pozzolana Cement is the Best for Foundations
- Infographic: Everything You Need to Know About Portland Pozzolana Cement
As you can see, not every article advertises John Doe’s portland cement directly. Some of these content marketing examples aim to educate the audience.
If you run the target keywords through a tool, you’ll see that some of these articles will get a lot of traffic, while others will get very few.
It’s that mix of big wins, related keywords, and long tails that makes content marketing so effective.
Whenever someone has a question about Portland Pozzolana cement, or even just cement for foundations, they’ll always end up on John Doe Cement’s website.
Now, you don’t have to write one article for each of those ideas we’ve given you.
But it should give you a head start of where you should be heading.
So pick one!
Pick one topic to start.
There’s no correct order. It doesn’t matter if you start by writing a big win article or a long-tail as long as you end up with all three types.
And it doesn’t matter what you write (how-to, what-is, infographic) as long as it is something your audience will want to read.
Step 2: Write an Excellent Piece of Content
For some, this is the real challenge.
You can quickly learn how to choose a good topic – but writing the content itself?
You’ll have to train for months (even years!) before you master that.
But don’t fret!
Average content is 100x better than no content at all.
If your audience finds value in what you write, that’s already good content.
If you want to win more clients, educate them thoroughly, and stay ahead of your competition, you’ll need to publish EXCELLENT content ONLY.
As the business owner or subject matter expert, you might not have time to write, you might not feel comfortable as a writer, or you just don’t have the patience to sit and do it.
Whatever the situation, as the expert, you know value-adding content over meaningless fluff.
As an option, you could hire a professional content writer to do the writing for you.
Then you become the editor in the process before publishing.
But if you can’t find a writer, here are some of the secrets pro content writers use to perfect their blog posts:
Write Something Better
Good content writers (with the help of a good SEO team) take the top spot of almost every keyword they go after.
Because they write the absolute BEST article on the topic.
They write the most comprehensive, most easy-to-understand, and most actionable articles available on the internet.
And here’s the thing:
They don’t guess.
They don’t say, “I think my article is better than all the others.”
No, they KNOW it’s the best.
This is because before they even begin writing, they read all the top articles on their topic.
They “spy” on what their competitors have written. And take note of the ways they can improve upon it.
One thing we like to do here at TGC is taking the best points from multiple competitor articles. Then combining them with our industry information to form one ultimate article.
The goal is that your article should be the absolute best of its kind. It should outdo every other article on the topic.
If you can do this, you will naturally get plenty of visitors.
However, that’s only the first step to success.
Beating your competitors for a keyword’s top spot will now depend on your content marketing promotion efforts (which we’ll have a look at after this).
The Internet Style of Writing
Remember the essay you wrote in college?
The one your professor loved?
That’s the type of content that people on the internet will HATE.
Nobody has time for lengthy paragraphs, fancy word plays, or nit-picking punctuation.
Nobody cares how deep your vocabulary is or how clever you are with your words.
The secret to mastering the internet writing style is to make your sentences as easy to read as possible.
Now, you don’t have to write in an informal, “flair-y” tone as we like to use for our blogs.
But as much as possible, write your article as if you were talking with your audience face to face.
Make it interesting.
Get their attention and hold it.
This is a skill that is hard to master. But with constant practice, you can learn it!
Here are a few pointers to help you out:
- Keep your paragraphs short! As much as possible, every paragraph should have no more than three sentences. A wall of text is the LAST thing people want to read.
- Keep your sentences short. In the same way, try as much as possible to avoid long sentences. If you have to put three commas in one sentence, that’s a good sign you should split it up instead.
- Use your voice! Imagine talking to your audience face to face. This will make your writing far more interesting to read.
- Don’t lose sleep over grammar. Yes, good grammar is essential. But don’t waste a good 5 minutes wondering whether you should use a comma, semicolon, or dash – just use whatever shows the tempo of your voice best. You’re on the internet, not in a classroom.
- Add breaks. Have you noticed how we sprinkle in paragraphs with only one to three words? Those are breaks. They ease your eyes from reading blocks of text and pull you further down the article.
- Don’t use big words. Remember, you want your articles to be as easy to read as possible. Ideally, a 5th grader should understand what you’re trying to say.
- Use headers, bolds, and bullets. Organize your article and make it easy to follow. Also, using bolds and bullet points are another great way to break up the walls of text.
- Focus on what the audience wants. Pro tip: ALWAYS keep in mind what the audience is after. If they begin to feel that you’re talking too much about yourself or something they don’t care about, they’re going to leave.
- Use “you” more. If you write like you’re talking to your audience, this will come out naturally. “You” is a powerful word. Use it a lot in your content, so your audience knows the article is about them and what they want.
Those are just some of the keys to writing great content.
Soon you’ll find people will want to read your content.
No one should feel like they’re grinding through a textbook when they read your content.
They should feel like a friend came along to help them with their problems.
You can write something better than all your competition…
… and make it the most entertaining and informative article around…
… yet still not get a single reader.
Because as you write, you also have to keep keyword optimization in mind.
SEO is a vital part of content marketing.
And it’s not only the job of the web developer and link-builder to ensure good SEO, but the writer’s as well.
Thankfully, SEO content creation is not all that difficult.
There is a proven formula that works, and it goes like this:
- Include your keyword in the title
- Include your keyword in an h2 header
- Include your keyword in the introduction
- Include your keyword in the body of the article 1-4 times
Follow those four principles, and your awesome article will indeed begin ranking for your target keyword.
But here at TGC, we also like going after secondary keywords.
Secondary keywords are related to your primary keyword. They can be another way of saying your target keyword or something that is very closely related.
For example, the secondary keywords for “best calendar software” can be “best calendar programs,” “calendar software for businesses,” “online calendar software,” etc.
Having this is important because not everybody is going to search for the same term.
If you write an excellent piece of content, there’s a big chance you’ll also rank #1 for these secondary keywords and bring in even more traffic.
Okay, so where do you add these secondary keywords?
They aren’t as important as your target keyword, of course, but you should sprinkle secondary keywords on the h2s of your article.
Mix things up.
Instead of having “best calendar software” on every heading, use “best calendar programs” or “top 10 online calendar software.”
You might also want to throw in a section dedicated to “calendar software for individuals.”
Finally, there’s NLP or natural language processing.
NLP is an advanced technique we use to help Google’s algorithm understand what our article is about – and rank it where it belongs.
You’ll need to invest in a tool to apply this strategy, but boy is it worth it.
NLP scans the top articles for your target keyword and gives you a list of commonly found terms on those articles.
In basic terms, if you insert these terms into your article, Google’s algorithm will spot them and can index your page to better specify the topic.
When Google precisely knows what your page is about, it will put it in front of the people who need it.
It’s complicated, yes.
But from our experience, this is a great way to get a kick up the rankings. So it’s worth considering investing in an NLP tool for your content.
Add a Call to Action
There are two ditches:
On one side, you talk all about your company. You try to sell your product as hard as possible. So much so that people don’t find any value in what you have to say.
On the other side, you have super helpful content, but that’s all it is. You give everything you know, but you don’t even mention that you have a product that your audience members might need.
They will find the answers they were seeking. But after that, they’re gone.
That’s why adding a call to action to your articles is a great idea.
But be careful!
Don’t jam it down your reader’s throats.
Do you know how people try to avoid salespeople at malls?
That’s what people will do with your articles if you keep plugging your CTA everywhere. They’ll skip right past them.
Instead, add your CTA at a strategic point in the article. Right when it fits in perfectly and doesn’t interrupt the reader’s flow of thought.
If there isn’t any good opportunity, plug it in at the end.
It’s a great way to let your audience know that you have a solution to their problems after everything they’ve read.
Whether it’s a call to buy your product, sign up for your lead magnet, or register for your webinar, a strategic CTA can pull in new customers who would’ve gone away without doing anything.
So make sure to include one as you write your masterpiece.
Step 3: Optimize Your Content
Once you’ve finished writing, the work has just begun!
Yes, you’ve got off to a great start.
But if you publish your content as is, you’ll need a miracle for your target audience to find it.
After writing, you’ll first have to optimize your content, then promote it.
Let’s have a closer look at optimization.
One critical step that many people overlook is editing.
Editing not only gets rid of any missed typos or grammatical errors, but it also gives you a fresh perspective.
Once you’ve finished writing, step away from your content for a while. Go for a walk, clear your mind.
Heck, if you need it, don’t return to your content until the next day.
You should get your mind off your content for a while so that you will see it with fresh eyes when you return.
When you return to your content, it’s now time to edit.
With your fresh set of eyes, you’ll find a lot of places that you can improve.
It’s also a great idea to have a grammar tool to assist you. This will make the task of editing so much easier.
It’s like the “Paris in the Spring” trick:
Most people don’t notice the second “the” in that triangle.
Well, without a tool, tiny errors like that can go completely unnoticed.
It also helps to have another set of eyes go over your content.
At TGC, we double review our content before publishing. This way, we are sure that nothing slips through the cracks – and you should do this too.
We even hire professional grammar checkers to go over our work at times.
Remember: strict grammar isn’t essential on the internet. But if you make a painfully obvious error, it will hurt your authority.
Don’t publish anything that isn’t polished.
Graphics and Video
Good graphics are a HUGE part of content marketing.
No matter how entertaining you write, most people will get bored eventually if all you have is text.
But graphics not only keep people reading – they also make complex ideas easy to understand.
It’s a lot easier to show someone how to sign up for something if you have screenshots.
So add graphics! They will make your visitor’s user experience (or UX) much better.
Throw in pictures, infographics, screenshots, charts, gifs, quote boxes – anything to help your audience get a better grasp of what you’re saying.
“Quote boxes are a simple and effective way to break the walls of text and make your article easier to read.”
See what we did there?
And if you want to add even more value to your content, throw in a video!
High-quality, entertaining, and informative videos are a spectacular addition to your content marketing.
You may shoot a video that summarizes what you say in the article.
Or you can create a video that explains one critical point in the article.
Visuals give you an excellent opportunity to describe things and entertain your audience in ways that text just can’t.
While well-written content is still the bread and butter of content marketing, good visuals will give it a substantial boost.
Finally, it’s time to publish.
You open up WordPress, paste in your text, click publish, and you’re done!
Not so fast!
There’s still a little more optimizing that you need to do.
On-page and technical SEO problems are almost invisible to the human eye, but they are glaring for search engines.
If your content stinks of on-page and technical SEO errors, it will never reach your target audience.
The good news is that on-page SEO is very easy to patch up.
Here’s a quick checklist you can use to clean up your on-page SEO:
- Title tag – Your title tag should be less than 60 characters. You don’t have to include your company name, but make sure to add your target keyword.
- Meta description – Give a quick overview of what your article is about here. Again, make sure to add your target keyword, but don’t go over 150 characters.
- Clean URL – Most of the time, your URL will contain your entire title tag – which is too long and messy. Shorten your URL to only the necessary words, and it’ll look a lot cleaner.
- Use H1, H2, & H3 – Organize your article with headings! This not only makes your writing easier to follow, but it helps with SEO as well.
- Add title and alt text to images – Adding titles and alt text to your images allows search engines to read them. With this, people can find your pictures on the “Photos” tab of Google.
- No repeats! – If you are writing an article similar to another you’ve already published, make sure there are no repeats! Even if you have the same point, write it differently.
- Internal and external links – Make sure to link to other pages on your website. You may want to add some useful external links as well. Links from authority websites in your industry will help your SEO.
Not bad, right?
Unless you’re a web developer, you probably don’t want to deal with technical SEO (trust us, there’s lots of code involved).
That’s why we highly recommend hiring a web developer to handle your technical SEO.
We could deep-dive into how to do technical SEO.
But honestly, you probably won’t get much from it, so we’ll save that for another day.
If you do have a web developer in your team, you should have them check your page’s:
- Load speed
- Schema markups
- Robots.txt file
Step 4: Promote Your Content
… and optimized your content.
You’ve poured in a lot of work into one piece of content. And now it’s time for the final step!
However, if you fail in this last step, you’ll end up with nothing to show for all your efforts at content marketing.
No one will find and read your content except your family and friends.
That’s why promoting your content correctly is crucial for content marketing.
There are several ways to promote your content.
Let’s go over some of the best ways.
Perhaps the best way to get an endless stream of readers to your article is through SEO.
If your page ranks #1 for your target keyword, thousands of people will see it every day.
But here’s the question:
How do you get the top spot?
Content creation and on-page SEO help, but you’ll also need to build links.
Link building is the strategy in content marketing of getting more websites to link to your content.
Ideally, your piece of content should be so good that people will automatically link to you.
But most of the time, you’ll have to work to get these links.
Here are some of the strategies we use at TGC to build links:
- Ask – If you have friends or colleagues with websites, it never hurts to ask them to link to yours!
- Outreach – If you find an article that will benefit from linking to you, reach out to them and ask them to link to you!
- Guest Post – One great way to get links from authoritative sites is to write a guest post for them.
- Build Relationships – The more people you know in your industry, the better. With strong relationships, you can help each other out by linking to one another.
- Spy – Spy on who’s linking to your competitors. There you’ll find several easy sites that you can get a link from as well. You can do this with the help of an SEO tool.
- Infographics – We’ve already mentioned that adding graphics is a good idea, and part of the reason is that great infographics get many links. If you can design a catchy one, people would love to put it on their site.
- Skyscraper Technique – A technique used to “steal” links from your competitors. We’ll have a look at this in the next section.
Honestly speaking, link building can get tedious.
And you might wonder whether all the work is worth that one link.
But you must do it!
If you are determined to get your content to as many people as possible, this is the way.
Well, that’s an article for another time.
The Skyscraper Technique
The Skyscraper Technique is the name of a link-building strategy coined by Backlinko’s Brian Dean.
According to Brian Dean, nobody asks what the 8th tallest building in the world is. They only ask one thing: “What is the tallest?”
In the same way, nobody wants to link to a piece of content that’s the 8th best. They want to link to the best of the rest.
Can you see where this is heading?
That’s right. It’s the same old principle of writing the very best content on your topic.
But the Skyscraper Technique doesn’t stop there.
After blowing your competition off the water, you now go and “steal” their links.
Check which websites link to your competitor’s piece of content and then reach out to those sites. Let them know that you have something better.
Link-building and SEO aren’t the only ways to get traffic to your content.
Those two provide the best long-term value, but social media is another way to get traffic if you want fast results.
If you already have a following, getting people to read your content is as simple as creating an attractive post and publishing it at the right time.
However, you may want to consider advertising on social media as well. It’s a PPC strategy that will cost you and won’t give you long-term results.
But if it gets to the right people, you might just win some loyal customers.
If you have an email list, it also makes sense to let them know about this new piece of content you’ve just published.
Emails are not only for sales, sales, and more sales.
You also have to nurture your leads as well.
One way to do this is to prompt them to read your super helpful piece of content.
If you have an extensive email list, it’s also a great way to give your content a kick of traffic while it’s fresh.
As always with emails, the one you send to your clients to let them know about your post should be short, sweet, and straight to the point.
Step 5: Repeat
Once you’ve planned, written, optimized, and promoted your piece of content, congratulations!
That is, for one piece of content.
Now go back and choose another topic that helps you reach your end goal, and repeat all the steps we’ve gone through.
I know, I know, that was a LOT of work.
You might feel burned out after doing all that for one piece of content.
But so is the nature of content marketing.
If you want to excel, you’re going to have to pour in all your efforts into every piece of content one by one by one.
It takes a tremendous amount of time, effort, and expertise to succeed at content marketing.
And if you thought content marketing was easy – take it from us – it’s not.
But in the end?
Boy, will it be worth it!
Once you’ve finished promoting your content, move on to the next keyword and write an article around that. Then repeat everything you’ve learned so far.
What You Need For a Successful Content Marketing Strategy
By now, you should know that if you tried to do content marketing all alone, it’d overwhelm you very quickly.
Nobody succeeds at content marketing alone.
Behind every successful drive are a bunch of tools and staff helping out.
Here at TGC, we have a few tools and several professionals to take our client’s content to the top.
And right now, we’re going to share with you exactly what we use:
Aside from technical tools (web dev stuff), you’ll need three things:
- A keyword tool
- Writing tools
- An SEO tool
Note: these are the tools we use. We’re not affiliated with them in any way!
How do you know what your big wins and related keywords are?
The keywords that everyone in your niche is searching for?
You find that with the help of a keyword tool.
Keyword tools show you how much traffic specific keywords are getting.
A high-quality keyword tool will also show you how difficult ranking for specific keywords will be.
For example, we use Ahrefs (you can also check out KWFinder, SEMRush, or others).
Assuming we have a great piece of content, Ahrefs then gives us an idea of how many links we need to rank for a keyword.
You can also use your keyword tool to find new keyword ideas.
One thing we like to do is to check which keywords our competitors are ranking for.
Then, we apply the Skyscraper Technique to them.
There are a lot of other things you can do with keyword tools.
That’s why if you’re serious about content marketing, this is a must-have.
Always remember: a tiny grammatical error will go unnoticed, but a big one won’t.
That’s why having a spell-checker and grammar checker is critical for content marketing.
Here at TGC, we use Grammarly Premium, but they also have an excellent free option that you can get if you don’t want to invest.
Either way, no obvious errors will make it to the final article with this.
Since we’re on the internet, we also like to make sure that our content is as easy to read as possible.
To help with this, we use the Hemingway Editor.
This tool allows you to see when your sentences are too long, when you’re using passive (aka boring) language, when you’re using hard words, and your readability score (in grades).
In most cases, grade 5 readability should be your target.
Finally, if you’re a perfectionist, grab an NLP tool.
Surfer SEO is a great tool to see which terms you should include in your article (and how many times!).
Those three should polish up your writing.
Aside from those, you’ll also need a tool that can:
- Analyze your competitors
- Audit your website
- Track how well your content is doing
The good news is that several tools can do all of these and more.
Again, we use Ahrefs for this. But there are plenty of other tools that can help you with this.
It takes time to learn how you can get the most out of these tools.
But once you know what you’re doing, they will be extremely helpful for your content marketing.
There’s no way you can do content marketing all by yourself and run the day to day business.
While you don’t necessarily need a full in-house marketing team, you will need to outsource some of the tasks.
You can give some tasks to an employee. Or, you could hire a professional to get even better results.
Whatever you choose, here are the responsibilities you need to fill out:
Also known as a project manager, the content strategist will have a bird’s eye view of the whole operation.
A content strategist should know what the end goal is, exactly how he’s going to get there, and everything that’s going on with the progress.
As the owner of your company, you could do this yourself.
Like we said, content creation is NOT easy.
If the actual written content is mediocre, your entire content marketing strategy won’t work.
That’s why it pays to have a professional writer on your team.
Even the best writers make mistakes!
Having a designated editor is a great way to catch errors and polish up the article before publishing.
This is another thing you can do yourself, reading what was written, then approving to push it through to your site.
Or, if you want to be extra careful, you can hire a professional editor.
Graphics are an essential part of good content.
Without graphics, even the most useful articles can get boring very quickly.
That’s why you must have an excellent graphic designer on board.
If you don’t have one, you should at least have someone who can find and add relevant pictures to your article.
On the same note, videos significantly boost your content.
A good video editor can take boring concepts and turn them into fascinating videos that captivate your audience.
That’s why if you’re serious about your content marketing efforts, having someone to make videos for you is a great idea.
A good web developer is an absolute must-have.
There’s no way your content marketing strategy will work without one.
Plus, these guys can help you with your technical SEO.
Web developers have skills that no one else has. Having one on your team is absolutely necessary.
Link building is a task that is not exactly difficult, but, as we said before, it can get very tedious.
That’s why having someone whose role is to research, outreach, and build links to your content will be a HUGE help.
For a successful content marketing campaign, you need a:
- Content strategist
- Graphic designer
- Video editor
- Web developer
- Link builder
Ideally, you’d have a professionals to fill all of these roles. But let’s be realistic, that’s going to cost you a TON of money.
If you want all of these but don’t have the budget, you can get it all with our Partnered Marketing services. Find out more here.
Ready to Take On Content Marketing?
Content marketing is a gigantic and fiery beast.
Mastering it is NOT going to be easy.
But with everything you’ve learned today, you are now well equipped to take on content marketing.
Dive in, and don’t stop until you succeed.
It’s a long, long road.
But with quality and persistence, you will reap the rewards eventually.
We know you’re capable of taking on
content marketing on your own.