Barefoot’s Advanced Guide to Content Marketing

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Content-MarketingIf your business has an online presence, a solid content marketing strategy is a must. Whether you own a small eCommerce site or a large national business, the right content marketing plan can expand your exposure, increase your web traffic and drive up your sales. Without a content marketing strategy, your business runs the risk of becoming lost in the highly competitive online world. So, what are some marketing strategies that deliver results? Below are some smart ways to create relevant, valuable content and make sure that it reaches your target audience–call it The Advanced Guide to Content Marketing.

Define Your Target Audience

Before you begin creating content for your business, you should take the time to define your target audience. Your target audience is the group or groups of people you’re trying to appeal to with your marketing strategies. Sit down and begin creating a mock profile of who your typical customer is and what might motivate his or her interest in your business. Often called a “model user” scenario, this technique is often used by marketing executives to develop a clear picture of their primary audience. What should you include in your character scenario? Include as much detail as you can, but be sure to include the following:

  • Gender
  • Education Level
  • Age
  • Hobbies/Interests
  • Profession
  • Motivations

Once you have a clear picture of your target audience, you’ll be able to create content that is relevant and appealing to that demographic. If you have more than one target audience profile, that’s OK. Most businesses appeal to more than one group of people. For example, a website selling organic cleaning supplies might appeal to both environmentally-conscious young women and pet owners who don’t want to expose their animals to the chemicals in standard cleaners.

Focus on Quality Content

Once you’ve defined your target audience you’re ready to start writing content. However, not just any content will do. To really reach your audience, you need to create content that is relevant, valuable and unique. Here are some quick tips on writing content that gets results:

  • Find your voice. Write in a style that appeals to your target audience.
  • Be relevant. Focus on topics that address questions and concerns your target audience might have.
  • Be clear and concise. Avoid lengthy sentences that are difficult to read and words that are archaic or technical.
  • Look for mistakes. Proofread everything you write for spelling mistakes and grammatical errors.
  • Create easy-to-read content. Use headings, subheadings, lists and bullet points to make your content easy to scan and understand.
  • Be original. Make sure your content is 100% unique and make sure you haven’t plagiarized someone else’s work.

Use Search Engine Optimization Tactics

One of the most effective ways to make sure your target audience finds your online content–and your website–is by using search engine optimization techniques. To do this, you’ll need to embed carefully chosen keywords into your writing so that search engines like Google rank your site highly in relevant search results. First, start by identifying some keywords or keyword phrases that people searching for the goods or services you offer might use. For example, if you’re promoting web design in the Brighton Sussex¬†area, (as we are) your target audience might do an online search by typing “websites Sussex” or “Sussex Websites” into a search engine. If you work these phrases into your online content, there’s a greater chance your customers will find your business through a search engine. Ultimately, your goal should be to rank highly in the search engine results for several keywords that pertain to your business. This will increase your traffic and drive up your sales. Here are some more SEO tips:

  • Use analytical tools like Wordtracker to find keywords with a lower difficulty score so you have a better chance at a high page ranking.
  • For every 200 words you write, repeat your chosen keyword 1 to 2 times.
  • Use keywords in titles, headings and video and image tags.
  • Link your site to other relative sites to increase your visibility.
  • Make sure your writing is relevant and original–recent changes to Google’s algorithms make this a must.

Get Involved In Social Media

In today’s online world, social media is a powerful tool. Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are a great way to expand your branding and drive more traffic to your website. For the best results, link your business website to as many of these popular networks as you can. Here are some social media marketing techniques that can really pay off for your business:

  • Create helpful how-to videos on a YouTube channel and link them back to your website.
  • Set up a Facebook page for your business, and consider investing in their advertising campaigns to promote your website.
  • Tweet short, witty content on Twitter, and do it several times a day–the site moves quickly.
  • Create a LinkedIn profile to increase your networking capabilities.
  • Run a contest on Pinterest to create customer engagement and loyalty.

No matter which social media networks you choose to work with, it’s important to remember a few things. First, make sure your logo and company name is consistent on each site. Next, don’t forget to add each network’s button to your website, such as the “Like” button for Facebook and the “+1″ icon for Google+. Lastly, keep postings on each site regular and up-to-date to reach more people and achieve a bigger following.

Done correctly, content marketing can increase your online exposure, drive new traffic to your website and create loyal customers who keep coming back time and time again. It may take time to see results, but with a little effort you’ll eventually increase your profits and help your business thrive.


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