Content marketing involves creating online content like blog posts or articles to educate and inform your target audience.
Companies do this to draw attention to their products and services without promoting them with a hard sell. Instead, you should focus on providing advice and free resources that prospective and existing customers will find valuable.
Some benefits of content marketing are that it helps to attract prospects, increases brand awareness, and improves search engine rankings of a website. Some examples of resources used in content marketing are blog posts, articles, videos, social media posts, and ebooks that can help interest new prospects and retain existing ones.
Now, I am going to take you through 7 content marketing techniques that you can still use to get results today.
Create free but valuable tools your audience will love
Offering free tools and templates can be a very effective content marketing tactic, but it’s one that often gets overlooked. Depending on the industry your business is in, you could create online calculators, virtual make-up try-on tools, or even free proposal templates that can be very useful for small businesses.
These free tools are highly effective because, for one, people don’t have to make a financial commitment and, two, if you are providing tools that are actually valuable, then people will keep sharing them with others, which will increase traffic for your website in the long run. Also, if someone enjoys using a free tool from your business, this will give them a positive impression of your brand, which could lead to them spending their money with you in the future.
Let’s take a look at some businesses that create free and valuable tools so you can get some inspiration for using this tactic on your own site.
First up is Loganix, a digital marketing agency that offers helpful solutions for link building, content marketing, local SEO, and more. On their website, they have a free domain authority checker tool.
The tool allows you to search for the domain authority of up to 10 websites at once by pasting the URLs of these sites into the tool and adding your email so you can get access to a dashboard that displays all the results. They also include a step-by-step explanation of how to use the tool so visitors are not confused when they get to their website.
As a company in the digital marketing space, this is a tool that their visitors will love and appreciate because it allows people to check the page authority of their websites and those of their competitors. This helps you determine a website’s ability to rank on search engines and it is an important metric for link-building. When trying to build links for your website, you want to be sure that you are targeting reputable and authoritative sites and this tool helps you by calculating the domain authority of a site. The higher the authority, the more “link juice” it will provide for your site.
The tool is also beneficial for Loganix because it is a tool their ideal audience – marketers and business owners-will find helpful, so it’s great for attracting high-quality traffic that’s likely to turn into sales. It can also help them generate more traffic, since many bloggers and businesses will link back to this tool to recommend it to their readers.
If you also want to create a free tool for your business, you should focus on identifying a need within your industry and create a tool that can solve that problem. It doesn’t have to be too complex, but the tool should be relevant to your target audience to drive qualified traffic to your website so you can make more sales.
We also have an example from FreshBooks, an online accounting software provider. On their website, they have a free invoice template that they offer to visitors. Their target audience is made up of business owners or freelancers who need help managing their accounts, so this tool is likely to be very valuable for them. It can also act as a lead magnet since people have to enter their emails to get the free templates. This gives FreshBooks a chance to move people down the sales funnel and towards paying for their software.
For businesses that want to emulate this, the best way to go about it is to create useful and ready-made templates that address a pain point your prospective customers have. Once people see that you are already offering value for free, they will be more encouraged to buy a product or service from you.
Answer common customer questions with your content
By anticipating customer questions and answering them on your website, you can show you really understand your target audience. This will drive more traffic to your website and should lead to sales.
A great way to discover questions that your customers are asking is by conducting keyword research using tools like AnswerThePublic or Buzzsumo. With these tools, you can easily find out which queries your audience are typing into search engines.
You could also join community forums such as Quora and Reddit. Here, you can discover discussions people are having in your niche and then get ideas about what kinds of content you should be creating that sheds more light on those discussions.
Finally, you should also take note of the questions commonly received by your customer service team because those can give you an insight into the issues your customers are having. By analyzing those FAQs, you’ll be able to figure out what types of content you should be creating to answer their questions.
Here are some examples of brands that are using their content to provide answers to common customer queries.
RMIT Online is a university that offers online programs for people who want to undertake vocational, undergraduate, or postgraduate studies. And, they have a blog post on their website that provides more information about the qualifications needed to be a project manager. The post goes into depth about the responsibilities of a project manager, the reasons why they need certain qualifications, and how to become one.
The university offers a diploma in project management and knows that there might be people in their audience who are contemplating whether or not to enroll for the course. So, they have created this piece of content that answers their queries. This post can also benefit the university because it might contain information that convinces some prospective students to register with the school.
To use a similar approach for your business, take some time to do research on the common questions being asked by your audience. Join conversations on the platforms we mentioned above and see if you can identify questions that you’re able to answer with your content.
Let’s also take a look at an example from Venngage, an online platform that helps people create reports, presentations, infographics, and other visual content.
On their website, they have published an article on how to choose the right fonts for your designs. The post outlines why fonts are so important and gives 5 actionable steps that can help people choose the best fonts for their infographics.
For people looking to create visual content, fonts can cause a lot of trouble, and Venngage has anticipated and remedied this by creating a relevant piece of content that answers their target audience’s questions on the subject. Not only is this article informative, but it can also make potential customers take an interest in using Venngage’s design tool, which will lead to more sales for the company.
You can also take a leaf out of Venngage’s book by creating blog posts that provide actionable information for people who might be interested in your products or services.
Demonstrate your expertise with content
When your target audience is researching your field and topics relevant to your services, you’ll want to help them out and show off your expertise. This is a great way to drive more high-quality traffic to your site and build trust with your ideal customers.
Also, search engines always want to point their users in the direction of trustworthy and accurate information, so Google places a lot of emphasis on E-A-T, which stands for expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness. It’s a term that comes from Google Search’s quality rater guidelines, and it’s something that Google has been paying a lot more attention to since 2018. It uses this to determine which websites are worthy of being promoted so, if you want Google to recommend your website to potential customers, then your content should be exhibiting all 3 traits.
Let’s take a look at some examples of companies that use high-quality content to position themselves as authorities in their fields.
For instance, Looka is a graphic design platform that helps businesses to create their logos and branding. So, they have created a blog post that provides 35 great logo color combinations to inspire people’s designs.
As a company that specializes in designing logos, this kind of content just goes to show that they’re experts in their field. And, as a result, customers will be more likely to trust and contact them when they need help with their branding. Plus, content like this will show search engines like Google that this website is a trustworthy source of information and worth promoting.
If you want to replicate this for your business, you can start by creating long-form and valuable content that demonstrates your expertise in a subject matter that is relevant to your target audience.
Another example is from My Canada Payday, a financial services and loan provider.
To show that they’re an authority in the financial space, they have published an article that teaches Canadians how to invest for the long term. The post talks about the best practices for successfully investing for the future and explains the difference between high-risk and low-risk investments. They even give examples of industries that have been recommended by investment experts for 2021 and mention the markets that are currently trending.
This piece of content is likely to prove very useful for My Canada Payday’s audience, who are people looking for financial support and advice. Plus, it just goes to show that the company is run by experts who know how to make your money go further. This shows both customers and search engines that the company is an expert in its field, which will lead to more traffic and sales.
To reap the same benefits, think about what your company does best and how you can help your customers, and then make content that shows you know what you’re doing and talking about. Both customers and search engines will reward you.
Research content gaps your competitors have left (and fill them)
It’s a good idea to take a look at the content your competitors are publishing and see if there are any gaps you could fill. You can do this with a competitor keyword analysis, or you could simply study whether there are any relevant topics similar companies aren’t yet discussing.
By analysing competitor keywords, you can discover the phrases that other companies in your niche are currently ranking for on the search engine results pages. Once you have a list, you can then use these terms to inspire and create valuable content for your audience that will also improve your search engine visibility. If you’ve never done this before, Shane Barker has a great guide to conducting competitor keyword analysis that is well worth reading.
Create content that will earn links
If you’re able to create shareable content, this will improve your backlink profile, boost your SEO, and send more traffic to your site. Backlinks are important because they act as proof that other sites find your content relevant and worthy of being linked to. They also send a signal to search engines that your content deserves to be ranked well.
There are certain types of content that tend to earn the most backlinks. For example, people love linking back to visual content such as infographics and videos because they are visually attractive and easy to understand. Original research pieces and ultimate guides are also quite popular because they provide a lot of great information and can act as a source for other blogs or websites.
To make sure you are creating link-worthy content, focus on ensuring that you provide value for your audience. People will only be inclined to share your content if they think it will benefit others, so you need to make sure that your posts or articles can help solve common pain points or educate people.
Another tip is to publish evergreen posts on your website. This means focusing on topics in your niche that will still be relevant long after your content has been published. This will help you to continue earning backlinks over time.
Use the power of video to reach a wider audience
Did you know that a whopping 85% of people in the United States watch online videos on a monthly basis (Oberlo)? Video content is becoming increasingly popular and it could help you reach audiences you don’t yet have access to.
Videos are effective for content marketing because they are easy to consume and are much more engaging than long blocks of text. Also, some customers prefer to see your product or services in action before making a decision and you can use videos to create tutorials or demonstrations to make this happen.
To ensure you are publishing strong video content, invest in tools that will help you create high-quality examples. Also, don’t just create videos for the sake of doing so — make sure that you are making videos your audience will find relevant and helpful.
Let’s take a look at a company that is doing a great job of harnessing the power of video to reach a wider audience.
Moz helps businesses and online marketers manage their marketing with a suite of SEO tools. As part of the content marketing resources on their website, they have a program called White Board Fridays where they talk about various marketing topics.
These topics are discussed in videos and then uploaded to the website, along with a transcription. For instance, they have a video on how to create 10x content where they discuss their tips for creating content that is 10 times better than that of your competitors. For their audience of marketers and business owners, this topic is very relevant.
The video can also help Moz reach a wider audience when people share it on their blogs or social media. Also, the video is less than 8 minutes long, so you can be sure that visitors will be engaged and not get bored before it ends.
A way that you can emulate this is by also creating short, shareable videos that provide further explanations on topics in your niche for your target audience.
Repurpose your existing content to make it go further
Different people like to consume content in different ways, so it’s worth presenting the same information in different formats to reach more of your audience. Some people prefer to read blog posts and articles while others might find infographics and videos more interesting.
One way to effectively repurpose content is by turning old blog posts into new videos for new audiences. You can use your website analytics to identify blog posts that have performed well and then create video versions of them to see how they do. You can also turn long-form articles into infographics or short blog posts that summarize the most interesting points. This can grab the attention of people who might not have the time for long reads.
You don’t need to worry about this approach having a detrimental impact on your rankings, either, as Google has confirmed that content repurposing does not count as duplicate content so it will not have a negative impact on your SEO.
Content marketing takes a lot of time and effort, and it’s unlikely you’ll see the effects overnight. But, if you stay consistent, it can make a huge difference for your business.
Here, I’ve outlined some of the best practices, like creating content that answers common questions, providing free and valuable tools, making engaging video content, and repurposing old content to make it go further. Start with these tips and you are sure to reap the rewards of your content marketing efforts.
About the author :
Adam Steele is the COO at Loganix, an SEO fulfillment partner for agencies and marketers. We build easy-to-use SEO services that help businesses scale. If you liked this article, please check out our SEO guides and templates on the Loganix blog.