The greatest challenge most experts have is getting through the noise online. When I first began marketing online, it was a very different story than it is today. In the “early days” there wasn’t anywhere near the number of people trying to get noticed by their market online.
Actually, if you were online (in the day), you were viewed as a thought leader and lots of people read your information simply by virtue of the fact your information was often the only thing published on a specific topic. Today… not at all the reality.
Today, virtually any topic can be searched out and there is ample information is available.
In dealing with the frustration not only I have experienced, but my clients, colleagues and friends have also been subjected to, one of the best ways to get above the “noise” is with content marketing.
What the Heck is Content Marketing?
Content marketing is a huge topic and likely there are several ways it is defined. For the purpose of this post, content marketing has to do with anything you create that can be distributed online.
- Blog posts
- Social media posts
- Books (eBooks and Kindle)
- Podcast and radio interviews
In other words, content marketing is a marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action. The key word here is “valuable.”
Quality IS More Important than Quantity
Make sure you don’t simply throw information online and hope for the best. You need to provide high quality information that offers a solution to challenges and problems people have.
Think in terms of the end result you hope to achieve. In other words, where do you ultimately want to drive your reader? What action do you want them to take?
There can be several answers to “What action do you want them to take?”
It could be to do with their mindset. It might be putting together a plan of action. Then again you might invite them to opt-in for something. Or perhaps you want them to register for a live event or buy a book.
Whatever it is, be very clear with them what the next indicated step is. AND! make sure the next indicated step makes sense.
How Well do They Know You?
What you ask complete strangers to do is very different than what you ask those familiar with you and your work to do. My good friend, Jim Edwards, has a really great program called Easy Sales Copy Wizard.
In essence, you answer a few questions and then you press a button and PRESTO! sales copy is created. In addition, you also get headlines for whatever type of reader targeted. What you write can be for cold, warm or hot traffic. Each headline is worded according to the reader’s knowledge of who you are.
So again, make sure what you’re asking someone to do is aligned with how well they know you.
My Top 3 Choices in Content Marketing
Although there are dozens of types of content marketing, if I had to narrow it down to three, and only three I could use for a period of time, they would be:
- Article marketing
- Blogging (including guest blogging)
- Social media posts
Not everyone advocates article writing and distribution as a way of gaining visibility and increasing the number of subscribers to an opt-in subscriber list. However, for long term positioning, article marketing can work wonders.
As with virtually anything nowadays, there are countless locations you can distribute your articles to. For my purposes and my market, the top three I use are www.SelfGrowth.com, www.evanCarmicael.com and www.ezinearticles.com.
I can safely say over the last decade I have have increased my list substantially due to consistent efforts with this method. Most directories let you add what is referred to as a resource box at the end of your articles. It is in the resource box you can add in a CTA – call to action. This is a great opportunity to drive people to your blog, website or a landing page. Ideally, you want to take them somewhere that making a decision is easy for them such as www.oneonamazon.com/
By sending them to this page, there’s no question about what the next action on their part is.
Get Lots of Traction from Your Articles
There are multiple ways you can get a lot of mileage from one article. Most people use one or two and stop and that. The standard methods are article directories and a blog.
Don’t be like most people, stand apart and watch your list grow. Below are five easy to apply methods.
- Article Directories
- An Ezine
- Blog Posting
- Any traditional publications you write for
- Forums that accept articles
Once the article is written, it is only a matter of 15 – 20 minutes of time to submit your article to a few directories, forums and your blog. Keep the articles on file for added material to upcoming Ezines.
I encourage you to make article writing and distribution a regular part of your marketing strategy. If you write and submit at least one article per week you will definitely see an increase to your opt-in list (as long as you have a resource box at the end).
Blogging and Guest Blogging
If you take a look around my blogs (yes, I have more than one) you’ll see I love to blog. In the ten years plus I’ve been blogging, lots has changed. In days gone by, it was simply a matter of writing whatever you wanted, posting it, and leaving it at that.
Granted, some people still do that, but to get the most out of your efforts, as with everything, it’s about strategy. You’ll notice in this post, there are live links to other content and even opt in pages and offers. I do that as much as possible to keep people engaged and interested in the content.
The copy is made easier to read with larger subheads. There is a specific purpose to every bit of content added in.
As with virtually anything, you will get greater results if you go deep rather than too wide and thin. What I mean by this is, figure out where your market hangs out on social media and focus on those avenues.
For me, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest are three locations I get the most traction from (as of this writing). Out of the three, the top two are Facebook and Instagram.
In knowing this, I can cut out a lot of unnecessary time spent online and focus my efforts where I get the greatest results.
Consistency is Essential
It’s important to be consistent with your efforts. Posting content every few weeks or months will get you minimal results. Actually, it will likely get you no results at all.
An ongoing effort is what pays off. Create a checklist of content marketing tasks to do either on a daily, or at a minimum, weekly basis. Me, I definitely prefer to do something daily. But then, I would rather pull back on the frequency if the quality suffers.
Bottom line is this; content marketing works when you work it.
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