Best Practices: Content Marketing for Driving Quality SEO and Inbound Customers
Alon Alroy, Co-Founder & CMO at Bizzabo shares key tactics to develop a content marketing program that drives results for your business
Content marketing and SEO are inextricably linked. Content marketing is what fuels a company’s SEO efforts and inbound lead generation channel. At Bizzabo, we’ve seen this principle in action and, by investing in the creation of high-quality content, we’ve seen substantive improvements in both our organic search rankings and the quality of our inbound customer requests. There’s value to building a site that has an SEO-friendly structure, and to putting technical optimizations in place, but neither of these things will do enough to impact visibility in the long run if deep, meaningful, quality content isn’t also present.
Further, creating high-quality content – whether it be informative, educational, inspirational, or even just entertaining – attracts link backs. Quality inbound links is a key factor in SEO ranking and can also drive in volumes of new traffic to your site.
Here are key tactics to develop a content marketing program that drives results for your business:
Set Your Targets: Keywords, Customers, Topics
It’s important to do some effective keyword research because, at its core, keywords reflect the voices of your audience. Each search query is your audience looking for more content about a specific topic.
To get started with developing your keyword strategy, take a look at tools like BuzzSumo and Moz, which will streamline your research and help you prioritize which keywords to include in your content and how well your pages are ranked with those keywords implemented.
Hand in hand with keyword research, you’ll want to have your customer profiles developed and ready to leverage. Who are your buyers? What role do they play in their company, and where are they in the buying journey? Are they looking for market research, case studies, or are they ready to buy and need a product feature comparison sheet? Your customer profiles will help set the stage for both your keywords as well as your content topics.
Start identifying content topics by brainstorming all the different content marketing ideas that relate to your specific business niche. If you’re in a niche market, you may find that a higher volume and frequency of content that you publish on your niche topic areas is helpful to gaining traction. If you’re in a crowded market, you may want to focus more on original and unique topics with a thoughtful approach, publishing less often.
Design with User Experience in Mind
When it comes to how you publish content on your website and company blog, you’ll want it to feel intuitive for the user to read and to navigate. Review the hierarchy of your articles and consider numbered lists and bullets to highlight important points in your articles and a bulleted conclusion with the most important takeaways.
Additionally, having mobile-ready content is the new norm in 2018. There are upwards of 2.5 billion smartphone users worldwide today, and the world is migrating to mobile web and apps to access information and complete tasks all day, every day. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and SnapChat are the leaders in social media with the majority of their users accessing channels through their mobile devices.
Mobile-ready content is at an all-time high, so regardless of your industry and company size, what products and services you sell, always keep in mind ensuring that your content is ready for mobile consumption.
Content Industry Trends: Multimedia
Content marketing is moving beyond text on a blog. In addition to designing for mobile experiences, the challenge for marketers moving forward is customizing content for audiences and adapting to new formats that customers prefer. Just writing text isn’t going to appeal to all audiences anymore. Your content marketing team will need to consist of video and audio editors as well as graphic designers. Audiences are being drawn to more interactive, visual and auditory content across PCs and mobile devices (even assistants like Google Home and Amazon Alexa) for consumption.
At Bizzabo, we’ve embraced video to announce ebooks, give product overviews and showcase our company culture.
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Building Trust Through Influencers
Buyers are increasingly turning to influencers and trusted sources for recommendations, more than traditional ads and brand sponsorships. The reason being that the level of authenticity of peers, thought leaders and influencers seem higher than typical branded advertising. Going forward, marketers should focus more on transparency and engaging other industry thought leaders to build relationships with customers. For instance, leveraging guest experts to participate in webinars, white papers or blog content can leverage not only an authentic source for voicing their opinions on key topics for your audience, you can also potentially leverage the reach of influencer followers to share your content.
We regularly feature industry thought leaders on the Bizzabo blog. First and foremost, these thought leaders bring valuable insights to the table. Second, they share these posts with their networks, which helps us break into new audiences. For instance, in one post we asked social media experts for event marketing advice. We still receive regular shares from this post to this day.
Content Promotion and Syndication
There are more ways than ever to get your content in front of prospective customers, and this year, smart marketers will be investing more in content distribution to more effectively develop multi-channel and social syndication plans. At the same time, the lines between owned, earned, and paid content have begun to blur with increasing content marketing.
Marketers should work with their content teams on the distribution strategy – sharing content through channels most relevant for your audience – and increase content promotion, especially paid promotion to boost its engagement.
While there are many content marketing trends on the rise in 2018, it’s still important to research which tactics are relevant for your audience and that can improve your own content marketing strategy over the next year. Rather than chase trends, lean towards research first. Keep an eye on top performers in your industry and leverage data with experimentation to fuel your strategy in 2018.