Many entrepreneurs hesitate to invest time or money in their company website and search engine optimization (SEO) tactics that can help prospective customers find their business. Unfortunately, that is an incredibly short-sighted attitude. You need a website, social media presence and SEO to improve Google page ranking because “webpages with a higher PageRank are more likely to appear at the top of Google search results.”
It is likely that you have heard the buzz about content marketing. Some say that it is the new SEO and all you need to do is write great content, identify high quality websites, find guest blog opportunities, submit guest posts, promote your content via social media and so on. These tasks listed above require a time investment if you decide to got at it alone.
The reality is: content marketing is hard. But the good news is — it is important and doable. Here are four ways to improve your company’s content marketing tactics:
1. Define “The What”
When it comes to content marketing forget outright self-promotion. Develop content that is educational, informative, and solution-oriented. For example, if you own a local bakery:
DON’T write about your training at La Cuisine Paris, your spectacular pastries, fabulous new dessert items, special promotions, custom cakes, seasonal items. That’s not content marketing; it is self-promotion.
DO write about trends–vegan baked goods, healthy dessert choices, gluten free (why does gluten free taste so weird?), wedding cake fashion, what’s hot in kids birthday cakes, creative ideas on how to display baked goods at a party, tips on storing freshly baked bread, recipes that include freshly baked bread. You can even offer party decorating ideas, wedding advice, baking activities for kids, suggestions on supplies for home baking and where to buy them, recipes to try at home and so on.
2. Consider “The Why”
Content marketing may seem counter-intuitive. If you are a bakery owner it seems odd: Why would you give people advice on baking at home when you want them to buy your products? Why would you waste your time advising people on party ideas?
Consider this: Someone who is gun-ho about baking an elaborate cake reads your advice on where to buy baking supplies and realizes that it is easier to simply buy the cake. Another person reading your party decorating ideas needs baked goods for their party. Whose business name is on that article? Yours.
For instance, I write for an SEO reseller, but I am not writing about my company’s services, pricing, promotions, leadership or anything of the sort. Instead I use my knowledge of SEO to help small business owners. Maybe some readers will go to our website, inquire about our services, or link to this content. It could then be tweeted, shared on Facebook and beyond. We have been offering content marketing services for a while and have it all down to a science!