With most marketing teams (at least in the SaaS space) moving to inbound marketing and inside sales, content marketing has become the cornerstone for a stable and reliable lead generation mechanism.
When we talk about content marketing, we mean blog. Everything else on your website (images for instance) are still content though most of these remain constant and effects bounce rates rather than drive content
In our previous article on ‘Content essentials of building inside sales’ series we spoke about what good content comprises. Today we will determine where this content is put up and how to build a good blog page.
We are assuming that you already have a domain and the resources needed to build a new page/sub-domain on it (cpanel access).
Before you can go ahead and market your blog and add links from your existing website, do the following:
- Seed your Blog
In case of SEO, content is king (there are backlinks too but let’s stick to content for now). Before you can tell anyone about your new blog, you need to have content on it. We call it “seeding the blog”.Seeding – typically means “sow the land with seeds”, but here we mean seeding your blog with content. It takes time to create original good content and that’s the problem we are trying to solve here.In one line, we are going to research and find the most well received competitor content and re-write it. Easy, right?
Here is the catch- not all well-to-do competitors actually write blogs and most large companies just don’t do it. If they do, it makes our lives much easier. We can use one of the many tools available like Buzzsumo to find the most shared content and rewrite the same for our blog.
But as we mentioned, that’s not usually the case. What you need to do is to find your “Content Competitors”. These are the blogs/companies who publish content on your line of work.
Let’s say you are a Fashion retailer, your competitors would be
- Levi Strauss & Co
- Michael Kors
- Ralph Lauren
Your Content Competitors would be
You can see Vogue is both your product and content competitor.
How do we list all our content competitors?
It’s fairly easy to find your product competitors. In the CRM software example, all we have to do is Google “ Fashion” in your country- say, “Summer Fashion for 2017” . Following is the result
Most guys who give out ads are your product competitors and the guys who show up on your organic search are your potential content competitors.
Now do this for every keyword you have, collate all the articles, and there you have your content competitors!
Once you have them, read and re-write. And you have seeded your blog!
Ideally we suggest you write at least 30 unique articles.
2. Get Original Content
Find long tail keywords
Competitor content ideas are good but it’s just the beginning. If you are new to this, chances are that most of the direct keywords have already been bidded upon or are covered by your competitors. One FINE tactic is to look for long tail keywords.
In the CRM example, CRM is a keyword and “CRM for shoe store” is the long tail keyword.
Some of the tools that you can use to find these keywords are below:
- http://answerthepublic.com/ (for US, UK, and most European countries)
- Google Keyword Planner (For everywhere)Once you have these phrases, convert them to questions and then choose one topic to convert this to an article.Let’s assume “Xbox one setting” is the keyword we landed on. Articles can be on
- 5 essentials of setting up Xbox One
- How to setup Xbox one
- 10 ways for perfect Xbox one setting
- Why Xbox one settings are important
- Beginners guide to Xbox one setting
And there you have 5 articles
Quora, Medium, and Pulse
It is essential that there are people to read all the content that you are dishing out.
One of the most promising sites that could be a major influencer as far as your potential readership is concerned would be Quora, followed by Medium, and then Linkedin Pulse.
Quora is our first stop (and the tactic is straightforward). Find the topics that your company serves. Once done, start answering them using your blog.
The idea is that, for every relevant question on Quora, you would have to write a detailed article on your blog. A snippet of this goes as the answer on Quora with a URL to your blog.
Medium and Pulse
Medium and Pulse work almost the same way. It is advisable that you optimize your content for these two platforms depending upon the the type of audience you are looking for. Ideally, we suggest putting in 400 word snippets of your long form article here with relevant images and pictorial representations along with links to your blog.
3. Social dispersion and Hashtag research
SEO optimized content from points 1 and 2 above would allow you to attract some traffic at the very beginning. Though better tractions can be achieved by sharing your post on popular social media pages and communities.
Some of the most effective media platforms that can be used are:
Because of how visual all these platforms are, it is essential that we provide a featured image attached to the link preview. In most cases, putting in the URL would add the featured image automatically onto the post.
In case it doesn’t, the approximate image sizes provided below would work well on the respective platforms:
- Pinterest >> 735X1102 pixel
- Google + .>> 735X1102 pixel
- Facebook/Linkedin >> 788 X940 pixel
- Twitter >> 512X1024 pixel
- Instagram >> 512X1024 pixel
4. CTA- Call to action
Adding CTA’s for on your blog posts is the most critical step. Depending upon the subject matter and the target audience of the post, CTA’s can range from product introduction, free signup, or sales contact forms.
Your ultimate goal is to generate qualified leads, and CTA’s are the way to do it. There is more to CTA’s than this, but we will explore them in my next article in the Building Inside Sales series.