Tag Archives: Content Marketing Strategy

The effectiveness of content marketing can be measured in terms of before and after

Measuring effectiveness of content marketing strategyIt is not often possible to understand exactly how content is impacting your bottom line: are you doing more business due to your content marketing effort?  There is no hard and fast rule and it is extremely difficult to track individual pages and blog posts and then make out how much business they are bringing in.  So how do you rationalize the implementation of the content marketing strategy or how do you monitor its effect?

There is one established fact that content marketing works; what you have to find out is  whether it is working for you or not.  Content marketing is not like a traditional marketing campaign where you just create an ad and then use TV, newspapers and magazines, and websites to disseminate that ad and then analyze various metrics.  This doesn’t work in the case of content marketing.  More than a push marketing it is a pull marketing and it spreads over the long span of time and effort.

So you can have a before  and after scenario that is working for many people with tremendous results.  What was your overall revenue before you implemented your content marketing strategy, or what is your current revenue when you are just about to implement content strategy.  Is there a change, say, during the past four months, ever since you have been paying close attention to your content marketing strategy? This change, if it is there, becomes your metrics that you can use to gauge the success or failure of a particular content marketing plan.

This works in conjunction with shorter, more focused plans.  Take for instance user engagement.  You know you can increase your sales by encouraging use of engagement on your website/blog and also on your social media profiles.   You also know that up till now nothing much has happened.  For user engagement you need engaging content.  So focus on this.  Try to come up with content that encourages your visitors to engage in conversations with you. What drives them? What motivates them?  What excites them?

Not getting enough traffic?  It must be an SEO issue but it may also be due to the fact that you don’t have the right kind of content.  Even if you feel you have got tons of content are you focusing on the right keywords?  Even if you feel that you are focusing on the right keywords are you really covering the keywords that your target customers and clients use?

These are smaller issues (not smaller on their own but in terms of the end result: increasing your revenue) and you can begin with them so that you can measure the effectiveness of your content marketing strategy.  When you see more and more people coming to your website and when you see that they are engaging in conversations with you and among each other (talking about your business, or at least its object/topic related to your business) you know that you have an effective content marketing strategy working for you.


Why your business needs a content marketing strategy

Content marketing fundamentally means spreading your thoughts and messages through targeted content. Strategy comes in when you create content knowing exactly what you want to achieve. Randomly creating articles and blog posts may give you lots of content and it may also get you more traffic but in terms of conversion you won’t see good results because when you don’t know what to do with your content, neither do your visitors. Publishing content without a strategy is like throwing darts in the darkness hoping that one of them will hit the bull’s-eye.

Unless you have a massive advertising and PR budget content marketing is the best tool you have got. It is certainly not a one-week affair. Creating and implementing a content strategy takes time and effort but it is more effective and provides long-lasting results. Your business needs a well-defined content marketing strategy because

  • It keeps your regular communication focused
  • It shows your active involvement in your field
  • It helps you build an attentive community around your business
  • It turns your website or blog into an information resource
  • It improves your search engine rankings
  • It improves your conversion rate
  • It gets you quality incoming/inbound links
  • It turns you into an authority figure (authority figures are more trusted)
  • It gives a reason to your prospective customers and clients to stay longer on your website or blog
  • It strengthens your brand
  • It creates new communication channels
  • It builds a target audience that quickly responds to your questions and business ideas
  • You get immediate feedback from your clients, customers and visitors
  • You develop a ready-made product-launch platform


Why cheap content mostly harms your business

Just stumbled upon this blog post titled “pay peanuts, get monkeys” that basically means if you publish cheap content on your business website your conversion rate falls down drastically.

I would like to state at the outset that I offer very low-cost content from my website sometimes and I outsource this work to writers who can produce lots of “passable” content at extremely low rates. I would also like to tell you that I started providing low-cost content after having provided content writing services at normal international rates for more than 4 years (I still do) primarily because of 2 reasons:

  • There is high demand for cheap content
  • Writers are actually willing to provide such content

So I thought if there is a demand and if there is a supply and if I can earn money out of it then why not? I started offering a “package” and I also got some clients and some steady work for my writers. I mostly provide this content for SEO boost — it helps my clients increase their keyword density. But it stops there.

The problem comes when some of the clients want very cheap content and then want to use this content as their primary content and when the quality doesn’t meet their expectations they complain. It’s like, desiring to drive a car while paying for a cheap bicycle. This is exactly where the expression “pay peanuts, get monkeys” applies.

Cheap content isn’t always bad and surprisingly there are a few writers who really write well without charging much. How do they do that? When I asked around for most of them writing is just a side activity carried out either during office hours or after office hours. They have the skill but they don’t have the expertise and providing professional content writing and online copywriting service is not their primary activity. This means they neither invest in resources nor in improving their skills. They are simply comfortable with the language, they can quickly search on the Internet and find the relevant information and then rewrite it very fast. Nothing is unique and individual voice is always lacking. This is where the clients pay the casualty.

Whereas cheap content written around your keywords can certainly give you an SEO boost it doesn’t help you when it actually comes to selling. You may increase your search engine traffic but it will just remain traffic; you’re going to generate very little revenue. This is because you are inferior content is never going to convince them into doing business with you. Your content needs to inculcate a sense of trust and authority. If you sound like a teenager it isn’t going to do you much good if your target market mostly consists of grown-ups who are very conscious about making purchase-decisions.

Content writing is like any other service: it takes effort and experience to give you content that gets you business. There is a reason why bigger businesses eagerly pay hundreds and even thousands of dollars to experienced copywriters and content writers; they perfectly know what harm cheap content can cause.

But I hear some of you saying, “What makes you think that people who charge less cannot provide quality content?”

I have a Chinese Blackberry phone that almost looks like the real thing. So if you can purchase really cheap versions of a Blackberry or an iPhone, why do you spend so much money on the real devices? Well, this may seem rhetorical so let us see the practical aspect.

Let us say a content writer agrees to charge you just $5 for a business webpage — a professional content writer may charge you anywhere between $40-$100 for the same webpage, and I’m not talking about a well-known and reputed content writer or copywriter. How much time do you want your content writer to spend on your particular webpage? One hour? Two hours? Keep in mind that your business depends on this page and that is why you are getting it written. When people read it they will make their purchase decision. So you would like your content writer to spend ample amount of time while preparing your page. You would want him or her to properly understand your business and your market and you would also want him or her to visit your competitors’ websites to check out how they express themselves. To sound convincing you would want your content writer to properly understand your concept and its impact on the target audience. After all this you would want him or her to come up with convincing copy.

Do you actually want someone working on your business page who is desperate enough to provide a skill for just $5 per hour or worse $2.5 per hour? How much time can that person actually devote to your content? He or she will certainly devise ways to make up for the meager payment.

On the other hand if you pay standard rates (rates that enable your content writer to make contemporary income per hour) then you make sure that your content writer eagerly spends sufficient time on your project without having to worry about how to make up. He or she doesn’t have to come up with “n” number of words in the given time. He or she can actually focus on the quality of your content.

So what is the solution if you don’t have a big budget? Quality always works better than quantity. Well-written 10 articles are far better than poorly-written 100 articles. The same goes for your Web pages. If you don’t have budget for 20 pages just stick to 10 pages but get some writer who can really write them well.

And what if you also need SEO content? Then you need to strike up a balance. You can publish low-quality content in as much quantity as possible but also make provisions for well-written content that actually does business for you. You need to balance between content that generates you search engine traffic and content that converts that traffic into paying customers and clients.


Incorporating content marketing in the earlier stage helps

One of my clients recently asked, “Would it have been better if I had incorporated my content marketing strategy while I was planning my business website?”

Of course, was my reply. And this is not just about content marketing or content writing; every good strategy has an advantage if it is implemented or incorporated from the beginning. There can be some pitfalls if a particular methodology or strategy hasn’t been tested well and in such a case it is better to wait rather than take a big risk.

But everybody knows what an important role your content plays towards promoting your website and generating targeted search engine traffic. This has been known for more than 15 years (at the time of writing this it is 2010). When you implement content marketing strategy earlier you get an edge; you save lots of time and effort when you decide to aggressively promote your website through your content.

Although most of my clients come to me when they have already had their websites for a long time there are some clients who come while they are launching their new websites. They are lucky as they already comprehend the overwhelming importance of targeted content and related marketing from search engines and social media and networking websites. Publishing content regularly on your new website immediately gets attention from the search engines. This is one of the greatest advantages of publishing clearly defined content either on the main website or on the blog. If you create a blog under your main website and start publishing at least two posts everyday your links can start appearing on search engine result pages within two weeks and this has been proven with multiple websites and blogs.

Early adoption to content marketing is more beneficial these days when you can attract lots of traffic from social media and networking websites since people love to post interesting links they come across while browsing the Web. Your targeted content can get you much needed attention at a very low cost.

But it doesn’t mean it is a hopeless case for older websites. You just need to be more aggressive. One pain points can be the quantity of your content. If you already have hundreds of pages indexed for wrongly targeted content you might have a problem refocusing the search engine results. This can be achieved, though, by streamlining the existing content and at the same time adding fresh content.


So what exactly is content strategy?

The dictionary defines strategy as “a series of maneuvers or executions performed in order to obtain a specific result or goal.” This pretty much explains what content strategy is, nonetheless, lets define it in the context of achieving your business goals.

Strategy basically involves:

  • Where you’re coming from
  • Where you’re going
  • How you’re going

Most of us know (I’m talking about averagely intelligent and intelligent individuals) where we are coming from and where we want to go. How we are going to go is the tricky part, the core of your strategy.

Assessing the need for strategic content writing

Why do you need to publish content in the first place?

  • To create buzz
  • To build a community
  • To inform

Both are very important. Buzz doesn’t just mean creating noise. It means generating traffic that eventually earns you revenue. Then, your content needs to convert and for this you need to impart the right information. If you want to hire my content writing and online copywriting services, I must inform you why it’s profitable to associate with me. With my content writing and copywriting skills I must be able to inform you and enable you to make an educated decision (in my favor, preferably).

What do you want to achieve through your content?

As mentioned above, you need content to generate traffic that converts. You can get this traffic directly through referrals and social networking websites or from search engines. Ideally, your content should

  • Increase referral traffic to your website or blog
  • Improve your search engine rankings
  • Convert your visitors into business partners, customers, clients or subscribers
  • Increase your brand awareness

Hence, content strategy means publishing and promoting your content in such a manner that it achieves the intended result for you. This may involve brainstorming on

  • What sort of content you should publish?
  • What medium must be used to publish the content?
  • What keywords and key phrases you should focus on?
  • What should be the publishing frequency?
  • How should the visitors be engaged?
  • How the content should be promoted?
  • How to increase your conversion rate?