Content Marketing #2
Content marketing provides “relevant useful content without interrupting or selling” people, focusing on information, not sales. That’s according to Drew Eastmead of www.VerticalMeasures.com, as discussed in last month’s blog. This month we’ll dig deeper into how to get the most out of your content marketing.
Eastmead says Google is the top browser used by 64% of those searching for information. So, to determine what type of information to provide on websites and in social media, Eastmead suggests going to Google to find what people are searching for.
“Find the best way to phrase it,” he says, “then see suggestions, and Google sites that are the most relevant with content.”
Writing for the web
There are many formats for writing content for the web. They include:
- case studies
- free guides
Within those formats, Eastmead says people read only about 20% of text, so it’s important to make copy easy to read. Some hints:
- make it scannable
- use multiple subheads
- write short paragraphs
- include images
- use bulleted lists
- avoid walls of text
- make it look friendly, inviting, warm, with white space
- use inverted pyramid, with one idea per paragraph
- show don’t tell
- dive into the details
He refers to a “hub & spoke” approach of writing one long 2,500 word piece, then taking four to six pieces out of that for content in various places.
The tone used in a post can be either to educate or entertain. Eastmead says writers should “teach the reader something new; provide clarity on a confusing topic; solve a problem, make them laugh; don’t sell.”
Headlines should include keywords that people are actually searching for.
“Write headlines that are click-worthy or shareable, and not to trick people,” he urges. He says seven to nine word headlines are best, and Google has a free keyword planner at https://adwords.google.com/KeywordPlanner. In addition, see how shareable or social your words or headlines are at www.buzzsumo.com.
He says keywords should be used two to five times within a blogpost, and the exact phrase should be used at least twice. The length of blogs are important, too, and should be at least 500 to 800 words, and include at least one internal website link for every 250 words of copy, along with external links and images, but don’t duplicate the very same information in multiple areas.
Once you know what content you want to provide, Eastmead suggests getting organized about your posting.
“The social media best practices include writing three to 10 posts to support your piece. Try to drive people to your website from Facebook or LinkedIn, and make them all unique posts about one blog.”
He believes in creating a posting calendar, then customizing posts for each network and including a photo or a graphic image. All should guide readers to the full article with a link.
Writers need to “deeply understand customer pain points,” and create content around that.
“Know your keywords. Don’t use broad terms like shoes, shirts. Be more specific, use niche keywords.”
He concludes by saying “Telling stories is important, not selling.”
For more information, check out VirtualMeasures.com for an example of an effective content calendar at http://www.verticalmeasures.com/?s=calendar.