Content Marketing

Denver, CO

Superb content is the cornerstone of your marketing campaign because people want to be educated, not sold. Producing and providing quality content to your target market will set you apart as an authority in your industry. When they decide it’s time to make a purchase, they’ll head to you.

The goal of every piece of content you produce is to provide a better customer experience to website visitors. They should find the expert-level advice and knowledge that they’re seeking. Is your current content providing value to your visitors?

Blogging

The Power of Business Blogging


Every business that wishes to grow their revenue online must have a blog. Blogs provide a number of tangible benefits that will boost your business:

Blogs help drive visitors to your website. Every business owner wants more website visitors, but how do you get them? There are three ways to drive traffic to your website (without paying for ads, guest posts, etc.): blogging, social media, and search engines. In fact, blogging assists with social media marketing and drives organic search engine traffic.

Every time you publish a blog post, it is one more indexed page on your website. That means it provides a greater opportunity for your website to show up on search engines.

 

Additionally, writing excellent blog posts helps you reach new prospective customers on social media. Every blog post is a piece of content that others can share on social media, which exposes your business to a brand-new audience.

Blogs help convert visitors into leads. You have traffic coming to your website, that’s great! Now, to really grow your business, that traffic must convert into paying customers or clients. Every published blog post is an opportunity to do just that – convert visitors into leads. Add a call-to-action lead generation form to the bottom (or top, or middle) of every blog post. These calls-to-action are more effective if they provide free content in exchange for an email address: free ebooks, free whitepapers, free webinars, etc. Blogs help with what’s called ‘traffic-to-lead’ conversions. This is how it works:

  • Visitor arrives on your website through a search engine or social media post
  • Visitor sees the call-to-action for a free content offer
  • Visitor clicks call-to-action and is directed to landing page with a form that collects their relevant contact information
  • Visitor submits information and is given their free offer, and now you have a new lead

Blogs establish you as an authority. An effective business blog will post content that addresses common questions and pain points within the industry. Consistently creating content that strives to help your target audience will establish your blog as an authority in their eyes.

Establishing authority is more difficult goal than increasing traffic and leads, but it’s a potent goal to pursue. Becoming an authority in your industry will illustrate your expertise to potential customers, who will start to trust you as they read your outstanding content. They become more likely to convert into leads, and then from leads into customers. Lastly, having in-depth blog posts that answer common questions can also be used as tools by your salespeople to help answer customers’ questions.

Blogs provide long-term results. Think of blogging like a long, slow avalanche. When you start out, you might not see a massive boost in traffic or leads. However, thanks to search engines, every blog post you publish add to the avalanche of traffic. Almost every blog post you publish will continue to drive traffic for weeks, months, and even years. This means it keeps driving traffic, keeps generating leads, and keeps showing your authority. The effort that you invest today in your blog can pay off big time for months to come.

Blogs help you refine your target market. Do you know exactly who you’re targeting with your marketing efforts? If you’re like most businesses, you have a rough idea, but it could use refinement. Having a blog helps you learn who visits your website, who becomes leads and who becomes customers. You’ll learn more about the people out there who become paying customers by writing content that appeals to them.

Not all blogs are created equal. You won’t reap the above benefits by publishing low-quality content whenever you feel like it. Instead, you must:

  • Publish content regularly: The first rule of blogging is to publish new posts regularly. Set a weekly or monthly goal for your business blog. We recommend publishing two posts per week at a minimum. This way, you’ll stay in touch with your target market and show search engines that your business is active. Create an editorial calendar that allows you to produce and publish content on time. Or, you can outsource content creation to a third party.
  • Publish the right content: You won’t receive the visitors, leads, and the business boosting sales that you’re after if you publish low-quality content. You need to publish high-quality content, which means that it’s well-written, well-researched and addresses the right topics. For example, if you’re a personal injury law firm, publish long-form posts that address common questions about different types of personal injury cases. Focus on education, not on conversions. Having educational content that has a call-to-action at the bottom will help grow your business.
  • Continually seek new blog ideas: If you’re just starting your blog, you probably already have a few blog post ideas. However, you’ll discover what every blogger discovers at some point: ideas run out. The remedy is to constantly seek out new blog post ideas. One great way to find new ideas is to set up a Google Alert for key terms within your industry. This way, every day you’ll receive an email that details what others are talking about. You can even look at your competitors’ blogs to see what they’re writing about. Never steal word-for-word, but you can use them as inspiration. Another method is to use Google’s Keyword Planner to look for keywords that are relevant to your industry.
  • Ensure that blog posts are of the utmost quality:We briefly discussed this above, but it warrants repeating. Never focus on the quantity of blog posts you’ve published; focus on the quality of what you’ve published. You should focus on educational content that addresses common concerns and pain points of your prospective market. Blog posts should be formatted with subheadings and lists to make them easily readable. They should be researched thoroughly to ensure that the information you’re providing is accurate.
  • Listen to your audience:What are readers saying in the comments section of your blog posts? Are they asking more questions? Are they providing critiques? Are they thankful? Make it part of your day to check your blog and social media comments to see how people are reacting to your content. Use their feedback to improve your blog posts. It may even help you generate more ideas for future content.These rules may seem overwhelming, but they all boil down to one overarching theme: provide value to your website visitors. Every piece of content should add value to their lives. If you focus on this, you’ll be golden.
web-pages

Add New Onsite Pages Regularly


New content is the lifeblood of your online presence. It shows search engines that your business is alive and well, on top of catering to the needs of your website visitors. Having a blog will provide you a space for adding new onsite pages, but don’t neglect your static pages. You may discover as traffic grows that you need more static onsite pages.

For example, if you regularly receive emails from current or prospective customers asking the same questions, it’s time to create a FAQ page. Link to the FAQ page from your contact page. Doing this will both cut down on the time you spend responding to emails and provide increased value to your website visitors.

Look for opportunities to add new onsite content to your website. Doing so will enhance your visitors’ experience, help attract more traffic, and add clarity to your business.

A Concise Guide to Guest Blogging


Blog-Guide

Guest blogging is the act of providing content to another website in exchange for a link back to your website. This practice can help you reach a new audience, generate new leads, and ultimately boost your revenue.

Before you start looking for guest blogging opportunities, take a minute to determine your business goals. Understanding your goals will help you understand which types of blogs you should ask to guest blog for. There are three primary goals for guest blogging:

  • Building out your backlink profile by obtaining new links from high authority websites
  • Setting yourself apart as an authority in your industry; building a reputation for yourself
  • Gaining traffic back to your blog or website

Ideally, you’ll accomplish all three goals with a single guest post. However, not all blogs that you post on will be well-suited for each of these goals. Therefore, it pays to have a clear and concise goal about what you are out to accomplish with guest blogging.

It’s now time to start looking for guest blogging opportunities. Regardless of your stated goal, you will want to post on blogs that are highly relevant to your industry. Consider the following criteria as you investigate different blogs:

  • The owner of the blog is active on social media, which indicates that they’ll promote your guest post online
  • The blog has a steady audience of regular readers, which you can assess by the comments and social shares on each blog post
  • The blog’s audience will likely be interested in your business
  • The overall content of the blog is related to your business

For example, if you are selling yoga mats, you’ll want to look for guest posting opportunities on health and wellness blogs that have an engaged audience and active social media profiles.
How do you find the actual guest post opportunities? There are a few ways to find them:

Google searches. The best place to begin finding guest posting opportunities is to run a few choice searches. Use your primary keyword, for example ‘yoga mats’, and combine it with some of the following phrases:

  • Keyword + “submit a guest post”
  • Keyword + “guest post”
  • Keyword + “accepting guest posts”
  • Keyword + “guest post guidelines"

These searches will reveal different blogs that accept guest posts, or who have published guest posts.

Competitor backlink profiles: What is your competition doing online? Research their backlink profiles to see where they’re guest posting, then see if you can guest post on the same blog. You can use tools like Open Site Explorer to investigate the backlinks that your competition has accrued. Another way is to do this Google search (replacing domain.com with your competitor’s domain): link:domain.com -domain.com “guest post”.

My Blog Guest: Another way to find guest posts is to use MyBlogGuest, which is a network of blogs that accept guest posts. You can sign up for free and search for different blogs that are accepting guest posts. You can also create a profile for your blog, allowing you to accept guest posts.

Create a spreadsheet that details all of the guest posting opportunities that you’ve found using the above methods. Then, it’s time to start getting to know the blog before you pitch.

Spend time getting to know the blog’s content: Read through the blog’s past posts and pay attention to the topics they discuss, along with the style used in the posts.

Read other guest posts on the blog: Ideally, your target blog will already be accepting and publishing guest posts. Seek these out and read them thoroughly. What did they do well? What could they have done better?

Discover which posts perform the best: Based on comments and social shares, identify the types of posts that have performed well. Make notes about the topic and analyze the style of writing.

Participate in the community: Follow the blog’s social media pages, comment on new blog posts, and sign up for the forum (if there is one). Become an active member of the community; it’ll greatly increase your odds of having a guest post published.

While you can pitch guest posts at any time, there are a few key opportunities that you should capitalize on. Always pitch a guest post when:

  • A blog mentions you in a blog post or on social media
  • A blog publishes a guest post by another writer
  • A blog specifically states that they are seeking guest post

If you notice any of the above, it’s time to send a pitch. However, before you do, make sure that you’re following the best practices for submitting a guest post. Understanding the art of the guest blog pitch will greatly increase the chances of your guest post being accepted:

  • Read submission guidelines: Thoroughly read the submission guidelines and follow them closely. What is the blog owner requesting? Do they want you to pitch an idea, or do they want you to submit a fully-developed post? Do they want you to send it as a Word document, or do they want you to post it to WordPress yourself? What else do they require a guest post submission?
  • Make it personal: Avoid starting your email with ‘Dear Sir or Madam.’ Instead, find out the editor’s name who will be receiving your email. You may have to dig through social media posts to find it, but it’s worth the work.
  • Introduce yourself: Explain who you are and why you’d be a good fit for the blog. You can be a business owner first and foremost, but highlight your blogging and writing skills in your first email. Include a few links to posts on your own blog (unless that goes against the submission guidelines) to underscore your skills
  • Explain yourself: Why should you be a guest blogger? Assume that the blog owner is going to ask this question when they receive your pitch. What is your area of expertise? What do you bring to the table?
  • Pitch an idea: The submission guidelines will likely request that you pitch an idea for your guest post. Go above and beyond and pitch three to five different guest posts, which then allows the blog owner to select from them based on what’s best for their blog. You’ve pitched a guest blog and your pitch was accepted. Great! Now, what do you do? It’s time to write it up. Following the below guidelines will help you craft an excellent guest blog.
  • Do not write about yourself: Unless you’re sharing a specific story as part of the guest blog, remember that your goal is to provide valuable, actionable information to the blog’s audience. The guest blog is not about you, your business, or your product/service. You’re not writing an advertisement.
  • Follow the formatting on the site: By now, you should’ve read through different posts on the target blog and have a great understanding of how they’re formatted. Do they make use of headers? Are they fans of bolding and italicizing? Do they use images? Focus on crafting a blog post that resembles other posts on the website.
  • Links, links, links: Almost every blog owner will appreciate internal links (a link to another blog post on their website). Not only does this provide value to the reader, but it also shows the blog owner that you know and understands their blog. On top of internal links, back up what you’re saying with links to credible sources. For example, if you’re making a claim that meditation decreases the meditators heart rate, link to a study that illustrates it.
  • End with a call-to-action: At the very end of your post, entice your readers to comment. You want to generate a discussion with your blog post. Even if you follow all the above tips, your article may still be lackluster if your writing skills aren’t up to the task. You can either improve by writing more blog posts on your own website, or you can simply hire a third-party company to craft the guest post for you.

Invest in Premium Third Party Article Development


Let’s face it, you’re a business owner. Unless your business happens to be article development, you may find yourself venturing into unknown territory with blogging and guest blogging. Not only does it require a certain skill set, but it requires a substantial amount of time. As your business and blog grow, you’ll find you need an entire team of writers and editors to continually produce content.

Instead of producing all of your content in-house, invest in a premium third party article development company. There are several notable benefits involved with doing so:

Article-Development
  • Save money on employee benefits: You’ll save money by hiring a third party company to develop your blog posts. How? You won’t have to provide benefits for full-time employees, you won’t have to hire temp workers for new projects, and you won’t have to train new employees. Hiring a third party company provides increased financial flexibility.
  • Enjoy a fast turnaround time: Time is a business owners most valuable assets. Do you really have to time to manage full-blown editorial calendar? Hiring a third party company takes writing and article development entirely off your plate. You simply pay for their services, and they do the rest. Instead of spending your time brainstorming new blog post ideas, you can focus on the core of your business.
  • Benefit from others’ expertise: You and your employees may be experts in your industry, but hiring a third party article development company opens the door to entirely new areas of expertise. You’ll have access to writers who are skilled at blogging for SEO purposes, researching new topics, and writing compelling content.
  • Maintain a high level of quality: The goal with any blog is to consistently provide a high level of quality to your website visitors. Hiring a third party who specializes in article development will provide constant content that’s of the utmost quality. If a blog post is ever lacking, you simply send it back for revisions. Most importantly, a premium third party article development company will provide value to your website visitors.

Video Blog with Professional Video Production


Video content can add great value to your website visitor’s overall experience. Starting a video blog for your business can do wonders for helping you reach an entirely new audience, as well as enhance your relationship with your existing audience.

Unsure if a business video blog (or vlog) is right for you? Consider these benefits of having a business vlog with professional video production:

Video-Blog
  • Add a personal touch to your business: Perhaps the biggest benefit of having a video blog is that you’ll add a face to your business. Written content often lacks the personal touch that people desire. Having a video blog will highlight your personality and add a human element to your product or service.
  • Illustrate your passion and expertise: If you’ve built a business in an industry, you’re likely a passionate expert about some aspect of that industry. Video blogging allows you to showcase your passion for what you do, which people will connect with.
  • A video blog helps you stand out: These days, it’s considered a requirement that a business has a blog. This creates millions of blogs throughout thousands of industries. It can be difficult to stand out among them. However, there are few businesses that regularly have video blogs. Plain and simple, a video blog helps you stand out among a crowd.
  • Find a larger audience: Did you know that YouTube is the second largest search engine (after Google)? Starting and maintaining a vlog helps you reach people who rely on YouTube to learn about new topics. Additionally, a vlog will enable you to network with YouTubers who may support your product or service. Create videos using professional video production services to maximize the results of your video blog. Much like with article development, you may wish to hire a third party company to produce your videos to add a professional touch.

Custom Photography


Your website and blog should have plenty of images to coincide with the stellar content you’re producing. Stock photos and creative commons photos are a great place to start, but investing in custom photography will help you stand out.

Seek out a photographer with a portfolio that you love. Buy the exclusive rights to their photos, and put them on your website. You may even wish to hire a graphic designer to add text over their photos that highlights the core themes of your blog posts.

ROI of Content Marketing


Understanding the impact of a marketing campaign is vital when deciding to continue or discontinue the campaign. When it comes to the ROI of content development, there are three strategies you can explore to determine if your content investment is worth it.

Content-Marketing-ROI

1. Calculate ROI for a specific campaign. For business owners running targeted campaigns, this is the best strategy for determining the ROI of your content development. You’ll calculate the ROI of each campaign individually. You’ll need to understand:

  • The total cost of the campaign
  • The amount of website visitors gained by the campaign
  • Number of social shares
  • Links acquired

Once you have this information, we recommend using this ROI calculating to do the heavy lifting for you. That handy calculator will give you the ROI of your campaign in a percentage.

2. Calculate the value of organic website visitors. Assigning a dollar value to organic traffic gained by your content is one way to calculate the ROI of your content development. First, you’ll have to understand how much you would pay through Google AdWords to obtain the same amount of traffic. Then, compare how much traffic you’re getting organically thanks to your content. One drawback to this strategy is that it doesn’t take into account video content or social media content, but it will help you understand the value of your written content. Once the cost of developing your content outweighs the cost of paying for traffic, you’ll have a positive ROI.

3. Calculate ROI on per-sale basis. If your business specializes in high-priced items or services, calculating your ROI of content development on a per-sale basis may be the right strategy for you. Be warned, this strategy won’t work well for businesses with a high volume or lower priced items. In order to use this strategy, you’ll need to be equipped to track which content leads to which sales (which is possible through Google Analytics).

In essence, this strategy calls for calculating the cost of content development, then tracking a lead as it goes through the sales process. You then subtract the cost of the content revenue from the content cost, and that’s your ROI.
The importance of having excellent content on your website cannot be overstated. An active blog and video blog will do wonders for growing your business. Ready to get started? Here at AlphaMind Studios, we’ll tailor a content plan for you that will boost your revenue.

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