4 key aspects for becoming a TOP Content marketer in 2021 — Content Marketing review

Why is Content important?

Content marketing continues to be one of the main ways businesses reach new audiences; In fact, it is estimated that 91% of B2B marketers use content marketing in their acquisition strategies, while 86% of B2C marketers think that content marketing is still important. With new formats (audio and video, for example) gaining more relevance among young audiences, Content will continue to be a key aspect of any business’s marketing strategy.

How is Content different from Advertising?

Content is fast, durable, and owned, while Advertising is slow, temporary, and has to be paid every time. They can be both parts of a marketing strategy, but which one gets more attention and resources will depend on the ROI impact that each has had on the business.

Understanding how search works

Source: https://marketingnewsbox.com/the-secrets-of-high-performing-online-content/

Searches can be classified into 3 main groups: Informational, transactional and Navigational. Informational searches are research-related and represent around 80–90% of the total online searches. The visitor is normally not aware of the problem (related to our product or service) and he/she is just looking to get informed about something.

Transactional searches are buyer-related and represent around 10–20% of the total online searches. In this case, the customer is aware of the problem, he/she might also be aware of a solution (including ours), and purchase intent is higher.

This difference between the number of informational and transactional visitors has caused that currently, there are many more blog or informational pages than product or service ones. Businesses have also realized that they must guide visitors from unawareness to problem-aware (using informational content), and then to solution-aware (using transactional pages).

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Content Marketing go hand in hand; as we will see later, having strong informational content helps businesses improve their positioning on Search Engines, as they become a high-authority source that produces relevant content for online visitors. This improved positioning will drive more traffic to both the informational and transactional pages, ultimately increasing revenue for these businesses.

Fundamentals of Content Marketing:

Content marketing can be understood from the following 4 aspects. We will explore them all in detail below.

4 key aspects of Content Marketing
4 key aspects of Content Marketing. Source: cxl.com

What to talk about? (WHAT)

This is the most common question for any person or business wanting to start producing content. The answer is a bit obvious since we should write about things that are not being written extensively about. Some of the ways to find these topics are:

  • Online tools: There are many tools for doing keyword research and estimating search volume. Some of them are Google Keyword planner, Keywordtool.io, ahrefs, among others. We can also use online forums such as Quora, Reddit, or Answerthepublic.com to find relevant topics. You can even have a look at Google Trends or Google suggested searches to see what are the topics people are most searching for.
  • Listening to customer service representatives or sales teams, or talking directly with customers to find the most frequently asked questions or issues. Content here will provide value for your customers (they won’t have to contact customer service for the same issues) and will reduce the workload of your customer support operations.
  • Checking answered questions on your outbox: Most people, especially if they have direct contact with customers, have lots of potential content on their emails. Any questions or issues that have been answered in the past can be turned into an informational piece.
  • Make it more relevant: Content can always be narrowed to a specific industry, year, or external event. For example, SEO strategies might be a subject that has been widely written about. Why not writing about SEO for your specific industry? SEO strategies for health professionals, for example. Or SEO strategies in 2021, or SEO strategies for health professionals during the Pandemic.

Key aspects to consider when producing content:

These 2 key aspects will make your content stand out from the sea of content online:

  • Always have strong opinions. Being controversial (to a reasonable amount) will always get you more exposure.
  • Original research: Most content marketers always curate other people’s research. This is a key part of being a content marketer, but how about dedicating some of your time to produce original research? If you can find the missing stat (stuff people in your industry often say but rarely support), you’ll have many other sites referencing your piece of content, giving you hence more authority and traffic.

Which format should I use? (HOW):

These are the some of the main formats used in content marketing:

  • Text: Blog posts, guides, newsletters, lists, among others.
  • Images: Diagrams, infographics.
  • Video: The spectrum is wide here. Videos can vary depending on their duration, the content, the platform they are created for (Facebook videos are different from Youtube videos, for example).
  • Audio: Podcasts
  • Collaborative: Interviews, expert roundups, expert quotes, among others.
Content marketing formats
Content marketing formats. Source: Smartinsights.com

Which format should I use?

This depends on your business, your audience (they might be keen on a specific format of content), your available resources (Video, for example, takes more time, budget and normally requires some technical expertise to produce), among many other factors. Some formats however naturally engage more the user (video and images, for example).

One golden formula that you can always use is turning your top content into a different, more engaging format. This is one strategy that we frequently use at Martdi, turning top-performing blog posts into podcast episodes or youtube videos, which lets us go deeper into the topic and appeal to new audiences.

Who can I collaborate with? (WHO)

Having a collaborative approach to content production is, probably, the most impactful thing you can start doing today. Your content will not only have more exposure (As any ally in production is an ally in distribution), but you will also improve your positioning on search engines (these collaborators normally reference your site from their own sites) and develop your network.

The 3 main ways to create a highly collaborative creation process are:

  • Produce your content in public: Use your social media to ask your audience what you should write about. This will start creating social traction around the piece before even being written.
  • Use contributor quotes: People are always eager to contribute and give their opinions since this will also help them position themselves as experts.
  • Guest posting: Open your platform to others, and offer to write content for other sites. When you produce a piece of content to be distributed on someone else’s platform, they will almost always accept, since this will improve their SEO as well. This strategy is very powerful since it’s a win-win scenario.

Some of the online tools that you can use to find influencers or bloggers to collaborate with are Followerwonk and Buzzsumo.

Where to post? (WHERE)

You can always post your content directly on your site, in which case you should always try to publish on the same website using subdomains (ex: mytopic.mybusiness.com) or directories (mybusiness.com/mytopic). Having mybusiness1.com and mybusiness2.com is always a bad idea, as Authority will be split among these 2 sites.

How’s social different from Search?

Social and Search are different in nature; what works in Search doesn’t normally work on Social, as Search users are normally action-oriented, while Social users are in a more passive state. Creating content optimized for Search and Social audiences is an effective strategy that many marketers use nowadays.

Should I post on a 3rd party site?

Yes, yes, yes. The benefits of guest blogging were already mentioned, so remember that you could have access to a new audience, improve your SEO and build your network all at the same time.

SEO ranking is basically determined by 2 aspects: Authority (am I or is my business a reliable source?) and Relevance (is my content relevant for the users?). Briefly explained, one of the ways in which Authority is determined is by the number and quality of offsite links (links that point to my site from high-authority sites).

Every time that your content is featured and your site is referenced on high-authority sites (such as traditional media outlets, educational, or government organizations), you improve your Domain Authority and positioning.

SEO fundalmentals
SEO fundalmentals. Source: https://statuslabs.com/defining-seo-and-its-best-practices/

Your key learning today…

All in all, good content marketers do 5 things: they deeply know their audience, understand SEO (how search engines position content), collaborate with other people, use many different formats, and publish in different places.

Most of the content here discussed is part of Andy Crestodina’s Content strategy and SEO for Lead generation course on CXL Institute. This course is part of the Growth Marketing mini degree, and it is probably one of the best content marketing courses on the market. Even being an experienced online marketer, I’ve found this course and the program overall, very enriching for anyone who wants to make a career in the Growth Marketing industry.

Growth Marketing is booming all around the globe, but especially in Latinamerica. Want to learn more about growth marketing strategies and hear what industry referents in the Latin-American scene think? Listen to our podcast El Antipodcast: El cliente NO tiene la razon on all streaming platforms.

Growth marketer passionate about launching awesome products!