Content Marketing is mainly about publishing content on the Web. This content may be on your website or on social networks or other sites. There are several types of content:

Textual,

Visual (image, computer graphics, Slideshare, …),

Video and/or sound.

All these contents are obviously indexed by search engines like Google. At Great Northern Marketing Blog, we give you many free quick tips to set up like: How to write well for the web? Where to find free and royalty free images to illustrate your blog posts? What types of videos about your business create for YouTube and your blog? … With original and high quality content on your website, your company optimizes its chances to find new growth opportunities. Content Marketing is the cornerstone of Digital Marketing.

Indeed, an original web content carries the values of your company, Thus, the visitors of your website or blog are more easily convinced of the benefit of the offer of products and services of your company.

Discover our articles on writing and publishing attractive web content

Content Marketing: What is it? What are the best practices?

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Content Marketing is one of the six channels of a company’s Digital Marketing, which is to provide visitors with quality information on your website.

It’s not about pushing directly for sales, but creating and distributing relevant and consistent web content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience.

The ultimate goal is obviously to turn some of your visitors into customers.

And here our content marketing definition:

In other words, Content Marketing aims to attract and retain customers by constantly creating relevant content. Few companies doubt the power of Content Marketing. But unfortunately, only a few have the skills and expertise to have a real impact on sales

Learn how to promote your business, attract qualified prospects and maintain good relationships with your customers through Content Marketing.

This article positions Content Marketing at the center of your Digital Marketing strategy. Then it describes the best practices for setting up your Content Marketing strategy that converts.

Content Marketing What is it What are the best practices

Make Your Business Blog the Foundation of Your Content Marketing strategy

Personal blogs have given rise to Content Marketing for Business.

The diagram above speaks for itself!

Businesses that run a blog are getting 55% more visitors to their websites than those who do not (HubSpot source).

Corporate blogs are commonplace today to provide free high-quality information for visitors to their website.

With all this content published on your business blog, you are seen as an expert in your field.

As you provide them with free useful advice on your business, it also establishes a relationship of trust with your readers.

And with recognized expertise and a relationship of trust, you are not very far from being able to make a sale.

Advice: Running a business blog is the fastest way to create a sharing platform and turn your business into a content-generating machine.

Why practice Content Marketing?

Content Marketing What is it What are the best practices 2

The return on investment (ROI) of Content Marketing is phenomenal!

Content Marketing is at the center of all your marketing activities.

All your prospects, whatever their age, their location … consume information on the Internet.

That’s why Content Marketing is simply Today’s Marketing. Content Marketing refers to sharing your knowledge, advice … in various formats:

  • Blog posts,
  • Videos, Podcasts, Infographics, Webinars,
  • Publications on social networks,
  • emails,
  • Quiz, Generators, Calculators and other widgets …

Content Marketing is therefore essential to build a brand in our increasingly digital world.

All these contents are also material for Marketing on social networks.

They contribute fully to the efforts you put into your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy:

  • By providing quality content to search engines,
  • While participating in obtaining links backlinks (backlinks).

By targeting specific ‘buyer profiles’, Content Marketing becomes the key component of Inbound Marketing.

As a reminder, Inbound Marketing uses tactics to generate and feed your prospects in order to gradually transform them into customers.

Finally, Content Marketing gives your business a huge advantage to stand out from your competitors who do not practice it.

But the opposite is true too.

Not practicing Content Marketing puts your business at a disadvantage.

This is why Content Marketing contributes to all the channels of Digital Marketing and even to all your traditional Marketing actions.

Content Marketing Contributes to the Natural SEO of Your Website

Content Marketing What is it What are the best practices

There are many tasks to improve the SEO of your website.

But nothing matches Content Marketing to boost SEO of your site.

And that’s logical.

Google’s goal is to match the most relevant information with the search queries of its users.

As a result, without content, you have no chance to rank well in the search engine results pages.

SEO requires content. And Content Marketing is a flood of content.

The proof: if you arrived on this article, it is probably with a search on Google.

There is no SEO without content since you need words, articles, substance …

In search engines, you position yourself for specific keywords available in your content.

Having a lot of content means having more keywords, and ultimately more possibilities for rankings in Google.

The other major factor of SEO on the Internet is getting backlinks.

When other websites include links to your site, Google considers you a respected authority and you go back in its rankings.

And how to simply get backlinks?

Produce quality content so that other sites will want to quote them in their own content, with links pointing to your pages.

Finally, Google also promotes regularly updated websites.

For example, by publishing regular content, your website will probably be better ranked.

On the other hand, without new content, Google assumes that your website is being abandoned. As a result, it drops your rankings for fear of highlighting outdated pages.

Advice: focus your main efforts of SEO on Content Marketing.

Content Marketing is the starting point of your emailing

Content Marketing What is it What are the best practices 4

With the constraints of the new GDPR legislation entered into force since May 2018, buying or renting a database of email addresses is increasingly difficult if you want to secure your business.

And more, this never gave good results.

So how?

Your Content Marketing must be thought to get the email address of your readers.

For example, the white papers available for download usually address the questions your prospects are asking.

But they also lead your readers in the right direction: your products offering and/or services!

Encouraging them to subscribe to your newsletter. This is a clever way to collect their email address and therefore to keep in touch with them.

With an email subscribers list, your company is able to:

Share more content,
Stay in touch with your prospects,
Eventually, encourage them to contact you.
Content Marketing replaces public relations
Public relations includes all the methods and communication techniques used by companies to inform internally but especially externally.

But we are in the 21st century, and your customers are always connected to the Internet in the office, at home and even on the move.

So no need to rent a TV spot! Download a video on YouTube and you can reach millions of people for free.

With a little luck, your video can become viral and thus generate a significant volume of traffic and increase your brand authority.

No need to use an advertising agency to advertise. Use Google Adwords.

Blog posts have also replaced press releases and Facebook Live the traditional press conference.

Advice: the Internet reduces the gap between a company and its target customers. And Content Marketing provides all the media to animate your public relations for free!

Content Marketing Improves Customer Service

Content creation is not just about attracting leads.

Good Content Marketing also helps your existing customers.

Simplify their life with:

Tutorials to help them use your products and/or services,
FAQs Frequently Asked Questions are excellent topics. Indeed, when a customer asks you a question, it is more efficient to send it back to the right page rather than write them each time an explanatory mail.
Note: Content Marketing is also a strategic weapon for recruiting new talent. Indeed, any candidate will come to find information on your website to understand who you are and decide to work for you.

On the same topic Generate More B2B Leads With Content Marketing

What are the best practices of Content Marketing?

Content Marketing What is it What are the best practices

You are now aware of Content Marketing and its importance, but how to do it well?

It is usually here that most entrepreneurs stumble.

But fortunately, by respecting some basic good practices, you will be able to reap the benefits.

Set a goal

The success of Content Marketing goes far beyond publishing content.

Measuring the impact of your Content Marketing is the only way to know that what you are doing is working.

And for that, it is essential to clearly define the objective that you expect.

Without a well-defined goal, the content you produce just adds noise without meeting the needs of your customers.

Although the purpose of Content Marketing depends on your business, here are the 5 most common goals:

  • Develop your authority,
  • Generate traffic to your company’s website,
  • Generate leads,
  • Convert leads to customers,
  • Keep your customers loyal

In a B2B context, Content Marketing is also a proven way to feed your prospects, so they want to get in touch with your company.

Identify precisely your target audience (Persona)

Not analyzing your buyer profiles is the most common mistake of a Content Marketing approach.

Indeed, without taking the time to understand your audience, how to identify the topics that will interest them?

Organize a brainstorming session with your team to identify the characteristics of your personas:

  • Age range, location …
  • Profession, function …
  • Financial situation,
  • Level of education, groups of membership …
  • A way of talking,
  • Interests, challenges …
  • Habits on the Internet, favorite sites …

And take inspiration from this model to formalize them.

Follow the buying cycle or intentions of your visitors

Content Marketing What is it What are the best practices

This is the principle of free entry into a store. (Image source)

Some consumers enter, ask questions and go out without buying anything.

Others go straight to the right shelf, take a product and run to the cash register.

So, for your Content Marketing, do you do the same thing?

Publish content for all stages of the purchase cycle:

  • Awareness of the problem,
  • Search for a solution,
  • Consideration of a solution
  • Purchase the solution.

Indeed, all visitors to your website are in a different phase of the buying cycle.

Some are just looking for information ‘Top of the Funnel’. They may not even be aware of their need and interest in what you have to offer.

But, at the same time, prospects are visiting your site many times. They know their need and their problem ‘Middle of the Funnel’. They are looking for the best solution to help them solve it.

So carefully organize all this content according to user intentions to engage the right kind of visitors, at the right time with the right content.

Being aware of the different stages of maturation of your prospects is not just essential for the visitor experience. But it is also crucial for the success of your B2B lead generation.

If the organization of your content is poor, do not expect to receive a lot of phone calls.

Publish quality content

Creating Quality Content

Creating Quality Content

The main goal of Content Marketing is to provide your readers and prospects with information.

For their part, they are looking for quality information, that is to say, that it is useful to them.

So always choose quality over quantity.

If your quality level goes down, you will start losing readers, prospects and ultimately, customers.

To write quality content, respect the communication style of your company, be honest and authentic and stimulate reading.

Write about what you know, and what you believe.

Do not be afraid to take a stand. Your unique point of view. You will distinguish yourself from the rest of the competition.

On the other hand, no one wants to read an article written by an entrepreneur-centered on himself. So avoid creating content about yourself, your offer and your business.

Instead, focus your content on the needs of your audience using Storytelling techniques.

Also, write as you speak. Your content seems less formal, and therefore more interesting.

Grammar and/or spelling mistakes are obviously to be banned.

To do this, use a spelling checker as Grammarly.

Then, before publishing content, let it pass for 24 hours, then read it again carefully.

Important: The content title is the first thing that people see on Google, on your website, on social networks, and emails. A catchy title makes you want to click. Work with care.

In addition to the title, the introduction (and conclusion) must show the value of your content.

So, arouse the curiosity of your readers to encourage them to read your article to the conclusion.

Finally, the algorithm of Google is increasingly powerful, quality content is the only reliable way to stay well ranked.

Publish regularly and keep an editorial calendar schedule

keep an editorial calendar schedule

To keep your audience active, it’s important to publish frequently.

Indeed, as soon as you stop publishing for a significant period of time, your readers will stop visiting your website.

So publish as often as possible, while making sure to make your readers addicted to your content.

To be sure to respect your publication rate and keep the overall consistency of your content, set up an editorial calendar.

That way, you set up the messages to communicate, the types of content that are best suited and their publication date.

This is the goal of an editorial calendar schedule. Without a calendar, it is impossible to plan in advance.

Avoid Stepping forward

You are not a media site looking for the latest scoop.

To avoid publishing content whose validity is too short.

Digital Marketing experts talk about permanent content (or evergreen). This article is a perfect example!

Permanent content becomes a lasting asset for your Content Marketing. But it has also the ability to meet the needs of your customers over time.

Even with all these precautions, all content will become obsolete: your offer evolves, as the needs of your customers and also the algorithm of Google.

So regularly, rather than publishing new content, review your existing content to update or make it better.

Remember to recycle your existing content to optimize your workload.

Indeed, recycling your existing content is the simplest and most cost-effective way to boost the creation of your content without compromising the quality of your resources.

You can do this by finding a way to reuse your existing content to create new, thought-provoking resources.

Here are some ideas for reusing your content:

A report can be divided into several articles,
Create a video, an infographic on Canva or a set of slides related to an existing article,
Conversely, transcribe your audio and video files in a written format,
Improve your existing content by addressing new points,
Promote your white paper by publishing an excerpt …
Do not let your content age and your work go up in smoke. On the contrary, recycle it. You give it a youthful boost with little time to do it.

Make the commitment

Content Marketing What is it What are the best practices

All your content is going to procreate a dialogue. And the dialogue also generates word of mouth that has the potential to transform the way consumers see your brand.

So, because you want your readers to contact you, then encourage them to do so.

The call to action buttons (CTA)

Generally speaking, many entrepreneurs forget to add incentives to act on their content.

And the best way to guide people to other parts of your site is to have incentive CTAs.

Each web content must have a purpose.

And no matter what purpose – get a quote or download a white paper, always add a single CTA!

This rule applies also regardless of the objective of Digital Marketing: emailing, social networks, online advertising …

And to choose the best locations for your CTAs, rely on my test.

Share buttons on social networks

Do you watch consuming content on the Internet?

As soon as you enjoy an article, you are looking for the social sharing button to share it with your friends or colleagues. If the button is not present, you let it fall.

So make content sharing as easy as possible for your readers.

Social sharing buttons enhance the user experience and also contribute to the visibility of your brand.

A simple social sharing will reach one or more other readers, who can, in turn, share it with others, who can then relay it, who … Can you see the snowball effect?

So place sharing buttons accessible to your readers, to access them wherever they are on the page.

If your business blog is under WordPress, install a free extension like Sumo or Social Warfare.

Last tip: Also encourage your readers to comment on your articles by adding at the end of these one or more open questions.

All of these points invite interaction and, ultimately, improve the collective user experience.

Promote your content

Content Marketing What is it What are the best practices

Creating your content is one thing.

Then promote it to make sure your message reaches your future customers.

Promote your content on social networks

For this, promote it on social networks and via a newsletter.

Accounts on social networks are among the most valuable resources a business can have.

Sites such as LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook are filled with members of your audience and other potential customers waiting to be found.

So share with them your content!

This can only help to answer their questions while establishing immediately your credibility.

You have spent time creating quality rich blog posts.

Sharing your articles on social networks expands your audience by taking advantage of your subscribers’ sharing.

B2B Marketing specialists often wonder how to use social networks.

Here are few practices for B2B Marketing specialists to integrate content marketing and social networks:

  • Choose the right networks: Identify where the target audiences spend their time online and where relevant conversations are already taking place. For B2B, it’s probably Twitter and LinkedIn. Then, some content is better suited to LinkedIn, others to Twitter. Here again, find out what your audience expects and on what networks and experiment.
  • Publish at the right time: All platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn give you access to your statistics. So you know the days and times when your audience is most active. Test and analyze your results.

Promote your content by emailing

Similar rules apply to promote your Content Marketing via email.

In particular, practice the segmentation of your email address databases to send the right message to your audience and also check the sending times.

On the other hand, emailing is possible only if you have a good base of contacts. Here again Content Marketing comes with what Digital Marketing experts consider as a magnet to a customer.

3 Indicators to Improve Your Content Marketing

Content Marketing What is it What are the best practices

In a perfect world, you publish your content and immediately your turnover increases, as if by magic.

But that does not happen like that, unfortunately.

So how can you be sure you are on the right path?

Here are 3 indicators to analyze your performance.

Traffic volume

Increasing the page traffic of a content is a useful indicator to determine if your content is bearing fruit.

Use Google Analytics to analyze the number of page views and the main source of traffic.

If you find that some of your content does not attract a steady stream of traffic to your website, it’s time to re-evaluate their presentation or topic.

The level of commitment

The traffic volume determines the number of people that your content reached. But this data does not guarantee commitment.

There is a difference between reading, commenting and sharing a post, and simply visiting a page and then deciding that it does not interest you.

Social share button metrics measure the level of social engagement on your blog posts.

The number of comments is also a good indicator. Indeed, it shows that your visitors have read the content to get an opinion on the subject or have developed a question.

On Google Analytics, the bounce rate and the duration of visits also affect the level and quality of engagement with particular content.

Finally, social networks all have a system of statistics.

The number of tweets, retweets, comments, shares, and likes of a content is strongly correlated to the perception of your audience on this social network.

These indicators highlight the platforms that offer the best performance.

Conversions

But the most important indicator for measuring the effectiveness of your Content Marketing is, without a doubt, the number and quality of conversions.

Conversions from leads to customers translate into revenue.

As a result, the higher the number of conversions, the higher the value generated.

If your content contains a call to action, the conversions indicate that the visitor has understood what action he was supposed to take.

It also implies that he was interested enough in what you had to offer to carry out this action.

To do this, set up conversion tracking on Google Analytics.

And to go further, use Google Tag Manager to follow all clicks on your CTAs.

To evaluate your conversions, look for the sources responsible for the highest conversion rates. For example, were people more likely to convert eBooks or newsletters?

Conclusion on this presentation of Content Marketing

I know that this article on Content Marketing is dense. What to remember for the moment is to master the fundamental principles of Content Marketing. Essentially, Content Marketing can be successfully implemented with the following tasks:

Establish a business blog,
Get to know your buyer profiles or your target audience (persona),
Become aware of all the stages of a purchase cycle,
Decide which types of content best serve your market,
Publish quality content regularly,
Promote your content on social networks,
Measure, test, improve, repeat.
Content Marketing best practices are evolving slowly.

These best practices can put your business in a position to conquer new customers today and for the long term. And before you go too fast, do not think above all that quality content consists only of keywords. So, what is your experience? Do you already use Content Marketing?

Content creation a crucial key for digital marketing?

This has not escaped you, traditional marketing is becoming a topic of digital marketing news and the marketing trend to be essentially digital is leading to new practices for companies looking to grow their business.
In my recent article, I illustrated the difference between traditional marketing and digital marketing, I explained what are the new practices to implement to communicate well on the Internet. Among these practices, emerges the need for companies to become their own media. This state of affairs requires companies to produce their content in order to feed the various digital media networks (blog, website, YouTube, Instagram, etc.).

Finally, you will understand that if these contents must be produced by the companies, they can not be produced in a disorganized way or they will blur the tracks for their customers. The competition and noise on social networks force companies to develop a digital marketing strategy that targets its audience.

Some areas in which your content creation is crucial

SEO (Search Engine Optimization):

In other words, optimizing your website on the Google search engine organic results. Instead of thinking about the first page for the homepage of your site, rather think that it is the opportunity to offer great quality content (especially around your products & services) to users who are looking for a solution.

Let’s look at how Google search results are displayed. When you enter a question in google search bar, you will get results that Google finds on the question entered and displays pages with the most relevant that it has found to answer the question and showcase it. The results that Google offers on the first result page are based on multiple criteria. First, Google uses the relevance, popularity, and authority of the publishing source as pillars of the quality of ‘high value’ content.
You’ll easily understand how important it is for your business to offer high-potential content to attract prospects in search of a solution. Finally, rather than a sales pitch, demonstrating your expertise is the most direct way to persuade a prospect to become a customer, isn’t it?

SEA (Search Engine Advertising):

A must in this category is Google AdWords (very recently renamed Google Ads). Here again, the content is very important. Google gives a mark of quality to the keywords you buy. Including, this quality score is calculated based on the keyword, related ads, and landing page. This grade of quality is very important because it allows you to be more relevant at low cost.

Once again, nothing really good, but it means that content and quality are at the center of the debate. A high-quality landing page, on which a prospect is landed, is vital to convert an intention (search for a solution by a user) into business, with the help of an offer (value proposition).

Social networks: Is it still necessary to specify?

Without social media, your visibility will be reduced. They are floods and without a fine strategy of editorial choices (images, semantics, keywords, etc.) and audience targeting, you will certainly encounter the greatest difficulties in organizing a community of loyal fans around your brand.
Again, a defined content creation strategy to reach your audience is crucial. It allows bringing to your community elements of knowledge around your products & services which directs them correctly towards the consideration of your solutions.
Think about the format of your images, your ads to bring consistency between all the content elements around your brand.

Email marketing:

If the bulk of sending unsolicited emails is completely discouraged because of its very bad reputation generator, email marketing remains a very effective channel when it is used wisely. Whether it is a newsletter or transactional emails (online purchases, reservations, interaction with online services, etc.), the quality of content creation is also crucial. Indeed, given the number of newsletters to which we are all subscribed in order to make a substantial watch on our niche of activity, our attention will naturally be on ‘high added value’ content. It is, of course, your content that will allow your customers to understand your offer and your expertise. Similarly, in transactional emails, opportunities to cross-sell, for example, are important. That’s why your business strategy coupled with an effective content strategy (for comparison, a classic marketing think catalog, product list, advertising, print, etc.) will allow you to turn your prospects into customers.

In Conclusion

I would say that more than ever, thinking about your brand and value proposition will help you define a content creation strategy for your online media. This properly formatted content for digital media is the key to successful digital marketing. It is very important, in my opinion, to define this content creation strategy even before using tools. The reason is that they just risk complicating your communication processes without giving you the opportunity to provide your clients with quality information and therefore, give them the benefit of your products and services.

What is quality content to Google

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 What defines high-quality content to Google

The key to success for your website: create the best possible user experience with original and high-quality content!
Producing quality content is essential if you want to stand out in Google’s search results (more than 95% of the search market). Original and quality content will make your site useful and unique, it is possible that your visitors come back and even refer your content on their own website. Engaging high-quality content is essential to attract as many Internet users as possible over time.

What does Google say about the quality of the content:

‘We suggest you read our quality guidelines carefully’ … ” When a site has been sanctioned, it may not appear in the results of Google.com or on Google’s partner sites... ‘

Some tips to read before producing your content

When creating your website, you will necessarily be confronted with the production of text content, before starting to write it, make sure that your website meets the following characteristics:

Your website is useful, rich and informative: If you put a site about an SPA, do not forget to include the address, the schedules, the coordinates, the care, and massages practiced, also think to include a blog to share all upcoming events.

Your site is credible: Enhance the credibility of your site by using for example known quotes, quality external links, opinions, and testimonials. Testimonials from real customers improve the reliability and reputation of your website.

Your site offers high-quality content:

The text and image content of your site must be unique, specific and highly qualitative. Content should not be mass-produced or copied from other sites. Your content must be created primarily to provide your visitors with a good user experience (UX), the concern related to your ranking by search engines must come in the second time.

Your website is more qualitative and useful than other sites:

If you write articles about cooking recipes, make sure the content of your articles is of better quality or makes a different presentation or treatment than many others articles on the same subject.

The site is engaging:

Your site must be attractive, colorful (no more than 4 colors) and alive, feel free to add photos of your products, and why not a photo of your team and yourself. Eliminate spelling mistakes as much as possible, always favor the legibility of the text, adopt a sober and uncluttered style and ban factual errors.

  • A profusion of ads can also distract users and distract them from your content. Involve your visitors and promote interaction with them by publishing regularly and offering them spaces to leave comments, also promote sharing to social networks.
  • Each page must be accessible from at least one static text link.
  • Create a Sitemap whose links point to the most important sections.
  • Limit the number of links per page.
  • Design a useful and informative site.
  • Write pages presenting your content in a clear and relevant way.
  • Identify the words that people are likely to use to search for your pages.
  • Use these same terms in the content of your site.
  • To present the most important elements of your site (names, content, links, etc.), use text rather than graphics elements that can be misinterpreted.
  • Use ALT attributes to include a brief description of the images.
  • Make sure that <title> elements and alt attributes are accurate and descriptive.
  • Make sure your links are working properly and that the HTML of your pages does not present any errors.
  • Use own URLs.

Not to do :

In general, eliminate anything that might cause your visitors to not trust or leave your site:

  • Errors such as dead links (404 errors, to be corrected with 301 redirects) and bad information,
  • The presence of spam in the comments,
  • Grammar errors and spelling mistakes,
  • An excessive number of advertisements,
  • The presence of duplicate content on your site.

To conclude:

The creation of quality content is primarily a matter of logic and common sense with a zest for web writing. Creating high-quality content and, providing a good experience for your audience will necessarily attract you to Google and improve your SEO and positioning. If you do not follow these guidelines, you risk getting the wrath of the Google Panda and Google Penguin duo.