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February 17, 2014

A Beginner’s Guide to Content Marketing

Content marketing is a fairly new concept, and although many may see it simply as online journalism, the reality is that content marketing is a key tool in drawing in an audience and increasing the visibility of a client. If you have clients whose products aren’t of genuine interest to you then producing engaging, interesting copy can prove to be difficult. Here at Prohibition, we produce web content for a wide range of products and services, and know just how much work goes into perfecting a content marketing system and becoming experts on multiple subject matters. If you’re struggling with where to start on those tricky pieces of content, then check out our guide as to best practice.

Know the audience and know the market
If you’re going to write convincing content as part of your strategy then you need impart authoritativeness on your readers. No matter what subject matter you’re writing an article on, there will already be a market out there you’ll need to compete against. Before you start writing, check the existing market to see what is already readily available. Audience views and engagement are vital aspects of content marketing, so take a look at the style of writing that is already proving successful. Take these styles and tweak them to come up with original content, as you don’t want to produce overly similar articles to what is already on the web.

Google predictions
You could produce the highest quality content is of genuine interest to people, however if you don’t make your article Google friendly then the chances are no one will find it. Even if you thoroughly research your market and audience before then producing an immaculately written piece of content, you’ve only fought half the battle. As a basic start, head to Google and type in the keywords of your article. Take note of the Google search bar, as it tries to predict what you’re writing. Often, when people search for topics they will pick the most relevant predicted search, meaning that the suggestions are topics that are searched frequently. By including popular words in your article titles then you increase the search-ability of your work.

Google AdWords
Whilst the use of the above mentioned Google predictions is a basic tool, the most effective way to target an article to your audience is through the use of Google AdWords. A free tool, AdWords allows you to inter the key themes of your article, which then gives results around the most popular search terms on the subject, along with the most associated phrases. The function also provides information on how expensive advertising is for each search, with higher priced searches driving most traffic. Incorporate this knowledge into your title and article headings to take the Google ranking of your article to the next level.

Quality or quantity?
This is an important question when it comes to content marketing, and one that you need to strike the right balance with. It’s always the case that any content you write should be of a high quality, however sometimes the rigorous research and attention to detail with certain articles limits your overall output. If you’re building a content marketing strategy on behalf of a client completely from scratch, then you need to begin the process with a focus on quantity. It’s tough to strike a balance, especially when you still need to do initial research into the existing market and your potential audience, however it will be important initially to churn out well written articles with relative frequency. Through providing a reasonable flow of content you will begin to generate an audience. As time goes by, we’d advise you rein in the quantity and focus on exclusive high quality pieces, which readers won’t find anywhere else on the web, meaning they’ll keep returning to read your work.

Focus on your subject
If you write exclusively about a narrow topic, they you will be aware that there’s only so much you can write articles on before you begin to run out of ideas and start regurgitating old content. At some point, you’ll probably be forced into expanding into other topics, however you’ll need to make sure they remain relevant to your product and your audience. In order to do this, you’ll need to ‘cast a wider net’, and connect with new people on social media to make sure your diversified content doesn’t go to waste.

Will people come back?
If you follow these steps, then you’ll begin to generate a real following. Your content will be out there on the web, searchable on Google, in high quantities and of high quality. We’ve found this to be a recipe for success when it comes content marketing, with our own strategy over at First Home News being a case in point. Even the best writer will admit that the longer you work on a piece, the higher the quality will be, so build towards this. Establishing a high amount of content to begin is important so that your audience don’t stumble across your page with a bare, unprofessional look. Building up an archive of articles quickly makes you look more authoritative, so is an important first step. Importantly, you don’t want to be shamelessly plugging your client within your content. The aim of a content marketing strategy is to provide content of genuine interest to potential customers without alienating them.

 

Do you have any top tips for content marketing, or have we missed anything off that you’d advise? If so, drop us a comment in the box below.

 

Photo Credit: Ѕolo via Compfight cc

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Adam Worrall

Account Executive at Prohibition at Prohibition
A first class journalism graduate from The University of Huddersfield, Adam joined Prohibition in October 2013 as an account executive.

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