Content marketing is very broad subject and thousands of articles, guides or books have published depicting various strategies. But when it comes to implementation part, only few get success despite of building amazing content by following all those content marketing strategies, Why?
Neil has nicely explained the most common reasons why the content marketing strategy is failing, those are:
- Specific: You haven’t defined the precise content tactics you will use.
- Measurable: You aren’t measuring your ROI.
- Attainable: You don’t have a clear perspective on the eventual outcome.
- Relevant: Your content marketing strategy doesn’t actually target the business’ goals.
- Time-bound: You don’t know when you’ve succeeded.
I talked with many businesses who recently started blog and complaining about poor performance of their content marketing strategy. After studying their process in detail, I found that the proper process was not in place and few points require lot of improvement. Here I will be discussing all those points to boost outreach of all kind of content, be it business blog or individual blog.
Before I start explaining the checklist, let me share brief information about the importance of blog for the business in their online marketing strategies.
Content is the King in current marketing era and having blog is now almost mandatory for any business. Blog posts have the capability of bringing extremely targeted leads to the posted content and engage audience through all the stages of sales and marketing cycle. Each blog post you create has its own importance which starts from small idea and does not just ends on publish button. The procedure of publishing any article is not easy at all and it’s definitely time consuming process as it requires lots of effort. So if you think that you will publish an article within minutes and it will give you instant result then you are wrong. If you think, by copying from other popular blogs you will start gaining instant traffic, then wait! your blog might become a victim of Google Penalty.
Difference between pro bloggers and lazy bloggers
Blogging is an art and can be learned by experience and not by copying. And this is what makes the difference between a pro blogger and a lazy blogger. A lazy blogger will not invest much time and effort in researching for the right and relevant data. In-fact they hardly follows the proper format for the blog posting. Result? Such blogs do not make much impact with the audience and fail to achieve the targeted leads.
On the other hand, pro bloggers who are extremely serious about the content generation process. They carry out extensive research on the keyword or the topic and come with a post, which is highly relevant and full of interesting facts and information. This is the reason it might take almost a week for a pro blogger to develop a single quality content.
Importance of content marketing checklist
Once you have a content marketing checklist in hand you can be sure of not missing out on any important point. Before submitting the ‘Publish’ button, just go through the points in the checklist and see if majority of them have been covered. A pro blogger will try and make improvements with every blog post. Here we start with our first point:
#1 Research, research and more research
No blog post can be good without substantial research on the topic. Content marketer often research about new content on various sources such as other articles, videos, blogs, images, infographics etc. They also extend their research to Google Trends, geek friends ideas, self made tutorials or any research point during work on client’s project and gather all information at one place initially. Once you have decided the topic for the blog post, look for the keywords that match with the same and base your research on the above mentioned facts. Google keyword planner and SEMRush are the best tools for keyword research.
#2 Deciding on content flow
Now that you have the whole research material in your hands, it is time to frame an outline of the blog you intend to write. Try and arrange the blog in a manner so that there is a smooth flow in the content. Without the flow, no content will be readable. Another thing to keep in mind in this regard is the keyword density. Use keywords wisely in the content. The content on individual article might be short or long and for that you must add some interesting information in between the content which grabs your right audience throughout the article.
#3 Wrack brains for catchy title and meta-description
The title of the blog is the first thing that the audience will see on the web. Therefore it is here that you have to work the most. Think of creative and innovative titles that will compel viewers to click on the blog and read what is within. Try to include one important keyword in the title for added advantage. If you are struggling to write catchy titles by your own then use BuzzSumo or TweakYourBiz title generator tool which can gives you loads of ideas for catchy and creative title. The meta-description will be kind of summary about the blog with insertion of keywords. The length of the meta-description matters and should be kept in mind.
Check out below title suggestions for the keyword “Social Media Marketing”
One most important thing for blogger is that the meta tags length should not be too long. The optimal meta title length should be 40 – 69 characters long. Anything shorter then this might not be descriptive or catch attention of the readers. Meta description length should be between 135 -160 characters which is good for any article.
#4 Relevant images, graphics for better representation
To make your blog post all the more interesting and eye-catching, it is recommended to select relevant images, graphical representations, Infographics and other creative resources and use them at the right place in the blog. The images and other graphic contents should have appropriate titles as well. Adding creativity to the blog will only enhance its value manifold times. Some times data or user statistics and facts images also work in between the content.
The popular blogger Harsh Agarwal from ShoutmeLoud has nicely explained the importance of images in blog which generates more social media visits, google image search traffic and also increases the length of the article.
Below screenshot depict the penetration in social media users which is going to reach by 2.55 billions in 2018. You can easily reach to those audiences with properly optimized blog post containing engaging creatives for better social media reach.
Make sure that images, graphics or any other infographics should be specifically designed for your niche and must grab readers attention. High resolution and meaningful images always makes strong impact on users. If you are not able to purchase stock images then there is plenty of websites for free images available online. My all time favorite websites are Pixabay and Flickr (check for usage license before you use). As per experienced bloggers GIF’s are also best way to communicate with readers and lots of viral content blogs are using this technique.
Featured images are also more important when it comes to make first impression of any article on your blog. Amateur bloggers often spends more time to design featured images on Photoshop or other design tools but here we recommend you to use online tools like Canva to design featured image in just few minutes.
#5 Internal linking is important
If you are a serious blogger, you will want the audience to be glued to your blog site to a longer extent. And for that, there is no better way than resorting to internal linking. Through this process, one page of the blog can be connected to another page in the same blog. This helps in smooth navigation within the site. Internal linking should be on targeted keyword and targeted page so it will not mislead the readers. Internal linkings are also beneficial to reduce the bounce rate of the website.
#6 Concentrate on proper and effective external linking
External linking to relevant sites help in providing the search engines an idea of the niche to which your blog belongs. Getting outbound links to highly trusted sites from the same niche helps your blog in gaining prominence with the search engine successfully. Other bloggers likes it when someone mentions their name in particular article so we recommend you to give external link on particular link followed by writer’s name. This way you can also build professional relations with fellow bloggers.
#7 Appropriate call to action options
While creating the blog, your target will be attracting more and more people to the same. More importantly, you would want to know what people think about your blog by posting their valuable comments. So keep options for ‘call to action’. Keep the ‘comments’ section ready. You can also offer chance of ‘subscribing to newsletter’ or ‘getting alert for a new blog post’ for more audience interaction.
Call to action often builds your number of audience and sometimes it can generate you the good business as well. So don’t miss this opportunity while setting up any article on your blog.
#8 Where & when
Now you have successfully written your blog and is ready to publish but, before that you have to choose the right day and time for publishing the blog post. There are varying opinions on the web as what is the best time for blog publishing as other factors like social media sharing, email marketing and other techniques are integrated with the same. Understand where and when your target audiences are active and accordingly plan your publishing. Before you hit the ‘Publish’ button, see if the above points are met with and go ahead!
It is just half the battle is won when you hit publish button; here timely outreach to target audiences is very important. Here are few steps to follow after you publish the content on your blog:
- Email – Send email to your readers with catchy headline and proper content. If you are not building email list from your blog, you are missing lot of opportunity to build customer trust by sending different types of emails that can increase the audience engagement with your brand.
- Social Media – You can run organic and paid content marketing campaign at social media platforms to increase the outreach of your published content. Facebook ads is the best platform to start with.
- Influencer Targeting – During step 1 (research), you must have found influencers who already published various research and content in specific niche. Drop an email to influencer or connect with them at social media platform with clear information on how your content can add value to their existing published work. As they are very busy and receiving 100s of emails a day, you should have strong strategy to attract influencer to share your content.
I am sure, this checklist will help novice bloggers or businesses to get best out of their content. Do you have any query or suggestion related to this topic? I would love to interact with you.