Content Marketing: The Secret Strategy to Loads of Traffic

by Jennifer Good | November 2nd, 2012 4:36 AM | No Comments

Content Marketing

It seems like a lot of my consulting work as of late has heavily involved teaching clients how to get their content strategies off the ground or how to get better results from what they’re currently doing. The more I do this, the more cemented I become in the belief of how crucial your content is for getting traffic. In my mind, it has become a keystone to any successful online marketing strategy.

If you’re new to content marketing, you may be wondering how content can help you sell a product or be used to generate traffic. Let’s take a closer look and explore some of the benefits of using content for your marketing efforts.

Improves Stickiness
The content you write has entertainment value. Hopefully, it keeps readers entertained a bit longer than they expected, therefore increasing the time they are exposed to your brand and message.

Creates Authority
When you write on a topic, it helps establishes you as an authority in that field or niche. If your content is also published elsewhere, it lends further instant credibility.

Sells Indirectly
The message in your content can inspire people into action. This could mean they buy something from you, sign up for your newsletter or RSS feed or bookmark your site for future reference because they like what you’re saying.

Creates Backlinks & Spreads Virally
Providing content for other sites allows you to not only expose yourself to a new audience, you also have a chance to create some great backlinks to your site. For content developed for your own site, if it’s well written, informative or catchy, it can move people to spread your message for you either virally through social media sites or personally through links or mentions on a person’s blog. Either way, it results in more links to your site and getting the word out to new readers or visitors with little additional effort on your part.

Of all the benefits, from a traffic generation standpoint, creating backlinks and a viral movement is the most significant benefit. Sure you can pay X dollars and get X traffic via paid search results, but for those who are looking for deep, long-lasting results, getting people to link to you has the highest pay off in the end. Not to mention, it’s free. If you’re paying for traffic, what happens when you stop paying? If you have prominent links and mentions regarding your site on related websites, not only do you have instant social proof, but you have traffic that won’t immediately vanish.

So, if getting links is so important, the next question to ask is naturally, “How do you get people to link to you?” This is where planning your content marketing strategy really gets fun and creative. You want to write content that will motivate people to spread your message. You want content that others will willingly post on their own sites. To help lead you in the right direction, here are a few key elements to writing content that stands out and begs to be spread virally.

1. Start with a killer headline.
Sharing content has become an extremely popular pastime. Take a look at the last twenty or so Twitter updates. How many of them are links to an article? In this era of content overload, getting your message to stand out is key. That begins with a rockin’ headline. I have a sneaking suspicion that a good amount of articles get retweeted or Dugg based solely on the article title. Your headline approach can be informative such as “How To Become A Power Twitter User,” or fun and whimsical such as “Why Dragons Make Better Husbands.” Whatever your approach, make sure it’s going to stand out to your target audience. A good place to get ideas is your local newsstand or bookstore. Take a look at magazine covers that are related to your niche or field and see what headlines they are using. Take notes and see what you can come up with.

2. Follow up with an interesting article.
While headlines play the position of quarterback in your article playbook, you still need something substantial to deliver the touchdown. Make sure you’re giving your audience something of value and interest. Think about what you want your reader to take away from the experience. In this case, I want you to feel excited about creating a content strategy that will help you build traffic to your website. If I did this, I’ve done my job. You want people to leave feeling helped or entertained to the point that they feel compelled to tell someone (or a hundred someones) about it.

3. Ask for what you want.
Determine the purpose of your content before writing. Is it going on your own site or is it for a guest blog? Do you want comments or retweets? If it’s for another blog, do you want people to visit your site? If it’s for your site, do you want your reader to sign up for your RSS feed or a newsletter or buy a product? If you know ahead of time what your goal is, it’s much easier to write in a call to action. Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want. People are more than willing to support you if you’ve given them something of value.

Obviously, not everything you write is going to be a stroke of literary or marketing genius. However, a good amount of attention should be devoted to at least two to four “killer” articles per month. Personally, I would try to write two for your own site and two really great guest posts per month to get started. As you get going, you’ll be able to determine what efforts are best suited for your particular business or project.

It used to be said that content is king. When it was mentioned before, it was from the understanding that whoever had the most content “wins.” I still believe the phrase to be true, however, the context has changed. The smart use of quality content is where the focus should be. Content definitely is king, but learning how to market it and make it useful is definitely queen.

What are your thoughts? How do you use content to gain more traffic?

You Might Also Like...

Share the love...Share on LinkedInShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Pin on Pinterest

Let's Chat!