In this article we take a look at 11 of the most effective content marketing strategies that you can use to increase your organic traffic.
For modern digital marketers, there is perhaps no other strategy that delivers a more positive ROI than content marketing.
Despite this knowledge, though, many marketers still struggle to put together a comprehensive marketing strategy that really delivers them results.
It’s fair to say that this is likely due more in part to a lack of education than a lack of effort, so we’re going to help our fellow marketers out by providing 11 of the most effective content marketing strategies to help boost your organic traffic.
Did you know? Chatbots can revamp your content marketing strategy through your advertising by delivering a 100% conversion rate. That’s right, everyone who clicks from the ad to interact with your bot becomes a contact in your database that you can send follow-up messaging to.
Let’s start by looking at five of the best kinds of content you can and should be creating.
Types of content that can increase your traffic
1. How-to guides
Consider this scenario:
You’re considering launching a podcast as part of your content marketing strategy, but you have no idea where to start.
So, what do you do?
“Hey, Siri, how do I start a podcast?”
What you’ll get back is something like this post from Buzzsprout, packed with helpful tips on launching a podcast, relevant and inspiring podcasting stats, exploring different platforms such as Spotify’s video podcasts and recommendations for equipment to help you get started.
How-to guides are incredibly powerful content, both because people are regularly seeking out this kind of information and because they are (or at least, should be) packed with detail.
When you’re putting together how-to guides as part of your marketing strategy, make sure that they are:
- Long-form: Don’t be afraid to write 3,000 words or more, as long as it’s relevant and helpful.
- Not too ‘salesy’: This isn’t the time to tell the world why you’re so great; it’s the time to help.
- Related to other posts you’ve written: That way, you can build up your internal linking strategy.
- Design an infographic: A timeline infographic is a great tool to visualize how-to guides and improve audience retention.
- Create a video as an alternative: You can also deliver your how-to guides through short and straightforward videos, such as explainer videos. It helps audiences retain and understand information better.
2. Comparison lists
Publishing well-written, valuable blog posts is an incredibly effective content marketing strategy. Companies that do this see 97% more backlinks to their site than those who don’t.
Of course, there are so many different kinds of blog posts you might write. For example:
- Explainers (answering questions like why and how)
- Personal anecdotes
One of the most powerful blog posts you can create is the comparison post. In this type of content, you’re actively comparing your product to competitors.
But wait, you say, don’t I want to steer my prospects away from my competition?
Well, yes, that may be the case, but the truth of the matter is that they’re going to be comparing you regardless.
More than half of buyers choose to buy online simply because it allows them to compare with ease. So you can bet your bottom dollar that your customers will be conducting at least some form of ‘X vs. Y’ search.
And if that’s the case, wouldn’t you rather they come across a blog post that details the pros and cons of all of your competitors and paints your product in the best light possible?
Take this list of the best credit repair companies, for example, which helps readers decide between different products and services in one place. It’s an excellent example of the comparison post in action.
What’s more, you can target keywords that include your competitors to divert some of that valuable search traffic.
Look who they’ve oh so subtly listed as the number one service:
Those comparison lists can be as long as you wish, but a good strategy is to position yourself as the first best option. Another example is Monday.com who compared themselves with more than 289 other project management softwares.
3. Comprehensive guides
This kind of ground can be covered fairly easily when you’re writing a comparison blog post of 10 different competitors. For narrower topics, you’re going to need to dive deep.
The way to do this is by creating a comprehensive guide. You’ll have no doubt seen titles like these before:
- The ultimate guide to X
- The definitive guide to Y
- The complete guide to Z
That’s what we’re talking about.
Take this example from Propel: The complete guide to value chains.
This post clocks in at 2,748 words, the ideal length for a comprehensive guide of its kind.
It manages to pack in a ton of different keywords and search phrases, maximizing organic traffic reach by allowing customers to find the answers they need in a single post.
Here’s an example of an ultimate guide written on the topic of appointment scheduling software by Genbook. With over 30,000 words this guide is broken into various chapters and also has both audios, graphs and examples, making it an ideal resource on the topic.
4. Case Studies
Case studies are a great way to showcase your expertise and also give prospective clients a real-life example of how your product helped a company scale (if you’re in the B2B world).
They’re also great opportunities for both internal and external links.
Check out this article on how to write a case study for more details.
5. On-page SEO
Okay, so this one is not so much a type of content. However, it’s something that should be flowing throughout all aspects of your content marketing strategy.
In a nutshell, on-page SEO is about ensuring each page or post you have on your site is best positioned to target a given keyword.
This might include targeted use of that specific keyword verbatim, as well as semantically related words and alternate keywords that tell search engines exactly what you’re writing about.
Take this Swagbucks page for Old Navy coupons, for example.
This could be a pretty bare-bones page, with not much room for content that could house a decent volume of relevant keywords.
However, they’ve craftily added in a ‘How to Save Money at Old Navy’ section, allowing for a description of the store, which, you guessed it, maximizes their ability to write on-topic and boost keyword density.
Analyze your pages for improvements, make the edits, and monitor the results using a rank tracking software to see the impact.
6 tips to supercharge your content marketing strategy
So, you’ve got your head around some of the most popular content marketing strategies around, and you have a bit of an idea concerning what types of content you might create.
Before you go diving into content creation, though, let’s look at a few quick tips to really get the most out of your content and boost your organic traffic numbers.
1. Create customer personas
Start by creating customer personas, which are fictional representations of your ideal customer, and include details such as:
- Shopping preferences
- Recreational preferences
- Family situation
- Challenges in the workplace
- Career/workplace goals
Here’s what a simple example might look like:
Creating personas such as these not only allows you to craft content that is more targeted, but it also helps you identify relevant keywords and weed out those that don’t fit.
For example, if you’re selling an online course for entry-level English lessons, then the search phrase ‘English courses for beginners’ would be a good fit, whereas ‘Advanced English course’ probably won’t be.
2. Segment your audience
Larger companies with a more varied service offering (for example, a SaaS product with three or four different solutions) might have more than one customer persona. When this is the case, it’s unwise to assume that a piece of content you create would be suitable for all audiences.
Segment your audience types, then create different content for each that is relevant to that narrow subset of people. Once that’s done, distribute the content accordingly.
3. Make your content adaptive
This is especially important if you’re dealing with millennials or Gen Z buyers.
Customers should be able to browse your content (blog posts and ecommerce platforms alike) on their phone, then switch over to a desktop or iPad and have the exact same experience.
Ensuring your content adapts easily to all devices is a major aspect of this consistent experience.
4. A/B test consistently
Regardless of how well-researched your customer personas are and how well-crafted your content is, you can never be sure that even something as subtle as a color change on a CTA button might result in a significant uplift in conversion rates.
Make A/B testing a regular part of your content marketing strategy. Whenever you release a new piece of content, such as a new landing page, you should run two or more variants side by side until you have a verdict on the best-performing option.
Doing so will also help you create better content in the future, as you’ll start to notice trends in your A/B test results.
5. Create a content calendar
Your content marketing strategy should feed into a more detailed content calendar, which documents all of the content you’re going to create over the next three, six, or 12 months.
You should include:
- Who is responsible for each content piece
- Due dates
- Required assets
- Methods of distribution
There are lots of ways to create a content calendar online, but one way to do it is with a project management tool. For example, Hive has lets you display any of your projects in a Calendar view. So if you already use a project or task management tool to keep track of your upcoming content assignments, this will save you from duplicating the work and making a totally new calendar in another tool.
6. Repurpose your content
You’re going to create a ton of content, so why just use it once and be done with it?
There are a number of ways you can repurpose content, which can also boost your ROI.
Content marketing is a big beast, but it’s one you can tackle easily if you keep the tips we’ve discussed here in the front of your mind.
- Create how-to guides to deliver unparalleled value
- Build comparison lists to demonstrate your point of difference
- Write a comprehensive guide to maximize search ranking abilities
- Develop case studies to prove your experience
- Make SEO a part of everything you create
- Create customer personas to better identify relevant key search phrases
- Segment your audience for maximum impact
- Make your content adaptive for a better customer experience
- A/B test consistently to lift conversion rates
- Create a content calendar to stay on track
- Repurpose your content to improve ROI
- Build backlinks to targeted pages
And, don’t forget, you’ll need to promote your content as well!
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