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The 5 Keys to Content Marketing

Content marketing can be tricky, but it’s well worth the time and effort. Content marketing isn’t so much about promoting your products and services, but it’s about communicating with potential and current customers and providing them with useful information. There are various ways to present content for your company, including blog posts, videos, white papers, e-books, case studies, infographics, and photos.

If you successfully curate compelling content for your company, you’ll build brand awareness, drive traffic to your website, and establish your business as an industry leader. When content marketing is correctly executed, companies can better engage with their target audiences in order to generate new, qualified leads and drive sales.

1. Engage your audience. If you’re producing content for your company, your main goal should be to engage both current and potential customers. Focus less on promoting your business and business news, and focus more on providing your audience with content worth reading and sharing. Understand your customers–who they are, what they do, what they care about, and why they need your services/products. Think about what questions they might have and what interests them. Your company’s content should provide useful and purposeful information. A way to be creative about producing your company’s content is to identify personas for your target audience. For instance, maybe one of your customer personas is Businessman Bob, who is very serious, gets straight to business, and only wants the facts, whereas maybe another customer persona is Indecisive Izzie, who gets overwhelmed by too many choices and needs to know how your services/products benefit her. Give it a try. Not only will it help you more fully imagine the audience of your content, but it can be a lot of fun too!

2. Make your content as easy to find as possible. When people visit your site, they should be able to easily and quickly find relevant content. If not, they’re likely to leave your site unimpressed and disappointed. That’s why the navigation of your website is so important. Your menu bar should be able to direct visitors to relevant information regarding your business. It’s also important that your website works properly on all platforms and devices, as it’s becoming much more common for consumers to not only search on their mobile devices but make purchases on them as well. In order to get visitors to your site in the first place, ensure it is optimized for search engines. Correctly executed SEO will help your site gain more relevant and organic visitors to your site, increasing your chances of conversions.

3. Ensure the sharability of your content. Make your content social. Not only will shared links to your content increase site visits, but it will increase your brand’s authority, making site visitors more trusting and open to purchase. Add social share widgets to your site, write compelling titles, share your own content across social media content, and most importantly, create quality content. Entertain your audience, and give them useful information. When you make it easy for visitors to share great content, you should also make it easy for them to interact and connect with your brand through your website and social media accounts. Ask questions and respond to your audience in a timely manner.

4. Remember to be consistent in your content. Your content needs to align with your company’s brand. Your content should be a reflection of your company’s goals, policies, and most importantly the image you want your company to have. Tell people how you do your job–it’s okay. The more you explain, the more you show your expertise, and customers will be more likely to hire you for the job. Content can make or break a client’s impression of your business, that’s why it needs to be engaging and informative.

5. Track and measure your content performance. Use on-site analytics to review user activity on your website. You’ll see what content your site’s visitors spend the most time reading as well as what content they skip over. This can help you understand what kind of content your potential customers want more of as well as what content can be improved. On-site analytics allow you to determine what keywords bring in the most traffic, have the longest view times, and convert the most traffic. Look at the difference between overall visits and unique visits to see how many different people are viewing your content. You should also use social media tracking to see when your content is shared across the web. Pay attention to who shares your content, so you can better understand your audience.

There’s a lot that goes into making sure your company’s content is effective. However, good content generally brings in good business. That’s why at Steelsmith Group we take the time to ensure the content we produce for our clients is tailored to their company’s industry and audience. Our goal is to create content that shows off their expertise, so our clients are perceived as the industry leaders they are.

If you have questions about content marketing or want to hire Steelsmith Group to do it for you, give us a call today at (888) 245-4177 or fill out the contact form to the the right.

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Internet Marketing 101: Landing Page Optimization

A landing page is a page on your website, designed specifically to be the first page a visitor comes to and to be highly relevant to the service or product they are seeking. Landing pages are often overlooked when creating an internet marketing strategy, but they’re arguably the most important part of your website.

To put it simply, landing pages are the URLs that people go directly to via search engine results, sponsored ads or other advertising. Your landing pages are where traffic converts into sales.

When you design your website, remember that your landing pages need to be specific to what you do, informative (but not overly so), and have obvious calls to action, whether it’s a contact form or your business’ phone number with text saying, “Call Today.” Look at your highest competitors’ landing pages to see how they’re set up.

Below are the features that together compose the ultimate landing page:

  • Make the page visually appealing: have the page designed professionally, limit the text and add     engaging images
  • Make the goal of the page obvious and inviting
  • Keep the look and feel congruent with the rest of your website to remain consistent
  • Include a compelling and clear call to action
  • Minimize the amount of data you ask visitors for (only ask for what you need)
  • Put what you want your visitors to focus on above the fold, meaning that your visitors don’t     have to scroll down to find what you want them to see first
  • Have an obvious, large, and bold phone number on the page (don’t forget to put your address     on there as well)
  • Use facts rather than sales tactics
  • Include endorsements and testimonials to increase perceived authority
  • Tell potential customers what your services/products cost
  • For local businesses, include a high-quality map of your location (Google maps tend to be the     standard)

When Steelsmith Group optimizes landing pages for our clients, these are the fundamentals that we always stick to. Landing pages need to be clear, concise, and honest for your internet marketing campaign to successfully convert as much traffic as possible. If you could use some help, feel free to get in touch with Steelsmith Group today by calling (888) 245-4117.

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The Fundamentals of Internet Marketing

It’s more important than ever to market your business online, as consumers usually turn to the internet to find and purchase services and products. In this post, we’ll break down the basics of internet marketing for small businesses likes yours.

The first step of internet marketing is competitive analysis. Learn your industry. Learn what your competitors are doing. Pay attention to who’s beating you in on search engine rankings. What are they doing differently? In the rest of this article, we’ll explain what you need to look out for.

Make sure you have an awesome website design that’s not only easy to navigate, but that’s also engaging with its content and images, specifically infographics. Look at how your competitors’ sites are set up.

Today’s consumers are using mobile devices on a regular basis, and on top of that, Google has recently begun to penalize website’s search rankings if they aren’t mobile friendly. That’s why it’s extremely important to make sure that your website is designed to work on both smartphones and tablets as well as internet browsers.

Landing pages are one of the most important parts of your website. Landing pages are pages that people go directly to via a search engine result, sponsored ad or other advertising. Your landing pages are where traffic converts into sales.

Your landing pages need to be specific to what you do, informative (but not overly so), and have obvious calls to action, whether it’s a contact form or your business’ phone number with text saying, “Call Today.” Look at your highest competitors’ landing pages to see how they’re set up.

You’ll also need a great “Contact Us” page that’s linked to from every other page of your site. Ensure that your contact page contains your phone number, address, business hours, a contact form, and a Google map. In addition to an optimized “Contact Us” page, it’s important to have your phone number and address at the bottom of each webpage on your site.

Good content is vital to having a good website with high search engine rankings and a high conversion rate.

The most important part of your content is that it must include natural keywords. What’s a keyword? A word or phrase that people enter on search engines to find what they’re looking for. You need to do keyword research. Don’t worry, there are plenty of tools on the internet for you to use, such as Google Adwords’ Keywords Planner and the Bing Keyword Research tool. Your keywords should be specific to what your company does, the services/products that you offer, and where you are located. Take a look at what words your top competitors are using to rank higher than you, and see how you can individualize keywords to be specific to your niche.

Your company’s keywords are going to be the foundation of your SEO (search engine optimization) efforts. To learn more about SEO, check out our last blog post, The Essential Small Business Guide to SEO.

The next step of internet marketing is blogging. You need to first make sure that your website has a blog, where your readers can subscribe to your posts as well as share them to various social media sites. Blogging creates original content for your company, and it allows you to update your website consistently, which together improve your site’s search engine rankings as well as your reputation.

One of the best ways to promote your website and blog is through social media marketing. Find out which social media platforms your potential customers use most. Establish a social presence online and connect with potential customers like never before.

Online business directories are yet another fundamental to internet marketing. Make sure that all of your company’s listings are up-to-date, correct, and complete. This can be a time consuming task, but the difference it makes in your search engine rankings is well worth it.

Lastly, do not forget to use analytics and tracking tools. There are many free tools out there, such as Google Analytics and Bing Webmaster Tools. They are vital to tracking your success and seeing how effective your internet marketing tactics are.