I assume that you are here because you already saw the 1st question of the Get Optimized 2. If you haven’t seen it, please check the discussion first about link building without using content marketing.
I also introduced our collaborators on the first post. So if you want to know more about these experts, please have a look on their profile there:
Let’s get on with the Question #2:
A lot – for my blog and for some of our clients. The marketing opportunities don’t just stop in getting voluntary given links/mentions when you’re consistently publishing great content. You can also get so much brand exposure, as byproducts, when you try to establish yourself as an expert through content marketing – through:
- Interview opportunities.
- Guest author/columnist invitations.
- And it makes it easier to penetrate high DA and high traffic publications (when they know that you’re really an authority in your field).
One sample that I can share is detailed on a case study I wrote a year ago – on doing linker outreach. The method has proven its effectiveness both on my site and a few from our clients.
For content marketing I can say that it’s really what we build our SEO strategy on ever since. SEO Hacker started as a know-how blog where I share my SEO journey – that’s content. Things went from there. I tried email marketing, social media marketing, creating our own product (SEO School), creating our services website, and so on and so forth and the reason why people keep coming back (sending us positive signals) is because of our content. So I guess you could say that content marketing played a huge part in the success we are experiencing.
We’re doing a series on content marketing right now. It’s called Breaking Down Content Marketing. Here are some of the entries you should check out:
- How to Write Powerful Outlines and Why you should give a Fluff
- How to Integrate Low-Hanging Keywords from the Global Market
- Writing for a World of 36-hours-a-day readers
- Assembling Booby-Trap Content for your Audience
- The World Above the Fold: How it Affects SEO
- How to Cook your Content Right
Technically, for you to be able to breakthrough to your readers, you need to follow these basic and forgotten processes in targeting audiences.
Market Research is one of the most important things in business development. A simple keyword research won’t work in the long run, keep that in mind. You need to identify who are the people that are in need, looking, comparing, and searching for your goods. Don’t settle for the term “people who are searching for [keyword/phrase]”, do your home work! You also need to identify where these people hangout and talk about their experiences, insights, questions, events, and the likes that has something to do with your service/product.
One of the easiest ways to identify and keep track of these people is through Mind Mapping. This diagram can help you organize and categorize all of the possible customers for your prospect client. Below is a sample of mind map that I created for a catering company using Text2mindmap:
You can also use this visual representation as a guide for the following:
- It can be a guide for lead acquisition
- A source where I can extract business opportunities
- A guide for concept, context, and content creation
- A road map for Link Prospecting
Market behavior (time): Do you know what specific day of the week your target market search for service or product the most? Knowing this stuff might help you in your scheduling for content creation and syndication.
To identify which day of the week is the best time for you to syndicate your contents; you can use Google Trends and gather the historical data for at least 90 days. Google Trends shows the interest of people over time, so this is one of a good tool to identify the behavior of your target readers.
Here are the steps in identifying the peak days in Google Trends:
First, go to Google Trends and search for your main keyword. In the sample on the left (image 1), I used “catering services” as a term in trends. Then I limit the search results to England as my target location and duration to “Past 90 days”.
After that, download the result in a .CSV file (image 2).
Open the .CSV file and add a column in between Column A and B.
In the file, Google Trends will show the interest rate of “catering services” per day. For us to be able to identify which day it is, simply add a column in between Column A and Column B. Then, type in this excel function in between those two columns [ =TEXT(CELL,”dddd”) ] to give us the exact day of the selected date (image 3).
Populate the function all the way to the bottom and sort Column B according to days (image 4).
After sorting out Column B, get the average of each day for us to identify which among the days of the week have the highest interest rate inside the 90 days historical data.
By simply identifying the peak day in a week, you can effectively schedule all of your syndications using the optimum time taken from the Google Trends. In addition, you also have to consider the culture, the demand, seasonability, and most of all, their PAYDAYs!
This methodology is greatly used by advertising and PR agencies, a method that we should also use in SEO, PPC, and General Online Marketing. If a marketer can identify that most of their target audience.
Market behavior (answers needed): There are different types of prospect clients or readers; there are prospect clients that are planning or influenced to have a service, there people who loves comparing prices/quality/value, and people who are urgently in need of a service. These types of people have different approach, insights, and judgments in choosing a provider. You need to be able to provide different answers for researchers, shoppers, and buyers. As much as possible, concentrate on their frequently asked questions, most searched terms, and things that they post when asking for an opinion or recommendation. This way, your content is optimized (not keywords/SEO) in answering any possible questions a reader may have at the back of their head.
You can also use the following strategy to obtain a link out of content marketing:
- Do a Podcast
- Interviews Field Post
- Crowd-sourcing Post
- Make A Video
- Comic Article
These types of contents automatically build links like a virus propagating itself, when done right.
My most unexpected one lately was in relation to the Cybercrime Law. When it came out, I wrote an overview blog post about it and kept adding as I analyzed it further.
When the law finally took effect, I got around 12 interviews in 3 days. The article got shared by a lot of people too.
In reality though, not all exposure you get will yield to a link. However, if readers take an interest in you, they will google your name and learn more. What publications are missing out though is when they don’t give links within their articles to resources – for readers to learn more, they are affecting “user satisfaction” and eventually – search engine ranking of their articles.
Case studies and success stories are our favorite choices of content as they always deliver success to our clients. We seeded their recent acquisition and boom! It generated 50-60 mentions in a span of 2 weeks. But before the acquisition news per se, we have planted visual display ads all over the place being a new player/brand in the market/niche they are into. The idea of “top of mind” and brand recall has always been very effective from our experience. It is marketing 101.
Content marketing has been playing a major role in our online marketing strategy but if you wanted to deliver a knockout punch combo, you need to use it in collaboration with varying approaches.
Nothing beats a well-planned strategy implemented using different angles, verticals, buying cycles, senses and directions.
After making content marketing our primary focus of link building since the last quarter of 2011 at Internet Marketing Inc. and kept improving our process, I would say most of our results gained were expected results. There are just some cases where we get surprised how far our content reaches where we would get links from authoritative sites such as Huffington Post, Wall Street Journal, National Geographic, TechCrunch and more aside from the many smaller blogs out there. There are so many examples we can use that I can go on forever, and many of them, we cannot always really talk about especially if we have a non-disclosure agreement with the client.
Content Marketing is not my main area of specialization but I find that any successful marketing campaign or strategy stems from having a deep understanding of the needs, wants and desires of the target market, a clear perception of the online behaviors and really good analysis of the data generated from the campaign or strategy.
Wow, I totally want to share lots of information about how I use content marketing to gain links, such as infographics, video creation, blogger outreach and use of other digital assets for content amplification. To give you a specific example of content marketing strategy that I like to share, I would choose the F1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix campaign that we did last year. I chose this because of the technology that we used, as well as the creativity and time that my in-house and agency team spent to develop this amazing, interactive kinda “game” as I called it.
This got a lot of attention, mentions and links from authoritative websites. Basically, the campaign objective was to increase brand awareness and tickets sales by promoting related keywords around the Formula 1 event in Abu Dhabi through SEO. The result was that we got amazing coverage from a lot of online media website, which converted into links pointing to our websites and ranked keywords on major search engines and turned into sales and leads acquisition.
UP NEXT: Questions #3 and #4 – Cover topics about the future of Guest Blogging and Google Penguin Penalty. To be published on monday afternoon
I want to say thank you to the 8 collaborators of this work. Sir Benj Arriola, Ms. Janette Toral, Sheila Dela Pena, Jason Acidre, Sean Si, Gary Viray, Jon Edward Santillan and Gary Lacanilao.
For people who are reading this Get Optimized Second Series, this is a month long work for our 8 collaborators, so don’t forget to say thank you on the comment section if you feel that you have learned something new.
- Interview with Jon Cooper – Link Building Today & Tomorrow
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- Link Anatomy – Further Explanation of What’s Inside a Link