How to Get Started with Content Marketing
Content Marketing For Every Brand
If you’ve clicked on this post because you are wondering if content marketing is right for your business then you’re in the right place and the answer is yes! Content marketing can benefit any and every brand, no matter the industry, their audience demographic, or how they deliver their products or services. There are a few reasons why this is true.
To start, contemporary consumers have started to grow accustomed to marketing being deliver over narrative arcs over social media, websites, and in mass media. Sponsored content in major publications is a norm now and brand channels on blogging sites such as Medium are not just common, they are expected.
Second, the internet’s every-growing structure makes the perfect environment for brands to take up space and share their stories across websites, social platforms, and in multiple forms of content. With the ease with which any brand can have a website developed and launched, every business - whether it is about to launch, just launched, or is already a decade in the game - can own a website and share content to market what they do.
The benefits of content marketing have lasting value. When you hook customers with content you embed the impression of your brand in their imagination. As they share your content they’ll be helping build awareness of your brand among their peers and over time an increasing number of people will become enthusiastic brand followers. As you feed them a steady stream of content you’ll maintain healthy traffic levels on your website (which is good for SEO) and you’ll continue to drum up interest in your brand.
Your Website is a Marketing Platform
We’ve talked about this before, but it’s well worth repeating. Your website is your digital environment, the hub for your brand online, and the one space you control online that isn’t governed by algorithms and diluted with other brands’ content. So use it!
Here are a few ways you can use your website for content marketing:
Blogging - You can publish a continuous stream of content about your brand and the subject area you work within on a blog managed on your website. Blogging is good for SEO because it routinely gives search engines new content to crawl and interpret. The structure of a blog makes it easy for you to add new content to your website without having to put too much thought to organization and structure (though you shouldn’t ignore that altogether). (Related: SEO Tips for Bloggers)
Event Calendars - If live or digital events are important to your brand, then keeping an event calendar on your website is an easy way to feed your potential customers the information they want/need and give them a reason to follow you.
Product and Service Pages - It’s your website so take up space! If you can’t talk about what you do with fervor then who can? Don’t hesitate to invest in real estate to describe your products and services. Share the details that your customers want and need to know to convert. Trust us, the more detailed information they can find the easier it’s for them to make a purchase decision.
Subject/Helpful Tip Pages - Content marketing is all about providing value to your customers while promoting your wares. I advocate for creating subject pages for the brands that truly want to be a value to their customers. I really like how REI does this. If you’re familiar with REI, you know they sell sportswear and goods for the adventurous and athletically inclined. They could have built a website that serves as an online store, but they decided to go a step further and provide content to inform their customers about the activities they might engage in while using their gear. For example, this is an index of content that REI has put together to educate people about paddling. It’s brilliant because it positions REI as an authority on an activity people are interested in (full disclosure, I love kayaking) and in a gentle way that says “let us be helpful . . . and let us sell you that kayak.” It gives REI a lot of content to share on social and plenty to be read by search engines.
Content Marketing and Search Engine Marketing/Optimization
The brilliant thing about what REI has done is that it not only 1) gives them plenty of content to share, and 2) gently affirms their authority on these subjects, but it 3) places them at the intersection of their potential customers and search engine results.
All of the content you create to market your business - videos, images, blog posts, subject pages - should be discoverable by both search engines and potential customers querying Google for answers to their wants and needs. Content marketing positions you to be the link they click on when they ask Google: “where can I buy Seville oranges near me?”
Now let's talk about long tail keywords.
The internet is crowded and everyone is vying for attention. So embedding one keyword every so often in your content isn’t enough. You need to work to include phrases and questions that your potential customers would use or respond to in your content. You can use tools such as Ubersuggest to research search volume around the keywords you know you should be using and receive suggestions for keywords and phrases you could be using to optimize your website for search.
Squarespace Makes Content Marketing Easy
Squarespace can help on the keyword front as well! The platform’s analytics panel can show you the Google keywords that potential customers are using before they click on a link to your website. If you have search enabled on your website, the analytics panel will also show you the keywords people are using there, which will give you further insight into the language people use when looking for the goods or services you have to offer.
The benefits of using Squarespace for your website continue. The platform includes robust blogging features that will allow you to have multiple authors publish content as frequently as they can churn it out. We recommend developing a frequency of publications and committing to it, rather than going wild for a while and then burning out. The regular addition of new, keyword-rich, content to your website will give search engines more data to understand what you do and when to show your site in search results.
On a technical level, something people don’t always pay attention to is the quality of your URLs. Website builders will auto-generate URLs as you build new pages and blog posts. Squarespace is no exception, but you want to pay attention to what they’re generating. URLs that don’t have a rhyme or reason or collectively portray logical paths around your site only serve to harm you in search results. You want to keep your URLs clean and meaningful.
Example: if you created a portfolio of work on your website, the URLs might look something like this:
As opposed to this:
The second example has its own rhyme and reason, but it’s not as straight forward. Don’t adopt the auto-generated URLs. Create your own. Use keywords.
When you’re sharing your content on social media and in ads, you can also create trackable URLs directly from Squarespace. The good thing about trackable URLs is that they are...well..trackable. That means you can get data about who is clicking on them, which ultimately gives you another insight into how the email, social post or ad you included the URL in is performing and how people are reacting to the content you used to lure a click.
Your Content Should be Useful, Respectful, and Consistent
Brands with the best intentions can flop at content marketing. It’s frighteningly easy (not to scare you). To avoid flopping, adopt a platform that puts control in your hands (Squarespace), use the language that your potential customers would use, and show them that your brand has value by creating content of value to them (be helpful, informative, exciting, etc.). Finally, publish consistently. From time-to-time, we see entrepreneurs and startups put out gorgeous, informative, conversion-worthy content . . . and then wait three months to post again. That might work for a while. Even a long while. But, you may never reach your full potential. Dedicate time and energy to content marketing and you’ll be rewarded in the end.