Content Marketing

content-creation-process

My 3 steps guide on Content Creation Process

Umair Qureshi No Comments

We all have heard how “Content is the REAL King” but producing that killer content is all together a different thing than what it looks like. It is in itself a science to be re-purposing, recreating the same commonly published content repeatedly. Your content can be a simple blog post or it could be any detailed infographic to highlight any complex issue in your niche but there are always some processes that it must go through to be the KILLER. These steps include SEO and keywords, topic research and the latest industry trends to be finally able to create irresistible content for your website. Looking deeper into content marketing will only do you good and help you in coming up with something more effectively. Once you have made good use of all the elements of producing a killer content you can confidently share your masterpiece with your audience. Doing your homework the right way is the key to producing a killer content; always account for your audience and the current industry trends.

I, for one am a firm believer that when planning a content strategy, there should always be a well identified aim and certain goals that you plan on meeting before you can start writing content for your business. You must at first ask yourself why you feel the need to produce new content, what is the purpose of your content generation? Is it because you want to produce new content? Is it to get more leads? To create a greater brand awareness? or an attempt to acquire back links and domain authority? Once you get answers, it becomes easier to produce content that best serves your purposes and you can then devise and build your content creation strategy around it.

In this blog post, I have tried to highlight some of the most helpful steps that I usually take while going through a content creation process.

I will now be breaking down my content creation process into 3 stages. At stage 1, I’ll make sure, I find some topics that are relevant to my consumers and my brand; at stage 2, I’ll test social currency of the topics; and upon reaching stage 3 I will explain to you what is that makes a content stand out.

STAGE 1: What are consumers interested in? – brainstorm bunch of topics, that have to be in line with my brand and content strategy.

STAGE 2: What do they currently say on the topic / what is already written about it? – I would do a bit of a research first, find some statistic, researches … and use tools like Google Trends, Social Mentions, Moz, Topsy … to listen to the online conversation about the topic.

STAGE 3: Can my brand contribute to the discussion / can I find relevant angle, that would challenge or change consumer mind on the topic? – If the answer is not yes, I would go back to STAGE 1. If the answer is yes, I would use notes from stage 2 and follow 3 criteria to make content really great: storability, co-creation, utility.

Here are some of the tools and techniques I use as part of my content creation process.

Keyword Research Tools:

Content Marketing is the new SEO. Choose the right keywords that provides right context to what you offer. Here are some helpful tools to find right keywords for your content.

Audience Research Tools

Get to know your audience as well as you possibly can. Interviews with stakeholders, customers etc. are a big part of this, but there are some quick and dirty tools I love too, namely…

  • Facebook Audience Insights (Amazing tool! Dig deep into FB audience insights tool to find out demography and similar interests that matches your target audience)
  • Google Trends (Keep an eye on what your consumers are looking for in your niche)
  • Social Mention (Sentiment, strength, passion & reach scores around a topic + top keywords, users, hashtags and sources.)

Content Research Tools

  • BuzzSumo (See what’s popular around a certain topic, or on a certain domain… or combine the two)
  • Google News (See what authority publishers are doing around your topic – get up to speed)
  • Reddit (find a relevant sub, change view to ‘top’ links, set timeframe to ‘all time’ – inspiration awaits!)
  • Google Trends (See popular trends on any particular topic, region etc.)

Tools / Exercises for Generating Ideas

Deciding Whether Your Idea is Any Good…

  • Give bloggers / journalists / customers / whoever you want to like the content a sneak preview. Get their feedback before it’s too late!

It ultimately depends on the goals of the content. I work with a wide variety of clients on a daily basis to brainstorm and write content ideas, and each client has different goals:

If you want more search traffic:

Dig into Google Analytics to find keywords/topics that are already generating small amounts of organic traffic, then build a dedicated page/resource around them. The great thing about this approach is that you can study the existing results for a keyword, compare them, and then create a piece that’s by far the best. I’ve had clients go from getting 50-100 visitors a month for a small volume search keyword to getting 1,000+ just by building a page dedicated to that search term and its variations.

Interview clients to find out their most common questions:

A quick 15 minute interview with a client is often all it takes to get 10-20 questions that they’re asked on a frequent basis by their customers. From here, break each question off into a separate page and write a dedicated piece of content that answers the question. These are great for generating search traffic from informational queries and can also be used to build support resources that reduce demands on the client’s customer support staff.

Also Read: A COMPLETE guide to Story Writing: How to attract customers in your niche?

Find existing popular content, then make it better:

This strategy is a little boring and not so creative but it works very well. If there’s a leading resource that’s attracting a lot of attention in your vertical, you can write your own expanded and improved version. This works best when the current leading resource in your industry isn’t as good as it could be, and you can turn it into 10x content for your business with a few tweaks and changes.

Content marketing guide

A COMPLETE guide to Story Writing: How to attract customers in your niche?

Umair Qureshi one comments

Content marketing goes a long way and therefore stress needs to be laid upon making the best of your content. It is for a fact that most buzzing social media trends today will not be as effective tomorrow and therefore, to engage your audience’s attention you will need to constantly come up with new, updated strategies.  Just the right content marketing strategy will never go out of style and is a proven, effective method of getting your audience to be star struck!

Where must you begin? It is pretty simple to get started if you ask me.

Your content needs to be irresistible, tempting, and meaningful. Together with a few carefully developed strategies, attracting an audience should not be difficult.

How to use Storytelling as a Content Marketing Strategy?

Here are the ten secrets to remember as you get started with content development. If there was an Old Chinese wise man, who was an expert in content Marketing, he would be telling you exactly what you are about to read next:

Your content has to be a work of Magic and should be nothing less than enchanting.
If your content is not engaging, if it does not deliver what it is supposed to, if it does not come with your vision then you are at a terrible position over the world’s widest web! In this case, even all the paid promotion in the world will not be able to get you the results that you seek. And the real fun in making money online is lower investments and Higher Return On Investments, by investing too much and getting no results you will only be losing the essence of having started in the first place. Yes, the PROFITS.

The Early Birds do get the worm, strike before anyone else does.
The online world is very impulsive and fast to react, you need to enter it with a bang and make an impression to last a very long time in order to capture the market. Content marketing comes with a few added advantages, these being the need to revise the content much less frequently and high quality content not only engaging the audiences but also delivering the desired results. We therefore advice that if you want to keep it at a low budget, and get effective results your content will not only to be engaging but incredible and also represent your product and services in ways that they are impossible to resist and hence boast sales.

Speak your mind in a way that gets their attention!
You must give all your secrets away, that is one of the most effective ways to get their attention and besides if there is something that everyone knows but no one will say, don’t think twice and say it! Read your copy over and over, and over and over! Make changes until it is condense, until you see no room for changes and to the point where it is the definition of precision in itself. Say something brave that will connect you to your audiences and target market, they will not only love you for saying it but also begin to trust you and take your word for it. This is the most important and the most valuable asset, customer’s trust.

Make a solid point of why they should be listening to you in the first place.
Do not just over do your website with boring content, charge and load it with slide share presentation and info-graphics. Experiment with different formats, try new stuff out, let your writing style be the flare in your content.  Don’t forget to be original and invest into your content, make deep researches and produce a content that is not only incredibly thorough but effective, meaningful, engaging and gives new information. Don’t re-do what others have already done, differ and in the process create content that your readers are compelled to share, with your research and some excellent content you can make a ground-breaking discovery of how to capture the market.

Aim for all of your content to go VIRAL

You know how if you aim for the moon and miss, you will still land in the stars? Yes this is exactly what needs to be done, work really hard over your content, hard work always pays off.

You can always find out someone who is already working on similar things as you or shares similar beliefs and interview them. This way you will not only have something new for your audience but also reach to their audience for they will potentially be your target market too. Given that the interviewee is impressed with what you have produced and shares it.

Learning how to create a viral post is not difficult there are many tutorials out there, but just remember to keep it relevant to your topic and niche.

You really need quality over quantity in the longer run.
Write only when you have something meaningful to say, not because you have not posted in a while. Let us remind you it is all about quality and never the quantity, get your research done right before you put your cards on the table, there is no formula to win except striking at the right time. Timing is the key to great content marketing.

Headlines!
This a proven formula that has worked over centuries and not just decades and nothing better that incorporating a few effective old, tested remedies.

The more functional and appealing your headings are, the more audience you will be able to stumble upon for we are always in a rush and what does not interest us at first glance we do not give it a econd chance.

User friendly design.
The design of your website matters much more than you think it does, you will miss out, quite a lot of your audience with a bad design that is not even close to being user friendly. You will have a hard time keeping and retaining the attention of your visitors, and if the design does not engage your user at the first sight all your hard work over the content will go to waste. Design and content work hand in hand, do not ignore either of them and you will get there in no time. You need to design with your end goal in your mind all the time.

Social proof and SEO:
Let the search engines and your quality services and products do the talking for you, there is no marketing that is more effective than a mixture of these two. If a visitor is new to your website they will be seeking for clues to ensure that your website is valid, is interesting and if it is something you sell, then they will look for something that validates your claims. Customer reviews and feedbacks play an effective role for them to analyze in a glimpse if your website is worth spending any time on. Put simply testimonials help reinforce your value. Now that you have looked into social proofing your website next comes SEO.

You will always need to optimize not only your headline but also your content URL and do so specially for the search engines. You can always make use of an effective and freely available tool called the Google Keyword Tool, which will help you in finding the popular most keywords. There should be no keyword stuffing, the content needs to be written for humans and a website which has been designed to be both user friendly and Google friendly tends to shoot up higher on the ranking charts. You will need to offer not only a sitemap, but use an SEO-optimized platform to register with the Google Search Console.

Here is a million dollar tip:
Despite the contrary belief of link building producing the fastest and most effective results, you need to focus on and develop, optimized content. This will ensure a long-term success when it comes to SEO and hence the much wanted Search Engine Rankings.

Do it all at the speed of light:
Make sure that your websites functions fast and is light, if it takes too long to load no matter how appealing your content is, it is pointless. Today, with the advancement in technology Site speed is a direct contributor and factor that leads to higher search rankings.

You must consider moving towards a faster webhost, together with some high quality leverage caching and ensure that your website is reflexive, meaning it is fully functional on devices such as smart phones and tablets and works, just as it does on a regular PC.

Lastly, Bear in mind that a GREAT content is the key to everything else but the packaging that it comes in (being the website) is what decides and engages the user’s interests and hence the sales.

Are you getting the most out of your Content Marketing efforts? Request FREE Digital Marketing Assessment to review your performance.

content marketing

Are you prepared to compete with Content Strategy?

Umair Qureshi No Comments

Content marketing is now well established as a core marketing technique. Seth Godin, stated back in 2008 that ‘Content marketing was the only marketing left. That brings in the most important question how to get started with your content marketing strategy? Most B2B marketers will tell you that they have always practiced content marketing, and rightly so.

In the new research conducted by HubSpot and Smart Insights, They have reached out to get insights from over 700 marketers across Europe to set a benchmark for how competitive content marketing has become. Their research includes key insights & recommendations from the leading industry experts on how-to make in roads in content marketing? where to invest wisely? and what are the key properties to engage your audience? These are some of the questions which are being answered in the below infographic.

Content Marketing in 2015

content marketing - story telling

How to use Storytelling as a Content Marketing Strategy?

Umair Qureshi one comments

Why Every Business Needs a Story?

When it comes to content marketing, it is all about storytelling. Without creating a story, it becomes difficult to give direction to your audience towards your ultimate content marketing goal. In this particular post, I’m going to help you out in sketching a right story for your business so you can effectively create mesmerizing and appealing messages and a comprehensive content marketing campaign. So, let’s just dive into the topic.

content marketing - story telling

You might be wondering what story telling has to do with marketing of you business right? Let me tell you, every business whether it is small or large needs an effective story. This is something which plays a role of bridge that connects you with customers. Without having a comprehensive story you cannot be able to showcase products or services to intended audience.

Content marketing is just not only nice to have, but it is becoming a necessity.  It is something which has now become an essential part in inbound marketing process and shows no sign that it’s going to end any time soon. A lot of big and small companies are adopting it because of a crucial role it plays in customer journey mapping.

I truly believe that every business requires a story that represents its original essence to target audience. However the role it plays varies from business to business.

Creating Captivating Story for your Audience:

You can generate story for your content marketing in so many ways. You can even interpret the story of your life or your own success story. Or you may create a fantasy that your customers like to hear from you. When generating story for business, go back and find out the inspiration that urged you to take this initiative. If you are not the original founder then go for in-depth research and read out the history carefully such as when they started off etc. Content must be delivered consistently to your key prospects regardless of the channel.

Forrester reported that 70 percent of the content B2B buyers read and study before making a purchase decision is actually found by themselves, as opposed to being given to them by marketing or sales.

This put greater emphasize on storytellers to be consistent with your story as why any potential prospect would buy from you. Your story can go through certain changes as per the requirements and conditions. But you should focus on creating a story that leaves long lasting impression on customers.

How to Convey Story To Your Audience?

Once you are done with the story, you will need to express it. It is not necessary to convey it directly to audience. In fact, it should be presented in various ways to make it worthy. You can leave a hint in every email marketing message; you can convey it through blogs, within your website, your services and products etc.

Top Content Consumption by Type:

Types of Content Consumption 2014

According to Eccolo Media 2014 B2B Technology Content Survey Report

  • 49% of the respondents read whitepapers, beating other collateral types like brochures & case studies.
  • 50% of survey respondents say they consume two to five assets when they are ready to make a purchase.

Don’t ever try to beat customers with excessive amount of content over their heads. Rather, use it more conveniently to inspire and attract them.

Conclusion:

The core aim of every storytelling in content marketing is to convey a message effectively to the right target audience. Again, the main emphasize is to create long-term relationships with customers in order to generate maximum leads.

What about you? I’m looking forward to hear how you are using storytelling in your business? Is it helping you out to bring what you desire?

Content Optimization

A Starter’s Guide to Optimize Web Content for Search Engines and Users

Umair Qureshi No Comments

Content optimization is a critical process; producing more content is not only enough but making it visible to your targeted audience should be the goal of  a every content marketer.  If your targeted audience won’t be able to find it then what is the point of producing compelling content?  In order to get found on the search engines & to achieve optimum outcome there are certain content optimization practices that needed to be take care of when publishing your content online.

Content Optimization

It is equally important for search engines and users to understand your content and business which can be done through content optimization process. It increases the chances of your content to become more visible in the eyes of the search engines than ever before as through content optimization you are passing on essential information to search engines about your content & what is your business is all about. Search engines use this information in search results to display content for relevant search queries which certainly makes content optimization a crucial part of your content marketing process.

Optimizing Website Content for Search Engines & Users:

Website content should not sound specifically optimized for search engines but it’s also must be written for the readers to easily understand and consume information.

Example of “Perfectly” Optimized page:

Example of content optimization

Source: www.moz.com

In the image above, it’s clearly seen that the page is optimized for the keyword ‘Chocolate Donuts” and the keyword has been placed accordingly to cover all the important On-Page factors.

  • Title of the page.
  • Meta Description.
  • Keyword usage in the body text.
  • Keyword placement in the URL.

Optimizing Title & Meta Descriptors:

Meta Titles:

  • Always write engaging Titles & try to keep it short. [Max 70 characters]
  • Use main keyword in the title of the page that has business relevance & describes your page best.

Meta Descriptions:

  • Write a short description with 150-160 characters that describes your topic best keeping your reader as well as search engines in mind.

Important things to consider:

  • Include relevant keyword in URL structure, Title, Body & Meta descriptions.
  • Using eye-catching headings with a primary keyword placement if suitable.
  • Minimum 300 words content at 2% keyword density.
  • Key values should be highlighted in the bullet form.
  • Maintain a balance of keywords usage with rest of the content.
  • Keywords must be used in a most natural way.
  • Avoid using long URLs.
  • Avoid over stuffing of keywords (Google treats overly optimized content as spam.)
  • Adding Alt image text & file name to optimize images.

Conclusion:

Quality content is all what we need online. If you get successful in providing unique value than there are more chances of doing well in the search results. There is a saying that the users always comes first than the search engines. However, there are content optimization techniques and practices that helps to improve visibility of your content. Keyword placement in strategic places assists search engines to get the better idea about the topic of your page. There are several other techniques that can be applied, but these all are less important than what is already stated above.

inluencing influencers

Content Marketing : Influencer Marketing Ideas from Top Influencers

Umair Qureshi No Comments

Influencer outreach plays an important part in a content marketing jigsaw and it is considered as one of the key tactics to expand reach of the content. Marketers often outreach key influencers in their respective industries to leverage online influence and authority which ultimately helps businesses to increase organic reach of their products and services.

This is mostly done by bloggers & PR firms which enables brands to start marketing collaboration & build a solid community that will help them in future to acquire referrals, lead generation & traffic acquisitions for their own products or services. This is the bes-test way in terms of achieving organic reach with targeted audience and mostly suitable for small and large enterprises.

Below is an infographic from smartinsights based on marketing insights from the marketing world’s key influencers  like jeff Bullas, Ann Handley, Joe Pullizi and Jay Baer on how to approach & work with influencers.

influencer-marketing-ideas-infographic-550x6437

 

 

The ultimate guide to get started with content marketing strategy in 2014

The ultimate guide to get started with content marketing strategy in 2016

Umair Qureshi one comments

Days are gone when your marketing efforts was mostly relied upon direct endeavors. Successful marketing campaigns drive results through variety of ingredients that work in different ways to achieve business objectives. Content marketing is one of the key aspect that excels your marketing efforts to achieve those goals.

Content marketing help brands to engage existing clients and generate new leads, exploiting through blogs, infographics, whitepapers, online videos and other content techniques that connect your business with potential customers and eventually helps prospects to make buying decisions. But at the same time its also important to evaluate those efforts to measure either if your content strategy is based upon building brand awareness or turning your prospects from strangers to lovers? and only then it helps you to decide on how you can align marketing goals with content marketing strategy to achieve them conveniently.

It has so many benefits for your business that simply can’t be easily ignored in the competitive  B2B and B2C world, no matter if your business is large or of a small size.

“Content remains to be the King in 2016” but do you know how to make it worthy for your brand? Content strategist from Gage has come up with content strategy infographic that will further help us in understanding content marketing better than ever.

Gage-Content-Strategy-Infographic

Key takeaways from the content marketing infographic:

  • Clearer Objectives.
  • Know your Personas.
  • Build a solid strategy.
  • Create content with context.
  • Plan your content.
  • Create, Measure & Rinse

>>HOW CONTENT MARKETING GOING TO BOOST SEARCH ENGINE RANKINGS IN 2016?