Wondering how to lure customers in other countries into useful independent content marketing products for company news and articles? Evgeny Grudanov, co-founder of the marketing agency Kraftblick, reveals his experience in the field of promotion in English.
Every year, competition for the hearts of customers grows. A method for content marketing is one technique to succeed and attract more potential consumers (leaders). We'll illustrate in a series of two articles why and how.
Our expertise is based on dealing with IT firms and generating English for an American audience, but these tips are relevant to any other company.
Stages of content marketing
Although "content marketing" has become a hotchpotch in recent years, clarifying what it is is not needless. The marketing of content is not about putting articles on your blog. It is a thorough promotional effort usually comprising three primary phases.
The first stage is the creation of strategy. We shall flounder in a sea of the same type of content without a clearly defined plan. The strategy consists of the following:
Development of the buyer
Creation of the most interesting themes for the potential audience
Development of a content plan
The second stage is the development of content. At this level, we produce entertaining and informative materials while considering how potential clients might be reached. Apart from blog postings, the content may also be as follows:
Cases Business pages (description of services)
Articles uploaded on your blog (guest posts) and other publications
The third stage is the promotion of content. It is ridiculous to expect an earthquake after writing a few pieces and placing them on an unpopular company website. All materials must be supported by the following:
Distribution to the social media groups concerned
Add to content aggregators
Sending individual links
We shall discuss these processes later.
Why companies need marketing content
Many businesses directly sell — sales specialists seek potential clients via cold calls, letters or LinkedIn and offer services. Why do they need marketing content? There are a number of causes.
1. Multiply channels. It is risky to rely completely on one or two consumer acquisition channels. In difficult times, content marketing can be an additional source of consumer flow and support.
2. Improve other channels' impact. It is rare for a potential client to not visit the company website even from another source, such as a conference. Quality of content directly affects whether the customer wishes to engage with you further or to contact another partner.
3. Construct a strong image. 3. Good content helps to create a picture of expertise that affects product costs.
Imagine a logistics industry customer requiring an atypical CRM system. He is looking to develop this system for a contractor and he has two companies in mind.
On the Services page the Website of Company A is modestly stated: "We design innovative CRM solutions."
Company B offers a distinct website, the 'CRM Systems for Logistics Companies,' with a range of information, particular case-based connections and blog postings concerning logistics company development features.
Which company is the most likely customer to contact?
Even if Company B is more expensive, the consumer can choose it Since company B clearly knows what it does and has experience.
Content marketing must be understood as an effective technique of attracting traffic and leading, but this is not a silver bullet. You have to spend a lot of effort, money and knowledge into this tool. In a few months, it is practically hard to attain substantial success. For example, it took us six months to produce the necessary outcomes once on our blog. Now, the marketing channel for Kraftblick is number one, and the results are more than satisfactory, but the price was very high (both financially and morally).
We do not propose that organisations utilise the agile strategy to "test it for a month, and then we see." Nothing good will be visible in a month, unfortunately.
Creation of Content: Step by Step Guide
You have decided to try marketing content and start writing catchy pieces on a company blog. What's next? What's next?
Step 1 Step
Choose the target audience and create a picture of the buyer. Why do you need a buyer? It is necessary not only for an abstract audience to write content, but also for people who can become real clients.
Many businesses still have blogs with content such as the "How our Friendly Team Celebrated 8 March" or "How to Code an Aircraft for Java and Fly Away to Distant Countries" It is doubtful that such articles will fetch clients because they were written for another audience. From a practical perspective, the buyer portrait is necessary to build good subjects later and not to lose course in the upcoming article writing.
How do you make a buyer's portrait? There are numerous internet instructions, from simple checklists to automatic generators. These guidelines propose pictures from average readers from family and social class to favourite books and television shows with the full background. And don't forget to find, of course, a picture of a particular individual with whom the buyer should be involved.
In theory, this strategy appears reasonable since we can take on the customer's position and write intriguing articles. However, we decided, after producing a few dozen buyer pictures standard, that these tactics do not perform well in real life.
We had a dozen themes that were meant to be of great interest to our potential consumers. We then sent them to our clients for honest views on how engaging these themes are. The answer was, "Not that much." We have so decided on the following way to create (and worked) a purchaser's portrait:
1. Estimate fundamental demographics: age, country, location. For example, CTO, 45, lives in the United States (CTO, 45, US).
2. Look for specific challenges and problems facing potential clients. There's a great hack here: rather than attempting to eradicate the hypothetical difficulties of the person who is in a country that is perhaps hundreds of kilometres away, uncover job opportunities and find the answers that the employer needs from our clients. Go to work websites (we used in fact) and fill the required position in the search bar.
Then the contents of the vacancy are properly scanned. Here are the obstacles and challenges for a Chief Technology Officer (CTO):
Set a technical vision for the enterprise
Assistance to technical requirements from external and internal stakeholders
IT productivity management
In the future, these challenges are generally ready-made subjects for essays;
Complete Guide for CTOs How CTOs can develop a technical vision for IT performance management
3. Look for special websites visited by our potential readers. The ideal option is, of course, to ask clients to share their browser history. In practise, however, this approach is not practicable, so it is best to ask where they are visiting.
One intriguing issue is that it is important to bear in mind that even those with high-ranking occupations might enhance their consuming habits. For instance, a CTO could tell you he is reading the Financial Times and the Wall Street Journal, but he is really busy enough time to read Reddit's most recent threads. All the articles on professional subjects are either Googled or read by clicking on the colleagues' links.
4. Visit professional conference websites. The reports at good conferences are only a storage for relevant knowledge. Let's look at, for example, the itinerary for the Summit of Chief Technology Officer in San Francisco.
Despite various themes, the overall image of our audience's interests is readily obvious.
5. Read the articles common to normal clients. LinkedIn is best used for this task. Facebook is generally only a site for families, friends and kitties for western folks.
6. Read the content of the groups of possible clients in Facebook and LinkedIn. Find groups that subscribe to persons with interesting positions. Look at the published content and what discussions are leading to intense debate.
7. Look for rivals' great blogs and see what they post. All the work detailed above may already have been carried out by competitors. You can thus view their blogs and post the most interesting and relevant issues.
As a result of all this work, we receive an overall picture of the buyer person, who is our guide when producing subjects and writing materials.
Step 2 Step
Choose the content kinds. There could be several:
Evergreen content is articles that will not lose relevancy for a long period.
How to design an app like as Uber
How to hire the top experts from Salesforce
The distinctive characteristic is that users ask inquiries from Google that are addressed in such articles. For example, here is the average monthly number of people who are looking for "how to develop an application such as Uber":
Therefore, with the appropriate choice of keywords and good content, evergreen content can offer good traffic and leads.
We are paying the most attention in this series to the evergreen material.
These articles are developed so that interested individuals can share them on social networks, send each other, make comments, etc. This type of stuff takes a large emotional bet.
At the same time, it is doubtful that readers will search for this content intentionally. For example, not many people are looking, "Why I dislike Agile."
Since such information is emotional, they will probably "shoot," but you must know how to advertise such pieces precisely; otherwise they will not be seen. Moreover, their lifecycle is generally short.
The traffic to such publications diminishes drastically as soon as promotional activity ends. After all, as we discussed before, users would most likely not get to such things with search engines since they simply do not input the essential questions.
These are the materials that the reader will find in simply being on the site already. It may include service descriptions, cases, an About Us page etc. Such information is really crucial for a visitor to become a lead, but it doesn't work alone.
Choose keywords. Suppose we've chosen to write evergreen content. It is based on well-chosen terms that Google can enter for our potential consumers. How are these words or "keys" found? There are a number of ways to do this.
Method 1 Method
Remember how we searched for issues, publications, conference topics and so on in our buyer portrait? Why not see what terms visitors enter to find such information in the search form?
We require a keyword analysis provider for this, like Ahrefs. We can copy and paste the link to an article on the Site Explorer section. Then we can see the keywords chosen to display the article.
If we locate anything that's right for us, we select those keys.
It is best to select keywords with a lot of inquiries, but the fight to reach the top page is furious. On Ahrefs you can check both the number of searches and the number of pages utilising this term. Naturally, these figures are only approximate figures, and not necessarily correct, but can still give an overview.
If we want to find keywords for a problem list, then we add a step ahead: enter the problem text in Google and select the most appropriate articles. Then we enter Ahrefs in these connections.
Method 2 The
We must first collect the bases for this strategy. Bases are broad theme-related terms. For example, if a corporation develops Java, it may be based on 'Java development,' which is a bit short, but has many features: extensions. This key itself is short.
Step 4 Step
Select a genre. In an ocean of the same type of content, it is crucial to pick which genus to employ in the article. The following genres perform well for firms in our experience.
Cases. In cases, you can tell what problem the consumer faced and how courageously it has been resolved. If a case shows a person who has the same problem as the reader and the remedy is described, then the reader will be very strongly encouraged to ask for specifics.
Stories. This genre has been powerful since the advent of Homer and the Odyssey. However, it is not an easy task to use for marketing. The stories frequently from a marketing point of view are the same scenarios and are just beautifully packaged and served with personal experience, for instance, "How I derailed the dragon and achieved a positive impact from the Enterprise Resources Planning System."
How to items. How-to items. This type of content works excellent when it is prepared correctly. Regrettably, many organisations make a typical mistake: they write instructions for local people (for example, IT companies write for programmers, "How to Patch X for Y"). However, potential customers are generally not affected by such details because they solve global management and business problems rather than configure servers. Here is an example of a good article: How to manage Slack software development.
Opinions. This type of article is one if we have promotional sources. Search systems still rarely seek opinions; so Google won't bombard you with visitors. There is a potential, though, that it may blow up social media and start a storm of discussions. I hate Kanban is an example of such stuff.
Articles based on data from the firm. Research and analysis are the basis of such items. The preparation of these items is highly difficult, but the result can be cool. This is the top of the line, and you can gain visitors for a long period if you also choose solid keywords. An example of this article is an Anchor Text Driven Data Guide.
When you don't read the blog often, you should concentrate on content that enable you to acquire a core audience: stories and opinions. How-tos can also be used, but ensure to correctly choose your keywords.
If you already have visitors but do not convert leads well, you need to develop additional instances and data-based content. These documents confirm your know-how.
Develop themes. Develop them. It is a problem to develop a topic of good quality, but there are a few strategies to aid you.
Use the information from the buyer's creation. Remember how we looked for difficulties, the names of conference reports, and so on? If you slightly twist and polish this knowledge, you can get catchy topics ready. It is also worth asking existing customers about their KPIs, tasks and issues. No senior management would refuse to read an article on how to attain the company's objectives (and therefore, get a bonus).
Please use BuzzSumo. This service provides popular material for your keywords. The themes of the popular stuff discovered on the website can be utilised to generate even better content.
The Quora Q&A Service is a storehouse of ideas for valuable content. Enter the keywords and learn what questions are asked about these topics. We can select the right questions and answer them with the long reply version that will be published later on the blog.
Wear Ahrefs. We had searched for keywords with Ahrefs, but it also allows us to search for popular articles with keywords. Go to section f of Content Explorer, enter keywords and read what other authors wrote.
After combining all these strategies, 15–20 topics are developed. They must then be authenticated. Four questions for each subject can be asked to decide whether an article should be written for each topic or not:
1. Will the subject attract the target audience?
2. Can we locate fascinating facts about the subject?
3. Will this article be shared and enjoyed in social media?
4. Will industry opinion leaders want to refer to it?
After validation there are usually only three to five true among the 20 subjects. Write about these subjects in articles.