The Importance Of Content Marketing For Promoting Your Business

Content marketing- this term is all over the web these days. When it comes to promoting your business’ products and services online, the WAY to achieve results is throug an effective content marketing, social media and SEO strategies. These are actually the three crucial steps for a successful promotion of your business: 1) creating compelling and engaging content that attracts your audience, 2) sharing this content on your social profiles, which is where your audience can find it and 3) making sure you rank high on Google search results so that prospects interested in the type of content you’re sharing, can find you and add to your clients list.

Image source: Geary LSF

Image source: Geary LSF

The first question that arises though, especially in beginners’ heads is ‘How do I create content that counts?’ And my immediate answer would be ‘REASERCH’. Research is the stepping stone for everything. It is the foundation without which one cannot achieve anything. Through solid research you’ll be able to identify your goals, your target audience, the types of content you can use to achieve the desired results, how to manage your content strategy effectively etc. In order to build a successful content marketing strategy, it is essential that you set up clearly-defined goals, what you want to achieve. This way you’ll be able to decide the type of content you are going to use, the channels you are going to share it from etc.

The Content Marketing Institute defines the term ‘content marketing’ as:

“A marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.”

Again ‘clearly defined audience’ is the first thing you need to have in hand before starting your content marketing strategy. For example, let’s say you’re a marketing technology provider. Your business is B2B, then who your potential customers would be? Businesses that need this technology of course. Probably they don’t know they need it yet, so your job is to tell them. Very important key words in the definition of ‘content marketing’ are also ‘valuable’, ‘relevant’ and ‘consistent’. Sharing information your target audience already knows wouldn’t do you any good. Your aim is to stand out of the crowd and to achieve that, you need to add value to your content. The types of content your audience would be most interested in reading, is another crucial thing you need to find out as part of your research, before starting to build your content marketing strategy. HubSpot has produced a nice list of the most popular types of content, marketers use to attract prospects and turn them into long-time customers:

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According to recent research conducted by Regalix, 98% of marketers say content marketing is core to their marketing strategy. For me, this means content marketing should be an integral element in every successful business plan. A good example for an effective content marketing provider is B2B Marketing. They constantly post stats, industry news and survey results on their website which generate a lot of traffic and directs many potential customers their way. Their content is relevant, valuable and being shared on a regular basis.

Image source: STRYDE

Image source: STRYDE

Now that you know the importance of content marketing, it would be unforgivable to ignore it as a tool, very effective tool actually. It will take some time until you get on tracks and achieve the results you want but with consistency and perseverance, soon you’ll be an established and successful content marketing guru.

Lidiya Kirilova

5 Successful SEO Strategies That Will Boost Your Traffic

Search engine optimization, or as most of us know it by its acronym SEO, is this powerful marketing discipline which makes you popular on the web. Nowadays, when everything is digital, it becomes tougher and tougher to get yourself noticed and attract visitors to your website. And this is where SEO comes to help, although sometimes that might not be enough. If you want a proper search engine optimization, you need an expert, which could be quite expensive as SEO’s work is hard, time-consuming and requires a lot of strategic thinking. For small businesses, which normally have tight budgets, it could be quite a challenge to get a proper SEO support from someone experienced. In this case, it’s always a good idea to do some research and familiarize yourself with the basic principles of SEO. I recently came across MOZ’s Beginner’s Guide To SEO, which is very informative and is great for anyone who wants to get a general understanding of search engine optimization.However, for those of you who have clicked on this post with the hope to find effective strategies to help you increase your traffic, here is my top 5 favourite SEO techniques:

1) Optimize your website to be mobile friendly

Yes, I know, this is a very banal strategy but it actually works. Most people nowadays possess smart devices and use them a lot to search the Internet. As you can see from Smart Insights infographic below produced for their Mobile Marketing Statistics 2015 report, the percentage of people accessing websites from their smart phones is almost the same as those using PC/laptops to browse the web. That is why it is crucial that you implement mobile traffic optimization for your website. If you want your brand to be successful and recognisable and to appear on top of the search results, you need a mobile-responsive website.

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2) Social Media Activity

I keep saying in all my posts that social media is an integral part of every aspect of today’s business world; it should be part of crisis comms, internal comms, external comms, marketing & PR etc. And of course it should be part of your SEO strategy as well. Social media gives you platform to get yourself noticed, so make sure you do so by setting up your profiles on as many social channels as you can (these need to be in line with the nature of your business). But as you can imagine, setting up profiles is simply not enough. You need to create presence, build a network and engage with it. It takes time and consistency, but at the end it pays off very well. For more social media marketing tools, check my guide.

3) Content Publishing

Nothing can boost traffic like fresh content, and search engines love that. What you need to do is start posting articles, press releases or company news on your site, but in my opinion, having a blog section is the best traffic booster in terms of content. But if you want this strategy to work, you need to do it on a regular basis; publishing content at least two times a week is a good start. This SEO strategy also gives you the opportunity to embed key words that will rank you higher in the search results, so make sure you do your homework properly. Key words on blogging work the same way as hashtags on Twitter. You just need to research which are the most popular key phrases/words people are talking/posting about that are relevant to your piece of content, and just use them.

Image source: gatelogix.com

Image source: gatelogix.com

4) Key Words Matter

As I mentioned above, you need to do your homework properly, if you want to achieve the desired results and even exceed them. It is extremely important in terms of SEO, how you structure your key phrases/words and how you position them on the web. The so called long tail SEO can do a great job in increasing your traffic and selling your products/services. Long tail key words are normally 4-7-word long phrases that describe very specifically your piece of content (70% of Google search terms are long tail). They can be very useful as they are unique, which means you might be the only one using a key phrase structured this way. Therefore, if your customers search for this articular phrase, guess who will show up first on the search? Yes, you! However, to achieve that you need to do a very good research on what your customers are looking for. You can use help from research tools such as Wordtracker.

5) SEO & Public Relations

SEO and PR are an unexpectedly good combination. Public relations is about building relationship with your various audiences and now, with the help of social media, that is much easier. You can start interacting with key influencers and people who are likely to share your links. Guest blogging could be a really good way to achieve that. Also sharing your targeted influencers’ content and actively engaging with them, might result in them following you and sharing your content back. The more you appear on the web, the higher you rank on searches. LinkedIn is another great platform for publishing your content and increasing your traffic. You can start by writing LinkedIn posts, which of course need to redirect to your website, engaging in LinkedIn conversations, joining relevant LinkedIn groups and so on. Traditional PR could also be very helpful. If you manage to build relationships with journalists, there is no better way to get publicity and boost your traffic.

Image source: considerthis.co.uk

Image source: considerthis.co.uk

The SEO industry is very broad and sometimes unpredictable; what works for one could be a disaster for another. Everything is error and trial. However, what I can say for sure is success lies in the balance, so whatever you do always try to find the golden mean and you will never be wrong.

Lidiya Kirilova

Top 5 Marketing Technology Trends That Will Rule Over In 2015

As 2015 is approaching, most marketeers are starting to make predictions on marketing & strategic technology trends that will be on top of the wave in the new year. While searching the web to see what they are suggesting, I found some really interesting predictions of possible would-be rulers of the marketing technology world in 2015. Here are my favourite top five marketing technology trends:

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1) Marketing will shift from globalisation to personalisation– This prediction was made by Forbes, suggesting that the world is more connected than ever through technology and yet marketing is becoming more and more rationalised and personalised. Marketers are doing their best to be individuals and innovators in order to satisfy their customers’ needs. Here is a thought I really like- Personalisation is not a trend, it is a marketing tsunami which will transform the way we manage global brands.

2) More companies will embrace marketing automation– Marketing automation has become a leading trend in marketing technology in the recent years, growing in popularity. And 2015 will not be an exception. A study by SiriusDecisions predicts that marketing automation technology will increase by 50 per cent in 2015.

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3) Social media will play a very active role in lead generationSocialMediaToday states social media is no longer the new kid in the block and I have to admit this cannot be said in a better way. Most companies nowadays recognise the huge amount of benefits it offers and those who are smart enough are already making a good use of them. In 2015, social media platforms will continue to mature which will improve real-time technology marketing and direct customer interaction.

4) Tech will find itself in the world of public relations– This is a prediction which I believe is quite about time to happen. The PR industry should start taking advantage of technology as other industries already have. Innovation is in the core of public relations and what else is technology if not innovation? After all, PR is no longer just picking up the phone and trying to get your story published.

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5) Content marketing will be bigger than ever– This prediction isn’t a surprise at all, taking into consideration the fact that according to B2B Marketing Benchmarks report, 93 per cent of B2B marketers said they were using content marketing in 2014 and 42 per cent of them said their strategy was effective. As the borders between content marketing, social media and SEO will get more and more blurred in 2015, they will continue to co-exist as separate but intertwined disciplines that rely on each other for success.

So the marketing crystal ball has spoken. Please state your favourite marketing technology predictions it made in the comments section below and let’s see if they come true in the new year.

Lidiya Kirilova