Wilson Jian P
why

The Biggest Mistake Content Marketers Make Is Not Asking Why

One of the biggest mistakes that I see a lot of content marketers make is that they don’t ask “Why?” before writing an article or producing any type of content. Without knowing who your target audience is, the reason behind why they want to buy a certain product or knowing at all what they want, then it becomes a guessing game.

This is why it is important that every single content marketer or writer should ask “Why?” before they begin writing.

Key questions to ask before producing content

The following questions are the questions that I ask myself before I write a single word or even begin the research process for every single client.

  • What is the call of action of the article/content?
  • Why does the reader want to read this article, to begin with?
  • What keywords are the buyers searching for?
  • What makes this article stand out from other topics in this industry?
  • What’s the point of this article?
  • How does this article provide value?
  • What will make this article share-worthy?
  • What is the tone of this type of article?

Of course, those are just the basics. Every situation is different and every client is different. That’s why it’s important that you also do your research and read other articles in the same industry that’s ranking well.

These questions make us have a strong critical outline of each piece. These questions make us do research, ask our customers for more input, and consider extenuating circumstances all of which help us turn out high-performing pieces of content.

Asking why during the research process

As apart of our process, we always do our research on the content topic before writing a single word.

What’s amazing about this research process is that you learn something new along the way that may change the initial answers for the questions listed above.

An idea might seem fantastic in the beginning, but it’s only after I dig in a little deeper that I might realize it’s completely the wrong time of year for the content. Usually, during the research process, I’ll be able to dig deeper at their competitors and figure out new things that I can add to make my article even better.

I repeat the same questions again and again in my head when conducting research on any topic.

During the research process, you should always have an intent/call to action in mind.

What’s this piece of content going to do? Educate the readers? Sell a product? Tell a story? Get people to visit a store? In other words, know your goals.

The next question during the research process that you must ask yourself is who is the target audience? Who’s going to be reading this article?

Your article might be written for the 30-year-old trying to purchase a hair loss product or it could be a rave shop catering to the younger folks who like to party. Every single type of article requires a different tone.

If it’s a medical website, then it might need a more professional educational tone.

Next up, I almost always look into previous content written by the company. What’s been working? What hasn’t been? How can we improve what’s not working?

It’s all apart of the research process.

Make asking why a habit

The key thing to keep in mind as you’re asking yourself “why” over and over again, is that it’s not meant to make your life harder, but to make your content much more powerful and result driven.

All content marketers need to make this a natural habit and quite frankly the more you do it, the easier it gets.

Another trick I like to use is to ask people outside the industry their thoughts behind the content and topic. Is it something that they would want to read? How can I make it even better?

Never be afraid to ask why.

I’m going to keep this article short and straight-forward by ending it here, but if you’re a content marketer or any sort of business that’s going to be using content to grow your business, then it’s crucial to start with asking why before doing anything else.

Thanks for reading and if you’re looking for content marketing that works with a search based process, then don’t hesitate to reach out to us anytime!

  • wilson@sumodash.com
Wilson Jian P
content marketing channels

The Top Channels For Content Distribution in 2019

There is no point in wasting your time creating content for your business if said content isn’t properly reaching the audience you are trying to attract. Even content that has an amazing reach but doesn’t convert is absolutely useless.

They say that having unique and good content is only a quarter of the content battle.

So I guess, one of the biggest questions that come to mind for any company is how do I promote my content? Where do I go to promote the content that I put hours into?

No worries, in this post, we’ll cover the main channels that can help you get your content out there especially in 2019.

Influencer marketing

Influencer marketing is one of the more popular content distribution strategies making waves in 2019. Marketers heavily rely on reaching out to these influencers who are capable of convincing these individuals to promote their content to their audience and develop a backlink to their site. This allows them to monetize on both the oncoming traffic from their social media followers and the increase in organic search, which is earned through the backlinks.

As stated by Tim Soulo in a blog post concerning link building, outreaching is not broadcasting. It has more to do about developing relationships, personalizing your messaging and learning to offer value to those influencers so they are interested in the content your offering.

Founder and CEO of Vertical Measures, Arnie Kuenn, has stated that influencer marketing could be a very powerful content amplification method where you work with important individuals or publications in your industry, to promote, produce and distribute content. However, he did claim that this could only work if you have some influence yourself, so developing influence and creating content worth an influential person time is necessary.

In order to properly begin with influencer marketing is to mention others in the blog posts, and then reaching out to them and letting them know that they are mentioned in the post.

Ramsay Taplin from BlogTyrant is well known for pulling this strategy off every time he creates a blog post. He’s stated that one he’s finished writing content, he quickly sends a tweet or email to those he’s mentioned just to let them know they’ll be gaining some traffic from it, and also gives them the opportunity to ask him to revise anything in regards to how he’s talked about them. This strategy has often led to mention our shot out from those mentioned in his posts.

Now, if you’re in the B2C space, something like an e-commerce shop, then reaching out to social channels like Instagram influencers will do you wonders.

Email marketing

With brand emails stacking up in your inbox every day, it may seem like the email marketing landscape is starting to become overcrowded. Although, 2019 will continue to witness strategies that incorporate personalized and authentic emails from business from every industry sector.

Personalization is important for succeeding in email marketing strategy because it allows customers to know that you care about their problems. In fact, 79% of consumers are more likely to purchase a product or service if they receive promotions specific to them. Ultimately, generic email sent to a long contact list isn’t going to have much of an effect this year.

By implementing email triggers, it is possible for you to automate emails to respond when users engage with your website or content. For instance, if a customer is browsing for a certain product, send a follow-up email with a promotion code for that specific item.

Social media

Social media continues to remains a strong contender for a content distribution strategy. Most companies tend to share the bare minimum of their content on either Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin. Although using lesser known platforms such as Pinterest as a main source of traffic for your site, can be beneficial. Ifran Ahman from Digital Information World uses Pinterest to spread the word of his site and has stated that a single blog post of his successfully generated over 3,225 clicks from Pinterest in just 30 days.

Ahman encourages all bloggers, content creators and social media marketers to find and join Pinterest group boards (relating to your industry) and promote content there.

The blog post becomes even more effective if it contains graphics or images that are designed with specific social networks in mind. Additionally, companies are also utilizing social bookmarking sites and communities such as Inbound.org, Quora and Reddit, to further promote their content.

There are social channels that work better than others depending on your industry, but social is still a viable channel for both B2C and B2B.

Social media stories

Stories continue to rise in popularity among Instagram, SnapChat Facebook, and even Youtube as people continue to consume digital video content rapidly. At the moment, over 970 million accounts are posting to their stories and 50% of businesses are taking advantage of this strategy.

During 2018, Mark Zuckerburg commented that the growth of stories may exceed the popularity of actual posts:

“We expect Stories are on track to overtake posts in feeds as the most common way that people share across all social apps. That’s because Stories is a better format for sharing multiple quick video clips throughout your day. The growth of Stories will have an impact on how we build products and think about our business, including WhatsApp and Instagram, which are the #1 and #2 most-used Stories products in the world.”

Business has the option to implement stories into their usual social media strategy as a way to connect with their audience. Show behind-the-scenes, employee interviews, or event videos to promote brand awareness and drive engagement.

While you shouldn’t revamp or toss your current schedule posts. Stories should be viewed as a way to further enhance your online presence to tell the business narrative better. Experiment with different formats that work best for your customers, such as testimonials, how-tos, interviews, Gifs, and more. Be creative with it and have fun while doing so.

As social media continues to improve, stories are a fantastic way to build relationships with your followers in a more engaging manner.

Guest blogging

Despite most people stating that guest posting is pretty much dead, it’s actually still one of the most popular ways to reach out to a new audience by publishing content on other websites.

This strategy allows you to increase your brand awareness, build connections back to your website, and generate referral traffic and even some leads while you’re at it.

Some business like Rhino Public Relations takes this strategy very serious.

Susan Shelby from Rhino Public relations has stated that they contribute one blog per month to SMPS Boston. Which according to Susan, is a local chapter of a national organization. During the previous year, they contributed two articles to the SMPS magazine and plan to continue to do so during this year.

Another place they’ve contributed to is the High Profile Monthly with four articles posted per year and another four articles a year contributed to the New England Real Estate. Both of these local publications are mainly focused on the AEC industry.

It can also help with building backlinks.

Internal/employees

Businesses such as Influence & Co is seriously utilizing the audience of their employees by requesting them to promote their company’s content on to their social media accounts. This includes a variety of people such as marketers, account managers, HR managers, sales representatives and so on.

Almost every single employee will have their own set of an online audience, and companies can use this as an advantage to further promote their content. Another option that allows you to take things further is to ask employees to guest post on other websites and blogs and have them link back to the company website.

Chatbots

Thanks to the advancement of artificial intelligence (A.I.), chatbots have advanced as one of the most popular interfaces to link businesses and consumers. It’s estimated that over 1.4 billion people a year utilize chatbots and as of 2020 chatbots will be in control of 85% of all customer services.

Chatbots are software programs that offer instant responses to help customers with tasks such as ordering items and personal account information. With rapid response times, customers are capable of retrieving information without needing to dial a call.

Business who’ve implemented chatbots are witnessing an increase in both leads and sales. A recent study has revealed that a delayed response by even 10 minutes can decrease the chances of a sale by 400%. At the moment, chatbots are being used to reach many objectives:

  • Saving time and money
  • Generating leads and sales
  • Pushing users to better products or services
  • Providing 24-hour support
  • Personalizing experiences

While chatbots won’t be replacing customer services in its entirety, they are some of the best ways to get customers information quickly. They allow an improved customer experience with minimal effort from the customer.

Video

Incorporating video marketing into content distribution strategy continues to be one of the most important moves out there, and shows no signs of slowing down during 2019.

Thanks to social media sites such as Facebook and Instagram for implementing a video feature into their platforms, businesses are gaining high engagement rates for product demos, how-tos, advertisements, and much more.

Using live videos is another option to how brand transparency, marketers can also expect a personalized messaging shot 1:1 and 360-degree imagery for a more interactive experience.

Video marketing isn’t going to disappear this year. It’s important to include video into your strategy and engage with your customers in a new, exciting way.

Artificial intelligence (AI)

AI has already managed to help many businesses learn how to build effective content distribution strategies based on customer interaction with brands. AI has helped analyze customer behavior through data from websites, social media, blog posts and more. This data lets a brand gain insight on how those customers are finding their products and services.

For example, let’s say you are trying to find a way to increase enrollment for a webinar, AI can help analyze current and past sign-ups to determine who your future prospects are. By leveraging this data, AI assesses personas, emails, or zip codes to target for the next marketing campaign, saving your team tons of work.

Connect your potential customer journey essentially leads to better leads and increased sales. AL is also used to automate the sales process, develop customer conversations, and improve company culture to generate business growth.

Voice search

Verbal communication has been on the rise over the years, thanks to tech like Alexa, Google, Siri, and other smart devices. Studies have shown that 40% of adults use voice-based search and it’s predicted that 50% of all searches will be done through voice by 2020.

This does stir up some challenges for marketers because voice searches display quite differently than text. With a text search, you’ll generate a long list of options, but with a voice search, it’s possible you may only get a single choice read out verbally.

While this is a new and fresh distribution strategy, voice search shouldn’t be ignored as people are increasingly relying on it more than ever before.

Conclusion

The most important takeaway is that the marketing scene changes rapidly on a day to day basis. As a marketer, you have to always be on top of your game and stay on top of all the latest trends. 

If you’re looking for custom content marketing that works, then get in touch with us and we’ll make sure to help you grow your content!

– wilson@sumodash.com

 

Wilson Jian P
realestatecontent

The Top Real Estate Content That Will Drive You More Leads in 2019

Real estate is one of the most competitive industry to be in. There’s literally agent signs and advertisement everywhere you go. The hardest thing about being an agent is getting leads and standing out from the crowd.

The thing is that we live in a modern internet age where people are Googling for everything. Chances are that if someone is looking to purchase a new home, they’ll be Googling for homes around a specific area or agents within a specific area that they’re looking for a home in.

So the question is how do I stand out? The best way is through content marketing. You want to appear on the top of every search engine with helpful content.

Content marketing isn’t anything new for the real estate industry, but there are certain types of content that perform better than others.

Let’s take a look over some new ways to gain clients with real estate content in 2019.

Content for Local Guides

Each year, more and more people are moving all over the country for a variety of reasons. And while they are searching for the best property to suit their everyday needs, they’re also looking for much more. They want to know about the communities local culture, neighborhoods, safety and even activities for their children.

This is where “local real estate content” kicks in. We’re talking about local guides, neighborhood guides, and more. People want to know that the place where they are purchasing the home in is safe.

When coming up with content that focuses on more than just the property, it’s important to convey the real experience of the neighborhood for your clients. By creating your own mini-guides similar to how Thrillist does for major US cities, every realtor can make moving and working with them all the more desirable.

You could even put together food guides or restaurant guides.

This is a great real estate content strategy for all sorts of audiences, from people who are still in the awareness and consideration stage, to people who are sure but still wish to find the correct neighborhood.

Content for Property Investors

This type of content also works very well for real estate business who are trying to gain attention from property investors.

If you’re an agent, you know that real estate investors can be a gold mine for your business. Why? Because they’re the ones that are ALWAYS looking for new properties. They’re the ones that are purchasing multiple properties every single year and yes they NEED you to help find more properties.

If you were to show your clients the estate and the potential of the neighborhood in which they’d like their property to be located, you’ll be allowing them to asses the real value of the real estate they’ll be purchasing.

Remember, if the neighborhood shows signs of thriving, the value of the property will increase.

So write content related to property investing or guides on topics like, “Things you need to be aware of before buying property in Seattle.”

Let’s talk strategy

Realtors should ask help from the local communities when creating their own guides. Although, creating a local guide depends on the audience your targeting since families won’t be interested in the same activities as singles would, and require tons of research.

Alright, I know…you’re going to say that you don’t have time to write all these types of local or investor content. You’re busy showing your clients around. You’re busy marketing. You’re busy on the phone. Got cha.

An available option for you is to outsource content creation. At SumoDash we help businesses with their content marketing. We’ll do all the grunt work of researching the market for you, writing the post, and help you out with the marketing side of things, so we got you covered.

Strategy and consistency is key to success in content marketing especially in a competitive market like real estate.

Another thing is that you have to ensure that you have high-quality content. We don’t want to be writing short posts that lack quality. Having long-form guides will not only help you out with your real estate business’ SEO, but it’ll also help a lot with keeping the reader engaged.

Social Media Real Estate Content Marketing

Let’s expand a bit on social media strategy for real estate content marketing.

Real estate images have been a long-running staple of each listing for a reason. By utilizing the power of social media, you’ll be given higher changes to use the power of visuals. When reaching out to potential customers, you can highlight the best features and the unique atmosphere of each property.

Instead of only taking photos with the intent of showcasing each room on the website, have your photos show details and convey the experience of living on this property or its surrounding location.

For instance, James Gallo has managed to successfully pull this off on his Instagram – 

Instead of only taking pictures of the rooms, he’s showing off to potential customers what they could be doing if they decide to purchase this house.

A picture means a thousand words and what’s a better way to share it on social networks that people are browsing endlessly every day?

Drastic Makeovers

If you’re handling a fixer-upper, then you can also showcase the makeovers. There is nothing like watching a house that had crusty carpets and holes in the walls suddenly transform into something beautiful.

It’s also very inspirational, so potential clients may actually decide they want to do the very same and call your number immediately. For additional impact, you can also guide clients through the process of fixing up their own current property by making it into a blog post.

Marketing through Testimonials

Pretty much every real estate business out there will place testimonials on the front page of their websites. Although, what if we told you that they can be used for much more than that. Since customers or investors have similar questions, why not conduct an interview with different customers who are content with their purchase and turn it into a FAQ article?

This will gain you double benefits.

  1. It provides the social proof you’ll need to successfully market your business.
  2. It answers any common question and educates while showing the potential client that you’re successful at handling other customers with similar needs.

This will allow you to build trust with your customer base while educating them at the same time. And if you can, going all-in with customer reviews works as well.

  • Show the images of the property before and after they’ve moved in
  • Interview them on their favorite activities in the neighborhood
  • What about the property makes them the happiest?
  • How have the employees at the real estate business or realtors helped them make the right decision?

It’s best if you go as detailed as possible to really convey the value of your services to each prospective client while showing how content they’ll bee if they decide to make a purchase from your business.

Harnessing the Power of Real Estate Video Content

During the much earlier days, creating marketing videos was quite the hassle and required some serious resources to pull off. Although, thanks to the recent improvement in technology, there are a variety of ways you can use video for real estate content marketing, from social media sites to in-depth materials.

Testimonial Videos

While written content is always a great option, video content manages to convey emotions and shows the faces of people which is more successful at convincing potential clients to purchase from your business.

Video Tours of Neighborhoods

There is always something interesting to discuss about the locations you may cover, and your customer base will be interested in learning all about it. In this case, you should highlight the most interesting events that your customers can look forward to if they decide to purchase a property in this location. When dealing with investors, these events may just be the right information you need to raise their property’s value, so real estate video content can be considered a win-win scenario.

Virtual Tours

Virtual tours are another amazing option that allows potential customers to become acquainted with the property. Incorporating virtual tours to your customer testimonials is another added asset. This is especially important when working with private individuals who want to get a feel for the property and for the families who’ve lived there previously. Simply asking the sellers why they enjoy living in their house, and sharing it with prospective customers through video can be enough to get the message through.

 

Live streams.

Most major social media platforms have a service to offer live stream features and the best part about this is that everyone who follows your real estate business page will become notified that your hosting a live stream.

Here are some things you can discuss during the live stream:

  • “Off the record” tips on buying/renting a property
  • Recent updates
  • Questions (potential) clients have
  • New properties

 

Using Infographics as quick guides

When the need to convey a large assortment of information without boring your customers to death, you should use infographics. They’re very simple to read and informative, while also providing the visual stimulation the client needs to understand information.

Here are some topics you can use on your infographics:

  • Updates on the market
  • Tips for buying a property
  • Various statistics
  • Checklists for sellers and buyers

 

This is especially beneficial if you incorporate infographics into a larger real estate content strategy that utilizes blog posts and video. Since you want to catch the attention of your customer base with simple actions, they’ll be more willing to commit to reading or watching a longer piece.

In-Depth Guides to Seal the Deal

One key factor to keep in mind about content marketing is that its success relies on search engine optimization (SEO). Due to Googles love of provider its searchers with comprehensive resources on a subject matter, you can use it to boost your real estate marketing success.

This is especially true if your main focus is on the location you’re trying to cover. A guide on purchasing property, in general, is good, but may not reach the property clients for the location you’re trying to gain interest over. Developing a guide to purchasing property in a targeted location will help you reach the exact customers your searching for.

Once again the benefits you’ll be gaining from this are:

  • SEO
  • Client satisfaction
  • Shares and reach

Great Newsletters

Email is one of the most reliable ways for you to reach out to potential clients. They’ll even witness a ping appear on their browser or phone app and check it out.

When written properly, a newsletter can be a fantastic source of information and trust that’ll drive your customer to purchase a property from you. The best way to go about this is to create email campaigns serving different kinds of customers, from those who are deciding on the correct property, to those who still have some questions they wish to ask.

Entrepreneurial Content

Lastly, it’s not enough to simply sell a property. If you wish to retain customers, you need to help them reach their goals with that property as well. A great way to pull this off is by simply creating entrepreneurial content in any format.

You can show both individual and investors just how to maximize the value of their property or homes, offer a variety of tips and tricks, and show that you’re truly invested in this professional relationship. While selling one property is great, getting the trust of your client base to keep working with them in the future is even better.

Alrighty folks, I hope that helped all the realtors understand the most trending type of topics in 2019 for the real estate industry. If you’re looking for quality content for your real estate business, don’t hesitate to reach out. We’ll put together a full content marketing strategy and do all the grunt work of writing for you!

Get in touch – wilson@sumodash.com

Wilson Jian P
contentmarketing

Everything That You Need To Know Whether Content Marketing Is Right For Your Business

Content is king. We hear it again and again, but how do you know whether or not content marketing is actually right for your type of business.

Ok, the truth is that content marketing is important for any business. Content comes in many forms, but for this article, we’ll be focusing on written content and whether or not you should invest in content marketing. We’ll also go through a few options for you depending on the stage of your business.

Content creation is the ultimate inbound marketing strategy for sustainable autopilot long term growth. When you create content, you’re providing free and useful information to your audience, attracting potential customers to your website, and retaining existing customers through quality engagement.

Content marketing can lead to some massive ROI if you do it correctly. Before diving further, let’s take a look at some key stats:

  • Content marketing brings in 3X as many leads as traditional marketing and costs 62% less.
  • SMBs that use content marketing get 126% more leads than those that don’t.
  • 61% of online purchases are the direct result of a customer reading a blog.
  • Companies that publish 16+ blog posts per month get 3.5X more traffic than those that post four or fewer posts per month.

Is that enough to get you excited about content marketing?

Before, you jump right in there are still a bunch of things that you need to consider.

Investing in content marketing

When you’re a startup or small business that’s bootstrapped and can’t afford to spend $10,000 a month on ads, content marketing could seem like a jackpot, right?

But, as many businesses end up discovering, content marketing isn’t free. It can be quite pricey and yes it is a LONG term process that you would need to invest into from the beginning.

First, you need to consider your personal time bandwidth. As a founder, you’re dealing with a million things at once.

You may be able to write articles on your own without spending any money, but this doesn’t mean you’re not putting in any time and resources. Any time you’re putting towards content marketing is the time you’re not putting towards other parts of your business, and the only way to make content marketing work is by committing a significant amount of time to it.

For the sake of argument, let’s assume you’re writing content full time daily. That means every week you’re publishing two to three in-depth articles that are 2,500 to 3,000 words each, SEO-optimizing them, and promoting them through the relevant channels. That is A LOT of grunt work and time put into it.

This is the main reason that people who are just “trying content marketing” fail. They don’t realize how much work it takes to do it properly, and they end up either quitting after a few weeks or doing a very poor job of it.

Content marketing can’t be half-assed. You either invest in it, or you don’t, so unless you’re willing to commit most of your full-time job to it, you’ll need more help than just trying to do it yourself.

This is where investing in “resources” kicks in.

You can always hire a content marketer to do all those task for you.

In that case, you should be looking for someone expecting a salary of at least $70,000 per year depending on your location, which turns out to be quite expensive..

This does not include the possibility of making bad hires or hires that don’t know your industry well..

Ok, that sucks, but I know I can always outsource and hire a cheap writer…

Uhh sure,

This is the biggest mistake we see companies make with content marketing. They don’t want to spend too much money, so they try to hire cheap writers on UpWork to pump out articles.

Unfortunately, this does more harm than good. You’ll end up hiring people who do not know anything search-based content marketing or anything about your industry and in return, you’ll get low-quality work that doesn’t rank well. Then you’re going to automatically assume that content marketing doesn’t work..

Worse, you’re more likely to run into issues of plagiarism, duplicate content, bad backlinks, and other problems that could end up hurting your site in the long run.

It’s tempting to go cheap and try to get bottom-of-market writers to pump out content just so you have something, but it’s not worth it. Either invest in having someone good do it, or don’t do it at all.

Outsourcing content marketing

This is where outsourcing content marketing kicks in. It’s probably the most efficient way to have a full content marketing strategy that works while staying lean on the budget.

This can also come with a lot of risks though. If you go cheap and hire a cheap low-quality agency, you’re more likely to get one that is going to create weak content that does nothing for you.

But if you can hire a more premium-priced one with a good track record, it’s the best option you have besides hiring an expert content marketer. This is why you should “never go cheap”. Why would you want to hire an agency that would charge you $500/month? That means they’re going for massive scale and won’t invest the time and effort to make the best for you.

A good agency can bring a lot of experience and systems they’ve developed from working exclusively in content marketing, and can usually get your site’s content up and running much faster.

So is content marketing right for me?

Alright, now you know your options, let’s talk about the best type of businesses that would benefit from content marketing.

Search volume around your industry

The best type of business that would benefit from a successful content marketing strategy is a business where you can write about an area where there’s a massive amount of search volume.

Find a topic that people are looking for lots of answers on, then create the best blog online about that topic.

It’s not easy, but if you can do it, you can create a blog that brings in millions of visitors each month and continues to do so for years. This gets to the point where topic generation won’t be a problem cause you can always come up with more and more long tail keywords daily.

The best type of companies for these will be e-commerce related companies.

  • Tea shops
  • Diet supplements
  • Fashion shops (buying guides)
  • Tools shops
  • Coffee subscription

You get the drill…

Imagine if you published three articles per week, each of which could get 200 visitors a day from Google.

After a few months, you’d have published about 40-60 articles, and if each were getting 200 visits a day, you’d be getting 8,000 visitors a day. 

That’s 8,000 new potential customers…

And remember, content marketing stacks up over time, so the more you do, the more results will stack up over time!

If you can find an area with a massive amount of search volume, you’ve got a winning formula for content marketing.

What about other types of businesses?

I know not everyone reading this is running an e-commerce site. Actually, most of our clients at SumoDash are not in the e-commerce space. That doesn’t mean that you can’t invest in content marketing as well.

If you run a company that has domain expertise where you can pump out a good amount of content on a regular basis, then you should also consider investing in content marketing.

This formula works when you can confidently write about an area that people are trying to learn more about, and that your product helps solve the needs of.

But this is a harder space to tackle. For example, writing marketing related guides is overcrowded. There are a lot of marketing tech companies out there right now.

If you’re just kicking off a new marketing software, don’t start a marketing blog, instead, aim for articles on why your product is different and how your company stands out.

Instead of articles like “Top 10 benefits of this or that”, you can aim for articles like, “Here’s the latest research we conducted on different customers that showed XYZ results”. Those articles are more likely to get shares.

If you have enough customers, you can email the most loyal ones and ask them if they’d be willing to be featured on your site as a short interview and story about their success. Most people don’t get the chance to be featured on websites very often, and especially if it’s a product they enjoy, they’ll jump at the opportunity.

The key is to provide stories so that other non-customers in your target market can imagine themselves succeeding just like your existing customers. Having a number of these stories for potential customers to read through can significantly increase their confidence in working with you or buying from you, and makes the sale that much easier.

Playing the waiting game

Remember folks, content marketing is a LONG term strategy that requires an initial investment. If you’re not willing to wait six to 12 months before you start to see some ROI (not necessarily positive ROI) from your content marketing efforts, you shouldn’t pursue it.

But again, think of it this way, if you’re not building a company for the long term, then why build one at all?

I hope this article helped and hopefully you’ve figured out whether or not investing in content marketing is right for you. If you need help with content creation, don’t hesitate to reach out to us anytime!

SumoDash

– wilson@sumodash.com

Wilson Jian P
localseo

How to supercharge your local SEO rankings with content marketing

Alright, chances are that if you’re reading this post you are in the Local SEO game. If you’re a local business, meaning most or all of your business comes from customers living in within a certain area, then you are in the local SEO game.

Before stumbling across this article, I’m sure you already did a good amount of Googling on the best local SEO practices, but the truth is that everyone in the local business industry is already implementing those same tactics that you just researched upon.

One of the most undervalued and underused channel for local SEO is content marketing.

In this post, I’ll go over some of the ways you can leverage content marketing to supercharge your local SEO rankings and dominate Google in your area.

Always be blogging

If you don’t have a blog already, then you’re behind! You might be thinking, what should I put on my blog? What type of content should I write?

Yes, I know. It’s not easy, but start with local content and guides.

Think about it, if you’re in the real estate industry and you sell houses, that means that you are looking for customers that are looking to buy a house.

What are those customers searching for on Google? They’re probably typing things in the search bar like, “best real estate agent, affordable housing in San Francisco, how to buy a house in san francisco, and more..”

Start with putting yourself in your customer’s shoes to come up with topics that they are going to be searching for.

Now, it’s easy to get spammy listing lots of local content and that can hurt you as much as help you, but you certainly should talk about where you work and in some cases have specific pages with case studies for specific trade areas, suburbs, and neighborhoods.

Testimonials within your local content goes a long way as well.

Another powerful type of content that would work well are local event and attraction guides. People are always searching those up as well. Using your blog to take about community, customer, and employee-related local news is a great way to spice up your local content in very authentic ways.

Here are some brainstorming ideas:

  • Local event write-up and coverage.
  • Local news coverage.
  • A story behind your local business
  • Content centered on your industry and unique to your area, such as “How San Francisco’s Minimum Wage Laws Affect Retailers.”
  • Answering local questions, such as “What are the Best Places to Shop in Washington, D.C.?”

Of course the list goes on and on..

Start small and expand the area slowly.

Optimizing your content around the best local SEO practices

By focusing content on local keywords and intent, you effectively narrow the competition and your reach to your target audience.

In addition to that, you want to implement all the best local SEO practices into play.

From my experience, the two most important steps to optimizing your website for local intent are making your website mobile-friendly and localizing your schema markup.

This might sound confusing to you if you are new to the local SEO game, but it’s quite important.

When producing content for local intent, it’s key to insert local keywords into title and meta description tags for local ranking. Your content will often focus on long-tail keywords to delineate your site topically and geographically. Try local service business listing titles like “Top Local Real Estate Agencies in San Francisco”

This will help Google index your content for San Francisco and local SEO-related searches. It’s also recommended to insert geographic keywords as close to the beginning of the tag as possible so it’s not truncated in search results. In this case, it could be San Jose or Silicon Valley.

Search engines are busy trying to adopt a consistent markup protocol to help use HTML code to properly identify things like businesses, reviews, addresses, books, movies and the like.

You can learn about the current popular markup for local businesses by visiting Schema.org.

Using proper markup for your address is kind of like handing Google your business card on a silver platter. It doesn’t look like anything to the naked eye, but Google spiders can be 100% certain what they are looking at when it comes to identifying an address on your web pages.

The good news is that you don’t really need to know anything about the underlying code to get this part right. Simply visit Schema.org’s Local Business NAP generator and fill in the blanks – The tool will produce the HTML code you need to add to your site in place of your current address.

When it comes to content promotion, social should be the primary channel, but high-ranking local landing pages will also provide a good opportunity for listicles and valuable local information. Blogs should be reserved for more topical content, such as local news events.

Link building is still quite important

Link building doesn’t just work for other industries. It actually works quite well for local SEO as well.

For example, many real estate companies benefit from listing local housing statistics on their websites. Why? Because those are shareable materials. People love to share those type of content and include a link in their own blog post.

It’s much easier to build links for blog post with statistics over something like “Top real estate agencies”.

Here’s a short overview approach you should use for local SEO content link building:

  • Acquiring direct backlinks from local listing sites
  • Writing research and statistic reports where people would link to and share
  • Local guest blogging.

The goal is to create shareable content that people are willing to link to.

Be sure to optimize your pages and posts with local keywords in the following areas:

  • Title tags
  • Meta description
  • Body copy
  • Anchor text (linking to other content)
  • H1 tags (Usually your headline)
  • Bold and italics tags
  • URLs
  • Alt text in images

Don’t forget to include rich snippets. By using rich snippets, you can help Google find geographic information, information about people in your business and reviews of your products and services. They essentially help users find your website when it references a local place.

Conclusion

When we think of local SEO, we often think of just the basics, acquiring local directory links and registering for Google My Business. While these are important, local SEO has many more advantages over broad SEO, especially with the continued rise of mobile search.

Content is still king!

If you’re looking for a content marketing solution that WORKS for local SEO, reach out to us at anytime! We’ll be more than happy to help! 🙂

– wilson@sumodash.com

Wilson Jian P
pinterest marketing

The top tips for growing your Pinterest account in 2019

Pinterest is one of the most undervalued social media channels out there for marketing especially for people who run e-commerce stores.

In case you’re not familiar with it, Pinterest is a social media channel that allows users to save images from anywhere on the web to a collection or some people refer to it as a board. Think of it as a public Instagram channel for brands.

You’ll be surprised at how many people make purchases after browsing Pinterest. For brands, it has become one of the most engaged social media platforms to interact, advertise, and generate high-purchase-intent traffic.

I used to run a few e-commerce stores myself and Pinterest was a big driver in e-commerce revenue. Most people only think of Facebook and Instagram, but Pinterest is highly undervalued as an alternative marketing channel.

Just like other social media channels, Pinterest isn’t easy to get right. Content does play an important role and we’ve helped a few e-commerce clients come up with creative content and research that works.

In this post, I’ll share some of the top tips for growing your Pinterest account in 2019 to drive more growth and revenue.

1. Photo is KING

A while back I put together a post on real estate image copy and what sells in the real estate industry. One of the biggest point that I emphasized was the power of professional images.

This same concept applies to Pinterest. People aren’t going to click on bad pictures, but compelling pictures work.

To ensure that you have top-notch photos, use the following tips:

  • Use professional photos of your products, instead of snapping a quick picture with your phone. This isn’t Instagram.
  • If you have a collection of products, bundle them in a picture. Those tend to work quite well.
  • Add a human element in the photo. For example, don’t just pin a photo of a Warriors hat, instead include the whole gear from sweater to pants.
  • Pins related to your site’s content works the best. Instead of pinning a photo of a product, pin a photo that leads to a blog post.

The truth is that real life photos don’t do as well on Pinterest as professionally styled photos, so make things clear and appealing.

2. Yes! Hashtags do work

Most people think that hashtags only work on channels like Twitter, but this is not true. Hashtags work really well on Pinterest as well.

Once you pin a new image, Pinterest usually starts with showing it to your handful of your followers, or to people looking up a specific hashtag or keyword.

If your pin was interesting enough for your followers to repin it, Pinterest will then deposit that image in the feeds of your followers’ followers. If they repin it, the process continues. So, it works like a windmill effect where followers of followers will also see the pins and photos. It’ll appear on their feed and you can get featured if there are a lot of repins and engagement.

Pinterest will use engagement activity to determine how valuable a given pin is, and in turn, present it in relevant search results and category/browse collections closer to the top if it thinks it is a more relevant pin.

Adding hashtags to your pin description increases the chances of your pin being found by users searching for ideas because it expands the keyword and its not just a “general search” anymore.

Hashtags are currently severely underutilized, so they present a HUGE opportunity, especially for new pins and accounts that may not have a ton of organic visibility through pins and repins.

The limit for hashtags on Pinterest is currently 20, but that’s way more than enough. You wouldn’t need more than a few relevant ones.

Ok, so how do I find good hashtags?

It’s actually quite simple. Type the main keyword you want to rank for in the search bar of Pinterest and wait for the pins to load. Then you’ll see a horizontal list of related keywords listed between the search box and the results. Use the little arrow to the right of the related keywords to scroll and see the whole list. These can all be used as hashtags in the pin.

3. Good copy is still much needed

Just like how you would create a detailed meta description and title for your blog post, your pins and boards will be much more visible to users if they contain a detailed, keyword-rich description. It will also make things look way more professional and creative.

Don’t just add a sentence fragment or a general description. Get more into details about the blog post you are pinning about and include things like what would readers learn from visiting the blog post.

The worst thing you can do is leave a pin blank without any words in it.

Taking a few extra seconds to write a thorough description for each pin and board on your account could go a long way.

4.  Create more pins for a specific blog post or product

So a lot of people like to set and forget and what I mean by that is that they’ll create a really good pin and link it to an individual blog post or product, but once your boards grow bigger, you can actually create more pins for the same link. You can do this by swapping out the image and description to make it look a little different but link to the same blog post.

This is a trick that works really well when you have a lot of pins in one board.

This means that you’ll be strategically maximizing the Pinterest potential of what you have right now.

No one says that you have to stop at just one pin for a given page on your site. If you have a complex article that offers lots of different information and answers multiple user questions, create a pin to showcase each answer or type of information.

This will be a strong traffic driver.

5. Site verification and use a business account

Pinterest offers two kinds of accounts: a personal account, which is the default option, and a business account, which offers bonus features like analytics and the opportunity to run ads to promote your brand on Pinterest.

It’s crucial that you have a business account for all your brand related pins.

If you already have an account, you can convert it to a business account (free of charge). Make sure you are logged in to your account, then visit pinterest.com/business/convert/. Fill out the information about your business (name, website, industry), and click Create.

There’s an additional process where you have to verify your site, but it’s quite simple and similar to the Google Analytics way of doing it.

6. Adding text within the images

Similar to Instagram, if someone is scrolling through their feed and scanning through the images, they’ll probably only see your image for a quick second, so it’s important to capture all of their attention on their initial scan.

In that very short period of time, your image needs to catch their eye enough so they’ll stop scrolling and click through. Most images can’t do that on their own, at least not in a fraction of a second. That’s why, in most cases, it’s best to add some text to further entice the user to click through the pin to your website.

This is especially helpful with pins that represent processes, such as recipes, meal plans, and workouts.

A lot of brands like to include their logo in the pin as well.

Also consider infographics, rather than photographic pins, when appropriate. This is especially helpful when you want to share a lot of information, such as a blog post about the health benefits of a certain supplement.

Adding a unique title in a good looking font can make the difference between getting a click and people just browsing through it.

Conclusion

Alright, hopefully, you learned a lot from this! Start taking advantage of this channel and start growing your Pinterest account!

If you’re looking for custom content that you can create pins for, don’t hesitate to reach out! We’re an all in one done-for-you content marketing solution 🙂

Contact us – wilson@sumodash.com

Wilson Jian P
pressrelease

How to put together a killer press release that will get noticed

Most startups undervalue the power of a powerful press release and press kit. In the past, we’ve helped clients gain massive traction for their business through a few press release and company announcements.

One of the biggest questions that we get asked is, “How do we put together a killer press release kit that will get noticed?”

Truth is that there isn’t a “secret sauce.” Every company has different goals and you will need to craft your press release and kit based on the audience, market, and more.

Press releases have been the bread and butter of PR, almost since the dawn of the industry. Their use is so ubiquitous in the PR world as they’re a simple and concise medium to transmit an announcement to the press.

In this guide, we’ll cover all you need to know to put together a powerful press kit that works.

How to put together a press release

Let’s start off with the basics of how to put together a press release. It might sound simple, but there’s a lot to it!

A press release is an official announcement from a company providing information about a newsworthy announcement. The goal is to gain media coverage by sending the press release to journalists, bloggers, and influencers.

This can be a combination of a new funding round, new feature release, new branding etc. The goal of a press release is to be able to come up with a unique perspective to promote your company and gain brand awareness.

Let’s define some quick goals that you would want to set with launching a press release:

  • Build brand awareness. A good techcrunch article can get your startup soaring.
  • Backlinks – Although this isn’t always the case, it can be very powerful to have a backlink from a good site.
  • Referral traffic – Media coverage generated from a good press release, especially when talking about a new product or service, can generate referral traffic.
  • Build trust – Crucial for startups. Potential customers or investors need to have faith in your business, positive media coverage can really help with this.

Let’s talk about timing for a press release real quick since this is crucial.

The most common press release announcements include :

  • Company launch, coming out of stealth
  • New funding round
  • Launching in a new area (Doordash launches in Florida etc.)
  • Partnership annoucements
  • Publishing research findings
  • New major hire.
  • Some award or Forbes feature
  • Customer or user acquisition milestone
  • Upcoming event or sponsorship campaign

Make sure you nail the timing right because one of the biggest mistakes startups make is that they tend to just launch a press release for the heck of it and this doesn’t help in the long run!

What’s your story?

You know what they say, a story is everything. The most powerful and successful brands will have a strong story behind it.

If you’re announcing the launch of your startup, then I’m afraid to say this fact alone is not newsworthy. You need to develop a hook – why this announcement matters to the people reading it.

The hook matters more than ever these days. In the past, you could come up with a random launch story, pitch it to a newspaper and launch it. That doesn’t work anymore especially with all the modern media outlets around.

The angle you take for your story will depend on what you’re announcing as well as the industry you’re in. Here are some common examples to include in your press release:

  • Are you solving a problem? Is it clear what you are solving?
  • What are similar solutions out there and how do you differ?
  • Does it help you move towards a goal?
  • Have you achieved something of value? Does this have wider benefits? Did you hit a new milestone?
  • Does the story tell us something we didn’t already know or challenge current assumptions?

With that said, there are some other basic information that you should always include in a press release. It’s the bread and butter. It’s the classic who, what, when, where, why. These five points should be covered off in the opening paragraph. The rest of the press release should then be used to expand on these points.

Always write a press release in a third person. This is the industry standard as it allows press releases to be published “as-is”. You will still have the opportunity to provide a first-person statement when you insert a quote.

Ok, so another huge question is, how long should your press release be? Honestly, we’re a huge fan of long form content, but this doesn’t work well for a press release.

Avoid the long stuff and try and keep it to around a page of regular sized font and formatting (400 to 500 words). If you put together more than a page, you’ve probably written too much.

A journalist may only skim the document for 30 seconds, so make it like an elevator pitch with a little bit more details.

Structuring a press release

The exact structure of a press release is always determined by what you’re actually announcing. For example, a startup launch will differ from a new partnership.

I like to structure a press release simply with the following format:

Headline – The headline should be super straight forward and on point with the funding news.

Initial paragraph – Just like with all content, this is the hook and it should cover exactly what the news is about.

Second paragraph – This paragraph should go more into details about how the news can help the company or help solve a specific solution.

Third paragraph – The third paragraph should cover more about the company and its future goals. You can use this paragraph with more external sources, quotes from the founder and more to expand the news.

Contact details – Make sure you don’t forget to leave this one out! You always want to link back to your site with the appropriate contact details.

A press kit

It’s always a good idea to have a press kit handy, especially when pitching to journalist and reporters. They always want to see some sort of press kit and outline of the company including logos.

This isn’t a post about how to pitch to reporters, but it’s always smart to include a link to the company’s press kit in the email. This will help the reporter or journalist understand more about your company and will make their lives a lot easier.

When it comes to sending an email to a potential journalist there are a few outlets:

There are two main avenues when it comes to sending out a press release. Self-publishing it onto a newswire service, or sending it directly to journalists, bloggers and influencers:

  • Self-publishing a press release onto a distribution service

There are both free and paid-for press release submission and distribution services you can use. Once you’ve published your press release onto these platforms, publications can either republish them “as is”, or journalists can pick them up and write them up as articles.

  • Sending a press release directly to journalists, bloggers, and influencers

This takes slightly more effort but is often a more effective way of getting press coverage. It’s better to focus your attention on a smaller amount of journalists or bloggers that report on your industry, than less targeted pitches to more people. This is especially the case if you’re a startup.

Best time to send a press release?

Timing is key to success.

The new industry has changed dramatically over the last few years, but most journalists still work something similar to a Monday to Friday. A typical American schedule right?

So it’s best to send a press release out at the start of the week, either Monday or Tuesday morning.

Never send out a press release on a Friday or the day before a public holiday.

Also, avoid sending it just before the hour, send it a few minutes after, as publications that publish press releases “as is” will normally publish on the hour.

Don’t send it to multiple reporters at the same publication. This doesn’t increase your chances. In fact, it lowers them, as this is known to really annoy journalists. I’m huge of making personalizations on all email outreach.

If you haven’t heard anything after 3 or 4 days, then there’s no harm in sending a chaser. But take a common sense approach to this. Just send one chaser, and make it brief and friendly. Never hound a journalist, as you email will probably end up getting blocked. It’s always smart to follow up though!

Additional tips for the best press release

Yep, it’s not an easy concept. Content is king and having the right format, approach will make a huge difference. Here are some additional tips that you can take advantage of.

Start with your own channels:

  • Tell your staff first. This is overlooked way too often, but your staff should be the first to know about any announcements. It’s great for morale and they’re fantastic brand ambassadors.
  • Publish a blog post, but provide even more value than what was included in the press release. Include images, infographics, videos, and CTAs.
  • Put the news out on your social channels. Include infographics or other multimedia.
  • Tell your clients, partners or customers. If it’s a big announcement, send a personal email to each of your clients or partners, and include it in your next newsletter.
  • Featured in a major publication? Shout about this so everyone can hear. Include the publication’s logo on your homepage, under a “featured in” banner, then talk about this in any outbound marketing such as upcoming newsletters.

Keep a list of the publications and journalists that featured your press release, so you know where to focus your efforts for future media pitches.

Hopefully you found this guide helpful and that you have nailed the basic process of putting together a good press release. If you need help with putting together a press release in proper format without running into errors, feel free to get in touch with us and we’ll put together one for you!

Contact – wilson@sumodash.com

Wilson Jian P

Why a content marketing audit is important and how to conduct one

It’s funny how I come across so many companies that pump out a good amount of weekly blog posts, but has never performed a content marketing audit.

What’s the point of writing so many blog post and releasing so many contents on a regular basis without knowing anything about your content’s performance?

How are you going to figure out what’s working and what isn’t? How do you know what topics your readers want to read next?

That’s why a solid content marketing audit is important. This means doing more than just setting up Google Analytics and looking at the traffic numbers.

A content marketing audit doesn’t take a lot of time and does not need to be performed daily, but it needs to be done to know your audience and how well your content is performing.

I do this for all my clients prior to writing for them to ensure that we have a plan set out that will bring them better results.

Never conducted a content marketing audit before? No worries, I’ll show you in this post exactly how you can do one right now easily.

Identify the top content performers

You always want to start off with identifying the top content performers. Meaning the articles that do best.

Which articles are getting the most views? Which articles are getting the most email subscribers?

Before you start, you should at least have goals set up within Google Analytics to track whatever your conversion goals are. This could be email sign-ups, trial signups for your product, or even just an ebook download.

Assuming you have all the goals set, within Google analytics, look at your Behavior > Site Content > All Pages report.

It should look something like this:

toppagesga

Switching this report to the comparison view makes the top performers even more obvious.

Usually, the articles that get the most traffic are also the articles that rank well in search engines.

There are two ways to see just the content that gets traffic from search. One is to use a segment. Create a segment for search traffic (where the medium is organic) and it won’t include visitors who came from social, email, direct or anything else.

Another thing you could do is just go to the acquisition tab to see where the users are coming from.

But our main focus, in the beginning, is just to find out what your readers enjoy reading the most.

That way we can generate more topics relating to these keywords in the near future.

To see the which posts are ranking and attracting visitors directly check the Acquisition > Search Console > Landing Pages report. Just sort this report by clicks and you’re measuring content performance from search per article.

You can toy around with Google Analytics to further narrow down different articles that are receiving good traffic.

The different types of content champions

Personally, I like to take a look at all the content and then split them into a different category that I like to call “content champions”.

This allows me to reoptimize old content and make it better and it allows me to add certain tricks and conversion goals to maximize the traffic coming in for the winning articles.

Winners

These are the type of content that receives the most attention. They’re the ones that get the most page views, most shares, and most engagement.

High search traffic pages. Also pages with high social shares and email open rates all fit within this category of winners.

Action: Link from these to your highest converting pages with internal links and calls to action. Add “related articles” links at the bottom to posts on related topics with high conversion rates. Add more call to action within these articles and link to articles with “weaker” traffic so that they can get a boost.

This can be as simple as adding another line within the middle of the article that says something like, “Related Read”

Runner-ups

The second type of content is what I consider “runner-ups”. These are usually the pages or posts with low search traffic, but high link popularity / Page Authority.

One of the best tips for boosting traffic to these type of articles is to rewrite them and include more long tail keywords so that search engines will pick it up.

These type of articles usually do not have a problem with quality. They’re the ones that readers enjoy reading with a low bounce rate, but the search engine just isn’t picking up the traffic. This could be due to the fact that other sites with strong authority is outranking you.

Action: Repurpose the URL and rewrite the article. Make it a high-quality piece focused on a specific topic and keyphrase. Then relaunch the piece with a new email campaign and social promotion. Finally, use internal linking to pass SEO authority from these pages to products and services pages and to other articles and guides that aren’t doing so well.

Another trick you can use is by updating the dates to the article in the title. For example, if you have a guide on “The best keyboard for 2018” change it to “The best keyboard for 2019” with a slight update in the content as well.

Weaklings

These are the content that just doesn’t perform well at all. I hate to call it “weaklings”, but that’s what they are. This doesn’t mean that it can’t be improved though!

These type of posts need a lot of help. My recommendation for these type of posts would be to rewrite them targeting the newest trends and keywords. At the same time, you would want to make them more in-depth than before.

Action: These pages need help before they fall off into obscurity. Google is looking for the best page on the internet for the topic, so our first goal is to simply make it a better page. Add anything that improves quality, including details, examples, images, video, statistics, contributor quotes and answers. These pages also get a boost when you link to them from “winners.”

Conversion kings

There are certain pages that convert REALLY well but receives close to none search traffic. These can be landing pages or subscription pages. They’re the ones that convince people to buy or sign up.

The strategy for these type of posts and pages is to leverage your winner pages to drive traffic onto these conversion kings.

Include all of these pages within the call to action at the bottom of every boost and do whatever it takes to include links from your most popular content to these pages. Pitch guest posts that refer back to them. You can even buy ads to these pages or try them in native advertising!

Making sure your content matches the proper guidelines

Next, create a section that assesses the quality of the content. Some of these metrics will be subjective, as you will need to use your judgment to rank their quality.

  • Word length: Content with a word count of 600 or lower will usually have a lower content quality score.
  • Uniqueness: Content that is very similar to content published on other sites or your site will usually have a lower content quality score.
  • Timeliness: If the content has outdated information, it will have a lower content quality score.
  • Topic relevance: Content that is very relevant to your products, services, and industry will have a higher content quality.
  • Overall quality: Give a score of 1 to 5 (with 5 being the highest) to rate the content quality based on the other factors.

Now, dig into the search engine optimization (SEO) value on each page. Create a section in your content audit template that identifies keywords that you’re using and whether or not you’re implementing best SEO practices on each page and post.

Fill in the page information for:

  • Main keyword
  • Meta description
  • Meta title

Answer yes or no to the following checklist:

  • Keyword in content?
  • Keyword in headline?
  • Keyword in subheading?
  • Keyword in image alt tag?
  • At least 1 to 3 inbound links?
  • At least 1 to 2 outbound links?

The information and metrics you collected related to engagement, quality, and SEO will help you determine what to do with each piece of content. Consider the factors and make a plan for each piece of content.

  • Keep posts that have a high audience engagement and content quality.
  • Fix posts that have SEO errors.
  • Revise posts that are low quality.
  • Update posts that have outdated information.
  • Republish posts that are relevant and high quality but were published in the past and have low engagement. (You can give new life to a post by refreshing the content and republishing it on your website or using it on third-party sites like LinkedIn or Medium.)
  • Delete posts that have low content quality, relevance, and engagement. (If you remove these posts, remember to set up link redirects so any traffic is directed to a new page of relevant content.)

Create a content marketing plan by:

  • assessing gaps in your topics and keywords. Decide what opportunities you are missing and create future posts based on those topics and keywords.
  • seeing how you can rival competitor content. Identify content that is performing well on other websites and see how you can create content on similar topics while increasing the quality. Pinpoint content gaps that competitors aren’t ranking for so that you can make content audiences seek but can’t currently find on competitor sites.
  • identifying ways to repurpose and revise what you have. Look back through your old content to see if you can reuse pieces or whole posts to fill keyword needs and topic gaps.

Reoptimizing your content

Now that you’ve identified your most popular content, have a strong understanding of what your readers like to read, and know the different types of content winners, it’s time to put together a framework that will drive endless traffic into your content funnel.

That’s the whole goal of a content marketing audit. We want to be able to identify all the winners and optimize all the ones that aren’t doing so well.

Follow all the strategies and action steps that you’ve gathered from your content marketing audit and re-optimize your content in a way that will convert more users.

If there are any changes that need to be made to your content, then do so with each and every single article, then log into Google search console and have them recrawl everything.

That’s all for this article! If you need help with your content marketing audit or need help with high-quality content creation that will drive you more traffic, then feel free to reach out to me anytime!

Wilson Jian P

The Ultimate Guide To Creating a Content Marketing Strategy

Content marketing works and it’s sad how content marketing is undervalued. The main reason behind that is because most companies don’t have a strong content marketing strategy in place. What we’re seeing is an influx of spending and a massive increase in content creation, but most of them are low-quality work.

Content is a significant investment in your marketing. It also takes time to pay off, which is where many B2B SaaS companies get into trouble. Unlike paid acquisition channels, content isn’t a marketing tactic you can easily turn on and off. It takes months, even years, to build momentum.

With that said, content marketing is a long term investment that works. Imagine having organic traction without having to spend any money on any paid acquisition on a regular basis? Imagine having users come to you on autopilot. Yes, it works.

Developing a content strategy

Any content is only as good as the strategy behind it. Let’s start off with some must have questions that you need to ask yourself when developing a content strategy.

  1. Who is the target audience?
  2. Do they prefer a casual tone or a professional tone?
  3. What’s the marketing strategy behind it?
  4. What tools will we use?
  5. What type of content will you be pushing out weekly?

Who is the target audience?

You have to start with understanding what your audience wants to read. You have to know as much about them as you can.

What blogs are they reading? What community are they on?

You’ll hold yourself to a higher standard if you’re writing for real people. Fictitious personas also tend to reflect the average, not the median. This means you risk writing for a person well outside the stated demographics.

Do they prefer a casual or professional tone?

It’s very crucial to understand your readers and it’s even more important to be consistent with the tone of your company’s writing.

Creating content for an audience of 20-year-olds is very different than writing content for the older folks.

A good comparison would be to take a look at WSJ (Wall Street Journal) versus a trendy news site like The Hustle. Both of them have their own unique voice aimed towards a different set of audiences.

What’s the marketing strategy behind it?

Remember, everything requires a good plan and writing good content is just the start. Think about the promotion aspect after that. What happens after you write the content? How will you promote it?

Some questions that you could ask yourself is if your company already has a strong social following? Social is an excellent channel if you already have a strong following. What about your newsletter? That’s another great channel to keep your customers updated.

What tools will we use?

There’s definitely no shortage of tools when it comes to marketing automation and content writing.

Without overwhelming yourself, you should have a set of tools aligned for the entire content writing and marketing process. This list of tools should include basic SEO research tools, content publishing tools, grammar checking tools, and most importantly the marketing stack of tools to promote the content.

What type of content will you be pushing out weekly?

Topic ideation is something to be systematized. But first, let’s lay out a framework to help you understand the best way to choose blog post topics.

Your blog is not a publication, it’s a growing library of information. There are many reasons you need to adopt this mindset, but here’s one guiding principle that should be enough reason on its own.

A good content marketing process helps you address the entire lifecycle, from awareness through purchase.

Here are the funnel stages that I like to use when it comes to publishing content:

  • Top of Funnel: Use keyword research to address high-level topics, introduce new readers to your brand.
  • Middle of Funnel: Use keyword research in addition to sales and support feedback to tie problems to your specific solution.
  • Bottom of Funnel: Use sales and support feedback to write directly about your product.

As apart of your content strategy, you should implement content for all stages of the content funnel. This should also be dependent on the stage of your business and the target customer profile.

Having a consistent publishing schedule

Another huge mistake that I see a lot of companies make is that they tend to publish random articles whenever they feel like it. In addition to that, I also notice that a lot of companies tend to publish random topics, most of the time not even related to the business.

It’s impossible to write too much, but it’s easy to publish too much.

The result is typically shorter, less valuable pieces of content. This is not ideal.

The ideal publishing schedule is relative to your budget, but always choose quality over quantity.

Still, it’s difficult to scale publishing volume without sacrificing quality no matter how much money you can afford to spend. As a general rule, publish as often as you can without dropping your quality standards. There’s no use publishing content that won’t get read.

Here’s are some examples of publishing schedule you can use depending on your company stage and budget:

Starter:

1 article/week
1 ebook, whitepaper, drip email course, round up post per quarter

Advanced:

2 articles/week

1 ebook, whitepaper, drip email course, round up post per month

Top Level:

3 articles/week
2 ebook, whitepaper, drip email course, round up post per month

Following the above schedule, you should also have newsletters at least once a week.

Remember that a good content marketing strategy is all about compounding growth. Everything adds up and everybody needs to start somewhere. Publishing something is better than not publishing anything at all.

List of tools to help with content strategy and marketing

With your content marketing strategy in place, you’re going to need tools to make it all run smoothly. There are plenty of great options out there, but here are a few of my favorite content marketing tools.

SEO + Research

  • Ahrefs – An excellent tool for tracking links and doing keyword research.
  • Moz – Track your rankings for target keywords.
  • KeywordTool.io – Get tons of keyword ideas.
  • AnswerthePublic.com – Get keyword ideas in the form of questions.
  • Buzzsumo – Research successful posts with search and social metrics.
  • Clearbit – Add data to your existing email list for better segmentation.

Content Creation + Hosting

  • Quip – Our favorite tool for collaborative writing.
  • SketchDeck – Professional design resources on-demand.
  • DraftSend – Create simple presentations that you can embed in your posts.
  • WordPress – The best content management system for most SaaS blogs.
  • WPEngine – Our host of choice.
  • Wistia – The best video hosting platform out there.

Promotion + Conversion

  • Sumo – All kinds of tools for collecting email addresses on your site.
  • Freshchat– Simple live chat tool for having live conversations with readers.
  • Buffer – The industry standard social media sharing tool.

Workflow

  • Airtable – Create an insanely powerful content workflow.
  • CoSchedule – Build comprehensive marketing calendars.
  • Zapier – Connect all your apps and automate everything.
  • Trello – A popular and useful project management tool.
  • Teamwork – A robust and powerful project management app.

Analytics + Attribution

  • Google Analytics – Easy and free analytics. You can’t beat that.
  • Amplitude – Tie your product data into your content data.
  • Segment – Centralize your event tracking for cleaner data.

Conclusion

To wrap things up, it’s important to have a strong content marketing strategy moving forward. Content marketing is an ongoing challenge, not a task to be checked off your list, but it’s important to have a solid plan in place.

Need help with content creation or marketing? Reach out to me anytime!

Wilson Jian P

The Most Straight Forward Guide To SEO For Content Marketers In 2019

Doing SEO for any type of content is one of the most difficult things out there when it comes to marketing. It’s a crowded market and you don’t have a ton of content to ramp things up, but good news is that it still works really well when done propertly.

I incorporate all the following SEO tactics when doing any sort of content marketing for both my clients that I consult as well as my own projects and it works well even in 2018.

Truth is that SEO still works and it’ll allow users to discover your product through their searches.

In this guide, I’ll cover the best practices for optimizing your rankings in Google. Hopefully, SaaS companies, marketers, and other entrepreneurs can learn a bit from this guide. I’ll try to make it as easy and straightforward as possible.

The ranking factors in SEO

I’m not going to go into the history behind SEO or what SEO is. I’m going to assume that if you’re reading this guide that you already know what SEO is, so let’s just cut the chase and go straight into the most important aspect of SEO.

Ranking factors…

What makes your content or website stand out from Google’s point of view?

If you’re just starting off, you should read Google’s webmaster guidlines. It’s a good introduction on how their rankings work.

The truth is that no expert in the SEO space can tell you exactly what makes your content rank higher on Google. It’s always changing and heck maybe even people who work in Google themselves don’t know. It’s a secret.

With that said, there’s a lot of ranking factors that are proven to help your article rank over time.

They are:

  • Keyword present in <title>;
  • Keyword present in <h1>;
  • Keyword present in <h2>;
  • Keyword present in <p>aragraphs;
  • Number of backlinks and internal links
  • Anchor text of links to any specific page on your website
  • Content length;
  • Content shares;
  • Unique content
  • Load speed of your site.

The tech stack that you use to build your app/site in matters as well. It’s not that certain tech stack isn’t Google friendly, it’s just hard to have Google crawl and index certain tech stacks. This includes ones like React, Native Node, Angular etc.

If you have a dedicated expert in SEO on your team, then it won’t be a problem, but if you’re bootstrapped then using a solution like WordPress can bring you in quicker results.

This is because there are plugins out there that can help with that such as Yoast SEO. It’ll save you a bunch of time.

If you are just focused on building a great product or tweaking things on your site to try to “optimize” when you have not laid a solid base and do not have any links, you will not do as well as you otherwise could.

I do understand that most SaaS apps are built on top of the tech stacks mentioned above. Heck, I built all my previous startups using Ruby on Rails, so I understand the pain.

The good news is that as long as you have well-structured pages that load fast, are accessible from other pages on your site, target keywords that have search volume, invest in unique content written for users and conversions, and acquire links to your domain and your individual pages, then you have a much better chance at ranking very well.

Technical SEO

Alright, we hear this term a lot, but what the heck is it exactly?

Technical SEO just refers to any SEO work that is done aside from the content. Essentially, it’s laying a strong foundation to give your content the best chance it can have to rank for relevant keywords and phrases.

One thing to note is that Google does not crawl pages within your app unless you literally tell them to, but I wouldn’t see why you would want Google crawling your user’s dashboard anyway.

Here’s an example and case study of things you can do to improve the technical side of SEO:

Zoompf analyzed the top 1,000 Alexa-ranked sites for site speed and found that the following four problems were the most common (in order from most to least):

  1. unoptimized images
  2. content served without HTTP compression
  3. too many CSS image requests (not using sprites)
  4. no caching information (expires header)

Usually people refer to load speed when talking about ranking factors for technical SEO. The reason behind this is because if you fix all your load speed issues, then most of the technical SEO side of things will progress with it.

Here are some solutions for common slow load speed problems:

If you are concerned about your web app being crawled, then there are ways to ensure that it is not crawled such as:

  1. Put it on a subdomain and block that subdomain in robots.txt;
  2. Put any logged in pages in a subfolder that you can then block in robots. txt (eg site.com/app/ and then Disallow: /app/)

I see many SaaS companies use something like WordPress for their “marketing site”, and then a custom web app on a subdomain. This is a great way to seperate your main app and a blog for example.

Meta elements

For every page on your site, there are meta elements in your documents’s <head> that should be present to help the search engines understand what your page is about. This is just as important as load speed.

The meta elements you must include on your pages are:

  1. Title tag – this is the text that shows in the search engines results pages. Keep this short.
  2. Meta Description –The summary of the page that appears in Google search.
  3. Rel tags – This tells the search engines the original source of the content
  4. Robot text – index, no follow, follow etc.
  5. Open graph (Twitter/Facebook) tags.

Without getting too in depth, those are the basics that you’ll need in terms of meta elements for ranking well on Google.

The most important out of the above is the title tag. That is what tells Google what your site is about and will relate to what people are searching for within your industry.

Make sure that you always include your targeted keyword within your title tag for all pages.

Meta Descriptions

The second most important factor in technical SEO is the Meta description.

Historically the meta description would be truncated around 160 characters, though in late 2017 Google announced that they were expanding this across their search results to around 300 characters.

If you’re using a plugin like Yoast for WordPress, you can edit the meta description easily. If not, then you would need to insert it yourself within your meta tags.

The meta description will tell the user who’s searching for your product what you’re looking for. Think of it as a book summary.

Canonical Tag

The canonical tag is a meta tag is a way to help control duplicate content. The canonical tag is a suggestion to the search engines that tells them the original source of the content.

This is useful if you’re repurposing content.

It looks something like this – <link rel=”canonical” href=”https://sumodash.com/guide/”>

If you’re a content marketer like me and like to put stuff on other sites like Medium, then the canonical tag becomes very useful. It tells Google which one is the real source of original content.

Again, if you’re already using something like Yoast, then they deal with this for you.

Robot Txt

Not sure why it’s named robot since I don’t see any robots involved, but it’s important when it comes to technical SEO as well.

The default is “index, follow”, meaning the search engines should crawl and index the page. It also tells Google to look within that specific page to find other links to crawl as well.

If you do not want a page to be indexed, then you can set the meta robots tag to the following:

<meta name=”robots” content=”noindex, follow”>

This is what most people refer to as no follow for backlink building.

For example, you might not want certain landing pages to be crawled. In that situation, you would do a no follow or noindex. Simple 🙂

Most of the time all of these including your robot.txt can be configured within Google’s search console.

If you don’t have that set up already, it is important that you go there now and set it up, then have Google fetch and crawl it.

On page SEO optimization

Before moving forward to more advanced topics, it is important that your on page SEO is optimized for your product or content.

Some of the biggest and most common mistakes I see that content marketers get wrong in the beginning are the following:

  • H1 targeting wrong keywords
  • H2 targeting wrong terms; most of the time they are targeting other keywords
  • H3s nested under H2s where necessary
  • Not enough context related to search topics etc.

The way on-page SEO works is that the search engines use different on-page elements to determine the page’s relevance for a certain term.

When it comes down to on page SEO optimization, you need to understand what Google is looking for in terms of priority.

In order of how search engines value on-page elements, your target keyword term should be in:

  1. Your title; try to include it in the beginning if possible
  2. Your URL; don’t make the URL too long
  3. Your H1
  4. Your H2
  5. Your H3
  6. Throughout your content (context).

Along with the above, your key pages need to be linked from other main pages so that they are passed link equity that provides the strength they need to begin ranking.

The easy way to do keyword research

There are a ton of guides out there that teaches keyword research and most of them cover the basics or get too complicated.

I’m personally not a huge fan of using all those keyword research tools, even though it can be helpful.

The only tool that I enjoy using is Google’s keyword planner. It’s true, it doesn’t have a lot of features that their competitors have, but it works.

There’s actually an easier way to do it without having to use any tools.

Start by generating topics with intent

While search engines still use keywords to determine what a page is about, they also now have a deeper understanding of what that specific keyword or keyword term is about and the other terms that it relates to. From this they build topics.

This means that keywords itself just isn’t enough. Back in the days, you can stuff your article with certain keywords and you’ll skyrocket in rankings.

Now, Google is a lot smarter.

We have to create topics based on user intent.

Think from your customer’s shoes. What are they searching for online? If you were to search online for a guide on how to polish your shoes, would you type in polish shoes or would you type in how to polish your shoes?

Again, think from a human’s perspective and not just keywords.

Ask yourself (and write down the answers to) these questions:

  • What does your product do?
  • Who is your product for?
  • What features does your product offer?

Then come up with topics based on that.

The easy way is to use Google Suggest.

You can easily access Google suggest by going to Google and typing in a snippet of what you’re looking for. Google will populate what people are searching for. It’s really that simple. See the picture below.

seo guide for content marketers

In that example, you could easily come up with ideas through that.

The second method that I LOVE is using AnswerThePublic. Type in any keyword and they’ll give you a beautiful visual of what to look for.

Competitor research

The third method that I like to use when coming up with topics and keywords is by looking at what my competitors are ranking for. What are they using?

Depending on your competitors, they may or may not be doing a great job with SEO and thus just doing competitor analysis will leave other potential profitable and traffic-driving keywords out of the list.

If you want to get advanced, you can use a tool like SEMRush to find related keywords and view their backlinks etc.

If you’re on a budget, just use Moz.

Link building

Let’s go into the bread and butter to SEO rankings – link building.

If you want to rank, you need links to your website from other websites. Now it’s not 100% necessary, but it can help A LOT if you have quality backlinks from other websites, especially other websites that have high authority in their industry.

The more and better links you have, the stronger your website and the better you rank.

Building links is about improving your website’s strength to rank better.

These are the links that search engines want to reward.

But it’s not that simple because there are different types of backlinks.

There are two kinds of links:

  • Followed
  • Nofollowed

Followed links are the links that pass link equity and are guaranteed to help you rank better. If a link is followed and from a strong relevant website, then this is the best link you can get to help your rankings.

You can determine if links are nofollow by right clicking on any site and viewing the page’s source to see if they have a “no-follow” in front of their links.

It used to be that links are always followed, but website owners got smarter and made a lot of their links no followed.

In 2018, the following are proven strategies for link building:

  • Manual outreach – emailing site owners, writers etc. to have them link to you
  • Resource page linking – Find resource pages within your industry and have them add your site to the list
  • Scholarship programs – This is an older SEO trick that still works. Create a scholarship program and have education websites link to it.
  • Infographics – This one is super tough and requires a team, but it can be done. Have websites that post similar content and send them an infographic in exchange for a link.
  • Industry roundups – These work well because companies are willing to share your work in their Press page.
  • Guest posting – This still works because it still gets you a link but a lot of media sites are making this nofollow.

There’s a lot more, but these are the most effective and quickest way of doing linkbuilding.

Conclusion

Alright, that’s enough for now! I tried to make this as straight forward as possible for any content marketer to get things rolling with SEO and keyword research. Hopefully you learned something from this article and best of luck.

Make sure you track everything. All you need is something basic like Google Analytics.

If you need any help on growth strategies, content marketing, or writing content in general, you can always reach out to me at wilsonpeng23@gmail.com or tweet to me @itswilson8