It doesn’t matter what your niche is, if you’re in need of good content marketing, chances are your ultimate goal is an increase in traffic and sales.
The former leads to the latter, but it’s not as easy as buying a domain and hoping people come to it.
You must take proactive steps to give yourself the best chance of being seen by the people that want to buy. In order to truly succeed, you need to know your audience, and you need to establish the authority of your domain.
Know your audience!
To succeed at content marketing, the first step is to identify your target audience.
It’s no use writing a single word of copy until you figure out who you’re writing to and what they want to hear. Your mind can be full of great ideas that are all relevant to the product or service you’re trying to sell.
If it’s not appealing to the target, however, you’ll fall through the cracks.
There are plenty of competitors putting out content on the same subject.
The only way to stand out is to care more about the individual target than they do. You can’t pay attention to your base if you haven’t already identified it. This is how you identify it.
Look at the data you already have
If you’re one of the lucky individuals reading this that already has a customer base, take advantage of it!
Dig deep into your data and find repeat customers. An individual sale does not constitute a part of your customer base.
You want to target the people who repeatedly come to you for information or products, depending on what you’re selling.
These are the ones that provide the bulk of your revenue.
Once you determine what attributes brought these people to your site and hooked them, you’ll be able to put more focus on those attributes and less on the ones that don’t matter as much.
If you’ve built up an email list, use it to your advantage. Send out a newsletter and include within it a poll asking questions pertaining to your design, your content, your ads, and any other relevant questions.
This information is valuable and will direct you as to where you need to make changes, and where you need to hold the course.
While this information is great for your content marketing strategy, it can be applied to every other element of your marketing strategy as well.
Investigate your competition
Luckily, a current customer base is not absolutely necessary. It’s obvious new businesses spring up every day and they do so without a single customer.
But to separate your business from the rest, and to truly thrive in your market or niche, you have to do some private investigating.
Chances are great that there are hundreds, if not thousands, of websites already devoted to the product or service you’re pushing. It’s not uncommon to hear potential entrepreneurs talk themselves out of pursuing their dreams just because of competition.
In reality, the more competition you have, the more information you can yield through reconnaissance.
A quick Google search for keywords relevant to your niche will reveal your competition. An excellent idea is to check out the top three to five results.
This type of research will yield a treasure trove of valuable information that you can use to improve every aspect of your website, as well as your general marketing strategy.
Unfortunately, these sites are unlikely to list their target audience. So you have to interpret the words and visuals they employ to draw in their customers.
After you’ve done a thorough scan of their website, the next step is to transition to social media. Most of these companies will have social media accounts on all major pipelines.
This includes the big three of Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Social media has allowed businesses to connect with customers in an incredible way. You can take advantage of this by researching the people that engage with these companies on social media.
Know what to look for
Through all of this research, you’ll be looking for patterns.
Some of the most important demographics to pay attention to include:
- Geographic location
- Ethnicity or cultural background
In addition to demographics, you’ll also want to consider the psychological elements of your target audience.
Some of the psychological points to keep in mind include:
- Personality or attitude
- Values or characteristics
- Interests and hobbies
- Overall behavior
Using this information, you’ll be able to build a valuable customer profile.
This is not only necessary for a successful content marketing strategy, it’s vital for paid campaigns as well. It’s important to have a customer profile to narrow down campaigns as much as possible.
This way you don’t have to take the “spray and pray” approach of blasting ads to as many people as possible.
Establish your site with good back-links – AKA: SEO Gold!
Whenever another site links to your site, you’ve obtained a back-link. Good back-links are one of the most important ranking factors considered by major search engines like Google.
There are multiple ways to go about this, but you only want back-links from well-established sites, preferably authoritative in your niche. However, a back-link from any strong website is a huge plus.
Report broken links… and offer a replacement
One of the simplest ways to obtain a back-link is by reporting broken links to webmasters and offering several working links as a possible replacement.
If you notice a broken link, or a link that directs you to a “page not found” or 404 error page, take advantage of the situation. Simply contact the webmaster and inform them that their link is broken.
Offer several relevant links that would work as a suitable replacement. Of course, you’ll want to include a link to your own website.
This isn’t unethical because you’re helping the webmaster improve the quality of their website while simultaneously improving the experience of anyone who visits their website.
If you put emphasis on the value of your link, which you’ve included within the list of links you suggest as replacements, chances are the webmaster will make the change and insert a link to your website in their content.
A trick to finding websites in your niche is to use Google.
In the search bar, just type in the following phrase, without quotation marks or brackets, and adding keywords relevant to your niche:
“ + links.”
Guest blogging is a great way to obtain solid back-links
Guest blogging is not only a great way to get back-links, it’s also one of the best ways to get your content in front of more people.
The only downside to this technique is that it’ll take some persistence to obtain permission to guest blog on a well-established site in your niche.
However, this should not deter you from reaching out to as many webmasters as possible.
You don’t have to be an expert in any niche to write an informative and engaging article that readers enjoy. All it takes is an intermediate understanding of writing and the ability to research.
Google is one of the most powerful research tools available.
Writing a powerful guest blog post doesn’t take long. If you can get your post on the right site, there’s the potential your traffic will shoot up overnight.
It’s highly recommended that you reach out to sites in your niche even if they don’t express interest in accepting guest posts. Many sites will not broadcast their acceptance of guest posts, but some will.
In order to easily find sites that will, and that are in your niche, simply put the following into the Google search bar, excluding the quotations and adding keywords relevant to your niche:
“ + inurl:write-for-us.”
Also try replacing “write-for-us” with the phrase “guest-posts.”
Do a little more spying
As previously mentioned, spying on your competition can reveal a treasure trove of valuable information that can serve a variety of purposes.
If you can stay on top of the changes being made to their ad campaigns and content marketing strategies, you’ll end up with a valuable pattern that they had to pay for.
One of the best ways to stay on top of the moves being made by your competitors is to sign up for their newsletters. This way you’ll be alerted to any changes made.
At this point, you should be analyzing everything they put out.
You should be mirroring their strategies if you think they’re profitable. And keep in mind that most of these companies have spent a considerable amount of money researching the best methods and strategies.
Now they’re broadcasting the results to anyone savvy enough to interpret them.
There are several great tools on the market that will analyze any website and provide you with a list of extremely important information. These tools will provide back-links and page ranks. This is the type of information you need.
If you know the types of back-links your competitors are chasing, you can, in turn, chase the same back-links. And any patterns you notice can tip you off to future changes that you could make in advance.
Don’t let competition keep you from entering the race to the top of the search results.
Whether you’re selling your own products or services, or someone else’s through affiliate marketing, these two factors are incredibly important to success.
If you take this information to heart and apply it daily in your content marketing strategy, you’ll see results almost immediately. The goal is to make money, pure and simple.
The information you’ve just read will certainly help you make plenty of money online. If you apply these guidelines, and do so with persistence, you’ll increase your traffic and sales.
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Updated: Originally published May 2nd 2018