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Content Marketing: Be the Authority & Get Results

You’ve been churning out content like a machine over the last year. You expected it to take a while to see sales from your efforts, but you’re beginning to think you’re doing something wrong.

As you prepare to draft another article, you wonder…Is it even worth it?

What Makes Content Marketing Work?

Content marketing–– a staple in marketing strategy, is defined by Content Marketing Institute as:

“…a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience— and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”

Have you been posting short articles, putting out content hand over fist— but with no strategy or research behind it? That’s likely the reason you haven’t seen the results you want. 

Not only do you have to solve your readers’ problems, you have to optimize. That’s what makes content marketing work. Let’s talk about how to do that.  

Rank Up with Long Tail Keywords

Keywords are the foundation for search engine optimization (SEO) and are a great place to start but with more content being produced, it’s become harder to rank for single keywords.

Imagine the competition for the number one spot on Google for the keyword “smoothie”. So the best way to be seen would be to optimize for long-tail keywords instead.  A long-tail keyword is a phrase of three or more words that is more specific. A long-tail keyword like “keto-friendly smoothies with almond milk” would have a lot less competition. Writing content around what a customer is specifically looking for will allow you to provide more relevant information–– meaning, a better answer to their problem.

When your prospective clients go to Google knowing exactly what they’re looking for or use voice search where they tend to speak more in a question format, they’re using keyword phrases. When you identify what those are for your industry, you can design a content strategy around that.

Using keywords or long-tail keywords is not obsolete, but it’s not enough to establish you as an authority in your industry.

Create a Pillar Page

Enter the new evolution of content strategy. To keep readers on your site and engrossed in your content, create a “pillar page.” A pillar page is a piece of content that summarizes a subject you want to be known for and will become a central point of reference for anyone searching for this broader topic.

While a Google search looks the same for your prospective customers, a lot of changes to Google have happened behind the scenes with their search algorithm and how your content is found.

You now know that it’s not as effective to sprinkle keywords throughout a few random blog posts. According to neilpatel.com, research on Google’s Hummingbird algorithm revealed that if a website has a lot of good, deep content, it’s going to rank higher in search results.

“Good, deep content”– what does that even mean? 

To build authority and establish yourself as an expert in your industry, you have to create content that is comprehensive and solves problems in a unique and effective way. They’ll be expecting you to publish frequently and consistently. Don’t let them down.

A reader shouldn’t have to go anywhere else to have their questions on the subject answered.

Where to start?  

Ask yourself which buyer persona is most likely to become your customer. Begin by talking to them. Create a pillar page for that niche area of expertise you can dominate.

What does that buyer persona need? What would they research before making a decision? Address this better than anyone else has.

When creating a pillar page, keep in mind:

  • The problems your reader has
  • What you want to be known for
  • Why someone would buy your products

Develop Topic Clusters

Once you’ve laid out the main theme of your site with a pillar page, you’ll group similar problems and questions under topic headings with article ideas laid out under each. These are called “topic clusters”. Doing this will give you an outline of what content to create.

To become an authority in a unique area, talk about what hasn’t been covered by others. When you read other content out there, what’s missing? Even if you cover fewer topics, they should be more specific, in-depth and informative rather than short, airy content that leaves a reader far from satisfied and closing out of your website to head to another.

You could create entire webpages dedicated to specific topics, or write a series of blog posts, share information on social media, create videos around a topic or talk about it in your emails. Each piece of content will link to another piece of content or back to the pillar page. You want to build bridges for the reader from one to the other. Try saying something like—

Here’s what I’ll be covering in this series:

  • [Insert link to article in this topic cluster or another]
  • [Insert link to article in this topic cluster or another]
  • [Insert link to article in this topic cluster or another]

Or, For more information on ___, read: [Insert link to pillar page]

Optimize Old Content

Don’t worry– your old content is still valuable and can be reworked to support your new strategy.

Start by performing a content audit. Look at everything you’ve written and create a spreadsheet that includes the following headings: content type, page title, URL, keyword, topic, sub-topic, buyer persona you’re targeting, action to take, what you’ll link to.

Then comb through this list to determine what you’ve already covered and what topic it falls under. Identify any gaps that need to be filled.

Now go back to your existing content and rewrite the title, incorporate long-tail keywords, expound on the topic to create the long form content that search engines favor and link to other related articles or back to your pillar page. Then promote the revised content on social media.

The Truth About Boosting Your Authority

Being an expert can lead to the “curse of knowledge”— thinking everyone knows what you know. They don’t. By brainstorming all the questions you can answer, all the problems you can solve with your content— you’ll establish yourself as an authority in your field and search engines will reward you.

Content optimization isn’t just writing what interests you and promoting your products, it’s about helping your potential customer. Isn’t helping people why you went into business in the first place?  Lead with that.

Want help optimizing your content? Contact AKC Marketing.

At AKC Marketing we honestly assess the perception of your company. We push to market you above your competition. We do this by igniting your inner brand - focusing on what your true value to the marketplace is. To make it impossible to be ignored in your industry.
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