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Content Marketing for Beginners – 5 Days Crash Course

Content Marketing for Beginners – 5 Days Crash Course
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Content Marketing for Beginners in 5 Days

Content Marketing for Beginners

  • Have you been looking for a great way to get more subscribers?
  • Do you constantly seek quality information to provide to your readers?
  • Have you been looking for a way to quickly increase awareness, traffic, and profits for your website?

The short guide will show even absolute beginners how content marketing can be used to increase awareness, establish a brand and attract more prospects for any business.

Even if you have never thought about using content marketing as a part of your business plan before, you will quickly understand why and how you can use it to your advantage!

This short course divides 5 lessons packed with easy to understand information that you can start using to immediately impact your business!

Let’s start!

First Lesson – Why Content Marketing is So Important To Your Business

No doubt you’ve heard the phrase “Content is King” Why? Because no matter what type of business you’re in the content you provide to your consumers will be at the core of your marketing plan because it’s what builds credibility and loyalty.

Businesses aren’t built on first-time visitors. Companies like the Coke-a-cola don’t make most of their money from people drinking just one soda.

They make money from people who drank a Coke and then decided it was good enough that they either want to purchase again and again and again. If the business had to get a new customer every time in order to get paid, they’d all have gone under by now.

Yet many people approach their business that way. Instead of focusing on repeat visitors, they focus on optimizing for search engines so they get more new customers.

At the end of the day, however, the famous and successful blogs like Huffington Post or TechCrunch ultimately still get most of their traffic from repeat visitors. Yes, search engines love them, but their businesses would be a fraction of what they are today if they didn’t have great content.

– Search Engines

Search Engine Optimize

For many years, Google and other search engines have worked towards making their search results pull up better and better results. They want people who search on their engines to find the best content possible in relation to what they’re looking for.

As search engines get smarter, marketers who focus primarily on marketing tactics rather than actual content will consistently lose ground to competitors who understand the importance of creating a consistent flow of quality content for their consumers.

Google has proven this repeatedly by continually downgrading the importance of low-quality links and upgrading the importance of usage statistics and other metrics to measure the content of a website.

If you build your website around great content while having a decent understanding of basic SEO, your site will grow. If you put all your attention on SEO and don’t pay much attention to your content, you’ll always be trying to stay one step ahead of the search engines.

Now let’s go over the different forms of content that you can use to grow your business.

There are four main types of content: text, graphics, audio, and video. Each of these has its own benefits and will appeal to different types of audiences.

– Text-based

This is by far the most common type of content used on the internet. Just about every webpage you see is based on text content. One of the biggest benefits of text-based content is that it’s very search engine friendly. Search engines can’t understand videos or audios as well, but they can understand a text, so if you’re publishing text-based content you stand a good chance of ranking.

– Graphic based

This is visual based content like social memes, banners, and infographics that are easily shared on sites like Pinterest, Instagram and paid advertising platforms like Google Adwords. These are essentially graphics that contain information that appeals to your target audience. One of the biggest benefits of graphic-based content is that it’s often more entertaining and informative than just plain text.

– Audio-based

Audio content, especially in the form of podcasts and audiobooks is extremely popular. People can listen to audios anywhere they go. In the car, on the bus, while walking, at lunch, etc. It saves time and is extremely convenient. Audio content works well for many businesses, so don’t underestimate it.

– Video-based

Video content is one of the most dynamic methods of distributing content on the internet. You can put funny content, informational content, interesting content, high tech content, personal content – just about anything you can think of.

It also has some of the strongest “share cultures.” It’s very easy to share video content with friends on Facebook for example.  A video has a much higher chance of going viral than say an audio podcast.

The only downside to video content is that it does take more effort to produce. You need to shoot the video, edit the video and finally render the video. The whole process could take many hours, rather than just 30 minutes to write an article.

Which content format is right for you and your business?

It really depends on what kind of content you’re creating and who your market is. The best way to find out is to test and track your results. You can also try a combination of different types of content to see what your audience responds the best to.

We have a lot to go over in the next few days if you want to learn how to content marketing in your business, so make sure you look for your next lesson soon. We will be talking about finding your voice as a content marketer.

Second Lesson – Finding Your Voice as a Content Marketer

voice for content marketing

When you read content by someone who’s found their voice, there’s a distinct ring to it. You can tell they’re passionate and really know what they’re talking about.

People are moved by those who speak with their real voice. Yet what most people don’t realize is that almost everyone who’s found their voice had to put in a lot of work to find that voice. It doesn’t usually come naturally.

So how do you find your voice as a content marketer?

–  Start with what you’re most passionate about

If you love sports get into that sports field. If internet marketing is your thing write about that. If you love crafting, target that niche.  What’s a topic that you could talk about for hours on end? What would you talk about and obsess about even if you weren’t getting paid?

What’s something that really lights you up in life and gets you excited?

While not every passion can be turned into an occupation, you’d be surprised at how many people do manage to turn their passions into money, even in very obscure niches.

When you create content around a topic that you love it’ll come through in your voice.

–  Be self-expressive

Try to write without censorship. Don’t worry too much about political correctness or the proper grammar. I’m not saying be sloppy, just focus more on the message you’re trying to convey.  If you’re speaking from your real voice, you’re probably going to turn some people off. However, you’ll also really attract the kinds of people that will be more likely to make a purchase from you.

People who have strong voices stand out. Some people like them, others might hate them. But that’s how real followings are built. Rarely is a following built from people who try to please everyone.

When you’re creating content, try to write as if you were speaking one on one to a friend. Write naturally, in a casual yet self-expressed and passionate manner.

–  Focus on the impact you want to make

Can you tell the difference between someone who’s written something and really cares if you succeed, versus someone who’s just writing the content to write the content? Most likely, you can tell that the former has a completely different feel to it. Naturally, it’s the people who really want to help us that we feel drawn to.

When you’re writing content, ask yourself: Who are you trying to help with this content? How would you like their life to change because of this content for them?

If you really want to help people, they can sense it. It comes through in your writing and your voice. It creates loyalty.

Your voice isn’t “one thing” that people can point to and say whether it’s good or not. It’s more of the overall vibe of your content, how everything you say is presented. A great voice will create a sense of community, loyalty, and follow, while a weak voice will turn people away from your content.

Third Lesson – Why Your Content Should Carry an Emotional Punch

emotional-marketing

When you’re writing content online, you can write it in such a way that it sounds very factual and impersonal. Or, you can write in a way that really packs an emotional punch.

By and large, most small publishers will do better with the latter approach. Of course, if you’re starting a website like Wikipedia or WebMD you’ll probably want to take on a professional tone. However, if you’re a smaller website looking to gain traction, you’ll want to aim to engage your reader’s emotions.

Why?

–  It makes you memorable

People browse dozens if not hundreds of websites every day. Most websites fail to draw their readers in emotionally.

How many websites do you visit each day that gets you to laugh, gets you to feel touched or gets you to get angry about something? How often do you feel like a website is talking directly to you and your problems and that they understand where you’re coming from?

These kinds of websites stand out. There’s a reason why YouTube videos of shocking clips, funny clips or touching clips tend to get passed around a lot. They make people feel something, and that’s memorable.

–  It gets more links

Content that evokes a lot of emotion tends to get linked to a lot more. Naturally, people are a lot more likely to want to share or endorse something that really got them riled up.

It gets more shares on Facebook and gets more retweets. In other words, it has a higher chance of getting passed around immediately but also has much stronger long-term potential.

–  Stronger relationships

Finally, emotional content will help you build a much stronger bond with your readers. People consuming your content will feel like they can relate to you, as opposed to feeling that you’re just an objective website on the internet.

This translates to people coming back more often and to a livelier community around your blog or business and most importantly to more loyal customers.

As an added benefit, people will also want to partner with you more. If they can tell you’re passionate about something or that you have a way of being able to move an audience, they’re likely to want to invite you to speak at their events, do teleseminars for their audience and in general open their customer base to you.

There are many benefits to creating content with an emotional punch rather than just information. Adding a dose of personality is great for just about any small to medium-sized business. Unless you’re trying to build an encyclopedia-type site, try to make your website as emotionally engaging as possible.

Fourth Lesson – How to Use Consumer Feedback to Create Even Better Content

Feedback Content Marketing

When you first started your business, chances have you had no trouble coming up with content ideas. But as you continually put out content, you’ll at some point hit a wall where you’ll start to have trouble coming up with new content ideas.

When you get to this point, instead of trying to figure out all your content ideas on your own, why not try asking your consumers? After all, at the end of the day, it’s their opinion that really matters. Now let’s go over a few ways you can do this.

–  Email

One great way to ask for feedback is to just ask by email. If you have a list of buyers or customers, just send out an email asking if they have any feedback. If they get the sense that you’re really trying to help them by offering better content, they’ll be very willing to help you out.

This works especially well in environments that have a strong sense of community or a “we’re in it together” sense.

–  Using surveys

Surveys can be another great way to ask for people’s opinions. You can ask questions about how they like the content so far, what they’d like to see more of in the future, any unanswered questions they have, demographic questions and so on.

Because surveys take more time to answer, usually you’ll need to create some sort of prize or incentive to get people interested. For example, you can give away a free eBook to anyone who answers the survey. Or you can give away a higher ticket item in a sweepstakes-style.

–  Using the phone

For marketers who want to go one step beyond what most people do, there’s the phone option. If someone orders from you, chances are on their order form they needed to fill out their phone number. One way to get powerful feedback as well as to send a message that you really care about is to pick up the phone and give them a call.

Let them know you’re calling because you want to make sure you’re providing the best service possible. Ask them if they have any feedback, or ask them 3-5 questions you prepared beforehand.

Once you have your feedback, use it to structure your future content so it really answers your customer’s unmet needs. If you do the feedback process well, you should have a very good idea of exactly what your customers want to know. If you provide that information for them now and consistently in the future, you’ll have loyal readers for life.

Fifth Lesson – Focus on Content Design

Content Design Marketing

Having great design to go along with the content on your website will play an important part in your user’s overall experience. Good design will increase trust, while poor design can decrease it.

A well-designed website will get more opt-ins and convert more visitors into customers. In general, design plays a big part in the overall marketing picture. With that said let’s go over a few design tips that will help your content shine.

–  Reduce ads

Yes, you need to make money. However, crowding your page with advertisements really isn’t great design. In fact, a study of several hundred thousand websites showed that statistically, having more ads on your site means you’re slightly less likely to rank well than other sites with fewer ads.

Your ads should integrate well with your website in general. The ads should be relevant and placed strategically to get your user’s attention without being intrusive.

–  Image placement

Having high quality, professional photos on your page can really add to the appeal. However, crowding your page with too many graphics may do more harm than good. Instead, use one or two carefully chosen images per page. If your article is long you can add more, but try to avoid image overload.

Make sure any photos on your website are crisp, taken with a high-quality camera. They also need to be relevant to the content. Try to have to color corrected before publishing, so the colors and contrast really stand out.

–  A great header

Your header graphic is one of the most important elements of what your website looks like. After all, it’ll be on the top of every page visitors go to, affecting their overall experience.

If you’re not a professional designer and you’re doing your website yourself, this is perhaps the one area where you should consider hiring someone professional to do it for you.

Your header graphic should contain just one or two graphical elements and just one or two text elements. The text elements and the graphic elements can’t both be too loud, or they’ll clash with one another or detract from the overall content.

–  Color scheme

Your site will look better with coordinating colors. Use complementary colors or adjacent colors on the color wheel in your design colors. Avoid colors schemes that clash or have one color standing out too much. The goal of your design shouldn’t be to bring attention to your design but to create a positive framework for the visitor to consume your content.

These are a few of the most important elements to designing a website that will make your content shine and make people want to keep coming back for more.

As we close this final lesson I would like to thank you again for joining me for this short course. I sincerely hope that you have learned a lot about how to use content as a big part of your marketing strategy and even though your lessons have come to an end you can still feel free to contact me if you have any questions about how to use it effectively.

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