digital marketing

The Value of Good Content for Business Growth

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The value of good content for business growth is clear when you consider that it generates 3 times as many leads as paid search marketing and is more cost-effective and quicker than traditional outbound marketing, tenfold.

The purpose of content as a marketing tool for businesses then is obvious – it attracts and converts leads, and by being effective in doing so, has become one of if not theleading marketing strategy for lead generation and conversion in the ever competitive digital age. So why is it so effective and how can you get it?

Editorial Content V Marketing Content 

Content today is no longer one entity, but 2 separate things existing in two different sectors entirely. Good content in publications such as magazines and journals is done for editorial purposes; good content on digital platforms like website blogs, e-newsletters and social media is done for marketing purposes. Both aim to drive sales, but indirectly (editorial) and directly (marketing). 

Inbound Marketing & Outbound Marketing 

Content marketing, also known as Inbound marketing, attracts leads through engaging content like videos, blog posts and e-newsletters, to name a few. The more traditional Outbound marketingoutwardly approaches potential leads through the likes of cold calling, trade shows and seminar series.

Inbound marketing is content that’s tailored and targeted to a specific target audience, which has been proven to yield significantly more leads at a fraction of the price. Outbound marketing, however, often has much less targeted methods therefore the costs to generate the same amount of leads is significantly higher and unsustainable in this age’s digital climate.

The Customer Life Cycle

Whether marketing Inbound or Outbound, approaches differ but the customer lifecycle stays the same: 

·     ATTRACT

·     ENGAGE

·     CONVERT

·     RETAIN

The Benefits of Quality Content

Good content, that is content that eventually generates high ROI and further sales, has a unique and identifiable voice across all promotable platforms, and explores subject matter the proposed target market would want to read, watch or listen to. The content life cycle if done successfully through content should yield the following benefits:

1.   Good content attracts an audience and builds brand awareness

Types of content such as blog posts are hugely effective ways to increase website traffic. A study found that the companies that issue 16+ blog posts per month achieved nearly 3.5 times more traffic than those who published 0-4 posts per month. Blogs and other types of content continue to generate traffic to a website and social media channels long after they’re published, so the more post, the bigger your potential lead pool gets.

2.   Good content builds brand perception: increasing the credibility and authority of your brand

High-quality content is often used to reinforce businesses as industry experts. The likes of white papers —an authoritative report or guide— is an example of formats used to promote trust and expertise through content. Good content also improves your SEO rankings and consequent public visibility, and by nature of content being extremely shareable, it’s a great way to become known to unexpected potential leads.

3.   Good content retains an audience through the engagement of interesting subject matter

Also content gives you more touchpoints with potential leads.

4.   Good content increases targeted, relevant leads 

Emphasising the impact content has on brand perception, is the Demand Gen Report of 2016 that found 47% of buyers view between 3 and 5 pieces of content before making the first point of contact with a sales associate. 

5.   Good content over time generates returns on investment and drives further sales.

How Do I Get Content Marketing? 

Content marketing is a 2-part process. First, a content marketing strategy is put in place that identifies your brand USP, target audience and digital distribution channels, then content creators produce content that builds to increase brand perception, audience engagement, website and social media traffic, and lead conversion.

For information on implementing a content strategy and creating content or improving the quality of existing content, visit here

 

 

Key SEO Basics for Start-Ups

SEO

Are you building a start-up and need to know the basics of how to grow your business online organically? Do you have your website and maybe you’ve set up Google Analytics, but you are wondering why your ideal customers aren’t coming to your site and buying your products or services?

SEO, or search engine optimisation, is still one of the most important factors to making your site search engine friendly and getting customers to your site. We love the guides from MozSEMRush, and Kissmetrics – but sometimes, it’s good to just have the basic fundamentals for your start-up – without too much technical jargon.

Optimising your website doesn’t have to be difficult – it’s an ongoing process that is essential to growing your business and it is constantly changing. So whether you choose to adapt to the waters and keep up to date with SEO or hire someone to do it for you, let’s take a look at the crucial elements for SEO for start-ups. 

Search Engine Optimisation for Start-Ups

Keywords

When doing keyword research, think about search intent, rather than just search terms. And then make sure that your site actually uses the words that people are searching for. Know your niche and stay relevant in it. We like using Google's AdWords Keyword Tool and Keyword.IO when doing keyword research.

A blog is an excellent way to stay relevant for both your audience and for Google bots as you are constantly updating your site and staying fresh in your industry. Moreover, there is an opportunity here for harnessing rankings for long tail keywords that your audience wants to know more about.

Using a combination of keyword research, Google suggest and related search, plus your customers’ questions and comments can help you in creating a regular content calendar that keeps your brand on the top of the Search Engine Results Page.

Content Creation

One of the keys to SEO is creating and scaling keyword-targeted, valuable, and unique content. It needs to be relevant, helpful, unique, and user-friendly.

This content can be in the form of blog posts, branded images, social media updates, email newsletter, infographics, white papers, e-books, downloadable PDFs, podcasts, video, webinars, workshops – any type of content that a consumer can engage with and consume. The first step in this is to know your audience and how they like to engage with your industry. Then create a funnel that takes your customer from discoverer of your brand to buyer.

And remember, once that content has been created, don't just hit publish. Share it, promote it on a rotating schedule, analyse it, expand it, make it better, mention it to influencers, etc.

Accessibility

Another important factor in improving search traffic is to simply make your site search friendly and accessible to search engines. Search engines are limited to how they can crawl the web and your site, so making your content indexable is an easy way to ensure visibility.

What does that mean? Images should be assigned relevant alt tags, audio and video should have transcripts, Flash content should have HTML text, URL links should have crawlable structures, images should be compressed, pages should load quickly. Does your start-up’s site pass these tests? See what we mean? Quite a bit of work, but worth it to have your site structured in the right way (Let us know if you're stuck here - we can help you).

Also make sure to use Webmaster Tools (Search Console) to make sure your site and its new content are being indexed regularly.

Inbound And Outbound Links

Make sure to link to authoritative and respected sites in your industry to show your brand’s trustworthiness. And in turn, you want other sites to link back to you. Guest posting, commenting on other blogs, and sharing on forums are all great methods for providing this social proof.

But let’s take it one step further. Instead of simply thinking about buying (which Google may penalise you for) or building links, Google is more interested in how your website can earn links editorially. In other words, your website needs to be seen as an authority by other well-trafficked and reputable sites, and you have to earn your stripes with your content and partnerships.

It’s so much more important today to take the time to build relationships with influencers and sites who are willing to amplify your message and content. This can take time, but it’s also where an integrated PR, publicity and content strategy, both online and off, comes into play.

Social Media

Use social media to amplify your content. Schedule consistent social media updates at specified times throughout the day at a schedule that works for you and your audience. It’s not about spamming your customers or readers, it’s about sharing relevant and timely information to your audience and making your brand trustworthy and significant in your industry.

Quick tip - make sure that you are building relationships on Google+ and sharing your content updates there. It may be the outlier in terms of social media, but Google's algorithm makes it a must-have in your social toolbox. 

Do you need help with your site's SEO?

In 2017, great SEO encompasses so many different areas – including email, mobile, links, crawl, user experience, localisation, rankings and much more. Let's face it, a great content strategy takes time and investment.

If you’d like some help in improving and maintaining your SEO for your website, feel free to get in touch with us for a complimentary consultation to discuss the value we can bring to your startup.

Email us at sales@costartupandgo.com

3 Essentials To Marketing You & Your Business Online

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You Web Presence Needs To Effectively Communicate Who You Are And What You Do.

Being smart with your marketing ensures that your message gets heard and maximises your success.

Before you start paying for advertising you may not need and get overwhelmed, here are three essentials steps to take to ensure marketing your business online is a success.

1.     Research & Planning

This is all about understanding your customer and developing the right content plan and strategy that speaks to them personally. You have to know who you are talking to and understand them inside and out. Who is your ideal customer and what do they need? What do they want, what are their hopes, their pain points? Now map out content and messaging around that. This gets their attention and gives them a reason to want to connect with you.

This research stage is about getting to know your customer and building a relationship with them, listening to them, and understanding them. 

2.     Discoverability & Relevance

If you Google yourself or your business, what comes up? Are your customers going to find you? Since you’ve done your research in the first instance, you should know where your customers hang out online, what platforms are relevant to them, and what events they attend.

Ensure that you are playing in the right field and are talking to the right people before you spend any money on advertising. Remember, the best time to market to your audience is when they are already interested in your brand. So make sure you are consistent in building relationships, content, and authority in the right places, ensuring your brand’s relevancy and your customers’ interest.

SEO is a powerful tool to help you get discovered, and you can bootstrap to get yourself started

3.     Systems & Tools

The last step is to ensure you have systems and support in place for consistent action. For example, how are you capturing leads? How are you communicating with your customers?

This includes your email marketing and blog posts, but also includes your tweets, Facebook posts, your website copy, etc.

It’s also key to maintain a consistent tone of voice and brand image for your business, so your customers know that it is you speaking across all platforms. That consistency builds trust, and trust leads to real connection with your customers.

In the beginning it can feel like a one-way conversation, but this is why it is so important to have tools and systems in place, so you don’t get overwhelmed or worried.

And when you do start to get too busy to handle yourself or you just want someone else to do it this is when flexible resources come in to play. As a director, owner or entrepreneur, work towards automating or delegating as many of these tasks as possible so you can work on your business by building and maintaining relationships, rather than in your business worrying about SEO and search.

Do you NEED SOME FLEXIBLE support for your business? GET IN TOUCH now to get your free initial consultation.