Top five content marketing strategies

Reported by Dan Norris
Thursday, January 10, 2013

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Content marketing is a well known way to drive traffic to your website, but which methods get the best results? Here are five strategies that I’ve found to be most effective.

When I started my new business three months ago I had to build its online presence more or less from scratch. New Facebook and Twitter profiles, a new website with no content and no traffic. I now have more monthly traffic than my old site (which was six years in the making and contained over 150 posts).

None of it is paid traffic; it’s mostly the direct result of my content marketing efforts. Here are my top five strategies, in order of importance.

Email newsletters

The reason this is first is because every other strategy can contribute to this one, and in the long term this will be a valuable and transferable resource. If you aren’t sending out regular email newsletters to everyone on your mailing list, start today. Sign up to Mail Chimp for free and put a subscription form on your site to encourage sign-ups – ideally with some sort of incentive to opt in.

Start a podcast

My podcast has been a revelation for me. While it doesn’t generate huge amounts of traffic, it has helped me build some amazing relationships with people who have sent me traffic.

I’ve done 18 episodes so far, I’ve been a guest on three other podcasts, my show has been shared by people with thousands of followers on Facebook and Twitter and I’ve been asked to present at two conferences as a direct result of the podcast.

Creating a podcast is not especially difficult. It can also be a carrot for people to sign up to your email list: if they register, they’ll be notified of new episodes.

Create videos

I’ve only recently started doing videos but the reason they are high up my list is they help you stand out. Everyone is writing blog posts but not everyone is creating video content. I try to make my videos funny and a bit different, and as a result I’ve found they’re having a much bigger impact than my other content.

With video tools such as LeadPlayer, you can now even embed email subscription forms and calls to action directly into the video to help build your email list.

Write epic blog posts

If you are going to start blogging you have to be good at it and you have to write really high quality content. It’s just too saturated for you to stand out any other way. I like to write long and very specific blog posts. The more practical the post, the more likely people are to implement it or refer back to it later. This creates a deeper connection with the reader.

You’ll also be able to use these posts to show off your skills to other bloggers when approaching them for a guest post (see below).

In the long term, the main benefits of blogging are building up a lot of text content on your site and generating traffic from Google. Even with only a basic understanding of search engine optimisation (SEO), if you are putting out a lot of content, Google can very quickly become your number-one traffic source.

Guest post on some well known blogs

Guest posting has been my main source of traffic and conversions in my new business. If you can produce the right post for the right blog it’s possible to get a very decent amount of traffic. As an example, this month I’ve had over 560 visits from one blog on which one of my guest posts appeared.

When you contact other bloggers about guest posting opportunities, point them back to one of your pillar blog posts and offer some ideas. If your ideas and posts are high quality, it might be easier than you think to get a post on another big-name blog.

Are you using content marketing for your business?

I’d love to know if you are using content marketing for your business and, if so, what your favourite strategy is.

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