How Does Great Pros Generate Leads? Part 2 - Content Marketing
“Content is king.” It’s one of the most well-known phrases in marketing and has been used since the 1990s. Content has been used for decades to drive traffic to websites and modern-day marketers still use content marketing strategies. If done correctly, a successful content strategy can take any business to the next level.
The founders of Great Pros have developed content strategies for multiple companies and have driven millions of website views to different websites and media platforms through video and written content. We’re already starting to generate thousands of page visitors each week and are here today to share some of our secrets.
Why is Content King?
Where do I even start? I’ll start out with a short list just to highlight some of the key points.
- Improve your SEO ranking - This one shouldn’t come as any surprise. Producing content not only creates value for your customers, but it also helps you rank on search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and it drives you organic traffic through keyword searches. As you consistently produce content, your website's authority will continue to improve and your ranking will rise rapidly. Tips throughout this blog will further elaborate on how to produce SEO rich content.
- Build your brand - As you continue producing content and sharing it with your followers on social media platforms, your brand will continue to grow. Quality content allows customers and readers to build trust with you and it gives you the chance to showcase some sort of expertise. Remember how I mentioned SEO rankings above? Having a social presence online with accounts like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and many others, actually improves your website’s authority and SEO ranking.
- Generate customer leads and sales - This one is tricky but can have huge payoffs if done correctly. The ultimate goal of content you produce is to convert those readers into some sort of sale or lead. So how exactly are you going to do that? Well, what are some of the main reasons a customer makes a purchasing decision? Aside from saving time and money, the next most important factor is trust! I mentioned trust in my last point and I’m touching on it again because content producers really need to understand the importance of this. The person viewing your content and website is there for a reason. Don’t blow your opportunity by sounding too salesy or desperate for their business. Give them some sort of value, make them comfortable, and gain their trust.
- Continue building value - When content is valuable, it is generally received well by the reader. That value may not be directly monetary, but it continues to build that priceless relationship with customers and potential customers. When producing content, base what you produce on the industry you are in. For example, at Great Pros, we produce “how-to” guides, how much is something going to cost, and different trends in our industry. Every industry has its own topics to write about and it will be up to you to figure those out. I’ll elaborate on this as I continue, but make sure your content is marketable and able to be ranked on different search engines.
- Increase website traffic - If everything is done correctly your website traffic will begin to increase on its own. This isn’t something you’ll see happen overnight. If you produce the right content and market it correctly, you’ll be on a path towards success. I’ll cover those key points next.
How to Produce Great Content
I’m sure you’ve heard it before, if you produce quality content, you’ll have a chance to rank on Google. Or rather, if you don’t produce good content, you’ll never rank on Google and have wasted your time. Well, something is better than nothing so that’s not completely true. Let’s make sure you don’t just produce “something” and actually produce great content for your content marketing strategy. Let’s continue with another list. Not just because they are easy to follow and liked by readers, but Google likes them too!
- Let’s start with the first thing someone sees, the title - Please do yourself a favor and don’t just create a random title. Your title should be relevant to the content you produce and include a few searchable keywords. I know the title on this blog isn’t the best example, but we try to tailor our titles to exact terms that people will search for. This blog: 8 Kitchen Backsplash Trends for 2017 is rich with keywords and people might actually search for something like “kitchen backsplash trends 2017” or “backsplash trends 2017”. Go ahead and try for yourself and you should find us on the first page with big name companies like HGTV, Lowes, Angieslist, and others. In just one month, we have managed to rank #5 out of the 4.5 million possible results. Remember how I brought up trust earlier? I hope I’m gaining yours and I’ll continue to explain how we are ranking so high and so fast.
- Put numbers somewhere! Especially in the title - I’ll keep this one short since I didn’t want it to drag on with the “title” section, but it still relates. People love to see numbers. We love putting numbers in our title whether it’s to emphasize some sort of list or even a specific year. Notice how many titles have numbers in the image above? All of them except 1! Numbers are eye catching and readers love to see them. Of course, not every title will have a number and not all of ours do, but it is suggested when you can include them.
- Don’t ignore using lists and bullet points - The structure of your content shouldn’t be ignored. It may sound silly, but Google’s ranking algorithm likes to see some different formatting other than a 5 paragraph essay. Get creative and make a few lists, make a few bullet points, just try to do something! If you had a chance to click our blog above about the backsplash trends, you’ll see some lists, some bullets, and even bolded words. Not to mention, different things make your content easier to read and only benefits the reader. That brings me to my next point.
- Embed some videos in your content - A lot of SEO “specialists” will claim videos have no effect on a site’s overall SEO. While videos might not optimize a page’s SEO presence, they give a user the opportunity to stay on the page longer. One factor that will allow you to rank on Google are statistics of how long a user stays on your page and if they click around to other pages on your website. Ultimately, these stats show your content is valuable and relevant to your visitors. If you produce your own video content, you can double-dip on your end by embedding those videos directly on blog content. If you’re generating enough traffic, you’ll get quite a few video hits and those videos will additionally rank on Youtube’s search page.
- Internal links to your website and other content - An internal link is a link to another web page within the same website. It is important to use relevant links for the reader so they can continue navigating through your site. For example, if you’ve read through the blog to this point, you might want to open the first part of how we generate leads in another tab. Assuming what you’ve read up to this point has been valuable, you might have clicked that link which is ultimately good for us. It shows Google (and other search engines) that the content was a high enough quality to invoke some sort of additional interaction. All of these things tie together and play a role in being seen on search engines. Make sure internal links are not all to the home page or a “contact us” page either. It’s okay to have some links to those pages, but it’s also important to spread the links so all of your website’s authority isn’t focused on just a few pages.
- How long should your content be? - If you’ve read up until this point, you should know you can publish quality that isn’t quite this long. As long as you are above 500 words and include a few pictures, you should be good to rank. We try to produce content that is at least 750 words. So I’m sure you’re thinking, “okay, I know why content is important, I know how to produce, how to I market it effectively?”
How to Market Your Content
The best content strategists have the total package. The most difficult part of a content strategy for most is the marketing side. Being able to effectively drive traffic to content will allow it to rank much faster. If done correctly, you could have thousands of visitors to your content just in the first few days. Now, this might not happen on every blog or video you produce, but it can be accomplished for some. Treat every piece of content as if you are launching your website or company. Grow an audience and viewers with different strategies for each blog or video. Let’s continue with another list of things to do.
- Create social shares and social signals - Google’s SEO algorithm looks your social presence and how often your content is shared, tweeted, pinned, etc. If you’re going to spend some sort of budget on marketing your content, don’t spend it on anything other than Facebook. Facebook’s advertising tools are the most lucrative and affordable to give you the highest return on investment. To get social signals to your content, share the content on your company’s Facebook page and “boost” that post. Even $10-$20 will provide you with some results if done correctly. In the post below, we spent $20 to boost this piece of content. This is a pretty small amount to spend, but we can squeeze every penny out of the value and receive a healthy return on investment. I’ll elaborate on my next point how to fully capitalize on boosted content.
- Capitalize on boosted Facebook content - As you can see above, the post received 50+ likes and additional shares. The dark orange line signifies impressions that we PAID for and the light orange shows the ORGANIC impressions that were generated. The organic views come from people who already like our page, but the majority of organic views come from the friends of the people who liked this post. Essentially, every like is almost as valuable as a share (not quite, though). Overall, we were happy with those numbers. The $20 we spent was enough to generate a few project leads on Great Pros and generate some additional website traffic. Mission accomplished right? Well, not completely. Each person who likes a piece of boosted content should be personally invited to like your Facebook page. Out of the 50 likes, you should get 1-3 people to like your page. It may not sound like much, but over time this will add up and it takes less than 1 minute to do. Lastly, make sure your blog post has some way of capturing how many social shares are taking place. This shouldn’t be hard to implement, but it can’t be ignored. Below is what ours looks like.
- Use internet forums...the right way - Using internet forums to generate traffic can be the most effective strategy if done correctly. You may have heard people say, “yeah just post your content all over the internet. Someone will see it!” Well, you might get a few clicks, but it won’t get you very far. You’ll need to do some homework and see where your target audience is going on the internet. Find those sources and see if there is a way to interact and get those users to your website. You should be able to find plenty of sources. One of the best internet forums that anyone industry can use, is Reddit. In a nutshell, Reddit is a massive internet forum with thousands of smaller forums within the website. Be aware, when you post on Reddit, or any forum, you need to deliver your content effectively so it is received positively by the audience. The example below is exactly how your marketed content should be written. How do I know? I wrote this piece of content for a past client who sold suits and wrote the content on the forum so it would be received well. I’ve repeated this success multiple times and I’ve also done this unsuccessfully. My suggestions to be successful, keep it short, ask for feedback, reference that you wrote the content (you can be vague instead of saying it upfront), provide an overview of what it’s about, and say thank you. This method can be a hit or miss depending on the quality of your content and what you wrote in your forum post. I’ve had instances where I’ve generated 3000+ page views in a 3 day span (like with this example) and I’ve seen as low 10 page views.
- You need email marketing tools - Your website needs some sort of mechanism to capture user emails. It doesn’t necessarily have to be on your blog (by all means it can), but you need to capture it somehow. Capturing profile information is a great way to do this. There are free tools, like Mailchimp, that you can incorporate into your marketing campaign for your first few thousand emails. In order to capitalize on repeat business, use those emails and send your content to your past customers. Be careful not to spam emails. 2 emails a week or once every 3 days can be very effective and not too intrusive.
- Educate yourself on other major traffic sources - Traffic on the internet is virtually unlimited. You need to continue educating yourself where you can capitalize and capture some of that traffic. If I wrote about every source to pull traffic from, this blog wouldn’t even be halfway done. I’m going to include two additional resources that you may find helpful if you want to continue doing your homework and learn about marketing your content. The first is an overview to generate traffic on Quora. This trick isn’t all that difficult, but it will take some time to master and reap the rewards. The second tip I would suggest is learning how to use LinkedIn to drive traffic. It has been proven through case studies that LinkedIn is the best source to drive B2B business. If you’re in B2B, I’d suggest reading this guide about LinkedIn.
About Great Pros
Great Pros is Arizona’s premiere startup connecting homeowners with the most trusted, reliable, service providers. Homeowners, if you need anything done around your house, see what we have to offer! If you are a service provider, find out more information about joining our network to receive project requests for an affordable price. Our Pro Center should be useful to provide more information.