So ‘Content Marketing’ keeps popping up to your left and right.
Truth is, content marketing has been around for as long as I’ve been promoting websites and products on the Internet. Since day one, content marketing was an integral part of SEO because, well, you needed to create content in order to rank decently in search engine SERPs.
This was before Google decided to include links and link buildings as a measurable element in their ranking algorithm. Though this eventually made content marketing ‘harder’, it also made it better, as it forced marketers to create valuable content that could be used on other sites as referral traffic. In other words, unique and well-crafted content became a leverage to rank higher.
Today, I want to talk to you about using content marketing in a way that will benefit you, going beyond the simple claim of creating unique content (you already know this). Today I’m going to introduce you to Content Auditing.
For me, the most important part of any content marketing strategy is the content audit. This audit will reveal:
- All the content related to the product/service on your site
- The types of content related to the product/service on your site
- If the site has content suitable for all levels of the sales funnel
- If the content answers users’ most frequently asked questions.
Once you’re done with your ‘internal audit’, the next step is to access the content already available in other websites (you don’t want to put out anything on a subject that’s been covered and published one too many a time). I like to use a few tools to access the top websites in any given industry:
- Link Prospector: to identify top-ranking sites
- Majestic: to identify content that has drawn a lot of links from authority sites.
This ‘external audit’ help identify the top competitors and the type of content that ranks the best and gains the most valuable links. With both the internal and the external audit findings, I am able to build a final strategy.
Before I go any further, let me give you another piece of advice:
Salespeople and customer service representatives are your best option when it comes to finding out about what types of questions customers are asking and what content could best help solve these queries. Involving your sales and customer service team in the content marketing process will provide you with:
- information to counter objections to a salesperson
- information that aids the customer service representative
- questions that, if answered on the site, would impact sales or make the job easier for the customer service rep.
Sometimes salespeople encounter objections and questions that can be better answered via content on your site. Creating this content will allow the sales team to direct and refer clients to your website for a thorough answer. This will aid the sales and customer service team, but it will also create more visibility for your overall brand.
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An added perk is that, if your team is getting asked these questions, there is a good chance that people are asking the same questions on search engines–by providing answers to them on your site you will have the ability to gain visibility and rank better in search results.
Implementing the Content Audit
The content strategy implementation that I am about to describe was started around 18 months ago, after a review of our services indicated that, by far, the most underutilized services at our workspace center were the seminar and training rooms.
Following this review, it didn’t take too long for us to figure out that the market for these particular offerings was far more competitive than any other workspace service we offer.
First things first. Our center is located in downtown Toronto; there is an abundance of hotels and venues for seminars and training purposes in the area. Our location, which is minutes from Union Station and two major highways (it’s all about location, really!), is without a doubt a competitive advantage; but marketing our offerings proved to be a challenged that required extra thought and resources.
Back to the topic at hand: our content audit.
Our audit showed that one of the biggest barriers hindering the sales of seminar and training rooms was the lack of content supporting and explaining these particular services and the benefits they offer. Hence, the first step we took was to remedy this lack of content issue.
Our second challenge was coming up with the right content that would attract readers and convert them into clients. We found that there was a shortage of information about how to create, market, and put on a seminar or training event; so we decided to create the category Seminar and Training Rooms on our blog to make it easy for visitors to find the content they are looking for.
Once we decided that we needed to create content and publish it in a place where people can easily access it, we realized we needed to diversify said content. Our audit showed that we, to this date, have no video or audiovisual content on the subject. Though we haven’t gotten to the video yet, this is part of our short-term goals.
Last but not least, we realized that we were missing a big opportunity by not marketing our customers’ seminars or events. Professionals are constantly looking for events, seminars, or workshops that can provide new insights and knowledge; our plan is to send a newsletter to current customers informing them of upcoming events open to the public in general.
A content audit is a great way to review how well you are supporting your services or products in your own website. When done right a content audit can help bring in stronger links to your site, as well as provide staff members with a tool that can help them better answers questions and sell your services/products.