Cashing in on Content
Dan Heinkel, April 10, 2013
I'm tired of people saying online marketing is "all about great content." Those people have a Kevin Costner mentality.
Don't get me wrong--I have nothing against great content. For all intents and purposes, I hope this blog post falls under that category. But let's not be naïve either; great content isn't always the most popular, and it doesn't always drive the most sales.
And if that's the case, can you really consider it all that great? I can tell you one thing. The person who decides on your marketing budget probably won't.
Great content, in order to be successful, requires great marketing and great strategy behind it.
So, really, people should be saying online marketing is "all about great strategic content" not just "great content."
Know Your Buyer
In order to sell something, you should probably know who you're selling to. It makes it so much easier.
When you know your target audience, you can address topics that resonate with them. More importantly, you know what will drive them to convert. For example, if you sell motorcycle equipment, your audience would probably be people who ride motorcycles. And it would be in your best interest to create content that appeals to that audience. If you decide to produce content that talks about tricycles you probably won't sell too many Harleys.
When determining your audience and what they want to know, start with these questions:
- Who uses your products/services?
- What do they ask about your products/services?
- How can you answer those questions better than your competitors?
Creating Content with a Goal
Every piece of content you produce should have a goal. Whether it's to educate, entertain, or entice, you should establish a goal before you create.
These questions will help you determine a goal:
- Where will this content appear?
- Who will read it?
- How will people share it?
- What kind of ROI would I like to see?
Essentially, you should decide whether you're trying to boost awareness, sales, or both. Then, once you've determined what your goal is, it's time to measure it.
Measuring that Goal
The reason you set goals is to see if you can meet them. That said, your content should be held accountable to the goals you establish.
For example, if you build a landing page pushing your most popular product and create subsequent content to market that page, try monitoring the conversions on that page. Compare your return to how much time you spent creating that content. Was it worth it
In the end, it all boils down to a few simple questions:
- Does your content get people to buy?
- Can you produce content in a cost-effective way?
- Are users engaged with your content?
And just about all of these can be measured through Google Analytics.
Stop Burning Your Budget
When it's all said and done, we do online marketing so that businesses can make money. The reason SEOs try to obtain a number one ranking in the SERPs is to drive more targeted traffic and more conversions to a website.
If the website isn't showing conversions, who cares if you have a number one ranking? In the same vein, if a website is showing conversions but doesn't rank all that highly, who cares about a number ranking?
In the end, make sure your online marketer(s) shares the same goals as your business. The two should be seamless. If not you'll watch your budget blow up in smoke.
If you want to start cashing in on your content (or just want to talk about my apparent love of movie references), you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org