The heart and soul of inbound marketing is in the creation of original content.
Content creation is your organization’s opportunity to prove its knowledge and give itself an original voice. It may include:
Writing eBooks, Whitepapers, etc.
Unlike simply sharing industry news or curating advice from other sources, creating content gives you the chance to incorporate insights from your own personal experience, develop an image as an innovator and “thought-leader” in your industry, and address pain points or concerns expressed personally by your consumers on social media, sales calls, etc.
Creating original content can also help aid your search engine optimization efforts by creating more pages to be crawled by search engines and making more resources available to be shared.
While content creation is a vast topic, here are three general tips to help guide your strategy.
Tip #1 Make sure your content is keyword-focused
Content creation is pointless if you are not writing about things your audience actually wants to read and is actively searching for.
Remember, in inbound, your goal is to get found as a solution when people are searching, but this can only be done if you know where they are looking.
Getting found begins by thoroughly researching and knowing your buyer persona. What are their pain points? What are their interests? Where do they turn for information? How do they get it? What are they sharing on social media?
Answering these questions will provide you with the background information you need to start brainstorming topics and keywords that would be of interest to your audience.
With these in hand, you can then develop topics around these keywords. People are already actively looking for solutions using these terms so use them to your advantage.
For example, if your audience is searching the keyword, “improving your business ROI” you can consider titles like:
Here’s Why Improving Your Business ROI is So Important
5 Ways Improving Your Business ROI Will Change Your Life
6 Secrets to Improving Your Business ROI
Note: Notice how the exact keyword appears in each example. Matching the term, is important to increasing your search rank for it. The exact keyword should also appear in your page title, H1, etc. as we outlined in Chapter 2’s SEO Basics.
Tip #2: Diversify Your Content
While blogging and eBooks are essential to SEO success, don’t be afraid to experiment with different types of formats. Diversification helps keep your audience’s attention and caters to different forms of communication and expression.
For example, if you’ve done comprehensive research perhaps an infographic may be a more effective way of sharing it than a lengthy PDF -- or better yet, you can go after twice as many leads by offering the same information in both formats.
Here are just a few of the different formats you can try adding into your content mix:
Quizzes (written or online)
Take into account your team’s resources and try incorporating a variety of content into your library. Over time, you can take a look at your leads generated, shares, views, etc. to determine which methods are most popular and effective.
Tip #3: Follow the 80-20 Rule
The 80/20 Rule (or Pareto Principle) is Content Marketing 101. When planning your content, make sure that no more than 20% of what you’re creating or sharing is promoting your own business or product. Going beyond this can create a very “salesy” tone of voice for your brand, rather than helpful.
The more you help your audience (without expecting anything in return), the more perceived value your brand will have in their eyes. So, be sure to keep the majority of your content (the remaining 80%) educational, entertaining, or informative.
When you must self-promote in your content, frame your pitch in terms of the benefit it will bring to your user.
For example, if you’ve added a new comment feature to your product, instead of simply announcing it, write an article about how your user can reach their goals or improve the way their organization is run using it.
Product and company updates are great, but you need to explain why they are important to your reader to get and keep them interested.
Putting it All Together
With these essential principles and tips in hand, you’re all set to start planning an inbound strategy that will help fill your pipeline with engaged, qualified, and enthusiastic leads. But this is just the beginning.