Over the last 2 years, Google has gradually tightened the screw on its search engine algorithms and has taken several steps to improve the overall quality of its search results. For common users, that is obviously good news.
But for businessmen like you, who depend heavily on Google for website traffic and sales leads, this presents several challenges and opportunities at the same time – depending how you look at it.
On one hand, you can no longer apply cheap SEO tricks to attract long term search engine traffic. But on the other hand, you now have a huge opportunity to demonstrate the true knowledge and expertise of your industry and make a name for yourself with high quality B2B content marketing.
And while there’s still is a debate on how Google actually defines quality, three factors are almost universally agreed upon.
- In-depth content that addresses issues in detail.
- Quality backlinks from other established websites
- Content that gets shared frequently
If you can address these three factors with your content, you’ll not only guarantee regular streams of search engine traffic to your website, but also build a strong brand image that will ultimately establish you as a reliable name in your industry.
What Exactly is Content Marketing?
While many internet marketers have started using the term content marketing almost synonymously with blogging, in reality it is much more than that.
Content marketing, as the name suggests, is marketing your brand using quality content and sharing valuable industry knowledge. This includes all forms of online and offline content.
But since we’re talking about the internet world, we’ll limit ourselves to online content marketing only.
The objective, however, with both of them is the same – providing value through content and creating brand loyalty.
As a business owner, here are some of the most effective ways you can benefit from content marketing and use it to attract search engine traffic, brand loyalty and long term customers.
1- Build a Solid Blogging Strategy
Blogging is at the core of any content marketing strategy. This is where you can address the issues of your particular industry in detail, offer your perspective on them and share views with your target customers.
What you don’t want to do with blogging, however, is to focus entirely on your own products and services. Blogging is not meant for that.
But this is what many business blogs do, and that is why they never contribute to their overall business performance.
Your blogging strategy should revolve around the needs of your customers. The best way to do that is to list down the most common issues of your industry that everyone wants to know about.
Under each issue/problem, list down the solutions that you can provide for each of them. Now with these problems and solutions in mind, create blog post ideas that address each of the problems in detail and provide actionable solutions against them.
Write detailed posts and write like an expert – which is what you’re supposed to be anyway.
This is all you need to do. And this is what will differentiate you from your competitors as well.
Google loves detailed posts with actionable points. If you stick to this simple strategy long enough, Google will soon start sending you more traffic, which will ultimately give you more customers.
2- Combine Infographics With Blogging
Blogging itself is a very effective way to communicate with your target audience and attract more traffic. But when you add infographics to the mix, it becomes an irresistible combination.
Infographics are made by combining text content with eye catching graphics. They’re easy on the eye and can communicate a lot more information than blog posts in a very short time. Infographics are also very effective in getting more backlinks.
Someone like Neil Patel from QuickSprout.com uses infpgraphics extremely effectively and attracts literally hundreds of high quality backlinks from other websites.
And backlinks, as I said earlier, are one of the key indicators that Google uses to rank a website in search results.
You can either hire a graphic designer to create infographics for you, or you can use free online infographic tools to create them yourself.
Either way, they can be very effective in differentiating you from your competitors.
3- Create Viral Videos to Boost Your Brand
With the social networking age in full flow, viral video marketing has become one of the most effective forms of content marketing.
Not only do videos get shared much more frequently than any other form of content, they also bring in much higher referral traffic from other websites.
But the secret to creating viral videos is addressing the issues of your customers in an extremely engaging and interesting manner. They’re all about communicating your message indirectly in a light way.
But if you can get it right, there’s nothing better for boosting your brand image and announcing yourself to the world.
4- Use the Strength of B2B Trading Portals
This is one of the most overlooked, yet extremely effective, ways of getting your content across to your most relevant readers. Online B2B trading portals like QualityTrade.com, TradeBanq.com etc. have thousands of registered business users who are actively looking for relevant buyers and suppliers. These portals also have very strong reputation with search engines because they have millions of products listed on them with lots of content.
So if you register with them as a free supplier, post a few products and then add good quality content that includes backlinks to your website, you will not only get a good chance to rank higher on search engines but will also get your content in front of thousands of highly interested and relevant readers. Moreover, it will immediately build your credibility as a serious business.
5- Create Short Presentations To Build Credibility
Another form of content marketing that can help you attract more search engine traffic and, at the same time, establish you as an industry expert is creating short text and visual presentations.
You can do that by using summaries of your blog posts, turning them into bulleted points and uploading their PDF or PowerPoint versions on websites like Slideshare.net.
Not only can these presentations send you more referral traffic, they can often act as additional proof of your credibility and industry knowledge.
6- Use Social Media Marketing to Your Advantage
Just like blogging, social media presence has become a mandatory part of any content marketing strategy. This is where you can get closer to your customers and engage them using different images, videos and text content.
But that is not the only reason why you should care about social media websites.
As I said earlier, Google now considers the number of times a particular piece of content has been shared as a measure of its quality. So this can have a direct impact on your search engine rankings as well.
There are two ways you can ensure you take full benefit of social media websites.
- Create your official profiles on Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn and Twitter. Integrate social media sharing buttons across your website and blog, using services like AddThis, and encourage your visitors to share your content.
- Promote your content aggressively across 2-3 main social networks, especially Google+ and Facebook since both of them can impact your search rankings in the long run.
Smart and aggressive content marketing should be your primary focus as far as online marketing and lead generation is concerned. Focus on creating value based content, make it shareable and promote it using different social media platforms and B2B trading portals. If you stick to this strategy long enough, you’ll eventually be able to attract more traffic from search engines and a higher number of conversions through your website.
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How to Strategically Use B2B Content Marketing for Branding