People often ask me questions like:
“What is it you do exactly, Matt?”
“What does content marketing mean?”
“Why are you holding that tape recorder? Are you using this as another quote for your blog post?”
After hearing enough questions surrounding the concept of content marketing, I realized that enough people who could really utilize this marketing strategy do not have a proper understanding of it.
Therefore, I’ve decided to explain what content marketing is while also providing some beginner tips to help guide your own content marketing efforts.
But let’s get one thing clear: This isn’t your typical, “Content Marketing: Explained In A Nutshell” blog post.
As an anime fan, I like to think content marketing teams are a little bit like superheroes—like Goku in the popular Japanese anime television show, Dragon Ball Z (DBZ). Goku had to fight off some of the toughest enemies in the universe using martial arts and superhuman powers; content marketers have to do the same, fighting off stagnant website traffic, low conversion rates, and poor keyword rankings.
Thus, you’ll see lots of references to Goku and the Dragon Ball Z universe throughout this post. (And if you’re not already a Dragon Ball Z fan, I strongly recommend that you go check it out!)
So let’s start with answering the big question:
What is content marketing?
As defined by the Content Marketing Institute, one of the leading content marketing education organizations in the world:
“Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience—and, ultimately to drive profitable customer action.”
Simply put, content marketing is a marketing strategy in which you create helpful and educational content associated with the products or services offered by your business in order to capture the attention of your target audience and drive them through your sales funnel.
Content marketing can be a ubiquitous term, ranging from blog posts on websites to monthly magazines, but for the sake of this article I’ll focus mainly on content marketing for websites.
In many ways it’s similar to the practice of martial arts that Goku must cultivate in order to defeat his enemies. Both disciplines require countless hours of training (like reading through existing content on certain topics), acute attention to detail (like performing keyword research), and constant awareness of your surroundings (like staying on top of the latest Google update).
Now that you have an understanding of content marketing, let’s go over some basic principles that can help guide your website’s content marketing strategy.
Know Your Target Audience
The first thing you need to do before producing a single piece of content is to determine who the content is for. Once you have a clear understanding of your target audience, you’ll be better prepared to create meaningful content that provides value for people landing on your website.
Here at Nectafy, one of the first things we do with new clients is create a Buyer Persona for their target audience. This allows us to be more focused with our keyword research and the type of content we produce.
In terms of DBZ, Goku was usually warned about his next big battle with plenty of time to prepare, usually receiving a warning that someone would come looking to challenge him in the next year or so. While you shouldn’t take a full year before producing content, make sure you follow in Goku’s footsteps and prepare yourself for producing the best content possible for your target audience.
Know Your Website Authority
The next thing you should do before starting your content marketing strategy is to determine where your website stands compared to other websites. This will be helpful as you try to create content your audience is searching for that will also show up in Google search results.
Think of this like your website’s life force energy, or, as it is defined in DBZ, your “Ki.” Just like Goku can grow his Ki through training and experiences with different fighters, your website authority can grow by creating helpful content for your audience and becoming an authoritative voice in your industry.
In order for your website to show up on Google, you need to understand how Google views your website.
Back in the day, Google used to have something called PageRank which would show the scores of individual website pages, determining how those pages would rank for certain Google searches. Nowadays, Google looks at three specific things when ranking website pages; expertise, authority, & trustworthiness (or E-A-T). You need to make sure you have a good understanding of your site’s E-A-T in order to identify which specific keywords can fit into your content marketing strategy.
One way we help our clients identify their E-A-T is by identifying their Domain Authority. This is a metric created by Moz which is similar to Google’s now-expired PageRank score, which measures how well a website will rank on search engine result pages (SERPs).
While Domain Authority is not a metric used directly by Google, it is still a helpful piece of data to consider as you identify potential content opportunities.
Another thing we look at for our clients is the average keyword difficulty of their current rankings. We use SEMRush for this, but there are plenty of tools out there to help you find this type of data (like Ahrefs & Moz).
By understanding what types of keywords your website already ranks for and their keyword difficulty scores, you can better identify realistic keywords that your website can rank for.
Just like Goku would rather train before battling someone more powerful than himself, you should train your website to grow its authority before going after highly difficult keywords.
It’s the same reason why we’ve broken down our content strategy into three distinct phases depending on a client’s website authority.
But how do you train your website authority to take on bigger keywords? This question brings us to our next section.
Use Blog Posts To Grow Website Authority
Once you’ve identified your target audience and website authority, it’s time to start publishing content. Usually, this will come in the form of blog posts.
As you publish helpful content for your target audience focusing on keywords that align with your website authority, you’ll notice an increased ability to rank for more difficult keywords that you couldn’t rank for in the past. This means your website authority is getting stronger!
Having multiple blog posts published helps grow your website authority because it shows Google you have expertise, authority, and trustworthiness on the topics associated with your site. In turn, this allows for better keyword rankings and an increase in site traffic.
Blog posts are like the Senzu Beans of websites—Senzu Beans help Goku and his friends build up their powers, while blog posts help build up your website authority and keep the site running at an optimal level of monthly traffic.
Go Super Saiyan With Nectafy
In Dragon Ball Z, Goku and some of his friends eventually achieve a form that’s known as Super Saiyan. This is a transformation that greatly improves their Ki and overall strength.
If you’re looking to make your website’s content marketing achieve the form of Super Saiyan, contact our founder, Lance, and see how Nectafy can help you grow your website!