Let’s face the fact that most businesses today can be found on Google through their website, Google my business account, their Facebook page, or even by a forum where a customer smashes them.
Sometimes as a business, you don’t have full control of how you show up on the internet.
However, some businesses have more importance on optimizing their presence as their customers are actively searching for them on Google.
Yes. That is the ultimate question to ask yourself. Does my customer search for me on Google?
If I am the customer and if I want to buy a packet of biscuits, I don’t search for a biscuit company on Google. Also highly unlikely I will search for a retail company on Google that sells biscuits. I would go to my favorite shopping application be it amazon, daraz, kapruka, or Keels, and purchase it.
However, for a company manufacturing biscuits, your customer is not just the end consumer. Your customers are supermarkets, online stores, and wholesale agents.
What do they search for on Google?
Biscuit manufacturers in Sri Lanka, Biscuit wholesale Colombo, Best biscuit in Sri Lanka, and more.
That is why an FMCG brand’s Google presence should be optimized not for the end consumer, but for the wholesale agents, supermarkets, and online stores looking to buy large quantities.
The same happens if your product is B2B or you’re offering a service, there’s a high likelihood that your customer will search for you on Google.
They will probably search for a problem they face, cause that’s what we do on Google right? We use Google, Youtube, or any other search engine to find solutions for our problems.
Let’s assume I want to reduce my weight. I wouldn’t go to Google to find a fitness trainer, but to search for a fitness schedule, a dietary plan, or some tips to get it done.
Finding one of the blog posts on a fitness trainer’s website that answers my problem would be the first interaction I have with that business.
Does this mean every business should show up on Google?
Not exactly. Here’s how you should find out whether your business should show up on Google.
Think from the customer’s perspective. Ask these questions,
Does your customer search for you on Google?
Do they search on Google for the problems that you can solve?
If the answer is “YES” for one of the above questions, you should actively optimize your business’s presence on Google.
Ideally, your website and the Google My Business account should be optimized to serve the searchers and to make yourself easily found on Google.
I saw many complicated exercises to come up with a content plan for a business, on the internet. When we become too technical in such circumstances, what happens is, those who try to create a content strategy give up in the middle, and go back to create content without a proper strategy, which is unfortunate.
Therefore, I thought of creating this piece of content to help small and medium businesses to develop their own content strategies.
Without further due, let’s dive into the task.
I explain the process in 9 simple steps. Remember, each step is important and they’re connected!
Step 01: Establish your purpose
This is the purpose why you create content in the first place. Do not confuse this with the purpose of your business. Do not make this complicated either. Defining your purpose is important for the next step of defining your audience. Further, your writing style, call to action (CTA), distribution channels will all be based upon this.
For instance, I create content,
To educate and share knowledge with business owners and marketers to develop a relationship with them
To establish my authority over the key words that I care
If you are still confused about establishing the purpose, refer to the definition of content marketing.
Content marketing is the process of creating and distributing valuable and relevant content, to attract, engage and nurture your target audience with the purpose of driving profitable actions in future
Step 02: Define your audience
I create content on marketing. My audience consists of business owners, managers, marketers, or anyone who’s interested in marketing or business management.
If you have already created your buyer persona, it’d be an easy task for you. If not, ask yourself these questions,
What are the demographics of your target audience? (age, gender, marital status, employment, education etc)
What are their interests? (sports, clubs, pets, hobbies)
Where do they spend most of their time? (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter)
A basic understanding of your audience would be enough for this particular purpose.
Step 03: Select the content platforms
As you now know, where your audience spends most of their time, you can consider those platforms as your content platforms. For example, my audience spends most of their time on Instagram and Linked In. They also search on Youtube and Google when they want to know something specific. Therefore, I use Instagram, Linked In, Youtube and my blog to distribute my content.
Also, use any additional platform if they have a future potential of success. TikTok is one such platform.
Use a multichannel (omnichannel) approach for content distribution. That helps you reduce your Cost Per Click (CPC), reach a wider audience, and to increase your return on investment (ROI).
Most importantly, BE REALISTIC. Choose platforms only if you can afford your time and money to create content on a consistent basis.
Step 04: Create a content repurposing plan (CRP)
Content repurposing is the process of using one piece of content to post on many platforms.
This way you can easily manage an omnichannel content approach while posting on a consistent basis.
Here’s how I did mine,
I start my content creation process from the blog and publish the original post on my website. If the content is relevant, I re-publish it on Medium. Simultaneously, I create the video and my graphic designer creates relevant posts.
While doing yours, define the starting point and endpoints for your content. The blog is the most efficient starting point for me, as when I finish writing the blog post, I already have my video script.
Step 05: Search what your audience wants
You know your purpose and the audience you’re targeting. Now, you need to find out what type of content they consume and what information they are searching for. In other words, their content desires.
This is called Keyword Research. There are plenty of FREE and paid tools to carry out keyword research. You can even use Google auto suggestions to see what people are actively searching for.
For this to work, use incognito mode (private browsing). This stops Google from using your search history to auto-complete. If your target audience location is different, use a VPN accordingly.
Another great FREE resource is Udemy. This website has thousands of free and paid courses for almost all niches. When I search “content marketing”, there are hundreds of courses with different keywords, people willing to pay and learn.
I had even completed courses on Udemy. However, I got to know this method from Brian Dean’s blog.
If you’re serious about this, using a paid tool would have massive advantages. You can get more than just a keyword with these tools. You get access to valuable information and raw data for your marketing decisions.
However, do not make this complicated. If you do not want to use any of these, think about what your audience actually wants to learn. Sit back, relax and think!
For instance, if you are into baking cakes, think about what your customer would be searching on Google.
Birthday cake ideas
How to make wedding cakes at home
How to decorate a cake for a special occasion
Sugar-less cake recipes…
These are the content you should plan on creating if you want to reach your target audience.
Your brain is the best tool to do keyword research if you are an expert in the business. So use it.
Step 06: Create the content plan
After you find out the content you are going to create, document them all. Create a realistic content calendar. This should include the dates you’re going to create the content and the dates you’re planning to publish.
Let every content idea flow through the CRP and check which content is suitable for the particular keyword. In my case, some of the marketing keywords I write are not suitable to make a video, and some make no sense of re-publishing on Medium.
I made this content calendar using Numbers on Mac for the cake baking business we discussed. You can even use a simple excel sheet to do this.
Step 07: Execute
It’s time to take action!
Take one content idea and drive it through your content repurposing plan. This is like a process in a manufacturing facility. You put one content in, you get multiple contents out, ready to be distributed in different channels.
This is how I run this particular blog post through my CRP to generate multiple contents.
When you start doing this, you will realize the most efficient ways to create your content. Change your CRP accordingly.
Step 08: Promote the content
Spend 50% of your time creating the content and other 50% of your time promoting them. That is how important promoting is.
Share the content on social media, share them on relevant groups and chats. Ask your employees, friends, and colleagues to actively promote them. Use Search engine optimization together with paid advertising to drive more traffic.
Step 09: Track the results
Track both the organic and paid results. Page visits, video views, post engagements, everything.
The best research is the one you do yourself
You created the content based on the research, distributed, promoted, and getting feedback for your efforts. Now you know what works and what doesn’t, which platform works and which doesn’t. This priceless information will help you refine your next content marketing effort for success.
Content marketing is a never-ending cycle.
You Do > You Learn > Refine the Strategy > Repeat
I hope you gathered some valuable and actionable knowledge on creating your content marketing strategy. What is your biggest takeaway from this? Let me know in the comments!
I’m going to show you how to write a blog your audience would love to read, comment on, and also share generating more views, more money, and establish you as an expert in your field.
Let’s dive into it! I organize this post into four parts for ease of reference.
1. Ideation and research 2. Planning 3. Writing 4. Promoting
1. Ideation and research
Microsoft Word – How to Write a Blog Post.docx
The first step in the blogging process is to generate topics to write. There are two ways to do this. The first one is my favorite!
There is no particular time that I can mention you to generate ideas. A blogger, a creator, an entrepreneur would generate ideas at any time of the day.
You may get an awesome blog topic while driving while having a shower while sleeping or even when you sit back and think into it. It’s so personal, the times and events where someone gets ideas but the common fact is that most of these ideas are forgotten in a while.
So it’s very important to write those ideas as they come to your mind. Keep a pen and a paper or type down in an application on your mobile. You can use an application like Evernote, Google keeps, or any note-taking application.
Keyword research provides you with valuable information on what to write. In fact, it’s about what your audience search on Google. When you are writing your posts for a particular niche, you need to understand what they are searching for.
There are plenty of free and paid tools to carry out keyword research. Google, Google keyword planner, Google search console, Ahref, MOZ, Ubersuggest, SEMrush, and many more.
I will not go into detail in this post as this is an extensive area. However, you can read this blog from Brian Dean to have an in-depth idea about keyword research tools.
Planning the blog may take up about 30-50% of your time but it’s well worth putting it in so that you will save a lot of time while writing. With proper planning, writing the blog would just be about your typing speed!
You probably would not be writing something brand new. Hundreds of bloggers would have already written what you are going to write.
So should you stop?
Absolutely not. Instead, research what they have already added to the topic. At least read the first five to ten blogs ranked on Google for your topic. Note down the best points they have made and also the points they have missed.
Write down everything you feel important about your topic already ranked on Google.
Blogging is all about storytelling. The better your story is, you will effectively take your reader from point A to point Z. When you have a topic, put your creative thinking in to make a story around it to make the whole reading experience interesting.
Develop the major points you will be writing.
Develop your story; how you are going to take your reader from point A to point Z keeping them interested to read your content throughout.
Arrange the major points to fit your story.
Develop a clean layout that doesn’t confuse your reader. Use bullet points and subheadings under each major point.
In practice, if you do the first two steps right, writing would not take much time. However, there are so many points I have to make on “writing”. So this part of the article would be much longer.
Let’s get in!
Writing your title counts for 70% of the whole article. Therefore taking half an hour to write the title wouldn’t be a waste. There are content writers who only write the titles and earn in six figures.
When you write your title, remember this golden rule.
“Your title has one job and that is to get the click”
After you write the title, check whether it’s worth clicking for your reader.
Use the phrases such as,
The complete guide
The ultimate list
Everything you need to know
10 things you didn’t know
5 secrets to
A mistake most bloggers do is that they write down everything in their introduction. A pile of paragraphs talking about all the subheadings and even the conclusion.
The purpose of the intro is to make your reader aware of what they are going to get from reading your blog. Nothing less. Nothing more!
Keep your introduction to 2-6 small lines.
Remember you are writing a blog. Not a Book.
If you have your layout ready, now it’s just about filling the blanks. Consider the following points while writing.
Always try to use an active voice in writing unless otherwise, you can’t avoid using passive voice.
Use a font that is easy to read and relevant to your audience. A font you select for a travel blog would be different from a font used for a B to B marketing blog like ours. However, it’s very important that the font is easy to read as you will have a much higher bounce rate if you use a font that is difficult to read.
Use a font size between 15-20 px. We use 18 px in our blog. You will agree that the font size makes it easy to read our blog. Anything below 14 px is too small.
Study the structure of a paragraph. A paragraph typically consists of three parts. Topic sentence, supporting sentences, and conclusion. Keep your paragraphs short. Use 2-3 sentences and not more than 5 lines.
Don’t ever be afraid to use images. In fact, images add more clarity to your writing. Try to use relevant mages. Always ask the question “Does this image serve its purpose?”.
Find images that are not copyrighted. You can use FREE websites like Pixabay, Unsplash, pixels, or more exclusive paid websites such as Shutterstock.
Internal and outbound links
Add relevant links to your blog. This is very important otherwise you will eventually start writing out of topic. Link to third-party content or your own content for anything out from your main purpose.
Never hesitate to link to valuable third-party content.
The best Search Engine Optimization idea that I can give is “Write to your audience on the purpose you initiated”. Don’t write for search engines. Don’t overload the writing with keywords unnecessarily.
Create a genuine connection with your audience and maintain it throughout. This way your reader feels more like listening to a human being rather than just reading something from a device.
Develop your own writing style and consistently maintain it throughout. You can initially try different writing styles and eventually identify what suits you the best.
End with a Call To Action (CTA). Ask your reader a question. Get them to engage with you. Try to conclude by giving value to the human interaction you created throughout your article.
This is where maintaining and growing an email list comes in handy. Let your readers sign up for your newsletter on your website if they are interested in your content. If you do this right, this would be a valuable asset for you in the future.
Use social media to promote your content. Other than your personal Facebook account, create a business page so that you can use Facebook targeted advertising to get your content to find new readers who are interested in the subject.
Use Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or any other social media platform that you can post your link. Last but not the least, as in anything in your life, in blogging, be yourself!
Let me know in the comments, what new tips you learned reading this article and what would you like to add here?