By Bob Duthie
I have been doing content marketing for www.interstateac.com for over a year. Here are 10 lessons I learned on the job:
- Content marketing is not a project, but rather a career or vocation. You have to constantly be developing new content – it is on-going and never ending – and deliver it on a regular schedule. If you hire a consultant, it would be wise to place them on retainer. A one-time, project-based pass at content marketing will not cut it.
- The product or service (from your client or employer) you are marketing must be good or forget about content marketing. “You can’t make a silk purse from a pig’s ear” is an expression that applies no matter how good your content is.
- There may be many people involved, and often there is no clear delineation of responsibilities as to who does what. For example, who writes the meta tags? Is it the website developer, the SEO expert, or the content marketer?
- I’m convinced that Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is by far the most complicated subject yet devised by mankind. Content marketers can’t ignore it. The rules change constantly. What gets good positioning on Google may backfire on Yahoo and Bing.
- Trickery no longer works. While your keywords should appear once or twice in a post, don’t overdo it. Search engines are getting smarter about tricks and content.
- Blog tools are best for content marketing. They can reflect a timeline (i.e., calendar) and support images, video, and text. They allow linking to other forms of content like PDFs or websites. They allow for categorizing the content and are searchable. They can provide a consistent magazine-type look. You can call the section that contains your content anything you want, such as “News.” You don’t need to call it a “blog” as some readers may be turned off by blogs.
- Reviews are necessary to get good search engine positioning. You have to be able to reach your client’s customers and encourage them to write reviews. Reviews on Google are the best way to get high positioning on Google.
- Don’t do anything to encourage reviews on YELP or you may get “disowned” by YELP.
- Titles of posts are the most important way to get attention from search engines. One SEO expert I know said spend half your time writing the title and the rest on the content.
- Be sure you have someone edit the posts you write. Everyone needs an editor, from acclaimed authors to blog writers. Getting feedback from an independent set of eyes is invaluable and provides you a preview as to how the public will perceive it.