In the beginning, writing ‘blogs’ was pretty much just a way to get the search engines to notice you. They were full of keywords but not much quality information. Things have sure changed, and creating branded content is no longer just about fooling the search engines, especially after the Panda Update, they’re about generating conversations, getting some links, and creating engagement on social networks. A single article that gets ReTweeted, Liked, and Shared on other websites will do far more for your brand then a million small blogs with no real purpose.

Step 1: Quality

There are articles out on the internet about every single thing that you can think of, from tanning beds to bird calls and financial tips. What you have to do is either tell a story from personal experience, answer a question that your clients and customers are still asking, or reclaim a topic for yourself. The craze right now, and something that is still not being taken advantage of as often as it should be, is Q&A articles.

In Gilbert, we’re all small businesses and we all feed off of interactions with our local customers and clients. With that in mind, what questions have your customers been asking you over the years? Anytime your Fans on Facebook or your customers in the store ask you a question, write it down and use it for an article entry.  Be sure to include targeted keywords and write to your audience.

Step 2: Promote

Once the Q&A article has been written, it’s your responsibility to get the ball rolling on engagement and traffic. Post the article directly to your Facebook Page during peak hours of the day, when you know your audience is online. Think about the times that you’re bored and sitting on Facebook…maybe right when you get to work, right after lunch or right before you leave the office…and post during these hours.

When you post to Facebook, include a nice little comment about the story. Perhaps ask a question to get people interested and to elicit a response. Think about why you wrote that blog, and include that in your update. Perhaps tag the customers who have asked that question, that way they can check out the blog and respond with their own ideas. (To tag a Facebook Fan, simply type their name into the comment box and click on the person you want to select from the drop down menu).

Keep the conversation going on this topic on Facebook and Twitter for at least 24 hours. This way you can really get people involved in the topic and give them time to get engaged in the conversation. Take different viewpoints and different approaches to the conversation throughout the day.

Step 3: Target the Industry

Finally, use this article to target other websites, Facebook Pages, and Twitter users in your industry. Search on Google for this topic and request other webmasters to exchange links with you. Let them know that you are working within the same industry and you’d love to share information. For example, if you’ve written an article about tanning beds for wedding brides, don’t only target wedding sites for link exchanges, target local tanning companies to let them know about your informational article.

Do the same on Facebook and Twitter. Target industry-related companies that are local. “Friend” them or become Fans of their Pages, then share with them your informational article. Ask them to Share that article with their Fans as well.

There are many steps to successful content marketing. Stay tuned to Linwright Design for more tips!!