The content you can place on your website and on the Internet comes in five primary forms: Articles, News Releases, Videos, Photos and Social Media Marketing such as blog's, forums etc.
Effective website content can generate targeted traffic, improve conversions, increase average sales value, and even increase customer retention levels.
While search engine optimisation is essential when you want a ton of traffic, your site will ultimately thrive or fail depending on the quality of your content.
If you offer a product then you may be able to write about the way your product works or can be applied. The same goes for a company offering a service. For example QBS PC Help publish articles based on the computer repairs we have undertaken. We also design the occasional website and provide SEO services to a few companies, so we also write articles about these subjects.
When you prepare an article offer something of genuine value that answers a question or offers credible and useful information. Not only will your visitors appreciate it and be more likely to trust what you say, they will also be inclined to tell others about what they have seen. The end result could be the type of viral marketing you only dream of!
Effective articles should give your visitors a reason to buy your products or pay for your services and to do so willingly.
Your return on investment will be greatly improved if you can provide content that persuades your visitors that they need to buy a handful of products rather than just one.
If you have news about a new product or service then a press release can be a good way of putting this news around the Internet.
There are a number of online press release sites that can publish your news release for you. Just search for 'free press releases' to get plenty of results from Google UK.
If you have a product that needs a lot of explanation about how it works or operates, producing a video is undoubtedly the best solution. These days video production is fairly straight forward; just look at the success of Youtube!
Any modern camcorder can produce first class video footage that can be uploaded to your website.
If you sell any sort of product your website will contain photos of your products and perhaps show different views of the product or how it works. These photographs should be of high quality so that they attract attention. Any good digital camera can produce stunning images but for certain products you may decide to use a photographic studio to produce your online display shots.
Social networking is very popular and can produce almost instant results by bringing a lot of traffic to your website. However those results can often disappear very quickly as well.
So what is the best way to use social media networking?
Social networks make viral marketing and word-of-mouth marketing much easier than ever before. The best use out of social networks is not to make money ‘directly’ off them, but to harness their marketing potential and to use them to market your own business.
Setting up a blog is relatively painless as long as your website's server meets the minimum requirements. At QBS PC Help we prefer to use Wordpress for setting up blog's for our clients who need them.
The key to successful blogging is setting a schedule that achieves regular posts appearing on your blog. You need to add posts frequently, at least weekly, about your products or services. You can also add news items that mention your products or services in a good light. To get a few more ideas about what you can blog about, see our blogging guide (and download the Blog Posting Ideas.pdf if you want to).
Google and all the other major search engines love blog's as they always show the latest news about your online business.
Another very popular social networking tool is Twitter.
Twitter is a micro-blogging platform, limited to 140 characters, which allows you to post updates (called Tweets) as often as you want. When you follow other people on Twitter, you see their tweets. When they follow you, they see your tweets.
It’s basically a constant stream of communication. The good news is you can turn it on or off as often as you like. Twitter also keeps a public record of all updates, which can be mined with Twitter Search.
Go to Twitter Search, and enter your keywords or words related to your product or industry into the search bar. Twitter Search will then show you all the "tweets" that include those terms, and the people who wrote them. You can then click through to their Twitter profiles, and see if they are someone you'd like to follow!
When using Twitter, focus on sharing information - not on making a sales pitch. As with any social media platform, you want to build credibility for you and your business and form good relationships - instead of pushing for a sale.
To help with your twittering try some of the many tools that simplify matters. A good one to start with is Tweetdeck.
The process of content marketing is quite involved and is also labour intensive when done correctly. However there can be many worthwhile rewards.
Based on the content that's available online, your website may well be considered as an authority on your specialist topic and therefore be visited by more and more people as the your news gets around the Internet.
You will also find that other website's and SEO companies will begin to contact you asking you to exchange links.
You may even find companies offering to write articles for you to place on your own website. These will normally fit in with whatever subject your website features and will probably include a few links back to the originators website.
Be careful with these offers and make sure the links and articles fit in with your sites primary theme.
Once you have started adding new content to your website you'll need to monitor progress with web analytics software. Google Analytics is free, has a great interface and is packed with useful information about your site visitors. Why not give it a try.
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