Content marketing has taken a whole new meaning these days, with most brands and freelancers adopting different content strategies to grow their business. One of the most significant benefits of using content marketing for your business is that it improves brand reputation and builds your audience’s trust.
Great content can also help you to influence conversions. According to the Content Marketing Institute, 61% of customers in America decided to make purchases after reading recommendations on blogs. Search engine optimization (SEO) plays an integral role in improving brand visibility. Hence, optimized content can enhance your SEO efforts. It’s also an affordable way of bringing in new leads for your business. This holds true for small, medium and large businesses, as well as for freelancers who must learn to treat their work as a business.
As a freelancer, your business needs to have quality content marketing strategies for maximum reach. Here are a few tips on how freelancers can use content marketing to help generate business.
1. Select a target audience
With content marketing, you first need to know your audience. Who is your ideal client? These define your buyer personas. For instance, if you’re looking to create content in the SaaS B2B space, who are the decision makers that should know about you? Probably Chief Marketing Officers and senior marketing leaders in SaaS companies who manage marketing teams. Proper market research and accurate data will help you identify your target audience. People have different tastes, and your content may not be suitable for everyone. Hence, to drive in the right audience, you first need to get your target audience right.
2. Have a strategy
Before you begin, it’s essential to have a content marketing plan to know exactly where you need to invest your time and resources in. Without a plan, you’ll find it hard to cover all the areas of marketing. Make sure to devote time to learning new things about content marketing and understanding what type of content suits your business needs. When determining a strategy, ask yourself these questions:
- Which platform should I post content on? Owned and earned?
- What kind of content buckets should I create?
- How frequently should I create content?
- What are the content formats I must experiment with?
- How much time and money can I devote to this effort?
3. Creating a presence online
Having an online presence for your brand is a great way of getting noticed. To help your freelance business succeed, you need to get out there. When your company has an online presence, it allows people to find your business and interact with you. Produce content such as articles and blog posts that require audience interaction. When you begin on this journey, you will need to determine which is the primary platform for your business. Is it LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube or a bit of all? Each platform has its own strengths and weaknesses. To know which platform suits your needs, you must be aware of your target audience’s choice of platform. Avoid spreading yourself too thin, and build on one or two platforms only.
4. Market your content
Many believe that producing a great blog or piece of content is the only way of getting a large number of viewers or users. However, this is not true at all. The key to success is how you promote that content. According to a famous blogger and marketer Sujan Patel, emerging bloggers must use the 20:80 ratio. So, spend 20% of your time writing your content and 80% on marketing it. The internet is where people connect and interact, so make sure you put out the best content. Collaborations are a great way to expand your content’s reach, so explore guest blogging and appearing on podcasts as a way to grow your audience.
5. Learn search engine optimization
When it comes to the technical aspect of content marketing, learning about search engine optimization is essential. SEO plays a significant role regarding how people find your business on Google. It would help if you master the art of optimizing your content by using the right keywords and creating mobile-friendly websites that are easy to navigate.
Common mistakes to avoid as a content marketing beginner
As a beginner in the content marketing world, you can avoid these common mistakes when planning your content marketing strategies.
- Avoid duplicate content: Duplicate content is one of the biggest content marketing mistakes that beginners tend to make. If you want your content to be ranked on Google, then duplicate content is a big no.
- Misusing keywords: SEO and keywords will help your page get noticed. Two common mistakes are stuffing your content with them and using irrelevant keywords.
- Unsure about who your audience is: This is another common mistake that beginners make. They do not know their audience or they only write for a particular type of audience. It is vital to know your audience and readers so that you get the maximum reach. If your content isn’t for everyone, you’ll be quickly losing readers. Hence, make sure to do proper audience research before you begin.
- Your website isn’t easy to navigate: Navigation is a critical part of website designing and SEO.
- Not using meta tags properly: Meta tags will help you improve your ranking. Most beginners, who are starting with content marketing, tend to ignore this fact and not use meta tags.
- Not checking Google Analytics: Analytics play a vital role in content marketing. It shows you which kind of content works and converts audiences into leads. Hence, measure your analytics by using Google Analytics which can help you see where you rank.
- Using social media incorrectly: Many new businesses set themselves up in the best way possible using proper SEO guidelines and great content. However, many of them fail to put out their content on social media to draw
incustomers. It is vital to use social media as a platform for networking and bringing in leads.
Content is undoubtedly one of the most effective tools in your marketing arsenal – irrespective of the size of your business or team. 90% of companies use content in their marketing strategy. And it costs 62% less than traditional marketing while generating three times as many leads! This is true not just for large companies but can be true for freelancers as well, provided they carefully go about creating high-quality, relevant content with a documented strategy.