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Content marketing. The blog: structure and design

This article will tell you what content marketing is, how it works, and why the future belongs to it. Besides, we analyze why you need a blog and how the site’s structure and design affect sales.

content marketing, digitalization, digital advertising

Our life is a flow of information. It makes us be more demanding on the information we watch, read, hear. Now, it’s harder than ever to recognize the advertising because the digital ads were added to already existing and familiar advertising (e.g. billboards, ads on TV or radio). 

What is the “magic” of digital ads? While we are reading an interesting article or blog, we don’t realize that we are wasting time on the same advertisement, but it is hidden in interesting content.

content marketing, digitalization, digital advertising

What is content marketing?  

 

The term ‘content marketing’ is made up of two parts. It’s important to catch and keep the balance between these components. It is dangerous to be focused only on the content part. The rewriting is ineffective. Content marketing is a long-term story of consumer benefit, and low-quality copywriting is the way to nowhere. 

That’s why you must keep in mind the marketing part. It`s long-term planning, strategy, and building of communication with the client. The priority of one of the components will destroy the balance that guarantees the successful implementation of your company’s strategy.

So, according to previous thoughts, content marketing is a long-term marketing strategy. The aim is to build trusting relationships between the business and the client as well as to attract the target audience. To achieve these goals you need to create valuable and relevant content and distribute it correctly. 

To be effective at content marketing, it is essential to have a documented content marketing strategy. The main task of content marketing is to induce the client to make a purchase. You need to involve him in your conversion scenario.

Convince your clients that you are the best. Show them all your benefits. Demonstrate them that you’ve got the highest quality and/or good prices. There is a high probability that your clients simply know nothing about your business, and you need to present all this information to your client. How to? Through content, of course.

What do people do on the Internet? We look for information, and correctly presented information is the essence of content marketing. Be careful, the strategy “to write just to have something written” doesn’t work. Your content must be valuable and useful.

Content marketing helps to build long-term relationships with your target audience. It attracts potential customers and retains the existing ones. Choose content topics that are both interesting to your audience and useful for promoting your own brand. The goal is to provide as much value from your content marketing to as much of your target audience as possible. 

The content is about the value you can give your consumers, not the theoretical one, but real. The keyword here is “valuable.” The benefit is what distinguishes content marketing from other forms of advertising or marketing.  

Don’t ask a client to buy your product. You need to take your product and prepare for a review of it. Instead of pitching your products or services, you are providing truly relevant and useful content to your customers to help them solve their issues, answer why it is worth the attention and why this product is the best. Thus, you give to the user the opportunity to choose.  

The good content is the one that people want to consume, rather than avoiding it. 

content marketing, digitalization, digital advertising

The advantages and disadvantages of content marketing.

 

The uniqueness and originality are the main criteria for good content. A business should create its own content that will be interesting for both the new audience and the permanent users. Creating unique user-relevant content is the right vector for implementing your sales strategy. Stop reposting and copying someone else’s content. 

 

So what does content marketing give us?

  • Sales;
  • Brand awareness; 
  • Money-saving;
  • Organic traffic.

 

Sales. Through in-demand and relevant content, you sell your product indirectly and without imposing yourself. A well-implemented content marketing strategy guarantees a high level of sales. By reading information about you on third-party resources, users are prepared to become acquainted with you. They come to you as to an already familiar brand, they indirectly trust you and understand what they want from you.

Brand awareness. Content that is placed on different sites allows you to reach a large number of users and increase brand recognition. And creating high-quality content will make you an expert in your business segment. The content that answers to the customer’s request has high value for users. The loyalty to your brand appears now.

Money-saving. Content marketing doesn’t require a constant investment of funds, in contrast to contextual and banner advertising. You generate the content that works for you. Plus, if you stop funding the content, your sales won’t drop as critically or as quickly as with context ads.

Organic traffic. Content marketing is not about imposing yourself through classic advertising or SEO links, but a natural demand for you, and the search engines approve it. By posting your content on third-party sites, which link to your website, it brings people not through purchased links, but by their own will to learn more about you and your product. That’s the organic traffic.

As you can see, there are many advantages. But there are also several disadvantages:

  • The complexity of the strategy realization;
  • You have to wait for results; 
  • Content marketing is not a viable strategy for every single business.  

 

The complexity of the strategy realization. You need competent specialists and a lot of time. You need to prepare the concept of promotion, find reputable and proven sites for placement, as well as to create high-quality content. 

You have to wait for results. It takes time to build trusting relationships with users, to convince them of the quality of your services. Let me remind you that content marketing is a long-running story.

Content marketing is not a viable strategy for every business. There are areas where content marketing will not deliver the expected results. The services from the “here and now” section (taxi, the service of emergency locks opening); local services (salons or gyms) and global companies that work with government orders are good examples of those areas. Some tasks require quick results. For such businesses, content marketing can be used to increase audience loyalty and its retention.

A smart sales strategy doesn’t exclude certain types of advertising. Each product and service has its own ideal way of promoting. You need to learn to determine what exactly you need in this particular situation.

How and where content marketing works

 

Content marketing works 24/7, but the content has to be of high quality. This is determined by the uniqueness and value of the information presented. The strategy “Content for content” doesn’t work. To find and retain your audience you need to be helpful. Your content should be based on your personal and professional experience. Share your expert opinion, answer the audience’s questions. This will connect you with your users. Take care of your audience.

High-quality content is most valuable in the context of information noise. Stand out for your uniqueness and professionalism. Always base your definition of quality content on data. Any other definition will be based on your biased views of your own work. 

Content marketing makes people stop and read. Give the user something that will allow him to choose you. You need to know your potential buyers — their needs and interests. Do your research. Collect as much valuable information as possible. Find out the age of clients, their profession, social status, education, place of residence, hobbies, preferences. Create content that will interest your target audience and help by solving existing problems. Don’t chase the quantity, but do chase quality. 

content marketing, digitalization, digital advertising

Channels of information dissemination.

 

The main content marketing tool is information, high-quality information. The main task is to produce quality content, first of all, for your main platforms, then for third-party resources.

You need to realize and accept the fact that you will not be able to fill the site and forget it once. If you have chosen a content marketing strategy for yourself, be prepared to work on content regularly.

 

First of all, these are your personal channels:

Website. It is the cornerstone of your business. Your own website remains the most strategically effective resource in digital marketing. The content on the site is always accessible for users from any social network or search engine.

Blog. This is freedom in the form of presentation, but the interests and needs of the audience influence the blog topic. It is more dependent on the opinions and interests of the subscribers.

Your social media. The importance of social media is something you have probably been told about a million times. In working with social networks, you can give a completely free rein to your imagination, whether you want to write posts, to shoot a video or to run podcasts. The main thing is to choose the right platform for the type of content that will be beneficial to represent your business and will be relevant to your audience.

Email-marketing. This is a form of direct marketing where each user receives a personalized message rather than seeing a general post. It is an individual approach to each and every user. Having built a competent relationship with the audience, your letters will not go to spam, they will be eagerly awaited.

Third-Party Resources: 

Paid placement of content on popular sites and platforms, publications in major editions. It can be a placement in specialized Internet publications on your topic. And within the framework of content marketing, these will be high-quality expert articles, not a regular “media”.

Exchange of partner materials. Work on barter with partners, with resources close in the segment of services.

Sphere of blogging. In addition to running your corporate blog, you can involve outside bloggers, opinion leaders and experts on the topic of your business, both for collaboration and for distributing your content.

 

And, of course, do not forget about working with search engines and contextual advertising. Post content on your own and third-party resources, work with social media and build the level of customers` trust in your brand.

content marketing, digitalization, digital advertising

SEO algorithms

 

 SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. Who has not heard of these concepts yet? The goal of SEO is to optimize the site structure, existing landing pages, and to create new entry points for visitors from the search engines. It is also a selection of keywords that match the user’s request. Content marketing is the creation of useful, valuable content for users and their distribution. This is where SEO helps. 

When you start working with content marketing, it’s not realistic to expect traffic from search to grow quickly. However, once you do start to see improvements in traffic due to your search efforts, the benefits can be long-lasting.

Blogs increase your traffic. Fresh content is still a key to beating out your competitors in the search engine results page. Keywords are important. A “keyword” or “key phrase” contains the idea or topic your content is about. Effective keywords are, essentially, the topics and ideas of your business and the requests of your customers. Use keywords in your articles. List the keywords, topics, and categories you want your business to be found with. Use these words when you create your content.

How SEO works: the search engines use algorithm-based web crawlers to index the websites. These crawlers rank the sites based on a variety of factors, e.g. inbound links, user time spent on the site. The search engines regularly crawl onto your site looking for new content. When you post new high-quality information, you increase your chances to rank. So, never underestimate the power of new, updated, and regular posting as a factor in search engine optimization and page rank.

SEO is the foundation for promoting any content. The search engines analyze sites for compliance with user requests. To create relevant content and advance in search results, you need to create texts and articles that respond to customer requests and satisfy their needs. 

Gradually, the search engines are moving away from analyzing only keywords to a more global vision — the analysis of user’s interests. It’s important to discuss the Semantic search. Semantic search ranks your web pages based on relevance to the “keyword” rather than the number of times the keyword is on the webpage. 

Semantic search is a data mining technique in which the intent and resources of a user are represented in a semantic model, that is, in a hierarchy between concepts, as well as in relationships (connectivity) between concepts and entities (Source: Peter Micah, Senior Research Fellow at Yahoo Labs).

In simple terms, the semantic search analysis aims to determine the user’s intent (the info user is looking for) and the contextual meaning of the request. Unlike lexical search (the keywords), semantic search is about matching pages based on context and user’s interests. So, without SEO we can get nowhere. 

 

content marketing, digitalization, digital advertising

Blog: site structure and design

 

You have only 5 seconds. That’s all you have to catch the user’s attention to make him stay on your site.

What can attract attention in such a short period of time? A title? A text or a video? Maybe. But first of all, it is the visual component of your site.

In this part of the article, we will understand why the structure of your content and the design of your website are just as important as the content itself. We will answer the questions HOW and WHY the visual of your site affects sales.

 

Why having a blog and why is it needed at all?

 

The content became more conversational. And the blog has become a popular tool for communication with users. Blogs provide another source to deepen the connection with your customer. What is the phenomenon? It’s the format. It is a kind of internet diary or a journal. This communication style helps to build trust. The more you can show that you are an expert in your field, the more likely your consumer will trust you to supply what they need. 

Also, the blog has no limitations. The only thing that can influence a blog is the users’ requests. You choose the topics and create a content-plan according to them.

To successfully use the blog format, you need to define the goals that you want and you are able to achieve with your blog. 

 

Top reasons to start a blog for your company:

  1. Brand recognition. This is one of the main advantages that a blog gives to your business. This is a key moment for a customer in decision making. People prefer companies they know.

But it’s important to keep in mind that while just having a blog at all is a great start, it also needs to be updated consistently. Besides, this content must be distributed. Then more people will know about your company, products or services. But it’s worth making sure that you convey the right message to your audience: respond to relevant queries, demonstrate your expertise.

Well written texts demonstrate your company as an industry leader. By posting topics that resonate with your market and show your knowledge, you are marketing your skills for your business, service, or product too.

  1. Getting additional traffic to your website. According to Techclient, 77% of netizens read blogs. But creating a blog strategy is only half the battle. It’s important to write good content to engage your target audience and convince potential customers to choose you.
  2. Leads generation. If you post regularly, people tend to come back for quality content and engage with your brand more often. The more you are able to write about what is interesting or helpful to your buyer persona, the more successful your blog will be.

Blog about what their typical questions and challenges are and you’ll be on your way to having an effective lead generation blog to which your buyer personas will return repeatedly.

 

If you want to get the most out of blogging, then stay on top of all blogging trends. Be interested in other blogs, analyze their work, perhaps you will find the tools that are suitable for you.

 

Why is blog structure important?

 

The eternal question: content or form? Many people will answer that the main thing is the content. Maybe. But I have a question. Have you ever stopped reading a blog in the middle of it? Even when you knew this text contained answers to your question? But it just took too much time to find it. Sure.

There was only one reason you stopped: because the text had no structure. The text with the correct structure has paragraphs that are united by meaning, it answers some questions of the topic under discussion. All of these keep the reader’s attention. Therefore, it is necessary to provide maximum convenience. Good websites and blogs are user-friendly.

The structure of your blog is the skeleton that holds all the information on it. It’s a structure that organizes all logical parts of the blog, and all the pages of the website. The general idea is simple: splitting pages into headings, subcategories, and other categories.

 

When your blog has a correct structure:

  • The audience will easily understand what you are doing and what exactly you are informing them about. The users won’t waste their time on non-relevant content.
  • Systematized and structured information is better and easier to remember. The users save good articles and return to them. You need to become a source with high-quality content in a good form.
  • Improvement of site indexing. If the site has a clear sitemap with a good structure, then this helps to speed up indexing and increase positions in the search results. In addition, the use of categories allows you to supplement the path with keywords that will also allow you to advance on queries. The formation of the structure is the basis for further optimization of the blog.

 

What should be the structure of a blog?

 

The rubrics are the basis of every blog. The creation of rubrics is the very beginning of the entire blog`s structure. The rubrics have to:

  • Highlight the main directions of the blog;
  • Have easy-to-understand names;
  • Match with keywords (remember about SEO).

 

The sequence is very important for a blog. First of all, analyze the topic you are writing about. Write a bright and informative headline. Then write a plan, it will help you to save some time, and get ready for work.

content marketing, digitalization, digital advertising

Follow the outlined plan, set out the detailed points of the plan consistently and clearly. Your structure should always include an introduction and a conclusion. The introduction should catch the reader’s attention and set them up for reading your post, and the conclusion should summarize the information and invoke for an action.

You need to write a subheading for each section. It must clearly correspond to the content of the paragraph. Moreover, it is better to place the titles of subheadings at the beginning of your blog. Thus, users will be able to immediately see the item they want.

Your posts don’t have to be of the same format. Use different formats and styles. Move from plain texts to lists, from lists to review format and more. Don’t constrain yourself with frames. Look for interesting formats.

How does website design impact sales?

 

The owners of commercial sites don’t pay attention to the design and appearance of their site. They are sure that their products and their prices are more important. The appearance of the website doesn’t impact SEO optimization, so the owners don’t find it necessary to engage in web design.

But, website design is the first thing that your client sees when he gets to your resource. High-quality and up-to-date design, corporate identity evoke positive emotions among site visitors. The outdated appearance of the site causes mistrust and a desire to close the site as soon as possible.

Yes, website design is not the only significant factor for visitors, but there is also a factor of trust. And often it is the decisive factor for users to make a decision. Updated in time appearance and functionality make the user feel comfortable. It is important to update your website regularly and keep it in top condition.

Design is especially important for online stores, where users come intending to buy something. But if the appearance of the site pages pushes away a potential customer with its outdated design, then most likely the customer won’t make a purchase.

A competent design not only retains the attention of the visitor, contributing to the fullest familiarization with all the information presented but also causes aesthetic pleasure.

A modern website is not only visually pleasing, but it is also user-friendly. The site should have convenient navigation that will allow the users to quickly find the rubrics and topics they need.

Advertising. It should not overload the site, it should be adjusted and tailored to the site. All banners and graphic materials must be in line with the style of the site, at least with a color scheme.

So, you with dignity lasted 5 seconds and caught the visitor’s attention with the appearance of your site. The next step is to demonstrate “your face”, and by that I mean the main content of the site. It doesn’t matter what you represent on the site (a product or service), it must be shown as informative as possible, but at the same time briefly and clearly. You should present not only your product but also your competitive advantages, your peculiarity, which makes you stand out from your competitors.

A visitor must find what he was looking for on your site. Only in this case, he will become your regular customer. In addition to the appearance and user-friendly structure, your site must be informative, because it is the content, well-presented information that can “hook” the visitor. The synergy of form and content is very important.

Many business owners and, as a result, the websites are afraid of updates. The magic word “redesign” is perceived by them as the decline of their business and plans. But don`t forget that in the constant flow of information and changes, those who are not ready to change do not survive.

The site is the basis of internet-business, and the main task is to ensure that it fulfills its purpose to the maximum. A lot of sites were created a long time ago. Back then no one thought about the fact that the site should be adaptive for different devices e.g phones, tablets. You need to ensure a high-quality display of your site on all types of devices. The adaptive version is the first necessity nowadays!

In this case, the website redesign gives a new life to the business. The company doesn’t need to change the vector of its development or abandon its principles. It is just necessary to change the visual representation and all the other changes will be immediately noticeable.

 

What a redesign might entail:

  • increasing loyalty from the target audience and attracting new users;
  • increase in sales and in conversion;
  • the accordance of the site with modern layout requirements, adaptability.

 

Sounds good? Make the good web design and the site will work for you.

 

Conclusions

 

What do people value most now? I’m not afraid to say that is the time. In a state of the constant race for success and achievement of all our goals, we have become very selective in ways of spending our time.

content marketing, digitalization, digital advertising

Today we’ve discussed content marketing and design, as well as the site structure. We’ve  talked about how they lead to sales and how they can influence them.

When we talk about content, we understand that this is a long-running story. When we talk about site design, we understand that we only have 5 seconds to ‘conquer’ the client.

Synergy. This word can be used to describe the work of both of these phenomena. The combined effect of these factors significantly exceeds the simple sum of the actions of each of these phenomena.

Thus, high-quality content won’t be read or understood if the site on which it’s hosted is not credible for users. Likewise, a site (form) that is modern and aesthetically pleasing won’t be remembered by the user if it is ‘empty’ and contains no useful information.

What is next? Choose the content topics that are both interesting and useful to your audience. Post it on a site that will be created individually for your business and company style. And you will achieve the magic of sales!

Katerina Belokon

Nextpage Agency
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