With so much marketing advice out there for businesses, how do you know which pieces are worth investing time and effort in for your clients and which you should just discard in the bin?
The digital marketing landscape changes rapidly, we all know that, and that’s what can make marketing your client’s business online so darned difficult. Should they sign up to Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram for their business? And what about Pinterest? Is their audience on there, too?
So many questions, so little time!
This post is packed with actionable content marketing tips you can take and implement for your freelance clients in 2019. And beyond.
Implement these content marketing tips now.
Number one: 20% creation, 80% promotion
You’ve written a piece of content but that’s only the first step. You’ve researched your topic and keywords and written a smashing piece of content but who’s going to see it if it’s just sitting there on your client’s website? You and maybe your friends and some relatives who understand the business, but sadly, no one new.
To get more eyes on the content, you need to promote it. If the client doesn’t have the budget – don’t panic. There are plenty of places you can promote the content for free. For example, you can upload the piece to LinkedIn Pulse – or just create a post about it on LinkedIn and link out to their website. You can also upload your content to free content sharing platforms like Medium.com.
If your freelance client has got the budget to promote the piece try out paid content platforms such as Quuu Promote, Taboola or Outbrain. Trial and error are how you’re going to learn what works best and how to engage your client’s specific audience.
Number two: create data-driven content
Picking a topic at random because you THINK their audience will enjoy it isn’t the smartest way to create content that will gain traction. You need to research what topics and content formats work best for your audience.
If your client’s business is new, and even if it’s not, you should be looking to their competitors to see what is performing well for them. Check out industry sites in their niche – what kind of content is getting the most organic traffic and social shares?
If you want longevity out of your content where search engine optimisation (SEO) is concerned, you’ll want to sort your results by organic traffic – this way you’ll see which pieces have generated the most organic traffic for the brand. And follow suit.
You can see in the below two screenshots from Ahrefs, I’ve filtered content results related to ‘small business tips’ by organic traffic…
And by total social shares…
If you’re just after some more brand exposure across social media channels, sorting by the total number of social shares is the way to go. I use an SEO and competition analysis tool called Ahrefs.com. This tool is pretty sophisticated and helps me uncover the most popular topics my audience is engaging with online.
Number three: take the time to declutter your client’s website
Go on your client’s website and note how many times they ask their users to act on something – it might be ‘click here to learn more’ ‘get in touch today’ ‘download this guide now’ etc. If you’re seeing a whole load of calls-to-action (CTA) then you need to declutter their content.
Their website content needs to convey plainly and simply exactly how they help their target audience. Are they a business consultant helping small businesses grow? Or maybe they help new moms with sleep schedules? Whatever their company does and whoever their target customer is, you need to make sure their website highlights this from the get-go. Keep it simple and ask them to do one thing – ‘sign up to our newsletter’ or ‘learn how we can help you.’
Sometimes, when users land on a website and it’s cluttered and overbearing – they just bounce straight off. The longer the audience stays and plays on their site exploring, learning, and engaging the more chance they’re going to a. remember their brand and b. potentially convert down the line.
Make their CTAs clear and relevant, declutter their page, and focus on what’s really important – their customer’s pain points and the action they should take.
Number four: only focus on social channels that are worth your time
Just because their competitor has an account on all the social media channels in the world, does not mean you should follow them. It might seem easy to create all the accounts, but how much time have you seriously got to dedicate to all these new profiles? Unless your client has a team 20-strong, then they need to focus solely on the channels you know their audience is active on.
If they’re a retailer selling beautiful handmade soaps platforms like Instagram and Pinterest would be perfect for their business. Their product is wonderfully photogenic and these platforms are image-led. If you’re worried about lack of engagement – worry no more. Instagram is trialling removing the number of likes and comments from their platform. Mia Garlick of Facebook Australia and New Zealand said: “We hope this test will remove the pressure of how many likes a post will receive, so you can focus on sharing the things you love.”
If your client is in the business-to-business industry – with 500 million users, LinkedIn is your go-to platform. You can help them search for people with specific job titles and in areas of the country where you’re targeting and straight away, they know about them.
It’s always important to be realistic when managing your client’s social media accounts. If you’re short on time and resource then be selective about which social channels you populate with their content. Building social media profiles takes a lot of time and effort to achieve the level of engagement you’re seeking for your client’s business.
Helen Jackson is a content writer and strategist helping businesses attract leads and save time with content writing services.