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Much like the art of cooking a great meal, creating content can be one of the most enjoyable, rewarding, and effective forms of marketing for your business.

Yet not all content is created equal.

In fact, as with the Colonel’s 11 Secret Herbs & Spices, the secret ingredients to creating popular, successful content  are usually just that: secret.

But not any more!

Today we’re giving you a glimpse into the content marketing kitchen where you’ll find the 3 ingredients we live by to gain #1 positions in Google search and grow web traffic by over 1000%.

Need proof?

Here’s a analytics screen grab from a site we’ve worked on showing a before (2,245 visitors) per month with the after (27,625 visitors) per month comparison.

Content Marketing Results

We’ve used this exact 3 step method to outrank page #1 competitors like samsung.com, amazon.com and even wikipedia.org for in Google (USA) and increase traffic 10 fold.

Want to know more? Let’s jump in!

1Topic validation for successful content marketing

All great content starts with an idea.

But just any old idea won’t do.

Why?

Here’s an example:

A new pizzeria has just opened up in town. But not just any old pizzeria! This one boasts a star-studded lineup of award winning chefs. A sure-fire success? Surely!

There’s just one last detail: They’re mostly selling salads.

A few months on, and this pizzeria is all but empty. Yet all around it? Numerous others are run off their feet with hungry customers.

Can you see what the problem is here?

This restaurant wasn’t offering what the market wanted!

And the same goes for your business’ content: even the most skilled team of copywriters will prove ineffective if they’re not writing about the topics your audience are most hungry for.

A topic explored in more detail in this presentation by Mark Johnstone:

So while it may not be sound dietary advice, when it comes to creating content, skip the salad! If your audience wants pizza? Then it’s pizza they should get!

Research Your Topics

Other than blankly staring into the fridge, how do you find new meal ideas?

You probably throw some ideas into Google and hit ‘Search’.

But surely,’ you say, ‘researching content ideas can’t be that easy?

Actually, we’re here to tell you it can be!

And here’s how:

It just so happens that your competitors have already created a surefire recipe for creating killer content. By using a few free tools, you can examine these recipes, and in doing so your business can cook up irresistible content of its own. Better yet? There’s no guesswork required.

Using Buzzsumo for content marketing ideas

Buzzsumo provides a quick and easy way to find content with the highest social shares around a given topic.

Here’s how:

  1. Open http://buzzsumo.com/
  2. Enter a keyword/s related to your business, industry or niche.The Buzzsumo Search Box
    Tip
    : Use content-focused variations of your existing keywords here. An Auckland Accounting Firm may search for ‘Business Accounting Tips’, or ‘Accounting Software Guide’. As opposed to just ‘Accounting’.
    Doing so will maximise the variety of content displayed.
  3. Buzzsumo will display the results in ascending order based on the total number of social shares each page has received. As seen below:Buzzsumo 'Accounting Tips' Search ResultsTip: To make the most of the results, select ‘Past Year’ in the ‘Filter By Date’ box in the top-left of the page.Buzzsumo Filter By Date - Past Year

What To Look For In Buzzsumo

  • Common subjects or topics.
    Look for any topics that pop up regularly. Exploring one of these topics from a new or unique angle could be your recipe for content success.
  • Common content formats.
    Dig deeper and examine these top articles. Are they lists? How-To’s? Think pieces? The type of content you produce is as important as the topic itself.
  • Common websites.
    Sites that show up regularly are showing up for a reason. Make a note of these! These sites make great outreach targets when it comes to marketing your content.

Using Alltop for content ideas

Like browsing the menus of the area’s most popular restaurants, Alltop is an easy way to see what the internet’s most popular sites have been cooking up.

If a top site or blog thinks it’s worth writing about? Chances are you should be writing about it too!

Here’s how to find them:

  1. Open http://alltop.com/
  2. Enter a keyword/s into the search bar.
  3. Alltop will present you with a list of ‘tags’ related to the keyword/s you just entered. Select one.Alltop Search Results For 'Accounting'
  4. Alltop will then display the top sites for this ‘tag’. Along with these sites’ most recent posts.Alltop's List Of Articles & Sites Displayed For 'Accounting'

What To Look For In Alltop

  • The top sites in your niche.
    While you’re looking for common topics, also make a note of the sites Alltop deems as the ‘Best Of The Best’. These also make perfect outreach prospects.

MOZ On Site Explorer (OSE)

With MOZ’s Open Site Explorer (OSE) you can uncover your competitor’s best performing content.

Here’s how:

  1. Open https://moz.com/researchtools/ose
  2. Enter the URL of a site you’d like to examine.
    The MOZ OSE Search Bar
    Tip: This is a great time to examine the most prevalent sites that popped up when using Buzzsumo and Alltop. Alternatively, search Google for top-ranking sites in your industry or niche.
  3. From the menu on the left, choose ‘Top Pages
    The MOZ Open Site Explorer Top Pages Option
  4. You’ll be presented with a list of this site’s top pages. Pages that have been linked to the most. These results will include home, service and contact pages. But they’ll also include more than a few content-focussed pages such as blog posts.
    MOZ Open Site Explorer Top Pages Search Results

What To Look For In MOZ OSE

  • Sites that are linking to this content.
    Again, when looking for common topics, you should also make use of the ‘Inbound Links’ page.The MOZ Open Site Explorer Inbound Links OptionThis will give you an invaluable list of sites linking to a given site and its content. Sites that could make a great outreach prospect later on!

2Create Cornerstone Content

With a recipe in hand, it’s time to cook up some content.

Or so you might think.

A killer recipe is one thing. But it’s often the technique used during the creation process that sets your business’ content apart.

Just as the bistro down an obscure side alley is known city-wide as the place for burgers, your business needs to become the go-to place on the internet for the topics you specialise in.

But how do you do this?

By sprinkling psychological share triggers throughout your content, you’ll give your content that extra special something that readers look for when consuming content online.

In turn you’ll be tapping into the viral qualities of the internet’s most successful content.

These include:

  • Provide Practical Content
    Content? It’s a dime a dozen. Yet worthwhile, meaningful content is much more scarce. That’s why actionable, practical content is more likely to be shared.
  • Size Does Matter
    Numerous studies have shown that the length of the content you create directly impacts the likelihood of it being shared. Why? Because lengthier content invokes a sense of awe in readers.‘Wow, they really know what they’re talking about!’In turn? It’s much more likely to be shared.
  • A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words
    Did you know articles with images receive as many as 94% more total views? That’s because lengthy content is great, but there’s nothing appealing about a wall of text.So give thought to the visual design, layout and inclusion of media within your content. These are vital ingredients in creating memorable content.

3Promote Your Content

Unlike a restaurant on a busy street corner, your online business doesn’t have the advantage of irresistible smells wafting out of a bustling kitchen.

Instead?

You have a number of techniques that you can utilise to get the word out about your content. By doing so, your business will quickly become the go-to source of information.

Contribute your expertise

Contributing content to other sites in your niche has numerous added advantages for your business. These include:

  • Increasing your standing as a thought-leader in your industry
  • Building valuable references back to your website
  • Drive traffic, views, and possible new business

But most importantly of all? It’ll draw attention to your business and your content. Building your reputation among the readers that matter.

Outreach

Guest contributions isn’t the only tool in the content-marketers repertoire. If you’re looking for some further ideas on getting the word out about your content, try these:

  • Reach out to blogs within your niche who have shared content about your topic before.
    Tip: The sites you made note of while searching Buzzsumo, Alltop and OSE are a great place to start!
  • Get in touch with authority figures within your niche who have shared content similar to yours in the past.
    Tip: Search Twitter using the URLs you discovered earlier to find those people who have shared similar content in the past. 
  • Created a killer resource? Look for sites with broken links to similar content and send a helpful email pointing out your alternative.
  • If your content includes input from industry leaders, experts, or other external sources, then let them know it’s been published! They’ll likely share it with audience, further boosting your content’s reach.

Now, I want to hear from you! Have any other ideas for content marketing success?

Leave your comments!