How to Build Your Online Presence, Pt. 3: Use Content to Reach Your Target Audience
Content is the best way to reach your target audience, build a loyal following, grow your online presence, and establish your business as an industry leader.
That’s why so many brands today invest in blogs and social media – content sells!
Not so long ago, blogs were considered a way to promote a brand in search engines, with the main focus being keywords. That used to be enough, but not anymore. To really get noticed, you need to write great content that your readers will love and share with their friends.
You can read Part 1 of the How to Build Your Online Presence series here.
Part 2 of the series, covering social media promotion, can be found here.
The Different Types of Content
There are many different types of content that you can create to promote your business’ services and website.
Here are the main ones you’ll want to focus on:
Usually, the first thing that comes to mind when you talk about content or content marketing is a blog. Everyone has a blog these days, and blog articles are a great way to show you’re an expert and to provide your readers and subscribers with added value and helpful information.
When writing blog posts, remember to write not only about you and what you’re selling. Give your readers useful related information that they would want to share with their friends and family.
For example, if you provide web development services, you can write about good web development practices, how to choose a good site builder, and the benefits of using WordPress, among a million other things.
These topics could be interesting to your target audience while still providing a platform to promote your own services. Blogs are easy to add to your site, but make sure to read reviews of what your hosting company offers before choosing a site builder to avoid future problems.
Guest posts are the best way to get a lot of traffic, fast. You get exposed to a whole new audience by showing them your value and expertise. If you haven’t heard of guest posting – it’s when you write an article for a different blog as a guest writer.
Usually, you won’t promote your site or services in the article, but will have a link included in your bio. Many websites and blogs accept guest posts – they get free content their readers will love, and you get more exposure.
It’s not easy getting your posts approved though, and requires research and practice. Blogger and writer Jon Morrow has a lot of content online about guest posting, including a full course.
If you have a product, consider approaching relevant blogs and offering them a free sample for a review. This is common in a lot of industries, from beauty to software, so take the time to research it and see if you can benefit from this type of content.
Social media content can be posts, videos, images, and even articles. If you have a B2B company, posting articles on LinkedIn Pulse can help you get more exposure and show your professional connections that you have something to offer.
Practice Makes Perfect
No one is a great writer from the get-go, and if you don’t have experience writing, you’ll have a long road ahead of you before you post great articles and get published on other websites. Don’t despair! The more you write, the better you’ll get and you’ll quickly see your articles improve.
Here are a few ways to improve your writing skills:
- Write a lot! Write every day and practice writing headlines, short blurbs, etc.
- Read as much as you can from industry influencers. See what they’re posting on their blogs and social profiles and subscribe to top news sites in your field.
- Sign up to a course. There are many courses online by top copywriters and content writers, or you can find a course in your local college.
Keywords Still Matter
Ideally, you should write great content that includes the keywords that you’re targeting.
Don’t stuff keywords if it ruins the content, but aim to have your main keywords in your titles, links, and texts.
Many site builders offer SEO tools. If you use WordPress, you can download a plugin that helps you see and control how your content looks in search results. Other site builders, like Wix, offer SEO features and app stores for additional paid and free tools to help you promote your site in search engines.
Plan Your Website Content
Investing time and effort in content isn’t only for your blog. You need to take the time to plan and write the content on your homepage, “about” and “contact” page, “products/services” page, etc. If you don’t have experience writing this type of content, it may be best to work with a professional copywriter.
Here are a few things you’ll need to write for your site:
- Slogans and one-liners that will appear as titles or in headers. These should be attractive and informative for the lazy readers who don’t want to keep reading to find out what you do.
- Great CTA (call to action) buttons and links to entice your readers to click and move forward in your conversion funnel.
- Informative texts for your content-filled pages, such as a paragraph about your company, explanations about your services and products, etc.
Choose a Host and Site Builder that are Content-Friendly
Not all hosting providers are right for someone creating their first business website.
Read reviews and see which offer the best combination of value, ease-of-use, technical support and site building platform. Doing your research in the beginning is worth the time and effort, since changing hosting providers after you’ve already published and created a bunch of blog posts can cost a lot of time and money, and in some cases can mean lost content and traffic.