Automated & Bootstrapped Content Marketing for Small Business WordPress Sites
In this Special Report for our members, we will be sharing the following aspects of automating and bootstrapping content marketing for your Small Business WordPress Site. We have decided to create this report in the form of a blog post rather than present it in the form of an ebook as we foresee making yearly updates to this report due to the constanly changing nature of WordPress.
Here are the topics covered in this Special Report:
A Brief Overview of Content Marketing and Its Importance.
Why WordPress is Your Friend When it Comes to Content Marketing.
Why Automating Your Content Marketing Process is Important
Automate and Improve Your Content Marketing on WordPress Using These Six Plugins.
Using the Right Content Marketing Tools for Your WordPress Website.
How the Editorial Calendar in WordPress Enables Effective Content Marketing.
What is content marketing?
The Content Marketing Institute, an online information database for all things related to content marketing, defines content marketing as – “A marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.”
With traditional marketing losing favor by the minute, content marketing is the next big marketing strategy. It lures its prospective and existing customers by providing useful and relevant content instead of pitching products/services directly. The more value your customer receives from the content, the more successful your content is. Successful content translates into sales and profit.
Types of content marketing
There are innumerable types of content marketing tools, and it is impossible to cover each. However, we may investigate a handful to get a better idea of what content marketing is. A few content marketing tools are –
- Infographics are long vertical graphics that generally include statistics, charts, graphs, and other information. If the information on them is accurate, these infographics can be circulated in social media for years. An infographic can be designed professionally by a contractor or an agency. While this may cost you a little, you can also curate infographics for free by using Pinterest.
- Web pages are another tool utilized for content marketing purposes. You may ask how a normal webpage is different from one designed for content marketing. The difference lies in the value it provides. A webpage that is designed for content marketing will provide valuable information at no cost to prospective customers. The information so provided will also be search engine optimized bringing countless visitors to a website that may not have attracted so many eyeballs otherwise. The visitors to the website will then happen to organically stumble upon products/services on sale. Chancing upon the products and services on sale will increase their probability of purchase as compared to a website that blatantly advertises its products without any value-added information.
- Podcasts lend your business visibility in an altogether separate domain, primarily that of iTunes. Again, people who may never have heard of your business may discover you on iTunes. The free information or advice that you may make available on your podcast will work to generate sales for your products and services.
- Videos are a less popular content marketing tool because people incorrectly assume that it is difficult and expensive to produce. The falling cost of professional grade equipment makes this far from the truth. Producing high-quality videos requires next to nothing nowadays. Amateur video content marketing has been used to sell a number of products in the market, why wait to sell yours?
- Books make for an unlikely content marketing tool, but there you have it. Expert marketers don’t simply sell their books; they sell their books to sell their services. The book works as a tool to drive business for the services they offer professionally. The constant rise of self-publishing makes it easier than ever to publish a book.
- White papers, apps, e-books, public speaking, presentations, and blogs are also used to market content diversely.
Why content marketing?
A regular buying circle consists of four steps – Awareness, Research, Consideration, and Purchase. Awareness is when an individual realizes that he/she has a need that requires fulfilling. The Research stage involves self-education about the available options to fulfil that need. Consideration is when he/she compares each of these options against the others. All these stages result in the last stage, that is, purchase of the product after careful selection and weighing in. Traditional marketing and advertising excels at the last two stages but falls short when it comes to the first two. Content marketing catches up to speed in the first two stages, making a prospective customer aware of a new product they didn’t know existed.
Content marketing negates the need for any high-pressure sales tactics. A handful of well-written articles can bring enormous results. It supports other digital marketing channels and provides content for social media marketing. It also improves SEO by building good content on your website that gets found on search engines.
Many big brands such as P&G, Microsoft, and Cisco use content marketing to generate sales leads. It is also used by small enterprises and homegrown agencies.
Content marketing can be deployed in-house, but if there is a time or manpower crunch, there are agencies that work expressly to provide you these services. If you want to do it all by yourself, start with blogging. It is quite simply the easiest content marketing exercise. There are many websites available online that will teach you tips on how to craft content that will engage your readers and turn them into clients/customers. The secret to writing great content is to write content that will get paid for, if need be. If your reader is willing to pay to read your content, rest assured, you’ve done your job well. The importance of value in content cannot be stressed enough. If you’re unsure where to start, ask your customers what content they would like to consume or would have found useful when they were looking for your service. Doing this is an effective measure towards adding value to your content.
Lastly, make mobile-friendly content. Increasingly, websites are being accessed more and more via smartphones, and you do not want to lag in this area when marketing your content.
It is a good time to sharpen up your content marketing skills as it is still a new domain of marketing and has not been exercised as popular as it should have. Learn how to market your content effectively, and you will not regret it. Your content will help you generate positive word-of-mouth, a stellar presence in your market, and convert interest in your content to sales figures. So, what are you waiting for?
Content Marketing refers to the creation of valuable digital content aimed at capturing the interest of your target audience. The content offered is usually free although it may ask for registration/your e-mail ID. It is distributed via social media platforms or found online by search engines. Content marketing is also called Permission Marketing as your target customer has intentionally given you permission to market to them by accessing your content.
Content marketing is a far better form of marketing when compared to interruptive marketing. Interruptive marketing refers to the more traditional kinds of marketing such as adverts. These adverts usually interrupt the media you are consuming (a TV show, a radio program, a YouTube video, a blog post and so on) to blast its message onto your face. Unlike interruptive marketing practices, content marketing does not aim to distract you from the content you are interested in. In fact, it aligns itself with the content that interests you so that it can turn itself into what is interesting for you. Apart from this, it provides you with valuable information which encourages you to know more about the business. Content Marketing can be done from any CMS (Content Marketing System), but WordPress is specially tailored to cater to all your content marketing requirements.
WordPress was originally created to function as a blogging tool. In the last decade and a half, it has morphed into much more than that. Millions of web developers, marketers, and SEOs have turned it into a content marketing giant. WP, in turn, has accumulated a variety of plugins that facilitate content marketing efforts.
WordPress supports SEO very well, and this makes it an obvious choice for content marketing.
Listed below are some such WP plugins that help with SEO and content marketing:
- Yoast (for SEO)
- OptinMonster (for pop-ups)
- Gravity Forms (for lead capture)
- Google Analytics (for finding out what content performs best)
These plugins effectively perform functions that are integral for content marketing on a platform like WordPress. The functions, in the discussion, are – a method for capturing leads and e-mails, a method to ensure that your analytics is set up properly and that evaluates your content, and one to optimize your content for search. While these plugins are crucial to your content marketing strategy, there are others that make your job easier. Some of these are:
- Editorial Calendar (Helps plan out your content)
- Disqus (For your active commenters)
- Yet Another Related Posts Plugin (Encourages readers to stay on your page)
- Max Buttons (Adds CTAs to your content if your chosen theme lacks the provision for the same)
It is important to try out each plugin with your site as some of them may be inbuilt with your theme and hence unnecessary. Others might not work with your site.
WordPress ranks topmost among other available CMS in the market, primarily because-
- It is free. There is no hidden cost involved even if you manage to become an established blogger using it. It is the reason most content marketers prefer using WordPress rather than any other CMS.
- It allows the user the freedom to improve upon or modify the source code as he/she sees fit. It is Open Source, alongside being free of cost.
- It comes ready-to-use after installation. You can start using it immediately after you’re done installing it, no rigor involved.
- WordPress is versatile. You may use it for your personal blogging purposes or to promote a business. It can suit itself to every need.
- Search engines automatically take a liking to WordPress websites due to its easy-to-crawl framework. It is SEO-friendly and gets additional SEO support from plugins like Yoast.
- Its editor is interactive and easy-to-use. The WordPress Editor scores major points over another CMS. Just in case you encounter problems using it, there is ample support to be found on WordPress forums.
Its integration with other services like Aweber and MailChimp and its mobile-friendly nature are added benefits that make WordPress the go-to CMS for any content marketer.
If you want to further progress in your content marketing goals, you may then try the following:
Invest in Managed WordPress hosting
It will not only save your time that would otherwise go into managing and updating your website, but it would also give you an edge over your competitors. Additionally, you be privy to superior speed and improved website functionality.
Use different Content Templates
Different Content Templates are made available by WordPress so you can use them to meet your content needs. Using the same template for every post will inevitably lead to a loss of interest in your reader. Consider using a separate template for every type of post that you create. For example, your template for a travel post should not correspond to your template for a ‘How to’ post.
Curating content created by others and sharing them on your page, giving them credit or linking back to their page is a wonderful content marketing strategy. Content curation gives your page added traffic and social shares minus the effort you put into creating fresh content every time. It is a good idea to add value to this content being shared by leaving annotations explaining why this content would be of interest to your readers or why you are going forward and sharing it.
Using Content Distribution Tools for the analytics provided, checklists to remind you all that needs to be done, repurposing your content for readers, and republishing old content are all steps that can notch up your content marketing to the next level. The stream of valuable analytics data that will ensue from following the above practices will help you make better content choices. It will tell you which type of content to repeat based on sheer popularity and which type of content to leave out. Sure, you can hire a team to do these for you when you have the budget, but for now, WordPress will more than take care of your social marketing tasks.
Content automation refers to the usage of intelligent market technologies to develop content for your clients’ every need and requirement. Intelligent content is the next evolutionary stage for content. Content marketing automation and content marketing processes are both quite like each other. If the experience isn’t personalized for the user, both suffer. Lead nurturing can quickly turn into spam if the automated message a user receives is not relevant to them. It is important to factor in how a customer reacts to content in our marketing automation to be able to generate sales leads and revenue.
Content marketing automation contextualizes the content we receive. It presents a comprehensive content experience consisting of all your blog posts, videos, e-books, and social channels. It generates leads by providing contextual CTAs to the visitors. It facilitates the creation of nurturing campaigns by tracking and scoring lead behavior within the content experience provided and inputting this knowledge into its marketing automation software.
It increases your work output. If you are a small business and are devoid of manpower, you can make use of intelligent content strategies to multiply the reach of your content and enlarge your digital footprint.
The process of content marketing automation should be started small so that the creators can identify the pain points and then come up with a content marketing automation strategy that works for them. They can then begin to think of scaling up this area if their goals are met.
Content writing automation saves you from creating the same content repeatedly. Now, you can put more time into creating original content and structuring it. The rest will be taken care of by the automation. It can extract it and publish it according to your wishes. Content creators will still be creating content as they were, what they won’t be doing is creating the same content for separate channels and usage. They will optimize this content so it can come up for use whenever required.
It can add to the value and impact of your content, grasp lead intelligence, greatly improve upon your lead-to-sale conversion rates, encourages repeat purchasing, and improve the overall user experience. Tasks such as contact management, list segmentation, lead scoring/nurturing, email marketing, website testing and so forth becomes much easier with automation. For example, you can easily carry out an A/B landing page trial with CM Automation. You can show one group a certain header and another group, another. Monitor which shows the higher conversion rates and there you have it! You know which header to settle for.
Not only decision-making, but automation can also help promote your content too! It allows you to schedule a variety of social updates to promote your content. There are marketing automation tools in the market that provide the service of contextual content to your website. To top it off, you can ascertain how your campaigns are working with automated reports scoured by automated tools. Content marketing automation tools provide content marketing firms with a return-on-investment like no other.
Running a website is no easy task. There are a ton of things that need taking care of. Publishing frequency, monetization, and promotion are only a few of the work that goes into maintaining a website. Wouldn’t it be amazing if you could somehow automate these tasks? Well, the following WordPress plugins will allow you to do just that.
- MailChimp WD – The MailChimp WD plugin helps you automate tasks like managing new subscribers’ sign-up, pop-up display and frequency, subscription confirmation and so forth. You can create as many sign-up forms and fields as you like, and they are fully responsive. It features an advanced form editor that lets you customize the forms according to your fancy.
- WPeMatico – The WPeMatico plugin allows you to put the entirety of your blog on autopilot. It is an auto blogging solution and enables you to import the full text or partial excerpts of articles from places using RSS and Atom feeds. All you need to do is specify the feed and decide the import frequency. The plugin will scan the feed and automatically import the articles. After this, you may choose to go ahead and publish them automatically or have them saved as drafts so you can manually review them at your own time. One should be careful with auto blogging as copyright infringement can turn out to be an issue if the content is borrowed without consent.
- Akismet – Are you looking for an anti-spam solution that helps you automate comment management? Then look no further. Akismet can automate all spam fighting tasks. It enables the detection of bad IPs, fake comments, and spam posts among other spam-fighting measures. Akismet comes installed with every WordPress site but requires activation. It is free for basic usage, but any advanced level of usage requires you to have a premium plan.
- Auto Approve Comments – It lets you approve certain IPs/users or user roles so that their comments do not need to go through any other approval test. The comments left by them are automatically approved. The Auto Approve Comment plugin is a good fit for smaller blogs with a limited audience.
- NextScripts – The NextScripts plugin allows you to post from your blog to your various social networking profiles such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Google+, Youtube and what have you. Whenever you publish a new post, it shares it across your social media channels with a link to the post concerned. There are many similar plugins on the market, but NextScripts is the most popular by far. It supports many unique social networks such as 500px, Medium and messaging apps like Telegram.
These plugins will help take the strain off your writing process and streamline content creation. On days that you find yourself in a time crunch, these plugins will automate the content creation process, saving you time to concentrate on writing your content.
However, it is important to note that running a blog on autopilot can be riddled with risk. Plugins will make changes to your code and database without intimating you. One bad setting can corrupt your database; one failed update can disable your site. It is wise to have a backup plan in place before automating your content.
Many hosting providers provide backup for their customers, and this is advertised as part of their hosting package. Check if your plan includes backup you can access. Often, that is not the case, and backups are only used in case of a problem with the host’s own servers. Despite your host providing good-quality user-accessible backup, it is a good idea to have your own in place. The host will take more time than you’d like it to, to restore your files, if corrupted.
Content marketing has overtaken traditional marketing techniques in the marketing universe. Pretty much every business is employing content marketing to promote their products and services on offer.
The goal of content marketing is to help generate sales leads with the help of content tailored to suit the needs of its target audience. WordPress powers millions of sites, so it may seem difficult to put forth a unique face in the crowd. Thankfully, WordPress is SEO-friendly and offers up plenty of content marketing tools to promote your content on other websites with ease. Some of these tools may increase your conversion rate; others may help reduce your bounce rate, improve search rankings or create more engagement with your readers. While most of these plugins are free, some have premium paid versions on offer if you choose to opt for them. The following tools will work towards improving your readability and visibility on search engines:
- All in One SEO Pack is the most downloaded plugin for WordPress and why not! It is one of the most promising SEO plugins and optimizes your site for search engines like Google, Bing and so on. It generates the automatic processes to improve the performance of your site. It offers many features to help promote your site’s content across the web. XML Sitemap Support lets you submit your sitemap to Google and improves your SEO indexing speed. The All in One SEO Pack is a content marketing tool that allows site owners to promote their brand easily across the world. Some of its handier features are:
- Advanced Canonical URLs
- Automatic META tag generation
- Out of the box functionality
- Google Analytics support and
- Duplicate content prevention.
- Yoast SEO is another widely used SEO plugin for WordPress. Its out of the box functionality allows its users to optimize their sites for search engines without any hassle. You can optimize the traffic your webpage garners just by using this plugin. It shows you a preview of your Google snippet, describes keywords and specific elements of your site like URLs, headlines, links and more.
- Google XML Sitemap creates a special XML sitemap for your website which allows Google and other search engines to index your site better. It makes it easy for all algorithms and crawlers to detect your site more easily. Marketing professionals use this site for its ease of use. You can create a sitemap within minutes. The plugin also notifies Google and other search engines every time you create a post about the new content. It is a handy content marketing tool that can improve your SEO rankings.
- Pretty Link helps you mask your affiliate links and track clicks from emails to improve your site’s reach. It shares these links via forums, Twitter, and comments on other blogs to add to your site’s visibility. It is a nifty way to promote your blog on others’ websites.
Along with this, it tracks every hit on your URL and provides information on the browser, host and OS it originated from. The Pretty Link plugin boosts your website’s functionality and helps you market your content more effortlessly.
- Broken Link Checker helps you avoid broken links and lost images that can negatively affect your SEO score. It scans your posts, pages, and comments for broken links and notifies you immediately upon detecting any. You can then rectify it and help your SEO score from sliding down. A broken link can be edited as soon as it has been detected using the plugin dashboard. The Broken Link Checker can be used in two ways:
- By making broken links display differently and enabling you to select them out quickly.
- By preventing search engines against following broken links.
- Google Analytics by MonsterInsights ranks among the best Google Analytics plugins for WordPress. It gives you detailed insights regarding your SEO. All you need to do is embed your Google Analytics tracking code to access the interactive statistics and charts. It saves you time and effort by allowing access to your metric dashboard from your WP dashboard itself. It also offers advanced features such as outbound and internal link tracking, download tracking, and the option to enable demographics report.
- OptinMonster plugin helps you grow your email list. It helps you build a subscription list out of visitors to your website. Its simple form builder allows you to build forms conveniently to attract your visitors into joining your mailing list. You can easily create different kinds of mobile-ready forms with OptinMonster.
Content Marketing is an effective way to generate leads and increase conversion rates. These tools will help you in your mission to grow the popularity of your website. They will also help improve your content marketing strategy and monetize your site without any headaches.
Any successful business strategy will have incorporated content marketing into it. Good content not only drives growth but also provides a platform for customer engagement. Marketers around the globe can now interact with their customers freely as well as highlight their organization’s area of expertise. Content may be traditional in the form of written blogs and articles, or it may be more modern like videos and infographics. Whichever it may be, content marketing forges a bond between the customer and the company.
A content marketing editorial calendar is usually the foundation for a strong content marketing plan. It helps you manage your time efficiently while at the same time meeting your content goals. Planning ahead of time ensures that every form of content you want to include in your website is accounted for. Especially for companies that struggle with consistency in their content, content marketing editorial calendars are a godsend. Maintaining organization and consistency will get us the traffic we deserve for our website.
An editorial calendar is a planning document that outlines your Plan of Action. It gives you a bird’s eye view of all the activities you have planned for the month. It should ideally be planned in such a way that it would include all the different channels that a marketing team would care about. It should successfully perform the following functions:
- Acts as a communication medium between members
- Helps assign writing and editorial tasks to key members of your team
- Allows you to adjust it with the help of drag and drop
- Provides a platform to generate post ideas and key topics
- Chalks up a publishing schedule that churns out content consistently
- Visualize the marketing strategy in a way that is comprehensible to every team member
The content marketing editorial calendar will provide your team with a framework for being intentional about how you are reaching out and building trust with your audience. It is a strategic marketing tool that keeps your team organized and with their workflow sorted.
Journalists and news publishers have been using editorial calendars since the heydays of journalism. They know how important it is to be able to plan and stick to deadlines. Without editorial calendars, it becomes difficult to plan content around centralized themes and know who is responsible for doing what and when. Foremost, being able to create content consistently seems like an insurmountable challenge.
Lack of planning can lead marketers haywire. They may create content that gathers no traction, miss deadlines, plan projects in a haphazard manner and cause their teams to waste valuable time. An editorial calendar brings some semblance of order into this chaos. It brings to the table an easy-to-use planning tool that does the following:
- Plan what content you will create
- Help you figure out why you’re creating the content
- Delegate content creation roles among the team
- Fix a date for when the content will be due
The above-listed functions make up the basic functionality of a content marketing editorial calendar. Some editorial calendars also allow you the following functions:
- Plan coordinated content campaigns and themes
- Lay your content publishing schedule beside your social media promotion plans
- Manage the workflow of the entire team
A content marketing editorial calendar will keep all your content ideas and projects organized. Suppose you have a great idea and then forget it. It will never be the case with an editorial calendar where you can log in your content idea and steer it towards becoming content action.
A clear content calendar will constantly remind you of the content deadlines you have to meet. It will not only make it hard to forget when your content is scheduled, but it will also motivate you in turning out content consistently.
Editorial calendars are usually of two types- Software and Spreadsheet. Spreadsheets are free and flexible and make for a wonderful editorial calendar for those starting out. Software fill in the functionality gaps that a spreadsheet editorial calendar contains. They are automated; the calendar and your social media channels are interconnected, and it allows you to comment upon the calendar enabling communication. No matter which editorial calendar you opt to use, an editorial calendar will improve your work output exponentially and maximize your potential for attracting traffic to your content.
Content marketing has all but replaced traditional marketing techniques in the marketing world. Most businesses around the world have woken up to the advantages of content marketing. It doesn’t just mean providing valuable content online for users to consume and then think about whether to subscribe to your mailing list. It also provides a stage for consumer-company interaction. You can find out just what the customer seeks and then act upon it to meet their needs precisely. On top of that, content marketing does not shove the products/services you are selling on your prospective customer’s face. It is done more subtly, making them aware of their need for the product/service first and then going about introducing it.
Content marketing can be done via several channels. It can be done in the form of videos, websites, podcasts, infographics, e-books, whitepapers, public presentations, books or apps. It eliminates the need for on-your-face sale tactics and proves to be an effective way for lead generation and conversions.
There are several content marketing Systems available on the market, but WordPress ranks the highest among them. The main reason for this being that it is free and does not charge you even if you manage to make a living out of it. Originally created to be a blogging tool, WordPress now helps runs several businesses by managing their webpage. WordPress’s SEO-friendliness makes it an appropriate choice for content marketers. It’s ‘easy to crawl framework’ allows search engines to find it without any effort at all. WordPress is easy to use, and its open source nature allows its user to customize it according to their want. It allows a host of plugins to be added to its site, maximizing its functionality. The WordPress editor is simple to use, and in case there arise any problems of operation, the WP forums can more help you out.