Over the years I have had the honor of working with many skilled and talented niche marketers. All of whom clearly understand the principles of successful niche marketing. Principles such as the focus is narrow, the target is extremely vertical and the message should be honed to a particular persona. While all of these principles are accurate, I wanted to take a moment to share with you a few thoughts about how to develop ROI driven content when executing niche marketing to these narrow, vertical personas.
It’s no secret that since Panda reinvented itself, niche marketers across the globe have charged head long in the race to produce engine winning content. More than ever it’s about quality, relevance and timeliness. Gone are the days of stuffing the right keywords in cheap, outsourced articles. The quality and readability of the content surrounding those keywords has become more important than ever. And this has changed the way we do niche content marketing. Content strategy as a whole has evolved, and thus what we need to do to be successful in niche content marketing has changed.
The main idea behind the current content strategies is to produce material that the user is intending to find. From this has evolved the content strategy known as “user intent”. Simply stated, this strategy is to answer the questions the user is asking. In doing so, it is critical that the material is NOT COMMERCIAL but rather is valuable, informative, and more interesting to readers than what currently exists. When you’re doing niche content you’re going to have millions of other people and companies within the same niche competing for your audience’s attention. Said another way, in order for your niche messaging to stand out and rank higher than the others you’re going to need niche focused content that is interesting and valuable to your target customers.
If you want to be successful in your niche marketing, there are certain strategies that can help you produce the quality, keyword optimized niche content you need. Here are some strategies to help you develop and run successful niche content marketing campaigns.
- Understand and Research your Segments:Understanding and researching your market segmentation strategy is critical if you want to produce high quality content that will resonate with your personas. It’s hard work but conducting primary and secondary research will help you hit the mark. As for primary research, reach out to your customers and gain insight as to their content interests. Beyond the specific information that’s of interest, ask questions relative to the types and formats of content that interest them. Do they like tips and trends, detailed white papers, infographics, videos or shorter and more concise content? As for secondary research, spend time looking at key phrase metrics to find out what kind of information people are looking for. It is also important to identify what are the most popular topics within your niche, look up current best practices, and circle back to your customers to validate your findings. With this information in hand, you can begin to develop your content map and get publishing.
- Choose the Right Keywords:As mentioned above, a critical component in niche content marketing is the importance of keywords. Identify the most-used search terms within your niche, find out what questions people are asking and what kind of information they’re looking for. As stated above, this content strategy is called “User Intent”. Find out what the user is intending to find and answer their question through blogs, white papers, etc. Ranking for keywords is great, but if you’re not ranking for the right ones, the ones your competitors are, then there’s little chance your site will be seen before or in favor of theirs.
- Integrate your Keywords in the Content Naturally:Some keywords can be hard to put in content while still sounding natural, this is especially true for many long-tail key phrases. A technique I often promote is to research how other content marketers achieve this through studying their content, websites and emails. Having keywords thrown into content sloppily or in an unnatural way will hurt your readability and therefore your conversion rate. And remember the rule, avoid key word stuffing by not exceeding a 5% key word density ratio to the number of words in a paragraph (i.e. if your text is 100 words, your keywords should not appear more than five times).
- Utilize Linking:Gaining backward links are key in the game of rank. When you publish your content, it’s a good idea to embed at least one link that leads to your site or to a landing page with a CTA. Using links in content has been shown to improve lead capture and conversion rates by a significant amount.
- Always Provide Value and Avoid being Commercial or Self-Serving:The most important aspect in developing content for niche marketing is to always provide value to your audience without being commercial or self-serving. Make sure your content is answering common questions, providing solutions to common problems, discussing best practices, or providing information that’s commonly sought after.
Setting up a good content strategy for your niche marketing can seem daunting, and it will be a lot of work. The good news is if you execute the correct strategy, you will soon see your website traffic and leads grow at an amazing pace. Increasing search rankings, converting leads, and achieving a high level of lead conversion are all things that can be achieved with the right content marketing plan and high quality, niche specific content.
For more information, download our “Inbound Marketing Game Plan” thought paper.