How To Drive Traffic To Your Website Using Content Marketing
“If you build it, they will come." The famous Field of Dreams line might apply to baseball, but in the world of web design, things are a little more complicated. You can spend countless hours and dollars building a slick business site, and go with a marketing-savvy top-level domain like .PRO, but unless you have a solid plan in place for driving traffic, it will go largely unseen.
Fortunately, there are time- and cost-effective methods for driving traffic to your website. One of the best methods for attracting the right kind of visitors is content marketing. The Content Marketing Institute defines content marketing as “a strategic approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action."
The good news is, content marketing doesn't have to be difficult or time consuming. Plus, in addition to helping attract qualified, engaged visitors, quality content also positions your company as an expert in its space. Below, successful entrepreneurs give their advice on distribution strategies for content that can help attract eyeballs and, more importantly, sales.
Provide in-demand blog posts
Kenny Nguyen, CEO of branding agency Three Sixty Eight, has seen the effects of content marketing firsthand many times. "We recently wrote a guide about the Collision conference three weeks ahead of time that got shared a bunch," he says. “It resulted in about 500 organic search views on our site daily for about three weeks." Those 10,000+ visitors were all qualified and on the site for a very specific reason. In other words, the content helped position Nguyen's company as a go-to expert.
Offer downloadable e-books
Once you've drawn a visitor to your site with a great blog post, offering downloadable content is a great way to collect visitors' information — most commonly, a name and an email address. While not all visitors who click on a blog post will take the next step to download content, the ones that do are now very qualified leads, as they've engaged in a multi-step process to get to know your company better.
The trick is to know your audience, and create content of value to them. Adam Mendler has seen great ROI with downloadable content for his company Custom Tobacco, which allows users to create customized private-label cigars. “We have a very large female clientele who buy personalized cigars as gifts and for events," he says. “Because of that, the e-books we've written on topics of high relevance to our audience, like Cigar Babe: A Girl's Guide to Smoking, are especially high-performing."
Share expert content off your site
While content on your website will help drive organic search views, re-purposing that same content off your site will also attract visitors. Jeff Epstein, founder of referral software company Ambassador, recommends sites like Quora. “They rank high, and the content is evergreen," he says.
LinkedIn is another great platform to share thought leadership pieces. You can publish entire articles or share excerpts from blog posts and direct followers back to your site to read the rest of the story. Guest posts from other industry players can also help drive traffic.
Strong, consistent content will attract visitors to your site. It will also keep them coming back for more. Even one well-timed blog post can draw thousands of new visitors. The best way to start is to jump right in. Set a deadline (how about Friday?) for publishing your next (or your first!) blog post, and block off two hours in your calendar today to write the content.
Your .PRO domain already sets the stage that you're a thought-leader and an expert in your field. Engaging content will help reinforce that fact, leading more customers — and more opportunities — to your digital doorstep. As you write your content, strive for value, not perfection. Once you see the results, you'll be publishing content (and attracting traffic!) like crazy in no time!