A How-To On Content Marketing 

February 15, 2023

There are several important pieces of the puzzle when it comes to effective digital marketing campaigns, and content marketing is one of the single most vital areas here. Great content will separate you from the competition while also encouraging search engines like Google to view your pages more favorably; on the flip side, a lack of strong content will put you at a major disadvantage. 

At SEO Werkz, we're cognizant of content marketing themes within several of our high-quality SEO and digital marketing programs, from web design through on-site optimization and more. What is content marketing, why is it important, and what are some important tips for creating great content in several different areas? Here's a basic rundown. 

Content Marketing Basics and Benefits

Within the digital marketing world, brand messaging is one of the single most important elements -- and content marketing is one of your top resources for accomplishing this. Let's go over precisely what it is, plus some of the main benefits it offers to companies of all shapes and sizes.

What is Content Marketing?

In simple terms, content marketing is the creation and distribution of content with the specific goal of encouraging people to take a desired action. The "content" here can come in several different forms; it might be blog posts, infographics, videos, eBooks, or anything else that's created with the express purpose of furthering your marketing goals. 

Content marketing should not be confused with content creation; while the two are similar, they have different purposes. Content creation is simply the act of making content, while content marketing has a very specific goal in mind. Generally speaking, most consider content creation to be a major part of content marketing -- but not the only part by any means. 

The Major Value of Content Marketing

There are numerous ways content marketing provides major benefits to clients -- across every industry and business size you can think of, at that. Here are some of the most notable:

  • Consistency and credibility: A content marketing strategy provides a way to ensure that your messaging is consistent across all channels, and that it's coming from a credible source. This is a gigantic factor in establishing and maintaining trust with your target audience, allowing you to better convert leads into customers and customers into lifelong fans. 
  • Longer audience attention spans: Most people have shorter attention spans than ever before, and this trend is only going to continue. Content marketing provides a way to engage your target audience for longer periods of time, increasing the likelihood that they'll take the desired action. 
  • Building trust and authority: As we just touched on, content marketing helps you build trust and authority with your target audience. If you can establish yourself as a credible source of information within your industry, people are far more likely to come to you when they're ready to make a purchase. 
  • Generating leads and sales: In the end, content marketing is all about generating leads and sales for your business. By providing valuable information to your target audience, you can encourage them to take the next step in the buyer's journey -- whether that means signing up for a newsletter, downloading an eBook, or making a purchase. 
  • Improved search engine rankings: Creating great content is one of the single best ways to improve your search engine rankings. Not only will this lead to more website visitors, but it will also help you attract higher-quality leads who are already interested in what you have to say. 
  • Upping your social media presence: Another great way to improve your search engine ranking is by upping your social media presence. This can be accomplished in several ways, but one of the most effective is to create great content and share it across your social media channels. 
  • Generating brand awareness: You also want to reach people who have never heard of your brand before, and content marketing is a great way to do that. By creating shareable content, you can increase the chances that people will see it -- and if they like it, they'll share it with their friends and followers. 
  • Saving money: Costs are a huge concern for businesses of all shapes and sizes, and content marketing can actually help you save money. Creating your own content is generally much cheaper than paying for advertising, and it's also more effective in the long run for many companies. 

These are just a few of the many benefits that content marketing can provide; suffice it to say, it's an essential piece of the puzzle for any effective digital marketing campaign. 

Types of Content Marketing

Now that we've gone over some of the benefits of content marketing, let's take a look at the different types of content you can create: 

  • Blog posts: A blog post is a short piece of written content, usually between 300 and 800 words, that covers a specific topic. Blog posts are generally published on a regular basis, and they're a great way to provide valuable information to your target audience. 
  • Infographics: An infographic is a visual representation of information, data, or knowledge. They usually take the form of an image, but they can also be videos or other types of media. Infographics are typically shared on social media and other websites, and they're a great way to make complex information more accessible. 
  • Featured snippets: A featured snippet is a short answer to a specific question that appears at the top of the search results page. They're typically between 50 and 60 words, and they're designed to give people quick and easy answers to common questions. 
  • Videos: Video is one of the most popular types of content, and for good reason -- it's highly engaging and easy to consume. You can create videos for your website, YouTube channel, or other platforms, and they can be used to promote your products or services, provide valuable information, or simply entertain your audience. 
  • Whitepapers and eBooks: A whitepaper is a long-form piece of written content, usually between 5 and 20 pages, that covers a specific topic in depth. Whitepapers are generally used to promote a product or service, and they're often distributed in PDF format. An eBook is a similar type of content, but it's usually shorter and less formal. 
  • How-to guides: A how-to guide is exactly what it sounds like -- a piece of content that walks your audience through a specific process. How-to guides can be used to promote a product or service, and they can be written as blog posts, eBooks, or even videos. 
  • Product reviews: For businesses that sell products, product reviews can be a great way to promote your wares. You can either write your own reviews or allow customers to submit their own; either way, they'll provide valuable information to potential buyers. 
  • Testimonials: Testimonials are similar to product reviews, but they focus on the customer's experience with the product or service rather than the product itself. Like product reviews, testimonials can be written or video-based, and they're a great way to build trust with your target audience. 


Carrying Out Effective Content Marketing

Now that you know the numerous benefits and applications of content marketing, what are some of the top tips we offer clients on how to carry it out? Here are several, in a few important areas. 

Content Scoring

Content scoring is a vital process many SEO and digital marketing professionals recommend, one that allows you to quantify the effectiveness of your content in several important ways. By “scoring” each individual piece of content you create, you can more easily identify your top-performing pieces and make sure they get the attention they deserve. 

To score your content, take the following steps:

  • Create a scoring criteria: First and foremost, you must establish what metric(s) you'll use to score your content. Will you focus on engagement, such as likes, shares, and comments? Or will you focus on more tangible measures, like leads or sales generated? The answer will likely depend on your specific goals and objectives. 
  • Establish a baseline: Once you know what metric(s) you'll be using, you need to establish a baseline score for each piece of content. This will give you a starting point against which to measure future performance. 
  • Monitor and adjust: As your content is published and shared, keep an eye on the scores to see how each piece is performing. If something isn't meeting your expectations, don't be afraid to make changes -- whether that means adjusting the content itself or your approach to promoting it. 
  • Repeat using past insights: After you've scored a few pieces of content, you'll have a better idea of what works and what doesn't. Use these insights to inform your future content strategy, and you'll be well on your way to creating truly effective pieces. 

Tips for Successful Blogging

As we noted earlier in our series, blogging is one of the most common and effective forms of content marketing. Here are several specific themes and methods for leveraging your blog and helping it maximize your site's potential:

  • Title Tags: Create an informative title tag 60-70 characters in length, describing what your post is about. If you want to rank a particular post for a particular keyword phrase, include it in the title of the page and title of the post.
  • Meta Descriptions: Provide a short description 160-170 characters in length to describe the post in the SERPs, including some sort of call to action at the end such as “Show your [industry] awareness by sharing with your friends”.
  • Social Share Buttons: When people read something they like or find beneficial, they like to share it with those around them.  Add social sharing buttons to every post to top social platforms (Facebook, Twitter, G+, StumbleUpon, Digg etc.), making it as easy for your viewers to share your posts with your friends. This is a great way to acquire backlinks from readers that may not make the effort to link to you otherwise.
  • Social Profile Buttons: Make sure your social profile buttons and RSS feed sign-up are easy to find on the blog. When people read blogs, they will often want to subscribe and connect with you through your other social channels (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.).
  • Comments: Enable commenting on each blog post to help entice people to interact with the author of the post. This is a great way to build relationships with people in your industry, and potential clients. It also allows you to answer any additional questions that people may have after reading your post.
  • Pictures: “Pictures are worth a thousand words," as they say. Have at least one picture for every blog post that relates to what is being written in that post.  Users like to see pictures it helps entice them to read on and makes the users reading experience more enjoyable.
  • Use Links: Give users access to more information about your topic by linking to other pages of your site, and other trusted blogs and websites that can help shed more light on what you are talking about.
  • Title: First impressions can make or break you. The title of your blog post is your opportunity to make that first impression. Create titles that are interesting to your viewing audience and that entice them to keep reading.
  • Content: In SEO, original and unique content is king. Updating your blog on a consistent basis will entice visitors and search engines to continually come back to your site to read more. Blogging frequently with high quality content will make you a reliable and creditable resource in your industry, ultimately helping you rank better in the SERPs, and can create a loyal following and clientele.  Write good posts that people want to link to, share, and that provide good usable information. Below are some examples of what types of articles people love the most.
  1. Create top ten lists – such as “10 easy tips to help you [insert topic here].”
  2. Create resource lists for a specific topic. Link to sources to go to get more information.
  3. Create content that is easy to understand so everyone can understand and spread your message.
  4. Talk about recent news that affects your industry.
  5. Allow other authors to guest blog post on your blog. This can help you get links from other industry related sites.
  6. Share and create surveys and studies that help people interact with your blog
  7. Hold a contest. Contests make great link bait. A few hundred-dollar prizes can result in thousands of dollars’ worth of editorial, quality links.
  8. Write about topics and keyword phrases you want your site to rank for, then link to that page from your post.
  • Tags: Use appropriate and relevant tags on your blogs. This can help you rank your post for those phrases in search engines.
  • Promote Your Content: Generate readership and build a following by promoting your posts on your own personal social platforms, inclucing Facebook, Twitter, Digg, Delicious, StumbleUpon, etc. Often, you can use social sharing widgets that give you a quick and easy way of seeing how many people are sharing your posts through those platforms. You can also submit your blog to various blog directories.
  • URL Structure: Use the title of the post as part of the URL structure so it is easy for people to remember and link to. Example: www.MarketChing.com/blog/title-of-blog-post/
  • Call To Action: Use calls to action at the end of your blog post, inviting readers to take a specific action. For example: “Let us know your opinion on the topic and leave us your comments below" or “Learn more about {topic} here (link to a page on your site).”
  • Have Fun with it: Blogging is meant to entertain and provide useful information. Don’t be afraid to use analogies and jokes to help people relate to what you are saying and endear them to you. Blog posts don’t always have to be serious. Create articles purely for entertainment purposes from time to time.

Content Writing Tips for Search Result Featured Snippets

As we touched on above, featured snippets are also a vital content area for many companies. In place to provide searchers with a direct, immediate answer to a popular question that shows up directly on the search results page, featured snippets allow for such answers without the user being forced to click through to a specific search result.

It’s up to you to provide the content that will go in featured snippets when the right search terms are utilized – how do you go about crafting content that will increase your chances of winning a snippet for a given term? Here are some basic tips. 

  • Lead: Firstly, a reminder: This section of our series is intended to provide tips and expertise on writing content specifically for featured snippets in search results – not for overall content. While this pyramid method we’re going over has lots of success winning featured snippets, it’s not generally recommended for longer forms of content writing. With that well in mind, the top of the inverted pyramid for featured snippet writing is the lead, or the central part of the piece. Think of it as a headline, similar to what you’d see in a newspaper story. Online marketing is a fast game, meaning you need to draw in the eyes of potential visitors immediately – this is why it’s vital to draw them in from the start with your most noteworthy and interesting content.
  • Details: Once you’ve established interest with a notable lead, get into some smaller details that will continue to draw people in even further. Explain the specifics of your lead and how you’ll accomplish any services or solutions mentioned in it, allowing potential clients to learn more and begin familiarizing themselves with your business and what you do.
  • Context: Next, move to the finest details of context involved here. You can talk about the good your services have done for others with similar needs in the past, plus the value you provide to clients who utilize your solutions. This is where you convince prospective leads that not only do they require the services you offer, but you’re the perfect source for them to receive them from.
  • Answering SEO queries: Many search queries begin with your answer, which you can think of as the “lead” we already went over. If someone’s asked a direct question, the lead is the summary of the basic answer to it. As we noted earlier, you begin with the attention-catching part, then get into the details and the context that showcase your expertise. In cases where other questions may arise based on your answer, or if the original question is a broad one, things get a bit more complex – that’s a big part of what we’ll go over in our subsequent sections here.
  • Leaving a trail: One important theme to consider here: Ensuring that your featured snippet answers leave enough to the imagination that leads still click to your website once they have the answer they’re looking for. Some general tips in this realm include: Avoid easy answers: When it comes to simple facts, such as a time and date or a personal quality, these are separate topics you do not need to answer. These answers are regularly replaced and won’t likely win you snippets; How-to questions: The best questions to answer are how-to questions and those that will provide further context on your products or services; Building credibility: During such answers, it’s just fine to give the searcher a trail. They receive much of the information they need, but also realize that clicking to your page will bring them even more complete and valuable data. Those looking for a quick and easy answer aren’t those who tend to convert most – rather, those who view your information as credible and want to learn more about you are the ones you’re targeting.
  • Quality content: Finally, when it comes to ensuring your content is at a high enough level for any featured snippets, refer back to the inverted pyramid theme. When getting into details and context, feel confident answering sub-questions or logical follow-ups – those who are truly interested and could become conversions will appreciate this additional detail.


For more on the vital realm of content marketing and how to leverage it to your benefit, or for information on any of our SEO or digital marketing programs, the team at SEO Werkz is awaiting your call. 

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