Martyn Hannah, Director of the content marketing agency Ghostfoundry, tells you how to ace your content without having to spend big.
I recently had the pleasure of taking part in The Affiliate Marketing Podcast, where I spoke to Lee-Ann about content marketing on a budget and how affiliates and affiliate program managers can fully leverage the power of content without having to spend a small fortune.
We covered a lot in the 15 minutes we had to chat about content marketing, but both agreed that writing a follow-up article digging into the topic – in a bit more detail – would provide added value to readers of AffiliateINSIDER.
Content marketing on a budget is a topic that could fill an entire book. But below, I provide a quick guide that should help to get anyone – affiliate, affiliate manager, other – started.
Create a content roadmap.
Failing to plan is planning to fail and that certainly applies to content marketing. It’s a vast space out there, so having a plan is key to ensuring you create the right content for the right audience and publish on the right channels at the right time.
I always recommend planning for a year but breaking that down into monthly chunks. Plans can (and do) change and you will likely want to create additional pages and cover other topics, but this can be done by simply swapping out content based on priority.
But what should take priority? To decide, you need to determine what content will deliver the most value to you and your business. As a SEO affiliate, this is often key ranking pages for terms like PayPal Casinos, New Online Casino, etc – but don’t just look at traffic volume.
Long-tail keywords may have significantly less traffic. However, in some instances, they convert much better as the traffic landing on that page is searching for a very specific query and once answered is primed and ready to covert.
Top tip: map out your content plan on Trello to clearly break down the pages you wish to create, move things around based on priority, assign tasks and mark pages once completed.
Plan each page:
Before writing content, it is important to plan what that page will contain from the topic it will discuss to the structure and order of information. It should also include any keywords you wish to contain for SEO purposes and the volume of keyword mentions required.
Research pages that are performing well for the topic that you will be writing about and look at how the content is broken down into sections. Use tools such as AHREFS (not free) and Neil Patel’s Ubersuggest (free) to dig into the content to see what keywords are being picked up.
Of course, you then need to add even more value to the content you create. This may mean obtaining input from an expert on that subject, making your content even more in-depth, creating unique graphics and illustrations and so on.
Top tip: first map out the key sections for the topic you are writing about and then under each section bullet point the information you want to include.
Create quality content that engages.
The SEO game is constantly changing and simply writing content stuffed full of keywords no longer works. Instead, you must create content that is in-depth, highly informative and that is easy for the reader to access and… well… read.
As part of this, you need to think about your audience and the tone of voice that will encourage them to read the content you have created. Style is important, too. Do they prefer short, punchy sentences or long, flowery sentences that are highly descriptive?
A big contributing factor in how you write is the platform or channel that your content will be consumed on. If it’s a mobile device, keep sentences snappy and paragraphs short. If desktop, you can go a little more J.K. Rowling on your content.
Regardless, you must always write content to be read and not to rank. Put your reader first and make sure they are entertained as well as educated by your content. Google is incredibly smart and is prioritising user experience in where it ranks sites and pages.
Top tip: when writing content always think about the reader and be authentic. Writing to rank no longer works, so always write for content to be read.
If you need help, outsource it.
Content writing is a skill, and some are better at it than others. If content is not your strong point and you are running a business where it is vital to success, the best thing to do is to bring in a content writer or outsource it to an individual or agency.
If you take this route, these are some of the key things to consider when you’ve decided who you wish to outsource to.
Experience. This is incredibly important. There are loads of great content agencies out there, but you must make sure they have experience in the gambling industry. If not, content will simply lack the knowledge and detail required.
Who is writing the content? Always ask about who is actually writing the content, especially if you are employing a large agency. If they don’t have writers with industry experience, look elsewhere.
Are your visions aligned? They are the content experts but you know your business and what you would like your content to achieve. If you can’t write it yourself, your partner agency must able to write it for you.
Approach case studies with caution. Agencies often push case studies that showcase what they can achieve, but this can be a one-off and not indicative of what they can do for all clients. Have realistic expectations and trust your gut feeling about person or agency.
Top tip: the Ghostfoundry team is always here to help!