We didn’t know it, but when we started the Note Investor site in 2001 and added a blog in 2008, we were on the forefront of Content Marketing. Of course it wasn’t called that at the time and our intent wasn’t even marketing. We were just sick of all the misinformation on the Internet about the note business and decided to do something about it.
As we wrote articles, we would post them to our site and send out an email letting people know there was something new to read.
We heard about something called SEO and figured out how to use best practices.
Then Social Media came along for business, so we shared there too (hey it’s free, and we all like free right?).
Along the way, we made some mistakes, developed a system and stayed consistent. Fast forward to 2017, and we have a tribe of avid readers (thanks for being one of them).
We also discovered Content Marketing has another significant benefit – improved search engine rankings. Our site pops up on the first page of the search results for most terms related to buying and selling notes, and that is a direct result of creating and sharing new unique content.
These benefits are one of the reasons so many businesses are jumping on board. A Forbes article reports “88% of B2B marketers currently use content marketing as part of their marketing strategy.”
Right about now you might be wondering…
How Do I Use Content Marketing For My RE Note Business?
Don’t worry we have you covered! Keep reading to find answers to these questions:
Just What Exactly Is Content Marketing?
What Is My Content Marketing Action Plan?
What Tools Do I Need To Implement?
How Do I Get The Attention of Search Engines?
What Is Content Marketing?
The focus of Content Marketing is creating and sharing information online that is useful. The ultimate goal is to attract an audience with the potential of becoming a customer.
Rather than traditional sales-oriented marketing, the aim is to build trust and authority, so you are the natural choice when they are ready to take action. It is also a part of digital marketing (the most recent term to come along).
As the name implies, it takes content. This arrives in a variety of shapes and forms including:
- Blog Posts
Once created the content is shared online via your website, social media updates, and email.
7 Steps For Using Content Marketing In Your Note Business
1. Create A Content Marketing Schedule
The most important part of creating a content plan is achieving consistency. When your marketing department is a team of one (and that’s you) then posting every week might be out of reach. Start with something achievable like once a month then go to every other week, weekly, or twice a week. It’s better to post 1x a week for four weeks then post 4x in one week and then go dark for a month.
2. Identify Your Audience
Will you be talking to mom and pop note holders, bank portfolio managers, or private investors? Be sure your content speaks to a particular group. Don’t try to cover too much ground in one article. If you want to reach all three groups, then create individual content pieces that resonate with that particular group.
3. Brainstorm Topics
Start by writing down every question you have been asked. This is a great place to start for content ideas. Keep a notepad or file on your computer where you add ideas or interesting links as they occur so you can refer to later. When you’re stuck for ideas, search the web to see what other people are writing for inspiration. Come away with a potential title, keyword or main idea, and description for content creation.
4. Create The Content
For most of us, this is the hardest part. Let’s face it. It’s time-consuming, and we didn’t set out to be writers, videographers or graphic artists. We want to find and buy notes. So you can either bite the bullet and create the content yourself or hire someone to do it for you. If you decide to outsource there are sites like iWriter.com, Fiverrr.com, and Upwork.com that have creative types for hire.
Another option is to curate content. This is where you find and share interesting things other people have created. It does not mean copying someone else’s work and claiming it as your own. If you share content, then be sure to credit the original author and provide a link back to the source.
There are also PLR (private label rights) that allow you to use content as your own. This works for starter content and client development, however, for purposes of content marketing with SEO benefits your best option is to create unique content.
5. Post To Your Website Using Best Practice SEO Strategies
Content is King when it comes to improved rankings and search engine optimization. SEO helps the content you worked so hard to create receive the attention of Google and other search engines. I’ve spent a lot of time learning the ins and outs of SEO, and by far the most reputable experts on the topic can be found at Yoast.com. For now, you can get the cliff notes with my SEO Cheat Sheet at the end of this article.
6. Share The Content
Once the content has a home on your website, you are ready to share that link with the world. If you have an email database, then send out a synopsis with a link to read more on your site. Next up is sharing on your social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Check out Fred’s article on Social Media Marketing For Note Buyers for more info.
7. Track, Rinse and Repeat
Use analytics to see how many people are reading the content and what they respond to most. Use these insights to fine-tune your plan then rinse and repeat the process consistently.
Helpful Content Marketing Tools
These are the tools you will find useful for implementing your contact marketing plan:
Website With A Business Blog – I’m a big fan of the self-hosted Word Press platform. If you already have one of our Note Buyer Websites, then you are ready to go as they all come pre-loaded with a business blog.
Social Media Accounts –Facebook and Twitter are good starts along with LinkedIn and Google+
Proofreader – You can enlist family and friends or use an online system like Grammarly.
Copyscape – Helps verify the content you are posting as your own is original and not infringing any copyrights.
Copyblogger – These pros provide hundreds of free useful articles to boost your content marketing efforts.
Yoast SEO Plugin – Provides a “grade” for on-page SEO efforts.
Scheduling Program – Hootsuite and Buffer are two programs designed to help you schedule items to post to in advance. You can also post manually to your social media accounts.
Image Source – Deposit Photos and Canva are two options for affordable images. Avoid free images unless you know they are approved for commercial use.
Google Analytics – The big daddy of search provides the most extensive data for tracking website traffic. This requires installing the tracking script on your site.
Email Marketing Service – Mail Chimp has a free plan that is great for getting started.
Cheat Sheet For Posting Content With Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Before getting into the technical stuff let’s be clear on the big picture with these 5 Rules of Content SEO:
- Always write for people first – SEO is secondary!
- Create high-quality, unique content.
- Don’t overuse keywords – write naturally.
- There are no short cuts so don’t pay for links or other “tricks.”
- Improved rankings take time and consistency.
When posting information to your website, it is important to help search engines easily index the information by using certain tags or coding. These are the main items that deserve your attention:
Topic: The main idea represented by a few keywords or phrase.
This main idea becomes the “Focus Keyword” for your SEO efforts. The focus keyword is not the whole title, just the main point or focus of the article. The keyword or phrase is incorporated naturally into all the items below.
Title: Up to 100 characters show (if you go over be sure the main keyword is in the first 100)
URL/Permalink: By default the page title becomes the permalink known as the “Page URL.”
When creating the “page url” be sure to leave in the main focus keyword but take out any “stop words” like a, an, the, for, and, is, that, which, etc. To read more about stop words you can go here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stop_words
Description: Up to 150 characters show in search engine results.
This is the “meta description” that you write for the plugin.
Intro: The description above can sometimes be a great intro.
The meta description can also go in the first paragraph of the post content if you feel it makes a good intro to the article.
Headings: 2-3 main thoughts that use the keyword or a related word
The “article heading” or headings are created within the content of the post by highlighting text and designating it a Heading 2 or Heading 3
Content: Target at least 500 words (more is always better)
This is the post content or body of the article.
Photo: Add at least one photo with tags
The photo alt tag is set when you upload the photo to the post and/or media file. It helps if the image title and alt tag are a two to four-word phrase that describes the photo and includes a keyword. Be sure to size photos for web use before uploading.
Bonus: Link to an authority type of site as a reference or for more info. Also, link to another related article on your own site.
If you are new to this concept then using a plug-in like Yoast SEO for Word Press will help you visually measure your success with a green, yellow, orange, or red light grade.
Your 2017 Content Marketing Action Plan
Need a condensed two-step personal action plan? Here you go:
1) Post at least one new piece of unique content to your website every month.
2) Share that content on Social Media.