April 2017

From the edge of the Great Plains

Dear Content Marketers:

In this month’s Content Marketing Newsletter, John Heaston and I decided to spotlight keyword phrases and their value in your content marketing. In the essay, Link Your Content to the Real World: An Overview of Keyword Phrases and Their Rewards, I look at the research we should do for each of our Pioneer Media clients.

We then turn our attention to 12 ways to mess up your content, the surging importance of LinkedIn publishing and four ways to expand your audiences

If there’s a topic you want us to address in this newsletter, let us know. We’ll share the best material we find with you and your colleagues.

We’re grateful for your efforts and creativity. All our best this spring to you and yours.

Thomas Gunning

Content Marketing Editor

Link Your Content to the Real World

An Overview of Keyword Phrases and Their Rewards

By Thomas Gunning

Pioneer Media Content Marketing Editor

Keyword research is the process of identifying the words and phrases real people use to find products and services linked to your client’s line of business.

You not only uncover what terms they use, you can develop and use data like how many times a keyword phrase was used in a specific period of time.

You’re expected to create a list of keyword phrases for each of our clients at Pioneer Media Inc. Here’s an overview of the factors involved as you begin your keyword research and planning:

  1. Search engines have evolved. Instead of combing content for individual keyword phrases, today’s search engines make semantic, or intent-based, searches. So the importance of intent and context has skyrocketed. As a result, today’s content is even more focused on searchers and their intentions.

For example, people make different kinds of online queries these days. Instead of “Omelets in Omaha,” you now might ask, “Where are cheap omelets in Omaha?” Or, “Omaha’s good brunch places.” Although you don’t specify “omelets,” today’s search engines link omelets and brunch. So select keyword phrases with semantic searches in mind.

  1. Ask yourself, “What are the most common phrases prospective customers would use to find me?” Consider whether the keyword phrase is relevant to your website’s content. Will searchers who use that keyword phrase find what they seek on your client’s site? Will the website provide information and services that meet their expectations?
  2. Always look for natural opportunities to place key word phrases in your content. Use your keyword phrase every 150 to 200 words. If it’s natural to use it more frequently, that’s fine.

But don’t let it seem like you forced a particular keyword phrase where it doesn’t belong. In fact, if it’s consistently hard to insert your keywords, take a step back and review your content. It probably doesn’t fully address the points you want to make.

  1. Consider the likely impact of similar phrases. “Recurring furnace maintenance” might be superseded by “periodic furnace inspection.” Even spelling differences can affect the number of visitors. “Handset” might be your client’s preferred spelling, but some potential customers might spell it in two words, “hand set.”
  2. Include effective calls to action. Don’t make your prospects struggle. You should assure they know to call a toll-free number, download your demo or visit another part of the website.

The following links describe the processes, technology and rewards of keyword research. I’ve put them in what I consider to be their order of relevance:

So where do you begin the actual research? The following resources can provide you a range of information about the use of keyword phrases:

It’s not uncommon to head straight to Google, but WordTracker and others can give you new insights. SEMrush also provides overlooked keyword phrases because you can access its data base of more than 95 million keywords.

Properly chosen, the insertion of keyword phrases helps your content spotlight the message you want communicate. They will help drive traffic to your client’s site. Importantly, they will bring prospective customers there, not just random visitors.

12 Ways You Screw Up Your Content Marketing

In recent end-of-year CMI B2B research, 89 percent of respondents say they use content marketing. But only five percent rated their content marketing strategy as “very effective,” while 64 percent label it moderately or minimally effective, says Sujan Patel, writing for the Content Marketing Institute (CMI) website. Clearly, a lot of us could do much better than we have. Undercutting your content marketing is easier than you might think. Here are a dozen ways you could sabotage yourself and your client’s content marketing.


LinkedIn Publishing Trends Every Marketer Must Know

If you want your content to be noticed, you should pay more attention to one particular social network, and it’s not Facebook, says Susan Moeller, business development manager at BuzzSumo. LinkedIn has seen explosive growth in the number of articles published. It also plays a growing role in content distribution for articles published on other domains. For some topics, LinkedIn is the most important network for social shares. The number of LinkedIn users also is growing. It reached more than 430 million in 2016, Moeller notes.


4 Proven Content Marketing Strategies to Expand Your Audience

The spreading of content over the internet has caused today’s consumers being more industry-, product- and brand-aware than ever, notes Rohan Ayyar of E2M, a digital marketing agency based in India. Brands accept content marketing as one of the most effective ways to attract and keep customers. And while it’s clear content marketing is not a one-size-fits-all endeavor, your content needs to reach a critical mass of audience before you can segmenting or profiling them based on their intent or behavior. Let’s explore four fundamental strategies you can use to build and keep a bigger, keener audience.