7 Critical Elements Of A Solid Content Marketing Piece

Being good at content marketing has nothing to do with how often you post new articles to your blog…

In fact, if you’re the sort of person who’s always putting your website on the back burner, telling yourself that tomorrow will be the day you add a new article, then today’s lesson is for you.

You see, a good content marketing piece is more about structure than anything else… You don’t need to be a good writer or invest hours, days or weeks into an article before it’s ready to go live.

All you need to do is make sure that your article checks a few boxes – boxes that I’m going to teach you today. Once your blog post checks these boxes, you’re ready to go live!

After you hit publish, you will know how successful your article is once some traffic hits it and you find out how well you’re converting everyday traffic into sales opportunities.

For sake of argument though, there is something that we need to clear up…

What Exactly Is A Content Marketing Piece?

Whenever you attempt to educate and sell to your prospect through video, audio or text; you’re employing content marketing strategies.

It doesn’t get any simpler than that.

For our purposes though, we’re referring to content marketing pieces as being blog posts.  These ‘blog posts’ stand alone as one of the first pieces of content that a prospect has the pleasure of reading about your product or service.

So, in the scheme of things, changing out the front end of your offer is really as simple as adding a new blog post!

Now, these blog posts are special, as the standalone as a marketing piece, all unto themselves.  You can deliver educational material.  You can stir emotions in your prospect.  You can deliver value and ask for nothing in return…

That’s why they work.

In different markets, you’ll hear lots of terms for these types of content too…  Blog posts.  Advertorials.  Native ads.  Articles.  Sometimes, they’re called reports, even though the content of them is delivered on a web page!

The premise is simple though…

  1. You post a new article on your site
  2. Your audience reads that article…
  3. A certain number of those folks click through, engaging with you by signing up to your list or buying something…

Where content marketing really shines though is in what’s called “Pre-framing.”

Why Your Audience Needs “Pre-framed.”

Pre-framing is an NLP thing.  The idea is:

A Pre-frame is a frame of reference given about an experience before the experience has taken place. It is commonly used to setup an activity or action assisting in the anticipation of the result. [source]

If you don’t preframe the objections and proof through pre-framing  people hang on to their objections and then respond to your ideas with: “Yes, but…”

Think about it this way…

Everyone who views your sales letter or sales video is coming to it from different points…

When you send an email out to your list about your newest product…

  • A busy mom clicks through, late from picking her kids up from practice...
  • An overworked husband who just got in a fight with his wife about not doing the dishes
  • An approval seeking secretary who just got off of a seething phone call with her boss...
  • A wealthy gentleman who just financed the first round in a tech startup...

Each of these people are coming to your sales video with other, more pertinent thoughts in their mind.

So, what does that do?  It skews your message!

Now, the sales letter that you just published, after working for months, is getting lackluster results.

If only there was a way to ground ALL of them so that they started to see what you see, and when the click through to your sales video, they’re all in the exact same place.

Enter content marketing.

Your blog post should preframe readers…  Removing doubt.  Removing objections.  And ultimately, putting them all in the right frame of mind to take action!

In our last post, we talked about making the transition between content and sales

Today, I’m going to give you a checklist that you can use to make sure that the folks reading your site click through to your sales material and landing pages!

The Content Marketing Checklist

Your content should have AS MANY of the following points as possible, without being too pushy or salesy.  It’s usually not enough to just have a banner in a side bar either – you need to make sure to link right from the text itself!

1: Engaging Deeper With Your Brand

The premise behind all successful content is that it includes ways for folks to engage more deeply with yourself, your business and your brand.

By allowing someone to share experiences with you, learn from you, and ultimately sign up for your email list, share your post, and/or buy from you – you’re engaging the readers who really, truly want to be engaged.

You’re not sending them right to a sales video or a promotional piece…  You’re putting a buffer in the way so that only the most qualified, actionable of your readers will take you up on your offers.

And, the better your content does, the more sales and optins you get!

Make no mistake…  Sending your entire list to a blog post rather than a sales page can be risky because it might lower your overall revenue at first, but…

Well executed content actually increases overall revenue long term, while also reducing unsubscribes and refunds.  Plus, thanks to pre-framing, you’ll enjoy a healthy increase in conversion rate on your sales video itself…

2: A Call To Action

Secondly, every blog post should have at LEAST 3 calls to action.  That can be:

  • Banner ads in your sidebar or displaying right in the content of your article
  • In-text links going directly to your landing pages and sales pages
  • Native ads that appear as being part of the article or aside, linking right to a product or landing page

Why 3?  I’ve found that when you include at least one link or banner towards the top of the blog post, and at least one link or banner at the bottom of the blog post, it greatly increased the clickthrough to the sales video.

Here’s the thing though…

You should only post a link AFTER you’ve given the reader sufficient time to get out of his or her own head.  Meaning, when they click that link, they should be thinking what they need to be thinking to make the purchasing decision…

3: Internal Content Links

There are certain readers who need more proof – more support – before buying and they go looking for it throughout the rest of your site.

For these people, it’s important to include links in your content to other material available on your site.  This is where having a great backlog of content comes into play.

If you’ve done a great writeup on a certain strategy or plan, and you reference it…  Hotlink it so your readers can travel deeper in your site.

This reinforces your brand and positions you as an expert…  Plus, you reader can simply back up to the first blog post, click a sales link, and buy!

4: Links To External Content

Another thing that you’ll want to do is link to outside content, where appropriate.  I know, back in the SEO days, this was a big deal to show Google that your site was authoritative.

What we want to do here though, is show actual human beings that our site is authoritative!

A great way to do that is to link through to a Youtube video, another writer’s great blog post, or some of your stuff on another site (think Twitter or Facebook)!

And don’t worry…  You won’t be sending that much traffic to someone else!

5: Images

All great content has images.  Especially with sites like Pinterest, images are easy to share so they must be included.

Whether you get the images from a piece of curated content, like what Curately does, or you buy stock photography or post Creative Commons work in your blog post – it must have images.

Plus, with so much traffic hitting your site from mobile devices anymore, images are the storytelling medium that really bonds your content together like glue!

6: Social Sharing

Being that we’re delivering value through content, we want to make sure that our readers have a way to share it with other people they’re connected with, so…

Make sure to have social sharing buttons enabled on your site.  There are plenty of plugins that do this for you, and most newer themes have functionality for sharing built right in.

Remember though, people share stuff that makes them seem smart, educated, valuable or entertaining.  If your material is dry or it’s something that will reflect poorly on the individual sharing – he simply won’t share!

7: Good Flow

Lastly, your content needs to have good flow to it.

  • Use sub-headlines to call out individual sections of your content
  • Include relevant keywords to the text so Google indexes and ranks it
  • Make sure that your links show up in a different color from the rest of the text
  • Post well through out articles that take your readers on a journey, and...
  • Overall, deliver value!

Your content will live long after it’s published.  It should stand the test of time and work as a resource ALWAYS live and always selling for you, whenever someone’s reading it!

Your Next Step…

If content marketing and blogging is important to you, but you just don’t have time to sit down, do the research, and write blog posts from scratch…

There is a better way.  Click here to watch the video.

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