The 4 Critical Elements Of An Effective Content Marketing Strategy (for ranking on Google Maps)

Effective Content Marketing Strategy for Ranking on Google Maps

Sure, CONTENT IS KING 👑 … but only when it’s done right.

If you’re providing a product or service people need, chances are, you have competition and in today’s highly saturated local markets, business owners and marketers alike are finding it more and more difficult to rank on Google for local searches and get people to engage with their content.

The good news is that you’re not alone.

The bad news… is that you’re not alone!

The BEST NEWS 🙌 is that you can easily rank on Google Maps, make your content pop, and cut right past any competitors with an effective content marketing strategy — and I’m going to tell you the 4 simple things you can do right now to start ranking on Google and seeing 👀 the results your business needs.

1. Quality

Really, if you just made QUALITY the key ingredient in everything you do, your competition wouldn’t stand a chance against you.

The quality of your products and services is critical, of course, but most businesses don’t put that same level of quality or work into developing their Google My Business page, website content, blog content, social content, etc.

Being “that company” that does… is a serious GAME-CHANGER.

Instead of making the same mistakes as everyone else and pushing quantity over quality, be different and perhaps minimize the quantity so you can [consistently] deliver quality content which Google, future customers, and even your existing loyal / repeat customers will appreciate.

2 great posts a week is much better and also more cost-effective than say 7, 14, or even 21 posts if they don’t resonate with your audience and the isues and challenges they’re facing.

An exhaustive amount of research and experience shows us that people are much more likely to engage with content that speaks to their needs, is well-researched, and either makes their lives happier or somewhat easier.

If instead you chose to go down the path of copying what everyone else is doing and writing about, you’re just sharing the same lousy strategy with a bunch of other people who are barely getting results themselves, if at all…

Who wants to compete for an increasingly small audience set when you can set yourself apart by upping the quality of your content??

I should also talk about the “Google My Business SEO Content Myth”…

Spamming your Google My Business profile with lots of keyword-filled content doesn’t result in high Google My Business ranking.

It actually does the opposite.

If experience has taught us anything, it’s that Google’s algorithm strongly favors Google My Business SEO plan that takes the time to create quality content and as such, rewards high quality Google My Business profiles with high rankings over everyone else.

If it isn’t good quality, it basically gets lumped in with all the rest on search engine results page 2 and beyond (which no one goes because Google generally does a good job of getting people what they need on page 1 search rankings).

Fyi, if you just added one new blogpost a week — targeting just one of your important keywords — with a low bounce rate (meaning people didn’t immediately “jump” off the page) and long visitor sessions (meaning they spent significant amount of time on the page and actually read it) your entire site would quickly start ranking like crazy and Google will want to send highly-qualified leads to your site which means you’ll be put in front of real live people who are looking to buy whatever it is you’re offering!

2. Visuals

I’m sure you’ve heard it. A picture is worth a thousand words.

While that isn’t always the case, a picture will definitely help attract more eyes and attention than content missing one.

Visuals are very important if you want to get noticed (and they’re also really good for Google My Business SEO 📈).

Did you know our brain processes visual information like photos, infographics, and video 60,000 times faster than it does text?!

If you want to attract customer attention and keep that attention despite all the noise trying to steal the attention from you, add visuals.

It’ll allow you to quickly grab your audience’s attention and in the few seconds you have to “impress” them, help them to quickly understand what your content is about (or at least hook them towards wanting to learn more about the content and clicking onto your site where you can limit the distraction).

That said not all videos, photos, and infographics are created equal.

Poor quality visuals are literally a strain to look at and tell the world your content and possibly your brand are bad quality… so always always always use high quality video, photos, or images.

Sidenote: Try using people in your images wherever it makes sense and if you can capture their eyes, even better!

Bonus: Use a photo where the person is looking right at the reader because those will generally pop right off the page and grab a person’s attention better than a photo of someone looking down or in another direction.

3. Social Media Integration

Most people don’t realize the huge role social media plays in supporting local rankings and just knowing this, gives you a considerable advantage over everyone else competing for your same audience.

Not only is social media a great way to market your content, but it’s also a great way of letting new prospects discover the things you’re doing at your company.

Most importantly, it’s an effective way to get people onto your site and learning (or in many cases getting reminded) about what you do and how you can help improve their lives with the products and services you provide.

Sidenote: If you’re looking to link up with industry influencers to create a partnership where they share their audience and lend credibility, social media is where it all begins so quality posts that clearly communicate what you do is key to attracting influencers.

Again, if you want to rank high (positions 1, 2, and 3), having good social media content that people can click onto, link to, and share with others is a huge help for your SEO (search engine optimization) and helps you get noticed by Google AND real people (plus it builds massive credibility with both as well).

4. Research

It won’t matter that you created the most amazing content ever if there isnt actual demand 💖 for it.

You have to understand and know what your audience is after.

What are they scared of? 😱

What keeps them up at night? 🌙

What is the one thing that you can help them with that will make their lives better / easier / happier? 😊

These are all things that when you understand, creating powerful Google My Business pages, ranking #1 on Google for all your keywords, and getting incredible engagement that lead to sales becomes incredibly easy.

The 1st thing you want to know is what are the search words / keywords people in your market are using to find the products and services you provide.

Next find out which of those keywords are most likely to generate sales (pro tip: searches that start with “best” or “how to” have higher chances of turning into sales) but are not as competitive or so difficult to rank for — a tool like KWFinder can help you find keywords with low difficulty and competition.

Pro tip: Once you have an idea of what keywords you want to target, use a tool like SEMRush to see who’s ranking locally for your keywords and whether there’s been recent movement on page 1 of the search results (which are both important in estimating how easy / difficult it’ll be for you to rank).

…this all means delving deep into data and trends to gain credible insights like traffic demographics, surveys, customer feedback, third party analytics, Google My Business Insights, those of your social accounts, SEO tools like the ones I linked to above, etc.

5. Consistency

I had to add this one because persistent consistency wins every time (and the above 4 works BEST when you do them consistently).

Need guidance or help tackling any of the above (or other important marketing tasks that are getting neglected)??

The best way to actually SEE what I can do for you is by getting a free evaluation where I tell you what’s working, what isn’t, and what I would recommend to a friend or family-member (no salesy fluff or B.S.)… and then you decide how you want to move forward.

Learn more here.
 

      

Why your school should do content marketing

The concept of content marketing for schools has been around for years and according to research studies, the strategy has gained immense popularity.

Interestingly, when I talk to school marketers and owners all over the country about content marketing for their schools, I find that either they’re just getting started or worse yet, they’re not even doing any sort of content marketing. Not on their websites. Not on their blogs.

Many have even shared their frustrations about trying to explain the concept and huge benefits of content marketing, usually citing that as one of the main reasons they’re haven’t yet started content marketing for their school (or why their school is doing so little in terms of content marketing).
All that said, if the above sounds remotely like your situation, this post is for you. Whether you’re new to the strategy, an old pro, or just need help explaining how content marketing can boost your school’s reputation and increase enrollments, you’re sure to get a lot from this article so keep reading.

Content marketing for schools (explained so a 5-year-old could understand)

In my field, I meet lots of intelligent people… and intelligent people have a way of talking about things that make then even more complex than they are. For that reason I’ve gotten into the habit of telling people to communicate with me as though I were 5 years old and you’d be surprised how great people are at communicating, even difficult things, when they strip away all those posture words that do little more than make us appear smart.

Anyway, I’ll attempt here to explain content marketing in the same fashion by using a case study (actually a conversation that happened with someone who didn’t think content marketing was a good idea for their special needs school).

I know someone who has a child with special needs. When the child was younger, it was especially difficult for this person and their spouse. Many times, each felt neither their marriage nor their family could handle the weight of having a child with special needs. Over time things didn’t necessarily get better but they learned how to better deal with situations and even each other. Years later, their lives are a complete 180 from what they were just a short time ago. They credit much of this change to a website they found one day at a point when they’ve absolutely had it with what life had given them and were about to call quits… on everything.

They did a Google search on a particular issue they were dealing with. They had a BIG and meaningful issue challenging them and they needed help so they searched for it. Literally. On Google.

What they found was a blog post from a special needs school way across the country. They read one post. Then another. Then another. Soon they were sharing posts and learning things about themselves and their situation.

Over time they learned to see and do things differently, that it was okay to ask for help, and even talk about their challenges. They got all this from a school blog that was freely sharing lifestyle tips for parents of special needs children (i.e., their target audience).

I don’t know if this school fully understood the great service they were providing, or how many lives they were affecting. But they were… and in a big way for many people. Maybe they didn’t even know they were engaging in content marketing. They were probably just sharing helpful information for the people they served about the things they experienced.

That’s the thing I love most about content marketing. It’s about sharing and helping people overcome challenges because you know their situation, you’ve been there, and you know how to get over the hurdles and past the walls. Or maybe you’re just letting them know they’re not in it alone. Ultimately, it’s about getting a message out to the right people that you can help them get from a challenging situation to their desired situation by helping and motivating anyone who needs it freely.

Here’s my very simple Content Marketing for Schools Checklist:

  1. Needs to be made specially for your audience.
  2. Needs to be helpful, useful, and valuable.
  3. Needs to be made available to anyone who needs it (think public service).

With your content marketing done right, you build a strong reputation and create authority that not only helps and motivates people in need but also makes families line up to enroll in your school.

Content marketing for schools (explained so your team doesn’t mess it up)

By now you know content marketing isn’t about blatantly promoting your school. It’s not about your school’s brand, or it’s products, or it’s services.

It’s 1000% about the audience and what they care about because when you do this right, you become unlike all the other schools that prior to this, could’ve been viewed as similar schools or competitive schools.

By being an authoritative and credible resource on things that matter to your audience, your school gets discovered by the right people. Further, you build a foundation of trust and gain loyalty which leads to relationships and ultimately more enrollments for your school.

Content marketing isn’t for everyone

While I like to believe this isn’t the case, it actually is.

Not every school is a great school. Sadly, some schools see opportunity and financial gain and that becomes more important than helping, or educating others. Schools like this would be poor candidates for content marketing and I would never work with a school like this unless they were very serious about turning things around at which case they’d have to work very, very hard at convincing me they’re not trying to use me to dupe people into enrolling at their school.

Also, not every school understands their audience or even what it is they have of value that attracts the students they already have and fuels re-enrollments. Frankly, I’m surprised how many school marketers and owners admit that they’re in the dark about this.

For these schools, content marketing will only magnify how out of touch they are so my best advice (and what I advise people I meet in this situation) is to reevaluate what your school is doing and see where, as an organization, you’re providing value to your community. Talk to your students. Talk to teachers. Find out what keeps them up at night, why they’d consider re-enrolling at your school, and what they wish your school did more of. It’s eye-opening and can turn your school into everything it should be.

As you know, I help schools find qualified families for enrollment and all my clients benefit massively by my helping them cut through the clutter and get to what really matters to create a clear and concise messages that communicate, “We feel your pain. We know your challenges. We can help.”