Sports and fitness businesses need to capitalise on the latest marketing trends in order to remain relevant in the heavily contested current climate. One way to do that, is by making use of the powers of content marketing.
Before we can even begin discussing the importance of content and what will make it “good”, we need to take care of something very quick, and that is clear up the definition of “content marketing” once and for all. You may have heard the term before, but do you know what it means?
Paid vs. Free Marketing
Content marketing is mostly a free way to get your website seen by interested users. By publishing content on your website and optimizing it for keywords, you’re able to get your website ranked in search engines like Google. Google will display your latest blog post on “The Best Basketball Hoops for Backyard Practice” (for instance) to those searching for relevant information or products.
On the other hand, you can also do paid content marketing by, for example, boosting your Facebook post and paying to advertise your content. But, at its core, content marketing is about getting you free and organic traffic. You’ll need to realize, however, that this is not an instant, overnight solution.
Organic Results Are Slow
In reality, if you aren’t going to spend any money on advertising, you’re going to be waiting between a few weeks and a few months to start seeing traffic come in. That’s why you need a strategy and an “in it for the long haul” mindset. The fact is that Google won’t be ranking your website’s first blog post tomorrow, or even next week.
After your site has been published, you’ll need to spend the next few months creating killer content that is relevant to your niche and the things your buyers are looking for. Over time, with regular posting, Google will begin being able to “classify” your site into a category. Their advanced algorithms will begin to discover what sort of content you are sharing, and who it may be helpful to. They’ll also begin giving you a quality score based on the originality, format, length, and keyword density of your content.
Patiently waiting isn’t an option. You need to be posting content on at least a weekly basis and doing your own “mini marketing” campaigns in order to get things going. This means sharing your content yourself on social media platforms and other sites, which will help Google take note of your content and get you ranked a bit quicker, as long as you go about it the right way.
Don’t Spam For Backlinks
One of the biggest mistakes new website owners make is spamming other sites, especially comment sections, linking back to their content. Google is incredibly talented at spotting these spammy tactics, and it’s only a matter of time before your site will be penalized or even blacklisted (never able to be ranked again).
Worse yet, many business owners who don’t have the “full story” spend money paying other people to plant them 1,000 or even 10,000 backlinks because they think it will help with their SEO. Backlinks are good, but only high-quality backlinks will help your website. These cheap sources of backlinks will mostly be pumping out links to your content in spammy forms, and on irrelevant websites.
If you do want to spend some money getting high-quality backlinks to your content, find a reputable person who is able to get your backlinks published in a legitimate way on relevant, high ranking websites. This will cost you more money, but one high-quality backlink is worth more than 100,000 low-quality backlinks to Google and all other search engines. It’s just that simple.
If you don’t know what a backlink is, it’s just like what it sounds. Google sends out automated “crawlers” constantly to sift through all the content that’s being published to the web at any given second. These crawlers will follow links on websites to other websites, and that helps them determine the relevancy and popularity of content. For instance, if you somehow got Nike’s blog to link to your store, that’d be pretty incredible for your website’s SEO and Google would eat it up!
However, if Google crawls the web and finds that 5,000 low-quality, low-ranking, irrelevant blogs are linking to your site through spammy comments, that’s not going to look good for you. Hence, it’s always quality over quantity with anything to do with content and backlinks.
Finally, we can get to the actual definition of content marketing:
“[Content marketing is] a type of marketing that involves the creation and sharing of online material (such as videos, blogs, and social media posts) that does not explicitly promote a brand but is intended to stimulate interest in its products or services.”
For instance, you writing a guide about “How to score better in golf” when you sell a DVD teaching golf would be a form of content marketing. Publishing a post about “10 Reasons Why Water Is Better Than Sports Drinks” when you sell equipment relevant to the sporting niche is also a form of content marketing.
However, writing a post about “What’s in your dog’s food?” for a yoga website is not a form of content marketing. Sure, maybe some yogis own dogs, but your content needs to stay directly relevant to your products and services. Instead, you might write a post about: “How yoga with your dog can change your life!”