Whether you love or loathe Donald Trump, there’s no denying the power of his outlandish claims.
So today I’m going to take a page from Trump’s book and tell you how we’re going to build a content marketing machine … and we’re going to get our competitors to do the hard work for us.
It’s gonna be huuuuge.
Find and optimize for high-converting keywords in your competitors’ PPC ads.
Not ranking well for your keywords is frustrating. But ranking for the wrong keywords is even worse. Think about it. It takes months of hard work to rank for a term. And that’s all wasted if your traffic doesn’t convert.
Luckily, your competition is nice enough to spend their hard earned money testing which terms convert the best.
Head on over to Google Keyword Planner and plug in the keyword terms you are considering. When you find some with decent traffic, then sort by the suggested bid amount. This is a good indicator of how likely that term is to convert. After all, nobody is going to keep paying for traffic that doesn’t bring a return on the investment.
Now you have a list of top-notch keywords to target, validated by your competition. But you’re not done yet.
Next enter those terms into Google and study the PPC ads that show up. Many advertisers spend a good deal of time and effort tweaking and optimizing the text here. And you can use that to your advantage without spending a cent!
Look for words, phrases and themes that are used in multiple ads. These are perfect for punching up your meta description, finding synonyms and related terms to use in your blog post, and using in calls-to-action or landing pages.
Build on your competitors’ successes
Keywords are great and all, but that’s not all there is to a successful piece of content. The overall topic, format and approach are equally important. Enter Brian Dean’s skyscraper technique.
The idea is simple. Find content that performs well and create something better. The beauty of this method is that you already have most of the building blocks ready. All you have to do is enhance it.
There are a few ways to find popular content. The easiest is to simply enter your search term into Google and look at the top results. Google’s algorithm is smart. It can usually tell which content is truly useful from tricks designed to game the system.
Shares across social media are another indicator of popular content. BuzzSumo is a great tool for finding heavily shared content. Simply enter your term and you’ll get a list of the most shared content within your selected time frame. You can even sort by social network.
Now use the research and insights the content’s creators spent so much time and effort on to create your own improved content.
Repurpose your competition’s content.
Here’s another sneaky way to take advantage of your competition’s content creation efforts. Create something similar in a different format. That’s what Eugene Cheng and the team at HighSpark (formerly SlideComet) did.
After seeing Seth Godin’s ebook on really bad PowerPoint, they spun the idea into a presentation that’s gotten over 1.6 million views and delivers around 400 email leads a month.
You don’t want to use anything word for word. That would be plagiarism. Just ask Melania. But there’s no reason you can’t expand a popular blog post idea into an in-depth ebook or white paper. Or you could use a popular presentation as inspiration for a video. Your possibilities are endless.
And now that your competition has helped you plan and create your killer content, it’s time to promote it. Your competitors are once again happy to oblige.
Hijack your competitors’ most active followers and influencers.
When it comes to content marketing, influencers are worth their weight in gold. Get the right people to share your content, and you can instantly increase your views by triple, quadruple or more.
Of course, getting in front of these busy people can be a challenge. First you have to identify them. Then you need to come up with a good reason to reach out. Even then, who knows if they even share the type of content you produce?
Your competition has done all this, and you can once again take advantage with BuzzSumo.
Plug in your keyword and find a popular post from one of your competitors. Then, click the View Sharers button to see who shared it on social media.
You now have a list of people and companies who may be willing to share your content based on their past behavior. I recommend exporting this list to a spreadsheet for future use.
You’ll want to follow at least the influencers with the most reach so that you can start to build relationships before asking them to share your content. You can do this right from BuzzSumo.
When you are ready to reach out to them with a sharing request, you can say you thought they may be interested because they shared something similar. Giving a reason may seem like a small thing, but it can make all the difference in the world, as this classic social experiment shows.
If you want to rank well in search engines, you need plenty of backlinks. Unfortunately, you can’t just reach out to website owners asking them to link to your stuff and expect any success. That’s one reason SEO campaigns take so long.
It’s hard enough to find sites that are a good fit, let alone individual pages where it makes sense to add a link. But what if you could convince site owners to replace the links to your competitors’ sites with your own?
This is not an easy task, but it is possible. Remember the skyscraper technique? If you did a great job and created something that’s far superior to your competition, then site owners will have a reason to link out to your content instead of what they had.
Log into your favorite backlink checker to find out which sites and pages link to the content you want to replace. Then reach out to the site owner with your suggested replacement. Make sure to clearly demonstrate why yours is better and how it will benefit readers.
These strategies are perfect if you find yourself looking up at your competition.
You still have to put in time and effort to be successful, but you’ll have a significant head start and a clear roadmap to follow.
So what are you waiting for? It’s time to make your content marketing great again.