7 Blogging Tips to Generate Traffic and Leads for Your Business

If you operate a business website of any kind, it’s important to access a reliable and consistent source of online traffic. While producing quality products and services is the true foundation of every business, you need energy coming into your business to generate leads and promote sales.

If you’re looking for a repeated source of highly targeted traffic, one method stands above the rest — building a business blog. The following statistics show why blogging for business is such a powerful tool:

Why it’s important for every business to have a blog

Human readers and search engine bots often value the same thing. They want valuable, relevant, and fresh content. Blogs deal with all of these elements.

Whatever industry you’re involved with, blogging for business offers the following benefits: traffic generation, building authority, and converting traffic into leads.

Generate traffic

Creating a blog is an effective way to generate online traffic. When you write valuable posts and publish them on a regular basis, you have a great opportunity to cover lots of keywords. If you produce blog content based on the subjects your customers are searching for, you will get noticed by people and search engines alike. This helps to improve click-through rates, opening up leads and giving you access to more sales opportunities.

Build authority

Building a business blog can help make you an authority in your field. Instead of simply listing your products and services, you can inform potential customers about the issues surrounding your business. You can offer knowledge, mention industry trends, and elevate your business in the eyes of the market. Posts that educate customers about particular subjects are often more effective than outright promotions.

Turn traffic into leads

Blog posts are an effective way to transform interest into action. You can speak directly with your audience, building rapport and trust.

Converting traffic from articles into leads can be an effective process using pop-ups and embedded forms. Pop-ups serve as an excellent attention-grabbing tool, encouraging visitors to fill out a form for additional information, resources, or subscriptions. Embedded forms within article text also streamline the data collection process, providing visitors with the opportunity to quickly subscribe or leave their contact details without navigating away from the page

1. Always start with keyword research

When it comes to blogging for business, the importance of keyword research cannot be overstated. When you identify the search queries used by your customers, you can target these terms directly with your blog posts. Instead of producing content randomly or based on personal interest, you should identify keywords first.

There are lots of keywords associated with each business, so you need to be smart about what you target. For example, while some keywords generate lots of traffic, ranking highly for them on Google can be almost impossible. Depending on the nature of your business, it’s often best to target industry-specific keywords, local keywords, and novel keyword combinations.

Keywords connect businesses with potential customers to drive traffic

While the technical details of SEO cannot be ignored, keywords create a link between market interest, blog content, and product offerings. When you know what your audience is searching for, you can define your content strategy and choose your blog topics accordingly.

Choosing the right keywords is critical

Finding the right keywords is not always easy, but it’s definitely worth it. SEO tools can be used to measure and track search queries over time, including Ahrefs, SEMrush, Moz, and many others. You can find out what people are searching for and filter results based on your industry and location.

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Keyword difficulty, volume, and CPC explained

Not all keywords have the same value. When tracking down keywords to create blog posts, it’s important to look into keyword difficulty, search volume, and CPC data.

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Keyword Difficulty measures how challenging it is to rank highly for a specific keyword in search results. KD is assessed on a scale of 0 to 100. The higher the KD value, the more difficult it is to achieve a high ranking in search results for that particular keyword. The difficulty score is calculated based on various factors, such as the number of backlinks, website authority, page word count, and other parameters.

Volume refers to the volume of search queries. This parameter indicates how many times a specific keyword has been entered into a search engine over a specific period, typically on a monthly basis. The higher the volume, the more popular the keyword phrase.

CPC (Cost Per Click) is a metric that indicates the estimated cost of a single click on an advertisement associated with a specific keyword, within the context of advertising campaigns on search engines. It is crucial to consider this metric if you plan to engage in paid advertising. When analyzing keywords for advertising purposes, it is not necessarily essential to factor in their KD — in this case, it is more important to rely on volume and your own advertising budgets.

2. Choose keywords to drive organic traffic — low difficulty and high volume

High-traffic keywords are not always suitable for an SEO campaign, and that’s because of a very high Keyword Difficulty (KD). Not every high-volume query has a high KD, but more often than not, that’s the case. If you are not ready to invest in an exhausting struggle for the top 10 positions on a popular keyword against websites that are already authoritative and currently dominate the rankings, it is wiser to choose queries with lower search volume and a lower KD.

Not only are these terms easier to rank for, but they’re also a better way to attract targeted leads.

We will provide an example with the key phrase “digital marketing agency.” If we look up this keyword, we will see the following data:

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It has a very large volume but also a very high KD. There is significant competition, and it will require a substantial amount of time and money to break into the top 10.

However, we can add a small clarification, such as “for small business,” and the situation will change:

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As you can see, the volume for the key phrase is lower, but the KD is also not the highest — there are much better chances to appear in the top 10.

Why these keywords are important

Regardless of your location or industry sector, there is a relationship between keyword difficulty and traffic volume. While some terms generate more traffic, the likelihood of ranking well for these words is highly unlikely. In contrast, other terms may be relatively easy to rank for, but they generate an insignificant amount of traffic. When doing SEO, getting this balance right is a big part of the battle. The best keywords are the ones with low keyword difficulty and high volume in organic search results.

How to find organic keywords

There are lots of effective ways to track down these excellent keywords, but some expertise is required. When researching keywords, it’s important to analyze the terms your competition and customers use. As mentioned above, it’s important to analyze keyword difficulty and search volume to find the right words for your business.

SEMrush and Ahrefs are powerful tools for business blog management. Both tools provide a direct assessment of keyword difficulty and search volume. Additionally, Ahrefs assists in estimating the approximate number of backlinks needed for your page to appear in the top 10.

Once you have the difficulty score and volume data for each keyword, you can Google it to make sure it’s relevant to your business. Then, you can create a blog piece that’s capable of competing with others in the top three search results. Along with content relevance, quality, and length, it’s important to consider backlinks before publishing the article.

3. Choose keywords for Google Ads — high difficulty, high volume, and low CPC

If the keyword you wish to target is too difficult to rank for organically, you can try using Google Ads. Instead of relying on organic traffic, Google Ads and other platforms allow you to pay for specific keywords. When doing this, you are seeking terms with any keyword difficulty and high volume but low CPC. While these terms can be hard to come by, there are lots of great opportunities out there.

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Why these keywords are important

If you choose to pay for commercial ads, you need to leverage keywords to your benefit. According to Google themselves, the best way to build a keyword list is to:

  • Think like one of your customers.
  • Target customers for specific products.
  • Use general keywords related to your business.
  • Group related keywords for different ads.
  • Use symbols in keywords to split terms.

When you have a list, it’s important to measure keyword difficulty against cost. You can target difficult words with high volumes using Google Ads, but this approach normally comes at a price. Instead, tools like Ahrefs and SEMrush can be used to identify and track relevant search terms with low CPC.

How to find keywords for ads

When you’re blogging for business, it’s important to reduce your expenses with high-value, low-competition keywords. There are lots of ways to find these terms, with different methods available during the research and bidding stages.

Use tools such as Google Keyword Planner, SEMrush, and Ahrefs to search for keywords. When searching for queries for advertising, focus on volume and CPC.

Expand your advertising campaign with long-tail keywords. These words often have lower competition but can also generate valuable traffic that converts into leads.

Identify and include negative keywords to filter out unwanted traffic.
If necessary, add location-based keywords to target local audiences.
Work with Google Ads and explore what the platform can offer you. Often, it can suggest really good keyword options based on your campaign settings.

Check these keywords in Ahrefs or SEMrush by measuring their volume and CPC. Review the intent of surrounding content to ensure its relevance, and create an expert article on the topic with a catchy title. Once you’ve captured the attention of your target audience with the article itself, you can launch a Google Ads campaign to drive traffic and create pop-ups to turn visitors into leads.

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4. Write with the customer journey in mind

Google’s algorithms may be shrouded in mystery, but its intentions are crystal clear. More than anything else, Google wants to promote a positive customer experience. When you’re building a blog or creating content of any kind, it’s vital to keep this in mind. Instead of trying to trick the search engines or guessing how they work, focusing on the customer journey is a clear pathway to success. Try to identify each stage of this journey, crafting unique content to capture attention, funnel interest, and promote action among your readers.

Explore and address key pain points

If you want the attention of the market, you need to reach out to them on their own terms. While the details of this process vary widely based on the nature of your business, the underlying mechanism is the same. You want to find, address, and target specific pain points to motivate action and drive sales.

A pain point is nothing more or less than a problem that your audience faces. To identify these points, you can talk to existing clients and look at Google reviews and forums to get a read on your target audience. When blogging for business, you need to identify these issues and present your products and services as a solution.

Analyze your competitors

When you’re mapping the customer journey, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Even niche industries have competition, and there’s a lot you can learn by researching their approach. Find out who your biggest competitors are, learn how they structure their content, and use this information to brief writers and designers. Understanding how your competitors work is an effective blog strategy for any business.

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  • Disavow link analysis – Identify harmful toxic links affecting your website and remove them.
  • Organic traffic analysis – Discover the reasons your web pages aren’t on the first page and strategies to achieve that position.
  • Guest post evaluation – Uncover the essential backlinks required to maintain a lead over your primary rivals.

5. Implement on-page SEO to build organic traffic

Many blogging tips for businesses focus on organic traffic through on-page SEO. Keyword research is the starting point, but there are lots of creative ways to find, engage, and motivate your market. From how you structure your blog to breadcrumbs, pagination, and metadata, the following SEO elements are among the most powerful.

Structure your content

Creating a strong headline (H1) for each blog post is not enough. You also need to include subheadings, which are organized by hierarchy from H2 down to H6. Long blog posts are likely to feature H1 to H4, and shorter posts may only include H1 and H2. Along with these simple formatting elements, you can also structure blog posts by focusing on design, images, media, bullet point lists, and paragraph structure.

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Use breadcrumbs and pagination

When it comes to crafting a blog, navigation is the key to usability. Breadcrumbs offer a visual map of your website’s structure, helping your readers to move between blog posts and product pages with ease.

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Pagination is another navigation concept, describing a sequence of connected pages with similar content. Both of these tools promote on-page SEO and a better user experience.

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Create catchy and unique meta titles and descriptions

Back-end optimization is central to many blogging tips. Meta tags are simple code snippets that inform search engines about the content of your blog.

Title tags name your page, and meta description tags describe your page to search engines. Meta titles work best around 50-60 characters in length, and meta descriptions up to 165 characters.

Meta title tags can be displayed as part of search engine snippets, so it’s important to keep them relevant and write them well. According to Google, meta descriptions can also be used in snippets if Google thinks “they give users a more accurate description than can be taken directly from the page content.

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6. Focus on backlinks for effective off-page SEO

SEO is often split into on-page SEO and off-page SEO. The former is focused on the internal structure and content of your blog, and the latter is about how you connect to other websites. Google identifies and rates linking structures through its Search Quality Rater Guidelines, which are often described with the EAT acronym — expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness.

Backlinks from established sites help to promote trust, and blogs have an important role to play. Key blog posts add fresh quality content, attracting backlinks and boosting SEO. HARO can be a great way to receive quality backlinks, with this service connecting journalists with expert sources for the benefit of both. This can be a very effective addition to a blog strategy for business.

Craft posts for high-authority websites

If you want to receive backlinks from quality sources, you need to produce quality content. One of the best ways to promote a business blog is to write posts for other authority pages. You can also reach out to industry websites asking for links and use specialist services that offer backlinks. Editorial links that haven’t been asked for or paid for are best, but they can be very difficult for a small business to get.

Always avoid low-quality backlinks

When it comes to backlinks, quality is more important than quantity. To determine your EAT value, Google measures the quality of incoming links based on their relevance and origin. While it may seem enticing, getting lots of low-quality backlinks does more harm than good. Even if you receive short-term benefits, your blog is likely to face long-term penalties. As your business blog is linked to your company website, poor-quality links can have an adverse effect on your entire operation.

To ensure quality backlinks, you need to focus on relevance. The highest quality backlinks use relevant keywords within the anchor text, and they come from related businesses or organizations. One effective strategy is to produce a valuable resource or become a trusted source of information. For example, writing a small web app that other businesses link to because it helps their customers, or delivering insights into industry trends before the competition.

To identify that a website has low quality and is definitely not suitable for publication, you can use special plugins and services that automatically detect the trust levels of search engines towards sites. You can utilize Ahrefs to determine the Domain Rating (DR) of websites. DR is a metric that allows you to assess the authority of a domain in the eyes of search engines. The higher the score, the better. We recommend obtaining links from sites with a DR of at least 40.

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Also, analyze the site independently. Check the correctness of the layout and loading speed, and look for the presence of advertisements (too much is not good). Try using search to find articles on the site with prohibited topics (e.g., casinos). If the site has good metrics, no dubious publications, and its content is relevant to the theme of your resource, consider the possibility of placing a publication with a link on it.

Posting links on forums and social media can also be effective, but they need to be relevant to your products, industry, or location.

To remove low-quality backlinks, you should periodically collect your backlink data with SEMrush or Ahrefs, disavow or ask Google not to use certain links, and track your links over time to make sure they’re clean.

Working with an SEO partner is a great way to ensure quality links, as they can leverage existing relationships with third-party websites.

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7. Implement lead generation tools

As mentioned above, SEO involves three separate stages. Once you have captured the attention of your audience via keywords and engaged their interest with content, you need to transform this interest into action. There are lots of great lead generation tools out there, with various techniques used to engage your readers and push them into your sales pipeline.

Use smart pop-ups and embedded CTAs

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Lead generation tools are designed to capture contact information and deliver it to your marketing and sales teams. Smart pop-ups are a great option, popping up over your main browser window to capture attention at defined moments. Pop-ups with CTAs can be displayed to potential customers based on programmed triggers, such as specific exit points, time on site, and defined scrolling behavior. They can be used to capture emails, offer codes and discounts, or promote new products and services.

Integrate chat widgets for defined readers

Along with pop-ups, chat widgets can be a great way to capture leads. You can personalize these widgets for your specific site and audience. For example, if people have scrolled 50% of a blog article, they are invested in your message and more likely to offer their contact details. Instead of annoying your entire audience by adding widgets indiscriminately, you can appeal directly to a targeted market segment. When doing on-page SEO, small details like this make all the difference.

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Blogging tips for businesses — putting it all together

Creating a blog is one of the smartest ways to generate traffic and get leads for your business. It gives you a unique opportunity to create consistent, high-quality content related to your industry. Not only does this enhance the user experience, but it also gives Google and other search engines a clear and obvious reason to index and rank your website.

With the following blogging tips for businesses, your blog can become a powerful SEO tool:

  • Conduct keyword research.
  • Drive organic traffic — low difficulty, high volume.
  • Implement Google Ads — high difficulty and volume, low CPC.
  • Focus on the customer journey.
  • Use smart on-page SEO tactics.
  • Get backlinks for off-page SEO.
  • Use lead generation tools.

When you implement these blogging tips, you can get ahead of the competition. As the internet gets increasingly saturated with content, creating a business blog makes more sense than ever before.

As the use of AI content grows, there are more and more questions about the ownership and rights of this type of content. The Get A Copywriter team conducted an extensive investigation into this matter to answer the most common questions and find out if there’s a safe way to use AI writing tools.

But what exactly is AI content? Get an overview of what this type of writing is and how it works.

AI generated content: trend or delusion?

Why ownership of content is important

Under general copyright law, creative content (whether that’s written content, images, video, or other types of content) is considered to be the intellectual property of the person who created it.

However, when a business hires an agency or freelancer to create content, both parties will usually sign an agreement giving the business the rights to the content they purchased. Similarly, if an in-house writer creates content for a company, the business owns all of the rights to that content, not the writer.

Being clear about content ownership when you’re running a business is vital. If you don’t own the rights to your content, then you can’t use it legally. If you publish content you don’t own the rights to, the copyright owner could take legal action against you.

Content ownership definition

A content owner is a person or company who has the exclusive right to use, reproduce, modify, and distribute creative content. This also includes any derivatives of that content.

Content ownership is different from copyright. Copyright is a legal protection given to creators of original works, which grants them certain rights. On the other hand, content ownership is an agreement between two parties (typically the creator and the buyer) that establishes who has the right to use a certain piece of content.

Understanding content ownership

Content ownership has become a hot topic in recent years due to the rise in popularity of social media and content-sharing platforms like Medium.

The rules around content ownership are complicated by these platforms. If you created the content, you own the copyright: that much is certain. But if you post your content on platforms like Medium, does the platform own it? Can other people repost or use your content without permission?

And if you use a tool or software to help you create that content, the situation becomes even more complicated. Who owns the content you’ve created with AI — you or the software provider?

Ownership rights of digital content

When it comes to digital content ownership, there are a few factors that need to be taken into consideration:

  • Who created the content — Are you the original creator? If not, did you purchase the rights to use it?
  • Who is hosting the content — If you’re using a content-sharing platform or social media platform, then they may own certain elements of the content that you post.
  • Are you using software or tools to create your content? — If so, who owns the copyright on any content generated with these tools?

Ownership rights of website content

If you host content on a website, then you typically own all of the rights to that content. This includes any text, images, videos, and other elements.

However, if you use third-party services (such as web hosting companies or content management systems) to host your website, then they may have some ownership over certain parts of your website’s content.

It’s important to check the terms and conditions of any third-party services you use to fully understand the ownership rights of any content you host on your website.

Ownership rights of social media content

When it comes to social media content, ownership rights can be more complicated.

Each social media platform has terms and conditions you agree to when you create an account, and these usually state that the platform has some ownership rights to the content you post.

This means that while you do own the copyright to your content, the platform may have certain rights over it as well. Social media platform like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram do not claim ownership of your content. But, by using them, you grant them a license to use, copy, and distribute that content. In some cases, they can even sell the license to third parties.

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AI data ownership: issues and concerns

AI-generated content is a relatively new topic, and the rules surrounding ownership are still being worked out.

EU and US copyright laws currently do not allow for copyrighting content created by AI. This is because a content creator has to be human or a “legal personality” (a person with legal rights on behalf of a company). As AI content is created by an algorithm, it doesn’t fit either of these criteria. Australian copyright law will also only grant copyright to literary or artistic works “made by a human author.”

However, this rule only applies if the content is created solely by AI. Once this content is changed with human editing, it can be copyrightable — and the human editor (or the company they work for) would become the owner of the content.

There are also ethical concerns around ownership of data generated by AI tools. AI algorithms often use data from a variety of sources that may be owned or copyrighted by others. As such, it may be classed as a derivative work. But, without knowing the source, it would be impossible to credit the original owners.

AI content writing risks

There are still a lot of murky waters when it comes to AI content writing and copyright. As a content creator or publisher, it’s important to be aware of the risks involved with using AI-generated content in your own work.

  1. Firstly, there’s always the risk that someone else could claim ownership rights over the content you create with AI. This means that if you unintentionally plagiarize someone else’s work, you may be liable for copyright infringement.
  2. As you’re using third-party AI services, you may be subject to their terms and conditions. This means that they could own the rights to any content you create with their AI tools.
  3. Most AI tools available today are known for their tendency to “hallucinate” or state incorrect information as facts. This means there is a high risk of publishing inaccurate content if you leave AI-generated content unchecked.
  4. Finally, in order to claim copyright on your AI content, you must be able to prove that it was created with “substantial human input.” If you don’t have evidence to support this, you may not be able to protect your content from being copied and used by others.
Does Google penalize AI content?

Determining ownership of AI-generated content

So who does own AI content? Ultimately, it’s down to the terms and conditions of the platform you’re using.

Ask ChatGPT who owns the content it generates and it will tell you something like: “As an AI language model, I do not have any ownership over the content that I generate.” That doesn’t really explain much, but the OpenAI terms of use state that they will not claim copyright over any content created with their API.

Jasper’s terms and conditions are less clear, although the CEO has confirmed that they also give up all rights to AI content generated by their platform.

It’s important to note that there’s nothing stopping any AI platform from changing its terms and conditions at any time. So make sure you read the fine print before you sign up, and stay aware of any changes that might affect your ownership rights.

And with all that being said, there’s always a possibility that the content you create with AI is not unique. If AI creates the same piece of content for two users, who will own the copyright? There have also been cases of AI tools copying content word for word from other sources, so there’s no guarantee that you can claim ownership without substantial editing.

Is your content really yours?

In conclusion, AI-generated content is still a relatively new and uncharted area when it comes to ownership, intellectual property rights, and copyright law.

There’s no denying the advantages that AI offers. For some simple copywriting tasks like writing short descriptions, AI can do a good enough job if used in combination with a human editor. This is an easy way to solve the problems related to ownership, copy accuracy, and uniqueness while still benefiting from the speed and convenience of AI.

While the legal complexities are still being ironed out, there’s only one way to make sure that your content is really yours: either write it yourself or hire a human copywriter to create it or edit it for you and give you full rights to the content.

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Do you want to take advantage of the benefits of AI-generated content? Not all tools are created equal. Find out how to choose the best AI content generation tools for your needs and how best to use them.

But what exactly is AI content and what advantages does it offer? Understand the technology behind AI-generated content and how you can make it work for you.

AI generated content: trend or delusion?

Are AI copywriting tools worth using?

If you work in any aspect of digital marketing or online publishing, you can’t have missed the hype surrounding ChatGPT, Jasper, and other AI copywriting tools.

These AI writing assistants promise to save time, money, and effort by generating content ideas and even complete pieces of copy. But are they really worth using? Or do the risks outweigh the advantages?

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The quick answer is that it depends on how you use these tools and what you’re trying to achieve. If you’re hoping that AI will take over the entire process of content generation so you can fire your writing team, you’re going to be disappointed. AI is not a replacement for human copywriters.

However, artificial intelligence does work well as an assistant to a human writer. It can be a fantastic tool for helping the creative process and suggesting direction for content ideas and structure.

You can also use AI to speed up content production by creating content outlines, generating headline ideas, and writing meta descriptions and short pieces of copy.

In this article, we’ll look at some of the most popular AI copywriting and content creation tools available today.

The best AI copywriting tools

There are new AI copywriting tools appearing every day. Some of them can be very useful, while you may want to avoid others. Here are a few of the top-rated AI content writing tools you might want to consider:

Jasper

Jasper (formerly known as Jarvis) made headlines when it became one of the first AI tools to hit “unicorn” status, meaning it was valued at over $1 billion.

While Jasper now includes a chatbot similar to ChatGPT, its main interface is a freeform text editor that takes commands written in plain English and writes paragraphs of copy based on the instructions it’s given.

Jasper also comes with several content templates to assist in producing different types of copy, such as product descriptions, social media posts, and blog articles.

Jasper features

  • Templates based on popular copywriting frameworks such as AIDA
  • A one-shot blog post template that will generate an entire blog post with an introduction, body, and conclusion
  • Option to specify the tone of voice, such as “friendly” or “informative,” or even a specific person such as “Joe Rogan”
  • “Boss mode” feature that allows for long-form content creation in an editor similar to Google Docs
  • Chrome extension that enables you to use Jasper anywhere you write on the web
  • Built-in integration with Surfer SEO
  • Supports over 29 languages (although the official word is it’s trained more “thoroughly” in English)

Pricing

Jasper pricing is based on the number of words you generate each month, with plans starting from $49 a month for 50,000 words.

Pros and cons of Jasper for AI copywriting

Pros

  • Generally good quality writing output
  • Wide selection of templates and use cases
  • Integration with Surfer SEO helps to speed up and optimize content production
  • Lots of video tutorials and user-generated tips and tricks to help you get the most out of the tool

Cons

  • Price is based on word count and more expensive than its competitors
  • Copy can be generic and doesn’t go into detail
  • Content repetition is common
  • Facts are often incorrect
  • Plagiarism detector costs additional credits to use
Writesonic

Writesonic is an easy-to-use AI copywriting tool designed to make content creation faster and more efficient. Aimed at marketers, small business owners, and website publishers, it gives users the ability to generate entire pieces of content at the click of a button.

The template-based interface allows users to quickly produce content such as landing pages, CTAs, Amazon product descriptions, and blog posts. It also includes specific templates to generate content for social media platforms including Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and TikTok.

Writesonic features

  • Large library of templates designed to help you create content for specific business and marketing purposes such as a social media content plan or company mission
  • Paraphrasing tool for rewriting content
  • Quickly generate ideas for blog content and articles
  • Surfer SEO integration
  • Trained on copy from some of the world’s top brands (unfortunately, the company doesn’t specify which brands!)

Pricing

Somewhat uniquely, Writesonic allows you to adjust the quality of the content produced from “economy” to “premium” and pricing changes accordingly. Content generated at economy level is generally simpler and similar to what you might expect from a non-native writer, while premium content is more creative and uses a wider vocabulary. Plans start from $12.67 a month for 19,000 words at the premium level and 190,000 words at the economy level.

Pros and cons of Writesonic for AI copywriting

Pros

  • Easy to use without needing to follow extensive training
  • Templates designed specifically for producing marketing and business copy
  • Surfer SEO integration is a bonus if you already use this tool

Cons

  • Cheaper content levels are low-quality
  • There are word limits on the plans, so if you’re generating a lot of content, you’ll end up paying more than if you chose a tool with unlimited plans; the cheapest plan level at premium quality includes only 75,000 words, and you pay even for content you don’t use
  • No plagiarism detector or checking for duplicated content
Copy.ai

Copy.ai markets itself as a tool to overcome writer’s block, with promises to help writers write blog posts 10x faster and assist business owners in crafting more compelling copy.

The tool is designed mainly for writing blog posts, emails, and social media posts, and it’s very easy to get started with a step-by-step wizard that asks for details about your brand and products before spitting out a selection of auto-generated content.

Copy.ai is very clear that the copy you generate with the tool is not intended to be published as is, and you should rather use it as a starting point to edit, refine, and expand upon.

Copy.ai features

  • Specific templates for different types of content, such as listicles, how-to blogs, and email nurture sequences
  • AI workflow automation to speed up content production
  • Creates copy designed to be optimized for high conversions
  • Social media caption and description generator for all the major platforms

Pricing

Copy.ai offers a free plan that allows you to generate up to 2,000 words a month. Paid plans start at $36 a month. The major benefit of Copy.ai over its competitors is that the pro plans offer unlimited words, so you can generate as much content as you wish without having to pay extra for it.

Pros and cons of Copy.ai for AI copywriting

Pros

  • Unlimited content generation for a reasonable price
  • Templates help to produce specific types of content rather than just paragraphs
  • Simple and easy-to-use interface

Cons

  • Facts are often incorrect and must be checked before you can use the content
  • Quality of generated content is variable
  • Long-form content generator needs improvement

The best AI tools to rewrite content

There are many reasons why you might want to rewrite content, from simply wanting to redraft a piece of copy in a more engaging way to replicating an entire blog post while ensuring it’s not at risk of duplicate content penalties.

Most AI tools offer some sort of paraphrasing feature to help you quickly redraft content and make it undetectable by tools like Copyscape. However, publishing someone else’s content that you’ve rewritten is ethically problematic, even if it can’t currently be detected by an automated tool. If you choose to use this kind of content on your website, it’s possible the copyright owner of the original content could take legal action. Google also takes a dim view of this practice, so you may be at risk of search engine penalties if they’re able to detect it at some point in the future.

The main benefits of using one of these tools are that the AI can understand sentence structure, so the result should be readable (unlike the article spinners of the early days of SEO), and it’s much faster than manually copyediting a piece of content. But because of the issues previously mentioned, it’s best to stick to rewording your own content.

Wordtune

While Wordtune can also create content from scratch, its main focus is to help you quickly rewrite pieces of existing copy as unique content with varying options to lengthen or shorten the copy or give it a new tone of voice.

Wordtune also comes with a Chrome extension for summarizing long-form text, which will take the main points from a blog post, academic paper, or report and produce a short summary. This can be a very useful tool for speeding up research and helping you to understand complex topics.

Features

  • Add “spices” to your text by adding a joke, fact, or analogy to make it more engaging
  • Includes Chrome extension to find synonyms for words you write in emails, social media, and other places on the web
  • Rewrite function makes content original to avoid plagiarism
  • Summarize long text and YouTube videos

Pricing

Wordtune offers a free plan, which allows you to rewrite 10 short pieces of copy a day. Premium plans start from $9.99 a month with unlimited rewrites of whole paragraphs and all the features.

Pros and cons of Wordtune for rewriting content

Pros

  • Change the tone of text or add extra touches at the click of a button
  • Content summarizer speeds up online research time
  • Chrome extensions mean you can use the tool wherever you write on the web
  • Useful for checking the grammar and spelling of your content

Cons

  • It’s only possible to rewrite short pieces of content at a time
  • Chrome extension can be buggy
  • Works only with English content
QuillBot

QuillBot is an AI-powered paraphrasing tool that helps you quickly rewrite content to improve grammar and fluency, change the tone of the text, or add more creative ideas.

The tool also includes a plagiarism checker, which will identify any duplicate content and suggest ways to rewrite it or instantly add an accurate citation.

Features

  • Translate between over 100 languages
  • Summarize text into key sentences
  • Generate citations from web pages, journal articles, or books
  • Expand, shorten, or improve text in several ways
  • Check for grammar errors and plagiarism all in one tool

Pricing

There’s a free version of QuillBot with limited functionality. The premium version includes the plagiarism checker and can paraphrase unlimited text and summarize up to 600 words. Plans start from $8.33 a month.

Pros and cons of QuillBot for rewriting content

Pros

  • Summarizer tool is helpful for getting the gist of long-form content
  • Works in multiple languages and can be used as a translation tool
  • Spelling and grammar checker built-in
  • Can automatically include citations from the web and books

Cons

  • No AI content generation features included
  • Character limitations in the paraphrasing tool
  • Plagiarism detection tool costs extra
WordAi

WordAi is a content rewriter that uses AI to restructure sentences, simplify copy into shorter sentences, fix incorrect spelling and grammar, and optimize web content by adding LSI keywords.

The tool also claims to avoid detection by humanizing content so it won’t be flagged as being generated by AI (we’ve not tested these claims).

Features

  • Bulk rewrite content
  • Each article can be rewritten up to 1,000 times
  • Integration with Article Forge to import articles directly
  • Improve the quality and clarity of poorly written text

Pricing

WordAi plans start from $27 a month.

Pros and cons of WordAi for rewriting content

Pros

  • Import content in bulk for rewriting
  • Can be useful for improving content written by non-native writers

Cons

  • Rewritten content is not always unique
  • Outputs may require proofreading and editing
  • Limited support for languages other than English

The best AI content detection tools

If you choose to use AI-generated content on your website, it’s important to be aware of the potential risks.

Google has stated that automated content generation can be seen as a form of spam and can lead to action being taken against your website, such as penalties or even getting deindexed from search results.

Does Google penalize AI content?

You should also keep in mind that you can’t copyright AI-generated content unless it’s been edited significantly by a human. So, if someone copies your AI-generated text, you won’t be able to take any legal action.

For these reasons, it’s important to run any content you produce through an AI detection tool to protect your brand and reputation.

Originality.AI

This tool was built with web publishers in mind, unlike other plagiarism detectors that are intended mainly for academic content. You can scan any type of document or web copy for duplicated text and AI-generated text at the touch of a button. The accuracy of Originality.AI has been measured at over 94%, depending on the tool that was used to create the content.

Pricing: $0.01 per credit, 1 credit scans 100 words

Pros and cons of Originality.AI for detecting AI-generated content

Pros

  • High level of accuracy
  • Can be used with emails, documents, web content, and more
  • Can detect content produced by GPT-3.5

Cons

  • Credit-based pricing can be expensive if you have a lot of content to check
  • Plagiarism detector needs work, as it doesn’t pick up copied content that is detected in other tools
  • Only supports English content
GPTZero

GPTZero claims to be “the world’s #1 AI detector” with over a million users. The tool will scan text you paste in and give you scores based on randomness and variation to give you an overall determination of whether it’s been created by a human or an AI. Sentences more likely to be written by AI are also highlighted.

Pricing: Free

Pros and cons of GPTZero for detecting AI-generated content

Pros

  • Free to use
  • Accurately detects content produced by ChatGPT

Cons

  • May not detect content produced by other AI tools
  • No way to bulk-check content

The best AI content idea generators

Perhaps one of the best use cases of AI when it comes to content creation is for idea generation. We’ve all had those times when we’re just stuck for ideas for the next blog post. And browsing the web for inspiration is time-consuming, not to mention the fact that everyone keeps publishing the same ideas over and over again.

You can use AI as a brainstorming assistant to generate new ideas in seconds. As well as blog post headlines, email subject lines, and ideas for social media campaigns, you can also use AI to generate new angles on the same topics.

ChatGPT

ChatGPT is probably the most well-known tool on this list and is responsible for transforming AI content generation from a niche concept to one that is now widely used.

Developed by the team at OpenAI, ChatGPT is essentially an advanced chatbot. Simply ask it a question or give it an instruction and it will generate content outlines, topic ideas, headlines, and even complete pieces of copy.

ChatGPT Features

  • Conversational interface enables users to ask questions on almost any topic and carry out a convincing conversation; it remembers topics and can follow along with the conversation, like a human
  • Text generation uses natural language processing to mimic content written by humans
  • Ability to research and answer questions from its database
  • Generate ideas for content quickly, including topics, headlines, and outlines
  • Supports over 90 languages

Pricing

ChatGPT is currently in the beta phase and is free to use. OpenAI has recently announced the launch of ChatGPT Plus — a subscription plan that will cost $20 a month and give users better response times and more features.

Pros and cons of ChatGPT for generating content ideas

Pros

  • Easy-to-use interface
  • Free
  • Instantly generate ideas for any niche, industry, or content type

Cons

  • System is frequently down
  • Has no live access to the web, and answers are based on outdated information
Surfer SEO

Surfer is a little bit different from most of the tools on this list, as it combines a keyword research tool with the power of AI to help you create content that’s more likely to rank and perform well.

Enter your primary keyword and the tool will analyze millions of pages to recommend new topic clusters and ideas for related content. It then uses AI to generate an outline of your post, including headings, keywords, and even whole paragraphs of text that you can add to your own content.

Surfer SEO features

  • Research keyword opportunities to find hot topics and ideas for related content
  • AI-powered article outline generator that creates a whole structure for your content
  • Automated tips to improve SEO of every piece of content
  • New article ideas delivered every week
  • Integration with Jasper if you want more AI assistance with writing
  • Built-in plagiarism detector

Pricing

From $49 a month for up to 2 websites, 240 page audits a year, and 120 articles a year, with unlimited keyword research and content ideas.

Pros and cons of Surfer SEO for generating content ideas

Pros

  • Helpful for improving SEO and speeding up content planning
  • Can be integrated with Jasper for AI content creation
  • Helps you to create content on topics that are likely to be successful

Cons

  • Expensive to use
  • Ideas are based on already-published content and so may lack originality
NeuralText

This is another tool that combines content optimization software with AI text generation to help you to come up with new ideas for content and improve the SEO of your web copy in a single platform.

NeuralText aims to improve on existing SEO tools by using the power of natural language processing to speed up the process of creating content for your website and improving the chance of it achieving a high ranking in Google and other search engines.

Features

  • Keyword clustering tool to reduce time spent researching keywords and content ideas
  • AI-powered SEO content brief generation
  • Replaces manual competitor research
  • Get relevant, real user questions sourced from Quora, Google Suggest, and other sources
  • Automatically include statistics and data in content
  • Generate content ideas, blog post titles, content hooks, slogans, and ideas for social media content in seconds

Pricing

From $19 a month for up to 20,000 words of AI-generated content and 2,000 keyword suggestions.

Pros and cons of NeuralText for generating content ideas

Pros

  • More cost-effective than using multiple tools for keyword research and content planning
  • Speeds up market research and competitor analysis
  • Built-in templates for generating headlines and content for social media and the web

Cons

  • Steep learning curve to understanding all the tools and features
  • Quality of AI-generated text is poor
Who owns AI generated content?

How to improve AI content generation using these tools

Using AI tools for content creation can be a great way to speed up the process and get more ideas and inspiration when you’re drawing a blank, but it’s important to remember that AI is no substitute for human intelligence and creativity.

Rather than relying on AI to do all the work, it’s best to use it as a writing aid instead of a content generator. Some of the new breeds of AI tools are very effective for content ideation and improving SEO without the risk of churning out low-quality, plagiarized content.

With careful use of these AI-powered tools, you’ll have access to an arsenal of features designed specifically for optimizing your web copy and creating high-quality content quickly. There’s no denying that AI offers many opportunities in today’s competitive digital marketplace. But never forget that there’s still no substitute for a skilled writer and that originality, creativity, and human expertise are all key ingredients for success.

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AI-generated SEO content is the web’s latest trend, but what exactly are the pros and cons of using copy created by AI? And does Google penalize AI content?

Does AI content rank in Google?

Ever since AI-writing tools like ChatGPT began to amaze and disturb the web in equal measure, digital marketing experts and business owners alike have been asking themselves if AI content will rank well in search engines.

The short answer is yes, AI-generated content can rank on Google. But there are several caveats.

Google recently released a statement confirming its views on AI content, after much speculation and debate. Essentially, Google said it took no stance on the use of AI-generated content; instead, it focuses on the quality of content produced by any tool or technology.

The search engine encourages web publishers to create “helpful, reliable, people-first” content and promises to reward such content with higher rankings.

Anyone who’s used an AI writing tool may recognize one immediate cause for concern on this list: reliability.

Generally speaking, AI’s output can be inaccurate and, in some cases, completely false. AI technology uses sophisticated algorithms to emulate content that a human would write. But as of the current time, most tools don’t have any systems in place for checking that the text they write is actually correct.

AI generated content: trend or delusion?

Google also warns that auto-generating content for the purpose of manipulating search engine rankings is against its spam guidelines. And yes, that means AI SEO content writing.

Essentially, if you’re using AI to bulk-generate content for the purpose of stuffing keywords or keyword phrases into a page in order to boost rankings, Google will almost certainly notice and respond accordingly.

Overall, it appears that AI technology is not facing an outright ban from Google’s search engine. But as always, if you’re using AI to generate content for SEO purposes, make sure you check it carefully for accuracy and ensure it adds value to the reader before publishing.

Is AI-generated content good for SEO?

AI tools can certainly be helpful when it comes to content optimization. By analyzing and understanding the content of a document, AI technology can detect keywords and phrases and suggest ways to improve readability for both humans and search engine bots.

However, it’s important to remember that automated tools are only meant to be used as an aid in creating content. They should not replace human input when it comes to producing quality SEO content.

Most AI tools on the market right now will lean towards keyword-stuffing when asked to include particular terms in an article. This is why it’s so important to review content created by AI tools with a human editor before publishing.

If you use AI as an assistant to help you improve the SEO of your content, it can speed up the process, improve your efficiency, and make sure you include all of the important keywords. But when it comes to putting together a well-written, informative article that also helps boost your search engine rankings, there’s no replacement for a human writer.

Disadvantages of AI content for SEO

We’ve already touched on a couple of the drawbacks of relying on AI software to write content for SEO purposes.
But it’s important to consider all the potential issues before using a tool for AI SEO writing. AI-generated content is a relatively new technology and, as such, is still largely unregulated.
It’s probable that guidelines, regulations, and laws around the use of AI content will start appearing in the next few years. Until then, it’s critical to stay aware of the risks and take steps to ensure you’re using AI in a way that is unlikely to damage your business or your reputation in the future.

Inaccurate and misleading content

As mentioned above, accuracy is a huge problem in most existing AI writing tools. All facts, data, references, and other factual information included in AI-generated content must be carefully checked and double-checked before being published.

Google is constantly striving to provide the best possible user experience for searchers, and being given incorrect information or made-up facts would definitely not meet that goal. Therefore, it’s critical to ensure that the content you put online is factually correct, or it runs the risk of being flagged and earning you a penalty.

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Unnatural language

Another issue with AI-generated content is its tendency to be overly keyword-dense, as well as its lack of natural language flow. This can make any content generated this way appear robotic and unreadable, which won’t do your search engine rankings any favors.

Google has previously issued several algorithm updates penalizing “over-optimization,” so don’t make the mistake of letting the AI take over. Content written for humans (and by humans) is always better for SEO than content written for search engines.

Potential plagiarism and duplicate content

AI-generated articles are often built from pieces of text that already exist online, which may put your website at risk of plagiarism or duplicate content penalties.

It’s also possible that two different people entering the same prompt into an AI tool could end up with nearly identical articles. This could spell disaster for your SEO if your site is the weaker and less authoritative of the two.

Uninspiring content that lacks creativity and flair

Great SEO content is about more than just keywords. The most successful articles online are written by talented writers who know how to tell a story and capture the attention of their audience.

These articles are rewarded with clicks, likes, shares, and links: all clear indicators to Google and other search engines that the content is important, authoritative, and valuable.

AI content, on the other hand, can often be dry and uninspiring. It may get the job done, but it won’t do anything to engage your audience or keep them coming back for more.

While AI-generated SEO content might achieve a decent ranking for a low-competition keyword, it won’t perform as well for more competitive phrases.

How to use AI content on your site without harming your SEO

An AI writing assistant can be a valuable tool when used correctly. AI can speed up your content production, offer optimization advice, and help you come up with new content ideas. But relying on pure AI-generated content for your website is a recipe for disaster.

Here are our top tips for ensuring that your use of AI content is helping rather than hindering your website’s search engine rankings:

  • Always check content for accuracy and readability: Don’t just publish what the AI tool gives you. Make sure all facts and data are correct and double-check for grammar, spelling, and natural language flow.
  • Don’t give AI writing tools your keywords: AI SEO content generators love to overstuff keywords. Instead, let the AI tool generate a first draft with basic prompts and then expand on and optimize it yourself.
  • Add your own stories, ideas, and experiences: Humanize the content by adding a bit of your own personality. This makes it more engaging to read and more likely to be shared.
  • Consider other uses of AI: AI can help you find powerful keywords, outline article structures, and suggest content ideas. These uses are far less risky than relying on it to generate full articles.
  • Use AI to assist in writing meta titles and descriptions: One writing task that AI is already pretty good at is creating short snippets like meta titles and descriptions. This is an easy way to speed up your content production process and improve your SEO at the same time, although you’ll still need a human to proofread and edit them.
  • Don’t let an AI tool write your entire website: AI tools are great as a writing assistant, but it’s easy to end up with generic, uninspiring content if you rely on them too much.

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Use AI for SEO with caution

AI content, when not monitored and edited by humans, can be detrimental to your website’s SEO. Without the expertise of a human writer, AI-generated content often lacks depth and accuracy, making it less engaging for readers and less appealing to search engines.

When used as intended (as an assistant, not a full automation tool), AI can be a valuable asset to any content strategy. But you’d be wise to stay aware of the risks and limitations of using AI-generated content. Using these tools to help you during the copywriting process, rather than using fully auto-generated content, will ensure that your SEO isn’t put at risk and instead is benefiting from the help of AI technology.

What is AI-generated content?

AI tools like ChatGPT and Jasper create content at the click of a button with a simple prompt or instruction such as “write a definition of artificial intelligence” or “list some reasons why AI is beneficial.”

This type of AI-generated content has seen a rapid rise in popularity and usage in recent years, due to the release of increasingly sophisticated tools. These AI writing assistants speed up content creation, allowing marketers to rapidly create web content, blog posts, social media messages, and other types of content, all without hiring a professional writer.

But AI content tools are not without their controversies. One of the biggest concerns at the moment is whether or not Google and other search engines can detect AI-generated content. And if so, will they penalize websites that use it?

How does AI-generated content work?

The process behind the creation of automated content is referred to as “natural language processing” (NLP). This involves algorithms analyzing natural language and seeking out patterns in texts. The software then uses this data to generate new and unique content automatically.

Most of the AI tools available today use a technology developed by OpenAI called GPT-3 (Generative Pre-trained Transformer 3).

GPT-3 is OpenAI’s latest achievement and the most powerful AI language model to date, with over 175 billion parameters. GPT-3 is trained on internet datasets up to September 2021. In other words, it does not scrape the web in real time and has no knowledge of recent events.

Instead, the model was trained by being fed content such as blog posts, news articles, online discussion forums, and more. After learning to recognize patterns in these inputs, GPT-3 can generate text that is very similar to human-written content.

We all know how fast the world of technology moves, and GPT-4 is already almost ready for public release. While we don’t know the details yet, it’s expected that the new language model will be more advanced in several ways. However, the CEO of OpenAI has warned not to speculate about what these potential improvements may be.

AI-based content vs. professional content writers: who wins?

AI-generated content is fast, cheap, and efficient. But it’s not the best option for every type of content.

Time

A skilled writer may take several hours to write a blog post or several days to research a topic thoroughly. AI tools can generate content much faster.

Cost

A professional writer may charge several hundred dollars for a single blog post or article. Many AI tools are relatively inexpensive, and some, like Chat GPT, are currently free.

Quality

Professional writers have a deep understanding of language and style, as well as in-depth knowledge of their areas of expertise. AI-generated content is not as detailed or accurate. It can be improved with human editing and review, but it does not match the quality of a skilled copywriter.

Uniqueness

AI-generated content may be technically created from scratch, but it’s not unusual for it to be extremely similar to other pieces of content on the web. Some users have reported instances of plagiarism when using AI tools. Professional writers, on the other hand, will always strive to create fresh, original content from a unique point of view.

Get our detailed comparison guide to AI, a combination of AI and writer, and professional content writers so you can make the best choice for your business.

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How to detect AI-generated content

Content created by AI may seem very similar to text written by a human at first glance. But there are a number of methods you can use to get a good idea if what you’re reading was written by a person or an algorithm.

Tools for detecting AI content

There are several tools now available that will scan content for signs of AI-generated text. These tools look for telltale patterns and language usage that indicate the text was written by an AI rather than a human.

Some examples of tools currently available include Originality.ai, Copyleaks’ AI Content Detector, and OpenAI’s own AI Text Classifier.

These tools are not yet 100% accurate, but they are improving all the time as algorithms become more advanced.

Does Google penalize AI content?

AI watermarking

Watermarking methods have also been discussed as a potential way to detect AI-generated content. These digital watermarks are still being developed, but they could eventually be used to identify AI-generated content with high accuracy.

Manual AI detection

As well as these automated tools, there are also ways to manually check for AI-generated content. None of these methods are foolproof. But if you know the signs to look for, you can usually get a feel for whether content was written by a human or an AI.

Repeating words and phrases

AI tools love patterns — both looking for them and creating them. So if you come across a piece of text that repeats words or phrases unusually often, or keeps repeating the same idea worded in a slightly different way, this is a red flag.

Unnatural or awkward phrasing

AI-generated content may be grammatically correct (sometimes it’s not!), but it often lacks the natural flow and rhythm of words written by a human. If a piece of text seems to have a slightly robotic tone to it, it’s usually a sign that there’s been some AI involvement.

Lack of detail

Content produced by AI writing tools tends to stick to the facts and is usually written in a straightforward style with little detail. If a piece of content lacks explanation or fails to address the issue in any real depth, then it could be AI-generated.

Incorrect facts or made-up data

AI tools can be trained to generate correct outputs based on certain inputs. But they are not infallible and may get some facts wrong or even invent quotes or statistics. If you’re suspicious about a particular piece of content, it’s worth doing some research to see if the facts check out.

Can Google detect AI-generated content?

Google’s algorithms and coding teams are some of the most advanced in the world, and the search engine is constantly being updated and upgraded with new capabilities.

So it’s probably safe to say that if there’s any way to detect AI-generated content, Google surely knows about it. However, the company has not made any public statements about this specifically.

For now, it’s best to assume that Google is fully aware if you’re publishing AI-generated content on your website, especially if you’re not editing it or making any attempt to personalize it.

While currently there’s been no definitive statement from Google to say they will penalize sites using AI content, they’re firm in their stance that all content should be unique and of high quality — both qualities that are often lacking in auto-generated web copy.

But how exactly does Google treat AI content? And how can you ensure your site won’t be penalized and that any potential risks of using AI tools are minimized?

Is AI content worth the risk?

Now you have a better idea of how exactly AI writing tools work and what Google thinks of AI-generated content, it’s time to decide whether it’s something you want to invest your time and money in.

AI-generated content offers some significant advantages for businesses, including lower costs, faster production times, and scalability. But any text written by AI should never be used without human proofreading and editing. Instead, it’s better to use it as a way of generating ideas and as an assistant for producing a rough first draft.

In the near future of digital content where countless billions of words are published each day, originality, creativity, and that elusive human touch are all going to be essential for success online.

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There’s a big myth in content marketing today:

“Simply publish great content on a regular basis, and you will drive traffic, rank in search engines, and grow your business.”

People who believe this myth end up doing one of two things:

  • Publishing blog posts and hope people visit their site.
  • Promoting lots of subpar content, but it fails to gain any traction.

These are fatal mistakes for any business venturing online.

Today, I’ve put together a content marketing plan any business can use to create content that’s pre-determined to do well (no guess work), to organize their workflow, to drive traffic, and to rank in search engines.

I’ve used a similar process to generate leads and sales for both myself and my clients — over and over again.

Content marketing is powerful. Let’s put those powers to good use.


Step 1. Identify Your Target Audience

Don’t tune out after reading that subheading, because this step is crucial to your plan’s success.

Here’s the thing:

If you create content for the wrong people, you might drive traffic, but these people won’t buy from you. You will have attracted the wrong traffic because you created the wrong content.

By identifying exactly who you’re targeting with your content, you’ll be able to create content that addresses their biggest problems. It will resonate with them.

This means they’re qualified to want and need your products/services as well.

If you create content for the wrong people, you might drive traffic, but these people won’t buy from you.
Click to tweet

Here are the five main characteristics you need to identify:

  • Who they are (age, gender, etc.)
  • Their profession/position
  • Their biggest pain points
  • The publications and blogs they read
  • Their goals

First, create a spreadsheet like this:

Persona Spreadsheet

Then get together with your team and brainstorm everything about your target audience. Get as detailed as possible, because these personas will lay the foundation for the rest of your campaign’s success.


Step 2. Research Content Ideas

Step 2 of your content marketing plan involves researching content ideas, but not just any old ideas.

The goal of this research phase is to identify topics that are 1) linkable and 2) shareable.

These topics are pre-determined to rank in search engines and drive traffic.

You also want to find keywords that are untapped. These keywords aren’t being targeted by a lot people, the pages ranking on the first page aren’t optimized well, and/or they don’t have a lot of authority.

These keywords are comparatively easier to rank for than others, so they will give you a better return on your time/money investment.

Let’s get started:

1 Keyword Research

First, use the pain points you brainstormed in Step 1 to generate possible keywords.

Head over to the Google Keyword Planner and click “Search for new keywords using a phrase, website or category.”

Then enter those keywords and click “Get Ideas” at the bottom.

Keyword Planner

Then click the “Keyword Ideas” tab.

Keyword Planner

The first section will show you the keywords you typed in and their corresponding monthly search volume.

Scroll down to the second section. The Planner generated these keywords based on what you inputted:

Keyword Planner

Scroll through these keywords and collect them into a spreadsheet based on this criteria:

  • They get over 300 searches per month
  • They’re related to the products/services you offer
  • They’re related to your target audience’s pain points and goals
  • You can create content around them

This is your master list of potential keywords to target.

Next, you want to make sure these topics are also primed to be shared on social media.

2 Use BuzzSumo to Make Sure Your Topics Are Shareable

BuzzSumo is a search engine that shows you TONS of different metrics about pieces of content.

You’ll be using their “Most Shared” tool. Simply input a search term and the tool will pull up the most highly shared content for that term, detailing the exact amount of shares for each piece.

Here’s an example:

BuzzSumo
BuzzSumo

Do a search in BuzzSumo for each of the keywords in your master list. Then note in your spreadsheet which topics tend to get a lot of social shares.

These topics are special because:

  • They get searched for a lot in Google
  • They get shared on social media naturally

After this, you’ll have a list of potential keywords to target in your content marketing campaigns that are both popular and shareable.

Now it’s time to identify the untapped keywords that will give you the greatest ROI.

3 Keyword Competitive Analysis

To identify which of your keywords are comparatively easier to rank for, first do a Google search for each keyword.

Comp Analysis

Then scan over the results on the first page and look for these characteristics:

  • Is the exact-match keyword in the title?
  • Is the exact-match keyword in the meta-description?
  • Is the exact-match keyword in the URL?

Comp Analysis

If most of the URLs don’t have the exact match keyword in these areas, odds are they’re not optimized as well as they could be. That’s one factor that will help you rank above them.

Next, visit each article and look out for these characteristics:

  • Content length (longer content tends to rank higher)
  • Keyword density (high keyword density = over-optimizing. Not good!)
  • Media (are there images/videos?)

If the content is short and not in-depth, you can create a piece of content that’s more valuable both to people and to search engines. This increases the odds that you will rank on the first page.

If these pages are over-optimized for the keyword, you can optimize your content better than those ranking on the first page.

Finally, if their content lacks images and videos, you can include these in your content and increase your on-page SEO signals.

Between the actual search engine result and their on-page SEO, you can already identify whether you can create a piece of content that will have a better chance of ranking.

But we’re not done yet.

Next, install the MozBar Chrome Extension. When turned on, it will show different metrics about each search result, like so:

Comp Analysis

For each search result, look at these three factors:

  • The amount of links
  • The Page Authority (PA)
  • The Domain Authority (DA)

If most of the pages have a low amount of links, low PA, low DA, AND you’ve identified on-page SEO factors that will help your content stand out, you have just discovered an untapped keyword!

Highlight these keywords in your spreadsheet so you can find them easily.

Now, optimizing content around these keywords doesn’t guarantee you’ll rank higher. But your chances are much higher than if you just picked a keyword and tried to rank for it.

I’ve gotten search engine traffic in a few weeks (that usually would’ve taken me a few months) simply by following these initial steps.

Great work. If you’ve following the content marketing plan up to this point, you’re already miles ahead of your competitors, and you can use your master list over and over again to create content that’s linkable and shareable.

Now, let’s organize that content creation:


Step 3. Set Up An Editorial Calendar

An editorial calendar is a calendar that’s specific to content creation, editing, and publishing.

Many big blogs, news sites, and other online publications use them to stay organized and consistent with their content creation.

At the very least, they keep everyone who’s involved accountable for getting their tasks completed.

If you’re using WordPress, this editorial calendar plugin works great and integrates seamlessly. It’s basic, but it will get you and your team accustomed to working on a schedule.

If you want to get more advanced, here are a few more services to try:

  • Podio – Project management software
  • Trello – Organizational software
  • Basecamp – Project management app
  • Kapost – Editorial calendar tool

To put your calendar to the best use, make sure you include dates for creating content, for starting/finishing edits, and for publishing it.


Step 4. Establish Editorial Guidelines

Editorial guidelines keep your content’s format consistent throughout.

People (AKA potential customers/clients) like consistency. They like to get what they expect, down to even the most specific details about what you offer.

The same is true of your content. If the formatting changes constantly, it can be off-putting. But if it’s consistent throughout, people begin to expect it and appreciate it over time.

Editorial guidelines aren’t hard to set up, and once everyone on your team knows them, they aren’t hard to maintain either.

Here are a few areas where you can set guidelines:

1 Font

This is straightforward. Set one font to use across your content.

You can have different fonts for the body text and subheadings, but make sure whatever font you choose is always used.

2 Subheadings

How are you going to break up your content?

Will you use only H2 headings and no H3’s? Will you use H2 headings for bigger ideas and H3’s for smaller ideas? Will you just use bold for smaller ideas?

Keeping this consistent helps readers build an expectation and makes it easy for Google to scan your content.

3 Italics and Bold

Decide when, if, and how you’re going to use italics and bold to emphasize certain words and phrases.

4 Content Length

Some businesses set a minimum content length for each piece. This is smart as both people and Google tend to get more value out of longer content.

But if shorter content fits your audience better, make sure these guidelines are set.

5 Paragraph Length

Shorter paragraphs are easier to read and scan, especially as more and more people are using their mobile devices to do just about everything they do on their desktops.

Set a maximum sentence limit per paragraph.

6 Image Sizes

This is less about functionality and more about consistency. Consider setting exact image sizes for right/left aligned images, cover images, etc.

7 Media In General

You can include many types of media in your content. Here are a few:

  • Images
  • Screenshots
  • Videos
  • Infographics
  • Graphs

Decide which types you’re going to feature.

8 On-Page SEO Factors

As you saw in Step 2, on-page SEO can drastically increase your ability to rank and bring in search engine traffic.

It’s important to keep these factors in mind before publishing content, preferably in the editing phase.

Here is what you need to pay attention to:

  • Keyword in the title
  • Keyword in the URL
  • Keyword in the meta description
  • Keyword in the first 100-200 words of the article
  • Keyword variations spread throughout the body content and H2 heading(s)
  • Keyword in one ALT tag of an image
  • Include media on the page (images and videos)
  • Content length (especially relative to the pages you’re competing with)
  • Linking out to external sources
  • Internal linking to your other content

Make sure content creators and editors all understand these factors and how to incorporate them into the content being produced.

Once these editorial guidelines are laid out, the next step in your content marketing plan is to delegate tasks.


Step 5. Delegate Tasks to Different Team Members

If everyone knows their role, they can focus on mastering that role to the best of their ability.

This increases the overall quality of the content and helps make sure your content marketing plan is executed as efficiently as possible.

Here are the tasks you need to delegate:

  • Who’s researching content ideas? (Using the process laid out in Steps 1 and 2)
  • Who’s writing the content? (In-house or contractor?)
  • Who’s creating/curating the media?
  • Who’s editing the content?
  • Who’s finalizing it for publication?

You can delegate one person to each task, multiple people to each task, or multiple tasks to a single person.

Whatever you decide, make sure each person knows their role and how to fulfill it.


Step 6. Optimize Your Website for Lead Generation

At this stage, you might be thinking it’s time to publish your content and drive traffic.

Not quite yet.

If you ignore this step, you will have wasted all of the effort you’ve done to produce this content and all of the effort you will be doing to promote it.

You must optimize your site to capture leads before driving traffic.

Optimizing your website for lead gen involves 3 key steps:

  • Create a valuable free offer your target audience will love (lead magnet)
  • Set it up to be automatically delivered to the people who opt in (usually done through an email marketing service like AWeber or MailChimp)
  • Install opt-in forms throughout your site to display this offer and collect contact information

You must optimize your site to capture leads before driving traffic.
Click to tweet

Let’s go through each of them:

1 Create A Valuable Lead Magnet

Lead magnets are given away for free in exchange for contact info. The following resources typically make great lead magnets:

  • Ebooks
  • Videos
  • Email courses
  • Mind maps
  • Checklists
  • Tutorials
  • Free trials

Choose whichever will work best for your business and create them. The more lead magnets you have, the more desires you’ll tap into (meaning you’ll generate more leads).

2 Automatically Deliver Your Lead Magnet

When someone opts in to receive a free offer, they expect that offer to arrive almost immediately.

It’s important to ensure that this happens, because you could lose a valuable lead if they’re not engaged as soon as possible.

Most people deliver their lead magnets one of two ways:

  • A “thank you” page right after opting in
  • A “thank you” or “welcome” email after they’ve confirmed to join your email list

I personally favor the second one, because they’re forced to actually confirm their email address to get the resource.

Here’s a quick and easy guide to help you set this up in MailChimp.

(The process is similar for any email marketing service you use.)

3 Install Opt-In Forms

Opt-in forms display your lead magnet and have a field (or multiple) for people to input their contact information.

Here are a few examples:

End of Post –

Lead Gen

Pop-up –

Lead Gen

Featurebox –

Lead Gen

Sidebar –

Lead Gen

Content Upgrade –

Lead Gen

(In the above image, clicking the “Download it here” link opens a pop-up form.)

Each of those forms can be effective for generating leads and building your email list. I suggest installing all of them on your website before moving on to the next step.

Here are a few guides to help you out:

On to the fun part…


Step 7. Promote Your Content and Drive Traffic

The major leg work of your content marketing plan is done. Now it’s time to get the results you’ve been waiting for.

You’ve created content that you know is pre-destined to be shared on social media. All you have to do is show it to people.

The number #1 goal with content promotion is eyeballs. You want to get as many eyeballs on your content as possible.

This leads to shares, comments, subscribers, brand awareness, and natural links. It also helps you build a relationship with your target audience.

Today, I’m going to break down 3 of my favorite content promotion strategies for driving traffic. They are:

  • Forum marketing
  • Niche communities
  • Email outreach

1 Forum Marketing

For almost any interest on the planet, there is a corresponding online forum.

Forums are groups of enthusiasts who share stories, tips, how-tos, and, best of all, content. These people are prime targets for promoting your articles to.

Here’s how to do it:

First, use these search strings to find forums where you target audience hangs out:

  • “Keyword” + “forum”
  • “Keyword” + “powered by vbulletin”

This should bring up a list of forums.

Content Promo

Click on one that seems relevant. Then look at these metrics:

  • Threads
  • Number of people viewing
  • Views on the threads

Content Promo
Content Promo

If the forum has a good amount of threads, views, and active members, you’ve just found a forum with a lot of traffic generation potential.

Next, make an account and set up your signature. This is going to be the gateway to your website.

Here’s an example:

Content Promo

Make it benefit-rich with a call to action to view your content.

Next, simply go through the forum and answer people’s questions. I like to look for a “New Posts” or “Latest Posts” section, so I can be one of the first people to respond.

If you’re one of the first replies, and that thread ends up getting popular, you will get tons of eyeballs on your signature (meaning clicks to your content).

To make forum marketing a consistent part of your strategy, answer people’s questions for 30 mins to an hour each day. If you have the time, do it as much as possible.

This will drive consistent traffic over time, increasing your brand awareness and authority at the same time.

2 Niche Communities

Niche communities are similar to forums. They’re congregations of people on the Internet with similar interests.

Where there’s an interest, you’ll typically find a corresponding niche community. These communities love great content. It’s practically their reason for existence.

To find them, use these search strings:

  • “Your niche” + “community”
  • “Your niche” + “online community”
  • “Keyword” + “community”
  • “Keyword” + “online community”
  • “Your niche” + “community” + “trending”

Content Promo

When you’ve found a suitable community, make an account. Then submit your content to these communities and participate in the discussion.

Just like with forum marketing, you will drive traffic, increase your authority, and build brand awareness.

3 Email Outreach

Email outreach is my favorite content promotion strategy.

There are two main goals when reaching out:

  • Eyeballs
  • Social shares

Since your content is already shareable, you don’t need to push too hard by asking people to share your content. Usually, they’ll share it on their own.

But if you’re in a niche where social sharing isn’t that mainstream, feel free to include a call to action in your emails.

Here’s how to do it:

First, head over to Topsy.

Content Promo

Enter a keyword into the search field that’s related to your content. This will pull up all of the Twitter accounts that have shared content similar to yours.

Content Promo

Go to each account, follow them, and find a website URL. Then go to the website and find their contact info.

Then send them an email like this:

        Hi [NAME],

        I noticed you shared [NAME]’s article a little while ago: [ARTICLE NAME]

        It’s funny, I actually just published a [YOUR TOPIC] article that’s really similar.

        Would you like to check it out?

        Best,
        [YOUR NAME]

If they respond saying they’d like to check it out, simply send them an email with a link to your article. (This is where you decide whether or not to ask for a share.)

Usually, they’ll share it without you asking, and you’ll get 1) eyeballs on your content, 2) social shares, and 3) even more eyeballs from social media traffic.


Step 8. Build Backlinks to Rank in Search Engines

There are lots of factors that contribute to your rankings, but I’ve found that nothing matters more than links.

And since your on-page SEO is spot on, you’re covered on that front.

Building white hat SEO backlinks involves finding pages where your content will add value and reaching out to be included. Here are my two favorite strategies:

  • Weekly Roundups
  • Resource/Links Pages

1 Weekly Roundups

Many blogs publish weekly or monthly roundups. These articles curate some of the best content on a subject within that time period (week or month).

Here’s an example from Flying Point Digital:

SEO

The people who create these articles are always on the lookout for great content to include. However, they often struggle to find good enough articles week-in and week-out.

That’s where you can save the day.

Since you have great content at your disposal, all you have to do is reach out and show it to them.

Here’s how:

First, use these search strings to find weekly roundup posts:

  • “Keyword” + “weekly roundup”
  • “Keyword” + “roundup”
  • “Keyword” + “best of”
  • “Keyword” + “link roundup”
  • “Keyword” + “weekly link roundup”

Then, click “Search Tools,” “Any Time,” and “Past Month,” to filter your search to bring up the most recent roundups.

SEO

Visit these articles and find the publisher’s contact info. Then reach out with an email like this:

        Hi [NAME],

        Just wanted to say great work on your weekly [TOPIC] roundup. It’s one of my favorite ways to keep up to date with the industry.

        I’m writing because I actually just published an article your readers might enjoy. It’s a [DESCRIPTION OF YOUR ARTICLE].

        Here’s the link: [URL]

        Just thought you might like to consider it for your next roundup :)

        Cheers!

        [YOUR NAME]

That’s it! This strategy brings in a double whammy of backlinks AND referral traffic.

On to the next one!

2 Resources/Links Pages

Many sites publish a “Resources” or “Links” page that links out to helpful resources on other sites.

These pages are extremely valuable for visitors, because they can get info they otherwise wouldn’t be able to find on the site they’re on. And they’re valuable for you because these pages are perfect link targets.

You have a valuable resource. They need valuable resources for their page. It’s a win-win.

Here’s how to build links through resource pages:

First, use these search strings to find them:

  • “Keyword” + “resources”
  • “Keyword” + “links”
  • “Keyword” + “best of”

Experiment with different keywords related to your niche to find as many pages as possible.

SEO

Visit each page and find the publisher’s contact info. Then send them an email like this:

        Hi [NAME],

        I was browsing [SITE NAME] today when I came across your resources page: [URL]

        Nice collection!

        I actually just published an article that might make a valuable addition to the page. It’s a [DESCRIPTION OF ARTICLE].

        Here’s the link: [URL OF YOUR ARTICLE]

        Just thought it could be a nice resource for your visitors to have access to.

        Have a good one!

        [YOUR NAME]

When they respond, simply thank them for including the link, and if you want to build the relationship further, share their page on social media.


Step 9. Analyze Your Strategy and Iterate

So far, you have:

  • Identified your target audience
  • Researched and created content that’s both shareable and linkable
  • Organized your content marketing plan with an editorial calendar and guidelines
  • Delegated tasks to different members
  • Optimized your website to capture leads
  • Promoted your content to drive traffic
  • And built backlinks to help you rank in search engines

You’ve taken your content through its entire life cycle, from research to long-term search engine traffic.

The final part of this content marketing plan is to analyze your campaign and make it better.

To analyze your campaign, look at what went well and what didn’t. How can you scale up the things that worked and improve or scale back the things that didn’t?

This is how you build your content marketing strategy into a well-oiled machine. Constantly analyze your results and improve upon them.


To Wrap It Up

This is a content marketing plan that any business can implement.

Not everything here will work for every business, but every business can follow a similar path to achieve their online goals.

So, I have a few questions for you:

  • How are you going to implement this plan?
  • Have you tried any of these strategies? What worked and what didn’t?

Let me know in the comments below.

Content marketing is one of the best ways to reach your target audience in a non-intrusive way.

Since content provides value, it allows you to enter your customer’s lives seamlessly and on a regular basis.

But, just like other marketing methods, there’s a difference between how you market to B2C and B2B audiences. They have different needs, different ways of engaging with your business, and they hang out in different areas online.

Today, I’m going to break down 10 powerful B2B content marketing strategies for you to take advantage of.

You will learn:

  • How to map out your sales funnel
  • How to create the right content to engage your audience
  • 8 promotion strategies to get eyeballs on your content

Let’s get started:


Previously Mentioned Tactics to Implement

Before moving into the B2B strategies, I want to point you to some that overlap.

In our previous article breaking down a 9-step content marketing plan that any business can use, we wrote about different tactics that can be used in both B2C and B2B markets.

Here are those tactics:

  • Use an editorial calendar to stay organized
  • Optimize your website to generate leads
  • Forum marketing
  • Share your content in niche communities
  • Find people who have shared similar content using Topsy and reach out to them
  • Build backlinks to rank your content in search engines
  • Analyze your strategy’s results and iterate

All of these can be viable tactics to implement. So don’t forget to check out the article and give them a shot if you haven’t already.

On to the first B2B content marketing strategy:

Use these strategies to market to B2B audiences effectively
Click to tweet


1. Map Out Your Sales Funnel

When most people think about a sales funnel, they imagine this picture:

B2B content marketing

Image source: Build My Online Store

While it’s a good overview, this image skips over the detail that goes into a well-oiled funnel.

Let’s map out that detail quickly:

From Prospect to Lead

  • Prospects read your content
  • They see your lead magnet and opt-in
  • They have a desire for it and enter their email address
  • They join your email list, become a lead, and consume your lead magnet

From Lead to Customer

  • Leads read more of content
  • They learn more about your business
  • They get to know the products and services you offer
  • They have a desire for your products and services
  • They weigh their options between you and your competitors
  • They trust you the most and decide to buy your product or service

All of this involves a nurturing process. And the best way I’ve seen to nurture prospects and leads is through email.

It’s a direct line of communication in one of the top marketing channels that people check almost every day. It also facilitates an intimate one-on-one communication that can get much deeper than social media.

Thanks to email autoresponders, the nurturing process can also be automated (for the most part).

Here’s what needs to happen in your funnel:

1. People enter it once they visit your website

This means your website is optimized to generate leads with opt-in boxes and lead magnets.

2. Once they’ve joined your list, they get sent a series of emails that provide value.

This usually involves useful content related to your products and services.

Here’s an example spreadsheet breaking down an email autoresponder sequence:

B2B content marketing

Notice that most of the emails are useful content, but some are for engagement and relationship growth. These emails simply encourage your audience to ask questions and engage with you.

This helps them get to know your business and trust you.

3. Promote your products and services

Somewhere within this series, you’ll want to promote your products and services.

Treat it like you’re emailing a friend to let them know that they’re available and can provide a lot of value.

Since these people have had time to get to know your business, this a much easier sale than it would have been at the top of the funnel.

4. Establish loops

A percentage of your leads won’t buy at this point. So it’s important to establish loops that bring them back and keep them engaged with your business until they’re ready to buy.

To do this, you can simply extend the autoresponder to include more content and engagement emails. Then promote them again further down the line.

(Or you can set up special promotions for people who haven’t bought yet.)

This is where you can be creative and tailor it to what will work best for your business.

Get together with your team and map out the customer journey, starting with prospects engaging with your content.

Which brings us to Strategy #2:


2. Research Content That Will Resonate With Your Audience

Here’s the thing:

If you don’t create the right content, you will attract the wrong people.

Content naturally filters in/out the people who have a desire to read it. Your job is to research and identify topics that will resonate with your audience.

In B2B content marketing, this content usually involves in-depth tutorials and guides that help your prospects get results for their business.

These guides cater to pain points your prospects face, so the key to creating the right content is to identify your audience’s pain points.

Here are 4 methods to do this:

1. Survey your audience

The best way to get feedback from your audience is to ask them directly.

One way is to create a survey using Google Forms and send it to your email list.

B2B content marketing

This will make collecting their answers quick and painless.

Another way is to install Qualaroo. It’s a service that lets you install pop-up survey forms on your site so you can gather data from your visitors in real time.

B2B content marketing

Make sure to ask closed and open-ended questions so you can gather hard data, as well as see the language your audience uses to describe their situation.

2. Read through discussions in online communities

Online communities, like forums and LinkedIn groups, are treasure troves of information.

This is where people discuss their problems, ask for advice, and share their knowledge over the Internet. They’re perfect places to research your prospects.

First, create a list of online communities your target audience hangs out in. These could be:

  • Forums
  • LinkedIn groups
  • Google+ communities
  • Facebook groups
  • Reddit
  • Niche communities (like Inbound.org or GrowthHackers)

Once you’ve got your list, create a spreadsheet like this:

B2B content marketing

Spend some time sifting through the conversations. Jot down the issues people are having, whether you can solve it, and a piece of content that would fulfill that need.

Continue doing this until you’re satisfied with the ideas you’ve come up with.

3. Keyword research in your industry

Keyword research is also in-depth market research.

Where else do people type in their most profound problems in hopes of finding a solution?

Thankfully, all of this data is also available for free using Google’s Keyword Planner.

Simply head over to the planner and type in a few broad terms related to your target market’s niche:

B2B content marketing

Then click the “Keyword Ideas” tab and scroll down.

Here, you’ll find hundreds of related keywords:

B2B content marketing

These are all terms that your potential customers are typing into Google.

Go through these keywords and find ones that 1) you can create content around and 2) have a sizable search volume (300+).

4. Reach out to individuals on social media

To gather your final bits of data, reach out and engage with people on social media.

Ask them what they’re struggling with. Ask them if you can help with anything.

This interpersonal communication will often give you some of the most revealing insights into your audience. Not to mention some great content ideas.

Take all of these pain points and brainstorm content ideas to cater to them. This will make sure the content you create will resonate with your audience and attract the right people.

Once you’ve created your content, it’s time to promote it and drive traffic.

The following B2B content marketing strategies will help you get eyeballs on your content.


3. Promote Your Content in LinkedIn Groups

LinkedIn is a B2B content marketer’s heaven.

The social network is entirely devoted to working professionals, and LinkedIn groups provide the perfect avenue to reach them.

These groups are filled with hundreds, thousands, or hundreds of thousands of people all discussing different topics. They’re primed to want and need your content.

All you have to do is show it to them.

Here’s how:

First, go to LinkedIn and do a search in the top bar for a keyword related to your target market’s industry. Then click “Groups” in the left sidebar:

B2B content marketing

Join any that might contain potential prospects. You can usually tell by the name of the group or their description.

Then simply post your content as a new discussion:

B2B content marketing

People in the group will usually get notified within LinkedIn that there’s a new post and/or they’ll receive an email direct to their inbox.

These groups can get crowded, so make sure your post has a catchy headline.


4. LinkedIn Lead Prospecting and Outreach

Posting in LinkedIn groups is a great shotgun approach to get eyeballs on your content.

But you can also use a more direct method to target specific prospects. It involves finding individuals on LinkedIn that would make good leads and sending them some useful content to get the conversation going.

Here’s how to do it:

First search for an occupation your lead might have. Then click “People” in the left sidebar:

B2B content marketing

Then select “1st Connections,” “2nd Connections,” and “Group Members.”

B2B content marketing

This will pull up all of your 1st connections, 2nd connections, and group-mates who work as your target occupation.

For your first connections, click “Message” next to their name and send them a message that goes something like this:


Hey [NAME],

Hope you’re doing well.

I noticed that you work in [FIELD] and thought you might like to check out my latest article.

It’s an in-depth guide that helps [OCCUPATION] get [RESULTS].

Here’s the link: [URL]

Just thought you might get a kick out of it.

All the best,

[YOUR NAME]

P.S. If you have the time, I would love to know your thoughts on the article.

This email isn’t pushy and doesn’t involve any selling. It opens the door to start a conversation.

It also drives traffic back to your website that’s already optimized to generate leads, so these people might become leads immediately after this point.

If not, sometimes the conversation needs to deepen. Continue by discussing what they do and what problems they’re having. Then send them more content that might help.

As you build a relationship, start discussing how your paid products and services could be beneficial, but push them to opt in for a lead magnet and get their feet wet.

Remember, in B2B communication it’s all about one thing:

Results.

What results can your content deliver? What results can your lead magnet deliver? What results can your products and services deliver?

This will do the selling for you.

Reaching out to your 2nd connections and group members is a little trickier, because unless you have a premium LinkedIn account you can’t message them directly.

What you can do is click the “Connect” button next to their names. This will send the generic LinkedIn connection message:

B2B content marketing

For most people this isn’t ideal because, most likely, you will get a low success rate.

If you don’t want to use this route, try going to their LinkedIn profile and look for an email address:

B2B content marketing

If you find one, select “Other” when connecting with them and input their email address:

B2B content marketing

Then customize the message to say that you noticed you were 2nd connections and/or members of the same group and you thought it would be helpful to connect.

If you don’t find an email address on their profile, identify the company they work for and go to their website.

Then use Voila Norbert to connect their name with their company email address:

B2B content marketing

If it finds it, go back to your LinkedIn connection request, select “Other,” then customize the message and send the request.

When you connect with someone, send a message introducing yourself. If they respond, send another message containing your initial piece of content.

This is a good way to proactively grow your LinkedIn connections and generate leads at the same time.


5. Use BuzzSumo and Buzzstream Together for Content Promotion

BuzzSumo and Buzzstream are two of my favorite content promotion tools.

BuzzSumo is a search engine that helps you find the most highly shared content for a given search term.

B2B content marketing

Buzzstream is an amazing tool for streamlining email outreach.

B2B content marketing

These tools in conjunction become a content promotion powerhouse.

You’re going to do three things:

  • Identify the most highly shared content that’s related to your own
  • Identify exactly who shared it
  • Reach out to those people and promote your content to them

This works because these people have already shared something similar. They have a desire for this content and a willingness to spread it.

I use this strategy to drive traffic and get hundreds (and sometimes thousands) of social shares when I post new content:

B2B content marketing

Here’s how to do it:

First, create free trial accounts for both BuzzSumo and Buzzstream.

BuzzSumo is free to use, but we will need to use an upgraded feature. Buzzstream is a paid subscription, but they offer a free trial as well.

Next, head over to BuzzSumo and type in a keyword related to your content:

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This will pull up the most shared content associated with your keyword:

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Then click on “View Sharers” for the first piece of content. You will be shown all of the people who shared it on Twitter.

Use the “Export as CSV” button to export your list as a CSV file.

Once you’ve downloaded it, you will have a host of data for each Twitter account. Filter it so the accounts with websites connected to them are grouped together first:

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Visit each website, find the person’s contact information, and add it to the spreadsheet:

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Pro Tip: If finding emails is taking a long time, you can hire someone for $4/hr on Upwork (formerly Elance) to do it for you.

Then make sure your spreadsheet is saved as a CSV file.

Go into BuzzStream and create a new project:

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Then click “Add a List of Websites” → “Import From CSV” → “Match My CSV”:

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Make sure the data fields match up like this:

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Then click “Import These Contacts” and wait for Buzzstream to email you when it’s finished.

When complete, head into the project and click “Outreach” → “Create Template”:

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Then create an email template like this:

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Make sure to save it. Then go back into your project and select all of your contacts. Then click “Outreach” → “Start Outreach” and select the template you just made.

Buzzstream will pull up a window that lets you send off your premade template to all of the people in your project.

It automatically pulls up details like subject line, email address, and first name:

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All you have to do is click “Send and go to next contact” and Buzzstream will fire off that email and load up the next one for you.

It’s an excellent way to promote your content to a lot of people in a short amount of time.

Not only will these people visit your site and possibly become leads themselves, but they’ll likely share your content and attract even more people to you.

To scale this even further, download as many sharers for as many pieces of content as possible before your free trial of BuzzSumo runs out (or purchase the full version) and you’ll have thousands of people to promote your content to.


6. Promote Your Content in Google+ Communities Within Your Target Market’s Niche

Just like LinkedIn groups, Google+ communities are filled with people discussing and sharing content about different subjects.

While it isn’t as B2B focused as LinkedIn, “Google+ users are mostly marketers, industry experts and business owners of any kind. In a way, that makes it almost as professionally oriented as LinkedIn” (Business2Community).

These communities are HUGE. Check out these numbers:

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This means whenever you share your content here, you’re exposing it to tens of thousands of people in an instant (sometimes 100,000+).

Here’s how to promote your content in Google+ communities:

First, use the left sidebar to select “Communities.”

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Then search for a keyword related to your target market:

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This will pull up a list of communities. Join as many as you like that have a good amount of members.

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Once you’re in, simply visit each group and share your content.

In a couple sentences, write a benefit-oriented description that compels people to click through.

Give a few reasons why they should read your article:

B2B content marketing

It’s a quick way to expose your business to a large amount of people who may have a desire for your products and services.


7. Facebook Advertising

Facebook advertising is one of the best ways to reach your target audience quickly and efficiently.

Facebook has collected loads of data on its users. Marketers can use this data to hyper-target their advertising based on location, interests, whether prospects have visited your site, and even the car they drive.

B2B content marketing

Needless to say, this level of targeting is powerful.

There are many types of campaigns you can run, but here are three of my favorites:

  • Lead generation campaigns
  • Retargeting campaigns
  • LookaLike audience

Let’s break down each one:

1. Lead Generation Campaigns

The goal of a lead generation campaign is to build your email list and send people into your sales funnel.

You can collect other information as well (such as occupation and revenue) if it’s important to your lead nurturing process. Just know that this might lower your conversion rates.

Here’s the process:

  • Create a lead magnet
  • Set up a landing page
  • Install the Facebook pixel
  • Set up a campaign
  • Drive traffic to the page

First, you need to create a lead magnet. If you don’t have one already, these make good lead magnets:

  • Free ebooks
  • Free trials
  • Checklists
  • Mindmaps
  • Lists of resources
  • Mini-courses
  • Anything of value to your audience

Make sure your lead magnet can be delivered automatically when someone converts.

Here’s an example:

B2B content marketing

It’s a free ebook on link building that’s great for anyone with an interest in SEO.

Once you’ve created a lead magnet, it’s time to set up a landing page.

Landing pages have one goal:

Convert visitors.

That’s why many landing pages don’t have external links, sidebars, or headers, because the only two choices you want are 1) to convert or 2) hit the back button.

Here’s an example from the previous lead magnet:

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Robbie decided to collect each person’s name as well.

In general, the more info you ask for, the lower your conversion rates are, but maybe he tested it, and this version got higher conversions. This extra information may also be an important part of his larger business strategy.

So take these two points into account when creating your landing page.

I personally use Thrive Content Builder to build landing pages, because it’s the best product with a one-time fee I’ve found.

But other popular alternatives are LeadPages and Unbounce. Research a few and pick the one that will work best for you.

Then build out your landing page. Include a compelling headline to entice readers to opt in, opt-in field(s), and a call to action button.

Next, you want to install a Facebook pixel on the page. This lets you track conversions and how well your ads are performing.

Here’s a tutorial for Facebook’s new pixel. It’ll walk you through the setup process.

Once that’s installed on the page, it’s time to set up your Facebook campaign. I like to use the Power Editor rather than Facebook’s ad manager to do this.

It has a more robust interface and a higher word count limit for your ad’s descriptions.

Head into the Power Editor and create a new campaign:

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Then create a name for your new campaign, ad set, and ad. Then select “Clicks to Website” as the objective and click “Create”:

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Leave the “Buying Type” as “Auction”:

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Next, click the ad sets tab on the left, select your new ad set, and click the edit button:

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Set either a Daily or Lifetime budget for your ad and when you would like it to start/end:

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Then move down to the Audience section and click “Edit Audience.”

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For this campaign, we’re going to target people by location and interests. The next two campaigns will change up the targeting to be more specific.

First choose where you’d like to display your ad:

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Then select the age and gender you’d like to market to, languages they speak, and brainstorm interests your prospects might have:

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Ignore the rest unless you know specifically that you want to target the other metrics.

Then click “Save.”

Next, choose where you want to place your ads. In my experience, “Desktop News Feed” gets the best ROI, but again, you won’t know what works best until you test it.

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Scroll down and make sure you’re paying per click to your website (rather than impressions):

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That’s it for targeting. Go ahead and close this editor, because it’s time to edit your ad.

Go ahead and click the ads tab on the left, select your new ad, and hit the edit button:

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First, choose a Facebook page to represent your ad:

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Then copy and paste your landing page’s URL as the “Website URL,” write up a few sentences that compel your prospects to click through, a headline for the ad, and a benefit-oriented description:

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Then scroll down and choose an image for your ad.

All of these areas play critical roles when people decide whether or not to click through to your website.

Just like when you were reaching out to prospects on LinkedIn, results will do the selling for you.

Finally, set the call to action button as “Learn More” and set up tracking if you’d like to track link clicks in a 3rd party program.

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Your final ad will look something like this:

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Now, you can leave it at this. But I prefer to set up two different ads to split test aspects like image and copy.

So, go back into the main ads section, select your ad, and click the “Duplicate” button:

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This will duplicate the ad once. Do it again to have 3 total ads in this ad set.

Then edit your two new ads and change up the images and copy. Midway through your campaign, pause the lower performing ad(s) and keep the higher one(s) running.

Before your ads can run, you have to upload them to the regular Facebook ad manager, so click “Upload Changes” at the top and check your account to make sure they’re going to start on the date you selected.

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Then you’re good to go! Just wait for your ads to start running and check back periodically to see how they’re performing.

2. Retargeting Campaigns

The next type of Facebook advertising campaign are retargeting campaigns.

These campaigns are special because they allow you to send ads to people who have already visited your site and are familiar with you.

You can even send them to people who have visited specific pages on your site but not others. Like people who visited your sales page but didn’t visit your confirmation page (people who didn’t buy).

You can get really creative with these campaigns.

But first, Facebook needs to collect data from your visitors before you can retarget them. To do this, install the Facebook pixel across your website and let it collect this data for a few days.

Once Facebook has it in it’s database you’re ready to rock.

Head over to the regular Facebook ad manager and click “Tools” → “Audiences” → “Create Audience” → “Custom Audience”:

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Select “Website Traffic”:

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From here, you have a number of options.

You can target everyone who has visited any page of your website, people who have visited specific pages, people who’ve visited some pages but not others, and people who haven’t visited in a certain amount of time:

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If you want to retarget people who didn’t opt into your last campaign, select the 3rd option.

Then type in your landing page and confirmation pages’ URLs:

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And click “Create Audience.”

Head back into the Power Editor and create a new campaign, ad set, and ad.

Go through and change the settings to your desire, but for your audience choose “Custom Audiences” and the retargeting audience you just created:

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Then create your ads just like you did before, upload everything to Facebook, and let them rip!

Retargeting ads will often garner you higher ROI, as these people are already familiar with you and might need just a second or third nudge to convert.

3. LookaLike Audiences

The final Facebook campaign I want to discuss is LookaLike audiences.

LookaLike audiences involve data that’s given to Facebook including people who are already associated with your business. This could be your email list, customer list, etc.

Facebook will then take that data and create a new audience that’s similar to that one based on their interests, purchasing behavior, and more.

LookaLike audiences can be effective for reaching new people who might have a desire for your products and services.

To create a LookaLike audience, gather email addresses from either your email list or customer list. Then click “Tools” → “Audiences” → “Create Audience” → “Custom Audience” again.

This time, choose “Customer List”:

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Then click “Upload a File.”

Upload your list and create the audience:

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Go back to the Audiences page and choose “Create Audience” again, but his time choose “LookaLike Audience”:

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Then select the list you uploaded, the country you want to market to, and I suggest going with 1% to get the closest match:

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Then click “Confirm” and finish creating your LookaLike audience.

Go back to the Power Editor, create a new campaign with an ad set and ads, and edit your ad set’s audience again.

Choose “Custom Audience” and the LookaLike audience you just created.

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When you’re done editing the rest of your campaign, upload it to Facebook and let it fly.

Facebook advertising is an excellent marketing tool. I’ve used it to get ROIs of 200%+.

And once you’ve got a positive ROI, all you have to do is scale up your budget to increase your revenue.

It’s one of the most powerful marketing tools at your disposal.

Facebook advertising is one of the most powerful #marketing tools at your disposal
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8. Guest Post on Authoritative Sites in Your Target Market’s Niche

In B2B content marketing, one of your top-of-the-funnel goals is to expose your target audience to your content and expertise.

Guest blogging can help you do this many ways:

  • You can target sites that your audience reads regularly.
  • You can include links back your website, either in the body content and/or author bio, to expose those people to your business.
  • You can establish relationships with the top guns in your industry for ongoing gigs.

Here’s how to guest post effectively in your target market’s industry:


First, Google these search strings:

Your target niche + write for us

Your target niche + contribute

Your target niche + guest post

Your target niche + guest post by

Your target niche + guest article

This should bring up a list of guest post opportunities:

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Click through to each one and find their content info.

Sometimes the site will have specific instructions for submitting guest posts. If not, send them an email like this:


Hi [FIRST NAME],

Just wanted to say how much I enjoy reading your content. I’ve been following [SITE NAME] for a while now, and I always get value out of your posts.

I noticed that you accept guest articles. I was wondering if I could write one for you?

I run [YOUR BUSINESS] and we do [WHAT YOU DO].

Here are a few pieces I’ve written that might be similar to what you’re looking for:

ARTICLE #1

ARTICLE #2

ARTICLE #3

And here are a few ideas your audience might like:

Idea #1

Idea #2

Idea #3

Of course, if you would like to discuss other topics I’m more than welcome.

Cheers!

[YOUR NAME]

Rinse and repeat this for any site you want to be published on.

If you’ve got a lot of options and want to vet these sites, check out their content and see how much engagement they get:

  • Shares
  • Comments

These metrics will tell you how much exposure you can expect your guest post to get.


9. Offer Free Content at Trade Shows

While trade shows aren’t traditional B2B content marketing channels, the in-person interaction can make it a smart channel to test out.

Trade shows are all about displaying your business’s expertise to as many people as possible as effectively as possible in the time allotted.

However, you won’t close every lead/customer immediately, so it can be helpful to have some way for prospects to get back in touch with you afterwards and remain on their minds.

This is where content comes into play.

Print out copies of your best content and include your contact information.

As prospects leave your booth, hand out these articles as a parting gift. Chances are, you made an impression on them but not a big enough one just yet.

Your content lets these people get a deeper look at your expertise after the trade show ends.

As they’re weighing their options afterwards, they’ll have something physical to connect them to your business.


10. Use Content Discovery Platforms

Paid content discovery is a useful passive traffic generation option.

These ads appear on other related sites, usually below the content:

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Most appear as inconspicuously as “related posts” sections usually do, so they don’t look like regular ads and almost all of them point to content rather than sales pages.

Content discovery can be a good way to feature your content on some of the top sites in your target market’s industry.

Here are two of the most popular options you can check out:

1. Outbrain

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2. Taboola

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To Wrap It Up

Remember that no matter which strategy you’re implementing, B2B content marketing is all about results.

Your content should help your audience get results, and your copy should be results-oriented.

Use these strategies to propel your content in front of your audience and attract them to your business, where you can close them as leads and nurture them into customers.


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