Girl with tabletTraditional marketing strategies focus on raising brand awareness, but since the internet provided the platform for businesses to become publishers, brands are trying to pull in customers through various digital strategies.

Pull marketing is becoming a growing trend and given the amount of users accessing the internet on mobile devices, companies are ploughing more of their marketing budgets into content curation.

Yet most content published by small businesses and start-ups barely gets read. It takes time, effort and patience before a content marketing strategy begins to produce results. So does pull marketing work?

Research undertaken by marketingland produced a graph that showed that pull marketing is the most used form of advertising – and by quite some margin. A content strategy is obviously working for a lot of firms – is it working for you?

Target the right audience

The key to pull marketing is by drilling down to the right audience. Trying to sweep the internet with content and hope to land a fish does not work in the digital arena. Your social media networks will not serve you if only one in a hundred of your followers engage in your content.

Your target audience has to be an exact fit for your brand. It is no use promoting yourself through food channels that cater for vegetarians if you are a steak house. The new expression for social media followers is quality over quantity.

Using strong headings and subheadings in your content

Once you have an audience, the next challenge is to get them to click on your content and visit your site. And that requires a heading which compels them to enough to want to read it.

When you are browsing the internet, make a note of heading you feel most drawn to and use them as inspiration. Do they start with How to…or do they entice you with an intriguing teaser?

Your content should also include equally strong subheadings, but which are specific to the information in that section. Asking a question in subheadings is a good tactic for satisfying long tail search terms.

The content above the fold in the most important. Eye-tracking studies show that readers will spend 80% of their visits reading the first few paragraphs and then scan the rest of the page. This is why strong sub-heading are so important.

Responsive web design

The internet is accessed by users on a multitude of devices and in from 21 April 2015, Google will be giving rank priority to mobile friendly websites. This means you need a responsive web design or lose your page rank.

Responsive web designs automatically rearrange the content on a page to fit the screen size visitors are using to access your website. If you don’t know whether your website is responsive, take Google’s Mobile-Friendly test.

And if your website does not pass the MF test, don’t leave it too long to upgrade your design.

User usability

It goes without saying that your website should be easy-on-the-eye, look slick and professional and most of all, be easy to navigate. But satisfying the end-users requires that it is more than that.

Search engines rank pages of a website rather than the Homepage, therefore the information you provide on any one page should be orientated to give readers what they want to know.

Although you cannot expect to satisfy every search query for every visitor, your content should provide as much detail pertaining to the subject as possible. Therefore, a set number of words – 500 is a popular number – is not always likely to answer the question in enough depth.

When producing content, do not have a fixed number of words you intend to write, instead concentrate on providing as much thorough and accurate information on the subject as possible together with links to related content or supporting evidence.

Pull marketing strategies are proving to be effective, but there is a strategy that has to be followed rigidly for content strategies to be successful.