An effective content strategy is vital for any business or enterprise these days, and the fight to create substantial, helpful material is becoming more and more challenging. As users demand high-quality information and ‘instant’ resources, finding the exact way to create hard-hitting content is a must-do for businesses across the globe. But it’s also the perfect way to start an engaging conversation with your target audience.
Why is content so important?
Ultimately, content marketing helps you build an audience authentically. It then helps you to keep them and create a sense of loyalty. Provide them with nurturing and guidance, and they’ll repay the favour by sticking with your brand. Fail to do so and you’ll quickly get lost in the inundation of noise and marketing messages from competitors.
Above all, a strong content strategy will deliver more traffic to your website, grow your social media audience and improve your Google rankings – all of which can help you establish greater business success.
However, with changing consumption habits and shifting Google algorithms, the type of content that’s most successful continues to chop and change. This is where experimenting and using data is crucial. What works for one brand may not even work for another.
Understand what type of content is considered low-quality
Before you can truly understand which content type is favoured about others it’s important to understand the ‘don’ts’ when it comes to generating material overall. Here are some of the things to avoid:
- A lack of authority: Content should position you as an expert: as a trustworthy and authoritative voice on the subject. There should be no dancing around an issue or sweeping statements without proper referencing.
- Clickbait: Once a popular tool to get those website clicks boosted, there are many reasons why clickbait is no longer something you should rely on. Firstly, they manipulate the reader and will ultimately alienate them. Like the old saying goes: “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.”
Secondly, social media platforms are actively fighting against clickbait, labelling it a form of spam. Facebook especially is likely to remove your post before it gets anywhere.
- Spelling and grammar: This is self-explanatory, but proper spelling and grammar matters. There are several modern tools that transcend basic spell-checking, like Grammarly, which will help fix your errors on the fly.
Know your goals
The battle between search engine optimisation and what readers actually want to consume show no sign of abating. On one hand, Google wants your articles to be as in-depth as possible and finely honed in on a specific, relevant subject to your website.
The longer and more detailed the article is, with proper linking and referencing, the more likely you are to find the article and your website ranked highly in search results. The problem with this is modern readers have shortened attention spans and tend to consume their information on mobile devices much more than traditional computers.
CAPTION: Know exactly what you want to get out of your content marketing material. Source.
That means they like snack-sized content that reaches the point quickly and concisely and may tune out when confronted with long-form articles.
So before getting to work on your next think piece, consider the goals you are trying to achieve. Is Google ranking and exposure your top priority? Then feel free to get all War and Peace on your next article.
If providing content to your existing and new consumer base is the priority, consider trimming it down to no more than 400 words to make it easy to read on a mobile device.
Do proper keyword research
CAPTION: Use a resource like keywordtool.io to see what people are asking on Google, in relation to your topic.
SEO is vital in ensuring your content reaches the first page of Google search result pages (SERPs).
Opening a search engine is the first thing that 93 percent of all internet users do before anything else, which shows the importance of being on that first page when they conduct their query. Of those platforms, Google holds over 90 percent of the market share.
Beyond that, three out of four internet users are not likely to click past the first page at all.
Luckily, there are some effective methods for reaching prime real estate on these engines, specifically by creating high-quality content that boosts your rankings. This content needs to include the key phrases that people are searching (and that are relevant to your business), so understanding trends and having the right tools at your disposal is key.
A word of advice, though – do not saturate your copy with keywords – this won’t get you far and Google will likely give you a slap on the wrist.
Make sure your content provides value
The longer people stay on your page and read your article, the better it looks to Google.
This is called ‘dwell time’ – the time between clicking on the search result and going back to the search results. Conversely, you might know it as ‘bounce rate’. The more you’re able to optimise these metrics, the more Google will deem your page as ‘valuable’ and ‘informative’. Nail this aspect and you’ll see your website start to creep its way up the first page (hopefully0.
Make your content readable
Depending on your industry, the topics you wish to discuss could be heavily jargon-laden. Loading up your content with this jargon is great for academic pieces or for content designed for your peers, but it will not suit the average reader.
Try to strip down this type of wording and keep everything simple, clear and accessible. Appealing to the masses will help you to gain more visitors and shareability (although it may not be as targeted).
Dive deeper into the subject matter
While you want to keep the language and structure simple to appeal to a wider audience, the information you include needs to go deeper than a simple overview. Google wants deeper content and has this built into their algorithm. They want exceptional depth and will reward sites that deliver this.
This means you should include long-form articles as part of your strategy, really diving deep into the subject at hand which also provides value for the reader. Although this may not appeal to all audiences, it will help your SEO efforts overall. And best of all, you can even use this content for other formats – like infographics or ebooks.
Ensure you include video as part of your content strategy
The power of video cannot be understated. YouTube alone has over a billion active users – which equates to a third of all traffic on the internet.
Beyond that, more than 500 million hours of video are watched on this platform every day and nearly half of all internet users will watch more than an hour of Facebook of YouTube videos every week.
When you take advantage of this behaviour, it can equate to more traffic to your site. In fact, content that uses video as a format delivers 41 per cent more traffic than content that does not include video.
Luckily, with high-end cameras built into our smartphones and tablets, it’s possible to create attractive video content in-house. All it takes is a bit of planning and some practice talking in front of a camera!
Make use of your tools
Preparation is half the challenge of creating a content strategy that packs a punch. There are some handy modern marketing tools that can help you achieve this goal, beyond simply posting on your website and social media. We recommend:
- Mailchimp: This is a platform that allows you to automate your emails and distribute content to your mailing list regularly and simply.
CAPTION: Mailchimp makes it easy to create emails to your database of subscribers or prospects. Source.
- Buffer: You don’t need to post your content to individual social media accounts. With this software, you can post to multiple platforms simultaneously including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn. You can also schedule posts for the future.
- Feedly: While creating your own content is important, sharing relevant content from other sources can help ease the burden while still establishing you as an expert in your field. Feedly will help you aggregate content on specific topics from a wide variety of sources.
- Trello: Managing your content and when/where you are going to post articles can be tricky. This will help you plot and plan your future content marketing strategies.
CAPTION: Use a tool like Trello to map out your editorial calendar. Source.
- Canva: You don’t need to understand Photoshop to create compelling visuals to accompany your articles on social media. This is a basic, templated graphic design tool that allows even beginners to create gorgeous posts for social media.
Has your content strategy seen better days? Contact the Havealook team now to learn how we can help you leverage your online presence. Call us now on 1300 367 009.