All experts agree that 2017 will be the year in which quality content marketing will trump all other forms of marketing. According to data presented by Business2Community close to 95% of marketers claim that they are doing content marketing in one form or another.
It’s difficult to produce high-quality content that will resonate well with your audience, but it is essential that you are able to do it. Companies engaged in content marketing generate THREE TIMES more leads than those who don’t!
Your job is to entice your audience and your customers. You need to connect with them on a deeply personal level that goes beyond numbers. Quality content lets you do just that. If you focus on creating valuable content you will:
- Increase your organic traffic
- Increase engagement on your website and lower the bounce rate significantly
- Increase brand awareness through social media platforms
- Increase customer satisfaction and positive word of mouth
- Ultimately increase your reach and revenue
When you sit down to write or shoot or draw your particular piece of content, keep the following in mind:
Relevance and value
- Write for your audience
- Know their pressure points and their language and use it.
- Add your own take on the things, and don’t simply rehash information
- Enrich your content with something personal and relatable
- Personalize your content; if you think that one topic is interesting to two different segments of your audience, tailor the format and the delivery to both separately.
Structure and focus
- Don’t beat around the bush; deliver your point as soon as possible to draw the audience in.
- You have a couple of seconds to capture someone’s attention. Offer them a solution immediately or
- shock them into continuing reading, whatever works best for that particular topic.
- Deal with one topic in a single paragraph (or one topic in a single video segment), it helps you focus the content and achieve clarity.
- Make sure that all your topics are helping you deliver the point you set out to deliver. Wandering around and getting off the track is confusing to your audience.
- Make it easy to digest. If you are creating an article or a blog post use bullet points, lists, anything that will allow readers to quickly scan the content and find what they are looking for.
Tone and style
- Define the personality of your brand. Is it upbeat and quirky, or is it solemn and serious? Knowing this will help you set the tone for your content. If you cater to younger audiences and you differentiate yourself as modern, in-the-loop company you can get away with a conversational tone. If your industry is more serious, your tone should reflect that.
- Try to avoid jargon. Your goal is to appeal to as many people as you can; using complicated language makes most people think too hard and some are more than happy to give up at that point.
On the other hand, don’t over simplify things. People hate being talked down to as if they were children.
- To help with the readability, try to keep a steady rhythm in your writing. Varying sentence length will help with that; just make sure that they are not too long and complex.
Create killer titles
Take particular care when crafting a headline for anything you will be publishing on the Internet. The Father of Advertising, David Ogilvy, said that five times more people read the title than the body of the text. Use that space to draw those people in.
It is important to keep your titles clear, concise and accurate. Don’t craft titles for the search engines, develop them with your audience in mind and show them how your text will answer their questions or solve their problems. This is what you should keep in mind when creating your headline:
- Be clear and to the point, confusing titles will lower your click-through rate.
Titles with numbers tend to draw in more visitors, so if it makes sense to include a number, make sure you do.
- Titles that have between 5-9 words get more attention. This is probably due to the fact that humans can hold 7 +/- 2 things in their working memory at any time.
- Don’t bicker with neuroscience, and instead, keep your title length in check.
- Hyphenated titles get around 10 % more clicks. They re-affirm the message, letting the reader know that they will get what they need if they click on it.
Proofread and edit
After doing this much work, don’t let it all go to waste by failing to proofread and edit your work. Complete the first run by yourself. Make sure that the text is uniform and clear, cut out redundancies and clean up anything that sticks out. Use a word processing program or an app (there is a bunch of these on the Internet – some are free and some are not, but all can be tremendously helpful). Here are some of them:
Have a colleague read your text as well, as a fresh pair of eyes might catch something you’ve missed. Keeping everything error-free is of utmost importance. It’s hard to build credibility if your content is riddled with grammatical errors and style inconsistencies.
When it comes to publishing your content, you can take two routes. You can publish it in-house; on your blog, website, newsletter, YouTube channel or anywhere else, or you can turn to industry blogs and relevant publications and see if they would be interested in collaboration. Also, a great way to push your video and audio content is through YouTube shows and industry podcasts.
If you decide to take the second options you will have to do some groundwork prior to publishing the content. There are some considerations you need to take into account when looking for partners, but nearly 90% of bloggers will be delighted to work with you, many of which will not require any compensation in return. Your promise to push the content – and their site in the process – will most likely be sufficient.
1. Make a list of blogs, online magazines, YouTube channels and podcasts that you would like to be featured at. Take their audience into consideration and try to correlate it to the buyer persona you tailored your content to. Here are some of them:
2. Always shoot for the stars. Find the most influential people in your niche and contact them to discuss a potential collaboration. Sometimes they will turn you down, sometimes they won’t. Make sure to send samples of your work and content; quality is often what tips the scale to your benefit.
3. Do placement research well in advance of writing an article whenever possible. This way you can brainstorm ideas with your host and see if there is any particular type of content their audience responds well to or if there are any requirement that you have to meet to be featured.
4. Agree on the date of publication. This way you can start promoting your content as soon as it goes live.
Take care of that piece of content. If you are the author and a debate starts in the comments section, make sure that you are there to answer questions and welcome people aboard. Your audience will appreciate it and so will the webmaster.
A lot of businesses publish great content, either on their own blogs and site or as guest posts on other relevant pages. Then they sit back and let it flat on its face! There is simply no excuse not to work as hard at promotion as you did on creation. Remember, if you build it, they will not come! You’re responsible for pushing your content as far as it will go. Here are some awesome techniques you can use that are guaranteed to bring you success.
- Share your content with your mailing list. Most people believe that Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter are main platforms they should be focusing on. They are, but they also account for only 28% of social shares. Most sharing is done by e-mail, so don’t fail to address that as well. Invite people to read your piece and forward it to anyone they believe might find it interesting.
- Add social buttons to your content. Share, pin it, tweet; add everything that you believe will help your content reach a wider audience. Adding these buttons makes it easier for your readers to share and promote you.
- Optimize it for search engines. If you follow our headline rules you won’t have a problem with search, but it bears repeating. Make sure your main points are right at the top and include an inviting meta-description.
- Add links to your byline when guest posting. Where relevant, try to cite your articles in your guest posts and add links to those as well. Don’t stuff it, don’t overdo it; allow it happen naturally if it happens at all, but do your best.
- Comment on industry forums. Be civil, constructive, and helpful. If you have an article that might help people out, point them to it.
- Quote an influencer and help them share their message as well. Use research from thought leaders in your industry. Mail them, telling them how helpful their insights have been when you were working on your own article and include a link. If you did your job well and your content is impressive, chances are that they well share it with their community.
- Visit the most popular pieces of content you have in your archive and add links to your new content if it pertains to the topic. It will help you drive traffic to new stuff you’re churning out.
Why Go Through All This Trouble?
All this may seem like a great deal of work for an activity that might not even generate the desired results. Those results are conversions and profit. If you think in those confined terms then you are right, but if you take into account that the marketing paradigm is shifting you will slowly start to realize why great content packs a punch.