Even the most visually appealing and feature packed websites tend to lack long-term viability and prominence if the content quality doesn’t put spotlight on the brand or the product/service offerings. Too artistic or unorthodox content may be too difficult to show up at the top of the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) for their chosen keywords; on the other hand, too conventional or straightforward content risk the danger of not being read at all.
How does one create content that is engaging, error-free, and accessible to your target audience? Here’s how successful people make the most of content.
1. Align content to marketing goals
A simple secret to success lies in getting your content marketing goals aligned with your business goals. It’s not designed for quick hits and immediate results – it’s about playing the long game. The more clearly you can show how it relates to the wider business goals, the more you can stand out among your target audience and competitors.
According to Robert Rose, Chief Strategy Advisor of Content Marketing Institute, strategic content marketing framework reflects any of the following:
- Player (content as contributor): Content supports and integrates with product marketing, demand generation, or other business initiatives
- Platform (content as an integrated business): Content is valued as a distinct product that always puts emphasis on the brand or business
- Performer (content as a center of excellence): Content is dedicated to forming deep relationships with target audiences
- Processor (content as a service): Content is a highly specialized business function that is managed by a specific team or department
2. Understand the readers
The main purpose of content creation is attracting targeted traffic and effectively communicating your message. Instead of trying to make everyone feel included, tailor your content to a specific audience profile. Use an intelligent analytics tool that will help you find topics, information, and insightful details that will resonate with your readers to deliver the best results.
You’ll be a lot better off if you put yourself in the readers’ shoes and understand their expectation or motivation, according to Jerod Morris, vice president of marketing at Rainmaker Digital. “Find out what keeps him or her up at night or how you can help alleviate any pain or suffering or frustrating they are feeling. When you empathize in this way, you set yourself on the track of creating content that will be meaningful and impactful.”
3. Choose a variety of content formats
Different content types have better chances of being searched for, discovered, and consumed by readers, especially if it appeals to their personal preferences. The top fived content formats that should be visible on your digital platforms are blog posts/short articles, social media, in-person events, videos, and email newsletters.
“Content is one of three main SEO search ranking factors,” said Sharon Hurley Hall of OptinMonster. “But here’s the thing: no single type of content will appeal to every visitor. That’s why it makes sense to vary your content. That will help you win your audience’s attention, and boost leads and sales.”
4. Align content with searched keywords
Paying attention to keyword research can lead to increased web traffic, site authority, and brand awareness. Define the terms that you want to be associated with your business. Focus on high volume low competition keywords and start building content based on the results. An excellent SEO analysis tool for keyword suggestions and monitoring or competitor analyses will help achieve your content marketing goals.
Julia McCoy of The Content Hacker explained, “Keywords aren’t the end-all, be-all strategy (so to speak) in creating online content. Using keywords correctly, though, means using the voice of your customers and target audience. This allows you to target your message and stand out in your industry.”
5. Establish your own voice
Quick reality check: You’re not the only content creator in your industry. How to stand out? Use your own personal voice. You might be restricted from becoming too opinionated or overly informal, but that doesn’t mean you can’t indulge in the unique perspective that inspired you to write about the topic in the first place.
Maggie Butler of HubSpot explained, “Readers click on your content for the information, but they come back for the personality. Learn how to blend your employer’s content guidelines with your own creativity, and you’ll become a much more valuable content creator in the long run.”
6. Create content for different stages of the buying cycle
There are 5 stages of the customer journey: Awareness, Consideration, Purchase, Retention, and Advocacy. Successful content marketers create content based on this buying cycle. Majority of the content is for prospects in the early stages of the buying journey. The rest of the content is meant to lead to the purchase stage and even drive brand loyalty and advocacy.
“Each piece of content should ideally focus on building deeper customer relationships or encouraging repeat business,” said Isaac Justesen of Content Marketing. “Your customers need to continually receive value from your brand, or the value they place on your relationship will diminish and they may turn to the competition.”
7. Use the right channels
Successful people make the most of content by always considering both organic (nonpaid) and paid channels to distribute content to their target audiences. The organization’s website, social media platforms, and email are the top three organic content distribution channels while search engine marketing/pay-per-click, social media advertising/promoted posts, and sponsorships are the top three paid content distribution channels.
“Invest in research and analytics up front, according to Kathleen Lucente of Red Fan Communications. “Get organic revved up first so you can glean data from engagement KPIs. Then, fine-tune the content approach by establishing an integrated calendar that incorporates a seamless feel between paid and organic and a cadence for sharing informative content.”
Don’t be left out!
A robust suite of content marketing tools is absolutely invaluable. If you’re interested in seeing how to reshape your content creation and delivery strategy, look at Cabana on SwaysEast. Get started for free today!