The ‘buzz’ in digital marketing recently has been around content creation and content marketing. There are several organisations that believe that, by providing customers with quality content, they will get the most out of their marketing efforts. Content marketing as a strategy should be implemented should support your wider marketing efforts.
To put it simply, the best content for any marketer is content that is targeted to a specific audience in which it adds value, and is easy to find. Content marketing is one of the key components to online success, and the best way to drive visitors and increase sales online. With this in mind, one of the first things that should be considered is search engine optimisation (SEO). This is the practice of crafting high quality content for your web pages that will ensure the search engines to pick them up. While there are many approaches that marketers take in order to optimise content, there are some best practices that all marketers should adhere to. These best practices will be the foundation on which you build your marketing success.
The first step to making sure that you’re optimising your content is to get it all written down! Write down everything that you plan to write and distribute. That way, you can track what works and what doesn’t. You want to make sure that every aspect of your business, your industry, your company culture and even irrelevant, but trending topics, is being covered. With these elements to include, it’s helpful to create a content calendar that allows you to plan ahead. Planning your content in this way will help you implement SEO effectively.
If your content is relevant, it will be seen. To ensure it’s relevant, you must perform keyword research. Keyword research involves choosing 1 – 2 keywords that apply to your chosen content topic, and identifying high search volume variations that can be strategically placed throughout your content. This decreases your chances of being penalised by SEO algorithms for keyword stuffing and increases the chances of your content being shown to users who search for those keywords.
SEO algorithms are constantly changing, so it’s important to stay up to date with them. This is one of the primary reasons why most marketers out there are failing with their marketing strategies. If you want to stay relevant in the eyes of the search engines, be constantly writing and publishing fresh content. There are many places on the web that are full of information and helpful tools that you can tap into to create this content. Publishing your content on a variety of platforms, such as your website, content hubs and your social media channels means you have more chance of the content being seen and shared. The benefit of social media content is that it has huge potential to be seen and shared if you use trending hashtags.
Using different distribution channels gives brands the opportunity to get creative with content formats. Formats such as blogs and articles work well when associated with your website, but for channels such as Facbeook, visual content drives engagement. This means that you can test different content types. Offering value and driving action can be achieved visually, and is sometimes the preferred method; 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual, and visuals are processed in the brain at 60,000 times the speed of text (Visual Teaching Alliance), so this is often a better way for organisations, such as tech companies, to illustrate complicated processes without losing the readers’ attention. This also gives you the chance to stand out against the competition. Getting creative with visual, easy-to-digest content that represents tangible value a winning formula (Neil Patel).
High quality back links pointing to your website are one of the most important search ranking factors. If you publish lots of high quality content and consider SEO practices, then this will probably happen organically. However, actively reaching out to other blogs and websites to help them find your content and choose to link to you is not uncommon. Be sure to choose wisely though, the chosen blogs and sites must apply to your content and have good domain authority, otherwise, it could have a negative impact.
Covered above are the basic elements that you should consider when creating your content. Content marketing is a chance to get creative, and learn what works and what doesn’t work for your target audience- It’s a journey. But to start out, your content must be informative and relevant, and it also needs to be shared widely. All brands should focus on creating the most viral content possible, but, should focus on driving qualified traffic.