Current Marketing Trends – Content Marketing is a Must Part1 Outlined the nature of content marketing, including the following topic areas:
- Creating vs aggregating
- Non-selling content
- Delivering on a consistent basis
- Engaging a community around your brand
- Providing value
This second post, of this three part series on content marketing, outlines best practices for the creation of effective content.
Keyword Identification & Selection
If one of your goals includes having your content rank well on the search engines, the first step to effective content marketing, is keyword identification. You need to determine which keywords might be effective keyword phrases to target and include in your content strategy. You must come to understand:
- What keywords or keyword phrases have the most search demand
- What is the level of competition for your target keywords (will it be possible for your content to rank well, based on the competitive landscape?)
- With what sites are you competing?
- How many pages of content do they have?
- How focused is their content on your subject area / keywords?
- How authoritative is their domain name?
- How many inbound links do they have?
- Are you going to be able to generate enough, consistent content to begin to have penetration? What will this take?
- How long-tail will your keywords have to be to succeed, and is there still enough search traffic to make this worth the effort?
Define Consistent Topics
Creating consistent, content categories gives your content marketing strategy consistency. For example, each month, Webolutions creates content in the following categories:
- Marketing Trends
- Experience Marketing
- Online Marketing
- Design Best Practices
- Webolutions Inside & Out
Then, within these broad categories, our team creates original content on related areas.
This allows those who read our content (I guess this means you) to know what type of content to expect from us on a consistent basis.
We see many blogs that lack this structure. Imagine reading your favorite online magazine, but instead of the features and topics you have come to expect, the publisher just began publishing content on whatever topics they found interesting that month. How could you possibly determine if this publication was going to include something that might interest you on an ongoing basis? You might choose to stop reading this magazine altogether. With consistent content topics, your readers can come to understand why they should spend time to follow and open your content. This is critical.
- Come to know, understand and write for your audience – With so many people becoming authors, the most critical piece of advice we can provide, is to know who your audience is and then make sure that you are writing for them.
- Establish a voice – do you write in first person, second person or third person? Do you refer to your audience in the familiar (ie you vs. our clients), is your writing style formal or more casual? These standards are especially important to create consistency if you content marketing is going to utilize multiple authors.
- Be concise – Be sure to make clear points. Avoid rambling on. If a point contains more than three items, create bullets. This will make your content easier to read.
Imagery – A picture paints a 1,000 words. Research shows that content with engaging imagery is read far more often than plain text. Content with videos is consumed at an even higher rate. Your content marketing strategy should include a plan for how to create branded, engaging images and videos. This increasingly important as the search engines index more and more of this type of visual content.
Be Relevant – It seems so obvious, yet so much of the content being created today just blathers on without meaning. Make sure you answer these questions every time you create content.
- What is the purpose of creating this content?
- Why would my target audience(s) care about this?
- How is this relevant or actionable?
How to Use This Information
- Make sure your content marketing strategy has clearly identified, targeted and attainable keywords
- Organize your content into relevant, consistent categories
- Make sure you are writing for your audience
- Have an engaging imagery plan
- Be relevant
If you would like help evaluating how well you are following these key steps to effective content marketing, please call Webolutions at 303-300-2640. We believe in making a difference in people’s lives and would be happy to provide you with a complimentary one-on-one evaluation to help you put together a more effective marketing program.
Please share your additional thoughts, ideas and insights with our readers via your comments below.