The key to creating valuable content is to write as if you are needed, not needy
By: Jessi Minneci
So you’ve got your website and social profiles all set up. You are pushing out weekly… even daily blog and social posts! You know your products and/services are cool, so you’re good… right?
Sorry. Not good enough.
We hate to be the bearer of bad news, but success in content marketing world most likely has nothing to do with your writing skills, or how many keyword phrases you sneak into one blog’s copy. Instead, great content depends on answering your audience’s most common questions. We repeat: successful content becomes successful once you start being a resource (not just a retail) outlet for your audience.
That, alongside framing the content’s headline, meta description, and tags to be attractive to search engines like Google, will help your content actually make it to the blue lines on search engine pages and will help it get read!
Take a deep breath. Creating awesome, sought-out content is totally achievable! Keep these key factors for great content in mind for before you hit “publish” next time.
Know what the people want
Content ideation has everything to do with compiling a list of topics that your audience wants to talk about and questions that they need answered. It sounds easy, but there’s a lot of leg work that goes into formulating the right answers.
As a business owner and marketer, you’re probably already familiar with your target market’s pain points and how your product and service can help alleviate said pains. Those solutions serve as the center of your content marketing strategy. From there, though, you’re going to want to build on that using these components:
- Finding the keywords
- Keyword research will help you better understand what your audience is searching for and how
- It provides insight into human search behavior
- Start by researching what terms people in your industry are paying for on AdWords/AdCenter
- Analyzing the industry
- Know what your competition is pushing out in terms of content and figure out how you can stand apart from it
- Comb through top industry sources to uncover hot topics and trends
- Always aim to go the extra mile
- Target your audience
- Use Q&A sites, like Yahoo!, to see what your audience is asking the web
- Browse various social groups’ discussions, like LinkedIn, to figure out what your target audience is CURRENTLY talking about
- HootSuite is helpful in researching conversations on Twitter and Facebook
Use your resources
Don’t overlook the fact that you probably have a wealth of knowledge right at your fingertips. Ask your staff and coworker what questions they get asked on a daily basis. Include anyone who talks to prospects or clients (HR, customer support, the sales team, project managers, promotions, etc.)
Check comments that come in on your blog and social posts. Use those questions as follow-up topics.
Are you catching our drift? These are all simple resources that you can use to find out what your audience really wants.
Ditch the clickbait
Although we’d like to think a headline like “OMG! You’ll Never Guess Where This Guy Stuck His Big Toe!” has the best chance of getting opened; it’s more likely to get swallowed in the black hole of search engine optimization nothingness. While a headline like that may fair well with users who come directly to your website for content, it’s missing relevant keywords that pertain to the content… words that prospective clients are actually searching for.
When it comes to headlines and metadescriptions, it’s better to be straightforward. Search engines favor keywords over your cheeky copywriting. Bottom line: a witty title doesn’t get people to click.
Searchers never see it because it likely won’t show up in relevant results.
If the big toe article mentioned above actually has to do with Maroon 5 singer Adam Levine getting his foot stuck in a mouse trap while on stage in Toronto, a better headline would be “Maroon 5’s Adam Levine Gets Foot Stuck in Mouse Trap at Toronto Concert.” Witty? No. Search engine gold? Yes.
Be straightforward with your content description (in headlines, metadata, and tags). It’ll get you farther in life. And, if you must, save the witty clickbait titles for e-newsletters that get sent out to your already-loyal customer base.
Timing is everything
It’s definitely not going to help if you push out new content at a time when your audience isn’t available to gobble it up and digest it. Real success comes from understanding exactly where and when your specific subscribers are responding to your content.
At 24 Communications, we can help you figure out who of your audience members opened what, when they opened it, and exactly what they clicked on after they did. We’ll also be straightforward in researching and figuring out what content isn’t working for certain targets or simply not working at all. After all, in the content marketing field, the truth matters!
Once you get a better understanding for the optimal time your content sees engagement, use it to create a clear and concise content calendar. You can use that to manage your distribution time moving forward and even use it to align everything from your delivery to your goals and resources.
Add SEO bits to create content people are searching for
See what we did there? The subheading above (an H2) contains almost the exact keyword phrase used in the title. Just like your metadata and formal title (H1), “H-tags” are another element of SEO optimization. As you might guess, H1 indicates the primary headline and H2, H3 are subheads.
Your H1 (only used once, at beginning of article) and H2’s should include a targeted keyword phrase whenever possible – but don’t force it.
You can also add keyword related phrases throughout the article. LSI graph is a free tool that allows you to enter your main keyword or keyword phrase, and in turn, generate a list of related terms that people are also searching for.
All of these skills and tools can be tough to manage on a daily and recurring basis, but the process is streamlined when you team up with a professional content marketing company. At 24 Communications, our vision is to build the most trusted and effective advertising agency anywhere, ever. That may sound like a pretty lofty goal, but the truth is we’re doing it.
24 Communications is an award-winning, full-service marketing and advertising agency. We specialize in brand identity, strategic marketing, advertising, website design, public relations, content development, and creating content that your customers are searching for!
Ready to get noticed? Team up with the experts at 24 today. We can’t wait to hear from you!