Why content is an important marketing tool for your business
Unless you’ve been living under a digital-proof rock, you will likely be aware of the uses of online content creation for growing business recognition and engagement.
In this day and age, content is one of the most important marketing methods available to businesses. In fact, statistics show that 47% of buyers view at least 3-5 pieces of content before engaging with a sales rep, and companies that post a number of blogs each month get more than triple the traffic of those that publish once or not at all.
But how do you create content that actually gets read? Moreover, content that your customer actually enjoys and will want to read more of?
In this article, I am going to share with you the key elements to creating relevant, insightful and engaging content.
Content that will get found – and enjoyed – online.
3 tips to figure out what type of content to create
Before we dive into the ins and outs of successful content creation, let’s think about how you can decide what to create content on.
The most important thing to be aware of when creating a content marketing plan is the educational value of the content. The content that consistently gets results is the content that teaches people something.
This in turn enables you to become a trusted and reliable source in your industry, making customers more favorable towards using your services or buying your products in the future.
To begin determining the kinds of topics you want to include in your content marketing plan, start by thinking about the types of questions your customers are asking.
Here are some tips to help you get started:
1. Write out a list of every question a client has ever asked you. The businesses that get the best results from their content creation are the ones that answer specific questions that clients, or potential clients, are asking.
2. Utilize Google predictive search. This Google engine function means that when you begin searching, Google will list commonly searched terms around that topic. This way you can find out what kinds of things people are looking for around your subject.
3. Check out the website Answer The Public. This is an extremely useful website where you simply type in your industry and it produces a list of around 100 different search queries that people use to search around your industry.
Your guide to creating readable content
Format for the web
So you’ve begun planning your content topics and figuring out what your audience is interested in reading about. How do you ensure that the content you create actually gets read? And found?
Let’s break it down.
One of the golden rules of a content marketing plan is to create content regularly and produce enough of it to keep people interested. But you won’t get far creating a huge amount of poor quality, generic content.
To actually see results you need to take your content creation to the next level.
First things first, start thinking about the format and layout of the content.
In this modern age, attention spans are continually on the wane. As such, content needs to be:
- Easy to read
- Broken up
- Skimmable (43% of people admit to skimming blog posts)
There’s little more off-putting than a page of unbroken text with no headers, bullet points or images.
The layout and format of your content can be the difference between someone staying on the page to read it and that individual clicking off without giving it a second look.
With some well-planned, dynamic and effective formatting, you can simultaneously stand out in the internet world and ensure your content gets read. Win-win, right?
Optimize your content so Google reads it, too
Not only do you want your content to be read by potential clients, but you need Google to be able to read it too. By optimizing your content for search engines like Google, you can generate leads for free.
There are a number of ways you can become a trusted source (for both clients and Google) and get a higher search ranking:
1. Create content regularly. The more content you create, the more likely you are to appear on Google searches and get read. If you upload a great piece of content, only to never do it again – or several months after – you are wasting an opportunity to build trust and a relationship with customers that keeps them coming back for more. This is where a comprehensive and well-planned content marketing plan comes in handy.
2. Optimize your SEO metadata. This is really far simpler than it sounds. The SEO meta data code is in the “back” of your website and is something Google reads to decide whether your content is relevant for a particular search query.
You can optimize your SEO metadata by using keywords in the description and including relevant and engaging content about your business – including questions to draw in the reader. Many businesses neglect to fill in the metadata at all!
Most popular content management systems have straightforward ways to fill in meta information. For example, the WordPress meta plugin, Yoast SEO, is a powerful tool that can help you become more search-engine friendly and create meta titles with ease.
3. Be persistent and patient. One blog post is unlikely to rank you on Google. It takes time and patience – both with your customers and Google – to become a recognized, valued and trusted source of information.
You can’t create content once and expect to see results. Content creation needs to be something you are consistently and persistently doing – once a month, or, preferably, once a week. Moreover, the competitiveness of your market and your particular target audience will determine how much content you will have to produce to begin making a mark and ranking.
4. Guest blog on other websites. The benefits of this are twofold. Firstly, it’s a fresh new way for people to find your website, expanding both your audience and your reach. By appearing on websites not specifically related to your own, you can broaden your scope and connect with a wider community.
Secondly, guest blogging helps you rank higher on Google, as links and citations to your website from other websites build credibility and means Google is more likely to use your page in search results.
Here’s an example of one of our guest blogs:
5. Share and promote your content on social media. No one wants to spend time on content creation for that content to never be seen. An easy and accessible way to get your content read is to share it on your social media platforms. You can either share links for free or pay for advertising to broaden your reach.
But again, there is little use in paying to reach a larger audience if the content that is reaching them is something that is of little or no value to them. It all comes back to creating educational, entertaining and relevant content for your specific customer.
So there you have it. A brief guide on how to start thinking about what topics to include in your content marketing plan and how to make sure that content is actually read – and enjoyed.
One final tip: you can use Google Analytics to review which pieces of content are the most clicked on and which are generating the most leads. That way you can hone in on what works and what doesn’t – and avoid the latter!
Happy content creating!
To learn more about how focusing on content creation and social media can help you find, attract and convert your ideal clients, check out our free social media training video.
Ashley Davis (or ‘Ash’ for short) is the CEO & Founder of Skyline Social. For over 15 years, he has been helping business owners with lead generation. Ash specializes in helping businesses get high-quality leads, appointments and clients each month in an automated, scalable and profitable way. You can watch his free Masterclass training to learn more.