We’ve already heard that old saying at some point…
“Content is king”
We know the importance of content, we know it’s going to be the key to attracting, building and engaging with a loyal audience. And as well as that, it makes any link building and social media promotion efforts a lot, lot easier.
But of course, it’s can’t just a case of creating anything, right?
If you provide true, honest value in your content, then your audience will love you for it! And the more consistently you do this, and the more often you do it – the more likely they will be to come back again and again.
So, this article is going to give you a quick rundown on the key things to consider if you want to create content that is magnetic enough to attract links, traffic and a high quality audience…
Your overall marketing goal should be to eventually rank everything you have, on organic search. That certainly won’t happen overnight, but if you DO achieve it, you’ll have a long term, consistent stream of traffic flowing to your site – and you’ll barely have to lift a finger or invest a significant amount of cash to keep it there.
But, before we reach that stage, a few things we need to consider:
Who are your audience?
You need to think about who you’re trying to target with your content. What they do for a living, where they hang out, what other websites/publications they read, what pain points they have – to name just a few.
Why do you need this content?
Is for branding purposes, traffic, direct sales, or something else?
The answer to this question is going to have a large effect on the type of content you’ll want to make – and also where you need to distribute it.
I.e. large to medium sized content is suitable if you want to mainly attract traffic from search engines. (but just because its long doesn’t mean its “great content)
But if you want to create a social media following, you’ll need to have much shorter, opinion type pieces.
Generating lists of ideas
Not every content piece you come up with, will be a massive hit, believe me. And it’s going to involve creating a list of content ideas, executing them, and seeing how they perform.
When it comes to content ideation, some methods I use include:
- Looking on Quora.com, industry forums and influential industry blogs. Especially if you look at the articles which rank the highest and have the most engagement.
- Has your business done something very unique/cool? Could be anything from developing a very unique product or something very charitable. Whatever it is, it could be a subject of an interesting content piece that people will want to read.
- What’s in the news lately? Is there some new trend? And can it be related to your own business?
Bear these things in mind:
- Make sure your content tells a story and engages with the audience.
- Use your expertise. Be willing to inject some industry knowledge and/or do some extensive research to make content that is advanced enough.
This is a part which you don’t want to over-do. But it is a necessary part – not as complicated as you may think though. Look at places where your audience are hanging out, get a feel for the questions they ask, the jargon they use, the subjects they talk about, etc. Generate keyword ideas from this. And create even more ideas by plugging THOSE keywords into Google, and picking out some of the Google suggested keywords.
A plugin like Keywords Everywhere can help find more keywords and will even give you the search volume for them as well.
Now, the reason we want to pick out natural keyword ideas in this way, is to tie into the way keywords are going – and that is keyword intent.
What this really means, is that you’re assessing if the intent of the keyword you’re trying to target, is actually going to be of any use to your business/brand. And in effect, you’re optimizing your content towards what a searcher would naturally be typing into a search engine, rather than just trying to look for individual keywords.
But again, don’t let the keyword research stunt your progress on content ideation and creation. Your primary focus is to create the content to suit the audience, not the keywords.
Choosing a Content Type
You need to choose your content format well. It’ll depend largely on your product, the business and the audience. But may involve a mixture of these:
Short form posts
E.g. an interview post, a Q & A. It may be in the form of a blog post, but even may be more suitable as a Quora.com thread or a stickied post on a forum.
A visually appealing way of displaying a large set of statistics, data or of summarizing a large content piece. It’s also a pretty quick and easy way of someone displaying your content – all they need to do is embed the image and credit you with a link below.
Great especially for a personal brand and if being able to show your or your brand personality is going to be the key to standing out. Means you can distribute on YouTube as well. Yes, it’s a lot harder to execute. But.. because it requires more effort, you will probably stand out from the competition.
Great for B2B marketing, can be embedded within other content and is particularly shareable on LinkedIn.
Long form posts
E.g. round up posts or very in-depth authority pieces. A good way of delving deep into a complex subject within your industry.
Stretch your content
And once you’ve created that content, there’s nothing wrong with repurposing them, to make them stretch a bit further.
For example, if you film a video, you could create a PowerPoint with it, and share the slideshow on LinkedIn. You could then get it transcribed into a long blog post. And then hire a designer to summarize the main points and turn it into an infographic.
As an extreme example of this in action, just look at what Gary Vee’s content strategy looks like.
Optimize your content
Now while I have concentrated here on creating content and with that comes – building links to that content and promoting it – you also don’t want to ignore the foundations like proper on-page SEO.
And along with that, you want to optimize your content in terms of improving the user experience, which can ultimately attract traffic.
So that means things like:
- Keep the URL structure short with your keywords within it.
- Make sure the content is easy to navigate and easy to find from your home page.
- Use enticing headline titles for your content pieces.
- Don’t make content too wordy and hard to read.
- Don’t be a robot! Show your personality and don’t be afraid that your personality or brand personality doesn’t resonate with everyone – that person may not have been your customer anyway.
And a very key thing I want to end with. Don’t just write content for the sake of writing content. Don’t write it out of necessity.
Write things out of sheer enthusiasm and passion. And when you do THAT consistently enough, your customer base will recognize it and you’ll attract more traffic with your content.