Great content is the goal of every marketer.
Even if you aren’t engaged in a dedicated content marketing strategy, you will need good content to build brand awareness, connect with customers, establish your authority, and nurture leads.
You cannot underestimate the value of good content.
Yet creating good content can be elusive. You spend a lot of time thinking about what you want to write, create something you think is really exceptional, and then are disappointed when you fail to see the numbers materialize in your analytics dashboard.
There is nothing you can do to guarantee that your content will have the impact you want, but there are things you can do to ensure you are creating valuable content. Here are a few things you can do to improve your results:
Make Sure People Can Find Your Content
“War and Peace” wouldn’t have been the masterpiece it was if Leo Tolstoy never found a publisher. Instead, the manuscript would have yellowed in his desk drawer in obscurity.
Fortunately, anyone can publish online content. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean that the content will be seen.
You need to make sure that people can find your content. To do that, you need to include:
- An H1 tag with your primary keyword
- Complete metadata including a title and description with your primary keyword, categories and tags
- Alt tags for the images in the content
- At least two links in the content
These items will help with your SEO and will give you referral traffic, as well.
Write Content that is Easy to Read
Unless you are writing for a scholarly journal, you need to write in an informal style that is easy for people to read on the go.
When people are checking their feed on their phones on the way to work, they don’t want to spend a long time reading. When they are reading while the kids are briefly occupied, they don’t want to get stuck on some dense text.
You need to make your article easier to read and scan by using simple words, short sentences, and plenty of visual breaks such as bullets, numbered lists, and headers.
You should also use an inverted pyramid to structure your copy so that the most important information is near the top. That way people get the gist even if they don’t have time to read the whole article.
Include a Call to Action
Your purpose as a marketer is not just to inform, but to get people to become leads or to make a purchase.
You can do that by including a call to action with everything you write.
A call to action can include a request to:
- Sign up for your mailing list
- Click on another article
- Share the article
- Comment on the article
- Check out a product or service
… and more.
You must make your call to action specific, and it should be clear without being overly promotional.
Include your call to action at the end of your post, and consider including other buttons on the page for specific actions, such as joining your mailing list.
Some people use content recommendation tools to encourage click throughs on related content. The recommendation is a low-profile call to action since it is inserted discreetly as a link where that specific user needs to see it. Because the tool relies on user-intent signals to recommend content, it increases click-through rates.
The more that people share your content, the more likely it is to get seen. Assuming you have created interesting and useful content, that will also make it more likely that you get new customers who may then share your content in the future, creating a positive cycle.
Make sure that you give your readers a reason to share your content to start. That means creating content that resonates with them in some way – maybe it inspires them, evokes an emotional response, or reaffirms their values. People are also more likely to share articles that provide some startling bit of information or that show people how to do things in a unique way.
Once you have created content that people will want to share, make sure that you have made your content easy to share. Include social sharing buttons on the article itself and on your website. There are numerous widgets that allow you to do this in a way that suits your overall site design.
Invite your readers to share at the end of the article, and include personalization options like hashtags where relevant. For example, if you have a contest or giveaway, you might include a hashtag that allows others to follow it.
Following all of these tips will help you create valuable content that resonates with readers and helps you attract a bigger audience. You’ll soon start meeting your goals for your content marketing.