By June Tapia
May 12, 2020
Many companies make the mistake of creating content that focuses on selling, but content creation works best when you create value for your customers. This, in turn, creates value for your business. Customers are bombarded throughout the day with ads on billboard signs on the way to work, on the radio while stuck in traffic, on the websites they surf during their downtime and between the shows they watch when they get home.
When they start looking for information, the last thing they need is another company trying to force-feed them even more ads. This is not to say that content marketing should never mention your company or recommend a product. It does mean that you should focus on building a relationship and growing trust before introducing products and services.
1. Use Search Engine Optimization
SEO is one of the best tools companies can rely on to improve their marketing campaigns, but how it is applied affects value. Some publishers become so caught up in SEO keywords that they try to use the exact phrases people type into search bars to get to their websites. People often do not type searches in natural language, so this leads to awkward and grammatically incorrect phrases littered throughout the content for the sake of bringing in readers.
Keyword stuffing reduces the readability of the article and may negatively impact SEO while also causing higher bounce rates. Modern-day customers know the basics of how search engines work and can tell when companies are focusing a little too much on specific phrases and much too little on actually providing value. Note also that SEO is applicable to not just articles but infographics, photos and even videos.
When applied correctly, there are a number of benefits, publishers can reap from SEO. It helps you target high-quality traffic by providing good answers to specific queries and naturally incorporating keywords that make that content discoverable to them. Another good perk of SEO is how cost-effective it is. Unlike paid search, SEO has one initial investment price for the content created and then the benefits keep rolling in. Some companies also retain specialists to continue to optimize older and incoming content.
2. Use Productivity Software
Content strategy is a full-time job and even though people have a lot of fun doing it, it takes up a good deal of time. Coming up with new topics on a regular basis, doing all the research and fleshing ideas out into a final product isn’t always easy. Some people have a hard time narrowing down topics, while others find that their minds go blank every so often. They then end up putting out lower-quality content just to publish something.
Google Trends is a good starting point for people looking for popular topics to address. There is also a wide range of tools you can use to get information regarding the specific keywords people use to find webpages on your website. WordPress sites have a built-in Statistics tab and almost anyone can sign up for Google Analytics and Google Search Console for free. These can also help point your content in the right direction.
While these tools do help make your work easier, this is still just the tip of the iceberg. You also need productivity tools that play a more direct role in saving you time, while helping you collaborate with others. Start to track what you spend the most time on each day and find tools that help to automate the process. Google Calendar, Google Home, Alexa, Skype and Slack are just some of the many tools content marketers rely on.
3. Do Thorough Research
Marketers often advise companies to become an authoritative voice for customers, but they rarely explain how. The first requirement is to do research and lots of it. Some professionals wait until it’s time to put the figurative pen to paper to start researching. Ongoing research reduces surprises and makes it easier to pick out what’s most important to condense information.
The conventional way to do research is to turn to Google for answers, but there are more creative options to consider:
4. Own Your Point of View
After doing a lot of research on specific topics, you may have come to your own opinion about specific things. The company itself may also design and build products and services based on an already established point of view. Companies are often afraid to share this information because they fear the polarizing effect.
Sometimes polarizing your customers is a good thing. If you’ve built your business on specific values and only provide certain products for a reason, share it. You will build an even closer bond with the people who share your values and ramp up an influx of high-quality leads.
It’s often better to steer clear of some topics if they’re not central to your organization, such as politics and religion. However, if you run a blog that focuses entirely on vegan recipes, share this. If you have an auto blog but prefer not to discuss European vehicles, explain why they are excluded. There are always diplomatic ways to explain even the most controversial opinions about everyday topics.
5. Get Feedback From Your Customers
Communication is a two-way street. If you’re only publishing blog posts and videos with the comments disabled, then you miss out on the opportunity to find out what people think. Yes, trolls may make their debut in the comments, but there is also constructive negative feedback and this offers the best opportunity to improve.
Consider hiring a community builder or moderator to check the comments, respond and make a note of useful information. If there are too many comments coming in, try to funnel them into specific spaces. For instance, some people send out surveys to get private feedback. Others only take feedback through reviews posted online.
Whatever route you decide to take, remember that in 2018, 82% of American adults relied on online reviews before buying a product or service. Since then, the numbers have grown as people find customer feedback to be more honest than what companies say about themselves.
Chances are you came to this page because you are a publisher focused on improving your content as much as possible. We want to work with publishers just like you who put high-value content above sales while still meeting your quotas. Sign up to become a publisher with LeadFlash today.
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