November 8, 2013 (Updated: May 4, 2023)
“Quality” is the one of the primary buzzwords in content marketing right now. People are claiming that this transition to superior content is the new frontier, but nobody ever set out to create crappy content. They were just content with their content.
Let’s get this out of the way. In order to run a successful site you need content. The best sites post highly informative, relevant, and entertaining pieces frequently. Although you may not be able to post with the same frequency of some of the best sites, the more often you publish content the better (assuming your content is good).
Most content online is…well… bad.
The worst part is that everyone is posting it. In fact, 9 out of 10 organizations in the US, UK, and Asia Pacific produce content to attract and retain customers. So unless you are part of the minority, here are some things you should think about.
Are you being salesy?
Most companies that produce content assume that it is their one opportunity to hook a potential lead. They approach content like a sale’s pitch and inevitably turn off most people. If you want to keep your audience happy then avoid over-promotional content.
What is your focus?
A general theme in most bad content is a lack of focus. If you are writing with no specific purpose in mind then you will likely leave your audience unfulfilled. Decide in one sentence the purpose of your content and branch out from there – but never forget the focus.
Is your content relevant?
You can have a great article that has a very specific focus, but if it is not relevant to your industry then you are doing yourself and your audience a huge injustice. Find verticals that relate to your company and keep your content within a defined space.
1 out of 3 marketers believe that the content they create is actually effective. This may seem shocking, but when you consider that most marketers irregularly produce over-promotional and unclear content, it suddenly seems a bit more explicable. So how do you get your content on track?
By now we understand the importance of content in your marketing plan, so the next step is develop a strategy for effectively controlling it.
In most companies there is not one specific person who handles the control side of content. Delegating this duty to one individual will build accountability and also provide a centralized voice for the content.
Understand Your Audience
Who is looking at your content? What do they want to see? Answering these types of questions will help you develop highly relevant and enjoyable content. This will keep your audience happy as well as bring on potential leads.
Plan a Publishing Cycle
The more frequently you publish content, the more reasons Google has to crawl your site for information. This directly results in more optimized SEO value. In order to create and execute a publishing plan, an editorial calendar is highly recommended.
Many companies and blogs are very intrinsically focused. They want to drive traffic to articles they have published on their own site. However, guest posting on other sites has its benefits. You are reaching an entirely new audience and have the potential to draw them to your own site. It also allows you to build more brand awareness.
Content is king…or at least the flavor of the week. If you take a closer look at the current situation, you can easily see that quality content is still lacking across the board. Companies have not been able to effectively use this medium and content marketing is muddled into a glorified sales newsletter. If I can leave you with one last tip about being content with content- it’s don’t!
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