Few marketing buzzwords have had quite the staying power as “content.”
Every marketer attempting to impress a client will cavalierly toss the word around in association with phrases like “inbound marketing” and “Search Engine Optimization” (SEO).
But is it more than just a word with tremendous staying power? In a word; yes.
Content is the fire that ignites your online presence. It has a powerful effect on every aspect of your brand, and has far-reaching implications.
Many people hear the word “content” and think they know what the word means. In reality, content is probably only partially understood.
This article will shed some light on the definition of content, identify how you can create content for your business, and what impacts the creation and use of content will have on your business.
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What is Content?
At its core, content is the surface information your audience engages with when interacting with your business online.
It’s the words, pictures, graphics, and rich media they see. How they interpret them goes a long way to shaping their opinion of your brand.
Every blog post, infographic, and webpage your customers view contains content.
What it doesn’t refer to is back-end technical aspects of your online environment. HTML code, meta tags — these are part of developing your online presence, but they aren’t content.
Another misconception comes from the prevalence of blog posts and other written pieces of content. For many, it seems like writing blogs is the be-all-end-all approach to content marketing, but there’s far more (and we’ll get to it below).
Content is a multi-faceted tool to define how others perceive you, in addition to bringing them to you in the first place.
It is essential in any marketing plan. More important that simply having it, however, is having the right content.
Here are three keys to creating content that works for you:
Well-researched, In Depth, Evergreen
“The more the merrier” is the siren song of content.
Many are under the impression that publishing more posts, infographics, videos, and web pages means their footprint — and thus impact — will grow.
It’s not altogether a bad idea. But if LOTS of content comes at the expense of GREAT content, there’s a problem.
Everyone is making content, so how does yours stand out?
The answer should involve your contents, depth, relevance, and authority. Your content should be rich with information, and serve to educate your audience.
This will build trust with them, as they see your content as a resource and not a sales pitch, making them more inclined to engage with your brand in the future.
While some of your content can reference or cover current trends, the bulk of it should be “evergreen.”
This means your content remains relevant more-or-less permanently, drawing readers to your site for far longer than a content dealing with a passing fad.
2. Consider Media Rich Forms of Content
There’s more to content than blog posts (although they are a great place to start.)
People are engaging more and more with visual forms of content like videos and infographics.
In fact, over 50% of marketers claim video has the best ROI of any form of content, according to Hub Spot.
When you’re developing a content strategy, experiment with a diverse mixture of types. While it might seem like written content like blogs will have more keywords and thus benefit SEO, actually visual content can have a equally positive SEO impact too.
There are a lot of factors that influence your search engine results. An important SEO consideration is the number of backlinks you have, which are links back to your site from other websites. While there may be some that link to your blog, even more will want to link to your visually appealing content like infographics and videos.
Ensuring you have media rich content will help communicate your ideas, educate your audience, and boost SEO beyond the capacity of just a written blog post.
Think Outside the Box with Diverse Content
Ok, so you’ve got what makes a good blog, and you’re considering media rich content. But what else can you do to distinguish the content you produce?
There’s a lot of less well-travelled avenues your content can take that will make it extremely valuable to your audience, and thus, your business.
Taking a proactive approach by compiling FAQs and making checklists for you customers will display an awareness of their needs and gain their trust.
A checklist can be a particularly impactful piece of content because of its utilities. Customers can get a good grasp of information in an easy digestible format. Useful simplicity has great potential to make a positive impression on your audience.
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Once this type of content has been established, and you are beginning to get positive feedback, take advantage of those happy feelings by asking your audience to share their experience.
Customer testimonials are one of the most powerful pieces of content you can create. Sure, they might not have the depth of a major blog post or the flash of a video, but they are irrefutable social proof that your brand is one to do business with.
Your customers expect you to say nice things about yourself — it just won’t mean as much coming from you. But other customers are unbiased, and their stories can strike a major chord with your audience.
Content is more than a buzzword — it is the fuels for your marketing fire and the key to your brand’s online success.
But, since so much content is being flooded onto the market yours needs to be well thought out, interesting, and engaging in order to stand out from the crowd.
For written content like blogs, the more thorough and well researched, the better. And if it can stay relevant for a long time, it will continue to drive impressions and engagements long after it’s published.
You shouldn’t focus all your attention on written content, however. Rich media like videos and infographics have the power to appeal to a wide audience, and are useful for SEO effort and creating backlinks to benefit your search engine results.
And, on top of all that, diversifying your content with simple, useful tools like checklists, FAQs and customer testimonials will help deliver credibility and build customer trust.
Wielded well, your content won’t just boost your business; it will define your brand.
Do you have lots of content ideas and know you’ll never be able to deliver them all?
You should consider a done-for-you marketing programs like our Marketing Jumpstart. It includes a content calendar and the delivery of content for you to use in your business. Interested in learning more? Just click here: