If you want to boost the quality of content on your website, I’ve always found that it’s the little things that make content go from good to great. In my role as Content Marketing Manager, my job is to create content that ‘earns our way in’ to the hearts and minds of readers. With content marketing, the strategy is always to build an audience and give your reader useful information that helps them solve a problem.
Hang on, what is content marketing?
Great question. Content marketing is about creating content that’s in it for the long game. It’s timeless, or known as ‘evergreen’ content. The content marketing approach is about building an audience through creating useful and engaging content. The goal of content marketing is to create content for your audience that is educational and adds value.
Why earning your way in is smarter than going for the pitch
Content that reeks of a hard sell can be off putting. When content is written in a way that assumes the reader is ready to buy, it’s like someone asking to marry you after the first date! Finding the sweet spot with your content isn’t a quick process – but with the right mindset, you’ll get results. Be prepared to tweak and test your content.
Engaging, educational content always wins. By using the the right combination of words, tone and language you can reach customers and prospects. And it’s possible to do this without going for the obvious ‘pitch’ as soon as you have their attention.
Get some insight by doing keyword research
So you might be wondering how the heck you figure out what your readers want to read. No you don’t need a crystal ball, but a great place to start is keyword research. I use Google Keyword Planner to research the terms people type in search engines.
Some phrases get a huge search volume, which can indicate how popular the topic is. You can refine your search in Keyword Planner to specific regions, countries and even cities. For example, you could target the term ‘tax accountant’ to Melbourne and see how many searches it gets. These results can give you great insight into topics of interest in your industry. And the numbers don’t lie! So why not answer people’s questions? Give them what they want. Content that people want to read is content that the reader has actively searched for. Here’s a quick guide of my best practices in content marketing.
Six ways to create great content
Here are my top tips for creating content that goes the distance:
- Make sure it’s something people want
Say something useful. Do your research and make your content the solution to their problem. When I create content, I always try to answer the real need at hand. What does this person want? What is fluff and just unnecessary jargon?
- Make it personal and be conversational and friendly
Keep your readers interested by including the word “you”. Doing this has been known to make content more memorable to readers. Write the way you would speak to a friend and avoid using words that are stiff and formal. Making things sound more complicated than they are will only alienate your readers.
- Create “evergreen” content
This means your content has less chance of being outdated quickly. With evergreen content you won’t get immediate results but you will gain trust, respect and authority in the long game. Be patient and stay the course because great content doesn’t date – it’s timeless.
- Make sure your content is easy to read
Never underestimate the power of plain English. If your content doesn’t score 60 or above in a Flesch reading ease test, then tweak it until it does. For example, I could write: “Business owners can drive real time-based productivity from cloud-based software when they effectively utilise the benefits given to them by new online applications.” or I could rewrite it like this: “If you’re a business owner you could save yourself time by moving to online software.”
- Get to the point quickly
No one wants to wade through wordy content trying to understand what the main message is. Content that’s just fluff wastes your readers’ precious time, so make every word count.
- Tell a story
Produce something that’s authentic. Readers want valuable, educational and engaging information – not advertising pitches. People appreciate entertaining content that doesn’t blast messaging. Think of the last time you had a TV ad in your ears – did you mute it? If you did, the same theory applies to content.
Staying the course pays off
If your content is different from the tsunami of product pitches out there, it will stand out from the crowd. Have faith in the long game and dedicate time and energy into building up a pool of great online content. I have no doubt that your readers will really appreciate and love you all the more for it.
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