By now, you’ve probably heard the phrase that “Content is King”. Throughout all of the algorithm updates Google has released over the last few years, one thing has never changed. Google loves to index fresh content. Content marketing is a remarkable strategy that locates and attracts devoted customers, and it’s increasing in popularity. Ninety percent of customers prefer to learn about a brand through content versus advertisements. But simply knowing that you need excellent content is one thing; actually creating it is a whole other thing altogether.
Just recently, Google made an appeal to website owners regarding their use of SEO techniques. What the search engine giant essentially said was that these techniques are not the most important considerations for ranking highly in the search results. The most important factor is that website owners offer relevant and quality information to their readers. If you do that, Google will reward you with better rankings in their search engine. This has given rise to the term content marketing, which is simply a new name for a very old concept. Publishing interesting and engaging content for your website visitors converts a percentage of them into regular visitors while, at the same time, attracting new ones too.
The ultimate purpose of content marketing is to get your visitors to do something that you want them to do – such as to sign up for your newsletter, visit your brick and mortar location or buy your products and services.
But that begs the question: what is “interesting” content? A lot of people get it all wrong when it comes to blog content. Too much self-promotion is the fastest way to get a reader to click the back button. So, what should you feature instead?
Choose Topics That Interest Your Readers
What you post depends on your business industry. Ask yourself what your website is about. And then put yourself in your reader’s shoes. What content would they find useful? Here are some suggestions for your topics:
- How to articles. If you sell products, write articles on how to use or how to take care of products you sell. If you offer services, write about how to get the most out of the service you provide or preventative maintenance to avoid recurring problems.
Another idea is to create a buying guide. These are practical tips that many consumers and customers will find useful. And they also establish your authority in your industry.
- List-type articles. Most people love lists. Publishing articles like “the top 3 most energy efficient double pane windows” or “most popular hair styles of the season for women in their 20’s” etc. You can also publish the top ten worst lists. Many online list-type articles also generate several comments. Comments may consist of insightful suggestions for you to include in your list, while others will agree with your list. What’s undeniable is that these lists can attract a lot of active interest, which is a good thing.
- Head-to-head comparisons. A lot of car magazines pit one car against another car in comparison reviews, and you can do the same thing with your own products or services. This offers a tangible demonstration of how your business is better than your competitors. The trick here is to pick a suitable match for your comparison, and then emphasize the ways in which your business is better.
- Answer Common FAQs – Do you find that customers ask the same question over and over? Then it makes sense to create a blog that answers it. Instead of repeatedly having to explain it, you can post a link to your blog post on your social networks and direct customers there for other great information too.
- Video Posts – also referred to as “vlogs”. Do you own a smartphone or video camera? If so, consider starting a how-to video series relevant to your business. Post your videos to YouTube, include them with blog posts, and promote them through social media venues.
Know Your Audience
The best way to engage your audience is to know who your audience is and what type of profile they have. By knowing their profile and having an idea of who your visitors are in your head, you can create content that they would find interesting even if the topic isn’t directly linked to your products or services.
The tone of your blog content matters too. It’s not just what you say, it’s how you say it. For some businesses, like a landscaping service for example, a casual “write as you speak” tone might work best. Giving tips on how to get a greener lawn should probably be written in a more “neighborly advice” tone. But for other industries like legal services, a more professional tone will likely be more appropriate – but again it all depends on your audience.
There’s an exception to this rule, however. For many smaller businesses, where you are the “face” of your own business, it’s also important that your readers get a sense of who you are. In this circumstance, you’re aiming for a more “intimate” relationship with your blog so people can identify with you easier – which will help to build your personal brand.
Blog articles are not purely words. Graphics and images will help illustrate your message better. Also, consistency is critical. Updating your blog regularly has a multitude of benefits – including better SEO rankings. Don’t be afraid to delegate – you don’t have to write ALL of your content yourself. Guest bloggers or even your employees can contribute articles. A blog must be updated frequently so readers won’t lose interest.
There are many ways to write incredible content for your blog. Hopefully by implementing some of these suggestions, you can create popular content for your blog that will keep your visitors returning for more!