Content marketing is an effective strategy of improving your online presence and increasing bottom line, but in order for this to work, the content needs to meet specific criteria. First of all, the content needs to be original, meaning that the topic covered has to be original. Secondly, the angle you take and brand voice need to have an original flair to them or else readers won’t be too interested in reading further.
Successful content also has a vision behind it that can be measured. Small goals should be set for the type of content you wish to use to increase your reader base and then ensure you turn those goals into actionable steps. Each step needs to also have a realistic time frame assigned to it. As you start gathering more information on what you should write about and how, your timeline and expectations should also be adjusted appropriately while achieving your benchmarks.
IT STARTS WITH AN EFFECTIVE BRAINSTORMING SESSION
Writing high quality content is not easy, yet the good news is that there are many tools out there that can help you stay focused and organized. About some of them we’re going to discuss below.
Take Advantage of Brainstorming Tools
XMind: Is extremely helpful in that it allows you map out your ideas. There are various types of mind maps you can make. You are able to add notes and subgroups. XMind gives you the option of a free account as well as a pro account for $99. Both accounts support a wide variety of maps such as organizational charts and ‘fishbone’ charts.
MindMeister: Has a very simple-to-use interface and what sets it apart from other similar tools is that it allows you to collaborate, in real time, with other people. Bringing up your projects can be done with your Smartphone and the tool is also cloud based. MindMeister is not a free app though, so fees do apply.
Buzzsumo: Is a beneficial tool that can help you track content on every social media platform out there on Pinterest, Google Plus, LinkedIn, Twitter and also Facebook. You can also search for the topic that’s been shared most based on the URL. This can be extremely useful when trying to find out more about what your competitors are sharing. For those getting the paid version, ‘Influencer Mining’ is a very interesting addition to the software, which helps you find influential players in any industry or topic. After building a list, it’ll be quite easy to see who is connected to who; what they usually share; the engagement they generate and so forth.
Take Time to Organize Your Thoughts, Ideas and Articles
Planning and organizing website content is undoubtedly difficult, especially for anyone who has a lot of content to deal with. However, organizing it, regardless of size, can be very simple by using these simple tips.
First of all, tagging is the most common way to create a non-hierarchical and also simple taxonomy of your content. A tag is a phrase or a keyword that is associated with each type of content you publish. For a single article for instance, tagging allows to easily understanding the vital concepts the content captures. In aggregate though, it is possible to spot recent trends by checking out the most popular tags.
Secondly, grouping helps serve 2 purposes, with one of them being the reduction in clutter by grouping together similar content. The second benefit is that it makes it easy for your readers to swiftly find various perspectives on the same topic/issue.
DECIDE ON A STRONG FORMAT AND STRUCTURE
Before deciding on structure and format, it’s very important to define key visitor tasks. This means that you need to figure out the way your target audience’s needs are going got turn into actual Internet search activities. You should also determine the keywords and online resources that may be used when performing this research, but what happens after they land on your (internet) doorstep? When that happens, you need to ask yourself 2 questions:
The answers to these questions are going to become the KVTs or Key Visitor Tasks that should be effectively mapped out within your website’s info architecture and content.
At this point you’ll need a conversion funnel, so given the fact your KVTs are already defined, you should consider diagramming the high level flow of your overall internet marketing efforts so that IAs, UXs and SEO experts are fully aware of your main goals. You should create a complete internet marketing funnel diagram that contains each of the nurturing, conversion and acquisition components of your marketing efforts.
Who Are You Writing To? Write to Them.
Some people aren’t aware of the fact that even if they do decide to write for a certain target audience, that doesn’t automatically mean that audience is a great fit for them. However, prior to setting on a certain niche, it’s important to check if that market is indeed viable. Ask yourself these questions:
Does the group you’re targeting have enough individuals that can help you meet your community building and sales goals?
Do they need or want the info you provided?
Will they benefit from your services and/or products?
Can you pinpoint the factors that trigger their purchase response?
Can they afford your service/product?
Can they be contacted via social media and e-mail?
It’s also recommended that you perform a search on Google in order to see if people are looking for the info you wish to deliver. For this, you need to: visit Google AdWords, type in your desired KWs and check to see if there are a minimum of ten thousand monthly searches.
UTLIZE CANVA AND GRAMMARLY TO HELP PRODUCE SUCCESSFUL CONTENT
A lot of people want to ensure their website looks as professional as possible, yet few of them know how to get that professional look without spending a lot of money on it. In this regard, Canva is a great tool that can help you achieve that easily and without the added cost. With Canva, building custom graphics is very simple thanks to its many powerful functions and the many tutorials available to help you learn how to make the most of them. The tutorials will also introduce you to some basic design concepts and techniques that are going to greatly help you in the long term.
Once you get started, you’ll realize you can mix many types of options for text, frames, images, textures, backgrounds and other elements to create an image that strengthens your social media content or blog post. Given the fact that Canva is also cloud based, as you create new designs they’re all going to be saved to your account, free of charge. Eventually, you can edit them at any given time, if needed.
Grammarly is an excellent tool that’s very effective and helpful when it comes to making it possible for bloggers, business people, secretaries, supervisors, managers, public relations and professional writers to write excellent English content. Regardless of how great or weak your English may be, Grammarly seamlessly adjusts to your specific needs and gives you the confidence you need to write correct English. There are many benefits you’ll love Grammarly for, including a Plagiarism Checker, Proofreading and of course, the Grammar Checker. Their Words by Grammarly service is also a great way to find a wide range of words based on your specific needs.
Grammarly is one of the world’s most used apps for writing correct English and since the tool analyzes 250 points of Grammar, it can easily determine the use of the right words as you type. This includes everything from subject-verb agreements to the type and purpose of the content.
APPLY THE 80/20 RULE
This rule means that eighty percent of your outcomes stem from twenty percent of your inputs and what great about this rule is that you don’t require stats in order to believe in it. In some cases, as evidenced by Pareto, the ratio may be a lot higher, sometimes as high as 99:1. However, the truth is that in reality, the numbers you decide to apply don’t matter that much. You just need to remember that there are certain things you do in your life (the 20%) that influence the majority (the 80%) of your outputs and success.
Considering this perspective, only twenty percent of your content needs to be focused on advertisement, lead generation, self-promotion and sales purposes. The rest of the eighty percent needs to target your clients: the problems they need a solution for, important data regarding your industry and anything else that can be effectively linked to your brand.
CREATE THE HEADLINE THAT DRAWS YOUR AUDIENCE IN
On average, there are 5x as many people that read the headline first and then decide to continue reading the article or not compared to those that just go straight to the content. What this means is that headlines are vital for getting more traffic to your website. To see how great your headlines are, there are various tools you can use, but “Headline Analyzer: Advanced Marketing Institute’s Headline Analyzer” is probably the best there is. This is a free tool that makes it easy to analyze your headlines in order to determine the EMV or Emotional Marketing Value of your content.
Reaching clients in an emotional and deep way is essential to successful copywriting and because of that, it’s the most important part of the content. Besides helping you determine the EMV score of your content, the Headline Analyzer is also going to tell you the type of emotion your title triggers most. Some of them include:
LISTEN TO FEEDBACK: YOU CAN LEARN A LOT FROM IT
You can greatly improve the various types of services and/or products you’re offering to your audience by consistently seeking and listening to their feedback. By doing so, you have a pulse on what doesn’t work and what works for them. Eventually, this is going to lead to better customer experience, more sales and an overall more successful business.
- Find out what your clients like and dislike about your service. It’s very important that you listen to visitor/client feedback, since it offers you a clue about what your audience dislikes and what it likes. This information can be very useful, since when you know exactly what works and what doesn’t when it comes to your clients, so you can easily make changes to serve them better. This puts you on the path to success since it provides you an accurate idea of what exactly matters to your visitors so you can eventually act on them.
- Let your visitors know their opinion matter. It’s also important that you request your visitors to provide you feedback, since this way you’re telling them their opinion is valuable and that you really care about their input. Because you’re treating them as such, your visitors feel important and feel that they’re genuinely involved in the process of shaping your services/products. When clients are heard and listened to, you’ll get a positive feeling directed to you as a service provider or supplier which may help you increase your retention rate and make more sales.
- Get an external opinion of your business and learn market trends. Businesses can easily figure out the pros and cons of their services by listening to user feedback. After all, a person looking is generally a lot more able to point out flaws than you are. On top of that, you can learn more about marketing trends from user feedback, since they can indicate what they would like to see in your website that would make them more willing and happy to use it. In other words, it’s essential to be aware of the popular trends users are fond of, since this way you can keep up accordingly as a business.
NEVER STOP TESTING YOUR CONTENT
Since technology is always changing together with the expectations of your clients/visitors, it’s very important that you stay up-to-date with the latest changes in technology so that you can better serve their needs. What this means is that you should carefully evaluate your website and see what elements could be improved that may lead to an increase in visitors, retention rate, customer satisfaction and so on.
For instance, maybe you could try a new format and see how your users like it or maybe decide to cover some topics in greater detail and see how your visitors like that. Whatever you do though, it needs to be executed very well and in small steps. Don’t completely reformat or restructure your content and/or website or introduce features and/or functions that may make it hard to use. As always, don’t forget to request feedback from your visitors and see what they liked or didn’t like about the changes you’ve made, if any.
Take into consideration, the buyer’s journey. It’s essential that you consider the active research process a prospective buyer goes through leading up to sale. This means it’s mandatory for you to target people in various stages of their journey in as many ways as you can by providing them different offers and types of content. Focus on the awareness stage (the stage where users are looking for vendor neutral, third party and educational content), so do not bombard them with a very salesy product comparison or case study. It’s only after they become your leads that you can take them through the consideration and decision stages and finally turn them into buyers.
DON’T FORGET TO REFINE AND OPTIMIZE THE CONTENT
Lastly, it’s all about refining your website, including the content, structure, topics covered, navigation, the way you approach a topic, SEO and so on. It’s very important that all your content is properly optimized since this way it can be easily picked up by Google’s spiders and displayed whenever someone uses your keywords or similar keywords when performing an online search.