Why content isn't king; quality content is king!
Regardless of your industry or niche, every which way you turn there's no escaping the infamous assertion that content is king.
What this means is that irrespective of your marketing strategy, website capabilities, the quality of your product or service and the abilities of the team working under you; without content, you've got nothing!
Content is a broad term which refers to any or all of the following ways that you communicate with your market:
- Website copy
- Marketing blogs
- Social media posts
- Sales copy
…and the list goes on!
While ‘content is king' is an undisputable claim that has been proven time after time, I'm here to let you know that you need to go one step further to get your messages out there in a way that they're read and understood.
And that, my friend, is not only to produce content, but more importantly, to produce quality content.
So often you see content which is irrelevant, poorly constructed, un-strategic and let me tell you – there's no royal status in pumping out useless dribble. Quite the opposite, this will have a detrimental effect on your reputation and will hinder you in reaching your all-important marketing goals.
So, what's the difference? How can you make sure that you're creating content that your audience wants to receive which will make them stand up, pay attention and take action rather than simply filling space with any words that you see fit?
Here are ten steps to creating quality content which will knock the socks off of both your existing and your future customers.
1) Engage with someone who can write.
This is non-negotiable and pivotal to producing quality content. If you find it hard to write, you can bet your last dollar that your audience finds it hard to read what you're producing. For something to be effective, it needs to be grammatically accurate with no spelling mistakes, and it needs to be relevant. If you don't have a writer in your team, engage with a freelance copywriter as they specialise in writing in the tone of your business in words that your audience wants to read.
A freelance copywriter will also add a creative flair into the mix too to keep things interesting. A copywriter will have experience in making any industry sound appealing and exciting, so don't be put off by the fact that they won't know how to write for your market; because they will!
2) Create a buyer persona.
Once you've got someone who can write on your team, you need to know who you're talking to. You must create a buyer persona which is much more than just a description of your target market. A buyer persona gives you insights into your potential customer's journey, their problems that you will solve. including what it is that will make them take action.
Creating a buyer persona is a detailed task and must be undertaken by a professional who knows what they're doing. Is this you? If not, make sure you engage with someone who can do this well!
3) Provide value.
We talk a lot about providing value to your market, and this is particularly the case in the content that you produce. Valuable content includes how-to guides, educational copy, discount vouchers, helpful videos and anything else which will help your intended reader or viewer solve their problem easier.
4) Stay on brand.
Consistency is so important when producing regular content. It's important that you remain focused on your brand to build a strong relationship with your audience rather than confuse them. Always include your logo in your imagery, use the same font, refer to the same key messaging and tone and be consistent!
5) Provide variety.
You can stay on brand but still provide a range of content that your audience will appreciate. Blogs, images, funny quotes, memes, video content and relevant articles will all keep your audience looking forward to what you're going to give them next. If you continually post the same type and style of content, you'll end up annoying them faster than you can say ‘off with his head'!
6) Don't keyword stuff.
SEO is a highly important consideration when producing online content but you should never write content for this purpose. One of Google's biggest expectations is that content should be written to provide value to the audience rather than for the purpose of indexing. Content created for the reader is much more valuable to your SEO than a blog written around keywords or phrases. That's not to say they should be ignored because they shouldn't, but your content shouldn't sound artificial and, well…stuffed!
An SEO copywriter will have a sound knowledge of how to write copy which is natural, authentic, and keeps the Google Gods happy too. Either engage with a freelance copywriter who is well-versed in SEO copywriting, or create your blog or content and then go back and add keywords so that it reads naturally and organically.
7) Create a content calendar.
While it's important that you're strategic, it's just as crucial that your content is relevant. A content calendar will make sure that you don't miss important dates and events that are significant to your market. A structured schedule will allow you to have a solid plan in place of what you'll produce and when. A content calendar can be created a month, three months or even a year in advance and will help you discuss things which are appropriate. This structure will make it easier for you to offer a variety of content to your audience which will keep them engaged with you and your brand.
8) Optimise for mobile.
Handheld devices are household items for all adults now and are the most common way for people to check their emails. If you don't optimise your content for mobile, you're missing out on impressing the majority of your audience with your kick-butt sales and marketing emails due to a simple oversight. Programs such as MailChimp and social media apps have this feature already integrated into their capabilities, but when creating landing pages and other content, it's vital that you consider your on-the-go audience.
There's no getting away from it that when producing content, you must test, test and test again! You can do all the research in the world, but thorough testing will give you the best visual on which content is popularl and what your market respond to. When you have the results of your test campaigns, you can tailor future content to correspond with what people prefer.
10) Re-purpose content.
If you've achieved the holy grail of blog posts and have previously published content which has gone viral; there's no reason at all this can't be repurposed and used again. You are gaining new followers all the time so they might not have seen your posts which you've received the accolade for. Of course, you must do this strategically and at appropriate times as it's pointless publishing the same thing week after week, but re-purposing popular content at a relevant time is an effective way to provide quality content.
If your content is unengaging and poorly written; it's ineffective, and you may as well have no content out there at all. It's important that if you can't speak to your audience in a way that they like to listen, that you engage with someone who has the ability and capacity to put all of those steps into place to give your audience what they really want; quality content!