Engage your Audience with these great Content Suggestions
Hi everyone, today we're going to look at ways of creating the important content your website needs to be successful. I hear it nearly every time I have a meeting with a potential client, that they don't think they'll have enough to talk about, they don't have the time to write regular articles. Well unfortunately a negative attitude won't help to drive that motivation to write more great content.
In today's internet world there is a huge emphasis on the importance of quality content. Google, as the world's leading search engine, has taken it upon themselves to rank highly those websites which are adding value to the web with their content. By rewarding those sites who present researched, error free content and penalising those who engage in black hat (unethical) SEO techniques and strategies, content marketers have really started to shift their strategy to focus on quality.
As you may have noticed, I tend to write quite a few articles about my business and the industry in which I operate. It helps my search engine rankings, drives new business but, most importantly, helps to establish me as an expert in the digital field. However, web content doesn't have to be just textual. Although it's important, visual content such as images, videos and infographics have become increasingly popular. This blog post takes an indepth look into this new breed of content and how you, as a marketer, can create content which not only the search engines will love but which your readers will enjoy and find useful.
So why is content so important?
By adding value to your website with the quality of the information that's on there, you're representing your business and yourself in the best possible light to your target audience.
High quality content, free from spelling and grammar errors, is rated well within search ranking algorithms. These algorithms (mathematical equations used by the search engines to rank websites in terms of relevance and importance to a search query) and becoming smarter and better when it comes to indexing and ranking content as a human reader would.... scary!
Social media is the number one reason in the world why people now use the internet. By writing content people will enjoy and want to share with their friends, presents huge potential.
With interesting and entertaining content your audience is more likely to come back and visit, perhaps subscribe to your email newsletter or RSS feeds.
So why is content so important?
There was a time when publishing large amounts of low quality content and enlisting the services of article submission tools was the thing to do. Not anymore. By contrast, it's not so easy to create the good stuff but getting into good habits really will make a difference.
By using various mediums including images, infographics, videos and auditory content will help to diversify your content making it more interesting.
By setting aside time each week to create new content and update your website you will avoid the “'I just didn't have the chance to do it” scenario. Make the effort to concentrate in a distraction free environment and get down some fresh thoughts.
Don't forget about your readers and what they are going to find interesting. When writing content don't think about the SEO technicalities or other areas of digital marketing, just write what comes to mind. If it's from the heart and relevant, your readers will engage.
Take inspiration from other high quality sources such as leading trade journals both online and offline. Think about partnering up with someone else in your industry and collaborate to create a great story.
Engage with your audience who interact with you through social media mentions and blog comments.
Think about writing with the reader in mind, not the search engine robots. Web friendly content should be scannable, think about using short paragraphs, bullet points, list type articles and presenting your information in bite size chunks. These are all characteristics of great web content. Examples include how-to guides, product reviews and demonstrations.
Last but not least, try to be consistent with your publishing schedule. By ensuring you always have fresh content on offer for your readers means they'll keep coming back but don't risk posting too often with low quality content.
Suggestions for content ideas
How can an interview be a great source of content? Well they provide insightful Q & A’s with interesting people or thought leaders within your industry. This is always a great way to attract like minded people as they can be fun, informative and contain various mediums such as video, images, audio and text.
By asking someone to provide an interview you're acknowledging their expertise and showing that you respect their input. This goes a long way to building long lasting relationships with important individuals in your field.
Think of the bigger picture too, by running an interview you’re potentially expanding your reach. Hopefully your interviewee will tell their network of colleagues, acquaintances, family and friends, thus creating greater visibility for your blog post and website. If the content is engaging enough you may generate social shares and backlinks resulting in supercharged link juice to boost your blogs authority.
Some interview tips:
Create a standard list of questions. It then takes less time to plan future interviews and ensures you cover all bases
Mention that you'll be promoting it on social media
Try to get an audio or video recording as it can be used for a podcast or YouTube video
2) How-to articles
Due to their huge volume of search queries, how-to related searches represent a major segment of worldwide traffic, making how-to articles a staple of the internet. They can also be very social as people may want to share or contribute through comments.
3) Stories and anecdotes
By sharing your own real life stories and experiences you instantly create unique content. When using these experiences to discuss business topics or problems you can connect with your audience on a deeper level.
Get more attention from your audience by giving away something that interests them (and it doesn't have to be an ipad). Use this opportunity to gather data and grow your social platforms but don't attract an irrelevant audience by giving away something irrelevant to your end goals.
An FAQ section does exactly what it says on the tin; provide users with immediate answers to the most commonly asked questions relating to your business or service. Content for your FAQ section can be generated from related forums and common sense questions regarding your products or service. FAQ section development should be an ongoing process as you aim to satisfy your customers needs. By interacting on social media you can learn more about your customer gripes and use that information to grow your FAQs.
Reviewing or commentating on products, services, perhaps even business strategy (relative to your field) is another great way to get content onto your site. They also allow for use of various mediums such as video and imagery. By opening your site up to customer reviews on your own products and services is another way to build a community whilst generating excellent unique content.
7) Related link lists
Use your blog to populate other areas of your website with topics and articles relevant to that service area or product. Consider a regular content programme for these areas offering top blog posts, top news stories, funniest or most useful.
If your goal is to establish yourself as a thought leader in your field or as an expert in your profession, offer helpful tips and hints through various mediums such as videos, infographics and images. By providing helpful advice you're increasing your chance of being shared via social media, increasing social signals, traffic and conversation around your brand.
8) Summarise basic or advanced topic elements
It's common for attention around a specific topic of discussion to drift away from the core message, as more people comment and have their say. Providing a quick overview of the basics, or an outline of key issues may be beneficial to your new or existing audience. Let's use Twitter as an example: if you see a complex business topic picking up interest, you could earn your way into the conversation by summarising events or circumstances leading up to that story, issue or situation.
9) Exclusive announcements
Covering an exclusive new product or service that a company in your field (perhaps not a competitive one) has just released, on your blog or website not only adds great new content but builds your reputation and trust within the community. Consider contacting and building relationships with industry players as they could provide information under embargo, meaning they will give you the information upfront of public announcement, as long as you keep tight lipped until release. This gives you time to build your content and be one of the first to announce the story as content breaks out in real-time.
10) Complete lists
Complete lists might contain in excess of fifty unique items each with their own detailed information and imagery but with each one reinforcing the context of the articles title. An example of a complete list may be "best of", "top ranked” or perhaps some other content covering the entire scope of a particular topic. Complete lists help to generate social sharing and conversation.
Illustrate your knowledge of a topic by providing recommendations and helpful choices to your audience for relevant products, resources or services. Recommendations also help to put a more positive spin on the review process and reduce potential ill will with your audience.
12) Polls & surveys
By using one of the many free or paid survey apps out there, you can gauge what your audience is thinking, test your market research efforts and share the results on your blog or social networks.
13) Run a quiz
Quizzes provide a fun way to earn the attention of your users while providing great insight into the knowledge they have on a given topic of interest. For this reason they're good for growing the knowledge of your audience and can reveal potential strategy directions with your own future content.
14) Research & statistics
Researching and presenting statistical data or insights of a business or consumer problem could help to propel your website and social standing into mainstream social conversation.
Content can take many forms but there is always one goal in mind, to establish expertise and drive traffic. Always keep your audience in mind with topics relevant to what you do or you'll risk attracting an irrelevant audience. Above all, have fun with your content, let it not be a chore, speak from the heart and you're bound to engage your readers.
Have you got any more ideas on how to create engaging content?