Good content is essential to social media marketing. A well-written piece of content will get attention for all the right reasons, while poor content could be putting you behind. Quality content positions you as a brand authority while increasing your online ranking and also engaging with your audience. Creating content isn’t as easy as it sounds, and it’s not just following the numbers. That’s because you’re not just writing: you’re doing SEO writing.
The Steps to Getting Great Content
Create Content Your Audience Is Looking for
What does a user want to be reading (or seeing)? They’re looking for content that’s generally in your wheelhouse (so it feels like you know what you’re talking about), that informs them way, that’s accessible and easy to read, and maybe even a little bit funny. You can have all the passion in the world and the expertise to go with it, but if you write a post or article that doesn’t resonate with your audience, they won’t really perceive your value.
Writing that Gets Attention
Your blog posts and content should educate and inform your target audience. Great content gives answers to the problems, questions, and pain points they have. If people are finding value in your posts, they’ll keep coming back. When they need something relevant to your area of expertise, they’ll come to your business for it.
Also Search Engine Attention!
Search engines will sit up and take notice, too, when you make your content authoritative. When you create content that keeps the audience on your page and jumping from what they read to buying from you, search engines notice this and rank you higher for it.
Take-Away for Your Content Creation Strategy:
A key lynchpin in your SEO strategy should be forgetting about the SEO for a second and focusing on what type of content your readers actually want and will find relevant.
Use a Relevant Title and Headlines in Your Content
How do you get readers to look at your content at all? Your title and every headline in your piece is important. A bad headline will send people bouncing away (if they even click in the first place). A great one will attract people for the right reason. Readers look at your title to decide if they’re going to visit your website and consider what you say in your content, so that’s really your only chance to make a good impression.
Don’t Disappoint the Audience
Good headlines promise more information related to a keyword or keyword phrase that visitors are looking for. Questions are great for titles and headlines because they resonate with readers, so think about what questions people are asking themselves as they hunt for a piece of content that will give them the answers they need.
Provide Good Writing: Not Bait-and-Switch Content!
It’s important to note at this point, however, that you can’t promise engaging and helpful content in your headline and then pull a bait-and-switch. If people click through to your site and then find a bunch of irrelevant, badly written nonsense, you’re destroying yourself.
You might see a surge in traffic briefly, but that number doesn’t help you. You’re actually tearing your own authority to the ground by not providing quality content to back up those promises. People will feel cheated and will start actively avoiding your site. And you can bet that if they feel cheated by your content, they sure aren’t going to be interested in trying your goods and services.
Take-Away on Headlines:
Back up your headlines with great content.
Offer Something Reliable With Your Writing
People find facts and figures reliable. Once you become a well-established figure in your niche, you’ll be able to say things in a piece of content, and people will take you as the authority. As you’re building your marketing strategy, however, you want your writing to have the kind of cold, hard facts that show others you’ve done your research and know what you’re talking about.
This gets your audience the information they need, but it also builds your authority. It shows credibility and trust, and it also signals you’ve put in the time and effort it takes to create great content. You’re not just throwing words up. Let’s consider a real-life example.
Make Your Blog Credible: an Example
We can tell you here that credibility matters, and you probably believe us generally, but if we were to share specific data with you, it would broaden your understanding while showing that we really know what we’re talking about.
What if we told you that low-cognition readers (i.e., people who typically don’t bother to think deeply) will match high-cognition readers (the ones who always think deeply) in certain situations? Specifically, if visitors think you might not be trustworthy–that maybe you’re just trying to get them to buy something instead of genuinely sharing great content–it doesn’t matter if they typically don’t think deeply. They will put in the same effort to analyze your content as high-cognition readers do, and there’s research to back this up. The implication is clear. If you’re not already an established authority, you had better have quality content on there because you ARE being judged. And once you are an established authority, you had still better have quality content because now it’s expected.
Take-Away on Quality:
Providing links to good research and verifiable facts that back up what you’re saying is a key part of a great content marketing plan.
Offer the Audience Something Original
Years ago, it really didn’t matter if you were original or not. There simply wasn’t much out there to begin with. Fast forward a few years, and there’s now an endless amount of stuff available online. Shady content marketers will offer a business content purchased from a writing mill that pays virtually nothing for writing provided by writers all over the world. Those writers aren’t generating quality new content for that business (they aren’t being paid enough for that). They’re either generating substandard nonsense or even just moving words from one part of the Internet to another for a tiny fee.
Search Engines Notice!
The average user may not always know that the story they’re reading or the tips they’re taking in are all plagiarized. But the search engines know. Google, and others, keep records of nearly every page on the Internet and exactly when it was posted. They know who wrote something first, and it’s a mark against a business when the search engines find copied information in a post, even if it’s been lightly edited or a couple of words changed.
If copying happens a lot, a site can get flagged as a “spam” site. Google will simply ignore that site entirely, meaning it won’t pop up in search. That’s the death of the site, and the only way around this problem is to put up original work: either your own or from a trustworthy content provider like SteadyContent.
Get Reliable, Quality Content
At SteadyContent, we vet every writer carefully, run every piece through Copyscape (and do even deeper checks all the time at random), and regularly check what writers submit to ensure they’re not plagiarizing themselves. We check every piece that goes out: nothing a writer submits is ever automatically accepted. We expect, and deliver, fresh, original content on every piece.
Yes, getting original content isn’t free. It’s certainly not as cheap as paying a mill to copy from someone else’s site. But the difference it makes when an article is original can’t be overstated. Not only does original work get the attention of Google, but it gets the attention of the user, too. A great article rings true when you read it, and people notice content like this.
Adding Videos Boosts Marketing Goals and Originality
Video can do a lot to improve the originality of your content. The video should be relevant to your niche, and you need a skilled director to pull it off. Great video is shot either at your business, in a director’s studio, or in the field, showing what you do. With a great director, you’ll be more than just a number in a reader’s mind. Attach this to your content and you really bump originality.
Take-Away on Originality:
It matters! Don’t skimp here if you want to rank.
Create Top-of-the-Funnel Content
Quality matters, but your goal is not just to write an article that people want to read. Great content needs to also turn visitors into potential customers and get them to the top of the sales funnel. The reader has problems and questions, and as they look for an answer, they might not know what their next steps should be. Your post should guide them through the process, leading them to you.
People poking around on your pages may be doing research, looking for an idea, or trying to get a question answered. They’re gathering information, and that’s why it’s crucial for your marketing that your content not just generate traffic but also show people what to do next now that they have the information they’ve been seeking. You’re nurturing leads.
Getting Leads and Content Marketing vs. Creating Great Content
At first, you might think that providing content and generating leads are at odds with each other. After all, great content is reader-focused. Lead generation is sales-focused and brand-focused. Can you have both on the same page? Yes.
Great content is actionable. It’s a crucial part of a comprehensive content marketing plan. Yes, it promotes a brand, but it does that while also grabbing attention, providing information, ideas, and videos, and offering real value through its words. This kind of content actually nurtures relationships.
By offering tips, for example, your content provides the help potential customers need while also making them think, “huh, these people know what they’re talking about. Maybe they can do more for me.” Content like this is a tool to grab attention. People will mark these sites, subscribe to them, and share them with their friends.
Take-Away on the Funnel:
As the relationship improves, your site becomes more than a place people come for data. They target your site directly when they have a related need, and they start following the actionable steps you’ve provided: which should lead them straight to you for a product or service.
Get Help With the Process: Get Quality Content Writing
If your blog content could use a tune-up, or if you need help creating quality content that engages with your audience, talk to us at SteadyContent. We’re all about quality: we write blogs that engage, with original content that’s directly related to your industry, hitting all the important points you need your audience to know along the way.
We can also offer keyword research, quality images that are free of copyright restrictions, backlinks, and other related services that can put your content over the top.