Using Content To Your Advantage
In Bill Gates’ 1996 article, titled ‘content is king’, Gates wrote: ‘content is where I expect much of the real money will be made on the internet.’
Twenty-two years later, and the internet has been deluged by content. So much so, that regularly creating and sharing material is no longer enough; it is a full-time job ensuring that your content actually gets eyes on it, by way of search engine optimisation, social media management and social media marketing.
Social media algorithms dictate who will or won’t see your posts, making it increasingly difficult for businesses to be seen by their followers, and Google’s algorithm determines who will or won’t make it to your website.
Everyone wants their piece of the content pie, but to collect your slice, you must first understand why content is so important and how it can elevate your business.
Connect with your audience on a personal level
Good content tells the story of your brand and of the people behind it. It shows audiences your personality, and the ethos underpinning your business. If people connect with who you are and what your brand stands for, they’ll be encouraged to learn more, to make a purchase, to promote your business among family and friends.
Consumers are responding less to blatant advertising; instead, they seek out brands which align with their personal values and, which demonstrate meaningful engagement. Consumers are astute—they’ve been ripped off and lied to, they’ve bought shonky products, all of this has left them battle-hardened. They don’t easily fall for the sales pitch, unless they’re already invested in your business. Personable, relatable content gives them a reason to invest.
Your content should be consistent in terms of aesthetic, frequency, the story it conveys and the values it promotes, constructing a reliable persona that your audience can depend on—be so consistent that your audience can glean which material is yours at first glance.
The golden rule in using content as a means of connection? Always, always, be authentic. Develop a forced or farcical brand identity and audiences will find you out and desert in droves. Be earnest, and you’ll build a loyal, likeminded tribe who dig what you’re about and think fondly of your business.
Give your audience a value-add
If you expect your customers or clients to invest their hard-earned money in your business, above all the others out there, ask yourself: why should they? What do you offer the market that differentiates your brand and gives back to your customers?
Smart content is relevant to your industry and adds value. If you are a fashion retailer, you might offer customers an e-book detailing the basics of fashion styling; if you’re in marketing, consider sharing a few essential insights, and so on.
Tempt your audience with something of benefit to them and you are creating the impetus for them to follow you on social media and sign up to your customer database, giving you the benefit of multiple marketing access points.
Bolster your search engine ranking
Website word count is becoming a major factor in search performance. Give your site a lift with regular, unique blog posts, featuring interesting titbits about your industry, products or services and your business specifically.
Use Google’s keyword planning tool to elicit the terms web users are searching for in relation to your business; zero in on keywords which are moderately competitive and bulk up your content with them.
It’s important not to go keyword cray; your favoured terms should comprise three percent of your article, in order to appear organic and unforced. Also, don’t rehash the same topics ad infinitum for maximum keyword usage; find fresh means of incorporating the terms you’re pursuing.
You don’t want your readers begging for amnesia, wanting to forget that they’ve wasted valuable time on your website, reading the same content three times over, just worded differently. Content should be readable and shareable, for maximum effect. Make it inclusive, make it informative, make it sharp.
Establish yourself as an industry leader
By sharing intelligent, insightful content, you can position yourself as an authoritative source in your field, creating opportunities for you to write and speak through other media platforms. You may be asked to provide comment for news features, guest-blog on an influencer’s website or speak at an industry event.
Expanding your network in this way, strengthens your digital presence, building invaluable external paths to your website and earning you social and journalistic media shout-outs. The more you get your name and business out there, the greater your credence (assuming you conduct yourself and your business with integrity), creating a flow-on effect of growing opportunities for publicity and increased interest in what your business has to offer.
Start a conversation
Social likes and follows don’t mean a great deal if content sharing doesn’t deliver usable data. Yes, it’s worthy of a little happy dance when someone shares your content on their page, as it generates visibility, but content should be used to garner information on those who do the sharing—your loyal, engaged followers.
Great content promotes interaction and feedback: encourage your readers to share their thoughts at the end of each blog article and ask questions through your social posts (but don’t make it sound like a marketing survey).
Content is an excellent means of gauging what your followers like about your business, or don’t, what kind of material they respond to, what they value, which market segment they fall into and how engaged they are with your brand.
This information can be used to inform future content, competitions and new product or service offerings. Ask the right questions and you’ll develop a treasure trove of valuable insights about your audience, all the while forging the kind of meaningful connections which foster brand loyalty.
Invest in quality content
Content comprises your business’ personality, so be sure to convey the same characteristics you value in a person, like honesty, intelligence and humour. The material should be well-written and topical, if you’ve never had a way with words, or you simply don’t have the time to devote to social media and blog content, consider hiring a professional copywriter, marketing or public relations agency to develop your material.
The perk of hiring a multidimensional marketing agency, like SEO Marketer, to craft your web and social media copy, is that search optimisation protocols will be integrated into your content, giving you peak search performance and engaging copy in one perfect bundle.
Keep in mind that the digital sphere is a highly visual medium and great images and video are more likely to grab at those shrinking attention spans. Embrace design template platforms like Canva for fun, effortless meme and e-book development, and to access a countless array of attractive stock images. It is worthwhile to invest in some polished snaps of yourself, your product and your business, which will make excellent fodder for content development and present your business in the best possible light.
Need some help getting your content up to scratch?
For an honest evaluation of your business’ content efforts and straightforward strategies for content that commands attention, call the SEO Marketer team today. If you’re looking to outsource, our stable of experienced copywriters will craft the content that your business needs to generate optimal search and social results.
We’ll collaborate with you in customising a content plan to suit your needs and budget, delivering content that will truly take the digital throne.