Content marketing is an integral part of the levers for increasing the audience of a site, strengthening your notoriety and optimizing your sales. Content creation plays a major role in your communication operations …
1. The real challenges of content marketing
Internet users are bombarded daily with information, advertisements and alerts, the vast majority of which do not even interest them. This data in the form of photos, infographics, videos or text resembles the billboards and other signs that motorists encounter near roads and highways. The average internet user logically ignores web content that does not correspond to his interests or needs at the moment.
Nevertheless, Internet users have a keen sense for detecting any content that may interest them. The primary goal of content marketing is therefore to provide your readers with THE content they need, when they need it most. The content of your site, blog or business page on social media is used to inform or entertain your audience – or both at the same time.
In no case should your priority be to sell your products and services through your content. Too many companies have made this mistake too often and end up with readers not really attached to their brand and their products / services. Bombing your readers with promotional texts and photos is of no interest, either for your sales or for your brand image. On the contrary, it would make your readers doubt the relevance of your content, especially if it is presented as advice or solutions to a specific problem. Content marketing is more about connecting with your readers than selling your products, services, and brand to them.
By reasoning this way, you will be better able to attract new readers and retain more Internet users. Your brand image will only grow, as will your online reputation. And even if you don’t prioritize the positioning of your site in the SERPs, you will benefit from a better ranking on Google thanks to the increase in your traffic and the mentions made around your content.
Content creation therefore logically deserves special attention from you. The first step in delivering quality content is knowing who the article or publication for your corporate site or blog is for. Do you want to target average Internet users who are looking for an article on a specific topic related to your activity? Or do you want to address prospects and customers who are already familiar with your activities and your products? The subject matter, as well as the way you present your content, varies according to the target readers. However, just thinking about your readers when researching and choosing a topic is a testament to your interest in their content needs.
Your attention can only please them and encourage them to turn more and more to your site to find relevant and recent content, which also answer their questions and solve their problem. The search for themes that may interest your readers is done through a curation process carried out on social networks, by a mailing campaign or by direct exchanges with your audience. Ask them questions directly on topics that might interest them and adapt your publications accordingly. Trend searches on Google Trends or Twitter can also be used to find hot topics that can add value to your blog or corporate site.
3. Choice of broadcast channel
An interesting topic will be useless if it is not broadcast on a channel where your readers will best appreciate its content. Again, use your discernment to send your content to the right people, in the right place, at the right time. Ask yourself the following questions: where did you find the most interest in the subject when searching for a theme? Which dissemination channel best suits the content of your publication? Internet users react differently to the same content on your official website, your professional blog or your company page, on social networks.
Interesting content posted on your social profiles will certainly generate shares and comments, in other words, engagement from your audience. Quality content on your official website or blog will deliver the same results, but will also entice readers to look for other similar posts on the same platform. You will thus gain in traffic, a good point for your referencing on Google.
The format in which the content will be published also deserves special attention. Your primary goal in this case is to share your information in a format that optimizes readability to your readers. The choice of format also depends on the nature of the content of your publication. Does your post contain many figures and statistics related to your activity or the subject covered? In this case, an infographic would be easier to read. Do you want to provide practical advice to your readers on a specific topic?
A publication in the form of a list would in this case better convey your message, thanks to better readability and better prioritization of information. Optimizing the format of your content also involves better adapting your communication medium to the terminals used by Internet users. The latter being more and more present on mobiles – smartphones and tablets especially -, your site or blog must be able to offer text or mobile-friendly image formats, that is to say optimized for comfortable reading on smartphone or tablet.
5. Be strategic & original
Choosing the right format is closely linked to the originality of your publications. The uniqueness of your content should also show through in the editorial line, style and lexical field used. In most cases, the topics you cover on your blog or site are already the subject of other posts and publications on the platforms of a competitor or a foreign language site. In this case, your goal is to approach the theme from a new angle to keep your readers’ attention, arouse their curiosity or encourage debate. Seen from this angle, you are free to reuse a theme already published on your site or your blog, but updating the information over time and trends.
This choice would make you appear as an authority figure in your field, thanks to your ability to deal with news related to your industry. The choice of the angle of treatment of the subject is up to your free will. Make sure, however, that the editorial line chosen makes an impression on your readers and increases the likelihood that your content will be re-published, shared or bookmarked by Internet users.
There are several ways to make your publications original. You can, for example, link the topic treated with a case study or a real fact. If you publish a list of tips, you will add more relevance to your post by relating your own experience with the ideas mentioned in your article. To maximize your readership engagement, adding quizzes or any other fairly entertaining task has proven itself many times. Example of a study on Fake Twitter in the press:
6. Publish on a regular basis
Internet users behave like any good average consumer, with the difference that they are primarily looking for interesting, informative and / or entertaining content. Your role is therefore to meet their needs by regularly supplying your site or blog with publications corresponding to the expectations of your audience. Whether for a blog or for a professional site, the regularity of your articles is crucial to retain your readers. Put yourself in their place for a moment. Would you like to subscribe to the newsletter of a site that only releases updates once a month? What interest would you find in visiting a platform of which you know nothing about the dates of publication of new articles? Plan the frequency of your publications on your blog or corporate site from the start.
Feel free to get inspired by your competitors or other companies in your field to see how often they are published. Also note that the writing work for each article varies from one sector of activity to another and also according to the scope and ramifications of your activities. Whatever your publication rate, make sure to keep it throughout the life of your platform. Your regularity will then appear as an additional guarantee of the reliability of your business and will add relevance to your publications.
7. Stay in tune with the times
The relevance of your content also depends on the date of publication on your site. Text promoted as part of your brand promotion will no longer be useful to readers after the campaign ends. References to popular culture news (as with Star Wars recently) could also quickly lose relevance as the enthusiasm for these events wanes.
Including these references in your publication nonetheless helps with SEO, not to mention that they help you consolidate your links with your readers or recruit new ones. Finding the right balance between ephemeral content and content that will always be current regardless of the external environment is therefore the key to making your site a reliable source of information for Internet users.
8. Collect feedback
For each update published on your platform, take the time to measure the reception reserved for the publication by your readers. How many views has the text collected? What about the number of likes, shares, or comments? Most importantly, is the article the subject of comments or criticism from readers? This information will help you assess the relevance of your content and thus judge the adequacy of the subject and the editorial line with the expectations of your audience.
Another way to measure the impact of your publications is to speak directly to your sales teams. They are often closer to a significant share of your readers and have information (remarks, statistics, figures, etc.) related to the influence of your publications on your company’s sales. Even if the primary objective of your content is not to present your activities and sell your products, they contribute to varying degrees and in fact play a major role in optimizing your company’s income.
9. What about optimization?
Everything in your editorial line and your choice of theme is addressed above all to your readers. This does not mean, however, that your content should not be optimized for search engines. Indeed, how do you hope to attract the maximum number of readers to a publication if it is not well positioned in the search results? Good SEO optimization of your content requires the use of carefully chosen keywords. These expressions are closely related to your field of activity, but also to the subject of the publication. In addition to the most searched keywords, your content should also include long tail keywords, which are in the form of sentences that can be typed by Internet users on search engines.
The proportion of 30% of long tail keywords to 70% of popular keywords is often mentioned by SEO professionals. By using the long tail keywords wisely, you are likely to be highly rated by Google, especially if one of the key phrases of your site is one of the unique requests processed daily by the search engine. American. The latter acquired in 2015 a new technology called RankBrain, based on artificial intelligence and machine learning, which highlights pages corresponding to unique requests from Internet users. Be careful not to fall into the trap of over-optimization or the misuse of keywords in your content. Instead of making your posts more relevant, you would be giving Google enough reason to penalize your site.