Content Creation – A Simple Guide That Drives Traffic.

Jan 16, 2019

It’s doable. All it takes is a bit of strategic content creation and, if you’re so inclined, the assistance of professional content creation. Let us take you through the content creation process that will drive targeted traffic to your site.

A Word About SEO

You’ve probably heard about search engine optimization (SEO). Unless you’re heavily involved in digital marketing, however, you might not know how SEO has changed significantly over the past several years. The internet is long past the days of keyword-stuffing blog posts or link schemes.

The search engines figured out what marketers were doing, and put a stop to it, by changing their algorithms. What eventually came in its place was the rise of content that served the reader and showed real authority on a subject.

Why content? Search engines want to give users the most relevant page for their search query. Content creation is the key to relevancy, and the better quality content, the better your SEO.

Content, visual, and text-based, is the most important indicator of what your site is about. But it doesn’t end there. Once you create great content for your site, you have to help people find it. But before we get to the sharing aspect of content creation, we start with an idea.

Start With an Idea (or Two)

All content starts with an idea. Before you go rushing to Google Trends to find the best trending keywords and develop a blog post — we’ll get to that in a minute — have a quick brainstorm session with your team. Talk about what you want your content to say.

Think about what you love about your business. Run a plumbing repair shop? Recall all those times you helped a customer learn a bit about how to keep their pipes running smoothly. Have an online jewelry store? Remember that great customer feedback you got from a woman delighted with her new earrings.

From those moments, you can develop topics relevant to your blog and social media posts. Plumbing repair tips, faucet types, warning signs of clogged pipes are all things people want to know. The right jewelry for the right outfit, metal versus plastic as jewelry materials, and the history of the hoop earring, are all potentially relevant to your target customer.

Why not just write about what excites you? Because you don’t want to stop with excitement. You also want to think about what’s interesting to those who read your pages.

Why not just write about what excites you? Because you don’t want to stop with excitement. You also want to think about what’s interesting to those who read your pages.

Content Creation

Content Creation

But let’s be honest — sometimes it’s not easy to tell what’s on the minds of customers. Sometimes they are more interested in fashion, other times functionality. Sometimes both.

Your great ideas may also be the same ideas put out by the other guy with the plumbing shop in your neighborhood, so why should Google rank your content creation higher than his?

Your content must be superior in both its ability to answer questions the reader has and its overall readability.

  • Google trends:

    What you call pop, someone else calls soda. While Google is now smart enough to distinguish between common word variations, the search engine’s Google Trends tool is an essential way to discover what should be the focus of your content. If you can write about hoop earrings or stud earrings, compare these two terms to see which gets more search volume.

  • Major industry sites: What’s new and trending, whether you’re an HVAC technician or a designer, is always linked to what people are thinking about. To get insight into current customer interest, follow major media in your industry.
  • Competitor content: You want to set yourself apart from your competitor. To do that, it’s important to know what’s already working for that company. Peek at their website and social media posts. While you can get some indication of the popularity of content through the numbers of shares, likes, and comments, these are typically inaccurate measures. (BuzzFeed did an extensive analysis of its own content distribution and discovered lots of “likes” only tell part of the story.) Instead, analyze what pages are getting traffic on your competitor’s website. Didn’t know you could do that? With tools like Moz’s Link Explorer, you can see where they are finding success.
Develop an Outline

Even professional writers can find it challenging to develop a solid blog post. It all starts with direction: what do you want readers to know once they’ve reached the end of the page? Start off your outline with a few takeaways that are the focal point of the piece.

Then, sketch out the overall flow of the piece. Think through how the ideas are linked. Especially when you are excited about your topic, it can be easy to get off track and think every detail is essential to the reader. Often, it’s not. Remember a blog post is like a hook to get people interested in your company. When your reader becomes your customer you can always fill them in later on those little details you find so fascinating.

Determine the approximate length of the piece and decide how many points could reasonably be covered in that number of words. The current conventional wisdom is that longer content is better for SEO, but only if the information contained within that content is solid. If you’re not adding any additional value to the reader and essentially filling up space, best aim for a shorter piece.

Blog, Infographic, or Video?

If you find you’re struggling to create an outline for your topic, consider if a different content format might be best for your messaging. While the text is an essential part of your content marketing, it’s not the only option. Indeed, some of the most successful marketing strategies combine infographics, videos, and images.

Infographics are just that: graphics that convey specific information. If you think your point could be made in a flow chart, pie chart, or statistical analysis, maybe a colorful infographic works better. Same with video: if you’re trying to promote the culture and personality of your business, the human touch of a short clip may reach your target more effectively.

Remember, one important aspect of marketing is that your content is something people want to share: often, non-text based content meets this objective.

Partner With a Writer (or Get Creative Yourself )

But let’s say you’re currently focused on your text-based content. You have your ideas, outlines, and a clear vision of what you want to say. The next step is to, well, say it. Perhaps you already work in a creative field or you already enjoy putting words to paper (or screen, as the case may be). Draft your text in accordance with your outline.

Review, Refine, Revise

At this point, you are going to develop your content according to your objectives. Return to your key takeaways frequently in order to determine that you’re getting your main point across. Reflect upon the flow of the text to make sure it is logical, consistent, and gives a positive impression of your brand.

In essence, you don’t want your content to be boring, but you also want your style and tone to be an accurate reflection of who you are. A plumber can make silly jokes about stereotypes about the profession, but that may turn off many customers. A designer can appeal to a high-scale clientele, but in the process of seeming too “upscale,” alienate many potential buyers who might love her jewelry.

Share Far and Wide

You’ve written great content. How do you make sure it reaches your audience? In many ways, this is the most important part of content marketing: promotion. At the same time, it’s where even seasoned businesses often fail.

Coming up short is not surprising when you consider the internet is glutted with content, and the medium is always changing. But there are ways you can make sure your target market sees what you have to offer.

Influence Marketing

Think about how you choose what movie to watch or book to read. Often, you get the recommendation from someone whose opinion you trust. Influencer marketing works in a similar way. While your audience may not know an influencer personally, they may follow them online and take their advice to heart.

Imagine an influencer is like a five-star Google review, but many times more valuable.

Don’t worry — no one is recommending you contact a big name celebrity and pay them huge dollars for an Instagram post. As we discuss in our detailed post on influencer marketing, the right influencer is not necessarily the one with the most followers. Rather, it’s about the extent to which they reach the niche market you want to target with your content.

Social Media

It may seem sufficient to post your content across your channels and leave it at that. But there are little tricks to make this work as well. Choose the right size for the type of content creation. LinkedIn can be ideal for thought leadership posts or business-focused infographics. Instagram works for “culture” and image-based posts. Twitter may be best for breaking news about the business. Facebook can do all of this, but also allows you to promote business events and share invitations.

To maximize effect, use the social media sites’ embedded analytics to determine when your target audience is online and using the channel. Then, post at that time. You probably know from your own personal social media feeds that it often feels like you just happened to land upon a post at the right time. Your posts should also feel “lucky” this way, even though you planned them strategically.

You can also take other steps to boost your content readership. Paid display ads and sponsored content are other options. But often, you can make great strides through these organic (and free) techniques. So see if they work for you — you might be surprised at the increase in engagement you’ll receive.

Rinse and Repeat

The toughest part of content marketing is consistency. Too many people give up after not “going viral” with their first couple of posts. Content marketing is a grind and a long-term investment, you don’t get the instant gratification of paid advertising. But, with paid advertising, once you turn off the money, you turn off the traffic. Earned traffic through content pays for years after the work is done.

Credit: Scripted

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