Please see below our detailed blog, which is the same content that has been redistributed for our e-book. If you want help with your content strategy and creating your own material and promoting yourself with an e-book – that’s just one of the ways I can help you. This blog and e-book below are a showcase of my talents – I can do this for your business too, get in touch!
DOWNLOAD OUR E-BOOK – TEN STEP GUIDE TO WRITING COMPELLING CONTENT
DIRECT URL: http://smesocialmedia.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/SME-Social-10-Step-Guide-To-Compelling-Content.pdf
Understand Your Audience
Understanding your audience is a key question for any business, and quite often one that is taken far too lightly for business owners when they are considering their marketing.
- Consider current client base. Who are your best clients, what are their biggest problems?
- Do customer research with real customers. Ask customers questions, try to gather as much information as possible in regards to how your expertise really help them.
- Brainstorm with your employees, partner, team. There’s no better way than to understand your audience than to think about why it is you got into business in the first place!
- Consider building buyer personas that are built around your ideal customers – what does your ideal client look like? Consider their age, gender, demographic, location, personality, their income level, how will they will want to engage with content? (Create several personas for different customer types, if you need to).
- Understand how your service benefits your clients, this will help tremendously when you are planning for which topic you are going to focus on in your content.
Choosing Your Topic
What do your customers want to see online? What topic should you speak about that will gather their interest? We recommend finding topics that have depth, something that you can really showcase your expertise and provide valuable information to your customers about.
Here are three tips that we would recommend following when you are trying to choose the topic for your content:
Start with your customers problems
- What are your customers main problems and issues?
- How can you provide value to them (with information)?
- What is already available on the market for them to view?
- How can you create something that is unique (has novelty) and is valuable (has use to the customer?)
Consider market trends
- Showcasing your up to date with current trends shows your expertise.
- Think about events or updates in your industry that you can inform your customers about.
- Also consider where your customers are spending time, what is the trends in how people are viewing content?
- Do market research and consider what your competitors are talking about and what their best types of content are.
- Use Google Keyword Planner to look at what your customers are searching for.
- Consider both long-tail and short-tail keywords.
- Remember that context in which people are searching and how it shows their intentions to purchase.
It’s time to provide structure to your blog. You have your topic, now it in order to write more fluently and provide flow, we should know some rules on how we structure blogs in order for them to be easy to digest for potential customers.
Consider the length of the blogs you are writing. You should have a mix of both long, explanatory blogs that have depth and provide detail. Guides, informative pieces, whitepapers, E-Books. You should go in-depth on subjects that you have high levels of knowledge in and you can provide valuable content in.
Other blogs should also be considered, people want quick and easy information so you must use a mixture of both long and short blogs in order to grab people’s attention at different places in the sales cycle.
Always consider the purpose of the blog. What are you trying to achieve? Are you informing them on current events, or educating them with a guide on how to complete something in your field (like this piece of content is explaining how to write a blog!), or are you trying to persuade them that hiring your is a good idea? This will help give you a good idea on how you should structure this specific piece (long, explanatory piece vs. short, informal, persuasive piece may be totally different).
You should also consider leaving whitespace, using appropriate amounts of imagery and creating lists of different snapshots of information to keep the reader focused and engaged in your content.
Types of blogs
Remember, there are hundreds of different types of blogs. Upon researching this and with my time blogging, I’ve come across too many answers to contemplate even trying to tell you. Here are a few popular blog types to help you understand what I mean:
- How-To Blog (guide, educational)
- 7 Benefits Of (informative, persuasive)
- 10 Reasons to (informative, persuasive)
- Here’s why you should.. (informative, persuasive)
- Ten steps to.. (educational)
I think you get the picture. There’s plenty of ways to start off your content and different types of blogs you can post.
Be flexible, adapt
Experiment. See what works for your. Write consistently, develop your own style, let it be part of your personal and professional brand online. People are people, we all understand that this is an on-going process and appreciate a company that learns, tries new things, adapts to their environment and grows over time.
Start with title
If you’re stuck, start with a title. Try to make it compelling, and let it provide structure and purpose to your content. This will help provide you with sub-headings and some form of guidance in regards to the topic you’re writing about and how you wish to present the information to your audience.
Ensure that you fill all your content with the relevant keywords, according to the keyword research that you have done to determine the topic. This will help not only with your ranking across search engines, but hold the structure in place while you are writing your article, and keep you on topic.
When you’re writing, try to remember the context in which they have searched and what it is they’re actually looking for. Do they want data? Do they want a guide? How do they want their content to be written? How have they written their searches?
For each piece, think about who it is you’re writing for – where are they in the sales cycle? Are you trying to gather new awareness, or really provide in-depth knowledge to current customers (to retain them and showcase your knowledge) or people who are already considering your service?
You should use online tools such as the Google Keyword Planner to help with your keyword research.
Consider the purpose
What is the purpose of the blog? This should be taken into consideration when you write your first draft. The first draft of writing should basically contain all the information you want, in whatever format suits you (lists, huge blocks of text) and is not formatted into any particularly order, simply for you to use to further enhance the structure before you polish your content to make it engaging and persuasive.
Either way, you should make sure that you:
- Provide value to your customer
- Ensure it’s relevant information
- Showcase your expertise
Making It Engaging
Now that you have written the first draft, you must ensure that you piece of content is engaging and will be appealing to your target audience. We would suggest considering the following:
Provide real value
To ensure you are engaging your customer, you must first consider how reading your article or piece of content will benefit them. What are they going to achieve? It is written to educate them on latest trends? Is it a guide that makes them feel educated? What about an opinion piece, that makes their point of view feel valid and understood?
You should add real value to the reader, particularly as you write content that you publish consistently. Eventually, people will want to see that you are showcasing your expertise, and giving them useful, practical information that helps them. A bit of humour and the “benefits of” articles are great, but if you want them to come to you when they have problem, you better offer some solutions.
Again, using your keyword research you further understand your customers intentions, what people are looking for and how you should provide it to them. Using this information, alongside a comprehensive strategy that involves market research, you should be showcasing the benefits of your business whilst giving answers to questions people are asking online.
What are people looking for? Why are they visiting your website in the first place? Consider their intentions will allow you to put a strategy in place to know why they WOULD come to your website, and provide that reason (for example, if you know a lot of people are searching for a particular topic in your area, you should concentrate on providing valuable information around that subject).
Provide a reason to do business
- Provide content that is relevant to your industry and that your customers will engage with
- Always concentrate on the emotional reason your customer would buy from you, not just the practical reasons to buy
- Showcase your company culture and recent work to attract people who you want to do business with and who want to do business with you (long-term!)
Relevant call to action (ask for the business)
Make sure it’s easy to take action on your website and your customers know that you’re ready to take their business. You can do this by providing a relevant call to action within your blog that states you’re ready for business, ready to expand and ready to help your visitors/potential customer with your service/product.
Optimizing For SEO
There are some technical aspects to this, but nowadays SEO is mostly about your content and how you use it efficiently and effectively (and how valuable it is to your customer). There’s six things you should consider when optimizing your article for SEO.
- Make use of keywords throughout article
- Use synonyms of keywords
- Be sure to provide valuable information (don’t spam!)
- Quality content means more time spent on site (increasing your SEO rank organically)
- Quality content helps convert visitors into customers
- Creating useful guides can be the most powerful content
Make it mobile
- Consider the context in how people view on mobiles (people are on the move)
- Make use of short, quick blogs
- Optimize image for speed across mobiles
- Link to other pieces of content across your blogs
- Showcase relevant content within your pieces of work
- Don’t oversell your audience, make it natural
- Use relevant headers within your content
- Use a relevant description to ensure search engines know what it’s about
- Use tags in every blog to help define content
- Optimize your imagery to ensure it’s quick and easy to load
Written for humans
- Don’t write for robots. Write for humans – your audience.
- Google looks at the context in which people view your content
- Keep people on your website for longer, it helps with your ranking
- Work to convert your audience to customers.
Publishing & Distribution
Now it’s time to publish and distribute your content. Where do you start?
Try to start with your website
- Starting with your website helps to direct traffic to your site when you publish content, which works well to convert customers.
- Providing regular content to your website helps promote your brand and keep your company looking active and engaging
- If you can’t use a website, you should start with LinkedIn
Consistency is better than volume
- Providing consistent content is better than posting a mass of content at once, then being vacant and not posting for long periods of time
- Try to remain an active voice in your industry and blog regularly
- Writing blogs consistently will help improve your writing skills and the quality of your content over time
Newsletters & email
- You should publish enough content every month that you can write a newsletter promoting it to your audience
- Newsletters help engage your audience and build a community around your brand
- Email is extremely effective in the response rates
We would recommend that you heavily mix your content marketing and social media marketing strategies for best results.
Marketing & Promotion
It’s alright having a piece of content. Without effective marketing, nobody will read it, right? You must promote your content and consistently market it to your audience.
Provide value in your marketing and promotion. You should use the 80-20 rule. Provide value 80% of the time, promote yourself 20% of the time. This helps build an engaged and satisfied audience, and convert the portion of your audience that are ready for your offering.
When you do publish your content, you should be going multi-channel. Not only should you post it on your website, but you should re-post it on LinkedIn, you should re-post it in any industry websites. You should make sure that anywhere you can get that content, you put it (the more valuable the website to your audience, the better.. don’t spam!)
Don’t waste your time promoting content at 3am when you’re audience are asleep. Consider at what times you post your content. It matters.
Let it fuel your social media
When engaging on social media, we have some principles to follow to ensure that you get your content seen:
- Be consistent with your content marketing
- Engage with your audience every single day
- Encourage people to share and comment or like your content
- Republish your content on social media over time
Using analytics in your strategy
You should use analytics to determine what types of content your audience are engaging with the most, and more importantly where are they coming from? This will help determine what types of content you will write in the future, and where you will put your time into promoting.
We would say reinforce popular topics with more, high-quality content and publish and promote on the channels in which most of your audience are coming from. You could also use the data to determine where you should put more effort due to lack of presence (for example, if you know a lot of your audience spend their time at Instagram, and you know that you haven’t got a big enough presence there to drive the right amount of traffic you know is available).
Having analytics in place is not enough. Social media analytics, Google analytics and all the data you have, it’s only effective in the how. How you utilize it to inform your strategy, and the types of content you produce.
Key metrics with your content marketing analytics
When you are looking to understand how your audience is interacting with your content, you should be considering the following:
- Amount of traffic to your website (how many times is it viewed?)
- Time spent on the content (how long do your customers spend reading your content)
- Bounce rate (if they left your website, or continued to read other content – where did they go?)
- Social media engagement (how many shares, likes, comments?)
What you should try to understand for the data
- What topic or subject do your audience engage with the most?
- Where do your audience find your content (from Google, social media?)
- What time is best to publish content?
- What topics or types of content lead to your audience taking action?
- What types of content do your audience resonate with the most?
Remember! Use the data to gain insight into which content leads to an online purchase. We write content to showcase our expertise, provide value to our customer and ultimately give them a reason to do business with us. Using the analytics to help drive business should be the focus.
You should be redistributing your content and working to reuse pieces of content to re-engage with your audience for long after it’s been published.
Content lasts forever
Remember, your content lasts forever. Once it’s published, it’s part of your owned media, which means you can use it forever. Here’s some tips to continue to market your content over time:
- Schedule blog posts every six week across social media (same piece of content)
- Use old blogs in your posts to keep people engaged
- Make useful guides that are timeless and will last long periods of time
Republishing on industry websites
Republishing your content on industry websites enhances your authority online and works well with your SEO strategy. You should seek to build a network of places that you can publish your content online.
Remember to post in quality websites and not to spam your content in unnecessary places. Try to publish content on high authority websites and reach out to high-profile industry sites that may be interested in having you as a featured writer or featuring a piece of your work on their website.
Consider other formats to republish your content
Could you engage with more people by republishing your content, or using other formats of content? You should be utilizing all types of content available to help people understand your value, your expertise and provide value to your audience in various ways.
Consider infographics, social media graphics, video, Facebook live, a live question and answer session, producing a recorded video. How about an E-Book?
This blog has been republished as an E-Book as an example of how you can republish content and redistribute it in other formats to engage with your audience in multiple ways with the same topic.
Do you need help with your content marketing? Get in touch for our help getting your strategy in place today. We’re ready to build new connections, expand our network of clients and offer flexible packages to suit your needs.[wpforms id="13377"]