We all know that content is the key to effective marketing.
Content is your opportunity to not only draw new customers into your sales pipeline but also showcase your value before those clients ever have a chance to sample your service or product. Unfortunately, content does have one quandary to consider. For what you create to be effective, it needs to be seen.
That begs the question then, in today's overly-saturated marketing space, how can you transform your content into a beacon for your brand?
Typically, when people talk about "content optimization", they're thinking about things like keywords and SEO. However, there's more to creating incredible content, then making sure that the search engines appreciate what you have to offer. Although search engine optimization is useful, you also need to earn the attention and respect of your target audience too.
Optimizing your content comes down to something of a balancing act between writing for bots, and writing for people. You need to produce something emotional and trust-building if you want to create loyalty among your customers, but you also need to understand how algorithms work if you want to get into Google's good books.
So, how exactly can you boost your content performance and achieve more tangible, measurable results from your content marketing campaigns?
Well, let's find out.
Step 1: Make the Headline Count
Did you know that 80% of readers never actually make it past the headline? If you want to connect with that 20% happy to click through and read whatever you have to offer, then you're going to need to produce something pretty incredible.
A good headline is how you convince your customers that your content is worth reading. In a world where everyone seems to be posting fifty blog posts and twenty new videos everyday, you need a headline that jumps out at your reader and grabs them by the hand to pull them directly towards your brand. Here are some ways you can make your headline work for you:
Ask a question: The presence of a question mark helps to spark curiosity, and compel us to read more. However, make sure you ask a question your customer cares about.
Use negative headlines: In a study of 65,000 titles, Outbrain discovered that negative superlatives performed better than positive superlatives. Try using words like "Stop" or "Avoid" in your title.
Explain something: Studies find that "How to" articles often capture the attention of audiences quicker than other types of content. Your readers want to learn from you
Step 2: Be Part of the "In" Crowd
If you want to capture the interest of your readers, then you need to write about something that they're already engaged with. Rather than making up topics at random, try researching what's trending in your specific industry, and figuring out what your customers would most like to read about. There are countless websites, such as BuzzSumo, that you can use to track down topic ideas based on the keywords you want to rank for.
Of course, if you really want to make an impression with your content, the best thing you can do is avoid simply copying and pasting what someone else has written. Find the trending topics and then put your own personal spin on them. Share an opinion, provide new information, find a way to highlight your unique value.
Speaking of taking advantage of popularity, one of the most effective things you can do for your brand today is boost it with advocacy from a popular figure in your marketplace. For instance, influencer marketing is a process that allows companies to reach out to influential figures in their space, and ask them to promote their business.
You might connect with an influencer through social media for instance, and ask them to share a video or a picture of them using your product, which you can link back to your marketing campaigns. This process is powerful because it allows you to piggyback on the existing trust and credibility your chosen influencer has already built with your target audience. You get the impact, without the work.
Step 4: Implement SEO Tactics
For most creative minds, SEO can be regarded as the "boring" side of content creation. It's the technical stuff that you might not want to deal with - but it's also essential in making sure that you earn the attention of your customers. If you want to develop real, sustainable organic traffic, then you're going to need to make sure that your content ranks on Google. That means creating content that appeals to the preferences of algorithmic bots and crawlers.
Finally, if you really want your content to pull its weight, then you're going to need to make it as shareable as possible. This means making sure that your audience has no problem linking to your content, reposting your blogs, and even re-tweeting your messages on social media. The good news is that there are countless ways you can increase the "shareability" of your content. For instance, you could:
Place "share" buttons at the end of your content articles and blog posts. This means that people can share what they've read instantly without having to copy and paste a link over to their social accounts. In the fast-paced digital world, convenience matters.
Use a floating share bar that follows your content down the page, reminding people that they can share the link or blog whenever they like.
Ask for a share directly in your CTA. You should also encourage readers to give you their opinion on the content while they're sharing. People love feeling as though the brands they appreciate care about them
Ultimately, optimizing your content doesn't have to be a difficult process. Just a few simple measures could be all it takes to transform your copy into a powerful tool for your brand.