Whether you want to increase sales, build relationships, or expand your online reach, content creation is a must. A well-written post can go viral within minutes. Over time it will build stature for your brand online, which leads to greater exposure and more online business.
Concerned about your skill? Don’t worry! You don’t have to be a brilliant writer to keep readers engaged. All you need is a strong content creation strategy. Relevant information, laser-targeted keywords, and proper content formatting should be your main focus.
Want to learn more? Check out these 10 helpful tips on how to improve your content creation strategy.
Get Rid of Fluff
When creating content, be clear and to the point. Don’t repeat the same information over and over.
Get rid of unnecessary phrases, words, and irrelevant data. Readers have a short attention span. Your content needs to be short and easy to scan.
This NewsCred article, finds that readers spend an average of 37 seconds with an article, which is very little time to catch someone’s attention or infuse them with your brand. Aim to keep them on your page a little longer. Who knows what could happen in those extra seconds or minutes.
The more your article serves the readers needs and desires, the more time they will spend on your page. If your posts are lengthy but provide little to no value, your bounce rate will go up.
Diversify Content Creation
Content creation isn’t just text. It includes video, motion-graphics, photography, infographics, diagrams and more.
Video is more accessible than ever. No longer do we need a projector or a television to view this content. It is readily available to nearly everyone on their smart device. According to a Pew Research Article, over 75% of Americans own a smart phone. This means over three-quarters of Americans have access to video content most anywhere they go. Over 64 percent of us are visual learners. 90 percent of the information brain our brain receives is visual.
Not only is video more readily available to the consumer, the ability to create quality video is better and less expensive than it has ever been. The fact that you can record UHD 4k video on your iPhone is astonishing! Now be sure to realize, however, that dropping $700 on a smart-phone doesn’t make you a video professional, but it doesn’t hurt.
Beyond video is motion-graphics, infographics and charts which make it easy for readers to process complex information.
As you diversify, ensure that your content is visually appealing and interesting. At the end of the day, its prupse is to to convey a certain message to a target audience. Make sure to keep this audience in mind when determining which kinds of content you create. A fast paced video may appeal to a teenager, while an infographic may appeal more to a middle aged mom.
Click Here to learn how Olive Group can help you with Visual Content Creation.
Create Custom Content
About 78 percent of Internet users say they are more likely to trust a business that provides custom content.
Custom content can help you nurture and engage prospects. It also gives your brand a voice and helps builds authority.
Run surveys and track reader comments to find out what people expect from you. Come up with articles that are relevant to their needs. Create themes that are unique to your brand. Maybe you enjoy playing basketball, and it’s a part of your personal brand or identity. Consider creating a series of videos that have you interviewing industry leaders while playing a a game of H.O.R.S.E. Or maybe fishing is your thing. Consider creating a Vlog where you expound on your industry wisdom while fishing in a pristine location.
Creating content doesn’t have to to be boring. It can be fun and an excuse to get out and do what you love.
Less than half of marketers have a clear strategy for creating content. The reason may be as simple as finding difficulty in coming up with ideas for posts. Plan your content ahead so you have the time needed for development and proper execution.
Instead of attempting to write one article at a time, try spending a morning or afternoon brainstorming ideas for articles. You should come out with at least 10-20 ideas or titles for various articles (they don’t all have to be good). Categorize these into differnt types of articles. Some may be how-to articles. Some may be editorial/opinion articles. Some may cast vision, while others may be more of a review on a product or service.
Now create due dates for yourself. Decide a realistic interval for how often you will release content. It is important to stay consistent to this schedule, for both your reader and yourself.
When scheduling article release dates, keep in mind what types of content is easier for you to create. If you are more prone to hammering out a review, but less likely to create a solid how-to article, it may be better to sandwich your how-to content between two reviews. Likewise, if you can create 2 or 3 reviews in one week, then maybe you have 2 or 3 weeks to create that pesky how-to article.
Ideally you will have at least 2 or 3 articles in the hopper ready to be published at any given time. This frees puts less pressure on you to create and allows a contingency should a last minute project come up that pulls you away from creating content for a few weeks.
Fight Discouragement With Action
Sometimes after researching a topic, we can feel like no matter what we write, it won’t be good enough. In this case, it may be best to cover the topic from a different angle, such as writing from your own experience. Share success stories and failures. Reference case studies and other blogs to back up what you’re saying.
Even a seasoned professional can learn a thing or two from the mistakes and victories of a newbie in their industry. You never know who will read your content, and you never know what you will learn as you write. Just make sure stay honest to who you are, whether that be a seasoned professional or a first year student, still growing their teeth.
People are tired of reading the same information on every site and blog. If you want to stand out, be different.
Conduct interviews and publish “behind-the-scenes” posts as part of your content creation strategy. Ask your readers to post reviews of your products or submit pictures.
Repurpose old materials into new ones. For instance, if you have several recipe posts on your blog, create a cookbook. Offer it as an incentive to those who sign up for your list or “like” your Facebook page.
Use Professional Photos
As content creation becomes more visual, quality pictures are more important than ever before. When used right, they can tell your story and boost your marketing efforts.
Social media sites like Instagram are showing us all how important quality photography is. These sites are also showing us how the photos from our phone match up to the work of professionals. If you are intimidated by what you see, look into purchasing stock photography, or hiring a professional to do a photo shoot. Consider the benefits of doing a professional photo-shoot once a year, once a quarter or even once a month. Such an investment could create a diverse asset of imagery that you use for years.
If its not in your budget to hire professionals or purchase stock photos, consider becoming a better photographer. Research what photo-editing software and apps you can get for your phone or computer. Take classes on photography, and watch you-tube tutorials. Even if it is in your budget to hire a pro, it may serve you well to learn a thing or three about photography so that you can better interact with the folks you hire, and help you step up your own Instagram game.
Even though professional photos aren’t a must, they can make all the difference. It all comes down to developing a quality relationship with your market. Make sure to meet their expectations, whether that be with a professional, or a well used camera in your pocket.
Research Your Audience
Great content means nothing if it’s reaching the wrong audience.
Every time you launch a site or expand your audience, make sure to incorporate some sort of market research. Use analytics tools, polls, and surveys to learn more about the people your content will serve.
Let’s say your blog appeals to small and medium business, and you plan to publish a series of posts on the startup culture. Use google and learn about the struggles faced by start-ups in various industries. Read case studies and success stories. Use Reddit, Quora, and LinkedIn to connect with entrepreneurs. Reach out to people you know and ask them about their own stories.
Research can be a great way of letting people know your new emphasis. It’s natural to ask people questions about their story, and people love to talk about themselves and their business. By listening, you not only deepen your understanding of the market, but you are building your relationship with that person and their business.
Don’t Shoot for the Moon
Many marketers spend days trying to craft the perfect blog post. Sometimes they give up, simply because they’re not happy with the final result.
Stop expecting perfection from yourself and focus on the end goal. The goal of web content is to boost website traffic and inspire readers to take action.
When it comes to content marketing, your job is to provide value to the target audience. No one expects you to be a stellar writer and know everything. Start by simply writing a list. Then adding information as it comes to you. What may start out as a one-hundred word article in February could turn into 2000 words by December.
Write Longer Posts
Long-form content allows you to leverage more information with one post. It lets you cover a topic in-depth and answer any questions your readers may have, and search engines love it.
The typical length of a blog post has increased from 808 words in 2014 to 1054 words in 2017. Short articles are not as popular as they used to be. The number of posts over 2000 words has actually doubled each year.
If this seems like a daunting task, increase your efficiency by spending less time reading and more time writing. Try doing research while you write. Document your thoughts as you explore new ideas! You can always edit later, and you never know if the article you started writing turns into 3 or 4 by the time you are done, which let’s be clear is a good thing! Write those articles and link them all to each other.
Track Your Results
If you don’t know how your content performs, then you can’t improve your strategy.
Use Google Analytics and other online tools to measure your results. Determine what posts attract the most traffic and which ones drive readers away.
If one of your articles goes viral, come up with new posts on that topic. Maybe create a blog series that breaks down the topic into various categories, providing in-depth coverage on each one.
With a proper inbound marketing approach, you can acquire contact information from your readership then follow up with a survey, to better gauge their response and demographic
Now Go Do It!
A successful content creation strategy takes time and hard work. Writing is the easy part.
Businesses are realizing the importance of having quality content for their online branding. In a recent survey, 70 percent of B2B companies said they expect to create more content in 2017 than they did in 2016.
According to Neil Patel, successful content marketers get 7.8 times more website traffic than the average marketer. Search Engine Journal, for instance, has over one million unique visitors per month. Bloggers, marketers and content creators flock to their unique and interesting posts, from across the world.
In review, let’s remember that by creating content for the web, you are providing a valid service to current and potential customers. The key is to share what people need and are looking for. By providing useful information, you build relationships and the relevancy of your brand, which builds your stature within the web and your market.
If you need help, contact us today! Our team can develop a content marketing plan that suits your business needs.