A content strategy is the creation and promotion of unique information to a specific target audience. The benefits of content marketing include improving brand image, brand awareness, generating organic links to a website, increasing sales and social engagement, and more.
Factors of quality content
Every day almost three million blog posts are uploaded. These can be fresh reports of recent market surveys to blog articles and e-books and more. That's pretty tough. To beat such competition, your content should have the following attributes.
Offer information exhaustively
For content like blog posts and research papers, longer articles are preferred because they give you room to cover all important elements of your story. Longer articles also contain more key phrases in them, giving you a better chance to rank, especially for "long-tail" content. A post that is between 800 and 3000 words, broken down into segments that are easy to understand, is much better than a hurried 500 word article of curated content.
Fun fact: According to Backlinko, the average Google first page result contains 1,890 words.
Be well researched
The core of content marketing is providing fresh information. To do that, you must research extensively to find a gap in the information being presented by competitors, and fill it with great content. Research also involves the SEO aspect of keyword research to know what users search for in that topic. Find a variety of long tail keywords so you can target a larger scope of users.
You need pieces or visuals that draw the attention of your audience. After creation of content, whether you publish it on your website or elsewhere, it must be shareable, interesting and informative.
Think about what you share. Would you share your content?
Be measurable (be attributable)
There are many ways to measure the effect of content produced. For example, when you publish infographics or upload a video on YouTube, you can analyze the number of shares, backlinks, likes or subscribers received. This data can be found in your Google Analytics, or other analytics dashboard. If content isn't performing well, consider improving it, or even deleting it. Content that people visit, then immediately leaves means it's just not good content.
Vary the kinds of content you produce
This article is pretty much just text. But a good overall content strategy engages various content types depending on the marketing objective. Some of the best types of content to develop authority sites include:
Infographics are different than conventional blog posts because they focus on the main elements of a story and express these with visual appeal. They don't make people work as much as reading does. To make this approach work for your brand, the idea of your infographics should offer a solution to an existing problem, introduce a new argument or even summarize a valuable report visually. The design must be easy on the eye and in presented in a file size that is shareable across the internet without the need for size readjustments. In other words, the image must be small and optimized for web delivery.
Benefits of Infographics
- They have great visual appeal
- They can go "viral" more easily than other types of content
- They can simplify important research documents
- They can make a brand stand out as an expert
- They are easier to share on various platforms
- They attract influencers
- They can be a great source of backlinks
- They are easy to track online.
Blogging takes up a large part of any content strategy. Blog posts are a mainstay of any content plan because they are relatively easy to develop and they keep your site fresh.
There are so many types of articles to write on a company blog. The most interesting ones are funny or helpful. For example: how-to articles about a brand’s products or services. The most boring articles are often company profiles and external memos. But then, who puts company memos up in blog posts? Well, some have.
Mix things up a bit. A blog can even be a collection of pictures from a recent brand event. For content marketing purposes, you'll want to write several per month. The number of posts is not as important as the quality of the information. Therefore you should use the AIDA method of persuasive writing. Additionally, separate your content into easily navigable categories, and enhance your internal linking so that users have more to keep them on the blog. Use SEO strategies like creating unique titles for your articles, a meta description for search engines and image attributes.
Benefits of blogging
- It is more affordable because a blog runs on an existing company digital asset – a website.
- It gives a brand greater control over delivery and audience engagement.
Video consumption is increasing for a number of reason. Social media platforms like Facebook added video upload to their content type options. According to Forbes, video marketing is the future of content strategies.
Benefits of using video
- You can produce a wide range of content from tutorials to testimonials
- Videos appeal to the emotions of users. They can be funny GIFs or emotional pieces showing how a product/service changed a consumer’s life
- They are shareable. Video sharing platforms like YouTube thrive on social shares
- You can add videos to blog posts or to social media posts thereby enhancing consumption of brand content.
Podcasting can assist your brand in audience education and engagement. Your content might be a tutorial, an interview with an industry expert/consumer or even an opinion about a newsworthy item in your industry. More people are looking for information they can consume without necessarily staring at a phone/computer screen (can you blame them?). With podcasts, they can download and listen whenever, wherever.
Benefits of podcasts
- You can use podcasts to explain your blog articles better
- Your audience will see you as an expert in a particular field
- They make communication more personal by eliminating all the noise common the sidebars of websites and video sharing platforms. Additionally, podcasts are downloaded to personal devices
- They enlarge an audience to include the visually impaired
- Podcasting is cheaper because the main equipment is a computer with audio features.
In conclusion, there is an ongoing debate about the relationship, or lack of it, between SEO and content marketing. Some industry experts feel that SEO is a standalone activity while others see a content strategy as a way to boost SEO (we agree). The bottom line is, these two correlate. When a user asks for something, search engines respond by providing possible answers to the query using databases indexed in order of importance - relevance.
Your website will be among the first databases served for a specific query if the search engines feel you have the best content for a specific query. Hence, content is a ranking factor. That's why Google ’s Panda Update has been penalizing websites with thin content since 2011.