So you’ve finally cracked the content creation issue and you’re publishing a couple of new blog posts every week and you have the social media team super busy promoting it all over social channels.
You’re even making guest appearances on podcasts and blogs, but now months later, you’ve barely seen any movement in organic traffic and your keywords haven’t moved much either.
The executive team is wondering where their investment went.
What went wrong?!?
A lot of companies make common mistakes that can hinder their SEO project success.
They assume that lot’s of regular content means winning at search rankings.
Turns out, this isn’t even close to the truth.
Your entire strategy should revolve around, not only creating great content, but making sure that it’s for the right audience and actually reaches them wherever they may be on the Web.
But who is the right audience?
6 Rules for Creating the Right Content
In order to get the conversions you’re looking for, you have to build content that is ideal for your target audience.
The first rule of great content is to make it interesting to the consumers of your content.
Think about your content being its own product.
You want people to “buy” your product don’t you, in this case your content?
You have to market your product or no one will know it is there.
You won’t make it far in today’s market by creating content just for the sake of creating it for search engine and keyword rankings.
Its important content meets, or even exceeds, the expectations of your audience, which means making the info you share more valuable than your competitors’. There are six rules to making excellent content:
- Make sure it’s not promotional. Promotional content isn’t exciting and doesn’t inspire, both of which are important for content marketing.
- Make sure it’s relevant. Writing generic content isn’t going to be highly relevant to your readers, which will make your efforts fruitless. Always create content that is useful to your reader.
- Solve a problem or answer a question. This is a great way to create content that is informative and useful. There’s no point in making content with useless information because that will only waste your time and your audience’s.
- Write well-written content. Poorly written content will drive people away and give your company a bad image. Make sure that your content is error-free and is presented in a thoughtful manner but not so technical that they use it for falling asleep at night.
- Make your content relevant to your company. If what your business is writing doesn’t support its objectives at all, this will make your content a waste of resources to produce. Ensure that your business goals are kept in mind when creating content. All content should have a goal! Tweet This
- Support content with proof. Since your content will seem biased, it’s a good idea to support it with third-party quotes, testimonials or metrics and stats.
5 Vital Questions to Find Your Target Audience
Your content marketing strategy won’t work if you don’t get your materials in front of the correct people.
Once you know your target audience, you need to use the correct mediums so they can access your content conveniently.
Before writing content, make sure that you have answers to 5 vital questions:
- Who is your ideal listener, reader, viewer or client?
- Do they prefer to read, watch or listen?
- Would they rather watch a video or read transcribed notes?
- Would they set aside time to attend a live webinar or teleseminar or prefer to download the MP3 to listen at another time?
- What device are they using — phone, desktop or tablet?
This will enable you to create a customer profile that will help you with building content that suits their needs, plus you’ll be able to get it in front of them in their preferred delivery method.
Knowing how your audience likes to consume their content is just as important:
- Do they like watching YouTube videos?
- Do they like to read or listen to audio?
- Do they subscribe to blogs, newsletters or both?
- Are they on Twitter daily or every now and then?
- Do they actively use LinkedIn or just use it for research?
- Are they on Facebook a lot?
- Do they frequently check out slide decks on Slide Share?
Once you know how and where your readers like to gather content, you can then make sure that your content is strategically placed there for their viewing, listening or reading.
This is Not the Audience You’re Looking For
So you’ve answered the questions above and you think you know who your target is?
That may be true, but it is probably missing a key element to make your articles and SEO really take off.
The fact is, most people do not share content but just consume it.
They are a great audience to target because they are most likely your potential customers.
But at the top of your list should be influencers in your industry.
These are the people who are driving conversations and “influencing” buyers.
Getting this audience talking about your product or service is going to drive a much larger audience than you can on your own.
They also already rank well in search engines for the topics you want to rank for and having them talk about you is also going to multiply the reach of your content and improve your search rankings.
If you want to succeed at SEO, you want to understand this audience segment, their needs for content and how to communicate with them without being spammy.
Delivering Your Content at the Right Time
It has been shown that social media doesn’t contribute largely to search engine rankings, but, search engines are including it more and more in their results because of its power of influence and relevance.
So timing of content publishing is also a factor to winning in order to have the widest possible impact on being noticed and therefore the greatest chance and being shared and discussed.
There’s been research conducted by Buddy Media, KISSmetrics, Dan Zarella and others that have helped to determine the best time of day or week to post your content, based on the social media network.
Use the data, which is readily available online, to help you figure out when to post your content to reach your particular audience and influencers.
For example, according to Buddy Media’s study, Facebook posts are best done on Sunday, Thursday and Friday.
In another study by KISSmetrics, it showed that their engagement was higher on weekends.
Argyle Social also showed that weekends yielded 32 percent higher engagement.
Even tweets showed the best results on the weekend, according to Dan Zarrella’s research.
However, retweets shown to be the highest around 5 p.m. on any given day.
And for click-throughs around noon and 6 p.m.
It was found that a lot of people are on Twitter during their commute and at dinnertime, which means they are most likely on a smartphone or tablet.
Creating content that can be viewed on these devices, if tweeting links during these times would be ideal.
Building Content that Reaches Your Audience AND Influencers
If you want your content marketing strategy to be successful, you have to make sure that you are building information, educational and/or entertaining content, that readers will find worthy of viewing, reading or listening to.
Influencers want content that further their discussion and provide evidence or enhance their point of view.
When setting up the right times to deliver the content, you can use different scheduling tools to help make your campaigns easier, like MailChimp for newsletters and emails or Buffer to automatically schedule posts to social media sites.
Research is very important for finding your audience and their preferred venues, so that you can post content at the best times.
Implementing this all into your content marketing strategy will raise your conversion rates and improve your organic traffic.
It will take time and effort.
So forget the idea of publishing as many articles as you can.
It does nothing for you except waste time.
Instead, focus on creating content that influencers will share and therefore multiply your potential reach.