Businesses need to raise their game to produce online content that amplifies their voice above the white noise and chatter of their competitors. Quality content is not an elusive goal and a small investment of time could lead to a growth in sales and profit.
You just need to stick to some simple rules of best practice, here are ours:
Brevity is the soul of wit. Online readers scan online content for the information they need. Break up the text, bold your headlines and use short sentences.
See? It works.
Tell a story
What would you rather read? An exciting tale with a happy ending in which Fred finally finds the cleaning products of his dreams? Or a ‘salesy’ pitch about the benefits of product x compared to product y? Storytelling communicates your brand’s personality and builds a relationship with your customers.
No Ctrl+c, ctrl+v
That caught your eye didn’t it? Try to write content which is as unique as this headline. Google recognises copied content as less valuable and ranks it lower so your expert pasting skill won’t even get the recognition it deserves.
Be guided by the channel
The style and tone of the language you use should be tailored to the audience and to the channel. Twitter is less formal than a blog post, which is less formal than a piece of printed content.
Give your reader something to do after they finish reading. If they like what they see, can they follow a link to some in-depth further reading? Get in touch? Make your call to action easy and intuitive to stop your readers bouncing.
Search engine optimisation is not a dark art and it’s easy to make it work for you. Although we could dedicate an entire series of blog posts to SEO best practice, we’ll stick to the basics here. Incorporate popular keywords in natural phrasings and include a meta-description. There’s more information on avoiding common SEO pitfalls on our website.
Currency is key
Keep up to date with trends and changes afoot in your industry so that you can provide your unique insight on major news stories when they break.
Share the love
Include social media sharing buttons at the bottom of your post or in a floating sidebar widget to make it easy for readers to share your content on their networks. You’ll be able to monitor clicks on these buttons and keep track of the channels your posts are being shared on.
To establish a loyal audience, you need a well thought out content strategy and you need to post regularly. There isn’t always time to give your content marketing the attention it deserves, which is why having a content partner can come in handy.
People read to find out stuff they need to know. Your content should answer your readers’ questions but leave them wanting more…
By Darren Clare, CEO of Stratton Craig