When it comes to content marketing, there is only one commandment:
And if there was ever a debate between quality and quantity in terms of content marketing, Google’s continued algorithm updates – which focus on finding quality content that generates genuine engagement – have in fact ended that debate.
Unfortunately, although Google says its updates are geared toward weeding out contents of lower relevance and promoting higher-quality content, how Google determines relevance or quality is not clearly defined.
However, what is quite clear and measurable is social engagement. The number of comments, links to a blog post, likes, re-tweets, Google Plus engagements, and others are good measures of relevance and quality. In order to reap the benefits of content marketing now and in the future, you have to focus on creating content that is customer-centric.
Quality content is about what your customers want to read, not what you want to tell them. The goal of content is to provide value and connect with your customers, not to sell them your latest product. It’s not about telling them how great your company is, or how well your product is doing. If you focus on providing real value and position yourself as an expert, the chance to convert the audience you attract will come.
Know Your Customer
The question is, how do you know what your customers want to read? How can you know your customers at all? Getting a good grasp of buyer persona – interests, age, shopping preferences – and finding out where clients hang out online are only a few ways to figure out your customer base. While truly engaging with clients in their online community, you can gain specific information about how clients use your product or service, why they use it, challenges clients face, and how you can improve. You’d be surprised how much you would learn about your customer.
Needless to say, the more you know your clients and prospects, the better. This will not only help you set the right content that clients would be interested in, but it will also prevent you from rushing to publish something clients may find useless. Again, the focus should be on quality, not speed or quantity.
In addition, knowing as much as you possibly can about your customer will make writing as easy as having a discussion or sharing an idea with a friend. In fact, if content marketing has another commandment, it is “know thy customer.”
Create Compelling Content
Once you understand your customer, the next challenge is to write content that will be valued and shared. Content that gets shared are those that are compelling and from the heart. Every business affects life positively, and sharing stories passionately in an engaging manner will create a post that generates lots of comments, shares, likes, and interaction.
Avoid long blocks of text, and break up your post with subheadings that summarize the main points. No matter how good your content is, the majority of online readers will only skim through it. Using sub-headings will ensure readers can grab the main points instead of giving up and moving on altogether. Also, if properly done, subheadings can “force” your readers to read the actual message.
Use Other Media
Don’t limit yourself to written content. Other multimedia like video, infographics, pictures, and playlists are good ways of keeping audiences engaged across multiple platforms. Do not end up trying to fit so many keywords into your post that you compromise its flow. Search engines now rate relevance, spelling, grammar, and readability above keyword density. In fact, focusing on keywords can make you lose credibility on search engines.
The message is clear and simple. If you want to gain more credibility with a search engine, build a bigger audience, and provide better customer service, you have to focus on quality content – there is no way around it.